October 1st marks a number of big events at Walt Disney World. Of course, it is the official 50th anniversary of the resort. In addition to that momentous occasion, it is also Epcot’s 39th birthday. The park opened to the public on October 1, 1982. In 2021, Epcot will be officially adding a brand-new ride and what amounts to almost a tiny-land in World Showcase.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure has been added to the France Pavilion, but the ride is not all you can expect to experience in this section of Epcot starting in October. Any Disney Skyliner rider has seen over the past year that Disney is working on an addition to the France Pavilion which accommodates the attraction, a restaurant, some wonderful photo opportunities, and even a restroom.
Recently, I had the chance to take part in an Annual Passholder Preview of the entire area. There was no way I was going to miss it because I knew I wanted to have the whole story for you and all of my clients.
I will not go into any spoilers about the ride because I know a lot of you will want to experience it fresh for the first time. The ride is a trackless, 3D experience that finds you shrunken down to the size of a rat. You go through quite an adventure while trying not to get caught. The ride combines 3D screens, physical set-pieces, and 4D effects like smell, temperature, and other tricks to bring your journey to life.
As someone who is 6’4”, I would suggest that my fellow tall guests try to sit in the middle seat of the ride vehicle. There are three seats to a row, and the corner seats have the lap-bar coming down pretty tight for those with long legs. It is also worth noting that each vehicle has two rows, and I was placed in the back row. That first row sits lower to the ground so that being in the back row shouldn’t take away from your enjoyment. Both rows seem to have pretty good views.
It stands to reason that this ride will be very popular in the first few years of operation. It is by no means an “E-Ticket” ride, but it is based on a very popular movie. It is also an attraction the entire family can enjoy in a park that many people wrongly label as “not being for kids.” This will be a ride many families with kids will rush to experience. With that in mind, Disney will be instituting a virtual queue, much like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Even with limiting the standby line for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, the Imagineers decided to give a fairly interesting physical queue. There are many picturesque locations while you wait.
La Creperie de Paris
The Annual Passholder Preview provided guests with access to the new restaurant near Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, La Creperie de Paris. This is a sit-down restaurant with a quick-service window. I wanted to get the full experience, so I decided to try the sit-down section. After waiting in line for about 15 minutes for a table, I ordered the prix-fixe menu.
For $33, I was given the choice of a soup or salad as a starter, a buckwheat crepe as an entrée, and a dessert crepe to cap off my meal. The prix-fixe also comes with a beverage, which can be hard cider, soda, or coffee. They also offer a prix-fixe menu for kids that is less expensive.
The soup of the day was a vegetarian creamy potato soup. I went with that over the garden salad, and I was glad I made that choice. The soup was very flavorful and hearty. It was early in my theme park day, but it was substantial enough to carry me during my ventures through Epcot. The portion size was also pretty decent.
The entrée is where things fell short for me. When in Rome (or in this case, Paris), I wanted to try the ratatouille buckwheat crepe. The fact of the matter is that a buckwheat crepe is an acquired taste. It is very strong and a flavor palateI would imagine could be strange for many non-adventurous eaters. That being said, the ratatouille center was exquisite. Whether it be in festivals or now at this restaurant, Disney knows how to make a tasty ratatouille. If you decide to give this a try, just be prepared for the buckwheat crepe to possibly be a little strong.
As if you had any doubt, the dessert crepe was the start of the show. There are a lot of tempting sweet crepes on the menu, which I will certainly try when the window service opens to the general public. Crepe flavors were banane, melba, poire, gourmande, and pomme. I decided on the gourmande flavor, which had a hazelnut chocolate spread and whipped cream. It was everything you want in a dessert crepe. While the item is absolutely sweet, it isn’t an overpowering sweetness. The hazelnut spread was strong without being overpowering, and the whipped cream was a nice complement. I want to try all of the sweet crepes at some point, but if I was a little less curious, I could see myself just sticking with this one every time I visit Epcot and being perfectly happy with that arrangement!
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is just what Epcot needs. There are now crowd-pleasing, family-friendly rides on both sides of World Showcase with Remy joining Frozen: Ever After in the Norway Pavilion. It adds another dining option to the France Pavilion, which has a tendency to draw huge lines from Les Halles, the bakery at the exit of the theater. This should help to balance out those crowds.
This new area is also completely in the back of the France Pavilion. It doesn’t take away from the authentic feel you get as you approach. You are not getting another “E-Ticket” thrill-ride, but this is the type of attraction Disney does best. Almost everyone in your party will enjoy it, and some of them will absolutely love it.