ONSITE VS OFFSITE ACCOMMODATION
Disneyland Paris Travel Guide: Which is better - Onsite or Offsite?
Published: 21 November 2019 | Last Updated: 09 June 2020 by Debbie
Me and Lee have been to Disneyland Paris a few times and each trip has been completely different. We've stayed onsite and we've stayed offsite. We've had a trip just the 2 of us, a trip with friends and a trip with young children. We've done trips that have been just Disneyland and trips where we've had a day in Paris too. We have loved each trip for different reasons, and onsite and offsite accommodation has worked for us on our different trips. So let us break down the options for you and help you decide which is best for your trip.
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01. A Disney Hotel
There are 7 Disney Hotels: The Disneyland Hotel, The Art of Marvel Hotel, Newport Bay Club, Sequoia Lodge, Hotel Cheyenne, The Santa Fe Hotel and The Davy Crockett Ranch.
Pros Of Staying In A Disney Hotel:
• Each of these hotels gets you as close to the magic as possible, as they're within walking distance (with the exception of Davy Crockett Ranch, which you'll need a vehicle to access the parks). Being able to walk to the parks is a huge benefit of staying onsite as parking per car, per day is €30. For the latest information on parking visit the Disneyland Paris website here.
• If you don't fancy the walk, there are free shuttle buses to and from the parks (available at New Port Bay Club, Sequoia Lodge, Cheyenne and Santa Fe)
• Staying onsite also gets you into the parks an hour earlier than offsite guests with Extra Magic Time (EMT)
• The Disney Theming. Each hotel's theme is based around a different Disney film(s), keeping you in the magic once you've left the parks for the day. For example, Hotel Cheyenne is a cowboy theme based on Toy Story and Sequoia Lodge is a wooden lodge, themed around the film Bambi.
• Character meet and greets. Start your day by meeting one of the characters in your hotel lobby when you stay onsite, without the queues you'll experience in the parks.
• There is also a Disney shop in each hotel, selling merchandise also found in the park shops.
• When you stay at a Disney hotel, you'll have Disney Cast Members on hand to help and maybe give you a bit of pixie-dust (a phrase used to describe the little unexpected acts of kindness that add to your trip - maybe a room upgrade, free snacks, balloons in your room etc)
• Each booking also includes park tickets for the days of your booking (unless specifically requesting a room only booking).
• You can have your purchases from Disney Village sent back to your hotel. This saves you having to carry your shopping bags around the parks.
• Restaurant and bar in each onsite hotel.
Cons Of Staying In A Disney Hotel
• The cost. As we've just seen, there are a lot of reasons why we love staying in a Disney hotel, but it comes at a high price and depending on the type of trip we have planned, staying onsite is sometimes out of our budget. Having said that, it's always worth weighing the different options up, as when you consider how many people are going and price up things such as tickets, transport and parking, it may work out at a similar price.
• The noise. Disneyland is a place for families as well as adults, so it'll come as no surprise that there are young children and unaccompanied teens in the hotels. So be prepared for the possible noise during the night. It's not always noisy, but we recommend bringing high quality earplugs and requesting a room on the top floor of your hotel for a better nights sleep, just in case.
• There will be no cooking facilities in your room. Club level rooms have a fridge and you can request a kettle for your room, but that's as much as you can expect catering-wise. If you're on a budget and planning on making your lunch or dinner, this won't be possible in an onsite room.
02. A Disney Partner Hotel
There are 8 Disney Partner Hotels: Radisson Blu Hotel, Algonquin's Explorers Hotel, Vienna House Magic Circus Hotel, Vienna House Dream Castle Hotel, Hôtel l’Elysée Val d’Europe, Adagio Marne la Vallée Val d’Europe, Campanile Val De France and B&B Hotel.
Our personal recommendation is the Adagio. This is the only partner hotel that offers self catering rooms, meaning you can prepare lunch for each day and your evening meal if you're wanting to save some money. The cooking facilities are basic, but we managed to make a hot breakfast and prepared sandwiches each day. We would highly recommend!
Pros Of Staying In A Disney Partner Hotel
• Staying offsite doesn't mean you're too far away from the magic. There are free shuttle buses that will get you to the parks in 10 minutes, or the walk will take you between 30 and 40 minutes, depending on which hotel you stay at.
