Unfortunately for Disney travelers, the different Disney destinations all have slightly different steps for actually booking your trip. Disneyland Paris is one of the more complicated destinations to book, but in a good way because the variety of options means you have different ways of getting the best price.
This post covers booking your Disneyland Paris hotel and park tickets. If you're interested in reading about booking flights, check out our Disneyland Paris trip planning guide or our post on flying to Disneyland Paris on points.
At the outset, you have two main options for booking your Disneyland Paris hotel and park tickets. First, you can book a vacation package through the U.S Disneyland Paris website, disneylandparis.com. Second, you can book the hotel through a third-party (e.g. Kayak, Expedia, Ortbitz) site and purchase tickets online or at the gate.
Booking a Vacation Package through DisneylandParis.com
If you've booked a stay at Disneyland or Walt Disney World before, you might find the basics of the Disneyland Paris website to be familiar. When it comes to bookings, though, the experiences are quite different.
To book a Disneyland Paris hotel stay through DisneylandParis.com, you have to purchase a package that includes tickets. (If you want to book the hotel only directly through Disney, you can call +33 1 60 30 60 53.) For the most part, this simplifies the process, but because Disneyland Paris offers a variety of packages and add-ons, things aren't as easy as could be.
Since Disneyland Paris doesn't publish room rates, you're best off knowing your dates for your stay in advance. They also provide a calendar of peak seasons for one of their offer options, though we don't know how much this corresponds to prices overall (or to, e.g., crowd levels).
You can conduct as many searches as you want, but we had a lot of trouble with availability popping up and disappearing and with Disneyland Paris not playing well with our browser after a while (we've had this happen with other Disney sites too when price-hunting). What complicates this more is that, like most Disney destinations, there are a variety of packages available for a given hotel and given dates. We'll start with booking a Standard package before we discuss non-standard packages.
Searching for Disneyland Paris Standard Packages
When you arrive at DisneylandParis.com, you'll see the standard "Price Your Vacation" search bar near the top of the page. Note that Disneyland Paris uses dd/mm/yyyy for dates.
You type in the dates you're interested in and choose a specific hotel or just leave "All Hotels" selected for more options, and hit search. The results screen will generally show the Standard Package rate, but if you've entered a search that is eligible for a special package, it will show that rate.
What's Included in the Disneyland Paris Standard Package
The Disneyland Paris standard package includes:
- your hotel stay
- tickets for both parks for each night of your stay and your departure day
- shuttle bus to the parks (though it is usually easier to walk)
If you selected "All Hotels," you'll get a list with the price of the Standard Package at each hotel, along with a series of icons indicating amenities at the hotel (Room Service, fitness room, pool, etc.).
Disneyland Paris also gives "key" ratings, instead of stars, to indicate the quality of the hotel. Disneyland Hotel is the only 5-key hotel. Hotel New York and Newport Bay Club are 4-key. Disney's Sequoia Lodge, which we loved, is 3-key. Cheyenne and Santa Fe are 2-key. We think this range is a bit generous from out limited experience inside the hotels. Generally, the prices for Disneyland Paris hotels are going to go (from highest to lowest) according to the key ratings.
Alternative Package Suggestions
Once you select a hotel, Disneyland Paris will try and entice you with alternative packages, particularly alternative dates. You can usually just ignore this screen, but if you have flexible dates it is a good idea to check the offers, as prices can vary by hundreds of dollars (or maybe you can add a night for a very small amount).
Picking the Details of Your Package
Next, you'll choose your room. The price you have been given until now has been the standard room offering, but if your interested in a larger room, club level, or suites, you'll make that selection here.
Once you've chosen your room, you'll move on to the add-ons offered at Disneyland Paris. The major one of these is the meal plan. We don't know of a comprehensive review of the Disneyland Paris meal plan, but most reviewers frown on Disneyland Paris food and opt to eat in Disney Village instead. We survived as vegetarians for six meals with minimal complaints.
Disneyland Paris also treats certain meals—like character breakfasts and Buffalo Bill's Wilde West Show—as "add-ons". It's worth noting these are the only meal reservations you can book online. If you don't purchase them now, you can call Disneyland Paris later and add them to your reservation.
The second add-on page offers PhotoPass+, Disney Express and Airport Transfer. The Disney Express and Airport Transfer services definitely can be worth it. The train tickets between Paris CDG airport and Disneyland Paris can get up to about €35, making Disney's pricing reasonable.
Finally, Disney also offers a variety of Paris-related excursions. We would not suggest using Disneyland Paris as a base for exploring Paris because of the cost of the hotels and the distance from the city center.
Deposit and Payment for Your Disneyland Paris Package
After making your final add-on selections, you'll be asked to enter your final details and to pay for your package. You'll see a small amount of taxes and fees added to your booking (usually less than 5%).
If you book via DisneylandParis.com, you'll pay for the entire package at once. If you call to book more than 30 days in advance, you'll be able to put down a deposit and pay for the package at a later date.
Special Packages at Disneyland Paris
If you visit the Disneyland Paris offers page, you'll typically see at least three deals available: an Early Booker package, a Super Early Booker package, and a non-exchangeable, non-refundable deal. The Early Booker and Super Early Booker offer deals for people who book packages up from about 6 months to 2 years in advance. Typically these deals are in the form of a free day/night (or two).
The non-exchangeable, non-refundable deal is a 5% discount for packages booked during specified windows where you forfeit the right to change your reservation. Truth be told, we're not sure what the exact restrictions on modifying a reservation generally are. You usually can make some modifications, though Disneyland Paris is not transparent about exactly which changes you can make.
Booking Disneyland Paris Hotel and Park Tickets Separately
An alternative to booking through Disneyland Paris directly is to book your hotel through a third-party site and to buy your tickets from Disneyland Paris.
Any time you book a hotel through a third party, you have to make sure to call the hotel to be sure your reservation went through properly. There's no reason to doubt major sites like Expedia or Orbitz, but you still need to take the time to ensure everything goes smoothly. This is a good idea when you're using a travel agent, too.
As far as price goes, our randomly selected date range of Feb 8 to Feb 10 showed mixed results. For Disneyland Hotel, booking separately resulted in major savings ($1726 through Disneyland Paris, $1281 separately). For the other hotels, booking separately resulted in increased prices. For example, Santa Fe was $652 if booked through Disneyland Paris but $931 if booking separately.
We don't really have advice on this one way or another. If your dream is to stay at Disneyland Hotel, check to see if booking separately will work for you as far as price goes. You won't lose any advantages of booking a package except that you probably would not be able to add on a meal plan.
One More Thing (The Different Disneyland Paris Sites)…
Disneyland Paris is known for offering a wide range of prices through it's different sites. This guide covered booking through Disneylandparis.com, the American site. There is also Walt Disney Travel Company, the British travel company of the Disney corporation. Then there is also http://disneylandparis.fr/, the French version of the Disneyland Paris website (different from the French-language version of the ".com" website, by the way). We strongly advise you to check the prices across these different sites before booking. You can save hundreds!