Everything you need to know about driving to Disneyland Paris – One of the most common subjects I get asked is about travelling to Disneyland Paris. Well, more specifically driving there. Your travel options to DLP basically comprise of driving and using the Eurotunnel flying ( and hiring a car), or taking the Eurostar. Read here to see the differences between the Eurostar and the Eurotunnel. Our choice has always been to drive, even when we were living in Yorkshire and had the 5 hour drive to the port before we started. There are many reasons why its better than flying, particularly with small children.
Driving to Disneyland
Many families who have not yet tried the drive from Calais to Paris are anxious about it. So, I thought I would write a piece to put minds at rest about and hopefully give confidence to those considering it. Here we have everything you need to know about driving to Disneyland Paris. ,
Why drive to Disneyland Paris?
We love to drive to Disneyland Paris. Firstly, you can load your car with all you can possibly need, without worrying about baggage allowances etc. As any parent knows, this is a god send with kids, as they don’t travel light and the more of their own stuff they have around them the happier they are. Our accommodation preference when we are at Disneyland Paris is the Davy Crockett ranch, for our reasons and review on Davy Crockett, click here. There are no shuttles to and from Davy Crockett to the Disney parks, so a car is essential.
We love driving on the French roads and being able to take in the scenery without feeling rushed and harassed, as you can do when you are worrying about flight times and train departures. You can do everything in your own time, there are plenty of very nice, well equipped service stations along the route to cater for the many toilet stops and declarations of hunger from the back seats.
Driving to Disneyland Paris usually works out considerably cheaper than flying or booking the Eurostar.
We also really enjoy being able to detour to incorporate our grocery shop, before we arrive at Disneyland Paris. French supermarkets are fantastic. They are usually large, with masses of choice and very different sights and smells to British ones. Its also a great way for us to practice our French, but don’t worry if speaking French doesn’t interest you, almost all French people have at the very least, a basic English, so any supermarket transactions are usually very smooth. The kids absolutely love taking in all the different sights and smells, its a different, fun and educational early layer to your family holiday to Disneyland.
Driving to Disneyland Paris
We almost always choose to go with Eurotunnel when navigating from Dover to Calais. It is fast ( 30 minutes!), easy and fun for the kids.
When booking your train slot online the system will ask for your vehicle registration so that on arrival at the terminals the computers can use their registration recognition technology to speed up check in. You don’t have to enter a vehicle reg if you don’t know which car you will be travelling in.
If you have provided your vehicle reg then arrival at the train terminal is usually very smooth. During peak times there can be holds ups and I would certainly advise getting there in plenty of time. I usually allow an hour, which, as my husband always tells me, is over cautious.
When the computer system recognises you, it confirms the time of your train, and prints out a hanging ticket for you to hang on your interior mirror. On it is a large letter which relates to what time train you are boarding. As you drive on, you follow the lane which is displaying your letter. You will usually queue in lane for a while. At this point there are toilets reasonably nearby and drinks machines, although I’m always really nervous about going in case my lane starts to move without me!
Boarding the Eurotunnel
When its time for you to board, traffic officers will direct you down to and onto your train. They will direct you right up to your parking spot and then instruct you to apply your handbrake and/or place the car in park.
Its a simple process, usually very well organised and well signposted, so its clear where you are going and what you are doing at all times.
Travelling on the Eurotunnel
The journey itself is short ( around 30 minutes ), smooth and relaxing. There are toilets on board, usually one at either end of the train, so if you’re in the middle it can be a bit of a walk! There are no refreshments available on board. You can get out and stretch your legs, have a picnic, play a game. Before you know it you’re in France.
Can pets travel on the Eurotunnel?
Pets can travel with you on the Eurotunnel. For more information on travelling with your pets click here.
Driving from Calais to Disneyland Paris
How long is it from Calais to Disneyland Paris?
Its approximately a 3 hour 20 minute drive from Calais to Disneyland Paris.
How far is it from Calais to Disneyland Paris?
Its is approximately 312km / 193 miles from Calais to Disneyland Paris.
Sat nav instruction for the route to Disneyland Paris
Street: Boulevard du Parc
Driving from Calais to Disneyland
The most important thing to remember is to, of course, drive on the right! It’s not nearly as daunting as it may seem the first time you do it. You adjust very quickly. The French motorways really are a pleasure to drive on in comparison to British ones. They are smooth, quiet and stress free.
Directions from Calais to Disneyland Paris
The route to Disneyland Paris is straightforward. On leaving the train terminal you follow signs for the A26 to Arras/Paris and then the A1 heading South toward Paris. Take exit 6 after Charles de Gaulle airport, onto the A104 which then takes you across to meet the A4, where you simply head North/East for Disneyland Paris.
Are there tolls on the journey from Calais to Disneyland Paris?
There will be motorway tolls to pay (look for the Péage signs). Head for the CB booth as it’s for credit/debit cards and is much easier and quicker than looking around for coins.
The current price of the tolls are €21.70.( this may have changed a little )
What do I need in my car to drive in France? *
A very important point to remember when planning your journey to Disneyland Paris, or indeed any drive through France. You are required, by law, to carry the following items in your car at all times.
- Reflective jackets (one for each occupant, these must be kept inside the vehicle within easy reach)
- Warning triangle (compulsory in every vehicle )
- Headlamp beam deflectors (depending on your car, you will either need deflector stickers or have to adjust the beam manually)
- Breathalysers/alcohol test
- A GB sticker (or ‘euro’ registration plates featuring the GB initials)
- Spare bulbs – by law you’re also mandated to carry a spare bulb kit for your vehicle, as the French police deem it necessary to replace it there and then on the grounds of safety.
A European driving kit will have all of these items is a simple purchase from around £20 (Amazon is a good source) which can ensure you avoid hefty on-the-spot fines.
*please note any of these things may rules and requirements may evolve or change over time, please use this as a rough guide, and check rules on the official government website prior to your journey.
Relax and enjoy the adventure
The most important thing to remember is to relax and enjoy the trip. Leave yourselves plenty of time so you aren’t feeling under pressure. Have a trusty sat nav ( or smart phone with google maps).
Driving to Disneyland Paris is all part of the magical experience.
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For more Disneyland Paris tips and information to help you plan your trip, check out these articles –
Why not plan a trip to Paris itself while you are there? Have a look at this great itinerary for first time visitors. Or read this great post from Our Bucket List Lives about Disneyland Paris for young kids. We also have a post on some of the most family friendly hotels in Paris.