The best part of the France pavilion at Disney’s Epcot Center

The France Pavilion at Epcot greets guests earlier than any other country in World Showcase
The France Pavilion at Epcot greets guests earlier than any other country in World Showcase /

The best part of the France pavilion at Disney’s Epcot Center is hidden in the back.

When it comes to Disney’s Epcot Center there are plenty of countries to choose from but there is a hidden gem inside the France pavilion.

I have been going to Epcot for decades and it was only last year that I discovered something that changed my life when it came to visiting the World Showcase at this Disney Park. The France pavilion is located across the bridge from the United Kingdom Village and can be seen easily from anywhere in the World Showcase thanks to the tall Eiffel Tower replica.

As you come to France there is a store that sells wine and a restaurant, Monsieur Paul, as well as some street performers depending on the time of day. Along the waterfront there are artists and during the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, a kiosk with samples of French cuisine. An easy fix for those not wanting to eat at the restaurant, although I do recommend the restaurant if you have the time.

Behind the restaurant are a few small shops and an entry point to a French 180-degree movie “The Impressions of France” that takes you from the Northern reaches to the South of France in an engaging short film that gets you out of the heat and into some air conditioning. It’s also fun to watch.

Behind the main restaurant with its glass windows that look out over the street,  is an ice cream shop. Skip it and go back further. The ice cream is great but what you really need to have, is tucked behind the gift shop.

France bakery at Epcot
Pastries and breads made fresh daily at the French bakery in the France Pavilion at Epcot. /

There you will find the best of what France has to offer. Tucked all the way in the back behind the shops and the theater. The Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie. The bakery.

This is not only the best part of all of the World Showcase countries, but it is not very expensive. For example, a fresh full-sized loaf of French bread will set you back about $4.00 and it is so worth it. From pastries to small quiches, to bread, fruit tarts, and even ham and cheese croissants, there is something here that everyone can and will enjoy. My favorite? the ham and cheese on buttered French bread.

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The best part of all this? Well, World Showcase doesn’t open until 11:00 am so you can venture no further than France. You are greeted with a cast member who turns you around and sends you back over the bridge. The bakery, however, is open and all you have to say is “I’m going to the bakery” and they will let you pass. You can also get everything to go! On my checkout day, I head over to Epcot one last time, run to the bakery and grab some bread and sandwiches for my long drive home!

There are times when the bakery can be a little busy but it is never too busy that I have seen. It’s a wonderful hidden gem that everyone should take in. The food is great, the cast members who are there from France are wonderfully nice, and you won’t empty your wallet unless, like me, you just want one of everything!