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Maria’s honeymoon to Paris – PREP 408

Maria’s honeymoon to Paris – PREP 408

Maria and her husband honeymooned in France, split between several days at Disneyland Paris and a few days in the heart of the city. Maria shares tons of specifics to help anyone who has trip to Paris in their plans (or dreams!).

Post trip begins: 38 minutes

Pricing:

  • $2,246 for 3 nights at Art of Marvel and 4 day park hoppers for 2 adults 
  • $1400 flights ORD-CDG Delta economy with 2 suitcases checked luggage
  • $2,484 for 6 nights at Hotel Pont Royal

The Basics

Maria and her husband were married in December and are having their big honeymoon to Paris including Disneyland Paris.

They will be leaving via the Chicago O’hare airport on April 20, and arriving in Paris on April 21. They will be at Disneyland Paris from April 21-April 24. On April 24 Maria and her husband will be spending time in Paris until they return home on April 30.

Maria has spent time in Paris and they have traveled internationally. They are excited to include Disneyland Paris because Disney is a part of their relationship – they were engaged at the Grand Floridian. 

Maria and husband at Disneyland Paris

Maria speaks fluent French which comes in very handy on their trip. They explored Disneyland Paris, staying on property and doing both parks. They also made the most of their time in Paris doing tours, exploring museums, and doing a river cruise.

Departure Day (April 20)

Maria received a text the day before their trip saying that her flights were canceled. She called to see how she could get new flights. Eventually it worked out. 

They flew out 3 hours later than their initial flight and they had a whole row to themselves. Sadly, Maria only slept for about 30 minutes on the flight but her husband was able to sleep for hours. 

Arrival Day (April 21)

They landed and got on the Magical Shuttle straight to Disneyland Paris. They are staying at the Art of Marvel Hotel. They left the airport at 12:20 p.m. and arrived at their resort at 1:15 p.m.

They had requested an early check-in for their room and their room was ready when they landed! They had to go check-in to get a physical card for their room key and their park tickets. They were able to use that to download a digital version. They also had to get a physical card for their photopass purchase. 

They had a room in the Brownstone Tower and it was lovely. After dropping off their bags, they went straight to the parks. 

Maria notes that you cannot book a hotel without booking tickets. You are required to have park hopper tickets on your check-in day and your check-out day. A resort only stay is not possible for the onsite resorts at Disneyland Paris.

Maria notes that security is a great process. Your bag goes through security and you just walk through. Rather than a fingerprint, there is facial recognition. 

They originally had an 11:30 a.m. at Walt’s Restaurant, but they pushed it to 2:15 p.m. This is fine dining experience and is a fixe prix menu. Maria has put in a request to be in the Fantasyland room but they were placed in the Castle room. It was lovely. 

Food at Disneyland Paris

Sadly, this was not the best meal. The food was not great and the whole meal took 90 minutes from ordering to receiving dessert. Because of this, they opted to cancel almost every other table service meal that they had for this trip. 

In order to stay awake, they went on Indiana Jones™ and the Temple of Peril. The posted wait time was 15 minutes at 4:15 p.m. They only waited 7 minutes. It was a one and done experience for them. 

Their next stop was Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. This is a very popular ride for Disneyland Paris. It is longer and faster than at Disney World. The posted wait time was 35 minutes and that’s about what they waited. 

They went to Phantom Manor next. The posted wait time was 5 minutes and they walked right on. It was really cool and very different from Haunted Mansion. 

When they walked out, they were greeted with the parade and had a great view. It was such a neat experience. 

Maria and husband at Disneyland Paris

They went under the castle to see the dragon in the cave under the dragon. This was more crowded than Maria remembered from previous visits. 

At 5:55 p.m. Hyper Space Mountain had a posted wait time of 20 minutes and they waited 26 minutes. There is not a themed queue at all, it is just switchbacks. This is a very extreme ride and has three inversions and a launch. 

When they got off, Maria wanted to see the Disneyland Paris hotel. As soon as they walked into the lobby they were asked for their room key. Their Art of Marvel room key was not sufficient. You cannot visit this resort without being a guest. 

Maria and husband at Disneyland Paris

They opted to park hop at this point. At 6:54 p.m. Tower of Terror had a posted wait time of 15 minutes. There are three storylines for this Tower of Terror and all of them include the little girl. It was very creepy. 

