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Happy 30th Birthday EPCOT! Part 1

October 11, 2012

Happy birthday! Epcot at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida recently turned 30 years old. In celebration I thought we’d share a walk around World Showcase together. We won’t tarry long, we have a whole world to cover. Look for more in depth reviews in future posts.

Let’s start our journey in the United Kingdom. Epcot’s UK pavilion combines aspects of Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. Stroll down cobble-stone streets among old-world British architecture and gardens. Venture into a short hedge maze that kids will love. There’s a wide selection of shops, bountiful entertainment and a street-performing comedy improv troupe, and many picturesque settings to relax and enjoy.

Hungry? Me too! Let’s try one of my favorites, the Rose and Crown Dining Room where we can feast on such specialties as cottage pie, Fish & Chips and Bangers & Mash. A variety of beers and ales are offered and it is the perfect place to enjoy IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Request to be seated on the patio before sunset. But get there early, a table on the patio cannot be guaranteed and outdoor dining cannot be requested in advance.

Across the bridge and on to France! For me, there are two great reasons to spend time in Disney’s France Pavailion. People watching and food! Arrive in the early evening when the weather has cooled, grab a glass of wine, a Grey Goose Martini Slush or my favorite, a Grand Marnier Slush. Now find a nice spot to relax and enjoy the atmosphere. France can get quite crowded which gives it an authentic Parisian vibe.

Hungry? Again? Well we are in the right place. Grab a chocolate or strawberry crepe from the Crepes des Chefs de France kiosk or a tart, quiche or sandwich from Boulangerie Patisserie to satiate your hunger. Boulangerie Patisserie is located toward the back of the France pavilion (head towards the Eiffel Tower). Themed to look like a bakery native to a small French village, I am reminded of the opening scene from Beauty and the Beast when there. There are bistro tables on the sidewalk outside where you can enjoy your tart.

In early December 2012 the facilities that house Boulangerie Patisserie will be transformed into a French ice cream parlor. Boulangerie Patisserie will reopen in a larger venue with an expanded menu to include sandwiches and salads with seating for 90 guests.

In addition to the quick service options you’ll also find two of the Walt Disney World Resort’s most beloved table service establishments, Les Chefs de France and Bistro de Paris. Les Chefs de France is the more casual of the two. With large windows that overlook World Showcase it has a very airy feeling offset tastefully with redwood tables and chairs over a gorgeous mosaic floor. Make sure you visit for lunch Monday through Saturday and your table will likely get a visit from Remy from the Ratatouille film.

The upscale Bistro de Paris restaurant is located upstairs one flight above Les Chefs de France. The formal decor in Bistro de Paris captures the romance and elegance from turn-of-the-20th century Paris. Though coat and tie is not required, there is a resort casual dress code. Many of the menu items are quite rich and undeniable French. Children are welcome but be aware that this is one of Disney’s more subdued restaurants and there is no kid’s menu.

Scheduled for completion in December 2012, Bistro de Paris will have a new name, new dining room, new costumes for the servers and a new menu. The atmosphere is reported to be less formal but still more elegant than Les Chef de France.

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