Construction is well underway for Epcot’s new family-friendly, trackless 3D dark ride themed to Ratatouille.
The ride will be located directly behind the current France pavilion with a large sidewalk stretching along the side of the pavilion connecting the new area to the pre-existing pavilion. Since France already has a number of shops, dining options and quick bites, the new area won’t have much to offer outside of the attraction itself.
Permits show an outdoor covered queue and a small restrooms building, but we’re now learning new details of the one other addition to this new area.
Permits have already confirmed that a crepe stand would be included, located just across the pathway from the new restrooms. Artists renderings of the new expansion show a set of umbrellas in the area we now know will be the crepe stall. WDW News Today
is reporting that this crepe stand will feature "build-your-own’" crepes where guests can select various sweet or savory ingredients for their French desserts. This assembly-line crepe stall will give guest multiple options on what they want allowing for nearly endless options.
The current crepe stand, Crepes des Chefs de France, located on the front of the pavilion overlooking World Showcase Lagoon, will likely change its menu once the new stand opens. Currently, crepes within the France pavilion go for between $4.75 for a fruit-filled crepe to $5.75 for ice cream filled crepe. The new "build-your-own" crepes may be priced differently due to the customization available.
In the article, WDW News Today also reported that the new land, sans ride, may open as early as the end of this year. The ride itself is still expected to open in late 2019, likely around the same time as Star Wars land at DHS.
With only a crepe stand and restrooms, some may ask why even open this new area early. One possibility is revealed in concept art for the expansion.
While permits seem to show the mini-land having only the single pathway along the International Gateway canal, artwork released shows open doorways on new facades that would be the backside of the existing Souvenirs de France gift shop and the Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie.
For the doorways shown in the renderings to be functional in the way they’re shown in the concept art, the layout of the bakery and gift shop would need to be updated. This would require extensive interior work within the shops but the access via the shop would give the new area a second access point while also helping draw traffic to one of the deader areas of the France pavilion. It would also give the ride a nearby gift shop.
Based on the size
of the ride building compared to the Ratatouille ride at the Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris, it’s believed the ride building won’t include an exit gift shop. The Paris version of the land surprisingly doesn’t contain an exit gift shop.
At this time all that has been confirmed is that this new mini-land will include the Ratatouille ride, the restrooms, and a crepe stand. No details on the crepe stand menu have been confirmed.
No opening dates, official ride name, or other information has been shared regarding the new France pavilion expansion.
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