Off the back of how successful my How To Book A Cheap Disneyland Paris Getaway post was, I thought I'd make a bit of a series of it covering different European parks. To keep things consistent and fair I've come up with a few conditions for these travel plans. Every guide will:
- Include an overnight stay at a decent hotel
- Cover at least one day park entry
- Be as close to £100 as possible
- Be based on two sharing
Considering us enthusiasts have an absolute boner for Phantasialand I figured I'd tick this park off of the list first! Here we go:
Although you COULD drive or get the train to Phantasialand if you really wanted to, by far the smartest and easiest way to get there is to fly. The park is reachable from a couple of different airports, but for the sake of this guide we're going to fly into Cologne (CGN). You can fly here with Ryanair from Stansted and the flight times are perfect for a trip like this (flights leave Stansted at 07:40AM, arriving at 10:05AM then flights leave at 21:50 the following day from CGN).
Of course mid-week will always be the cheapest option here, and a quick look on SkyScanner is currently showing £25 return at the time of writing this when travelling on most weekdays in May - perfect timing to visit a theme park!
On top of that, you'll need to get from the airport to the park. Here you have two options. Firstly, hire a car. Car hire in Germany isn't the cheapest in Europe by any means, and a two day car hire mid-week for this trip will set you back £63, or £31.50pp. Alternatively you can get the train from the airport into Brühl and jump on the Phantasialand shuttle bus for around £14 each way, totally at £28. Honestly if you can I'd recommend hiring a car. It's less faff, and if there's 3 or 4 of you it's way cheaper than public transport. But for the sake of basing this on two sharing, public transport is our cheapest option here.
As much as I adore Hotel Matamba, it can push things a little more to the pricey end, and we're here to keep things cheap! As always I'll recommend using Booking.com. I love the book now, pay later option to make things even more affordable and I often find you can use the park name in the location search. I have a few rules for booking hotels: they must have a rating of at least 8, they must have a private bathroom and they must have parking.
Using that criteria there are plenty of hotels in the area that are suitable! The cheapest at the time of writing this is the Zimmer Müller coming in at a tidy £47 for the room. It's no Hotel Matamba, but let's face it you're only going to be laying your head here between park days. Based on two sharing that's £23.50 each. Bargain!
Unlike our parks here in the UK, European parks tend to have less 2-4-1 style offers floating around, and often the best price you'll get is buy saving a few quid by booking online before you visit. Unless it's your birthday (in which case I believe you go free to Phantasialand?), you're looking at roughly £40 a day for a park ticket.
That said, the park do have a few offers currently available including free entry to visit again if you visit in April 2017, or alternatively you could look at upgrading to an Adventure Pass if you think you'll benefit. On top of that, passholders also get 3 free Quick Passes AND free ice cream every time you visit. How fab is that? But again, for the purpose of this, we'll take the cheapest option.
So let's add that up:
£116.50 to visit one of the world's best theme parks? I'll take that! Obviously if you go with a group of four that brings your car hire down by half again and brings you in at the under £100 mark which is obscene. Have fun riding Taron!