New Details – Epcot France Expansion (Ratatouille Attraction)

D23 Expo 2017 was full of Disney Parks & Resorts announcements. If you missed it, you can listen to the Parks Panel Here With those announcements came lots of concept art and general statements.  Statements like:  “Ratatouille inspired attraction will be coming to the France Pavilion, similar to the attraction that opened at Disneyland Paris in 2014.”  That’s all we have to go on?  That statement and the concept art below?   Well that all changed recently with the application for work permits by Reddy Creek Improvement District.   

Concept Art from the D23 Expo 2017 doesn't show much detail of the anticipated Ratatouille Attraction in Epcots France.
Concept Art from the D23 Expo 2017.  Doesn’t show much detail of the anticipated Ratatouille Attraction in Epcots France.

Let’s take a look at some “Before” images first.  This is a picture I took from World Showcase and a screen shot from google Earth – both from 2017.

Epcot France - As seen at night sometime during 2017 - the "Before Picture" as in before Ratatouille
Epcot France – As seen at night sometime during 2017 – the “Before Picture” as in before Ratatouille
This google earth image can also be considered the "Before" image of France. This is taken from Google Earth December 2017
This Google Earth image can also be considered the “Before” image of France. This is taken from Google Earth December 2017

Here is the same Google Earth image with some labels, noting most of the space between France and Morocco was being used for “Festival” Kiosk storage – interesting.

This google earth image can also be considered the "Before" image of France. This is taken from Google Earth December 2017 - With added labels for clarity (Yep - that's how small the Eiffel Tower really is)
This Google Earth image can also be considered the “Before” image of France. This is taken from Google Earth December 2017 – With added labels for clarity (Yep – that’s how small the Eiffel Tower really is)

Now let’s look at the map that was submitted with the permit application.  This shows the full scope of the France expansion, the buildings, the landscaping, retention ponds, back stage areas and general infrastructure needed.  (These work permits were submitted to South Florida Water Management)

The project plan as submitted by "Ready Creek Improvement District" to "South Florida Water Management"
The project plan as submitted by “Reddy Creek Improvement District” to “South Florida Water Management”

It’s interesting to note that the plans include a restroom, similar to the plans submitted to South Florida Water for Norway a few years back – interesting that water permits are the source of so much additional detail.

Now let’s overlay both of those images.  The full plan and the Google Earth image..

Overlay of the Full Project plan to the Google Earth Image - This includes all landscaping and back stage details - Basically the entire area behind France, between France and Morocco and behind Morocco
Overlay of the Full Project plan to the Google Earth Image – This includes all landscaping and back stage details – Basically the entire area behind France, between France and Morocco and behind Morocco.

The images fit together like a glove, confirming that the existing theater and bakery will not be impacted by the new construction.  The image also shows just how extensive this expansion is covering the area all around France, the area between France and Morocco and land behind Morocco.

While that’s impressive, let’s peel back a little and only look at the new building that are being constructed (queue, extended queue, restroom and attraction building itself)..

Overlay of the Building Only to the Google Earth Image - This includes Only the Building, and is a better representation of what the After will look like (Guest Building, non back stage)
Overlay of the Building Only to the Google Earth Image – This includes Only the Building, and is a better representation of what the after will look like (Guest Buildings, no back stage)

That overlay represents what you will see after the construction walls come down.  It gives us a great idea of the size.  The footprint of the attraction is about the same size as the American Adventure.  Let me add some labels for clarity, at least what I think is clarity and just for fun, I’ll add in the approximate path and location of the yet to be constructed Disney Skyliner.

Overlay of the Building Only to the Google Earth Image - with labels and Disney Skyliner Station
Overlay of the Building Only to the Google Earth Image – with labels and Disney Skyliner Station

A few interesting things:

  • Queues, Queues and more Queues.   While I’m sure some are fast pass vs standby and some have interactive elements, this attraction is set to consume people, and prepared for some long wait times.
  • Where is the entrance?  What I think is the front door, doesn’t align with the original concept art exactly.  It appears that the very top of the image shows an opening that could be used as the door – placing it to the right of the existing building.   Or that could just be the end of a long switch back that starts in the center.  The image I created below shows the entrance at the front right of the pavilion.   I could be completely wrong, but love to speculate.
  • Where is the exit?  Of course, the exit is at the gift shop, but it’s not clear if that’s the existing gift shop or new construction?  With the new restrooms the two existing “Toilettes” could be removed providing space for the exit to flow into the existing bakery and gift shop.  Maybe?  But that would create a lot of congestion, unless the entrance is indeed outside to the right.
  • The Disney Skyliner is going to pass close to the new attraction building, so we can expect theming all around the new construction, not just the front.
  • Restroom – Thank you Disney, an improved restroom in France is much needed.  The two existing “Toilettes” – as in two singular shared gender stalls just aren’t enough.

So my guess is that the entrance to the new attraction will be on the right side as you face the pavilion, but – I could be completely wrong.  Regardless, this will be a wonderful addition to Epcot and a perfect reason to re-visit Walt Disney World during the 50th Anniversary Celebration in 2021.

Epcot France - Based on information obtained from Disney Permits, the best we can determine is that the attraction entrance will be on the right side of the existing building - with the queue wrapping around to the back toward morocco and the new attraction building
Epcot France – Based on information obtained from Disney Permits, the best we can determine is that the attraction entrance will be on the right side of the existing building – with the queue wrapping around to the back toward Morocco and the new attraction building

If I missed something please comment below!

Now…  What about that Guardians of the Galaxy thing in Future World?   I’ll save that for next time!

 

SamsDisneyDiary

Sam has been visiting Walt Disney World since 1986. The spark from those early trips lead to an interest in the "How" and "Why" behind Disney Parks and Resorts and the thrill of discovering the history of how we got here today. That History is still being written. In addition to participating on The Disney Nerds Podcast you can find blogs at www.samsdisneydiary.com

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