Things to Do in Marne-la-Vallée
Largely regarded as one of the most beautiful chateau of the Île-de-France region, the Château de Champs-sur-Marne makes a popular day trip from Paris as well as a worthwhile detour from nearby Disneyland Paris. Built by Jean-Baptiste Bullet de Chamblain in the early 18th century, and lived in by the Marchioness of Pompadour, the Princess of Conti and the Dukes of La Vallière, the stately Château is renowned for its neo-classical architecture and elegant 84-hectare gardens.
Opened to the public in 2013 after extensive restoration, visiting the grand residence is made simple by the use of interactive touch screen tablets placed in each room and there’s plenty to discover, including a collection of exquisite, hand-crafted furniture and the idyllic French-style formal gardens.
Most visitors to Disneyland® Paris—Europe’s biggest theme park—make a beeline for the Disneyland®Park, but the adjoining Walt Disney Studios® Park offers even more shows, rides, and Disney®-themed fun, especially for movie fans. Designed like a Hollywood movie studio, the park has four distinct areas—Front Lot, Toon Studios, Production Courtyard, and Backlot.
Housed inside the huge Val D'Europe shopping mall, the Aquarium SEA LIFE® Paris makes an easy side-trip from Disneyland Paris and with more than 350 sea creatures to marvel over, it’s both fun and educational for the whole family.
Brave a walk through the 360-degree underwater tunnel where you can come face-to-face with 13 different species of shark; spot giant stingrays, menacing piranhas and a rainbow of colorful fish swimming in the 50 tanks; or journey through the 8 themed zones, including a peek into the waters of the Seine River and Nemo's Reef. Additional highlights include the majestic Green Sea Turtles and the touch pools where you can get up close to starfish and seahorses, while you can also watch the animal feedings, join a guided tour or follow a quiz trail to keep the younger members of the family entertained.
From getting your adrenaline pumping on Space Mountain and flying with Peter Pan, to snapping a selfie with Donald and Mickey, and hunting down all your favorite characters, a visit to Disneyland®Paris can be exhausting! Thankfully, there’s also the on-site Disney®Village with its myriad of shops and restaurants, where you can take a break from the action and refuel in preparation for the next round of shows and rides.
Of course, the Disney®fun doesn’t end just because its lunchtime and many of the restaurants continue the fantastical theme. Tuck into a Tex-Mex buffet at Billy Bob's Country Western Saloon; join the gang for brunch at Café Mickey; picnic in the wilderness at the Rainforest Café; or book an extra special Disney®dinner show (don’t worry, there’s old favorites like Starbucks, the Hard Rock Café and McDonalds, too). Once you’ve finished eating, get your credit card ready for a tour of the official Disney®souvenir stores, where you can pick up adorable toys, exclusive collectables and Disney®-inspired fashions to transform your little ones into real-life pirates and princesses.
Disneyland®Paris doesn’t need any introduction and the Disneyland®Park is the largest and most visited of its two theme parks, drawing millions of annual visitors. This is where storybook world of Disney® is brought to life, with fairytale castles, swashbuckling pirates and iconic characters around every corner. As well as enjoying meet-and-greets with everyone from Mickey Mouse to Cinderella, visitors can get their adrenaline pumping on death-defying rollercoasters, ride the Disneyland®Railroad and watch spectacular parades and shows.
There are five themed areas of the Disneyland®Park - Main Street USA, Frontierland, Adventureland, Fantasyland and Discoveryland – and highlights include Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain: Mission 2, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast and Pirates of the Caribbean, as well as rides aimed at younger children, like the Mad Hatter's Tea Cups and Peter Pan’s flight.
Forty-five minutes from Paris and five minutes from Disneyland Paris, La Vallée Village is a popular designer outlet shopping destination. Bringing together more than 120 boutiques each offering designer items, La Vallée includes shops from Diane Von Furstenberg, Guess, Jimmy Choo, Longchamp, Michael Kors, Tod’s and Marni, as well as younger brands like Superdry and Ugg. Prices are generally reduced by at least 33 percent.
The area was built to resemble an authentic French village, and the whole space is pedestrianized. There are 20 cafes and restaurants, as well as the Espace La Vallée Village art gallery, two playgrounds for kids, personal stylist services and a tax reimbursement service for visitors who hail from outside Europe. La Vallée Village is part of the designer outlet company that runs Bicester Village in England, and it has partnered with numerous air-mile loyalty programs so visitors can earn points while they shop.
An enormous shopping center, just minutes from Disneyland Paris, Val d'Europe is among the main attractions of Marne-la-Vallée and since opening its doors in 2000, has been steadily expanding, now drawing up to 16 million annual visitors. Along with a huge Auchan supermarket, shoppers will find plenty of brand name stores at Val d'Europe, with dozens of clothing, shoe and accessory shops, technology hubs like the Apple Store, jewelry boutiques like Swarovski and cosmetics boutiques like MAC and L'Occitane en Provence.
It’s not just shops – there’s also the Les Terrasses food court, where you’ll find a large selection of restaurants, cafes and bars, plus a SEA LIFE aquarium, complete with underwater tunnels and touch pools, and home to more than 350 sea creatures.
Even dining at Disneyland Paris comes with a sideshow of entertainment and Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show is non-stop action. From the moment you arrive, greeted by none-other than Mickey Mouse himself, to the final gun-slinging stampede, this is one dinner show you’re unlikely to forget.
The character-driven, stunt-laden performances are both hilarious and jaw-dropping, as your host – the legendary Buffalo Bill – tells the story of how the west was won, with a little help from his famous friends and foes, including Chief Sitting Bull, Annie Oakley and the Rough Riders. Best of all is the Texan-themed barbecue dinner, so you can tuck into classics like cornbread, chili, potato wedges and warm apple pie, in-between the shootouts and stunt riding displays.
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