Thursday, July 13, 2017

Beyond The Run: Exploring Paris

If you are going to Disneyland Paris for the Half Marathon I know you will want to tour Paris!  I spent a lot of time thinking about the best approach for my family, and I’d like to share my Tips so that you can plan for yours!

Where to stay?
The big question for us was do we stay at a Hotel or an AirBNB ?  AirBNBs offer very affordable options compared to the Hotels.  Hotels were running $400 to $600 a night.  However, we decided to stay in a Hotel.  The big issue last year was the terror attacks in Paris.  For safety issues, we decided that if there was another attack, an American based hotel would be best.

Now that we knew what type of lodging we did want, we had to decide where.   I wanted to be within walking distance to an attraction and the subway.   I finally decided on the Renaissance Paris Arc de Triomphe Hotel a Marriott Hotel.

Absolutely Perfect Choice!  Just steps from the Arc de Triomphe and a major Subway Station!
And walking distance to the The Champs-Elysées shopping area where you can find French Mickey and Minnie in the Disney Store!

Tip:  Disneyland Park does not have any Disney Characters in French Dress


What to do?
The best way to see the attractions is to buy the Paris Pass.  The Paris Pass includes the Museum Pass (Historic Monuments and Museums), the Attractions Pass (Tours and Attractions) and the TravelCard (Subway).  You purchase it by the number of days you will want to use the Subway, and you can purchase it ahead of time.  I highly recommend purchasing it before you leave because you don’t want to have to find your way to a Paris Pass sales office when you get there.  We saw the Eifel Tower, Notre Dame, Arc de Triomphe, Louvre, and a Boat Tour of the River Seine using the Paris Pass.  Well worth the money of $148 per person.

How to Arrange Transfers?
I wanted everything taken care of before I left – and that included transfers from the Train Station to our Hotel and from the Hotel to Disneyland Paris.  So I used a company called Viator.  You can arrange and pay for in advance any transportation that you need while in Paris.  This worked out great for us!

What about Security?
Security was obvious everywhere.  From a Military presence with machine guns throughout the city to Police staged in the subway, it was obvious that Paris was on heightened alert.  Our bags were searched at the train station as well as the Disneyland Resort.  We felt safe though– as safe as we do in New Orleans!  We know that we have to be careful there – and that was how it felt in Paris.

Tip: The area around the Eifel Tower attracted a lot hustlers and beggars - so you had to be careful of your belongings.  And at night - watch out for Rats! Adorable in a Remy sort of way - but Rats none the less!   
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It was an absolute dream to be there, we had a magical time and I want to go back!



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