Summer is nearly upon us and with that in mind, you may find your trouser legs being tugged-on more often than usual as the theme park adverts begin to appear on your television set. “Mummy, Daddy, can we go, can we go, can we go?”
To get the most out of your visit, you must plan ahead and be open to shopping around. So here are our hints and tips to guide you through the queues and leave you with at least a few pennies in your wallet at the end of your visit.
Disney World, Florida
Currency: US Dollars
For those of you unfamiliar with the design of Disney World, Florida; the resort features four theme parks – the Magic Kingdom, Epcot Centre, Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There are also two water parks – Blizzard Beach and Typhoon Lagoon.
1. Pay with a Credit Card
For extra protection, paying through your credit card can means that both the credit card company and the retailer (theme park or ticket booker) are both responsible if something happens. Your debit card will offer protection too, but usually not to the same level as your credit card. Remember to pay-off the balance to avoid those interest charges.
If your trip is abroad, be sure that your holiday company is ABTA (link to our article) protected.
2. Check the exchange rate before you buy
The rates fluctuate, so it’s worth checking to see by how much. Our eurochange Historic Rate Tracker will give you an idea of how the currency you will use has fared in the last weeks and months. No one can predict the rate changes, but you can at least have a fair idea.
3. Remember, Disney World is in the USA
That means taxes on top of everything you buy. Be sure you have taken that extra cost into account before announcing to the leg-warmers (children) that “We’re going to Disney World!”
4. Buy the right Ticket
The thing to know about Disney World and its accompanying parks is…there’s a lot to know. So let’s make the ticket thing easy. Right now (May 2017) you, (Mummy & Daddy) can get a 14 day ticket
for the same price as a 7-day ticket, yep, really. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to, but for the saving, it’s worth thinking about. Imagine getting to the end of your 7 days and the kids start to plea – “Can’t we stay? Please, please, please?” and then you turn around a say, “OK, but just for 7 more days.” The smile on their faces!
It’s not cheap. It never is, but 14 days for £374 including taxes when paid for through the Disney UK website…well, that’s pretty good. This includes entry into 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, Fat-Pass+ (queue-hopping), Memory Maker (photos taken throughout your stay that you can download later) and even Mini-golf! There’s no mention of parking though.
Disney Land, Paris
This year is Disney Land Paris’ 25th anniversary
! We know, right! It seems only yesterday that they announced Disney was coming to Europe and here we are 25 years on and we’re still excited.
Disney Land, Paris sits all of a 35 minute train ride outside of the French capital, and if you’re heading there from the UK, a day trip is a real possibility.
1. Day Tickets
Your choices are varied, although they can be a little confusing; Mini, Magic, Super Magic and Super Magic Plus tickets can be purchased through the Disney Land Paris website. Adult Mini tickets are £38 while children’s likewise entry is £32. The rates increase and end at £61 per adult for the super-dooper-mega ticket, sorry, meant to say, Super Magic Plus ticket. Note: even the top-end tickets do not include hotels. Mini, Magic and Super Magic tickets are not available at the entrance of Disney Parks.
2. What is there at Disney Land Paris?
Your ticket gets you into both parks. What’s that you say? You didn’t know there were two parks? Disneyland Park is the theme park you were expecting; rides, shows, pirates, fireworks and all, while Walt Disney Studios Park is the behind-the-scenes tour of Disney and their movie making magical techniques.
3. Offers & Deals
To celebrate their 25th birthday, Disneyland Paris is offering up to 20% discount
on hotel & park packages and half-board too. If you’re familiar with theme parks, you’ll know that refreshments can often be on the pricey side and any discount is well received.
Currency: Chinese Yuan
You won’t be surprised to hear that Shanghai Disneyland
is the most technologically advanced theme park in the world. The park opened in June 2016 and costing an estimated $5.5 billion to build, it is now the third Asia-based Disney resort. So if China isn’t for you, how about Hong Kong or Japan?
1. How do I get to Shanghai Disneyland?
Well, first you’ll need to take a plane, but after that it’s either the subway ride for CNY 30 or an hour long ride taxi ride for CNY 130 from downtown Shanghai. If you’re going straight from Pudong Airport, it’s only 45 minutes and CNY 70. Tip: get a return ticket for the subway, it saves you queuing after a fun packed and long day on your feet – even though you’re British and love to queue.
2. Is it being Chinese a hindrance?
No. The fact that Disneyland Paris is French does not deter the English from attending and the fact that Shanghai Disneyland is Chinese is the same. Signs are dual language and more, Mickey is still a person in a giant mouse costume and more or rather most importantly, the magic is still MAGIC!
3. How do I get my ticket?
Shanghai Disneyland operates a ‘Seasonal Pass’. This allows visitors to up to 20% off dining, resort hotels, Disney shops, parking and more. Prices range from CNY 825 – CNY 1250 for adults and CNY 620 – CNY 940 for children.
Note: Child and Adult status is largely based on height; Adults are classified as above 1.4M and below 65 years old, whereas children are between 1.0 and 1.4 M tall.
4. Disabled Access
At the main entrance there are wheelchair and pram rental stations. The rent is CNY 50 for one day for a pram and CNY 40 for a wheelchair.
If you’re looking to go somewhere a little more local, say France or Germany or another European theme park, visit us again very soon for How to Save Money at your Favourite Theme parks - part 2.