They got noodles for dinner at a food truck. It was pretty chilly. While they were eating, they watched a dance party with Starlord and Gamora. 

At 8 p.m. they went back to their resort to get to bed! 

Disneyland (April 22)

Maria and her husband were up for a few hours in the middle of the night getting used to the time changes. They woke up at 6:45 a.m.

They got breakfast at the buffet at 7:30 a.m. at Downtown in their resort. Maria notes that the Fruit Nectar is POG Juice. They looked at the pricing for Premier Access and every day the cost is $170 per person per day. 

Maria and her husband opted to not do that. They found that a lot of people didn’t use that option because the wait times were very accurate because not very many people were using it. 

Disneyland Paris

They arrived at 8:22 a.m. for Magic Hour at 8:30 a.m. They were the third group to scan in. It was 37 degrees – very cold! They entered and went through the arcade area that went straight to Big Thunder Mountain. 

They were the first people to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad and got to ride in all on their own! They got off and walked through the line again and rode again on a half-full train. 

By 8:53 a.m. they had already been on Big Thunder Mountain Railroad twice and went to Hyper Space Mountain. Maria said she could only do this one once. 

They rode on the AstroOrbiter ride and they were too tall to ride together. This made it very uncomfortable. 

At 9:16 a.m. they were on Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin. Her husband beat her by a lot. They beat the day guests to Peter Pan’s Flight. They waited about 40 minutes. 

The queue was all outdoors, but at that point the sun was out and it was slightly nicer outside. The ride was very similar to Disney World. 

The waits for characters were very long. Meeting the princesses was over 3 hours and meeting Mickey was always over an hour. 

Disneyland Paris

They waited 15 minutes for it’s a small world. It is different from both the rides at Disney World and Disneyland. Maria liked the differences. 

They also did Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, which was easier than Maria thought. This was so pretty.

They wanted to order Casey’s Corner but they didn’t have any corn dogs, they just had hot dogs! They tried to do click and collect but had trouble due to the French sim card that Maria used. Maria notes that Discover is not accepted in most places in France.

They ate their hot dogs on Main Street while watching the parade. Maria also notes that the tap water in all of the bathrooms is very cold. Perfect for refilling your water bottles (because the water fountains do not work) but very cold for washing hands. 

After taking the train around the park, they went on Phantom Manor. The posted wait time was 13 minutes but the actual wait was 20 minutes.   

Maria and husband at Disneyland Paris

You can book a Hero Encounter once per day and Maria had their time at 1:15 p.m. at their hotel. Their hero was Thor and got some photos taken.

Then they went back to their room to rest. They went back to the park at 6 p.m. and took their photopass card to the photopass booth. 

Maria was told that photos are all deleted at midnight. When you get off a ride, you need to note the number under your photo. Then you need to wait in line in the gift shop and have them scan your card with your number so that you can claim it.

They really wanted their Big Thunder Mountain Railroad photo, so they went back there and got their photo from that morning. Maria thinks that getting PhotoPass was not worth it because of this. 

Pirates of the Caribbean at Disneyland Paris

They went to Pirates of the Caribbean next and liked it. It’s different because the ride goes up first rather than down. Then they went to a walk-through experience about Aladdin. They said this was really neat. 

They did the Snow White ride, which is just like Disneyland, after getting some nutella-filled beignets at the Main Street Bakery. At 8 p.m. it was so cold that they opted to go to the hotel.

Skyline Bar at Disneyland Paris

They stopped at the Skyline Bar at the hotel and it reminded Maria like Trader Sam’s. There are drinks that do different things around the bar. 

Maria and husband at Disneyland Paris

They had dinner at Downtown hotel. The dinner was absolutely amazing. 

At 10:15 p.m. they were back in the park for a 10:50 p.m. drone show. They got a great spot to view the show. As a surprise for Earth Day, there was a beautiful animal show at 10:30 p.m. 

The drone show began at 10:50 p.m. At 11 p.m. it was time for the other show and Maria thought it was going to also include the drones, but it was just projections. The drone show was absolutely incredible but the next show was a bit disappointing.

They were back in their room and asleep by 1 a.m.

Disney Studios Park (April 23)

The alarm went off at 6:30 a.m. after a very late night the night before! They had breakfast at the Manhattan restaurant in their resort. The buffet has the same food and same price as Downtown.

