As visitors walk over the Pont des Arts inspired footbridge that crosses the World Showcase lagoon canal offshoot, they will feel as though they have crossed the Seine River into France. As on the banks of the Seine, artists here sketch along the waterfront. This charming pavilion includes detailed street scenes with a definite Gallic flavor. A romantic sidewalk café, warm delicious smells emanate from the bakery, quaint shops with mansard roofs of slate or copper, casement windows and chimney stacks reminiscent of the charm filled "city of lights" are sure to enchant and delight all who pass through here. The "piece de resistance" is a scaled down reproduction of Paris' most famous landmark, the Eiffel Tower, as it looms behind this engaging architecture. The architecture of the last decades of the 19th century inspired the main entrance to the pavilion. The passageway between "La Signature" and "Plume et Palette" shops is modeled after the Art Nouveau-style of the Metro's (Parisian subway system) entrance. This passageway, or arcade, leads to a charming little park modeled after a painting by Georges Seurat, "A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jutte." More of the beauty of France and its people are showcased in the "Impressions de France" film shown in the Palais du Cinema. While not a 360º Circle-Vision presentation like those in Canada and China, this film is shown on 5 large screens that are a 200º view and there are seats in this theatre. The film shows the diverse geography of France in its vineyards, the French Alps, a glacier and the spectacular Mediterranean coastline of Cannes. The rich culture is evident in Bastille Day celebrations, the beautiful native costumes, famous landmarks like the Eiffel Tower, the Versailles and the Chambord Chateau (which incidentally provided some of the inspiration for the Cinderella castle). An extraordinary compilation of French composers provides the soundtrack for this enchanting presentation. This 18 minute travel film will be appreciated more by adults than by small children. Be sure to keep an eye on the "Living Statues", these talented individuals are full of surprises. Check the park guide maps for appearance times. Chefs de France -
Not only is the French cuisine amongst the best in the world, it is amongst the best in Walt Disney World! The "Chefs de France" serves nouvelle cuisine created by three of France's premier chefs. In this elegant dining room, you can begin your dining experience with a bowl of classic French Onion Soup or escargots. Some of the delicious entrees include grilled salmon, Mediterranean seafood casserole, pot au feu, Duck a l'Orange, Cassoulet and other lamb, beef and chicken dishes. At the Boulangerie Patisserie, visitors will find cookies, croissants, eclairs, mousse, palmier ("Elephant ear" pastry), quiche, cheesecake, souffle, tarts and sandwiches accompanied by French roast coffee. You may choose to sit at an outdoor table to soak in the ambience. There is an abundance of shops, and merchandise, to choose from in the pavilion of France. Art enthusiasts will find fine oil paintings and prints of all kinds, collectible miniatures and crystal pieces in the "Plume et Palette". "La Signature" is a parfumerie with fine French fragrances and bath products. Chocolates, cookies and souvenirs are found in the "Gallerie des Halles". Sophisticated casual clothing for both men and women is sold at "La mode Francaise". At "La Maison du Vin", guests can sample different wines (for a fee) and purchase their favorite French wines. All areas of the France pavilion are wheelchair accessible. FUN FACTS: Say “hello” in French by saying “bonjour” (bohn-ZHOOR). HIDDEN MICKEYS: Check out the grates at the base of the trees.