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Eurodisney and Paris


August 2018: 7 days in Eurodisney and Paris

Day 1 | Arrival and transfer to Marne la Vallée 

Day 2 | Eurodisney

Day 3 |  Walt Disney Studios

Day 4 | Visit to the Louvre – Hop on off tour on double-decker tourist bus – evening show at Le Lido

Day 5 | Visit to the Musée d’Orsay – afternoon stop at the Ladurée pastry shop – Dinner at the Moroccan restaurant La Mansouria

Day 6 | Stroll in Montmartre – Stop at the Moulin de la Galette and at the café from “The Fabulous World of Amélie” movie-  Le Moulin Rouge

Day 7 | Visit to Galeries Lafayette

August 2018

This year Paris is our destination. Even though our girls are are growing up,  they want to go to Eurodisney too.

Day 1 | Arrival and transfer to Marne la Vallée 

Paris Orly. Since Orly airport is not particularly well connected, we have opted for a private transfer  which will take us directly to Marne La Vallée, the town near Eurodisney. We will spend two nights there. The cost of the taxi (€100) is affordable  if divided between our two families.

The good thing about the hotel, found on a well-known search engine is its proximity to a large shopping center and the shuttle stop for Eurodisney right in front of the entrance. Other than that, I don’t feel like recommending it, so I won’t mention it.

Eurodisney’s entrance tickets are expensive, buying them online saves money and the 2-day pass also gives access to the Walt Disney Studios Park. We downloaded the app that provides information on waiting times and show times and made a list of the attractions that interest us.

Day 2 | Eurodisney

After having breakfast at the shopping mall, we buy some sandwiches and take the shuttle to the park’s entrance. It’s the end of August and when the park opens, rivers of people are already starting to flow.

At all the most popular attractions’ entrance you can pick up a Fastpass, a ticket that shows at what time to show up again so you can go somewhere else in the meantime. Queues are very long, 50 mn / 1 hour, it’s very hot and we stand in line in the sun.

Among the attractions not to be missed, Star Wars‘ spectacular simulation, Big Thunder Mountain, a roller coaster for families set in the old west and  Finding Nemo’s Crush’s Coaster.

Despite the queues we manage to get into more or less all the attractions s we have selected wishing to stay until 11.00 pm for the closing show.

The park’s restaurants are very expensive and crowded, however, you can exit the park and then re-enter. We have sandwiches for lunch and we go outside the park for dinner, there are many restaurants just beside. After 9.00pm, when there is no more crowd we can allow ourselves another ride on all the attractions we liked most. The day ends at 11.30 pm with the final parade and fireworks. Despite being quite late there are still many people.

Eurodisney entrance
La nave dei pirati dei Caraibi Eurodisney
Pirates of the Caribbean attraction

Day 3 |  Walt Disney Studios

This morning we go to Walt Disney Studios. This park is smaller and less crowded than the main one. There are fewer attractions but there still are queues and it’s even hotter than the day before.

Among the attractions that are really worth, definitely Ratatouille, a great journey on invisible tracks with multi-sensory surprises suitable for everyone,  and Twilight Tower of Terror an elevator that falls 13 floors, perfect fun for adrenaline lovers.

We do The Studios in the morning and pick up a couple of expensive souvenirs.

Overall, it’s an exhausting experience that I wouldn’t advise to do in the summer, in crowded times of the year or with small children. You should also take into account  that children cannot ride roller coasters unless accompanied by an adult.

After returning to the hotel to collect our suitcases, our Disney experience ends and the Parisian one begins.

At Marne la Vallée railway station we buy the public transport ticket that we will need to get around Paris and by RER suburban railway line we reach the city center.

Finding decent accommodation at affordable prices in Paris can be a challenge. We have taken a flat in the very central Opéra area. However, the studio is tiny, absolutely unsuitable for 4 people, badly furnished  and uncomfortable. Being a new accommodation that hadn’t had any reviews yet, I trusted the photos which were completely misleading. A mistake never to be made again.

Walt Disney Studios
Walt Disney Studios
Eurodisney fila
queues at attractions' entrances

Day 4 | Visit to the Louvre – Hop on off tour on double-decker tourist bus – evening show at Le Lido

The Louvre is one of the most celebrated and visited museums on the planet. It is estimated that it would take around 9 months just to take a look at the 35,000 works on display, so random visitors have to make a selection. Ours includes the Seated Scribe (1st floor, Sully wing), the most famous ancient Greece’s pair of statues: The Venus de Milo (ground floor, Sully wing) and the Nike of Samothrace (1st floor, Denon wing), and of course, Leonardo da Vinci’s most viewed painting in the Louvre, The Mona Lisa (1st floor, Denon wing).

Being the largest museum in the world, I will admit that we find it hard to get around. We get lost several times despite having rented Nintendo 3DS consoles audio guides. It takes us an entire morning just to see these few masterpieces.

Then, we head towards the Carrousel du Louvre, the underground shopping center with an inverted glass pyramid, the Pyramide Inversée.

