Pardon My French: Epcot France Pavilion Complete Guide and History You Never Knew!

Bonjour mes amis! Are you ready to explore the Epcot France Pavilion?

What Disney fans love about the Epcot World Showcase Pavilions is how immersive they are.

At first glance, some of the pavilions are a bit deceptive in what lies inside them.

The Epcot France Pavilion is one of the pavilions that has more than meets the eye.

With the addition of an expansion area within the France Pavilion, there is now even more to explore within its artistic, historic and decadent walls.

From hints of French architecture to the aromatic smells of baguettes to seeing familiar faces like Belle and Remy, its truly remarkable how much there is to explore within this pavilion.

With that out of the way, let’s explore France together! Or as the French would say in their native language, explorons la France ensemble!

Remys Ratatouille Adventure Ride Footage in France Pavilion at Epcot

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History & Layout of the Epcot France Pavilion

The Epcot World Showcase as a whole can trace its very beginnings back to 1955. If you are a Disney History buff, you know that this was the year Disneyland opened to the public.

World Showcase emerged from the International Street idea that was suggested for Disneyland.

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Cinderella and Prince Charming Topiary in France Pavilion 2019

International Street was to be located behind Main Street U.S.A. on the east side. The area was to feature various architectural styles, including an English pub and Danish toy shop.

The idea was later scrapped due to funds. But no idea is truly gone when it comes to Disney Imagineering.

2023 Epcot Food and Wine Festival at Disney France Pavilion with with Frozen Strawberry Martini

They used the idea when beginning construction for EPCOT and thus World Showcase came to be.

With Epcot’s debut on Oct 1, 1982 came France Pavilion as one of the first nine pavilions. Currently, there are eleven in total.

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Beauty of the France Pavilion at Epcot

The Epcot France pavilion is based off of France’s Belle Epoque (Beautiful Age) era.

Imagineers felt that this period best represented the country’s creative and romantic periods where Art Nouveau and Impressionism was quickly rising.

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival in the Epcot France Pavilion Topiary of Beauty and the Beast characters Lumeire and Cogsworth

This era was the beginning of France’s modernization. You can truly feel the Imagineers’ inspiration of the small town provinces as you go deeper into the pavilion.

The pavilion is nestled in between Morocco and United Kingdom Pavilion.

Epcot Festival of the Holidays 3 France Pavilion with Green Red and White Peppermint Light Pole
Epcot Festival of the Holidays France Pavilion

If you enter from International Gateway of United Kingdom Pavilion, you must cross a bridge that symbolizes Pont des Arts, Paris’s first metal bridge.

The waterway near the pavilion is meant to represent the peaceful Seine river.

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There are even gardens near International Gateway bridge and canal inspired by A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte” by Georges Seurat, a famous post impressionist artist.

Layout of the Epcot France Pavilion

The layout of France Pavilion is themed to France’s most popular city, Paris.

It is supposed to replicate a Parisian neighborhood with enchanting touches including the wide boulevards, pools, fountains and fascinating architecture to meet the time period.

Eiffel Tower from Remy area of Epcot France Pavilion

It is , of course, complete with the Eiffel Tower looming in the distance waiting to greet those who wish to explore the beauty of the pavilion in which it resides.

Imagineers used the original 1899 blueprints to recreate the model at a 1/10 scale. But what can you do exactly in this pavilion? Come be my guest and let’s find out!

Entertainment, Attractions and Rides at Epcot France Pavilion

In recent years, this pavilion has gained two new attractions. The latest opened to the general public on Oct 1, 2021.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure Mouse Mobile

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

The Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, along with an enchanting Parisian expansion to the pavilion has been a great success with guests.

This trackless attraction debuted originally in Disneyland Paris and was brought over for American guests to enjoy.

Remys Ratatouille Adventure Ride with Large Food in Freezer

You shrink down to the size of a mouse and follow Remy through kitchens, rooftops and the streets of Paris, smelling and seeing spectacular food and sights.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure Water Fountain in France Pavilion

Currently, you can experience this attraction by waiting in the regular queue or by purchasing the skip the line pass through Disney Genie+.

Impressions de France

A fan favorite for many years has been “Impressions de France” which was an original opening day EPCOT attraction.