It’s just an 8 minute walk to the park. They were 4th in like at 8:09 a.m. for the Magic Hour at 8:30 a.m. They went right to Crush’s Coaster. Maria says this is the obvious option for the Magic Hour. They were on and off by 8:47 a.m. 

At that point, the wait was 50 minutes! The line kept getting longer, even during the Magic Hour. The ride is short but is similar to Cosmic Rewind. They wanted to do the ride again and opted to do it through the Single Rider line.

You can find the wait times for the Single Rider in the app, which is very convenient. Crush’s Coaster is really cool, but not quite as intense as Cosmic Rewind. 

At 9:10 a.m. they went to Tower of Terror and then immediately after that went to WebSlingers. Their first stop after the official park opening was Flight Force. This is like Rock N Roller Coaster but with a different theme. 

The posted wait time was 5 minutes but they actually waited 15 minutes. While they waited, Maria got a reservation for lunch at PYM Kitchen. Their next stop was RC Racer. The wait time was 40 minutes.

Then they went to Cars Road Trip. The posted wait time was 15 minutes but they waited 47 minutes. The line was not fun at all. They didn’t get on until 11:40 a.m. and then went immediately for their PYM Kitchen reservation.

Food at Disneyland Paris

After lunch they went back to take a nap. They came back for Mickey and the Magician at the 4:10 p.m. performance. It was really wonderful. They got there 30 minutes early but did not to be that early. 

They went on Flight Force again before leaving the park to have a buffet dinner at Downtown. Then they went swimming at their resort. They noticed that the hot tub was not hot. They were able to swim in the indoor pool.

Disneyland and Paris (April 24)

They were granted a late checkout for 1 p.m. They opted to get room service breakfast which was absolutely lovely. They took a slower morning before going to Tower of Terror. The posted wait time was 25 minutes but they waited 45 minutes.  

Then it was time for their reservation for Bistrot Chez Rémy. This was a really cute restaurant themed as if you are shrunk down into the size of a mouse. They did two courses in about an hour. 

They finally found a gift shop where they could find Disneyland Paris branded things. The gift shop at Bistrot Chez Rémy had things that said Disneyland Paris.

At 1:30 p.m. they went to Disneyland to say goodbye to the castle. It was starting to get a little more crowded. They picked up their luggage and said goodbye to Disneyland Paris to begin their Paris portion of their trip. 

After getting their luggage, they walked to the RER station in Disneyland Village to Paris. They were only able to purchase the RER tickets via a person rather than a kiosk. The RER always has elevators and it is easier to take luggage. 

It took them about 45 minutes to get to their AirBNB. When they arrived to the small apartment, they discovered that their windows did not close. They were broken open. They had a terrace and the terrace had an outdoor toilet and workmen jackhammering. 

Maria was very disappointed because this host had lots of great reviews, especially recently. Maria called the host and he was not aware. He refunded their money, allowed them to stay one night for free while they found a new place to stay. It was the best circumstance. 

They were able to find a centrally located hotel for the 6 nights and it was 30% off because it was so last minute. They booked it on Maria’s phone, took an uber to the hotel, and were thrilled to have a place to stay. 

As soon as they got settled, they changed clothes to get ready for their dinner show. They will be going to dinner and a show at Moulin Rouge. She was able to book this online about a month before their trip. The only way to get the earlier show at 9 p.m. was to get the dinner and a show package.

There is a dress code that they are very specific about. Maria wore a dress with leggings due to the weather. They took the Metro to Moulin Rouge. They got 5 day tickets for zones 1-3. 

Maria says that this area is not child-friendly. The show also contains partial nudity. The food that they had that night was the best of the whole trip! 

The show was really wonderful. It was about an hour and 45 minutes and very crowded. There is not a break to go to the restroom. They got photos outside by the red windmill, about 3 hours before it fell for the first time ever. It has not been repaired. 

After the show, they took the metro back to the hotel for bed. 

Paris (April 25)

They’d planned to sleep in and they didn’t wake up until 10:40 a.m. They grabbed a quick breakfast on their way for their 11:30 a.m. reservation to see Monet’s Water Lilies. They will use the Metro to get around. 