In the afternoon we go for a walk in the Notre Dame area and for a tour on a double-decker bus.

Le Lido is a famous cabaret on the Champs Elysées,  where Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietriche Joséphine Baker performed. The famous topless dancers, the Bluebell Girls, perform there every night.

Although tickets are quite expensive (€95 for the show without dinner) it’s one of those once in a lifetime experiences, so we bought tickets online with great advance.

The current artistic director, who also made some shows for Cirque du Soleil, has made the new magazine, Paris Merveilles. His imprint is clear, the show features incredible acrobats and skaters. I still keep the memory of an amazing and very elegant show, suitable for everyone, also for children.

Venus de Milo Louvre
Nike di Samotracia Louvre Parigi
Nike of Samothrace Louvre
Louvre Parigi
The Louvre
Place de la Concorde Parigi
Place de la Concorde
Lido Parigi
Le Lido

Day 5 | Visit to the Musée d’Orsay – afternoon stop at the Ladurée pastry shop – Dinner at the Moroccan restaurant La Mansouria

Musée d’Orsay is  another famous Parisian museum that houses the national collection of impressionist and post-impressionist art. Located inside Gare d’Orsay, which in itself is a marvel of Art Nouveau, Monet, Manet, Cézanne, Renoir, Degas and Van Gogh’s masterpieces are exhibited inside.

Even when it’s crowded the museum is very well organized and enjoyable. The girls loved it and it will definitely remain one of our favorite places.

For the afternoon break we go to Ladurée, one of the oldest patisseries in Paris. Macarons were created here. The tea room is a nice place to take a break and macarons are made to perfection.

Paris also is a multi-ethnic city that offers so much food variety. After a meticulous search for the best couscous in the city, we booked a dinner at Moroccan restaurant Le Mansouria, in Bastille area, one of the best couscous in the city according to Le Figaro. I found it good but not excellent, the atmosphere is pleasant and prices are quite high.

Claude Monet Saggio di figura en plein air
Claude Monet "Essai de figure en plein air"
Edgar Degas Les Danseuses
Edgar Degas "Les Danseuses"
La camera da letto di Vincent Van Gogh ad Arles
Vincent Van Gogh's bedroom in Arles
Le Mansouria Parigi
Le Mansouria Paris

Day 6 | Stroll in Montmartre – Stop at the Moulin de la Galette and at the café from “The Fabulous World of Amélie” movie-  Le Moulin Rouge

Montmartre is one of Paris’ major tourist attractions. In the late 19th century this area had a bad reputation for its cabaret establishments and brothels. However, artists considered it a charismatic neighborhood, many moved there, making it one of the most fascinating areas of the city. Nowadays there are many restaurants and souvenir shops and the whole area has largely lost its authenticity.

Montmartre is also the highest district in Paris. From the Anvers metro station we take the funicular that takes us to the top of the hill, the so-called butte, which offers an extraordinary view of the city and we enter the Sacré Coeur Basilica. The domes of this basilica were built with a type of travertine that releases calcium carbonate, a salt that does not retain dust or smog and becomes whiter every time it rains, that’s why they are always immaculate. The weather is clear, we climb to the top of the dome, along a 234 steps spiral staircase.

Our walk continues through the crowded streets towards the famous artists’ square.

Not everyone knows that on the Montmartre hill, a vineyard was planted in 1933, Clos Montmartre, which produces almost 800 bottles of wine, a rather original event considering that the vineyard is located right in the center of a European capital.

This rural village was once dotted with mills that supplied the city with flour for centuries. Just a couple remain today, one of which was transformed in the 19th century into the Moulin de la Galette, an open-air ballroom painted in Renoir’s famous canvas Le Bal du Moulin de la Galette. The mill is now transformed into a restaurant with a lovely open back yard.

Further on, we pass into Rue Lepic, by the café where Amélie Poulain used to work in “Le fabuleux Destin d’Amélie Poulain” movie.

Our walk ends at the Moulin Rouge, the iconic cabaret  painted by Toulouse-Lautrec.

Montmartre Parig
Glimpses of Montmartre Paris
Montmartre Parig Le Moulin de la Galette
Montmartre Paris Le Moulin de la Galette
Café des Deux Moulins Parigi
Café des Deux Moulins
Moulin Rouge Parigi
Moulin Rouge

Day 7 | Visit to Galeries Lafayette

Galeries Lafayette is Europe’s first department store. It opened in 1893 and occupies three buildings. This historic building deserves to be seen because of its wonderful neo-Byzantine polychrome glass dome built in 1912, which still reflects its balance between tradition and modernity.

You can enter one of the 24 restaurants and cafes or the rooftop just to admire the view.

Our vacation ends here, but Paris offers many other attractions that we will have to come back and see another time.

Galeries Lafayette Parigi
Galeries Lafayette polychrome glass dome
Terrazza Galeries Lafayette Parigi
Paris' roofs from Galeries Lafayette's terrace
Parigi gruppo bambine
Sofia, Sveva, Greta 2018