Bonjour, mes amours – and welcome to France! I hope you’re ready for one of the most beautiful lands around the entire World Showcase. The day I went for photos was just perfect. The weather was crisp and sunny and the crowds weren’t too bad. I could almost hear the soft music from France before I crossed over from Morocco. When coming from this direction the first thing you will see on your left is Les Chefs de France. I haven’t eaten here in ages! Does anyone love it or hate it? I’d love to hear in the comments below.
When entering France on your right you will see Crepes des Chefs de France. It’s just a little cart, but the crepes are yummy. We pop by this cart pretty often. It’s sort of like a year round Food & Wine Festival cart.
Next door is Les Vins des Chefs de France, home of the world famous Grand Marnier & Grey Goose Orange Slush! Be careful, though. There are no snacks served here so be sure you don’t go on an empty stomach.
Just next to these two permanent carts is a little section for outdoor artists. Under the umbrellas you can find caricature artists and other portrait artists. There’s also a cart for custom, hand painted umbrellas. (Am I the only adult that really wants to buy one of these umbrellas? I know I have no use for it. I know they are supposed to be for kids. But the temptation is always there. Tell me I’m not alone!)
Moving along if you glance back to your left you’ll see another, pretty much identical, entrance to Les Chefs de France. However, if you take a glance to the right of the photo below you can see more of France sneaking in frame.
And here is the full view looking back into the pavilion. On the right and left are some lovely shops that we’ll take a look at. Just ahead is Impressions de France. If you look towards the middle of the photo you’ll get a little peek at the Eiffel Tower. While this is a major landmark for the pavilion it’s a little tough to see when you’re actually in the area.
Continuing towards the left there’s another little alcove just behind Les Chefs de France. If you turn that way you will find the entrance to Monsieur Paul. It’s tucked around the corner so I would bet people miss it when they’re just touring casually.
Here’s the view down this little alcove when you’re standing at the entrance to Monsieur Paul. To the left is an amazing ice cream shop, L’Artisan des Glaces Artisan Ice Cream & Sorbet! Straight ahead is Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie, a gift shop and bakery. On the right are a couple shops that connect back over to the main area. Though I wrote down the shop names, I’ll spare you all that French!
Here is a closer look at the sign for the ice cream shop. There are also some custom painted windows. It’s an adorable little spot and the treats are to die for! This is a must hit spot on a hot, summer day.
Below if a shot from inside the gift shop side of Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie. I have to say – this was one thing that really burned me. All the things in the photo below are the exact same things sold at Disneyland Paris! (Instead of printing “Disneyland” Paris they print “Epcot World Showcase” Paris.) I’ve always complained about lack of unique merchandise between the US parks but I was shocked to find this! Of course, the cast member said in her 10 months working in the shop I was the first person to ever notice. So maybe I’m just not Disney’s target market. Of course, I’d be willing to call it even if they’d just bring some Shellie May to Japan!
Here is another look at the gift shop. It’s a lovely, wide open area.
Below is looking in the the quick service dining location that opens early. I was there a little after 10am and this place was already bustling. I’m sure the cast members directing folks that the “French Bakery” was open didn’t hurt business. In the mornings before 11am you’re able to walk from Canada to France without being stopped but this is the only spot I found open.
Here is a look at the seating area for the restaurant with the gift shop in the distance. It’s a little embarrassing, but I was standing at the entrance to a restroom to get this shot! I bring it up because this bathroom is pretty well hidden and the sign is in French. I think most people think it is just there for decoration. If you’re in need of facilities I normally skip the very busy (and always messy) restrooms in Morocco in favor of these.
If you exit this building and head back towards Monsieur Paul, you’ll see there are little shops on your right. Below is a look at the one closest to the Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie exit. The store contains mostly home goods and decorations. The shops are all open and connected to one another.
Moving on the shops take on a wine theme. At the other end of the store is this impressive wine cellar.
