France is a country that’s on just about everyone’s bucket list to visit so it’s no surprise that it’s included in the World Showcase at Epcot. There’s more than just restaurants here as guests have the chance to meet up to four Disney characters and see some great entertainment, if they know where to look.
12. Serveur Amusant
This acrobatic team can often be found balancing on something throughout the day at the pavilion. Most famously known for balancing atop a high stack of chairs, this duo will have you holding your breath and then cheering for more.
11. Impressions de France
This short film is the France pavilion’s only attraction and can be found in the back center building. Shown on a 200-degree screen, guests are treated to breathtaking views to a beautiful soundtrack that help show off the county’s romantic influence. Unlike the 360-degree shows, seating is available in this air-conditioned theater.
10. The Atmosphere
Taking heavy influences from Paris, the pavilion contains more than a few iconic settings including the Eiffel Tower, the fountain and side carts featuring both vendors and street artists. You can even get a caricature created here or order a glass of Champaign from one of the many booths around you. The music certainly plays a major factor in setting the mood.
9. The Shopping
Besides Champaign, France is known for its wines and its perfumes. All of these and more can be found at the shops in the pavilion, including an area where you can taste a selection of wine (for a fee) before purchasing a bottle. You can also find a variety of clothing, berets, and books about the country.
8. L’Artisan des Glaces
This shop is where you can find freshly made ice cream and sorbet, 16 flavors in all. Combine flavors in a cup or cone and choose for a variety of toppings, including liqueur for the adults. You can also get ice cream served with macarons, a warm Brioche, and iced cappuccino, or create an ice cream martini.
7. Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie
If you’re looking for French pastries, this is the bakery to visit. Opening at 9am, which is great for those guests entering Epcot from the International Gateway, you can get anything from sandwiches to side dishes like quiche Lorraine, desserts, and pastries. There’s also a small selection of coffee and alcoholic drinks to help start your day or wind down your evening.
6. Chefs de France
Of course, it wouldn’t be France without some spectacular dining experiences. Chefs de France is a great family-friendly restaurant with both familiar and new dishes. Dine in a beautiful café with views overlooking the fountain or lagoon while getting a chance to meet the chef, Chef Remy from the film Ratatouille. He’ll come along on a little cheese cart to greet guests and see how they enjoy his food.
5. Monsieur Paul
Monsieur Paul is one of the best restaurants in Epcot, and one that required two Dining Plan credits if you’re on the meal plan. Through this gourmet experience, guests get to experience fine French cuisine with spectacular wine list and a menu created by Chef Francisco Santin. The atmosphere is unbeatable as guests are not only treated to the wonderful décor, but with its second floor location atop Chefs de France, the view of the lagoon is phenomenal.
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4. Meet Marie
Besides Remy, guests can also get their picture taken with kitten Marie from the Aristocats and get her autograph. Her location varies depending on the weather so be on the lookout for her.
3. Meet Aurora
Sleeping Beauty herself can also be found in France, usually over by the gardens, for a quick picture. Princess Aurora does like to get her beauty sleep so be sure to check the Times Guide or the My Disney Experience app for meet and greet times.
2. Meet Belle
The last, and arguably most popular, character to meet in France is Belle from the Beauty and the Beast film. Sometimes she is by herself in her blue and white outfit over near the lagoon, but sometimes she is joined by the Beast himself. Get your cameras ready and be prepared to wait as she is an extremely popular character.
1. Specialty Dining Events
For 2015, there are three special dining events guests can sign up for. The first is Parisian Afternoon. With reservations open Saturdays September 15- November 16 at $55 per person, enjoy a selection of sandwiches, petit fours, macarons, and mimosas. During the same time period on Saturdays, there’s also the Parisian Breakfast at 9am. This offers a buffet of fruit, pastries, coffee and cappuccino, meats, and cheeses for $39 per person. Lastly, there’s the French Family Meal Traditions package. Friday and Sundays from October 2 through November 15, a chef will create a dish inspired by a childhood meal and share it with guests. At $95 per person, this experience will not only offer exceptional food not found on the menu of the pavilion’s restaurants, but also provide more background on the country and its traditions. Reservations for these events must be made in advance.
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Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper