Honestly, does anyone ever need to ask “Why Paris?” Probably not, because Paris most likely has a place on almost everyone’s Travel Bucket List. As one of the most famous and well known cities in the world, a trip to Paris always feels like a fabulous idea.
Home to iconic art and architecture, such as the Eiffel Tower and DaVinci’s Mona Lisa, Paris draws over thirty-million visitors each year: couples in love want to experience the “City of Romance” with their sweetheart, world travelers know this historic city is a must-visit destination, and families love the perfect mix of culture, education and fun!
Of course, while stops to the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa are a quintessential part of the Parisian experience, there is SO MUCH more to Paris that should be part of your visit, from strolling around Sacre Coeur, to people watching from a cafe along the Champs Elysees, to a bike tour of the city, Paris is the perfect city to explore with your family.
Why Disneyland Paris?
While Paris has tons to offer any travel enthusiast, for Disney fans, topping off a trip to Paris with a few days at Disneyland Paris is absolutely the icing on the cake of an amazing vacation. Just like the Parks at Walt Disney World in Florida and those at Disneyland in California are similar in so many ways, but also offer unique experiences and each have their own “vibes,” the Disney Parks around the world also provide a magically familiar, yet somehow distinct experience to visitors.
With the proximity of Disneyland Paris to one of the most visited cities in the world (Paris, obviously), a few days at one of Disney’s Parks outside of the United States is well within reach, and the perfect add-on to your Parisian Vacation!
Your adventure in the “City of Lights” will aptly begin with a sparkling experience on the Seine, but first, upon arriving at the airport, you’ll be chauffeured to your luxury hotel in the center of the city. You’ll have time to settle in and freshen up, and depending on your arrival time, maybe even explore the area a bit before your evening activity: a Dinner Cruise on the River Seine. You’ll be treated to traditional French cuisine as you float along the Seine, taking in the illuminated architecture of the city, ending with the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower. A perfect welcome, yet not too long or late as you adjust to Paris time!
Now that you’re well rested after your travel day, it’s time to get out and explore the city. While the whole city is probably too spread out to tour just by walking, a great way to see some of the most popular sites is by taking a Bike Tour! Jamie and her family absolutely loved their Bike Tour of Paris last summer; in fact, it was Jamie’s #1 “Must Do” on her Paris “Do”s and “Don’t”s list. Not only do you get a great tour of the city, but you also get to peruse the local food markets, and make your own picnic lunch not far from the Eiffel Tower.
And with the Eiffel Tower as your backdrop, what could be better than a photo shoot to capture yourself and your family with Paris’s most famous landmark? Jamie and her family had so much fun going all out with their photo shoot by the Eiffel Tower, and you can do the same! Or, if you really want to mark the occasion, you can even hire a professional photographer to capture your Parisian adventure! For dinner, your hotel concierge will be able to recommend excellent choices in the area for your enjoyment!
Today you’ll start your morning with some free time, perhaps to get some shopping in, or even just to enjoy an espresso and croissant at a local cafe (maybe with a chocolate croissant treat for the kiddos). Your afternoon will bring you to Montmartre, the famed bohemian artist district bursting with creativity, where you will meet up with your local expert guide.
First, you’ll ascend the steep hill of Montmartre on a funicular ride that will bring you up to Sacre Coeur, a Roman Catholic church situated on the highest point of the city. Your guide will show you around the Byzantine Basilica before walking you through the artist enclaves of the Montmartre district. You’ll walk in the footsteps of painting giants such as Monet, Picasso and Van Gogh, all the while observing present-day artists at work on the streets and sidewalks; who knows, maybe you’ll even pass by the next Monet?
After your walking tour, you’ll be brought to a wine tasting experience, complete with grape juice samples for the kids. From there, you’ll head back to your hotel, where a special dinner will be hosted for travelers.
