Okay, I have to admit this little fact, but for years I absolutely hated Epcot. There, I’ve said it. From my first visit in 1983 I viewed a day of touring that park like it was torture and clearly I was being punished for something. Granted, that first trip there wasn’t a lot to see – the park wasn’t nearly finished and all of the attractions were educational! As a then 13 year old, what was the point of being on summer vacation if I had to be subjected to educational vacations?
Later on when I went back as an adult, I found it mildly entertaining but still, touring World Showcase was still kind of a drag. Of course it was my husbands absolute favorite part of the trip- after all of the walking trails in Animal Kingdom. That’s another brand of torture for me, as well.
But back in 2004 we were doing our day in Epcot when I finally opened my mind a little bit and took in my World Showcase surroundings. One country truly won me over and that was France. Why? It was simple, I finally found the Beast and had my picture taken with him! That’s all it took! It’s not a great picture but if I hadn’t been waiting for him, I would never have spent so much time exploring all that this little part of the showcase had to offer!
One of the first things that comes to mind is that even though you see the Eiffel Tower, the pavilion itself, seems to be sort of tucked away; like you could just walk by and not feel like you were missing something. Take the time for that second look because the wonders of this spot are a treat. Take a step off of the beaten snack trail and try out the Patisserie – you’ll find cookies, croissants, eclairs, mousse, quiche, cheesecake, souffle, tarts, cheese platters and sandwiches accompanied by French roast coffee. Yummy.
As a Beauty and the Beast fan, I was thrilled to find a small section dedicated to the story in the form of the famed stained glass from the movie. It just made me fall in love with the pavilion a little bit more. Great food, wonderful shops – you’ll find perfumes…there are several carts scattered around. You can shop for souvenirs, get a made to order crepe or visit the wine kiosk which has fantastic Grey Goose vodka and Grand Marnier slushies. Not bad for a little grown up break!
Each country that is represented in World Showcase has amazing shops and food for visitor’s to enjoy but for me, it was still all about the characters and my meeting with both Belle and the Beast was truly the highlight of that particular trip!