I was excited to book the Magical Day Tour of Paris directly through Disney, as part of our package. Not much detail was given at the time of booking, but I understood that we would take a bus from Disneyland, tour the Louvre, take a Seine river cruise and see the Eiffel Tower. and it was family friendly. Sounded perfect.
I initially looked online, and then called Disney to request a detailed itinerary. I was traveling with a toddler, and wanted to be sure I was prepared. The service representative was not able to fill in the blanks, other to tell me that we would start the cruise at the Eiffel Tower, cruise for one hour and disembark at the Louvre museum. There was about 5 hours missing from the day. She was not able to tell me how much time we would spend at any of the locations, if there were bathroom facilities, when we would be stopping for lunch, etc.
I messaged the tour company, PARISCityVISION, directly and they never replied.
I called my Disney Hotel, and they were also not able to give any details of the itinerary. They explained that it depended on the people on the tour, and what we wanted to do.
We had no information, so therefore were unable to prepare for this day. It ended up being the worst day of our trip.
We had a nice breakfast at the Sequoia Lodge. Goofy was at our hotel this morning, but we decided to skip the line so that we could get to the New York Hotel by 9:30am for our tour. Turns out that the bus broke down, and our guide was not sure when another bus would arrive. She suggested that we go inside the hotel and use the restroom. While inside, we did stop to visit with Pluto and poked around the gift shop before heading back outside.
We were told a new bus would arrive at 10:30am. It arrived at 10:45am, an hour after our original scheduled departure.
We had a pleasant/uneventful trip trip into Paris. The guide was a bit frazzled, but did her best to keep things on track. Unfortunately, the commentaries were not working. We all had earphones, but the recording kept repeating. The guide did not have any information on the sites. The information she did have was not in English, and she struggled to tell us the most basic information about the city. After driving around for a bit, not knowing what we were looking at, we went to the Louvre for three hours. We had clear directions on where to meet, and were escorted inside. We had tickets, so there was no wait to get inside.
We struggled in the Louvre. I had read online that strollers were great for the Louvre. We did not agree. Especially when on a time crunch. We were running around to find the Mona Lisa,
and Venus De Milo.
We walked in circles looking for the elevators. We tried to leave the stroller at the bottom of one set of stairs, security chased us down, and Ramesh ended up carrying the stroller up about 100 steps. It was just not pleasant.
We then walked around in circles for more than an hour looking for the way to exit through the pyramid. Ramesh knew what he was looking for, but could not articulate it. I had no idea what he was looking for, and felt helpless. He had asked for directions and ended up in the Egyptian rooms. I was happy to be there, but it was not what he was looking for.
i was getting frustrated at running all over the museum…not actually stopping to enjoy anything, not poking around the gift shops, not stopping for the champagne lunch that I had planned. I finally snapped. After my outburst, I turned around and saw a clear tube-like lift going straight up in the center of the pyramid. THIS is what he was looking for! It was the handicapped elevator to the exit. They allowed us on with the stroller.
Once at the top, they quickly ‘shoo-ed’ us out of the exit. No loitering, no going back down. Ramesh was not in the mood to stand on the box and pose in front of the pyramid. It was one of the things he wanted to do while in Paris, and we blew it!
Upon exiting, we had exactly 20 minutes to get lunch and get back to the bus. We grabbed a cold sandwich from the deli, walked in circles for 10 minutes trying to find the exit via elevator to the Tuileries gardens.
We inhaled our sandwich and ran for the bus. We were two minutes late, and everyone else was sitting there…waiting for us. Had we been told in advance that we would have three hours, I might have been able to map out a plan to see what we wanted in the allotted time. (or if I had known Ramesh would be joining us, I would have also researched what he wanted to see )
Back on the bus, our guide informed us that we would go see the Eiffel Tower for 30 minutes. We left most of our belongings on the bus…including our water. Turns out we were going to take the cruise first. We were thirsty – and our water bottles were locked on the bus. We were stopped before getting on the cruise, as Jackson needed a ‘child’ ticket…which we were not provided. Our guide believed it was not needed. So we held up the line for a bit while that was sorted out. We talked to another family in line who also were not having a magical day. They booked the Eiffel Tower tour…and were put on the Louvre tour! It was the young woman’s 21st birthday…and she wanted to spend it at the Eiffel Tower!
We finally got on the cruise. It was fine. I enjoyed soaking up the fresh air and sunshine for about five minutes, but then I wished I was out exploring Paris instead. It was boring for us. After the cruise, we walked up the steps to see the Eiffel Tower for 30 minutes.
We were on a sketchy corner with nothing going on. I wanted to get an ice cream at Berthillon’s but, according to Ramesh’s phone app, it was not close enough to walk.
I thought there were painters set up, and we could possibly purchase a painting…but there was just nothing around except the street hawkers and pickpockets. Ramesh said if we had known, we could have skipped the river cruise and booked an Uber to zip us around for ice cream, Laduree, Hard Rock Cafe. There was no time to pop into a local pharmacy or grocery store. After 20 minutes of walking in circles and checking Ramesh’s phone, we headed back to the bus…feeling really disappointed.
Our guide left us at this point, and we had an uneventful ride back to Disneyland. We arrived an hour later than expected, so we completely missed any time in the park this day.
We went straight to the Sequoia Lodge concierge and complained. Initially, they suggested that I complain directly through the tour company, but since I had booked directly through Disney, they did work with us to resolve the issue to our satisfaction.
We went to our room, freshened up, and then headed to the hotel buffet restaurant, Hunter’s Grill. We loved it! Lots of yummy choices. Roasted meats, carving stations, pastas, salads, shrimp cocktail, desserts – we had to roll ourselves out of there!
We fell into bed exhausted.