They had timed reservations, but it didn’t really matter. They went to the l’Orangerie, which was built to Monet’s specifications to display his water lilies. 

Maria and her husband at Monet's Water Lilies

The museum is not child-friendly because security walks around making sure that everyone is silent. They need to enjoy the water lilies the way Monet intended – in complete silence.

Maria also notes that they were building things for the Olympics. The city was really pretty because they were preparing. 

After the l’Orangerie they walked through a garden to get to the Louvre. Maria says that there is an entrance to the Louvre without a wait on this side. 

They arrived around 1 p.m. for their 12:30 p.m. reservation for the Louvre. This was not a problem at all. Security was fairly intense. 

Mona Lisa

They went first to the Mona Lisa and that took about 4 minutes. They looked around, got lost, and had lunch at the restaurant in the museum. It was overpriced, but the food was good.

They continued wandering the museum looking at art. They spent several hours there and couldn’t possibly see everything. It is such a large museum. 

They went back to their hotel to unpack and clean up. Then they left and went to St. Chapel. They had tickets for 5:30 p.m. and arrived at 6 p.m. which was fine. 

They saw some really beautiful paintings after walking up the spiral staircase at St. Chapel. They walked over to Notre Dame because they were so close. It is still under construction, but it was very busy. People were sitting in spectator stands watching the construction.

Maria's Honeymoon in Paris

Maria was hoping to find more information about how the fire started and how the restoration was coming along. They walked around the Latin Quarter and waited until 7 p.m. for the restaurants to open. 

Maria notes that the restaurants have menus in French and English. The servers are also good about speaking French and English.

After dinner, they went back to the hotel to get some rest before another big day. 

Paris (April 26)

They woke up and got breakfast at the hotel buffet. After breakfast, they went to an RER station and spoke with someone at the ticket booth. Maria requested a one way ticket to and from Versaille. It was 16 euros. If they’d gotten the Metro ticket that included Versaille it would have been much more money.

Maria's Honeymoon in Paris

It took them about 30 minutes to get to Versaille. They arrived at 10 a.m. for their 10:30 a.m. ticket time. Maria suggests downloading the free Versaille app. It has all of the guides in the app. It is expensive to purchase the guides at Versaille.  

Maria and her husband had the passport ticket, for the main castle, smaller castles, and the whole property. It was 35 euro and Maria says it was very worth it. The main castle was very crowded but the lesser castles weren’t crowded. 

They spent 10 euros to take the little train in a loop. They still ended up walking a lot, but they were able to hop on the train between locations. 

Maria in a garden in Paris

The gardens were really beautiful. They walked out to Marie Antoinette’s Hamlet, a place where Marie Antoinette played town. It is an area painted to look real, but the inside is empty. 

While they were leaving Versaille, they encountered protesters. The firefighters were protesting. Someone tossed a flash bang and it was very loud. It made their ears ring for several minutes. 

They went back to the hotel and rested for about 30 minutes before it was time to get on a bus to get to their catacombs ticket. The catacombs are underground tunnels under Paris where people are buried. 

They took a lot of stairs and there is no accessible experience here. It was very tight and a lot of stairs. Maria was a little anxious about it, but her husband agreed to walk first. 

Catacombs in Paris

There are no bathrooms, exits, or employees. It took them over 20 minutes to walk through the whole thing. Tickets can be purchased 7 days prior. 

Maria ordered them on their flight to Paris. They sell out very quickly. 

When you get to the bones section, you must be silent. You cannot touch the bones and you must not touch them. This makes it a difficult experience for children. 

Sacré-Cœur

They got out at 5:50 p.m. and Maria was so excited to see the sky. Restaurants do not open for dinner until 7 p.m. so they took the metro to the Montmartre area of the city. 

Maria highly recommends taking the funicular at Sacré-Cœur. They got dinner at the top and prepared for the sunset. It was really beautiful. 

This area is known for pickpockets, so be sure to pay attention. 

Eiffel Tower (April 27)

Maria and her husband woke up to rope-drop the Eiffel tower. When they went to the RER station, Maria’s husband’s RER ticket didn’t work. Unfortunately the ticket was demagnetized by a cell phone. 

Maria and her husband at the Eiffel Tower

They finally got things worked out and got to the Eiffel tower at 9:19 a.m. They were in line to get tickets and were on the first elevator. Because they got there so early, it wasn’t an issue at all.

