We recently got back from another fantastic three-night trip to Disneyland Paris. However, this time we did things a little differently and tried to really plan / budget as to how much we’d need to bring with us.
Rather than just relying on the credit card and dealing with the costs when we get back – eek!
This got us thinking… How much spending money should we take to Disneyland Paris?
Given the high cost of food and drink compared to a more traditional holiday, and the focus on incredible souvenirs. It often feels like an impossible question to answer. However, it’s not.
That’s because, on our 3-night trip to Disneyland Paris, we spent a total of €626.25. This is based on two adults and a baby (though the baby cost us nothing) and includes transport to / from the airport to our Airbnb, transport from our Airbnb to the Disney parks, food, drinks, snacks & souvenirs.
Of course, it’s still worth keeping in mind that everyone’s trip to Disneyland Paris is completely different.
Just because we spent roughly €313 per person, doesn’t mean you’ll spend that too.
However, hopefully, as we’ve gone ahead and broken down what we spent and where into the three key sections you’ll be able to get a better understanding of how much spending money you should plan for too.
Food & Drinks
The amount you spend on food and drink at Disneyland Paris is generally going to depend on three things;
- The number of people travelling
- How many days you’re spending at Disneyland Paris
- The type of dining experiences you’re looking for
- The age of your children (where applicable)
If you’re happy to eat fast food and buy pastries from the supermarket for breakfast (or have it included in the cost of your hotel) then you should be able to get away with roughly €50 per person, per night.
However, if you’re looking for fine dining or a character dining experience then given those meals often cost in excess of €30 per person alone, as such you’re going to want to increase your budget to accommodate this.
We (two adults, and one baby) spent €244.36 (£209.69) on food and drinks during our three-night trip to Disneyland Paris.
While we didn’t eat at formal restaurants during our trip, we did eat at multiple fast-food locations.
Mcdonald’s where we spent €17.62 (£15.12) on two large adult meals
Earl of Sandwich at the Disney Village (twice) where we spent €7.91 (£6.79) on one meal one night and €24.89 (£21.36) on two meals another evening.
We also shopped at the local supermarket for breakfast pastries, drinks and snacks for our Airbnb €44.59 (£37.71) although in hindsight we bought too much here and didn’t bring the snacks to Disneyland Paris with us.
Instead, the food stayed in the accommodation, and since we were always out exploring the parks most of it didn’t get eaten or expired before we had the chance.
Speaking of the parks, we grabbed lunch at the international booths inside Walt Disney Studios which was expensive (€6 per serving) given the portion sizes (expect two per adult minimum) but made for a nice change.
Alongside this, we also had drinks and pastries to share in Victoria’s at Disneyland.
While dining at Victoria’s was more expensive (€21.02 in total) than simply purchasing a Mickey ice cream bar it gave us a chance to escape the heat and sit down in a relatively quiet, air-conditioned room for a short period of time.
One unexpected expense we encountered when it came to food and drink was actually in Charles De Gaulle airport before our return flight.
With the bags and the baby, we decided we’d have lunch at the airport before our 3.30pm flight back to the UK.
So, we left for the airport around 12.30 only to find that our flight had been delayed for two hours.
This resulted in us not only paying for lunch but also then paying for additional snacks since we knew it would be 7, maybe even 8pm before we were home and able to grab some dinner.
Food is notoriously more expensive at the airport and in total, we spent €65.13 (£55.89) on two sandwiches from Paul, six drinks, two pastries, a fruit pot & a bag of M&M’s.
While we didn’t eat at any ‘formal’ restaurants during our trip to Disneyland Paris there were still many ways we could have saved money on food and drinks during our trip yet chose not to.
We booked our trip to Disneyland Paris ourselves and as such our transfers from Charles De Gaulle Airport to our accommodation were not included.
In hindsight, I wish we’d have used the likes of Hoppa and pre-booked transfers to our Airbnb rather than relying on public transport.
This was a costly experience (in time, money and stress), especially given the range of options available and was an unnecessary hassle, especially with a baby.
We originally chose to take the fast train from Charles De Gaulle to Marne La Vallee (just outside of Disneyland Paris).
While this train journey only takes 10 minutes as opposed to over one hour on the more affordable slower train, getting to the station from terminal 3 where we arrived took the best part of 30 minutes with our bags and the pushchair.
