A look inside Walt’s restaurant at Disneyland Paris
Walt’s restaurant on Main Street, U.S.A. at Disneyland Paris – which has reopened as part of the resort’s 30th-anniversary celebration – is a Victorian-style tribute to Walt Disney where guests can enter six magical worlds, all in one place.
With a menu offering American cuisine with European influences, each dining room in Walt’s restaurant is themed to one of six magical worlds that can be found at Disneyland Park – Fantasyland, Adventureland, Discoveryland, Disneyland Hotel, Frontierland, and Grand Canyon.
Fun Fact: The restaurant’s entrance is located on Flower Street (a pathway that leads to Liberty Court, on the west side) and specifically at number 1401 – an address that pays tribute to the Walt Disney Imagineering headquarters at 1401 Flower Street in Glendale, Calif.
Guests are greeted in the lobby by a bust of Walt and photos of his parents, his brother Roy, and his wife, Lillian. Near the piano, a zoetrope – an optical device that preceded animated films – reminds visitors that Walt continued to revolutionize the art of animation throughout his career.
The same design for Walt’s interlaced initials as on the wrought-iron balcony of his apartment in New Orleans Square at Disneyland in Calif. is engraved on windowpanes and decorative elements in the room, including the counter at the restaurant’s entrance.
Diners should also make sure not to miss the cage installed on the table that pays tribute to the mechanical bird Walt noticed during a 1949 trip to New Orleans. Walt brought the bird back to California so Imagineers could reproduce its mechanism – and the Disney parks tradition of audio-animatronic characters was born, including figures in Disneyland Paris’ Pirates of the Caribbean and Phantom Manor attractions.
The restaurant’s second floor is inspired by the famous Club 33, but unlike the private restaurant in Disneyland, all Disneyland Paris guests can enjoy a meal in the elegant themed rooms at Walt’s.
The Six Magical Worlds of Walt’s Restaurant:
- Fantasyland – The gothic-style room presents an early vision of Fantasyland, including paintings, concept art, and sculptures of some of the classic European stories that inspired the land, like “Sleeping Beauty,” “Pinocchio,” and “Alice in Wonderland.”
- Adventureland – This room was influenced by the late 19th-century “orientalism” design style and features sketches of the Pirates of the Caribbean ride by Imagineer and Disney Legend Marc Davis.
- Discoveryland – This room reflects the strong influence of Jules Verne on the design of Discoveryland, including a collection of illustrations from his books. The room’s fireplace features a celestial sphere reminiscent of the Jules Verne novel “From the Earth to the Moon” with a scale model of Verne’s Nautilus (designed by the art director of the attraction Les Mystères du Nautilus) suspended inside.
- Disneyland Hotel – One of the restaurant’s smaller rooms features sketches that inspired the architecture of the Disneyland Hotel, including one of the initial concepts for the hotel’s façade inspired by the historic Hotel Del Coronado, which was built in 1888 near San Diego, Calif.
- Frontierland – This library-like room inspired by the work of American artist Frederic Sackrider Remington (who’s known for his bronze sculptures of the Old West) is themed to the haunted town of Thunder Mesa with references to Big Thunder Mountain, Phantom Manor, and Thunder Mesa Riverboats throughout.
- Grand Canyon – This quiet space next to the main Frontierland room displays drawings of the Grand Canyon as seen from the Disneyland Railroad attraction.
Walt’s restaurant originally had three additional rooms on the first floor: one that paid tribute to Walt’s love trains, including photos of the model he built at his Los Angeles home; another related to Main Street, U.S.A. (including sketches drawn by legendary Imagineer Herb Ryman who designed the original street for Disneyland in California); and the third representing Walt’s connection to Europe, including mementos from his European trips with his wife Lillian, like the famous photo of their 1965 visit to “Disney Street” in London. In 1999, the downstairs rooms were redesigned to create Lilly’s Boutique, named after Walt’s wife – a fitting tribute located next to the restaurant that honors her husband.
For Disneyland Paris’ 30th-anniversary, resort chefs created a brand-new “bistronomy” menu (bistro dishes cooked with haute-cuisine methods), all inspired by Chicago and Marceline, the cities where Walt was born and spent his childhood. Some of the recipes even include the famous Isigny cream to honor the Norman origin of the Disney name.
Due to the popularity of Walt’s restaurant, Disneyland Paris recommends making a reservation in advance (up to two months before arrival). Click here for more information.
Shame they removed the downstair rooms, they werd part of the story this restaurant is telling. If you are seated on the upper floor, take the elevator, it is a period replica.
At the reception desk, there is a contraption that was used in the past to send your reservation card upstairs, unfortunately it hasn‘t been working in a long time. Same as the little cable cars running on the ceiling of the emporium, which in an original store of that period would have been used to send cash to the back room.