Are you traveling to France from America to go to Disneyland? Personally, I think that's not good use of your time. We took our kids at the same age to France and I can't imagine the need to spend anytime at Disneyland. At the very least, cut it down to one day. Take the extra day and go to Versaille.
Consider an evening boat tour. Go to the Rodin museum and just chill. Take the money you'd spend at Disneyland and give it to the kids to spend. Let 'em buy junk souveniers like my daughter or, buy Soccer jerseys like my son.
While it may be too cold, we had a great dinner picnic by just walking through the markets and picking up whatever looked good. I think we had Chinese food, French wine and German chocolate for dinner.
I was in Paris last summer with 12 14 year olds.They enjoyed Les Invalides ( napoleons tomb), St Chappelle a very small chapel near Notre Dame, riding the metro, eating crepes and sandwiches from street vendors. Most went all the way to the top of the Eiffel tower some even walked down The Louvre was VERY crowded - we were there late in the day - maybe go earlier? 30 deep at the Mona Lisa. We did really enjoy napoleon's apartments though. Musee d'orsay or l'orangerie might be a better choice ?? If you have a day trip to Versailles they would probably enjoy that. a great cassette tour and neat history and gardens. A fabulous restaurant near Les Invalides and a metro stop is Le Florimond. if you have girls they would probably enjoy a stroll through Galleries Lafayette or le Printemps. GL is like Herrods - neat foods upstairs. It is worth going in to the Opera House if you are near there.
it may sound corny but our kids really did enjoy a city tour by bus. Great overview and some neat facts ( the city workers - sanitation, etc wear designer styled uniforms -- after all this France!
have a marvelous time!
Would love to know how it turns out. we go back next yeat with family and a younger child
i am envious. we go back next year
Lived in Europe three years with my three teens and pre-teens, never did Disney, my kids had a blast without it. Have them learn the Metro, and show you around. Take a boat on the Seine is a nice way to spend an afternoon (hope for a warm day. Musee D'Orsay is great for impressionist paintings, the restaurant there is a great place to have lunch (the one with the gold ceiling, not the cafeteria). If you can catch vespers in the crypt at Sacre Couer (5 or 6pm), it can be an incredible moving experience, I think you need a 2 euro coin to get in, from there you can also walk steps up over the roof of the church. Catch Dinner at Le P'*** Troquet, on Rue De L'Exposition in the 7th. 31 Euros. Tell Madame Dominique Mr Smith says hello. See the Rose Line at St Sulpice...and try to find a few other Da Vinci Code sites. Chateau De Chantilly (40 mins north of Paris is a good visit, especially if you love any of the following; Castles, Gardens, Horses, Art, Old Books, or Whipped Cream (aka Chantilly Legere) stop at the van in the parking lot for this, it is outstanding. Far less crowded than Versailles. If you have fashionistas, try Galeries Lafayette for shoppping, it's a beautiful place...and there's a champagne bar if you need a break.
I did not want to rain on your parade but i would not go to Disney either
The city is so beautiful and easily accessible you will have a great time poking around.
Day trips to Versailles or Chartres or Monet's garden at Giverny would be much more memorable experiences.
go to travelforkids.com/funtodo/france
Oh, my gosh! Take the train out to Versaille. It really is a not-to-be missed experience! Arrive before lunch, dine in the village, just a block or so from the train satition. Eat pastries! Then walk right over to the palace. Don't let anyone at the train station try to sell you a cab ride, or a bus ride. It's just not necessary, a rip-off, and you would miss the village, which is charming!
In Paris, spend some time doing what the Parisians do. On the Champs Elysees, there's a bowling alley somewhere (it's in a basement and it's small, but it's there -- the concierge can help). Take some time out to go bowling and see the French when they're just kicking back. You'll love it! Maybe that same night, plan to have dinner at an outdoor cafe...and don't rush. Just watch the world go by -- it's what Parisians do!
The first night, climb the Eiffel Tower (or better yet, take the elevator :)) and the Arch de Triomph. There's also a building somewhere (can't remember the name) that has the best view of the city. It's a way to stay awake, see the sites, but not exhert too much energy -- just spend time taking it in.
Other ideas in Paris: catacombs tour, Bateau Mouches, picnic in a park (instead of lunch),
Also, be sure to plan an evening in Mont Martre, which is right outside of Sacre Coeur (that big white church). Artists abound, and the environment is so energetic. Teens would just love it. Buy them their first piece of real art. Maybe not a real painting (they can be pricey), but a sketch of their favorite site in Paris. You can get them pretty inexpensively.
I lived right outside of Paris as a child. I would recommend at least one trip outside of Paris, but not to Disney Paris. It's important to get an idea of France, and getting an idea of France by seeing Paris is like getting an idea of the US by seeing New York. There's so much more depth. Some ideas...
Rent a car and take a day trip to the Loire Valley to see Chambord, Cheverny, and Chenonceau. For that matter, you can overnight it and stay in a castle! Unfortunately, no Marriotts in the Loire, but wow anyway. If you really want an amusement park, while in the Loire Valley check out Futureoscope, a virtual reality park. Very neat for teens (not so good for little ones like mine...however, they were free to get in).
When we were in France two years ago, on a whim we decided to take the kids to Normandy (we day tripped it, but it's a good 3 hours to Normandy), to see the sights. My husband is WWII history buff, and we'd been there on our honeymoon. Our boys have followed in their father's history addiction. At Pointe du Hoc, they have not restored the land since the invasion, and there are craters 3 storeys deep, original German bunkers, etc. If you do choose to go there, see The Longest Day, first. It will orient you to that coast. Also, the Normands are SO sweet...their families still remember what the Americans did. The museum "The Memorial" is wonderful. I've attached a pic of my sons in a bunker in Normandy.
Other Paris threads to check
http://www.rewards-insiders.marriott.com/photoAlbums/1101 La Défense, Paris, France
SusanL (Renaissance Vendome)
Thanks & CDG to Renaissance Le Parc Trocadero (Renaissance Le Parc Trocadero)
Paris! "Never better!" (Arc d'Triomphe trip report)
Surprise (discussion on Paris sights & hotels)
Hotel and Metro in Paris (hotel airport transporation options)