A Disneyland family holiday can be a dream for a lot of young children growing up, actually organising a trip there however, can be a nightmare for parents. The park itself can be seen as both notoriously busy and expensive throughout much of the year. We asked Sarah Slattery, the woman behind the popular “Travel Expert” website for her top tips on making this dream a reality. Sarah regularly travels with her young family so she knows all the tricks when it comes to getting the best deals and packages for any type of holiday. However, when it comes to Disneyland in particular she had the following pieces of advice to ensure you get there and make the best of it:
When To Go:
“There are lots of different themes throughout the year, Christmas, Halloween etc are very special but can be expensive. If you can travel off peak, i.e when the kids are in school that will save you a lot of money and the parks will be much quieter, which also means less queuing time.”
“Charles de Gaulle is the closest and you can fly direct with Aer Lingus and Air France. If you are getting bus transfers they go from both terminals, so it doesnt really matter who you fly with but if you want to get the fast train (10 minutes to the park) , it goes from Terminal 2 which is where Air France flies to. If flying with Aer Lingus you will need to transfer from terminal 1 to 2 to catch the train. There can be a long waiting times especially if you miss the shuttle between terminals so if flying Aer Lingus I would recommend taking the shuttle bus. To confuse you even further, a taxi cost is €90 and the shuttle is €20 per adult and €16 per child so If travelling in a party of 4 there isnt a huge difference between the bus and a taxi!”
Offers For Children:
“There are many different offers at various times throughout the year with kids under 7 often travelling free or dining free. Currently there are buy 2 days get 2 days free and also 20% off with free Half Board. It really depends on when and how long you want to travel for. I would suggest contacting a travel agent as they will be aware of all offers and will suggest the right one to suit you and your ages.”
“You can stay in one of the hotels close to the park, rather than staying in a Disney hotel, these can work out cheaper and are ideal for older kids who don’t particularly need to have character breakfasts or see Mickey Mouse in their hotel. Hotels like Explorers have huge swimming pools with slides and are an attraction in their own right and are cheaper than the Disney hotels. You can also find 2 bedroom apartments / suites which can be great value for large families. You can then book park tickets separately with Attraction Tickets Direct.”
General Park Tips:
- Measure your children’s height before you go and check online beforehand which rides your children are able to go on. This will save you time and allow you to prepare your kids for unsuitable rides.
- Download the Disneyland Paris app so you can see the waiting times for all rides instantly.
- Most people tend to go right when entering a theme park, go left and you may find shorter queues.
- There is a Disneyland Railroad train which circulates the park. Don’t get on at the Main Street USA station, go to one of the other stations where queues are a lot shorter.
- Use the baby switch facility. If one parent needs to stay with a toddler, they can swap places with the other parent and go on the ride without having to queue again.
“Use the fast pass system. Collect a ticket at the entrance to the ride and come back later that day and go straight to the fast pass queue. We had fast pass tickets and never spent longer than 30 minutes queuing for any ride, without them you could be queuing for 90 minutes for the most popular ones. These are valid at the Indiana Jones, Space Mountain and Thunder Mountain Rollercoasters, Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast and Peter Pan’s Flight. They are also available at some of the rides in Walt Disney Studios Park too.”
By taking these tips on board, you’ll be able to weigh up the many options available when it comes to your Disneyland experience. Need more inspiration on making this kind of trip a possibility? You can check out our recent blog posts on saving for that travel fund and booking the best priced flights. Make sure you follow the Travel Expert closely too as she provides a constant stream of travel knowledge, agent deals and other brilliant content.
To save yourself even more money and hassle with your family trips, don’t forget to take out a family travel insurance policy from our website. Kids are even free on all of our family policies!