Even after paying €35 per person for the fast train, we still had to get an Uber from Marne La Vallee station to our Airbnb in Serris (€10).
We somewhat learnt from our mistakes on our return journey and instead paid for an Uber to take us directly from our Airbnb to Charles De Gaulle at a cost of €58.
For us personally, this came down to balancing time & hassle with money. Although it actually ended up that the most convenient option was also one of the cheapest given our situation.
However, as mentioned earlier if we were to do this again we would either;
- Book a package trip that includes transfers from the airport to the hotel.
- Book and pay for transfers from the airport to the hotel in advance using Hoppa.
On-site hotels are within walking distance of Disneyland Paris – although select hotels close to Disneyland Paris also offer a complimentary shuttle depending on the distance. Meanwhile, select nearby hotels offer a complimentary shuttle to Disneyland Paris to try and increase the value offered to guests.
As such, transport to / from the airport to the hotel is the only travel expense you’ll need to think about when budgeting for your trip to Disneyland Paris. However, if you’re staying elsewhere in Paris then you might still also need to consider the cost of travelling from your accommodation to the Disneyland theme parks.
If you’re spending one day at Disneyland Paris and subsequently visiting on a day trip from Paris then you’ll likely find things a little easier since you won’t have any luggage or have travelled extensively in the hours prior.
The best way to get from Paris to Disneyland is in an Uber since it takes you directly from your accommodation to the park entrance. However, at roughly €60 one-way this isn’t the cheapest method.
Instead, the RER A takes you directly to the Marne-la-Vallee/Chessy station located just outside of the Disneyland Paris Resort for roughly €5 per person, one way.
We have stayed on-site in multiple Disneyland Paris properties previously, we chose on this trip to stay in Serris, one stop from Disneyland Paris on the RER.
A one-way journey on the RER from the nearest train station to our Airbnb (Val d’Europe train station) to Disneyland Paris (Marne-la-Vallée – Chessy) cost €1.90 per person.
As such, we spent just over €10 for the two of us travelling back and forth between the parks and our accommodation across two days.
However, since we were also visiting for Disneyland Paris Pride we did stay out late one evening (1am) and chose to get an Uber back instead of attempting to get on the train (an additional €10).
While these costs do add up, staying in an Airbnb just outside of the Chessy region (where Disneyland Paris is located) was still significantly cheaper – even when you go ahead and include the transport costs between the parks.
It also happened that the facilities available in an Airbnb (microwave, kettle etc.) also suited us better when travelling with a baby when compared to a hotel room.
Looking back on what we spent our money on during our three nights at Disneyland Paris I’m definitely feeling some level of regret for expensive impulse purchases.
In all, we spent €228.29 (£195.90) on souvenirs during our three-night trip.
Although half of that (€119.98) was spent on two Disneyland Paris Pride Spirit Jerseys (one each) – which was actually the biggest regret, although the photos do look really cool.
Instead, our favourite souvenir purchase was Disney Premier Access which allowed us to each skip the line on a ride (similar to how Fast Passes used to work).
Our passes cost €14 each, although you can get passes for different rides cheaper depending on the wait time and the popularity of the ride.
This allowed us to spend more time together in the parks rather than waiting in line although it’s well worth doing your research in advance as to whether or not this investment is worthwhile for you.
Another fantastic purchase was my Buzz Lightyear hat.
Not only was this hat a great option to protect my head from the summer sun that was shining over the weekend but it also received loads of compliments not only at Disneyland Paris but at Walt Disney World too!
Another regret I have was picking up a €14 Pin Trading lanyard.
I already had the pins from a previous trip, so I was hoping to display them and trade them during our long weekend.
That said, I never saw anyone trading and the lanyard actually ended up becoming more of an inconvenience between my hat, the backpack and carrying the baby so I pretty quickly wished I’d not bothered.
Hopefully, you can see from our experience that souvenirs are one area where the amount you spend can really get away from you.
This is of course ironic since of all the items on this list it’s actually the least necessary – although some Disney fans may argue otherwise.
As such I think it’s the area where it’s most essential to set an amount and stick to it.
The cost of eating out at Disneyland Paris may be more expensive than you were planning, but there’s little you can do about that during your trip since you still need to eat.
However, you don’t need the cuddly toy or the souvenir pen.
When it comes to souvenirs really try to look at everything before making your decision (there’s a lot to look at!) and consider the practicalities of using, storing or wearing your souvenir when you’re back home.