There’s also a bar available where you can try samples for a fee. Unlike other lands around the world, France has loads of seating. There are little tables tucked all over the place and benches just about everywhere they could fit one. It would be the perfect spot to grab a glass and wonder until you find a little spot to enjoy.
One detail I wanted to share are these neat light fixtures found throughout this shop. They remind me a lot of the ones I saw in Disneyland Paris.
Upon exiting this shop on the other side you’ll notice a very clear sign! Where we entered there are several different names scrawled onto decorative awnings. I suppose on this side where there is more traffic they want to be clear there is wine available!
So when we went through the gift shop we exited the alcove on the left and entered back into the main pavilion. Just next to the wine shop is Impressions de France. This is a film and the main attraction of France. There is almost never a wait for this one and the air conditioning is great on a hot day. If you’re planning on watching it I would recommend seeing the movie first then exploring the pavilion. It gives you a greater appreciation for everything else you’ll see.
Here’s a quick look inside the waiting area for Impressions de France. It almost feels like you’re outside looking in at the various windows that display information about Parisian landmarks.
Featured prominently is a reproduction of The Spitting Gargoyle. This was made from direct castings of the original from the Cathedral of Notre Dame. This figure was the inspiration for Laverne in The Hunchback of Notre Dame.
Next we explore the last little section of France. Below you’ll see the building which attaches to Impressions de France on the right. These shops are for the ladies with selections that include makeup, scarfs, purses, and other accessories. This is also where you can find all the amazing French perfume!
This area is a little confused so I didn’t include shop names. There seems to be some signs left over from when Beauty and the Beast were meeting in this area. But that doesn’t detract at all from what is inside. Check out these beautiful scarfs! There are lots more accessories in this lovely shop. The decor is rich woods with red curtains.
I mention the decor because just across a small outdoor walkway is this light, airy shop. This store is just full of high end cosmetics. I used to joke when we were still vacationing here that if I forgot my mascara I could just pick some up in France. Now I wish I had!
Below is a shot of not even half the perfume testers out in this shop. I included this to show you just how many there are available. Also, I bet I spent ten minutes photographing these bottles from different angles while the cashier looked at me like I was nuts. So for that reason alone one of these shots had to make the cut.
Remember when I said that I crossed through an open air walkway between the shops? Well, that was the arcade shown below. These are common in France to protect pedestrians from the elements. The makeup shop is on the right below, and the accessory shop is on the left.
Below is another look at these shops from the garden side. I wanted to take a step back and show you how lovely the building is with the flowers in bloom.
Getting back a little closer we can appreciate a couple details. Take a look at the painting on this building. While nothing in the building is plume or palette related you have to appreciate the work that went into this wall. I can’t imagine the upkeep to maintain this in the Florida sun.
Tucked back on one of the walls is this little sign advertising perfume. (Which is ironic because you can smell it before you see it!) There are lots of cute little signs all over the pavilion that I just didn’t have room to include, but be sure to check them out on your next trip.
Exiting the gift shop and heading back towards the World Showcase Lagoon you’ll see this series of gardens. Typically, this area houses Beauty and the Beast topiaries during the Flower and Garden Festival. On the far right you’ll also see the gazebo where Princess Aurora greets daily.
As we near the exit of France you’ll see this column surrounded by trees. I know there is a name for these but I just can’t find it anywhere. If someone knows could you please share in the comments below? These columns serve as newsstands and advertisements to inform people of events. Of course, in Epcot they are just for decoration.
And with that we have seen all of France. This bridge serves as your exit to start the long walk towards the United Kingdom.
But let’s take one last look in the distance at France. From this view you can clearly see the Eiffel Tower. This replica is roughly 1/10 the size of the real on in Paris.
Thanks for joining me today! Can you believe we only have two more countries to go? If you haven’t already please take a look at Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, and Morocco! And please join me next time to take a look at the United Kingdom. As always thanks for reading!