Café des Cascadeurs

Café des Cascadeurs is a table service restaurant located in Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris. If you couldn’t guess from outside appearances, this little number serves up classic American fare like burgers, chicken and ice cream (but no milkshakes- whaaat??) to hungry guests for lunch and dinner.

Located just outside Lights Motor Action Stunt Show in the Backlot, it’s no wonder the name translates to ‘Stuntman’s Cafe.’ It has a friendly look about it- shiny, O’Mahoney stainless steel body, neon signage and a long line of windows with brightly colored checkered curtains peeking through. It’s 1950′s Americana at its best. And as fate would have it, that’s probably because it hails from a little town in central New Jersey. Our diner arrived in Paris just when WDS opened in 2002, but not before bringing its famous steak and eggs over to Germany. Curious? I was too.

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Turns out our beloved Café des Cascadeurs was once The Excellent Diner in Westfield, NJ, a small New England town just half hour outside of New York City. It was happily serving up American favorites to neighborhood locals for years, until 1995 when it was bought by Woody Woodall, an American longing to bring all those tasty pancakes and French Toasts with him to Germany, which is completely understandable.

So, The Excellent Diner was shipped to Aalen, a small-ish town not far out from Stuttgart in Southern Germany and arrived via ferry on the Rhine- quite a sight to behold I would imagine. Not too much later, the fine folks of Wasserlassen, Germany decided they ought to have a shot at all that goodness and it was moved there.

Below, our resident American diner doing its thing in Germany:

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The diner was successful in bringing old school American charm to the land of pretzels for a time, but eventually the costs of maintaining the art deco gem became too high. The Mad Cow scare swept Germany and a new highway was built leading traffic away from The Excellent Diner (sound a little familiar Cars fans?) and eventually it was time to sell. And sell he did, to EuroDisney, now Disneyland Paris.

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On March 16, 2002, Walt Disney Studios Park opened the doors of Café des Cascadeurs for the first time. Dining in the steel car now, guests are reminded of its’ journey to France on the menu, with a few fun facts and a reminder that “You’re dining in history!” One of the best things it points out is that this diner actually predates all of the restaurants that opened in Disneyland in 1955. Who knew?

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Lucky for us, The Excellent Diner in its current incarnation is still serving up excellent food in a park with not much to offer on that front. We rope dropped lunch time opening one afternoon and were first in the door because clearly I have no shame.

We were asked to sit at the counter instead of in the comfy booths, which are reserved for parties of 3 or more. If you’re in the mood for some of that fresh DLP air, there is also a patio around back with shaded tables.

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I know people don’t come to France to eat American food, but as a resident of the glorious city of Paris, sometimes it’s nice to see a piece of home while abroad.

I went in with high expectations and was very pleasantly surprised. After the disastrous burger at Café Hyperion, I was hesitant to order up another but I had heard great things and decided to trust the Internet (thanks, guys). We ordered the premium double beef burger and fries, which comes with the works: cheese, lettuce, tomato, red onions, pickles and the ominous sounding “sauce,” no description necessary, I guess.

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The burger was juicy and flavorful, served up hot, straight from the grill. The sauce was tasty, though not much more than exaggerated mayonnaise. I would have liked to see the cheese melted more, but this is fast food and when the order’s up, it’s up. The other toppings were fresh and added a nice crunch to the meat-centric lunch. I had to lose one of the patty’s and turn it into a makeshift single burger- luckily I had help finishing it off because his thing is huge. The fries were your standard Disneyland Paris variety and cooked well. The best part for me though was this:

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Behold, an entire bottle of ketchup at my disposal! Now that’s how you know you’ve made it to an American diner.

The price for the burger and fries was around 14 euros, just a few euros more than the slop served at Café Hyperion and light years better. Café des Cascadeurs also honors the 10% Annual Passport discount, so be sure to show your card!

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Overall I was very pleased with our experience at Café des Cascadeurs. The atmosphere is authentic, right down to the classic-tune filled juke box in the corner, and the food was solid. They are obviously serving a higher quality burger here than you’ll find at any of the quick service restaurants at DLP, so if it’s American you’re after, look no further. The service was pas mal and really, I’ve given up expecting top notch interactions unless I’m dining at the more expensive restaurants. Café des Cascadeurs is a little slice of Americana, right in the heart, er, Backlot of DLP and that, at least for me, is never a bad thing.

But seriously, why are there no milkshakes?

See the full menu from DLP Guide here.