For the 50+ Traveler

While we continue to patiently await the opening of the new EPCOT France Pavilion extension and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, which transforms riders by “shrinking them to rat-size,” we have gotten our first behind-the-scenes glimpse of the pavilion. Disney Imagineer Zach Riddley has shared some insight about and photos of the new expansion on Instagram.

“I’ve loved seeing your reactions and fan photos from our recently opened portion of the France pavilion expansion at EPCOT,” posted Riddley. “There’s still more to come when Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure opens this year, but I wanted to share some of the fun design details our Imagineering team has created to bring this little piece of Paris directly to EPCOT.”

Riddley’s socially shared journey begins with two photos of the new entrance, an art nouveau-style archway that is modeled after the Metro station entrances in Paris. “Made of cast-iron and displaying a ‘Ratatouille’ sign inspired by font used throughout the Paris Metro,” posted Riddley.

In photo #3, Riddley takes us along a beautiful walkway, which he says will remind anyone who has been to Paris of strolls along the River Seine. Take a good look at this photo to the right about midway. Here you’ll see gondolas from the International Gateway Disney Skyliner station, which has a stop between the new extension and the United Kingdom Pavilion.

In photos #4 through #7, Riddley takes us up the Allee des Marchands, or Alley of Merchants, to show us how Imagineers tried to include every possible detail, from the textures and materials used to the accuracy of something as simple as a light post, to transport you to Paris, as only Disney can.

“Cast-iron benches sitting adjacent to ornate wrought iron railings, each revealing subtle hints of Chef Remy in their design,” posted Riddley. Every detail was considered, down to the materials, colors, signage, and exact species of trees.

In photo #7, take a good look at the street signs on the corner of the buildings. Here you’ll see that you’re at the corner of Allee des Marchands and Auguste Gusteau, named for the ghostly chef who inspires Remy -- and who was once-owner of the restaurant where Remy begins creating his culinary masterpieces.

“This is a small section in the grand design of EPCOT and even the forthcoming France pavilion expansion, but the details we are revealing are important when building upon stories of the real world and those inspired by it!” posted Riddley.

Themepark Insider is also reporting that since Riddley’s Instagram post, the park is allowing visitors to walk along the route Riddley shows, leading up to the entrance of Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure ride, which is not open just yet. Excited about all things Disney? Consider: