Celebrate Bastille Day at Walt Disney World
Photo credit: CharacterCentral.net
Last year on July 14, I found myself sitting down to dinner at a very traditional French restaurant in my neighborhood. My mom was visiting for the weekend and we had only just started talking about where we should go for dinner when we saw this indoor/outdoor French place adorned in crisp red, white, and blue flags. Considering we were staring in the face of the definition of a fine dining establishment…the place was a full blown party!
Happy diners were smiling and enjoying delicious smelling cuisine like garlic-y mussels, and piping hot roast chickens were flying out of the bustling kitchen. My mom and I had walked right into the heart of our first Bastille Day celebration, and although we aren’t French, we wanted to get in on their Independence Day celebration…if only for the flowing wine and spirits! Let’s just say, the two of us didn’t have to exchange a word, we knew where we were eating dinner!
This Bastille Day, I’m far from that neighborhood restaurant, so my celebration of the holiday definitely won’t be as cool as last years’. If you happen to be in Walt Disney World on July 14th, you certainly won’t have to search far to experience Bastille Day like a true Frenchman/woman, and there isn’t a better way to get into that French mindset than by visiting with the Princess who directly hails from the land of Independence!
You can hang out with Belle in her library and hear the tale of the day she and the Beast fell in love by stopping off at Enchanted Tales With Belle. Not only will you step into the Beast’s castle in the middle of France, Lumiere’s spot-on accent will get you right in the Bastille Day spirit!
Over at Epcot, Impressions de France is the first stop you should make if you’re after a true life Bastille Day experience. The continuous film packs plenty of French history into a narrative and visual video that’s short enough to hold the attention spans of even the most antsy kids.
Bastille Day Eats
Let’s be honest, every worthwhile holiday celebration revolves around the food, and Bastille Day at Walt Disney World certainly doesn’t have to be any different! If you can snag a dinner reservation at Be Our Guest, you’ll be treated to an menu full of authentically prepared French dishes! The meal kicks off with warm baguette and butter and from there, it’s yours to create! One of the best steaks I’ve ever had has come from hands of the enchanted chefs in the Be Our Guest kitchen, and the mashed potatoes? They’re worthy of their own holiday.
Over in Epcot, Les Chefs de France is the dining destination located in the heart of the France Pavilion. Featuring classic French architecture, low lighting, and multiple intimate-feeling dining rooms, the food isn’t the only thing you’ll be talking about after you leave! Speaking of food, the chefs in the kitchen hail directly from France itself, so you should expect nothing short of an honest French preparation of each of the dishes.
Bastille Day is, at its core, a holiday! If you invite me to any holiday celebration and there isn’t at least one scrumptious dessert for me to indulge in, you’re doing ‘holidays’ all wrong! If you’re a pastry fan, the cinnamon roll from Gaston’s Tavern is the best pastry you can find in the Parks, especially when you ask for it with (complimentary!) extra frosting and makes for one filling breakfast! If you’re starting your day in Epcot, you can indulge in one of the pastries from the bakery! Croissants, flaky puff pastries (and even sandwiches for fans of a savory morning meal) will fuel you up to take on Bastille Day with the energy you need! The pastry parade doesn’t have to end at breakfast though, and if your cravings for a warm treat spike later in the day, the crepe cart has got your fruity and chocolatey needs handled!
If I had to choose just one treat to savor on Bastille Day, there’s no way you’d catch me with anything other than a few scoops of perfectly rounded ice cream sitting on a house made waffle cone from L’Artisan des Glaces! Not only is this the only place to get hand scooped ice cream in World Showcase (someone please get on that) but also the richest and most flavor-dense ice cream of any theme park ice cream I’ve ever tasted!
Bastille Day can be celebrated in so many ways across the Resort, and I know for a fact that customization is key to any successful Walt Disney World celebration like this. Maybe you can start your day in Magic Kingdom with a colossal cinnamon roll from Gaston’s Tavern and hear a story told by Belle. Or you might want to educate yourself on France’s history with a screening of the film in Epcot and then shop for some France-themed merchandise in the nearby shop! Whatever way you get in on the fun, make sure to let us know in the comments below!
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Special thanks to Maria Salerno for writing this article: Hiya pal! I am a NYC-based writer thrilled to be a part of your Disney vacation planning! I’m a WDW Annual Passholder, so you can find me in the parks regularly throughout the year. In addition to being a Disney Parks loving girl, I’m also a Disney toy and merchandise collector, a runDisney enthusiast, and Disney music and movie aficionado. You can follow me on Instagram: NYCtoAP and find me on YouTube: NYCtoAP. Thanks for reading, hope to see ya real soon!