Disneyland and a side trip to the Chateau de Fonteinbleau

The upside of a trip to Disneyland Paris is that it is possible to combine other activities in the visit which we did. No, it is not a sightseeing of Paris itself because that deserves a separate and dedicated trip but some shopping and a castle visit can be on the itinerary. We took a side trip to Chateau de Fontainebleau which was just a half hour’s drive and then we also went to La Vallee Village, a chic outlet shopping complex just a mere 5-minute drive from Disney park.

Our little princess in Chateau de Fonteinebleau

Our family

Trees in full bloom

The little princess inside the chateau (we just went to the loo)

Being not such big theme park enthusiasts, we were soon bored by Disneyland. The little girl was also intimidated by most of the rides and the park started to become very busy as the day progressed. Long queues to the rides were also very discouraging. Thus, we opted to drive to Fonteinebleau to see the castle which I have read about in Catherine de Medici’s biography by Leonie Frieda. I’m very curious of the Renaissance French chateaus and palaces.

The town of Fonteinebleau was very charming especially in spring when the trees are in bloom and so are the many spring flowers. The weather was pretty pleasant when we arrived in the afternoon though later it became a bit chilly and cloudy.

We went to the chateau but debated whether to take the guided tour or just explore the castle grounds. Guided castle tours were of no interest to a 3-year old girl so we opted to just explore the castle grounds. Our little girl in her princess outfit was just so happy to run around, feeling ever bit the princess of this former royal haunt. We will definitely be back to this place another time and will explore every nook and corner of this castle.

Inner courtyard

She's fond of picking flowers

The horse-drawn carriage

The driver of the horse-drawn carriage has this well-groomed moustache

Inside the carriage while waiting for more passengers

The little princess fell asleep during the carriage ride

The garden looks pretty bare but this must be spectacular in late spring to summer

The chateau was huge and it has a garden which must be spectacular in late spring and summer and a lovely lake. We rode in a horse-drawn carriage that took us around the sprawling estate that also leads to a adjoining forest. My daughter loved the ride (but eventually fell asleep). Later we just went around the castle and viewed it from across the lake. It was a picture-perfect sight!

The chateau from across the lake

Found this sight of the boat with the chateau in the background so enchanting

About Malou
I'm a mom to a five-year old little girl with interest in cooking, baking, traveling and photography. Castles and palaces are special favorites so when weather permits for a good walk on weekends, me, hubby and little girl are always out for a bit of adventure.

122 Responses to Disneyland and a side trip to the Chateau de Fonteinbleau

  1. Seasweetie says:

    Lovely! She really does look like a little princess in her dress in the chateaux and grounds. Thanks you for sharing this!

  2. viveka says:

    Chateau du Fonteinbleau – been there myself – still I didn’t have a little girl in fantastic blue dress with me. There is so many fantastic castles in France – no wonder they started the french revolution – they where sick and tired of building and die for those castles. *smile
    Like France very much – so long as I stay out of Paris. My hidden gem – No 1- is Biarritz.
    She stunning – your princess. Lovely photos – very dramatic with that dark sky coming in.

    • Malou says:

      We were a bit embarrassed that our girl insisted on wearing this blue dress when we went to Fonteinebleau. Strangely enough, people would smile and wave at her when they see her in this dress. These days, we sometimes go to the city center with the little girl wearing her faux tiara. ;-)

  3. Love the pics of fontainebleau ! Especially the symmetry created by the reflection

  4. Thank you for sharing. What beautiful photos!!! You have such a lovely family

  5. likeitiz says:

    Hi, Malou. Isn’t this where they filmed the movie, “Vatel?” Or am I confusing this with another castle. Francois Vatel was a real life person. He served a “minor” prince during the time of Louie XIV. He was responsible for the elaborate banquet thrown in honor of the king’s visit. I think he was responsible for the creation or popularization of the chantilly cream. Something like that. It’s sad that the castle is almost empty. Most of France’s castles are empty. During the French Revolution, a lot of angry protesters destroyed a lot of treasures.

