By Emily Amato
On October 1, the newly expanded France pavilion at EPCOT at Walt Disney World Resort will open, just in time for “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” honoring the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World. The pavilion, and the experiences it brings, mark a milestone in the EPCOT transformation that brings to life the magic of possibility and imagination for guests of all ages. Join us for a sneak peek of all the scrumptious new details!
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
The anchor of the pavilion’s expansion is the whimsical attraction Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, inspired by the beloved film Ratatouille and its tiny star, Remy. The experience is family friendly, with no height restrictions, so both kids and kids-at-heart can join the adventure. You’ll feel like you’ve shrunk to the size of the “Little Chef” himself as you race through Gusteau’s restaurant to create a dish with Remy. The scenes, props, and characters featured throughout the attraction nod to key parts of the film.
The attraction’s entrance resembles a Parisian theater, with a classic marquee featuring hand-laid gold leaf and nearly 200 lights! After entering the theater, the queue will take you on a journey where you’ll encounter a French artist’s loft created especially for the EPCOT attraction, modeled after the art studio seen briefly in Ratatouille, with a canvas that comes to life. Next, you will spot the iconic Gusteau’s restaurant sign, where the chef himself reminds you “anyone can cook!”
Continuing through the queue, you’ll shrink down to size as you find yourself atop Paris’s gorgeous rooftops. Colorful rat-shaped vehicles that travel on a trackless system transport you from the rooftops, through a skylight, and straight into Gusteau’s kitchen. You’re then taken on a grand adventure through the kitchen, the dining room, and more—all from a “rat’s-eye view.”
The attraction is truly a feast for the senses! Combining movement, 3D technology, larger-than-life sets, and the smells of a restaurant, the 4D experience brings you right alongside Remy. The trackless vehicles travel in sets of three, taking different paths through the adventure, so you’ll want to experience it more than once to discover all the details. A popular scene is in the pantry, where you’re surrounded by oversized food, including a massive ham that hangs from the ceiling that weighs 2.7 tons and a fish that’s 26 feet long!
We won’t spoil too many more of the surprises, but do keep an eye out for a hidden Mickey Mouse and a quick glimpse of a Pizza Planet truck!
La Crêperie de Paris
All that scurrying around Gusteau’s on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure can work up an appetite! You won’t want to miss La Crêperie de Paris, a traditional crêperie with a menu inspired by the Brittany region of France and renowned chef Jérôme Bocuse. The table-service restaurant serves savory galettes and sweet dessert crêpes, along with Brittany’s famous hard ciders.
Just like in Brittany, both the galettes and the crêpes are cooked on a “billig,” allowing the batter to be spread out with a small rake and cooked at a high temperature so they are very thin—almost like lace. The savory galettes are made with buckwheat imported from France, with a variety of delectable fillings.
Eric Weistroffer, Executive Director of JBI, LLC at the France pavilion in EPCOT, explained the importance of the buckwheat, saying, “Buckwheat is the most important ingredient for the galettes, so we import it from France. Buckwheat is a gluten-friendly flour that is actually part of the rhubarb family.”
La Crêperie de Paris serves six varieties of the savory galettes, from the Classique (ham, egg, and Swiss cheese) to the Ratatouille (tomato, zucchini, eggplant), a nod to the “Little Chef” himself. While Weistroffer couldn’t choose a favorite, we enjoyed every last bite of the Classique and can’t wait to return to try the Savoyarde with Raclette cheese, onions, and imported Bayonne ham, which Weistroffer mentioned is the only type of ham imported from France to the United States.
On the sweet side, the crêpes are similarly thin, made from scratch and filled with tempting delights. They include five varieties, from the traditional Gourmande with house-made hazelnut chocolate spread, to the Pomme with caramelized apples and caramel beurre salé.
A meal at La Crêperie de Paris wouldn’t be complete, though, without enjoying Brittany’s traditional hard ciders. From the sweet doux to the less sweet brut and demi-sec, these ciders are imported from France, made only with apples from the Brittany region, and pair perfectly with both the savory and sweet crêpes. While you sip on a hard cider, be sure to take in your surroundings. The décor is a nod to Brittany—with some distinctly Parisian twists—including the stone on the interior walls and the blue glass windows. Even the staff costumes are inspired by traditional crêperies, including the striped shirts and the red hat, known as a miki, traditional to Brittany’s fishermen.
While we highly recommend taking some time to enjoy the table-service experience, we know a day at EPCOT can be hectic. But don’t worry—you can still enjoy an amazing galette or crêpe! Crêpes A Emporter at La Crêperie de Paris is a quick-service location at the front of the restaurant, located along the newly expanded pavilion’s promenade. The walk-up window serves three savory galettes, four sweet crepes, soft-serve ice cream, and an assortment of ciders and wines.
France Pavilion Expansion
Now, both Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and La Crêperie de Paris are truly incredible new offerings, but we’d be remiss not to tell you about how amazing the newly expanded France pavilion is. It is a stunning place, and we can already see ourselves sitting there, soaking in the sights and sounds of Paris, whenever we visit EPCOT after October 1.
The expansion more than doubles the size of the existing France pavilion, and the transition from one to the other is not only seamless, but dreamy. You’ll walk along the waterside pathway near the EPCOT International Gateway in a stroll reminiscent of the Seine River, then enter a French market street called Allée des Marchands (“Alley of the Merchants”) through an art nouveau-style archway that evokes a Paris Metro station.
One of the first things you may notice is La Créperie de Paris, with its blue façade, typically found in the Brittany region of France, but as you move under the ornate, cast-iron arcade in the center of the pavilion, the world is transformed.
“The arcade serves as a transition from real-world France to the fantastical world of Remy’s France from Ratatouille,” Walt Disney Imagineer Matt Beiler told us. “The facades feature a bolder color palette and crooked, exaggerated architectural details. We’ve applied the Pixar concept of ‘crookedology’ to bring to life the fanciful, whimsical interpretation of Paris from the film.”
Just beyond the arcade, before reaching Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, is a Ratatouille-inspired fountain that really steals the show. The three-basin fountain is adorned with rats holding bottles and flutes of champagne that spew water. And to top it all off? Remy, of course—wearing his classic French toque and holding a cooking spoon. C’est magnifique!
Once you’ve soaked in all the fantastical elements, take a closer look around the expanded pavilion. You’ll be surprised to find that rat motifs adorn railings, lamp posts, benches, and more. Our personal favorite touch? A few rat prints scattered on the ground of the attraction queue, surely left by Remy and his friends rushing to and from Gusteau’s!
You can find many other Easter eggs from the film throughout the pavilion. Upon exiting Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, you’ll find Chef Skinner’s scooter and Chef Colette’s motorbike, making for fun photos for fans of the movie. Along the Allée des Marchands you can peer into La Cave d’Ego, a wine shop owned by the famed food critic Anton Ego, with wine bottles displayed in the window holding special significance to the Ratatouille story in both film and Disney Parks. Also along the Allée, you can spot the health inspector’s office—the same inspector who plays a critical role in the film.
Can’t get enough of the “Little Chef”? There’s plenty of new merchandise inspired by Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at the newsstand in the expansion. One unique new item will allow you to bring Remy home with you with an Interactive Chef Hat that brings the “Little Chef” to life. Apparel, accessories, and a Remy-inspired ear headband round out the collection that will help remind you “anyone can cook,” even after you’ve left EPCOT.
There are so many exciting new things happening at EPCOT as part of the Park’s transformation, but the newly expanded France pavilion is a treat. From the attraction, to the scenery, to the dining experiences, you’ll be transported to the whimsical, magical world of France. Merci for coming on this journey with us!