This 18 minute show encompasses you into the the glory and beauty of France with music from classical composers Debussy and Saint-Saens.

French Alps

You are then swept up into a gorgeous tour of the French Countryside, small towns and provinces, major cities and structures set to a score by Buddy Baker, who scored many beloved Disney films like Winnie the Pooh and Disneyland’s Haunted Mansion attraction.

A phenomenal mix of aerial and close ups views on Notre Dame de Paris, the French Alps, Versailles and more await to take you away as the film showcases the splendor of the country.

WATCH NEXT: Top 5 BEST Quick Service Restaurants at Epcot!

Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along

Another new addition to the pavilion is the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along, not to be confused with Beauty and the Beast- Live on Stage at Disney’s Hollywood Studios.

However, similar to Frozen Sing-Along at Hollywood Studios, you lend your voice to sing songs from the beloved film. Mrs. Potts will guide you through the 15 minute journey.

You can visit the “Tale as old as time: French Storytelling on Stage and Screen” gallery too!

It features 6 gallery cases that honor the costumes, music and artwork that brought French literature to life.

You can take a peek at how these inspired artists to bring films like Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Beauty and the Beast to the big screen.

Epcot World Showcase Entertainment Update

Currently, entertainment is lacking in the France Pavilion when compared to other locations in World Showcase.

Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty at Disney Epcot France Pavilion

Belle and Aurora are both meeting guests in France Pavilion as of this post.

Chefs de France Disney World Epcot Theme Park With Performer on Top Chair in front of Restaurant
Serveur Amusant

Don’t forget to check out the amazing “Serveur Amusant,” AKA the chair climbing and balancing act outside of Les Chefs des France will be among the acts returning to World Showcase.

Dining in the Epcot France Pavilion

I am sure you would be thrilled to try out authentic French cuisine! You must put the service of these quick and full service restaurants to the test.

Walt Disney World Epcot Monsieur Paul Restaurant in France Pavilion Dessert platter with macaroons and chocolate mousse with happy birthday
Monsieur Paul

Les Chefs de France

For example, Les Chefs de France is considered a crown jewel in World Showcase’s dining crown.

It is easily overlooked due to it’s price but the service and food options are authentic and unmatched.

Creamy Lobster Bisque and Red Wine at Chefs de France at Epcot in Disney World

The restaurant opened with the park in 1982 with French gastronomic legends Roger Verge, Gaston Lenotre and Paul Bocuse at the helm.

Creamy Braised Beef Short Rib at Chefs de France Disney World
Creamy Braised Beef Short Rib at Chefs de France Disney World

You will being in awe of the crisp white linens and immersive interior lighting that will set the stage as you watch dishes like Filet de Bouef Grille, Escargot and Creme Brulee being brought to your table.

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Monsieur Paul

The Monsieur Paul restaurant is an elegant, signature dining experience that’s only open for dinner.

You can indulge your senses with a menu decked out of exquisite fish, meat, duck, lamb and mouth watering desserts created by Chef Nicolas Lemonye.

You will experience the very finest of French culinary technique in this lavish establishment located above Chefs Des France.

Boulangerie Patesserie des Halles

The Boulangerie Patesserie des Halles cafe is perfect for diving into to some Parisian fare including croissants, baguettes, eclairs, quiches, tarts, cheese platters, souffles and sandwiches to fill you right up!

Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie Delights Epcot Guests
Photo Courtesy of Disney Co.

WATCH NEXT: Best Restaurants at EPCOT You MUST Visit on Your Disney Vacation!

L’Artisan des Glaces

The L’Artisan des Glaces is one of my personal favorite treat spots!

The ice cream and sorbet shop hand makes sixteen different flavors daily with fresh ingredients which are sold by the scoop in either a cone or cup.

L'Artisan Des Glaces France Pavilion Epcot
L’Artisan Des Glaces France Pavilion Epcot

My favorite is to get an Ice Cream Martini which allows you two scoops of your choice and your choice of either Grand Marnier, imported rum from Martinique and whipped cream vodka.

L'Artisan Croque de Glace Brioche Ice Cream Sandwich at Epcot in France Pavilion
Croque de Glace, enjoy!

