Is it worth hiring a car in Paris Disneyland? Usually, we wouldn’t include a destination like Marne La Vallée as a separate entity from the main city of Paris itself, but Marne La Vallée is actually one of the world’s top 100 tourist destinations in its own right, almost entirely due to the presence of Disneyland Paris.
Because Disneyland Paris can also be directly approached by road, by rail (it has its own dedicated TGV and local rail stations), or indeed by air via nearby Charles De Gaulle Airport, it warrants a car hire advice guide which is quite separate to what we might advise for the city of Paris itself.
Is it worth hiring a car in Paris Disneyland?
Why is it worth hiring a car in Paris Disneyland?
- For starters, there are the amazing châteaux which are dotted around the Paris basin itself, including the most famous Palace of the Sun King at Versailles, but also the less well-known but equally spectacular castles, such as Chantilly and Melun.
- Getting to these places is going to mean taking a train into central Paris and then back out again, so a hire car actually makes a lot of sense here – and a Disneyland Paris hire car certainly makes far more sense than it would to consider getting one from the centre of Paris, from where many of these sites are much easier to reach by train.
- Looking to the east are the various different châteaux of the Champagne region, these ones being much more remote, so always best accessed by car. However, anyone who actually wants to sample the produce might prefer to take an organised tour, whereas anyone planning on bringing the produce home will probably already have their own car here in the first place!
- A final consideration to add on to a visit to Disneyland Paris is to visit some of the world-famous châteaux in the Loire region. Some of these castles are actually remarkably easy to visit from central Paris by train, but as with any of the châteaux around Paris, this still means travelling into Paris to then take the train out on the other side.
- This is why a hire car really makes much more sense if you are starting in either Disneyland Paris, or if you are thinking about picking up a rental car at Paris Charles de Gaulle airport to head in this direction.
- Finally, it’s also worth mentioning that outside the Disneyland parks, Marne La Vallée is a planned new town, with a huge range of striking new buildings.
The town of Abraxas in particular is a well documented example of imposing post-modern architecture. You might well find that hotels in Marne La Vallée are much cheaper than staying in resort in Disneyland anyway. A hire car might be useful to explore the local area, but there’s little point in having one just to drive to Disney (see below).
- For any travel plans revolving around visiting the city of Paris, Disney, and then a French road trip, then it makes far more sense to pick up a rental car here than it does anywhere else.
- It shouldn’t be a problem to rent a car here and then return it to any of the Paris airports, and this shouldn’t attract one-way fees. As ever, always check the small print!
- You may be able to get a better deal from Charles De Gaulle airport, which will have a much wider selection of both rental providers and car types. The two locations are just 10 minutes away by train, but you will have to book this ahead, as the TGV doesn’t offer a walk-up service.
- If you are travelling between London and Paris and looking to rent a car for some of your trip, then it makes sense to do it either here, or from Charles De Gaulle Airport. This way, you will have a left hand drive car, which you should also be able to return anywhere in France without incurring massive one-way fees.
As ever, check to see if your hotel includes free parking – this could be a key factor here. However, most hotels around Marne La Vallee do have free parking, whereas in central Paris, such provision is highly unlikely.
All of the above destinations are covered in a lot more detail in our Paris car hire advice page, but Marne La Vallée is one of those surprising destinations where we think a hire car is actually well worth considering.
Several major car rental companies, including Hertz and Avis in Europcar, have offices right outside Marne the Vallée (Paris Disneyland) station.
For visitors arriving in France from elsewhere by train, possibly from London, it might make sense to pick up a hire car here to start a general French road trip, although you could just as easily do this further south in France. Since there’s so much more competition at nearby Charles De Gaulle Airport, it might be worth comparing this first. Trains to Charles De Gaulle are also available from a very wide region – in many cases acting as replacement for equivalent French domestic flights. From London or the Benelux region, you may need to change in Lille.
- It is also easy enough to travel from Marne La Vallée into the centre of Paris using the regional RER train service. This means that it’s also very easy to travel throughout the centre of Paris, and even onto more modern areas like La Defense, without having to make a whole load of changes.
- Marne La Vallée also has its own TGV high-speed rail station, with (seasonal) daily direct Eurostar services operating from London St Pancras, and other connections being available from much of Europe with one change, usually in Lille. This same TGV line also passes directly through the vast Charles de Gaulle airport complex, with trains taking just over 10 minutes to travel between the two sites (but booking is still needed, and many services stop at one place or the other, but not always at both).
- It’s perfectly easy to shuttle locally around Marne La Vallée using the RER trains and buses.
- Don’t hire a car just to drive it to Disney and spend €20 per day on parking! It will usually be better just to rent a car before or after visiting Disney (or indeed downtown Paris), but if you do need to have a car with you, find a hotel with free parking and then walk or get a shuttle bus to the resort.
- Because many of the historic castles around Paris have been situated next to the towns which have served them, they all have regional railway stations within a relatively short walking distance.
Generally, a hire car is good for:
- Champagne region
- Major chateaux around Paris (Versailles, Melun, Vaux le Vicomte, Chantilly) – drive direct, rather than take a slower connecting train.
- Loire valley Chateaux
- A longer French road trip.
Don’t bother for:
- Any of the Disney parks
- Going into Central Paris
- Local architecture in Marne-la-Vallee
- Visiting Chateaux by rail (various options)
- Wine tours by bus (take train to Champagne-Ardennes)
- Longer distance French domestic trips – take the TGV (or an internal flight from nearby CDG airport).
Is it worth hiring a car in Paris Disneyland? If you are already considering getting a rental car in Paris Disneyland, or simply if you are thinking of visiting any locations which are around Paris rather than in the city centre, then hiring a car here makes a great deal of sense. If you are looking at combining a visit to the centre of Paris with Paris Disneyland, and then also with places further afield, then it’s always going to make more sense to pick up a rental car here after you have done all this, rather than to hire a car in Paris city centre, where prices tend to be higher, and you will then need to spend hours getting out of town.
You can also do all this in reverse – spend most of your time visiting places of interest in the centre of Paris, then visit Disney if you so wish, and then pick up a hire car direct from here.
All of this makes Paris Disneyland a very good place to hire a car for those who are are already considering getting one at some stage on their trip.
Is it worth hiring a car in Paris Disneyland? Is it worth hiring a car in Paris Disneyland?
James says - a few trip notes:
I think it’s obvious enough to point out that the Disney parks themselves are car free areas, just as Walt would have wanted! In fact, Disneyland Paris actually has far more in common with Walt Disney’s original Epcot vision if observed from above, with the main station and shopping complex situated right in the middle of a giant circle.
But there’s a lot more to the area around Marne La Vallee than just theme parks, and it’s the moment you start to look outside the park gates that you may well start to see that a hire car here can be extremely useful.
Is it worth hiring a car in Paris Disneyland? Yes