Pavilion Setting: The 1/10th size replica of the Eiffel Tower is the most famous (replica) monument in the France Pavilion. The buildings are themed like those found in Paris between 1870 and 1910. Otherwise known as “La Belle Epoque,” or “The Beautiful Time,” France features a gorgeous courtyard area with a fountain and immaculately maintained gardens.
Attraction Info: France’s main attraction is an 18-minute film titled “Impressions de France.” Projected onto five large screens, Impressions provides a 200 degree panoramic view of France, its people, and its culture. You’ll experience many of France most popular destinations, including the gardens at Versailles, the Eiffel Tower, and the breathtaking French Alps. Unlike the films at China or Canada, you’ll be able to sit and relax during the air-conditioned show. Ask the cast member at the entrance how long it will be until the next show begins. If it’s more than a few minutes, check out the stores in the meantime. The theater won’t fill up before you return. Impressions is an excellent break from walking around the World Showcase and I would recommend taking the time to view it.
The Serveur Amusant and his comedy/acrobatics show is also available for your viewing pleasure in the courtyard area throughout the afternoon. This is a funny and daring show in which the performers build a tower out of chairs and tables and then juggle and do various tricks while standing at the top of their creation. Check your Times Guide for when this 20 minute show starts and make a point of being in France to view it. It’s your author’s favorite.
Dining Options: Chefs de France, Bistro de Paris, and Boulangerie Patisserie are all excellent choices. Be sure to check out the Boulangerie for a delicious, relatively inexpensive treats. The only problem is its small and lines quickly build at the Boulangerie. There is also a crepe kiosk that serves delicious crepes, ice cream, and assorted beverages.
Drink Around the World: Along with Mexico and Germany, France is one of the better drinking destinations in the World Showcase. The kiosk in the France Pavilion serves a variety of wines and champagne by the glass ($6-$12), Kronenbourg 1644 beer ($6), and the extremely popular Grey Goose Citron Lemonade Slush and Grand Mariner Orange Slush ($9 each). Although not particularly manly drinks, both slushes taste like liquid candy and I would recommend either if you’re looking for a nice cool beverage. The Kronenbourg 1664 isn’t a particularly good beer, but it’s inoffensive and easy to drink.
Character Sightings: Belle and Beast of Beauty and the Beast fame are stationed in France throughout the day. Princess Aurora and Marie from The Aristocats also make appearances. Check your Times Guide for times.
Shopping Opportunities: France is certainly known for its shopping so there shouldn’t be any surprise that there’s plenty to buy in their Pavilion. Guerlain, owned by the Louis Vuitton conglomerate, is the title sponsor and many of their products are available at La Signature. There is also another parfumerie with a variety of other fragrances for men and women. Expect to find a wide variety of other items as well, including wine, chocolates, designer soap, clothing, miniature Eiffel Towers, and a plethora of other items.