Expanded EPCOT France Pavilion is a Feast for the Senses
Lake Buena Vista, Florida, United States, September 20, 2021 / TRAVELINDEX / Remy, the “Little Chef” from Disney and Pixar’s award-winning “Ratatouille” film, has a passion for food that goes well beyond good taste – he’s on a continual quest of creativity and innovation. This makes Chef Remy the ideal inspiration for a new mini-land in EPCOT, the Walt Disney World Resort theme park that invites guests to explore the magic of possibility. Theme park’s historic transformation continues with addition of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction, La Crêperie de Paris restaurant.
On Oct. 1, 2021, EPCOT will officially open an expansion to its France pavilion in World Showcase, the park’s latest example of imagination blending with authenticity to create new stories for guests. Anchoring this expansion is Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, a new family-friendly attraction inviting guests into the larger-than-life world of “Ratatouille.” Joining the attraction is La Crêperie de Paris, a new restaurant offering authentic French cuisine in both table- and quick-service options and a menu from celebrity chef Jérôme Bocuse.
These scrumptious new experiences help kick off “The World’s Most Magical Celebration,” an 18-month event beginning Oct. 1 to honor the 50th anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort. They also mark a milestone in the multi-year transformation of EPCOT, serving up a new generation of immersive storytelling at the park.
Expansion Blends Real-World France with Whimsical Paris from ‘Ratatouille’
The France expansion more than doubles the size of the existing pavilion, with a seamless transition between the original and new sections. In a scene reminiscent of the Seine River of Paris, guests begin their journey to this new area of the park with a stroll down a waterside pathway near the EPCOT International Gateway, with Disney Skyliner gondolas gliding majestically nearby. They’ll walk under an art nouveau-style archway evoking a Paris Metro station before rounding a corner and entering a French market street called Alleé des Marchands (“Alley of the Merchants”).
After passing La Crêperie de Paris, guests walk under an ornate, cast-iron arcade that serves as the transition from real-world France to the fantastical vision of Paris from “Ratatouille.” Pixar artists coined the term “crookedology” to describe the fanciful interpretation of the “City of Light” in their film, and Disney Imagineers applied this aesthetic to Remy’s Paris at EPCOT. Imagineers worked with Pixar to design buildings in the pavilion that evoke the whimsical, handmade architectural style seen in “Ratatouille,” where lines become a bit less straight, colors are bolder, and other exaggerated details create the feel of an animated film.
The theme continues with a “Ratatouille”-inspired fountain as the focal point of this fanciful area of the pavilion; the three-basin structure features rats holding bottles and flutes of champagne as water shoots out of the bottles toward the top basin. There Remy stands atop the fountain wearing his classic French toque (hat) and holding a cooking spoon.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure Is a Culinary Journey for the Whole Family
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is a family-friendly attraction where guests feel as if they shrink to the size of a rat and race through Gusteau’s restaurant, joining the “Little Chef” in creating a culinary masterpiece. The attraction’s entrance, located at the end of the pavilion’s new plaza, looks like a Parisian theater and features a classic marquee with hand-laid golf leaf and nearly 200 lights.
After entering the theater, guests eventually find themselves on the rooftops of Paris where Gusteau invites them to join Remy for a special meal the “Little Chef” is creating. They board colorful rat-shaped vehicles and then don 3D glasses to begin their adventure, seeing everything from a “rat’s-eye view.” Imagineers worked with Pixar artists to create animated 3D scenes that feel as if the film has come to life right before guests’ eyes, blending with oversized sets to provide an immersive environment full of sights, sounds, smells and other effects celebrating “Ratatouille.”
From falling through a skylight to scurrying through Gusteau’s kitchen to hiding out in the restaurant’s pantry, guests feel as if they’re right alongside Chef Remy. At times they may dodge a mop, avoid being trampled by giant feet or marvel at massive pieces of food all around them.
The trackless vehicles travel in groups of three and move forward and backward while spinning, tilting and bouncing along as the rats scamper from one scene to the next. Depending on which vehicle guests board, they may take a slightly different path through the attraction and notice new details if they experience Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure multiple times. Characters speak in a blend of English and French, adding to the overall authenticity of the France pavilion.
