Visit an empty France Pavilion, any day of the week: Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie. Opening at 9am, Less Halles Boulanderie & Patisserie offers a unique opportunity to visit France before World Showcase Opens at 11am
With little fanfare, compared to Starbucks in all four parks, Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie opened in World Showcase’s France Pavilion in 2013. This “new” quick service dining location features “fresh baguette sandwiches, pastries and baked goods”. According to the official Disney description, you can “Sample delectable treats and tempting delicacies at the traditional French bakery – from soups and salads to fresh baguette sandwiches and pastries.”
“Delectable treats and tempting delicacies” – That’s a quote from Disney.
The previous bakery “Boulangerie Patisserie” had been in need of a makeover, if nothing else an adequate queuing area for guests. What’s interesting about this renovation is that it’s completely new construction. In fact, the previous “Boulangerie Patisserie” location has reopened as L’Artisan des Glaces, featuring artisanal ice cream and sorbets.
The new location is an extension built behind a previous retail location in the far back corner of the pavilion. Believe it or not, Disney removed part of a merchandise location for seating in the new location. It works well, and if you weren’t familiar with the previous merchandise location, you wouldn’t miss much.
The bakery, as you would expect, features a wide variety of croissants, fresh fruit tarts, cookies, cakes, eclairs, crème brulee, mousse and cream puffs. What you might not expect are the sandwiches (on French baquette and/or croissants) including ham & Swiss and a traditional B.L.T. and an assortment of soups (lobster bisque) and fresh quiche, making the bakery more than just a breakfast stop. You can also grab a glass of champagne, wine or a beer (1664 Kronenbourg) if that’s more your speed.
What I found most interesting are the hours. As everyone is aware, Epcot is broken into Future World and World Showcase. Standard park hours have Future World operating from 9:00am – 9:00pm, and World Showcase operating from 11:00am to 9:00pm. (The exception being the “Princess Storybook Breakfast” at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway, open as early as 7:00am).
After a quick glance at my times-guide, the 9:00am opening of “Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie” stood out like a sore thumb. (Everything else in World Showcase opens at 11:00am or later, the new French bakery opens at 9:00am) Ever want to get your picture in front the France pavilion with literally no one else in the picture? Here is your chance.
If you’re staying in the Epcot Resort Area, my favorite resort location, you can walk to or take the boat to the Epcot International Gateway entrance. When you enter, the cast member near the bridge to France will point you towards Future World. Let them know you are headed to the “new” France bakery, it’s that easy! (Keep it our little secret ;-). France will be empty (assuming it’s before 10:00am), so start taking those pictures. You won’t be able to get past France. There is a rope and cast member just before Morocco, so head all the way to the back of the France pavilion. When you walk in, you’ll smell the fresh baguettes and croissants before you see the bakery.
The empty bakery is a perfect spot to start a day in Epcot. Another little secret, the merchandise location and “Kidcot Fun Stop” are also open at 9:00am. Take your time, color a Duffy or Perry!!!
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