    • Malou says:

      Vatel was filmed in Chateau de Chantilly, Mary Ann. I’ve been to a couple of these chateaus especially in the Loire Valley. Those days when France was a monarchy was really all about decadence so the people revolted against that.

  6. edebock says:

    Love the princess dress! So fitting for this beautiful setting.


  8. Joy says:

    The one with your daughter and the arches in the background looks as if she could have stepped right out of the 1700’s… She looks like she really lives in that chateau! The place is beautiful, I am waiting for your return and subsequent fantastic photos! Sweet that she fell asleep in Mommy’s arms.

    • Malou says:

      That picture is also a personal favorite, Joy. There was something mysterious in that setting and capture. I’d love to go back to Fonteinebleau, preferably in autumn.

  9. Incredible photography! Your little girl is a true princess!

  10. crazyloststar says:

    Awesome pictures! I love that your daughter was in her princess dress. :)

  11. ....RaeDi says:

    What a beautiful little princess! Your photos took me along, thank you!

  12. Malou, Thanks for sharing. Your pictures are great. Your daughter looks like a little princess. Keep sharing your wonderful trips. CJ &TJ

  13. Great post and pictures! You have a beautiful family!

  14. Dear Malou! As always, I loved, loved your action shots! Your daughter looks like she is flying, floating! So pretty! Where did you score the FAB princess dress in baby blue? I’m now “jonesing” for one now. Perfect for writing at the house. Do you also own one? Wink! The “carriage” shot was my favorite. There’s no hiding your family’s chemistry! Thanks for sharing. Theadora

  15. kaylakakes says:

    Such a beautiful little princess.

  16. namitalad says:

    your little girl is an angle …nice pictures..i want to visit disneyland at least once

  17. Oh my gosh, the blue dress, so adorable! Love the pictures of the castle from across the water, those are really nice. Also, can’t believe she fell asleep, too cute. =)


  18. ninabaydoun says:

    LE CHATEAU DE FONTAINEBLEAU I have been there myselfin december 2011, for the graduation om my son from INSEAD. I love this place. I like your pictures a lot, and your little princess, she is adorable.

  19. Reggie says:

    Such a beautiful travel report, Malou, I couldn’t help smiling while I was reading it. Your daughter is *adorable* – a total princess!

  20. Bassas Blog says:

    Wonderful pictures – thank you for sharing. Your daughter is beautiful!

  21. Amy says:

    I’ve always wondered if Euro Disney was successful…who needs fake castles when there are so many real ones to explore? Beautiful family and beautiful pictures!

    • Malou says:

      Little ones will go for the Euro Disney but there are just loads of real castles and palaces in the area too. I love mixing the best of the two worlds. ;-)

  22. Disney, Paris… I think my granddaughters would like the change of pace form DisneyWorld, Florida. Your princess is adorable.

  23. I am definitely going here on my next trip to France!

  24. Very beautiful pictures! And your daughter looks like a real princess. :)

  25. Dugutigui says:

    8 centuries of the French History. Inhabited by all sovereigns since the Middle Ages: Kings, Queens, Emperors and Empresses cherished this place, and all left traces of their passage.
    And now a Princess in blue…

  26. Ameranth says:

    Beautiful pictures! Your daughter is adorable – love her princess dress. :)

  27. Beautiful pics complete with a sleeping beauty : )

  28. Beautiful photos!!! Thank you for stopping by my blog! I look forward to seeing more of yours!

  29. Omninoms says:

    She’s a lucky little girl to get to live out the dream of playing in a castle in a pretty princess dress! Everything looks so beautiful there, yet I am most drawn to the one thing I could easily get here in Missouri…. the flowers :).

  30. I remember visiting Fonteinbleau back in 2000 and the experience has never left me. It is one of my absolute favorite places in all of France. I can’t wait to visit in again one day.

    • Malou says:

      It is a castle that leaves a lasting impression. Of course there are other well-known French castles like Versailles but Fonteinebleau is a personal favorite. I’d love to visit again in another season because I’m curious about the gardens when at their best. ;-)

  31. you daughter is so adorable! She looks so happy in her princess dress! and that park is beautiful looks like you had a lot of fun.

