My Take on the Disneyland Paris Dining Plans

My Take on the Disneyland Paris Dining Plans

With my Disneyland Paris holiday fast approaching, I figured it was time to figure out the most important part of the trip: food. Within my hotel reservation I received the half ¬†board standard Disney Meal Plan (more on what that means later) and, if I’m totally honest, this confused me more than a little bit. I’ve always found the Paris meal plans quite confusing but I figured this was a great opportunity to try it out and see if I could get my head around it and hopefully help some other people out at the same time!

So there are quite a number of options for Dining Plans at Paris, but these can be broken down into three categories; standard, plus and premium. Then within each category you have the option of full board or half board. As you would imagine, the full board option covers all your meals; breakfast, lunch and dinner. But unlike it’s counterpart in Walt Disney World, Florida, the meal plans in Paris don’t include any snacks or additional drinks (you get one soft drink per meal). The half board meal plans cover your breakfast at your hotel and either your lunch or dinner, but only two meals during the day rather than three. I plan on reviewing the Disney Meal Plan again once I return from my trip but as a quick tip, I have always found that having multiple sit down meals every day is very time consuming. So if you want to make the most of your time in the parks, I would recommend going for the half board meal plan and picking up snacks or quick service meals to keep you going in between.

Once you’ve decided on wither full or half board, the next thing to consider is whether you want the standard, plus or premium plan. The difference between the three is the choice of restaurants you are eligible to eat at as part of the plan. disneyholidays.co.uk have a great chart showing which restaurants are included in each plan so I will link that below for you to peruse. Simply put, the standard plan allows you to eat at any all-you-can-eat buffet style restaurants whilst the plus plan gives you a number of table service options on top of the standard options. The premium plan includes all restaurants on Disney property, including character dining experiences and the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show at Disney Village. If you are planning on visiting character dining then it is probably worth taking advantage of the premium dining plan. If not then this may be an unnecessary expense and you might be better suited to one of the other plans.

As I mentioned earlier, I am booked onto the standard half board meal plan. On first glace I can’t say that I’m overly impressed by the restaurant choices available within this plan. It essentially includes the hotel restaurants plus a couple of locations in the Disneyland Park and one option in both Disney Studios and Disney Village. Having visited Agrabah Cafe on a previous trip, the restaurants I have chosen to visit on my three day holiday are: Plaza Gardens on Main Street, Restaurant de Stars in the Studios Park and La Grange at Billy Bobs in Disney Village. Unless you plan on venturing to the hotels, your restaurant choices on this plan are pretty much limited to the four locations mentioned above. Also be aware that Restaurant de Stars currently closes at 4PM so there is no option on the standard meal plan right now to get dinner in the Disney Studios Park.

Whilst I am slightly disappointed with the lack of options available, I am really looking forward to these new dining experiences. And I think it will definitely be worth the money since we are getting two all-you-can-eat meals each day of our stay. In addition I should mention that the plan works on a voucher system, which you present when you go for your meal to “cash in” your Dining Plan for that day. You can also use the vouchers in other restaurants which are not part of your meal plan. This will allow you to knock the meal plan value off your bill so you only have to pay the difference in price. This isn’t something I am looking at for this holiday but may be useful if you have used the Meal Plan before and want to try some new restaurants.

So what do you guys think of the Disneyland Paris Dining Plans? Have you used them before? If so, what did you think? Also let me know if you have been to any of the restaurants mentioned above and if you have any food suggestions comment below!

Have a magical day ūüôā

Meal Plan Breakdown: http://www.disneyholidays.co.uk/disneyland-paris/planning-holiday/meal-plans/

How I planned my Disney Holiday – Some helpful tips and websites

How I planned my Disney Holiday – Some helpful tips and websites

Planning a Disney¬†holiday can be a little daunting at first, there are so many different travel operators and websites to look at, not to mention vlogs, blogs, books and brochures! It’s no surprise that some people get lost in all the madness. I’ve tried to compile a little list in this post of my tips when booking a Disney holiday and the websites I found useful whilst booking – hopefully I’m not simply adding to the excess of info out there and this will actually prove to be useful for someone.

NOTE: These tips are for booking a Disneyland Paris trip, this is very different from booking any of the other Disney Parks. If you would like me to create a post with my tips for booking trips to any other parks then just let me know! ūüôā

1. Figure out the basics

Before you even¬†start pricing up your holiday, you want to decide when you are going to visit Disney and how long you wish to stay for. Obviously the longer your trip the more expensive it will be. If you book to visit in¬†school holidays it is also likely to be more expensive and also busier, but the parks are likely to be open later and have more going on than if you visit in off peak times. If you have the opportunity to visit off peak then I would definitely recommend doing so, but if you are visiting during holidays, don’t panic as Disney are generally very good at handling the crowds.

2. Look at the official website

Disneyland Paris and the Walt Disney Travel Company both sell holiday packages to Disneyland Paris. This is a really convenient and simple way of booking your holiday so if you don’t have much time or are very unsure about who to book through, then this may be the solution for you. The downside of this is that there is generally a bit of a¬†premium to pay for the ease of booking through Disney themselves. But, even if you would rather shop around, it’s still a good idea to take a look on the Disney websites first as this will give you a good idea of the costs involved in your holiday and set a benchmark total cost to compare¬†with other prices you may find.

In addition, it is always worth checking the Disney websites because they often have special offers on which make your stay a little bit cheaper. So I normally book my vacation through a couple of different sites (which I will mention below) but Disney had an offer for 30% off and a free dining package if you booked through them and my stay was made a lot cheaper because of this.

3. Shop around!

Ok so you have your price from the Disney websites, now you can look around and try to reduce that a little. I would recommend looking at reputable travel agencies or, if you are like me and love Disney holiday planning, take a look at organising your holiday without the help of an agent.

