Disneyland Paris

If your budget can't stretch as far as Orlando or Anaheim, Disney's European outpost in the world's most romantic city is the perfect destination for young families to enjoy the best of both worlds without breaking the bank.

Here's everything you need to know about Disneyland Paris.

What's the appeal?

Disneyland Paris used to be the next best alternative for Disney-crazed kids whose parents couldn't afford a trip to the States - but this view is a little outdated today.

In reality, the Paris theme park is every bit as fun as either of the US sites, with many of its top attractions actually rated equal to the major ones in California.

As a much smaller location, it's also easier to navigate - ensuring that you can cover everything in a few short days.

Our must sees for Disneyland Paris include:

• Disney Village, where you can hang out with the cast of Pixar movies.

• Space Mountain, a rollercoaster based on the Jules Verne novel.

• Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, a slightly stripped-down version of the Anaheim rollercoaster of the same name.

• Walt Disney Studios Park, where you can go behind the scenes of some of the great movies.

Located right on the doorstep of one of Europe's cultural capitals, the adults can also take in all the major Parisian sights without the kids moaning too much - you can't say that about Florida.

When should we take our trip?

It goes without saying that the summer and Christmas months ought to be avoided. On the other hand, you don't necessarily need to book a term-time holiday (and risk the wrath of your children's school).

Three days is all you really need to soak up Disneyland Paris in all its glory - so consider a long weekend (perhaps over one of those precious few bank holidays we get in the UK) rather than a lengthy two week trip. 

It is better to plan your trip during the week if you want to avoid long waiting times as during the weekends the guests are more. Also winter months are cheaper to visit Disney Paris, but consider early spring is even better.

How much should we budget for?

Presuming you take our advice about three days, the average family (2 adults, 2 children) can expect an optimal price of around £1,500 for access to the major attractions and some modest accommodation.

This will vary, however, depending on which of the on-site hotels you stay in - some of the more upmarket options could see you charged upwards of £3000.

There is also some variance depending on how old your children are. For the above prices, we're using "typical" ages of around 7-12. Younger families may get a discount.

Theoretically - including the cost of travel - you could do three days for as little as £2,000, although it's always best to budget more than you bargain for in case you run into any emergencies while abroad.

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