• A breakfast buffet is included in the price at some Disney partner hotels. Being able to fill up on breakfast before your fun-filled day is a huge plus.
• There is also a Disney shop in each partner hotel.
• Being located in Val d'Europe is a big plus to staying offsite. Having a wider choice of bars and restaurants to spend your evening in and cheaper grocery shops than what you'll find onsite, means you can save money and stock up on essentials.
• If you're driving to Disneyland Paris, parking is free at your hotel.
• Your park tickets are included in your booking.
Cons Of Staying In A Disney Partner Hotel
• A big benefit of staying onsite for us, is that we can get back to our hotel without the hassle of buses. This is a bit trickier with a partner hotel. The 30 - 40 minute walk might be too much for some, especially for those with young children or limited mobility. So be prepared to queue for the shuttle buses back to your hotel or be ready to pay the €30 per day charge to park your car.
• Unless you're staying at the Adagio, there will be no cooking facilities in your room. This can greatly increase the price of your trip as you'll have to eat out each day.
• Another downside to staying offsite is that you won't be able to experience Extra Magic Time (EMT), so no early entry into the parks. This might not be an issue for some, but we love getting into the parks early to experience the much shorter queues.
03. An Airbnb / Offsite Hotel
Airbnb has become a popular choice for travellers over the last few years. We've used them when on breaks in the UK, when visiting Iceland and on our Paris trip and we've managed to find a place perfect for each trip. And even though we haven't used Airbnb yet for a Disneyland Paris trip, it's definitely something we'd consider.
We are currently planning another trip to Disneyland Paris and are considering booking Hipark by Adagio Serris, an offsite, self-catering hotel. The price is good, the hotel apartments/rooms are modern, with fully equipped kitchenettes and is only a 10 minute walk away from the parks. Tickets will not be included, but we're tempted to get a hold of some annual passes, so tickets won't be an issue. If staying in an offsite hotel, like with Airbnb, do your research and find a place suitable for your needs.
Pros Of Staying In An Airbnb Or Offsite Hotel.
• The biggest plus of using Airbnb or an offsite hotel for your Disneyland Paris trip, is that you can choose a place perfect for your group - you can choose the right number of bedrooms, the perfect location, whether you need a kitchen etc. You can filter your search to find your perfect accommodation.
• The price. If you book far enough in advance, you can find some good deals.
Cons Of Staying In An Airbnb Or Offsite Hotel.
• We would always recommend staying with a Superhost when using Airbnb, or at least read the reviews and accommodation description very carefully. There can be issues with check in and cleanliness in some Airbnbs, but if you read the reviews carefully, issues can be avoided.
• The limited choice. Disneyland Paris is a very popular place, so it's no surprise that accommodation options may be limited. So give yourself the best chance, by seeking out accommodation as early as possible.
• Your tickets are not included in your booking. This may be a plus for those with annual passes as you're not being charged for something you won't use. For those without annual passes, there can be good deals on tickets through different third-party companies, but if you're looking for hassle-free, booking a Disney or Disney partner hotel might be the easier option.
• No Extra Magic Time (EMT). As an offsite guest, you won't be able to gain early access to the parks. This is a big factor to consider, especially if you're only at Disneyland for a short amount of time. EMT help guests make the most of their time with shorter queues and quieter parks.
So Which Option Is Best?
01. We find that a Disney Hotel is best for when we want to feel in the magic for the whole trip. A Disney Hotel is also our first choice when we only have a short trip, as having early access to the parks with EMT helps us to see and do more each day. Being able to walk back to the room either during the day or after the fireworks at night, without the hassle of buses, is also something we love about staying onsite.
02. A Disney Partner Hotel is a better option for us when we're on a stricter budget but still want to be close to the parks. We recommend the Adagio, as this is the only partner hotel where there's a kitchen in the room, meaning we can save money by preparing our own breakfast and lunches throughout the trip. Read some more of our money saving tips here
03. An Airbnb or Offsite Hotel would probably be the best choice if we were doing a mixed trip - combining Disneyland with a trip to the center of Paris, or if we were travelling with a large group to save some money.
We hope our quick guide to staying onsite or offsite at Disneyland Paris was helpful. Which hotel is your favourite? Let us know in the comment section below.
Full details on Disney and Disney Partner hotels and what's included can be found on the Disneyland Paris website here.
Whilst you're here, why not check out our other Disneyland Paris posts: