Welcome back to Disneyland Paris at 25!
Today I’m here with Walt’s American Restaurant, located on Main Street USA – one of the only places in the park that honours and pays tribute to Walt Disney.
Also referencing other lands in the Disneyland Park, it is one of the only restaurants that captures this history and it makes for an interesting, whilst elegant setting.
From the exterior architecture to the interior design, the Victorian, turn-of-the-century theming carries through and it is the sophisticated, elegant, upscale table restaurant one would expect it to be.
Entering into the lobby, we are told the story of Walt Disney’s life and achievements through photographs and memorabilia – two of his Oscars and a mechanical bird in a cage are some examples of those displayed in the reception area. Taking the stairs up to the first floor, we follow Walt’s rise to fame including the creation of Mickey Mouse, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, and the construction of Disneyland.
The upstairs area is divided into six areas, each representing an area/aspect of Disneyland Paris and are detailed in their own way.
- Fantasyland – a gothic-style room, decorated with concept art of the land and sculptures of European tales.
- Adventureland – oriental in style, featuring sketches of Pirates of the Caribbean
- Discoveryland – carrying on the style of Jules Verne, displaying many illustrations from his own books.
- Frontierland – a library-like room dominated by Big Thunder Mountain, Phantom Manor, and Thunder Mesa Riverboats
- Grand Canyon – adjacent to the Frontierland room, it displays drawings of the Grand Canyon as seen from the Disneyland Railroad.
- Disneyland Hotel – featuring sketches that inspired the architecture.
Before Lily’s Boutique was introduced next door in 1999, the downstairs lobby used to house three other dining rooms:
- Walt Disney’s Room – paying tribute to his early life in Missouri
- Lillian Disney’s Room – paying tribute to Lily. Many of the props from this room were used to decorate Lilys’ Boutique, and the fireplace does still stand.
- Main Street Room – ornamented with Imagineer Herbert Ryman’s artwork for Main Street USA and a model of the Main Street Transportation Building. Its purpose was to mark the connection between Main Street USA and Marceline, Missouri.
In terms of food that is served, the original concept was to provide dishes that were inspired by Walt Disney’s favourite food. That is still the case today and you can go here, to find everything on offer.
The encompassing ideals of Walt Disney and the concept of Disneyland Park is what I like about this restaurant. It brings together everything that the park stands for, and now with the modern focus on bringing particular Disney brands into the park, Walt’s retains the hisory and concepts that might eventually be rendered obsolete and forgotten.
I have only been in here once on my first trip in 2005, and it would be nice to go back in again, even if it is just to capture all the details that I originally missed.
What I remember the most about Walt’s is sitting next to the window facing Main Street USA and watching the Wonderful World of Disney Parade travel past. I think it was one of the first times it hit me that I was in Disneyland Paris and that is a general feeling I won’t be able to experience with this park again.
That’s all I’ve got for this instalment of Disneyland Paris at 25.
Thanks for reading and have a brazzle dazzle day!
The restaurant’s address (1401 Flower) is a nod to the Walt Disney imagineering headquarters located at 1401 Flower Street, Glendale, California.
Imagineer Eddie Sotto wanted it to be designed as a Club 33 (a private club at Disneyland) for general guests.
The piano and violin soundtrack features a wide selection of popular Disney tracks from its beginning to the opening of Disneyland Paris – Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf to Under the Sea. This still plays in Lily’s Boutique as well.