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Anniversary Trip to Marriott's Village d'ile-de-France

jwalk03

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I just made an exchange for late September for Marriott's Village d'ile-de-France. An early 10th Anniversary trip for my wife and I. Neither of us have ever been to Europe- so pretty excited for our first trip and there is just an overwhelming amount of things I want to do! I know I can't see it all in only a week so I need to make choices!

I am planning to rent a car at CDG for the week since its so cheap. I found a rental through National for $237 for the full week using my corporate code. Will definitely take the train to visit Paris though and not drive there.

1- We will spend one day at Disneyland Paris since its right there and we do love Disney. Though just one day as we will certainly come back some other time with our children- they are already going to be ticked we are taking this trip without them, so don't want too much Disney, LOL.

2- I also want to spend one day driving over to Normandy to see the D-Day beaches. I know a single day really isn't enough but it will likely have to do for this trip. What are the highlights I should focus on?

3- Thinking 2 days in Paris. Eiffel Tower, Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre for sure, but what other highlights are the must sees?

4- Probably a visit to Versailles as well. Any issues with driving there or should we take the train? How much time to plan? 1/2 day, full-day?

5- Some other town in the French countryside that is worth a visit? My wife has this image in her head of driving through the French countryside and finding a little shop, and restaurant and maybe a picturesque winery to visit? She loved Red wine- I'm not much of a wine drinker per se, but I will have a glass or a flight of samples or something.

Open to any other suggestions and advice anyone has. I have read tons of the existing threads on TUG already related to this resort and France in general.

Appreciate your assistance in advance!
 
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Hindsite

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@mdurette had a post with good info in it, take a look.
 

geist1223

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Assuming there are no traffic delays it is about a 3.5 hour drive from Disney to the Normandy Beaches. You have to go round Paris. The better Roads may have Tolls.
 

noreenkate

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This is on my list for 2026…

would love to hear about your planning
 

davidvel

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Reims is a bit over an hour east of your place. It is where all of the champagne houses are and the original Notre Dame cathedral. Get reservations if you want to go to the "famous" ones. Lot of small towns on the way, but we ate lunch in the city center.

We also enjoyed a night time boat cruise on the Seine. The city lights were amazing. We did Vedettes but there are a few that leave from the base of the Eiffel Tower. Also https://www.batobus.com/en does a drop-off get on tour on the river.

I agree a one day Normandy trip is ambitious.
 

geist1223

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A couple years ago we spent a week at a Timeshare in Connelles France. From there we did day trips to Rouen, Honfleur, Bayeux, Giverny, and other local sites. Then a week in Vincennes. We spent one day local. The other days were spent in Paris via Metropolitain.

I think your plans are a little ambitious.
 

Huskerpaul

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In the summer of 1994, my grandfather and I traveled by car following his Army's route through Europe (9th Army, which came ashore a few weeks after D-Day). It was a great trip. We started in the Normandy region and stayed in Bayeux. There are tours of the US, British, and Candian beaches that leave from there. We went to the D-Day Museum which had lots of WWII US equipment on display. You can also check-out the famous Bayeux tapestries. I really loved Normandy.

One thing I found driving in Europe is it takes longer to get anywhere. It is almost 200 miles from DLP to Bayeux. Probably seven hours round trip easy. If you really want to visit the Normandy beaches on this trip it might be worth it to spend a night in the area. That will give you plenty of time to sight see and maybe even see the tapestries. I know you are already "paying" to spend the night at MVF, but as this is your first trip I think it would be a lot more enjoyable to split the drive and spend some time drinking Calvados and eating bread with local butter without worrying about driving home for 3.5 hours.

We are headed to MVF first week in September so I will post any tips and/or tricks I pick up. We are big Disney fans so spending at least three days in the parks just taking it all in.
 

davidvel

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In the summer of 1994, my grandfather and I traveled by car following his Army's route through Europe (9th Army, which came ashore a few weeks after D-Day). It was a great trip. We started in the Normandy region and stayed in Bayeux. There are tours of the US, British, and Candian beaches that leave from there. We went to the D-Day Museum which had lots of WWII US equipment on display. You can also check-out the famous Bayeux tapestries. I really loved Normandy.

One thing I found driving in Europe is it takes longer to get anywhere. It is almost 200 miles from DLP to Bayeux. Probably seven hours round trip easy. If you really want to visit the Normandy beaches on this trip it might be worth it to spend a night in the area. That will give you plenty of time to sight see and maybe even see the tapestries. I know you are already "paying" to spend the night at MVF, but as this is your first trip I think it would be a lot more enjoyable to split the drive and spend some time drinking Calvados and eating bread with local butter without worrying about driving home for 3.5 hours.