Hotel-wise, it may be worth getting a quote from Disney for the hotel only or hotel and tickets, but remember there are some great hotels just off Disney property which are very reasonably priced! I will always recommend the Kyriad Hotel to my friends, as it is a nice hotel which is just a short bus journey from the parks and has very regular free shuttles to take you. If you are looking for something a bit more luxurious then take a look at the Dream Castle Hotel, which is seriously gorgeous, this is on the same road as the Kyriad and uses the same free transportation system. In addition there is the Magic Circus Hotel and Explorers Hotel, both on the same route and possibly worth checking out.

Less relevant now for UK travellers but its always good to be aware that Disneyland Paris do have various annual passes available for their parks. If you are planning on visiting multiple times in the year or are attending special events such as Halloween or Christmas events, then it may be worth looking into these to see if they will be good value for money, as they also offer food and merchandise discounts which come in very handy! Unfortunately Disneyland Paris have recently increased the price of their annual passes to bring them in line with the other parks around the world, which means you may have to visit a few more times each year to really make them worth the cost.

4. Getting there and back

So hopefully you now have an idea of where you plan on staying and what tickets you will be buying, but you want to make sure you have the best deal on your travel to and from Disneyland Paris. There are plenty of sites where you can compare¬†flight¬†prices (I tend to use travelsupermarket.com) and this is a great opportunity to look at other modes of transport like the eurostar or maybe even driving. However you decide to travel, make sure you look around at different times of day, as you will find there is a huge difference in price depending on when you want to travel. Very early or very late flights and trains tend to be much cheaper than those in the middle of the day, but if you’re really not a morning person then perhaps booking a 7AM flight is a bad idea. Remember that your travel arrangements may also cut into your park time whilst you’re in Paris, a 3PM flight on your last day will mean you probably won’t get much time in the parks that morning. And a flight which arrives at 6PM on the first day probably won’t allow you to hit the parks at all that day, as you have to take into account customs, travel time from the airport and check in at your hotel. So¬†just make sure you¬†factor in the time it will take to arrive at your destination, and be prepared for any delays which may occur.

If you are travelling by Eurostar you can actually get a train right to the front gates of Disneyland Paris making your journey nice and simple. If you are flying in to Charles De Gaulle, you have a couple of options to get to the parks. Your first option is to take a shuttle bus, this is very convenient and, if you book your holiday through Disneyland Paris, can be booked alongside your flights. You can book a direct shuttle through magicalshuttle.co.uk who have transport running very regularly to and from the airport. The other option available is to take a train to Disneyland. There is a train station inside the airport terminal so it is no more difficult to access than the shuttle, and at a 12 minute journey, it is far quicker than the bus. Just make sure you remember to get off at the right stop!

5. Plan your days

By this point you have hopefully managed to find a great deal on your holiday and booked something very exciting, the only thing left to do is countdown to the big day and plan what you want to do when you get there. I’d recommend taking a look at the Disneyland Paris website to see what attractions and food locations there are. If you want to book a character dining experience, it may be worth doing so prior to your arrival at Disneyland, although you can book once you arrive if they still have reservations available. Another¬†important thing to consider is¬†whether anyone in your party has any allergies or food requirements. If so its a good idea to look up some possible dining locations¬†before you head out to the parks, as you¬†may not have internet once you arrive in Paris, and nobody wants to be running around trying to find somewhere that will cater for their requirements when they are hungry! So make a list of locations in both of the parks before you go, and if you’re very limited or unsure about what you can have, maybe pack some snacks from home as well.

I understand that not everyone out there will want to plan every aspect of their holiday, but I think it’s a good idea to know roughly what you intend to do each day. For example, if you have three days in¬†Disney, maybe plan to do Disneyland Park the first day, Walt Disney Studios Park the second day, then Disney Village and Disneyland Park on your final day. Having a rough idea of where you want to go will ensure you don’t miss doing anything you really wanted to do. Another way to plan your holiday without planning every last detail is to make a list of everything you absolutely must do in your holiday. You can then review this throughout your stay and tick things off as you complete them. Hopefully this will stop you from getting to your last day and racing round trying to do everything that you didn’t think of doing over the rest of the holiday!

 

So there are my (not so) brief tips on how to plan your Disneyland Paris holiday. Hopefully this has helped a couple of you and of course, if you have any questions or would like any further advice, I am always happy to help. Just drop me a comment or a message and I will get back to you ūüôā and of course enjoy your Disney holiday!

Have a magical day!

I Finally Have Something to Blog About!

I Finally Have Something to Blog About!

At the time of writing this I have 100 days until my summer holiday to Disneyland Paris! To say I’m excited is a bit of an understatement right now!¬†I’ve booked the holiday with my sister for a mini celebration after her A Level exams and we will be staying at the Hotel Cheyenne on Disney property for 3 nights with 4 days in the parks.

This trip will be a little different for me as I have been to Disneyland many times before, but have never stayed in a Disney Hotel in Paris. I am also on the half board Disney Meal Plan whilst we are there which again is a first for me. But by all means, the most exciting part of this trip is that we will be visiting during the 25th anniversary celebrations, which have just started in the Parks. I was a bit impatient and watched the parade the other day but plan on waiting until I get there before I watch any other the other event entertainment. Whist I’ve heard mixed reviews so far, I’m going to go into it with an open mind and low expectations. And I will of course let you all know what I think when I visit.

So yes, I plan on creating a lot more blog posts over the coming months and perhaps even some videos, let me know if you guys would be interested in that. As always subscribe to my blog for updates and new posts (I promise there will be regular new posts) and I will also be revamping my insta account which has been dormant for some months so be sure to check that out as well!

I will be back very soon with another Disneyland Paris post, but until then, have a magical day!!