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Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s: Paris and Disneyland Paris

Jamie & Eiffel Tower

Introducing a Special New Blog Series: Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s! 

Table of Contents

We all know and love Jamie as our favorite Travel Planning Aficionado, right?! She’s the fantastic  owner of her growing Travel Agency, not only because she knows the business of Travel inside out, but also because she herself is an insatiable traveler, with an incredible wealth of knowledge about countless destinations. 

AND…in order to generously spread this wealth of her knowledge and experiences, Jamie came up with the idea of sharing the “Do”s and “Don’t”s of her most recently visited locations! This Blog Series will pair especially well with the Stories and Reels from each location (for those of you who follow along on social media) since those usually offer day-to-day experiences, while these blogs will pull everything together (the good and the bad, hence the “Do”s and “Don’t”s) to offer a quick, but comprehensive list of what to do or not do at Jamie’s latest destination. 

DLP Sleeping Beauty Castle

And, of course, since Jamie is usually either planning for her amazing clients (all of YOU), or Jet Setting off on her next adventure (or, let’s be real, she’s always pretty much doing both somehow because she’s kind of like Superwoman in that way), I will be interviewing Jamie right after each trip (or maybe even on the plane ride home), chronicling her Top Favorite “Must-Do” Experiences, her Top Tips that she Learned Along the Way, and also her “Must-Don’t” List of Things she’d do Differently. 

Since, as many of you who follow along know, Jamie recently returned from her Incredible European Adventure to France and Italy, we will start there, with Paris and Disneyland Paris. 

Eiffel Tower Cafe

Let’s Go to Paris! But First…

Jamie’s Destination “Do”s and “Don’t”s for Paris

Top Favorites and Jamie’s “Must-Do” Experiences

Jamie and Fam with Eiffel Tower

  1. Go on a Paris Bike Tour!

Paris is a big, bustling city, meaning it’s too large to see everything by just walking (unless you spread it out by section over multiple days), and if you are unfamiliar with the traffic patterns, you’d do better biking on a tour than on your own. Not only do you get to see most of the major Parisian landmarks (to check those off your touristy to-do list), but you also get to experience Paris like a local, by stopping at a traditional street market for lunch! You can peruse the local offerings and choose your favorites, including freshly baked baguettes, local farmer’s cheese, and even French wine, to take to your picnic area next to the Eiffel Tower. You can’t get more Parisian than that! Plus, the photo opportunities are incredible, especially right by the Eiffel Tower (where the above photo of Jamie and her family was taken)! And speaking of…

Top of the Eiffel Tower

  1. Go to the Top of the Eiffel Tower

Cities all over the world offer a bird’s eye view from their tallest buildings, but there is nothing like seeing all of Paris from the Top of the Eiffel Tower, and yes, the Top means ALLLL the way up, not just to the lower levels. There is a separate ticket to go All the way up to the Top (which of course your Love of the Magic Travel Agent can help you with), and it’s absolutely worth it for the view and the experience. You can even go up to the Top at night, when the Eiffel Tower Sparkles for five minutes at the start of every hour, and see how Magical it feels to stand on Top of a Tower of Sparkling Light. 

Jamie and Mona Lisa

  1. See the Mona Lisa in Person

Yes, it is smaller than most people think it is, but sometimes it’s the smallest things, whether they are actions or works of art, that have the greatest impact on the world. When you stand in front of the Mona Lisa, you can’t help but get chills by looking at her, knowing the mystery and history she holds to this day. It’s amazing how a piece of art hundreds of years old can still draw crowds of millions each year, and it’s hopeful, too, that in our technologically driven world, a piece of art is still so sacred. 

Top Tips that Jamie Learned Along the Way

Jamie & Fam at Louvre

  1. Plan a Good Amount of Time to Experience the City

Do not try to experience all of Paris over a weekend or in just a few days! If you have never been to Paris, and truly want to get the most from your trip, including visiting the touristy attractions and also some local, mostly undiscovered gems, plan to spend a minimum of five days there. 

  1. Bring your Kids to Paris! 

Paris is great for families, especially if you’re a Disney Family, because your kids will recognize so many things in Paris from some of their favorite Disney movies, like Ratatouille and Beauty and the Beast. Believe it or not, Paris really is a family friendly city, and your children will gain so much in terms of culture and history while there. In my experience, kids often learn the most and the best when they don’t even realize they’re learning, and what better way to capitalize on that than on an amazing family vacation in Paris! And of course, prepping your kids beforehand will help, too, whether it’s through conversations about the significance of what they’ll see and do, or through any movies, shows, and books set in Paris.