The combination of flavors you can combine for ice cream are Vanilla, Chocolate, Mint Chocolate, Pistachio, Hazelnut, Cherry, Caramel fleur de sel, coconut-white chocolate, coffee and profiterole.

Plus, the sorbet selection features Mango, Lemon, Strawberry, Mixed Berry and pomegranate.

La Creperie de Paris

Lastly, we have France Pavilion’s new addition located near Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.

Inspired by the Brittany region of France, where the dish was created, the creperie will bring more authentic cuisine to the pavilion.

La Creperie de Paris Entrance at Disney Epcot

The menu created by Bocuse, who created Monsieur Paul and Les Chefs des France will bring savory and sweet crepes to the pavilion.

Did I mention you could pair them with sweet wines specially brought in from the Brittany region?

La Creperie in France Pavilion Potato Soup and Cider

This new establishment is a table service and quick service location that has been delighting visitors.

Les Vins de France Wine Shop in the France Pavilion at EPCOT in Walt Disney World Florida
Don’t forget to grab a glass of French wine at Les Vins de France!

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Shopping in the Epcot France Pavilion

France is known for its luxury shopping and spectacular deals and the pavilion represents that extraordinarily well, in my opinion!

Plume et Palette and La Signature

There are two luxurious perfume shops that sell the latest in French perfumes from Givenchy to Chanel. I personally get all of my perfumes from these shops exclusively!

Plume Et Pagette France Pavilion with Remy Topiary Epcot

Souvenirs de Frances

The Souvenirs de Frances features all your typical French gifts like berets, but other items too such as France Pavilion Spirit Jerseys that can only be purchased in the pavilion.

La Maison du Vin

La Maison du Vin sells all types of cookware, treats, soaps and more! Most are handcrafted and made from France, of course!

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival France Pavilion Wine Store
France Pavilion Wine Cellar

For a fee, you can even sample some French wine and purchase them along with wine accessories. It is worth trying at least once.

7 Tips and Fun Facts About the France Pavilion

Now that you have the full guide to the Epcot France Pavilion, let’s go through some fun little secrets you should know for your trip!

  1. Take a look at the grates that hold the trees for hidden mickeys.
  2. There is a gift shop in the Boulangerie where you can buy Ratatouille Merchandise.
  3. Passholder/Disney Vacation Club discounts work at most of these locations.
  4. Take a peek at the artwork left behind by inspired artists near the bridge.
  5. PhotoPass photographers can usually be found in front of the fountain if you want to take Parisian style photos.
  6. At the exit to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, there is a Vespa parked that is perfect for fun photo ops!
  7. The fountain in front of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure has Remy running around it so circle it to see the magic!

Ready to plan your theme park trip? Watch the best vacation planning tips on YouTube. Get started here!

Wrapping Up …

Et nous, sommes donc arrives a la fin!

Translation: And so, we have come to the end!

Since its debut with EPCOT in 1982, the France Pavilion has been a favorite of Disney Guests over the past 40+ years.

Red and black scooters in Epcot France Pavilion

The pavilion acts as a bridge to not only other pavilions but as a transport to beauty, elegance, decadence and extraordinary delights of food, art, and culture.

It pays remarkable homage to an important era in the country’s history while showcasing its absolute splendor.

There is so much in the pavilion that you forget about the Eiffel Tower sometimes.

The pavilion and everything inside of it is a true reminder to its Guests that there is so much more to France than just Paris and that’s what makes its perfectly splendid to visit.

Epcot France Pavilion Guide and Red and black scooters in Epcot France Pavilion
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What is your favorite thing to do when you visit France Pavilion? Share with us in our Facebook group and join other solo travelers!

Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipster!

Victoria Wade Disney Writer at ThemeParkHipster

About the Author

Victoria is a professional solo traveler here to make your solo trips as stress free AND enjoyable as possible for you.

She has over 5 years of Disney and Non-Disney travel experience and was featured by POPSUGAR as one of the Top 50 Black Disney Creators you should follow.

She is a Proud Native to Baltimore, Md but always will call Disney World home. You can find her at Disney Tea with V.

UP NEXT: Let’s Tour the Epcot Mexico Pavilion (World Showcase Complete Guide)

(Original Article Date: November 22, 2021/Updated by Editor on May 29, 2024)

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