What you should know about driving to Disneyland ParisPosted: April 4, 2012
And why not? Step on the train in the UK and get off just a few minutes from the magic… It couldn’t be easier.
But, in reality we don’t all live close to a Eurostar station. So what’s the alternative?
Flying? Well yes of course it’s an option, but not only has it become incredibly expensive in recent years what with fuel duty, check-in and baggage charges but you’ve also got weight limits on your luggage. Tot up the flights for a family of 4 and you’ve already eaten heavily into your holiday budget.
So Why Drive?
Driving to Disney is probably one of the most economical and convenient ways of getting to the Hotels and Parks. Pack the car with everything you need and off you go – at your own pace and in your own time.
Not only that, you’ve no luggage restrictions to worry about so the little people can bring that giant Mickey plush and everything else they’ve persuaded you to buy home with them!
Which Ferry route should I take?
The shortest ferry crossing to France is from Dover to Calais at approx 1hr 30 minutes per crossing. As well as P&O ferries, DFDS Seaways are also now operating on this route meaning that there are plenty of times and crossings to choose from – especially if you happen to miss the one you were supposed to get on!
Also an option (but a bit more expensive) is the Eurotunnel from Folkestone which takes just 35 minutes and once you drive off, you’re straight on to the motorway.
It’s also worth knowing that a Disney hotel plus ferry or Eurotunnel package is nearly always cheaper than booking your hotel and then the ferry crossing separately.
I want to drive to France but we live in Scotland, is there an alternative?
It will depend on whereabouts in Scotland you live but DFDS Seaways operate a Newcastle – Amsterdam (Ijmuiden) crossing. Although it’s 15 hrs, there are several different cabin types and restaurants onboard as well as activities for kids. Once you arrive, the petrol you’ve saved can be used to drive down to Disneyland Paris which is approx 5hrs 30 minutes – not actually that much longer than if you were to drive from Calais.
How do I get to Disneyland Paris from Calais and how long will it take me?
It’s just over a 300km (186 miles) journey which will take you approx 3 hrs 15 minutes to 3hrs 30 minutes depending on traffic (with no breaks). We do however suggest you take at least one short break en-route if possible.
From Calais follow signs for Paris on the A26 and then the A1 (Autoroute du Nord) heading south toward Paris. Turn off at exit 6, after Charles de Gaulle airport, onto the A104 (” la Francilienne” ). This takes you to the A4 (Autoroute de l’Est).
Exit 12.1 — Val d’Europe, La Vallée Village Outlet, Hotel L’Elysée, Adagio City Aparthotel
Exit 13 — Disney’s Davy Crockett Ranch, Davy Crockett’s Adventure
Exit 14 — Disneyland Park, Walt Disney Studios Park, Disney Village, Disney Hotels, Selected Hotels, Golf Disneyland, Marriott’s Village d’Ile-de-France, Radisson Blu Hotel
Most people these days have Sat Nav. If your system doesn’t recognise Disneyland Paris, try Town: Serris and/or Postcode: 77700. You’re unlikely to need it however as you’ll find it all very well signposted.
Note that there will be motorway tolls to pay (look for the Péage signs). Head for the CB booth as it’s for card and is much quicker than fiddling around looking for coins.
Is there a petrol station near the resort?
Yes. You can find a petrol station near the Hotel Santa Fe towards the exit of the Disney Parks car park. The prices are probably higher here than usual so if possible try and fill up and one of the larger hypermarkets.
The nearest large hypermarket is Carrefour Bailly Romainvilliers which is only around a 15 minute drive (6-7km) from the resort
Where can I park?
If you have booked a package and are staying in one of the Disney Hotels or at one of the official Selected or Associated Hotels then parking at both your hotel and at the Disney Parks is free. Note that this does not include Adagio City Aparthotel Val d’Europe where both their indoor and outdoor parking is payable.
If you are just visiting the parks then it will cost 15€/Day for a car (price may vary according to season).
Other things to remember
Always plan your journey in advance. Even if you are using Sat Nav, take a look at the planned route before you set off.
The AA also have a useful guide to driving in France from some of the laws you need to be aware of to what you are required to have with you in your car.