Bonjour, my fellow Disney Fanatics, and bienvenue once again to our Epcot World Showcase Tour Series! In case you missed our first two installments, you can go back and read about the unique entertainment, culinary, and cultural offerings of the Canada and United Kingdom Pavilions by clicking on either link, or entering “Epcot World Showcase” into the search bar at the top right of the main Disney Fanatic page.
Now that that’s out of the way, fasten your seatbelts, hold on to your berets, and follow me to France, (by way of Florida!) One of the wonderful things about the World Showcase is its unique ability to immerse you so completely in each Pavilion area, that you can truly forget you’re in Central Florida, and instead feel like you’ve been transported across countries and oceans to far off lands. The France Pavilion, with its breathtaking Eiffel Tower replica, lively shops, and delectable food and drink options is no exception. Listed below are just a few must-see (or, should I say “must-taste” in some cases) attractions you shouldn’t leave “France” without experiencing!
1. Monsieur Paul
Hidden away on the second floor of the Chefs du France building, Monsieur Paul is a fine French dining experience not to be missed. A surprisingly small, intimate, and elegant restaurant, it boasts a gourmet menu and relaxed yet classic atmosphere perfect for celebrating a big birthday, anniversary or special event with the whole family, or enjoying a cherished “grown-ups night out” after the kids have gone back to the hotel for the night with Grandma and Grandpa. This venue is admittedly on the pricy side, even for Disney, but the gourmet menu reflects that, with options ranging from Maine lobster to filet mignon to roasted duck, all exquisitely prepared, and delivered by exceptionally attentive servers. The windows boast unbeatable views of the World Showcase Lagoon, and the bustling French street and shops below. If you are looking for a one of a kind dining experience to celebrate a special evening at Disney World, Monsieur Paul is revered as one of the best.
2. La Maison du Vin
Okay, adults, this one is for you. It’s no secret that some of France’s most popular exports are their many diverse (and delicious!) varieties of wine, and you can rest assured that they’re all well represented at La Maison du Vin, a wonderful wine shop in the France Pavilion. In addition to the wide selection of bottles of wine and kitchen and barware available for purchase, many wines are available by the glass, for your immediate enjoyment. Of special note are the wine and champagne flights. One our last trip, the adults in our party had a wonderful time enjoying some champagne flights while chatting with the friendly and interesting French shopkeepers. If you’re looking for a different variation of adult beverage, step outside and head across the walkway to the drink stand and get yourself a Grand Marnier slush, or a Grey Goose Citron lemon slush. Now available in two sizes, both offer some sweet, frozen deliciousness on a hot summer day, and are perfect for enjoying as you stroll from country to country.
3. L’Artisan des Glaces
After all of that “grown up” talk, it’s only fair to include something that is sure to please the whole family. Luckily, the France Pavilion is home to L’Artisan des Glaces, a heavenly dessert and ice cream shop, offering great treats for children and adults alike. The ice cream flavors range from typical (chocolate and vanilla) to more exotic (profiterole and mango), and they even offer a macaron ice cream sandwich! Ooh la la!
4. Impressions de France
Although it may not seem like it based on what I’ve written about so far, France has a whole lot more than just food and drink that is beautiful and worth celebrating! Housed in the impressive Palais du Cinema, Impressions de France is an 18 minute, panoramic film that showcases the history, beauty and cultures of the country’s many different regions. Equipped with ample seating, and glorious air conditioning, this is a perfect place to take a break, cool off, and enjoy a quick lesson in French culture.
5. Prime Illuminations Viewing Spot
France is (partially) home to what I consider to be the absolute best Illuminations viewing spot in all of Epcot. The bridge that connects France and the United Kingdom offers a front row, easily accessible, and unobstructed view of the entire lagoon and Illuminations show. It’s also conveniently located near the World Showcase Gateway, for quick and easy access to and from the Epcot resorts, boats to Hollywood Studios, and the restaurants and attractions on the Boardwalk. That said, the great view from here is no secret, and the area tends to fill up early and quickly, especially during peak season. Be sure to get there early to secure a prime spot.
And, voila! With that, you’ve got a little bit of an idea of the many exciting, delicious, fun, and unique things the France Pavilion has to offer. From gourmet food, to excellent shops, to beautiful views and more, there’s no question that your visit to the France Pavilion is sure to be tres magnifique!