Skip the chateau, go straight to the gardens.
Gardens are really what you want to see, anyway.
If you've seen castles - and you have - you know what the inside looks like. Go to the gardens! Go straight past the lines in the square (the first is 2.5 hours to but a ticket to the chateau, the second is 1 hour for ticket-holders TO GET IN to the chateau). Instead, go directly to the back-left corner of the square to get your tickets to the gardens, and have a nice day! They're great!
I'm baffled by their lack of strategies for dealing with the crowds. Their attitude seems to be: "Well, if this many morons want to stand in line for four hours to hand us their money, in order to stand in more lines, in order to 'kind of' see things that really aren't worth the wait or the money... well, let them!"
Do yourself and your party a HUGE favour: just go for the gardens, or just stay in Paris.
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