Explore the Charm and Romance of Paris and the Provinces in Epcot’s France Pavilion

If there's one pavilion in World Showcase where we could spend hours, it would have to be France. It's just so darn charming and you can almost feel the romance in the air as you see the Eiffel Tower in the distance.

So let's talk about what makes the France Pavilion so incredible. There are actually several things that make this our favorite pavilion in all of World Showcase, including the food.

As you walk over the International Gateway Bridge from the United Kingdom headed toward France, imagine you're walking over the Seine River in Paris (or maybe you like to imagine you're crossing the English Channel...either way, you're now in France).

The France Pavilion as you cross the International Gateway BridgeThe France Pavilion as you cross the International Gateway Bridge

As you enter the pavilion you'll be greeted by the sights and sounds of a Parisian street and a provincial village. And yes, that is the Eiffel Tower in the distance. Actually, it's a one-tenth replica that was built using Gustav Eiffel's original blueprints, and it's so complete to the original that it even includes little elevators. But alas, this Eiffel Tower only rises 100 feet.

On your left you might see the Servuer Amusant, the waiter, juggler, and comedian who performs outside Le Chefs de France on select days. It's worth the time to watch his gravity-defying antics.

Take some time to watch the Servuer AmusantTake some time to watch the Servuer Amusant

Les Chefs de France is a French Bistro serving lunch and dinner and it's one of those can't-miss locations. The restaurant was founded by three of the original "celebrity chefs," Paul Bocuse, Gaston Lenotre, and Roger Verge. The menu includes items such as French Onion Soup (natch!), Beef Short Ribs, Gratin de macaroni (baked macaroni with gruyere cheese), and Croque Monsiuer (at lunch). Our friends at the Disney Food Blog have a great review if you want more information on what to expect.

Remy, the adorable rat from Ratatouille, used to make table-side appearances at Chefs de France, but sadly he left the premises in October 2013. Don't let that stop you from visiting as the food is still worth a trip!

If you're looking for a truly special dining option in France, you should check out Monsieur Paul (formerly Bistro de Paris). Located upstairs from Les Chefs de France this signature dining location offers diner the finest French cuisine and incredible wine pairings. Be sure to check out the review by our friends at the Disney Food Blog.

Les Chefs de France EntryLes Chefs de France Entry

As a side note, kids are welcome at both Les Chefs de France and Monsieur Paul, but in my very humble opinion, younger kids will enjoy Les Chefs de France more, even without Remy.

Now if you're looking for a snack rather than a full meal, you need to stop by Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie. This newly re-imagined French bakery has something for everyone from sweets to sandwiches to the famous (OK, famous in my mind) cheese plate. The space is huge compared to the old bakery and is also a great place to grab breakfast as it opens at 9 a.m. each day (two hours before the official World Showcase opening).

One of our favorite things to do in France is to grab a cheese plate from Les Halles and then stroll over to the cart that sells Grand Marnier slushes and buy one of those. Then, we find a quite spot to sit and enjoy the food and drinks while imagining we're really in Paris. Try it the next time you're at Epcot, and you might find a new favorite way to pass the time.

Serving Up Grey Goose at Les Vins des Chefs de FranceServing Up Grey Goose at Les Vins des Chefs de France

Of course, Les Halles isn't the only place to find a good snack in France. You can also visit L'Artisan des Glaces Sorbet and Ice Cream Shop where you'll find homemade sorbet and ice cream. And if you're looking for something extra special, they have ice cream martinis made with Grand Marnier, Clement Rhum, or Whipped Cream flavored Vodka and ice cream.

Now that we've covered food, let's talk about what else you might find in France. After grabbing a snack, why not take a seat in the Palais de Cinema and watch Impressions de France.

This 18-minute film is projected onto five screens, giving guests a 220deg viewing experience. Impressions de France will transport you to the land of romance and fairy tales. Guests will visit Mont Saint-Michel, vineyards, a marketplace in Normandy, the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, and several sites in Paris including the Eiffel Tower and the Champs-Elysees.

The Eiffel Tower in the France PavilionThe Eiffel Tower in the France Pavilion

If shopping is what you're looking for, the France Pavilion has some great shops including La Casserole where you'll find dinnerware and decorative items from France, Les Vins de France where you can sample French wines in a wine tasting, and Plume et Palette where you'll find designer fragrances.

And after all the eating and shopping, one of the most relaxing things to do in France is to sit by the fountain (maybe dip your toes in when it's really hot outside) and just watch the people stroll by. Of course, if you're traveling with young princesses they might want to meet Princess Aurora in her gazebo meet-and-greet location near the Gardens of France.

What is your favorite thing to do (or eat) while visiting the France Pavilion? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Debra Snider wrote on Mon, 11/25/2013 - 13:59:

Debra Snider's picture

Impressions de France is a must-see! It really captures the charm and beauty of the diversity of France. I also agree that having wine and cheese near the fountain is very reminiscent of a picnic in Paris. The French pavilion is my favorite part of Epcot!

Kristen K. wrote on Mon, 11/25/2013 - 14:38:

Kristen K.'s picture

I love hanging out in France, it's so beautiful and charming!

Don wrote on Tue, 11/26/2013 - 14:55:

Don's picture

The cast, as always, makes a huge difference. Lulu (in the perfume shop) has been there for years, and always has a smile ready. She knows the products extremely well, and has always made wonderful recommendations for us.

The college program kids at the wine tasting shop are usually friendly, and - if they're not crowded - more than willing to talk about their favorite parts of France. Offer a "bonjour" before your order your selection, and a "merci" when it's poured, to show your interest and willingness to be polite ;).

We make a point, on each visit, of learning one new word in each language around the World Showcase, and France is our favorite first stop (we generally start at Canada and the UK pavilions, where we know the language pretty well already).

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