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Disneyland Paris

Driving to Disneyland Paris

Are you a big Disney fan? YouTuber SoHelena tells us about the benefits of driving to Disneyland Paris.

Myself and my fiancé Martyn are huge Disney Fans and enjoy vlogging our trips for our YouTube channel, So Helena & Martyn. Over the past few years we have visited Disneyland Paris as adults and every time we return home, we immediately start thinking of our next trip.

Eurotunnel is always our preferred choice of travel and now we have mastered our travel day routine. We always book an early shuttle to make the most of our first day in the parks. We plan to leave with enough time to get to Folkestone, at least forty-five minutes before the departure time. We throw the bags in the car, pick up our flasks of tea and we are away on our adventure.

A red car driving onto a Eurotunnel Le Shuttle train from the platform

Eurotunnel to Disneyland Paris

Our love of Eurotunnel is based on our previous experiences and the benefits when compared with other transport options. The 35-minute travel time allows Martyn, as the driver, to take a quick break to re-energise. It’s like stopping at a service station.

There is no restriction on baggage, meaning that if we aren’t sure about what the weather will be like, we can pack for all eventualities. As we sometimes stay off property in hotels with kitchenettes, we adore the fact that there is no restriction on food.

Driving in France can seem like a daunting prospect for some as it was for Martyn originally. But with Eurotunnel, he can drive off the motorway in the UK and drive straight on to the motorway in France, making it a very simple experience. One aspect that we like is the live updates through the Twitter account, the person in charge of the account even tells you their name. But probably the most important factor is that it’s an affordable way to get across to France. The price we pay covers up to nine people which we think is great value for money and gives us options in the future to take friends and family.

Once we arrive at Folkestone, we check in using the touch screen service. Before Martyn or I can start entering the vehicle registration, the car is scanned and the vehicle registration appears. Easy! We have just enough time to stretch our legs and explore the shops and restaurants. Just like an airport it is a great place to do some duty-free shopping. On a side note, as you don’t have a weight limit to worry about, you can buy as many Toblerone's as you want…

Vloggers So Helena and Martyn in front of fountains and the Disneyland Hotel

Where is Disneyland Paris?

Disneyland Paris is situated in Marne-La-Vallée and is around 20 miles east from the centre of Paris.

How long is the drive from Eurotunnel to Disneyland Paris?

We always say how space age it looks inside the shuttle, comparing it to the Disney attraction ‘Star Tours’. The 35 minutes flies by and before we know it, we‘re in France! Once driving off the shuttle, we drive the remaining three hours from Calais to Disneyland Paris. Martyn finds the drive very easy as it is all on the motorway. There are exits onto other motorways but as we are using a sat nav we don’t have any issues.

There are also a lot of signs along the route to keep you right. As the route includes one toll (€22.50 for a small car), one tip if you are using a sat nav is to make sure that you don’t have the ‘Avoid Tolls’ setting turned on. If you do this then the route will take you away from the motorway and the travel time will increase significantly.

Tips for your journey to Disneyland Paris

With driving to Disneyland Paris we’re able to take things at our own pace and make the journey as relaxing and as comfortable as we can. We enjoy the freedom that travelling with Eurotunnel brings and we love driving because we can put together a driving hamper filled with our favourite snacks and we can download perfect singalong Disney playlists.

We can stop when we need to and we don’t have to move our luggage from the car until we reach the hotel. Something we also do before getting in the car is note down the addresses of all our destinations, so that we can easily put them into the sat nav when we need to.

Money-saving ideas for your drive to Disneyland Paris

Over the years we have been able to think up some money saving tips that make these trips possible. These include:

  • Staying off site in a non-Disney hotel.
  • Going for shorter periods, such as 3 days.
  • Staying in a hotel with a kitchenette so that we can cook our own food.
  • Booking our Disney tickets in advance though Magic Breaks and not on the entrance.
  • Looking into deals on dining plans when purchasing tickets.
  • Bringing our water bottles with us to fill up using the fountains in the parks.
  • Taking a packed lunch into the parks.
  • Going during the January sales.
  • Visiting outside of the school holidays
  • As we are going to take more than two trips a year, we purchased Annual Passes.

Where to stay at Disneyland Paris

There are many different places to stay if you’re heading to Disneyland Paris. There are the Disneyland Paris Resort Hotels that are situated on-site and there are off-site hotels that are not part of Disney. We have stayed both on-site and off-site.

With on-site you can take advantage of the Disney dining plans to save money on food if you’re solely eating at Disney restaurants. You’re also immersed in the Disney magic even at your hotel and most Disney hotels are walking distance from the parks meaning you get extra magic time.

Many off-site hotels come with kitchenettes, so that you can make your own food and they are generally more affordable when compared to the Disneyland resorts. They are also ideal if you are looking for a break from the Disney bubble and Marne La-Valée offers up different ideas for dining and entertainment during your stay.

Looking over a fence to a red wild west styled building near Disneyland Paris

Resort hotels

We have stayed at two Disneyland Paris resort hotels on our previous trips; Davy Crockett Ranch and Hotel Cheyenne.

Davy Crockett Ranch is a resort that will require you to have a car as it’s further out from the parks. This is different from the other resort hotels because you get a lodge and not just a room. During the summer you can sit outside and have a barbeque.

We have also stayed at Disney’s Hotel Cheyenne, this hotel features Texas ‘Toy Story’ themed rooms and they are incredible. Our favourite detail is a lamp in the shape of Woody’s cowboy boot. The Hotel is split up into different buildings each with a different Wild West related name. Walking around the grounds you feel like you’ve travelled back in time to the Old West. We absolutely love it. 

Standard double bed in a hotel room with an illustrated picture on the wall

Nearby hotels

Most recently we have stayed in the Hipark by Adagio Serris-Val d’Europe, which is a part of Accor Hotels. This hotel is ideal if you are going to do Disneyland Paris on a budget. The hotel is so close to the park and took us 15 minutes to walk from the hotel to the security scanning area at the entrance to Disneyland Paris. If however you didn’t want to walk, there are shuttle buses from the hotel to the park. Upon arrival at the hotel the times of the shuttles were given to us.

The element of the hotel that appealed to us was that the room included a kitchenette, allowing us to save money instead of dining out in restaurants. The hotel had free internet and because we had taken a laptop with an adapter, we were able to watch our favourite shows on the TV in the room. 

Disney’s Elsa and Anna from Frozen on a carnival float in a Disneyland Paris parade

More from SoHelena & Martyn

Going to Disneyland Paris has taken on added meaning these days as not only are we embracing our love of all things Disney but we are also visiting the place we got engaged.

We normally try and visit during off peak times. Transition periods between festivals and mid-week during school terms have been good for us. Crowds are quiet and we can ride our favourite rides (like Tower of Terror, Crush’s Coaster and Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain) endless times.

You can’t visit Disneyland Paris without watching the Disney Stars on Parade or watching the firework and visual show, ‘Disney Illuminations’.

We can’t recommend or speak highly enough about Eurotunnel. It makes Disneyland Paris such an easy and accessible holiday destination and we love the freedom that driving there brings. If you want to see what we have got up to on each of our trips in more detail, then head over to the So Helena & Martyn YouTube channel to see our different Disneyland Paris vlog series.

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