If you saw a while ago, just before my birthday, my wonderful Mum surprised me and my sister with a trip to Disneyland Paris at the end of this year for Halloween! Something which I have wanted to do for as long as I can remember.
Since I am on a personal countdown to when we jet off to Paris, I thought I would start by making a mini-series all about planning ahead for the big trip (even if it’s over half a year away). Personally, I have been to Disneyland Paris many a time now, so do have a fair bit of knowledge about what the parks have to offer, in the past I’ve posted two other features about our trip which I will link at the bottom of this post.
If you are new to Disney at Halloween you’re in for a treat! To celebrate the season, the parks become an after-hours celebration, full of characters, fancy dress and lots of sweets. As of yet, we are unsure about what this year at the parks will entail since each year they host a new ‘Spooktacular’ activities. We have already booked our travel, accommodation and park tickets. Something some people weren’t aware of was that if you wish to attend the parties you must book this separately once they are released to the public (something we are waiting on to be released).
So here’s what we do know!
We are staying at the Disneyland Hotel, where my mum and dad spent their honeymoon, which we will be staying in for five nights over the Halloween period. Our hotel describes itself as being a take back to the Victorian Era, with high-class luxury service. But I’ll be sure to do a full review of the hotel after our visit. Whilst on our visit we are planning on taking a day trip to Paris so any ideas on where to go would be a wonderful heads up!
So obviously, I couldn’t just leave a post here without a spot of advice about if this is your first time booking a Disney Vacation, so here are my top tips about booking a trip to the land of the mouse.
1. Look far and wide – When looking to book up at Disney, many travel agency will have various offers on for money off or extra add-ins for what you can do whilst you are there. I would suggest that its best that you go through as many online and ring up as many local travel agents as you can before coming to a final decision on your trip. Mainly we book from Thomson (now TUI) as they have good flight times, however, the last time I went we booked through Jet 2.com and got an AMAZING beyond belief last-minute deal.
2. Timing can make all the difference – Prices for your trip will increase a lot depending on what time of year you are looking to book if you can go without going during a weekend or not during the kids holidays I would highly recommend this is when you look to go. I found a pretty spot on chart which I will link HERE the page is in French, however, the peak days for the parks are listed as red, with the less busy times in Green or Blue. Times when the parks are less busy not only keeps the price down but your wait time for rides or character meetups.
3. Book all extra shows + meals before you go – Things tend to fill up at the parks fairly quickly, this includes special events happening at the parks or even your nightly sit down meal. I would suggest downloading the Disneyland Paris app ahead of your trip to make sure you have locked down anywhere you really don’t want to miss out on, just to be on the safe side.
4. If you wish to go into Paris for the day, do not book on a trip – Personally, I wouldn’t be one to book the pre-planned trips into Paris, simply because – they cost a bloody bomb to book. On the outskirts of Downtown Disney, there is a national train service that runs from the parks into the city. I recall it was around €7.50 to get into the city center the last time I was in the station, I am unsure if these have since changed, but it will save you a lot of cash simply doing things your own way if you have the time to research which city sights you would want to go visit.
5. If you head out at the right time of year, yes Disney have a sale – I’m not talking about a pre-book money off your holiday sale, I mean like a souvenir, fill up your suitcase with cuddly toys sale. Last summer, I managed to get my hands on a whole bunch of Christmas tree decorations and Cuddly Toy Princesses all for €1 each… that is no lie. There was plenty to choose from almost as good as a good old Black Friday rummage through stuff ill cherish for the rest of my life. I am guessing at what time of year which we visited Disney, that these sales fall at the same time as other mid-season deals, so you’ll have to check up on that one.
6. Book park tickets before you go – If you were not aware, with some of the hotels which you stay at, you have to book and pay for your park tickets separately. If you are unsure you should confirm this information with your agent, and if you are looking for where you should book your tickets from I would recommend Attraction Tickets, as they seem to have constant new deals which either will get you some extra money to spend in the parks, or a bundle on how many days you’ll get.
7. TAKE SNACKS – Seriously, this tip I couldn’t recommend to you more. Park food, although lovely, can come as a major strain on your bank balance. I would personally recommend that you fill your suitcase with breakfast bars, crisps and other small snacks which will keep you full between meals whilst walking around the parks. Especially if you’re queuing for a ride when the waits can sometimes push over an hour long during the peak seasons.
8. Purchase a small bag or bum bag – Since obviously, you’ll need the Bare Necessities (see what I did there) to take into the parks with you, but you’ll not be wanting a large backpack to lug around with you for the day. The best decision you’ll be making is to take along with you a smaller side back so you can fit in a small number of items, park tickets etc. Yet you won’t be having to stop because it’s too heavy to carry around. We worked it round in a group, having a small bum bag between four of us, taking turns to carry it every hour.
9. Which hotel offers the best value for money? – Now this would be a very personally decision, each of the hotels both in and out of the parks offer various offers for what ever hoilday type you are looking for. If you are on a strick budget, then have a look on the out of property hotels including the Kyriad, Dream Castle and Magic Circus. All of these hotels dont have that extra spark of Disney magic, but you wont miss out on that whilst in the parks. Where as for a higher price you can enjoy having that magic both in the hotels and extra magic hours within the parks, yet this can add a couple more hundred pounds onto your holiday, so the choice is totally up to you.
There we go! That’s a list of all the top tips I would give to anyone who is going to Disney or wanting to book a holiday there in the near future. But, if you want to know anything more about our adventure or have any questions, please do get in touch in the comment sections below or via my social media accounts.
So thank you so much for reading,
Elle Kate X