Once again, you’ll have the morning of your choice, whether it’s relaxing at the hotel after yesterday’s walking tour , or maybe walking to a local street market to explore the food and flowers offered. Then the real excitement of your day will begin with lunch at the Eiffel Tower! Yes, that’s right, the Eiffel Tower isn’t just for climbing to the top (though of course that will come later), the famous landmark also offers unique dining with the best view in the city! You’ll enjoy lunch on the first floor, then keep climbing up to the second floor observatory, and then continue up by elevator to the very top and final level. Words cannot even describe what it’s like to be at the top of the Eiffel Tower; be sure to break from the pictures and selfies for a moment to take it all in!
Once your visit to the Eiffel Tower is complete (you can check off that Bucket List experience!), you’ll make your way to a Gourmet Chocolate Museum and Workshop. Here you’ll learn some of the secrets of French chocolatiers through an interactive demonstration, and then get to try some chocolate-making yourself! Of course there will be ample taste-testing along the way. With much of the day filled with fantastic cuisine, you may decide that a simple cafe snack is in order, or perhaps take an evening stroll before a later dinner. Whatever you prefer, your guide will have the best recommendations.
When you’re in Paris, it’s one day after another of famous landmarks and works of art that everyone in your family has likely grown up hearing about. With the Eiffel Tower checked off the list, first up on the list today is the Louvre. With your private guide to bring you to the front of the line, and also navigate one of the largest museums in the world, you’ll see thousands of famous works of art, including, of course, Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa. Your Louvre visit will take up the first half of your day, leaving you free for lunch right after. Why not enjoy some pastries and the most famous hot chocolate in the world at Angelina’s, right down the street from the Louvre? You won’t regret it, I promise!
Setting out again for the afternoon, your expert guide will bring you to the breathtaking Cathedral of Notre Dame. Although repairs are still being made after the devastating fire a few years ago, the Cathedral is still worth seeing from the outside, and for a photo opportunity, even from afar. Then, you will tour the Opera Garnier, the premier opera house and ballet company in France, founded by Louis XIV in the 1600s. Following your tour, your guide will have recommendations for dinner, depending on your preferences!
Today you will venture out of the city! A trip to Paris would hardly be complete without a day trip to Versailles, and the Palace where King Louis XVI and Queen Marie Antoinette lived in luxury and opulence. Again with your private guide, you’ll tour the palace, including the royal apartments and the Hall of Mirrors, and you’ll get an up close look at the gilded details that make the Palace a real life fairy tale “castle.”
You’ll break for lunch at a restaurant overlooking the Grand Canal of Versailles where famous fountains will entertain the kiddos as you have a leisurely afternoon meal. Then, you’ll head out for a bicycle tour of the famous Gardens of Versailles. This bike tour will help you cover more ground, since the Gardens are so expansive, and you’ll get to see more of the beautiful fountains and flowers and hedges that make up the property. This tour is one Jamie herself wishes she had done while on her Parisian Vacation, and one she plans not to miss next time she’s there!
After your day out, you’ll head back into the city for your Farewell to Paris dinner, hosted at your hotel.
You’ll have one last breakfast to enjoy at your hotel before transferring to a Disney hotel of your choice at Disneyland Paris! Disney’s Hotel New York – The Art of Marvel, is the the only Marvel-themed Disney Hotel in the world, and is a great choice for superhero enthusiasts, while Disney’s Newport Bay Club is a perfect option for those who prefer a more nautical, beachy setting.
After settling in, you’ll have plenty of the day left to start your Disneyland Paris Parks experience! In Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s of Disneyland Paris, she recommended 2-3 days to in the Parks to be able to experience everything Disneyland Paris has to offer, so between today, and your next two days in the Parks, you’ll have the perfect amount of time! One key element to experiencing everything you’re hoping to in Disneyland Paris is to purchase the Disney Premier Access Ultimate Pass; it’s similar to purchasing Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane Passes at WDW, but the Ultimate Pass gets you on the shorter line for all of the rides without reservations. And, for some reason, this “skip the longer line” option isn’t super popular with Europeans, so it’s very worth it for how much waiting it cuts out throughout the Parks.
