For fans of the Disney-Pixar movie Ratatouille, the wait is nearly over.
On October 1st (the day Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration begins) Ratatouille: The Adventure will officially open to guests in World Showcase at EPCOT.
The new Ratatouille attraction, located on the grounds of the France pavilion, will be similar to the Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquee de Remy [which translates into Remy’s Totally Zany Adventure] in the Walt Disney Studios Park in Disneyland Paris.
Expect the EPCOT version of the attraction to stay true to the original zany attraction, with a few added twists thrown in for good measure. For instance, the queue area in EPCOT is more elaborate than the Disneyland Paris attraction, with a faux movie theater entrance and an artist’s loft among the scenes you’ll walk through.
The Parisian version, which we rode in 2016, is a richly detailed, cleverly conceived 3-D attraction in the Toon Studio section of the park. Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquee de Remy is part of an immersive area based on the 2007 Disney-Pixar movie of the same name.
In France, Disney’s planners went the extra mile to recreate a quaint, Parisian-inspired courtyard filled with authentic touches like lampposts and gushing fountains. The area very much looked as if it had been transplanted from a street in Paris.
There’s a restaurant [Bistrot Chez Remy], a gift shop and, of course, the main course – Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquee de Remy. At EPCOT, the France pavilion has added a new show building, decked out in the appropriate Gothic style, which has been in clear view of Disney Skyway riders since 2019.
The fact that the France pavilion already had the look and feel of Paris – complete with Versailles-like gardens – made it a lot easier to incorporate the new attraction.
Indeed, Ratatouille: The Adventure blends seamlessly into the Parisian ambiance on display at EPCOT. There’s a fountain similar to the French version, only on EPCOT, the water is infused with air, giving it the appearance that the fountain water is bubbling champagne.
There’s even a new restaurant on the France grounds – La Creperie de Paris – which will feature both Table Service and Quick Service options. Since opening in 2014, the Ratatouille area at Disneyland Paris has been extremely popular with guests.
The attraction’s queue quickly transports you into what Beth Clapperton, the attraction’s art director, referred to as “Pixar’s Paris.” Recognizable music from the film serves as a pleasing backdrop as you enter the queue. Then, as in the movie itself, Gusteau’s sign magically comes to life, setting the stage for a whirlwind trip into Remy’s world.
Similar to Disneyland Paris, EPCOT’s version features an image of dearly departed Gusteau greeting guests from his rooftop sign. After winding your way through a detailed and often elaborate series of Parisian-inspired scenes, you’ll board a “rat mobile” ride vehicle and will be instantly reduced to the size of a rodent.
The ride vehicles seat six guests, two rows of three, which means that using the single rider line – which we did, twice – is a great way to beat the long wait times [although the single-rider queue won’t be an option in EPCOT, at least for the foreseeable future]. The ride system is referred to as a “trackless dark ride.” Similar GPS-guided systems exist in Hong Kong Disneyland [Mystic Manor], Tokyo Disneyland [Pooh’s Hunny Hunt], and in Disney’s Hollywood Studios’ Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance.
Basically, although your rat mobile seems to be traveling without rhyme or reason, it is gliding through a series of projection domes which show scenes inside the restaurant’s kitchen, under tables and in and out of the pantry area, thanks to the carefully programmed GPS.
The ride itself, while seemingly frenetic, is not jarring at all, making it a perfect attraction for guests of all ages. Unlike the similar ride systems previously mentioned, Ratatouille: The Adventure vehicles tilt and vibrate to replicate the movement of actual rats.
Throughout the attraction, stunning visual effects are employed to enhance the experience. In addition, a variety of odors emanating from the kitchen add to the realism of the attraction.
The adventure begins as your rat mobile spins away from the boarding area, following Gusteau’s ghostly figure along a rooftop toward the restaurant where Remy will prepare a meal for us. Your wild ride takes you along some larger-than-life Parisian rooftops and into Remy’s restaurant before you’re discovered – and hotly pursued – by the notorious Skinner.
As you enter the first of several projection domes, Remy paces above a glass rooftop window, trying to decide what culinary delight to prepare.
Just as he makes up his mind to serve ratatouille, a traditional French vegetable dish, the rooftop window opens and we “tumble” into the kitchen, where many of Remy’s fellow rats are busily preparing meals for the restaurant’s clientele.
From a rat’s-eye view, you travel from one sequence to the next before the movie’s antagonist, Skinner, sees you and a breakneck pursuit begins. At one point, the rat mobile goes under an oven, where “flames” come perilously close; indeed, a blast of hot air can be felt as you glide under.
Chaos is the name of the game during the final sequences before we arrive back on the rooftop, safe and sound, for dinner with some of Remy’s closest rat pals.
The queue wait times for the imaginative, innovative and extremely entertaining Ratatouille: L’Aventure Totalement Toquee de Remy in Disneyland Paris were typically more than an hour when we visited in 2016.
At least at the outset, guests hoping to ride Ratatouille: The Adventure will be required to follow queue protocols similar to Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance at Hollywood Studios, which means you’ll have to secure a boarding time on-line before you can savor the tasty new attraction.
Chuck Schmidt is an award-winning journalist who has covered all things Disney since 1984 in both print and on-line. He has authored or co-authored seven books on Disney, including his most recent, The Beat Goes On, for Theme Park Press. He also has written a twice-monthly blog for AllEars.Net, called Still Goofy About Disney, since 2015.