My all-time favorite quote is a gem from Oprah Winfrey: “Love is in the details.” Yes, Oprah, love is definitely in the details, and Walt Disney World is the perfect example of it.
Just the other afternoon, I stepped foot for the first time into the recently-opened portion of the France pavilion's expansion, and, as someone whose favorite character is the lovable little chef, Remy, I couldn’t help but keep an eye out for the details. Thankfully, while Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and the area closest to the attraction aren’t yet accessible to guests, Disney has layered plenty of details into the new area that can currently be explored. Let’s take a closer look at those love-filled details!
The sign for the attraction that acts as a portal into the new area is a beautiful rendition of the Métropolitain signs that can be found in Paris. The Art Nouveau stylings, including the verdigris patinated finish, tie in beautifully with metalwork seen at the nearby International Gateway Disney Skyliner station. The Art Nouveau style utilizes floral motifs, which can be seen in the metalwork along the side and bottom of the sign posts.
The building on your left as you walk into the expansion features painted floral motifs that continue the theme. The murals are in soft colors, almost as if they’ve been on the exterior walls of the building for years.
To the right as you walk into the area stands the wait time sign for the France pavilion's upcoming attraction. If you look closely at the sign, you'll spot the little chef himself.
Street name markers are present at the corner of the building, and indicate that the street you’re currently on is named after Auguste Gusteau, the very chef who inspires Remy and established the restaurant in which Remy begins creating his culinary masterpieces. The allée that will lead to Remy's Ratatouille Adventure is named Allée des Marchands, as it is named after the merchants and vendors who conduct business along the tree-lined street. From the information that Disney has released thus far, there will be a merchandise kiosk that resembles a Parisian newsstand along the street, and the table service portion of Le Crêperie de Paris will be located there as well.
The area features plenty of benches on which to sit and take a break. The benches, as with the other benches on Disney property, feature physical distancing stickers on one side to allow only one party per bench. If you look closely at the metal framework on the benches along the Rue Auguste Gusteau, you'll see another little rendition of Remy. Touches like these thrill me to no end. Disney doesn't have to do it, but they do. J'adore.
Bright pink geraniums can be seen filling window boxes, stone planters, and beautifully manicured flower beds throughout the expansion. A unique, warm color palette is used in Ratatouille, as if everything is lit from within. The warm browns, coppers, and patinas found in the expansion, highlighted with the bright pink flowers, reflect the palette seen in the film.
Paint and glaze have been used on the walls throughout the area to add age and history to the space, as seen below the stroller parking sign. It's as if this is a Paris street that's been there for years.
The counter service window for Le Crêperie de Paris, Crêpes à Emporter, can be found to the left at the end of the street.
The counter service window will allow guests to carry their crêpes away as they explore the pavilion. As a side note, the Skyliner travels directly over this portion of the pavilion, and, depending on where the sun is in the sky, shadows are cast along the buildings as the gondolas pass by. The movement added by the close proximity of the Skyliner lends added charm and life to the space.
The restrooms, which are now open for guests to use, are on the right side at the end of the street.
A companion restroom is available to the left side of the restrooms' main entrances, and a lovely water fountain is out front and to the right.
And, if you're visiting the expansion just before sunset or into the evening, you just might get to see the Gusteau's sign illuminating the Paris skyline.
While we're not quite able to explore the entire pavilion, what we have been allowed to enjoy is filled with details, and, of course, love. I can't wait to take in the rest of the pavilion and its beauty when it's fully opened this year.