Bonjour! Welcome to France…Disney style. Tucked away in the southern corner of World Showcase at Disney’s Epcot is the France Pavilion. Come and stroll the cobblestone streets and enjoy the wine and music and you’ll feel you’ve been transported to the streets of Paris in the spring time.
France is located right across the footbridge from the UK. This is where Disney’s version of the English Channel meets Disney’s version of the River Seine. The footbridge is actually inspired by the Pont de Arts bridge in Paris. Once you cross the bridge you will find reflections of the Seine riverfront with artists and carts selling parasols.
As you make your way into the pavilion you’ll notice a beautiful fountain and the Eiffel Tower. Disney’s Eiffel Tower was designed using the blueprints from the actual tower. This tower was built using a Disney trick called forced perspective. This unique design makes the subject appear much larger than it actually is. Disney’s Eiffel Tower is actually one tenth the scale of the real tower. Bird repellents are installed on top so that a bird doesn’t land on the tower throwing off the illusion of height.
Two fantastic restaurants anchor the France Pavilion – Chefs de France and Monsieur Paul. Both are managed by famed French chef Paul Bocuse and offer true French culinary experiences. Chefs de France is more of a French bistro while Monsieur Paul offers an upscale dining experience. If you are in the mood for a French pastry or sandwich check out the quick service restaurant located around the corner, Les Halles Boulangerie and Patisserie. There is even an ice cream shop and a cart selling crepes.
And what would a visit to France be without wine. Maison de Vin offers wine tasting and a large selection of wines from France. Shop away – these can be sent back to your Disney resort or straight to your home! Grab a glass of wine and enjoy the atmosphere at one of the sidewalk tables scattered throughout the pavilion.
If you are in the mood to shop this area offers many great opportunities to pick up some French perfume, books, clothing, toys and art.
The France Pavilion is also home to Impressions de France, an 18 minute film that gives you a bird’s eye view of the spectacular scenery in France all set to classical French music. This is a great way to escape the crowds and relax for a while.
Keep your eyes open for Belle, Sleeping Beauty and Marie from the Aristocats as they pop up from time to time to greet guests.
My name is Susan Heidenrich and I am a Destination Specialist with Travel with the Magic. I love sharing the often overlooked Disney details with my clients and I would love to help you with your next Disney Destination vacation. My planning services are completely free! Learn a bit more about me here and then come along and join the fun and follow me on facebook! You can also email me at SusanH@travelwiththemagic.com.