Walt’s – An American Restaurant is a table service eatery in Disneyland Parc that pays tribute to Walt Disney along with Victorian era styling. Located on Main Street USA (technically 1401 Flower Street, coincidentally the same address as Walt Disney Imagineering in California), this two story gem is an absolute must do for any fan of Disney history, or any fan of great views of the Happiest Street on Earth. Reservations are highly recommended, especially with their limited hours and calendar openings.
Imagineer Eddie Sotto explained that when designing Walt’s for Disneyland Paris it was intended to resemble the Club 33 restaurant in Disneyland. The difference is that instead of requiring a membership, or a “know someone who knows someone” reservation, Walt’s would be available to all guests. It was originally built with two dining levels, but the three rooms on the first floor (the Walt Disney room, the Lillian Disney room and the Main Street USA room) were removed in 1999 to make way for Lillian’s Boutique, a housewares shop adjacent to the restaurant. Designing Disney has a great article about these “Lost Teasures.”
The restaurant now holds its lobby and reception area on the ground floor and several themed dining rooms upstairs. Walt Disney, his life, career and family are the focus of the entire first floor, which is incredibly detailed and worth a look even if you won’t be dining. Vintage pictures crowd the table tops, a grand piano and glass elevator add to the ambiance, and a bust of the man himself greets guests before ascending the staircase for dinner.
At Walt’s, guests check in at the podium located just inside the door to the restaurant. Be sure to request a table by the window for glorious views of Main Street USA during lunch or dinner. From there, you are directed upstairs for your meal. Take your time on the way – the walls are full of black and white photographs, magazine covers and candids, from Walt sketching as an animator to the opening of Disneyland and ending with Mickey Mouse and Time Magazine.
From there a host will show you to your table in one of the many dining rooms, six in total: Frontierland Room, Adventureland Room, Grand Canyon Room, Discoveryland Room, Fantasyland Room and Disneyland Hotel Room.
Each separate space is rich with Disney details from floor to ceiling – from the genie lamp lights in the Adventureland room, to the golden replica of Captian Nemo’s submarine in the Discoveryland room, the colorful framed concept art to beautiful stained glass panels, no design feature is overlooked. The list goes on and on, so be sure to take a walk around before you leave.
Frontierland Dining Room: (judging from the amount of pictures I took here, this appears to be my personal favorite)
Grand Canyon Dining Room: (a smaller room than most, but very charming)
Adventureland Dining Room:
Fantasyland Dining Room:
Discoveryland Dining Room:
We were seated in the Disneyland Hotel Dining Room, which admittedly, was the area I was least hoping for. As it turned out though, its small size and limited capacity provided an intimate setting and a relatively quiet meal.
Your server will start you off with a warm roll and packaged butter while you peruse the menu. Both à la carte and prix fixe meals are available, see the full menu here. Because we were celebrating a special occasion, we ordered a bottle of Dourthe Bordeaux No. 1 AOC. Enjoying a glass of wine while watching the the hustle and bustle of Main Street from high above? You just can’t beat it. The wine was delicious, paired well with our entrees and I would not hesitate to order it again.
We skipped the appetizers and went straight for the main courses – duck breast with glazed maple syrup, mashed potatoes and sauteed vegetables and chicken supreme, served with sauteed seasonal vegetables, tomato semolina and candied lemon sauce.
The duck was cooked perfectly, a delightful surprise considering many things in France are on the rare side even for me. The maple syrup glaze was the perfect accouterment – not overwhelming and adding just a touch of sweetness – a great seasonal touch. The potatoes were not your typical mashed variety, a bit of a cross between a baked potato and a mashed potato, with seasoning to push it over the top into “Please sir, may I have another” territory. The sauteed vegetables were fresh and cooked well, but nothing special.
The chicken was another hit (as in I love love looooooooooved it) – tender and flavorful, with just the right amount of crisp to the exterior. The lemon sauce provided a nice kick and was especially good paired with the couscous, which was outstanding. I may be wrong, but it tasted like a bit like Indian spiced couscous – and as a super fan of Indian cuisine (and tasty things in general), this was a welcome addition.
Both portion sizes were just right, and thankfully left enough room for dessert: warm chocolate fondant served with red fruit coulis and morello cherry compote. Think of it as chocolate cake surrounding a liquid chocolate center, warm and rich, topped with spiced cherries – a perfect end to a perfect meal. And really, it has cherries in it, which basically makes it healthy right? Plus all those vegetables earlier? Exactly.
We would recommend Walt’s based on the food alone, but what really makes it special is the amazing view of Main Street USA. If timed correctly, diners can watch the daily parades from the comfort of the restaurants second floor. Sipping a glass of wine, having a bite of chocolate cake and being face to face with Tinker Bell in the Christmas Celebration parade? It just doesn’t get any better folks.
Overall, Walt’s is pretty perfect. It is far and away the best in park cuisine at Disneyland Paris (exceeding Bistrot Chez Rémy), great atmosphere (especially at Christmas time), the service is solid and those views! The level of detail in every space is fantastic and something all Disney fans will appreciate, elevating your typical table service restaurant into a dining experience. While it is one of the priciest restaurants in DLP, it is truly one of the best. Dining at Walt’s was a treat and one that we will surely return to in the future.