La Crêperie de Paris Serves Up a Traditional French Dining Experience
La Crêperie de Paris is a traditional creperie with a menu from renowned chef Jérôme Bocuse inspired by the Brittany region of France, home to countless creperies. The table-service restaurant serves savory galettes and sweet dessert crepes, along with some of Brittany’s famous hard ciders.
As is tradition in Brittany, La Crêperie de Paris offers thin galettes cooked at a high temperature to allow the outside to crisp while warming the various fillings. The gluten-friendly galettes are made with buckwheat imported from France and feature classic fillings with special twists. Perhaps the best-known combination is the Classique, which includes ham, eggs and Swiss cheese. The Ratatouille, inspired by the “Little Chef” down the street, features tomato, zucchini and eggplant.
The sweet crepes are similarly thin and made from scratch. They include the traditional Gourmande – filled with house-made hazelnut chocolate spread – to the Pomme, which offers caramelized apples and caramel beurre salé. House-made ice cream is available for delicious dessert combinations.
La Crêperie de Paris completes its authentic French dining experience with traditional Brittany hard ciders that pair with both savory and sweet crepes. From the sweet doux to the less sweet brut and demi sec, these ciders are imported from France and made with apples from the Brittany region. The restaurant also offers a prix fixe menu featuring a choice of soup or salad, one savory galette, one dessert crepe and a glass of hard cider, soda or juice.
Crêpes A Emporter at La Crêperie de Paris is a quick-service location at the front of the restaurant, located along the new plaza’s promenade. The walk-up window serves three savory galettes, four sweet crepes, soft-serve ice cream and an assortment of ciders and wines.
Bring the ‘Little Chef’ Home with New Remy-Inspired Merchandise
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure inspires a new line of merchandise available at the newsstand in the new France pavilion expansion and other select retail locations at EPCOT. From apparel to accessories, guests can purchase fashionable finds perfect for Remy-inspired looks and the “Little Chef” in everyone. Highlighting this collection is a new Interactive Chef Hat that looks as if Chef Remy is cooking alongside the wearer just as he did with Linguini in the film.
Tasty Tidbits: Plenty of New Morsels to Savor for ‘Ratatouille’ Fans
The France pavilion expansion and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure offer a veritable feast of “Ratatouille”-related details fans of the film are sure to devour:
- The Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure marquee is 10 feet tall and more than 14 feet wide, featuring nearly 200 lights, hand-applied gold leaf and a sculpture of Chef Remy.
- The iconic Gusteau’s restaurant sign hangs in the distance past the Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure theater, hinting at the fun awaiting within the attraction. When guests enter the queue, they see the sign up close and receive a special magical message from Gusteau reminding them “anyone can cook.”
- Also in the queue, guests enter a French artist’s loft created especially for the EPCOT attraction, modeled after the art studio seen briefly in the film. As they pass through the room, guests see French-inspired paintings, cupboards filled with art supplies and two magical canvases that come to life.
- The attraction finds inspiration in several scenes from the film, including Remy’s first view of Paris, his fall through a skylight into Gusteau’s kitchen, the pantry where he hides from Chef Skinner, and the leafy restaurant Remy creates for himself and his family and friends.
- A number of the oversized products seen throughout the attraction call back to the film, including olive oil named for Linguini and sparkling wine named for Gusteau.
- The massive ham hanging from the ceiling in the pantry weighs 2.7 tons; the fish in the same scene is 26 feet long.
- Inside the attraction entrance, large posters depict Remy, Linguini and Chef Skinner.
- Outside the theater are Chef Skinner’s scooter and Chef Colette’s motorbike, which make for fun photo opportunities for fans of the film.
- Guests can peer into La Cave D’Ego, a wine shop owned by famed food critic Anton Ego; the vintages of wine bottles on display hold special significance to the “Ratatouille” story in both the film and Disney parks.
- The health inspector who plays an important role in the film has an office located along the Alleé des Marchands.
- A Remy motif runs throughout the pavilion expansion, with his image incorporated into a manhole cover, park benches, iron railings, a newsstand and a fountain.
- The waterside pathway leading to the France pavilion expansion is called Rue Auguste Gusteau, an homage to the famous chef.
For more information on Walt Disney World Resort and the historic transformation of EPCOT, visit WDWNews.com