We’re Gaz, Anj & Ollie. We’re a family from Greater Manchester that are Disney obsessed! We try to get to a Disney park whenever possible. Before COVID hit we were passholders at both DLP and WDW and have been going to Disney Parks regularly for the last 12 years. We had our son Ollie in 2017 which has brought a new magic into our park visits (he’s been to WDW 3 times and DLP twice already) – you can’t beat seeing magic through your child’s eyes.
We started up our socials in January this year and you can find us on Instagram (@thekershawsadventures), Twitter (the_kershaws) and YouTube (The Kershaws Adventures) where we share all our memories of our trips and other fun family content.
Ferry vs Eurotunnel
One of the main decisions you need to make when driving to Disneyland Paris is whether to take the Ferry or the Eurotunnel. We personally prefer the Eurotunnel as neither of us do well on the Ferry due to seasickness. The further you can book in advance for both the Eurotunnel and the Ferry the better as the prices go up closer to the time.
The Ferry is based in Dover and is usually the cheaper out of the two options. The channel crossing takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes. Here is some information on the types of tickets:-
The prices start from £49 each way, here is the link to their current booking and Covid19 information – http://www.poferries.com/en/coronavirus
When you’re booking your crossing time take into consideration that check in closes 45 minutes prior to the time you select. Take the journey time to the port and add this 45 minutes into account before booking your crossing time, we made this mistake and had to get up at 4am to be there for our 6am crossing, not so fun with a three year old! Also if you are aiming to go to the parks the same day as your crossing keep in mind the time difference, France are an hour ahead of the UK and it is a 3+ hour drive to Disneyland.
Once you have driven on board the ferry you have to get out of your car and go upstairs, masks are currently required to be worn. There are on board amenities but please check what will be available on the website as this may change due to Covid19.
The Eurotunnel is based in Folkestone and although the slightly more expensive option the tunnel crossing takes just 35 minutes. Here is the ticket type information:-
Here is the link to the Eurotunnel booking page – https://www.eurotunnel.com/book/YourJourney/(0) and Covid19 information – https://www.eurotunnel.com/uk/travelling-with-us/latest/covid-19/
As with the Ferry the check in closes 45 minutes prior to the crossing for the Eurotunnel so take this into account when choosing your booking time.
You are able to remain in your car on the Eurotunnel and do not have to wear a mask during the crossing however the on board toilets are currently closed. Please check their website for up to date information about their procedures during the pandemic.
Places to stay UK side before Ferry/Tunnel
If you’re like us and a bit further up North you might not want to do the journey in one go. It takes us roughly 6+ hours to reach Dover/Folkestone so we tend to stay in a hotel over night there.
If we are catching the ferry we stay at the Travelodge in Dover which is literally a 2 minute drive from where you go to board the ferry http://kersha.ws/travelodgedover The Travelodge was only £38 for the night and if you arrive after 9pm you dont have to pay for parking. If you do arrive a little earlier then theres a small complex at the side for food which also has a Nando’s on it 👍
If you want to catch the Eurotunnel (which we would 100% recommend) then we stayed at the Premier Inn in Folkestone, this hotel is a little smaller than the Travelodge and we’re not sure how busy it may get in the summer season but again it was reasonably priced at £40 for the night http://kersha.ws/premierinnfolkestone. Theres a cute little pub on the same site as the Premier Inn and a Tesco about 5 minutes away if you want to stock up on anything you want to take across the channel. Don’t put the sat nav in from the website as we ended up at the Logistics Centre.
How do you get to DLP?
Its four motorways or as the french call them ”autoroutes” they are A26, A1, A104,A4 – It’s super straight forward to get to. These roads are Toll Roads which work out to around £50 return. You get a ticket at the first toll point and then pay at the second toll point. They do take cash but we recommend using card, no need to type a pin just insert and it’ll auto charge the card. (keep an eye out for the which lane you need to be in) (insert photo) – dont worry about congestion charge as you dont go near enough to the zone in Paris.
Differences in driving in France
Firstly and the most important – you’re on the right! and they use KM not miles! KM usually shows on the inside of your dial on the car or you can change the setting in your car to KM. There are 2 different speed limits in France which are weather dependant. 110km when it is raining & 130 km when it isn’t. HGVs also have periods where they can’t overtake and their speed limit is less. Some cars in France keep their indicator on when overtaking meaning they will move straight back in after overtaking but not everyone does that. Keep this in mind if you’re overtaking in the outside lane as it can seem like the middle lane is about to move into your lane.
If you want to stop off during your journey France has a lot of “Aires” on average, every 20 kilometres along the motorways. Some offer just a picnic area and toilet block, while the ‘aires de service’ provide something more akin to our British service stations. and if you want a Starbucks the closest one is the junction after moving onto the A1 (wan court East)
If you need to fill up in France you’ll also need to know the fuel types in french Diesel = Gazole & Petrol = sans plomb or Octane
What you need to get before travelling in France – In the Car
A few important things you need to make sure you have with you before you cross the border.
What to pack:
French Driving Kit
• GB Sticker/Number Plate
• First Aid Kit
• Spare Bulbs (unless Zion)
• HiViz jackets – 1 per person
• Light Dimmers
• Breathalyser (not essential anymore but good to have just in case)
The correct insurance – Majority of car insurance cover only covers for 3rd party by default you need to call them to request this and there will be an admin fee to do this. If you have multiple trips planned have the dates for all trips as this will only be one admin fee to pay rather than multiple if you call up each time to request it. You will be sent a certificate from your insurance which you MUST take with you so allow enough time to receive this before your trip.
Check breakdown cover – Make sure you have European cover added to your breakdown policy as breaking down in France could cost a lot.
Parking at DLP
If you have an annual pass parking is FREE – excluding the discovery annual pass (the cheapest annual pass) which can add it on for €60
On site Hotel guests free
Price for non-Annual pass –
Camper vans €45
Also a reserved area closer to the front called Disney parking + which is €45
Alternatively you can park for free at Val de Europe and is 20 minute walk, make sure not to park on the blue lines during weekdays as this is residents parking only.
Additional Tips & Tricks
Save money on food by investing in a Cooler for your car. The one we have purchased gives you the option to cool or to heat which is also great for picking up takeaways when you’re back home!! Our last trip we took ready meals to have back at our hotel room (it had a microwave) which saved us a LOT of money on food. (link to the cooler – https://amzn.to/3jimk5H)
Plug adapters & Extension Lead – Having the extension lead means you only have to have one plug adapter and you can charge multiple items in the room at the same time.
Hot hands for the winter – Hot hands are great for the winter months as it can get quite cold in France if you plan to go around Xmas time. They’re super cheap and last for the entire day in the park.
Snacks – If you’re coming from up North the journey can take some time. We highly recommend having snacks in the car on the journey down.
Music – Downloading the Disney parks playlists on Apple music/Spotify to get the whole family in the mood is a MUST.
4 thoughts on “Driving to Disneyland Paris (Guest Post by The Kershaws)”
This is amazing!!! Definitely bookmarking for later on as I am hoping to do this trip next year!!! I have been to DLP before but I’d love to take my partner soon. Xxx
This is so informative! Might end up driving when we go, so it’s so good to know.
I grew up in Los Angeles so I’ve been going to Disneyland since late 1960s early 1970s. I have been to DisneyWorld several times also but nothing outside the US. I need to visit the Paris one just to see what it’s like. Thanks.
I find it really interesting that they have different speed limits depending on the weather – I’ve never encountered that anywhere else. That being said, it really does make sense! Here, it’s just assumed that drivers will take driving conditions into consideration and adjust their driving accordingly to avoid accidents. That doesn’t always work out…