They got breakfast at the restaurant at the top. Lunch and dinner is fancy, but breakfast is just a pastry. It was really wonderful.

They took the metro to the Arc de Triomphe. They got in line for tickets at 12:15 p.m. This was a mistake and Maria wished she had purchased the tickets online. She had poor reception on her phone and opted to just wait in line. However, it took them about 20 minutes. 

Maria and her husband at the Eiffel Tower

They got to the roof at 12:45 p.m. after walking up a whole lot of stairs. Then they went back to the hotel to rest.

At 4 p.m. they went to a restaurant near their hotel for some food before going to Cedric Grolet Patisserie. Cedric Grolet is a tik tok star. Because it was later in the day there were only a few options but what they got was delicious! 

After that, they went to the Gallerie Lafayette to eat their pastries. They went through a gift shop which was really nice. They took the escalator to the terrace and had a beautiful view. They stayed up there for a while in hopes to see the Eiffel Tower sparkle, but they didn’t get to see it.

They stopped at a convenience store to get some cheese, meat, and bread to have in their room. They wanted a nice night in. 

Paris (April 28)

They were going to spend the morning at Mesa Dorset, a museum near their hotel. However, they decided to do the opera house in the morning because it was closing early. 

Paris Honeymoon

They did the audio guide and that was very helpful. After about an hour at the opera house, they took the metro to lunch with some family friends. 

Maria and her husband at the Opera House

They went to Au Pied de Cochon for lunch and it was wonderful. They had a great time with their friends.

After lunch, they went to Mesa Dorset. They got into the line for tickets and after 40 minutes they were only halfway through the line. They decided to bail and go back to take a nap. 

Maria on the river cruise

After resting at the hotel, they went to their river cruise! Maria booked a window and it was too sunny. The views were great everywhere. 

Maria and her husband on a river cruise

They had a Seine river cruise at 6:15 p.m. It was very lovely. 

Champagne (April 29)

They planned to do a tour in Champagne. The shortest tour Maria found was 10 hours on Get Your Guide. Maria used City Wonders Champagne tour.

Maria and her husband in Champagne

Their metro ticket was only good for 5 days, so they had to get another metro ticket. From two metro stations, they got a van to their tour. 

They really enjoyed their tour guide. They learned a lot of interesting things about champagne including the proper way to remove the cork and why you clink your glass together.

Maria and her husband in Champagne

They visited the hometown of Dom Perignon and his gravesite. There is a large statue of him and his body is made of a wine bottle.

They had lunch at a delicious restaurant called Avarum before stopping at Maria’s favorite stop – the Champagne factory at Nicolas Feuillatte. You can book a tour and tasting for just 17 euro. It’s a great stop. 

The gift shop here as well was really inexpensive and had some wonderful things. After this stop, it was time to go back into Paris. It took 2 hours because there was traffic. This was a low point of the trip. 

On the van home, Maria purchased tickets for Centre Pompidou for later that evening. Because of the traffic, they took an uber straight from the tour drop to their hotel. They dropped their souvenirs and grabbed a snack before getting on a Metro to Centre Pompidou.

They had tickets but they stopped letting people in to see art at 8:30 p.m. The museum closes at 9 p.m. but they were ushered out at 8:30 p.m. They couldn’t even stop to use the restroom. 

Sunset over Paris

From the museum, they went to a terrace. It is completely free and they had a great view of the Eiffel Tower and the rest of Paris.

After that they went to dinner at a restaurant recommended by their tour guide. That was the end of their evening. 

Departure (April 30)

After waking up, they got breakfast at the hotel, checked out, and used Bolp to take a car to the airport. This is the French version of Uber and is much less expensive. 

They didn’t want to take the train because it would have required transfers and they didn’t want to do that with their luggage. 

They had no issues getting on their flight but when they got to Chicago the border control was very backed up and took over an hour. They were grateful that they didn’t have a connecting flight because many people missed their flights. 

Thoughts from Disneyland Paris

  • You are only allowed to have one dining reservation during each meal period. The lunch period is 11:30 a.m. – 6:30 p.m. You can get around this by booking dining reservations for each person but not listing the rest of the party as part of the dining reservation
  • Maria noticed that there were smoking sections in each area of the park. 

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