Paris Metro

  1. Ride the Metro! 

The Metro (or subway/public transit) is a safe transportation option, and it will get you from place to place within the city faster than a cab or taxi, and is more cost effective, too! Even though it is safe, keep your belongings close to you like you would on any big city transportation system. Also, specific to the Paris Metro, beware of people trying to help you at the ticket kiosks, they are more than likely trying to scam you. All of the machines have English as an option, and you should go at your own pace to get the tickets you need without any help. We’ve heard multiple stories of people getting fake tickets from people who rushed them by “helping” and instead took their money, and even people who have had their credit cards stolen, so don’t fall into this tourist trap. 

Jamie in the Louvre

  1. Museums are Closed on Mondays or Tuesdays (Depending on the Museum)

When you are thinking about what days to visit which attractions, make sure you check the days of operation for the many museums around Paris. The last thing you want is to have planned your day at The Louvre and be excited to see no long lines when you arrive, only to find out it’s closed on Tuesdays. Some popular museums that are closed Mondays are Musée d’Orsay, Musée Carnavalet and Musée Rodin, among others, and popular museums that are closed Tuesdays are The Louvre, Musée de l’Orangerie, and the Pompidou Centre, along with others as well, so plan ahead, or ask your Love of the Magic Travel Agent to help you!

Eiffel Tower LIt up

  1. Always Purchase Tickets Ahead of Time!

Whenever Pre-Purchase Tickets are available for any attraction, from the Eiffel Tower to Museum Entrances, to River Cruise Rides down the Seine, ALWAYS ALWAYS take advantage of getting your tickets ahead of time to make sure you get the date and time you prefer, and to avoid waiting on super long lines, too! Your Love of the Magic Travel Agent can help you with this, of course!

Paris Photo Shoot

  1. Plan for Photos!

Whether you are always after that perfect Instagrammable Post, or you want a new feature photo over your fireplace, it’s definitely worth researching some great photo locations, and planning to spend some time having fun and getting silly, instead of trying to rush everyone into forced smiles in five minutes. Some of the best places to take pictures are those where the Eiffel Tower will be featured in the background; in fact, one of Jamie’s favorite afternoons in Paris was spent striking poses with her family in front of the Eiffel Tower! And, if you really want to get fancy, your Love of the Magic Travel Agent can help you book a professional photographer to document your trip!

Paris Photo Shoot

Top “Must-Don’t”s, or Things Jamie Would Do Differently

Paris Cheese Board

  1. Don’t Forget about Food!

While most people stress over Disney Dining, and getting those coveted reservations as soon as that 60 day window opens, most of us also don’t realize what a helpful reminder that dining date is to choose what kind of experiences we really want for our meals. Restaurant research is something that often goes overlooked, especially in places known for their amazing food, like Paris, because many of us assume anywhere we go will be good. But as we all know being locals in our own towns, we have our favorite restaurants, and those we’d never ever go to or recommend; and the same is true with any city and country, even those known for their great food. Do yourself a favor and do some research (or enlist the help of your LOTMV Travel Agent) on the restaurant scene, so you don’t wind up eating in run of the mill tourist-trap restaurants (that tend to overcharge for inferior quality), which is, unfortunately, what happened to Jamie while there. 

Jamie on the Seine

  1. Don’t Miss a Dinner Cruise on the Seine!

Speaking of restaurants and dinners, a fantastic opportunity for a fabulous dinner can be found by booking a dinner cruise down the River Seine. You get a gorgeous new view of the city, at the most beautiful time of day (golden hour), and (from what Jamie has heard) incredible food. Jamie is disappointed she didn’t book this for herself and her family, but you don’t have to be by taking her advice not to miss it!

Versailles Hall of Mirrors

  1. Don’t Miss the Bike Tour at Versailles!

Although Jamie did the Palace Tour at Versailles, she wishes she had done the Bike Tour of the Gardens as well, especially since the Paris Bike Tour was so fabulous! Sometimes it’s the things we didn’t do that we regret, so don’t make the same mistake as Jamie! Book the Palace Tour AND the Bike Tour at Versailles!

Versailles Window

  1. Don’t Overbook Your Arrival Day

Although it’s tempting to cram as much into your days in Paris as possible, try to restrain yourself for at least your first day there. The popular red-eye overnight flights to Europe used to feel like they afforded you a fully open first day, which they still can, if you change your mindset a bit. Instead of having a line-up of set plans when you arrive, maybe instead plan something more open ended, like exploring the area around your hotel, or people-watching at a nearby corner cafe. With flights being as unpredictable as they are lately, it’s better not to worry about missing anything you planned and were looking forward to because of possible delayed flights. Plus, you’re going on vacation after all, give yourself a bit of time to relax after your journey!

And…That’s a Wrap on Jamie’s “Do”s and “Don’t”s of Paris!

As this new Blog Series gets underway with each place Jamie travels to, the lists will likely vary in size and detail by location, depending on the depth of information Jamie thinks anyone traveling to the same place needs in order to have the most enjoyable experience there! And since Paris is, well…Paris, there was a lot to convey in this first Do and Don’t List! 