We are headed to MVF first week in September so I will post any tips and/or tricks I pick up. We are big Disney fans so spending at least three days in the parks just taking it all in.
What are the biggest differences between Disney Paris and U.S. resorts?
 

Huskerpaul

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What are the biggest differences between Disney Paris and U.S. resorts?
It will be our first time and we avoid spoiler videos. So it will be fun to discover the differences, both good and bad.
 

letsgobobby

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serious mistake to try to day trip normandie from IDF. utter waste of a day. save for another trip.

versailles, paris, disney, reims, giverny each is doable in a day with the car or by train. that is a very full week, or a lifetime. unless you hate history, architecture, art, fashion, food, romance, and literature you could spend a month in paris alone.

france is the most touristed country in the world, among the most beautiful as well. spending seven hours in the car to “do” the d-day beaches is getting your trip completely wrong.

slow down. wander. all those little french towns and villages are there to be discovered but you won’t see them from the autoroute.
 

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You are close to the WW1 battlefields and there's an interesting Fort outside of Reims that was part of historical fortifications for Reims. A lot also went on in that area during the Franco Prussian war and it almost feels like you can see all the way to the Urals from there, and you can see why it is tank countryside.
 

elaine

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There is an excellent WWI museum in Meaux, easy 20 minute drive from Marriott. Agree Normandy is too far in opposite direction. If you must, I’d add on an extra day or two to do that.
 

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It will be our first time and we avoid spoiler videos. So it will be fun to discover the differences, both good and bad.
That seems a long way to go, a lot of money, and a lot of incredible things missed in Paris/France to maybe discover it is just a Disney in another country that is not much different than you've been to numerous times. Bon chance!
 
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What are the biggest differences between Disney Paris and U.S. resorts?
Everything! I'm no fan of Disney parks, I only went for the kid's sake but the differences between DLP and Disneyland Florida (I haven't been to Disneyworld) are vast. DLP is much smaller therefore the queues for the rides were even longer than DLF and adults were queuing for the rides which really are geared towards kids such as the Dumbo ride which is for all intents and purposes a Disneyfied aeroplane ride that can be found at amusement parks all over the world and often without a queue. The staff truly are awful, very surly and as for the food......you'd struggle to believe that you are in France considering how abysmal it is. The differences between DLP and DLF are huge and if you go to DLP thinking that you'll find a similar experience in Paris then you'll be sorely disappointed. Fortunately my kids have now reached their late teens and no longer have any interest in going to Disney anywhere
 

Huskerpaul

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That seems a long way to go, a lot of money, and a lot of incredible things missed in Paris/France to maybe discover it is just a Disney in another country that is not much different than you've been to numerous times. Bon chance!
We were already going to be in London, so an easy side trip by train. MVF is an exchange of my Grande Vista week (I think I will pick France for my week every time) so that is a cost already paid. Been to France lots of times as I have family in Nice, but never DLP. But I'm glad a Padres fan is concerned about how I spend my money. I would expect nothing less as a lifelong Dodgers fan. ;)
 
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elaine

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We’ve been to DLP when staying at Marriott. We enjoyed it, just walking around, seeing the differences, soaking up ambience. It’s a fun day if you’re a Disney fan.
There are also lots of posts about day trips, etc. on this BB. I’ve posted about Provins and fountainbleu. Perfect weather time! Enjoy!
Lastly, Normandy is easy to do via train and excellent small group tour from bayeux. If you can add just 1 day, train am to Paris, catch train to Caen, spend the night and catch am train to bayeux, where tour will pick you at at station and drop you back for last train back to Paris then connect on RER train to chessy to Marriott. Husband/kids did similar in 2016 with Bayeaux shuttle tours. Maybe they still offer this?
 
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jwalk03

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Thanks everyone for your suggestions! Still trying to figure out an itinerary! The Eiffel Tower has not placed any tickets on-sale yet after June 7th so kind of waiting on that to happen before I start planning out the other days and such.
 

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A must in Paris is a trip to Rue Clair ( A wonderful area very central where you can gather a picnic lunch from this shopping district. Very memorable and Delicious!!) You will love the atmosphere!!!
 

davidvel

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A must in Paris is a trip to Rue Clair ( A wonderful area very central where you can gather a picnic lunch from this shopping district. Very memorable and Delicious!!) You will love the atmosphere!!!
I think you mean Rue Cler, just southeast of the Eiffel Tower?
 
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