  32. You’ve been nominated for the ABC blog award! Go to my blog for further info to accept it. :)

  33. She is a beautiful princess – refreshing to see a blog with a child traveling

  34. Java Girl says:

    I would have preferred the castles instead too! I have always loved castles and all things princess when I was a little girl, so I can understand the tiara fascination your daughter has with crowns. Thanks for sharing your photos! My son loves forts, so we had a fun time when we saw the oldest fort in the USA this past summer. It’s also known to be haunted, so that made it even more adventureous! :)

    • Malou says:

      We have forts here as well so your son will enjoy playing there too. ;-)

      I simply love castles and palaces while my little girl enjoys being a princess. We found a good compromise here.

  35. Purely.. Kay says:

    Your daughter looks like she belongs at that castle :). Too cute, U absolutely enjoyed these photos.. I wish I could see this place for myself

  36. Your pictures are beautiful,!

  37. All fantastic photos. I agree with Joy. My personal favorite is the one of your daughter in the arches.

  38. rutheh says:

    Looks like a REAL princess in the castle! No fake princesses here.
    Would you consider hosting Flat Ruthie and doing a guest blog for my http://cardboardmetravels.com blog? thanks for clicking the like button.

  39. ashkitty says:

    your daughter looks like the most sweetest princess i have ever seen! god bless her

  40. Meenakshi says:

    Such a fun post! She could be posing for a children’s high-fashion photo shoot in some of those pictures; she is really photogenic. Love the one where she is holding the flowers.

  41. richlakin says:

    Wonderful shots. Looks like you had a fantastic time…..the carriage driver’s moustache is tremendous!

  42. karencooking says:

    Really enjoy getting to visit new parts of the world via your posts and photos. They are beautiful!

  43. Your little princess is so adorable and looks so perfect in her surroundings!

  44. Nate says:

    You have a beautiful family. Thanks for sharing.

  45. Oh my gosh! Your photos are amazing! I love how your daughter looks like she is waving to her subjects in the first photo.

    Fontainebleau is just the class fairy-tale princess castle too. Thank you for sharing! It looks like you had an amazing time . . . and I hope you got yourself a little something at La Vallée!

    • Malou says:

      Thanks a lot. She feels so at home as a princess in this castle, huh! We went to La Vallee but just as we were leaving the place, a freak accident happened any the little princess dislocated her arm. We ended up spending 5 hours in the hospital for x-ray and arm casting.

      • Oh my gosh. Your poor daughter! That must have been so painful. I hope that the five hours in the hospital wasn’t from waiting! Poor, poor thing. How long did she need the cast?

      • Malou says:

        A big part of the 5 hours was waiting in between treatments (x-ray and the casting). She had the cast for 2 weeks but was perfectly fine.

      • Waiting in hospitals is the worst! At least the cast was only for two weeks. For active kids, though, I can imagine it must have felt like eternity!

  46. rocelafrica says:

    I love your little princess! She’s so beautiful! …and btw, great photos!

  47. tita buds says:

    Now that is the perfect time and place for a little girl to wear her princess outfit! :)

  48. Connie T says:

    That castle is so big. I wonder why they made their statues totally nude. Did the people in the olden days walk around naked. You daughter is so cute in her princess dress.

  49. A real castle would certainly trump the ones at Disney. Looks like a great visit!

  50. writelane says:

    Lovely pictures, Malou! Thanks for stopping by my food blog and following it. You have some great recipes on your food page!

  51. kami says:

    First time visitor here! Beautiful pictures and your daughter is so adorable!

  52. What a great trip! I really like your blog!

    Courtney Mara

  53. nofootnotes says:

    I love the princess pictures! They’ll be so cool to look back on when she’s older!

  54. Lovely photos! And your daughter is a beautiful, little princess in the blue dress!

  55. You take some amazing photos! It´s a pleasure to look through them! Thank you for sharing them and also for visiting my blog :)

  56. mac says:

    Very nice pics!
    And thx for the follow :)

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