Also, in order to keep pace with Jamie’s travels, we’re moving right along to Disneyland Paris!

Disneyland Paris Castle

So Let’s Go to Disneyland Paris! But First…

Jamie’s “Do”s and “Don’t”s for Disneyland Paris

Jamie and Fam at DLP

Top Favorites and Jamie’s “Must-Do” Experiences

DLP Illuminations

  1. Stay for Disney Illuminations!

The nighttime fireworks show at Sleeping Beauty Castle is super crowded, and doesn’t start until it gets dark (in summer, around 11pm), and Jamie and her family STILL stayed to see it TWICE because it was THAT spectacular! 

DLP Big Thunder Mountain

  1. Compare Your Favorite Rides!

Of course it’s fun to ride and experience all the different attractions at Disneyland Paris, but it’s just as fun, if not more so, to ride all the favorites you’ll recognize from Disney World, and even Disneyland in California. Comparing what each ride is like in each park and ranking favorites with your family makes for a great time! For the record, Jamie and Fam were unanimous in their vote for the best Big Thunder Mountain being at Disneyland Paris!

  1. Go on Crush’s Coaster!

Although the wait for this ride is often one of the longest in the park, once you ride it, you will see why, and like Jamie, deem it worth the wait. Of course, there is also the option to try for the Disneyland Paris version of Lightning Lane, which is Disney Premier Access (One or Ultimate), which Jamie would likely choose to do next time. Crush’s Coaster is a thrill ride that spins, so be sure to consider that before making your own ride choices!

Top Tips that Jamie Learned Along the Way

The Disneyland Paris Hotel

  1. Stay at one of the Disney Hotels

Just like at Walt Disney World in Orlando, staying at one of Disney’s own Resorts or Hotels affords you a number of perks that staying elsewhere does not. The Disney Hotels at Disneyland Paris offer close proximity to the parks, Extra Magic Hours, in-Hotel Character Meet and Greets, Free Parking, and more! While there are four Disneyland Paris Hotels as options, Jamie is most excited to stay at The Disneyland Paris Hotel on her next trip once the renovations are complete. 

  1. Plan One Sit-Down Dining Experience for Each Day in the Parks

As mentioned in the Paris “Do”s and “Don’t”s, planning ahead for dining is highly recommended. Jamie recommends planning one sit down meal in the parks each day you are there. As always with Disney Dining, be ready with your dining choices early, as reservations open 60 days prior to your stay, just like with Disney locations in the States.

DLP Entrance

  1. Plan for 2-3 Days in the Parks

To really have time to experience everything Disneyland Paris has to offer, it would be ideal to spend at least three days in the Parks. With that amount of time, you will likely be able to get to most, if not all, of the rides and shows you want to experience. If you only have two days, or if you just want to get the absolute most out of your three days, you should definitely invest in the Disney Premier Access Ultimate Pass to make it to everything you want. 

DLP Hollywood Studios

Top “Must-Don’t”s, or Things Jamie Would Do Differently

  1. Don’t Forgo Dining Reservations

Again (because this can’t be stressed enough) don’t forget about food! Even if you want to get to all the attractions, and assume you’ll be fine “just grabbing something to go,” you may not make it to all the attractions you want if you are too hungry and exhausted. Plus, if there’s no good quick service in the vicinity when your Hangry-ness hits, then you’ll be cranky, too, without a decent meal. Just like at Disney World and Disneyland in California, plan out your dining reservations and be ready to snag your preferences when the 60 day window opens! 

DLP Hollywood Hotel Tower

  1. Don’t Try to Squeeze Too Much Into Too Little Time

With only a few days in Disneyland Paris, Jamie and her family unfortunately didn’t get to see as many shows as they would have liked because the show schedules didn’t always coordinate with their ride wait times. Before you decide how many days you want to spend at Disneyland Paris, look at all the rides and shows you want to experience, and make your decision based on how much you want to do, instead of trying to fit everything into the amount of time you already bought tickets for. In the end, Jamie wished she had an extra day to get to everything she and her family wanted to experience. 

DLP Hotel

  1. Choose Your Resort Carefully

Some of the Resorts at Disneyland Paris are in desperate need of an upgrade, as is already underway with The Disneyland Paris Resort. Unfortunately, Sequoia Lodge, where Jamie and her family stayed, was also in need of some renovations, and she wouldn’t enthusiastically recommend staying there until an upgrade occurs. 

DLP Castle Side View

And…That’s a Wrap on Jamie’s “Do”s and “Don’t”s of Paris!

Ready to Plan?

Now that you have Jamie’s Expert Tips for Paris and Disneyland Paris, are you ready to plan your Parisian and Disneyland Paris Vacation? Contact your Love of the Magic Vacations Travel Advisor today or email hello@LOTMV.com 

Destination Dos and Don'ts Paris and DLP

 

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