Of course, as with any Disney Destination, you’ll want to have your dining choices made ahead of time. And, one of the most amazing experiences at Disneyland Paris is the nighttime fireworks show, Disney Illuminations, at Sleeping Beauty Castle, so definitely plan to end your day watching that each night!
Your first full day in the Parks of Disneyland Paris! Depending on what attractions you were able to get to yesterday, you can plan your first full day to include all of the “Must-Do” attractions on your list, such as Crush’s Coaster (in Walt Disney Studios Park) and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (in Disneyland Park). Going back and forth between Disneyland Park and Walt Disney Studios Park is fully allowed in Disneyland Paris with tickets of two days or more (though Park reservations are still necessary; don’t worry, your favorite Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor will be able to help with these details).
One of Jamie’s “Must-Do”s for Disneyland Paris is to compare all of your State-side favorites, like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, with their European counterparts to see which you like best! Jamie’s family unanimously agreed that Disneyland Paris BTMRR is the best, but you get to make your own decision, of course!
For dinner, you can head to a reservation you have either in the Parks, or in Disney Village, the downtown area filled with restaurants and shops, much like Disney Springs in Orlando. And if you haven’t checked out Disney Village yet, this evening would be a great time to check it out before catching Disney Illuminations by the castle again to top off the night!
With one last day in Disneyland Paris, you’ll be able to make it to any attractions you haven’t yet checked off your list, and, once you get to everything, you’ll be able to relax a bit more for your final hours in the Parks. Whether that means circling back to some favorites for one more ride, or finding and meeting characters, or strolling through the Parks enjoying some of the Parisian treats available, or shopping for the souvenirs you want to remember your trip by, you’ll be able to spend the last full day of your vacation in the way that suits you and your family best.
A great way to top off your Disneyland Paris experience is to have a character meal as your Farewell Dinner (your favorite Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor can plan this ahead for you), and spend one last evening watching Disney Illuminations outside of Sleeping Beauty Castle. Maybe even treat yourself to a celebratory glass of champagne!
Leaving the “City of Lights” and Disneyland all at once makes it doubly hard for this Perfect Parisian Vacation to end! At least returning to the States will make Walt Disney World and Disneyland feel even closer after crossing an ocean to visit Disneyland Paris! And the best way to get over those Post-Disney Blues is always to plan another trip to look forward to! And if you fell in love with Paris (as most people do), there’s always the France Pavilion in EPCOT you can visit until your next European Adventure!
Ready to Plan?
If you are ready to plan The Perfect Parisian Vacation, contact your Love of the Magic Travel Agent today, or email hello@LOTMV.com. Don’t forget to check out Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s for Paris and Disneyland Paris before you go! And of course, whether you want to travel to Paris and Disneyland Paris, or other parts of France, or even other Disney Parks around the world, your LOTMV Travel Advisor will work with you to create the unique experience you’re looking for.
Looking for more of our Inspiring Itinerary series?
You can find links to all of 2022’s Inspiring Itineraries in this Blog: A Year of Inspired Travel: 2022’s Inspiring Itineraries, Month by Month.
Just like last year, a new Inspiring Itinerary will come out each month!
So far, we have:
January 2023: The Perfect Themed Vacation, by Land and by Sea
February 2023: The Perfect Romantic Escape to Jamaica
March 2023: The Perfect Foodie-Inspired Vacation to Portugal
And don’t forget to check out our Friday Blog Series: Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s, where our favorite Travel Planning Aficionado shares her wealth of knowledge and experiences about traveling the world! You can find links to all of Jamie’s 2022 Travel Tips at this Blog: Jamie’s 2022 Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s: A Recap.
Ready to plan The Perfect Parisian Vacation? Contact your Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor today or email hello@LOTMV.com