Lion King Signature Lunch at Hakuna Matata – Review

For the duration of the Lion King and Jungle Festival (30th June – 22nd September 2019) a special Lion King character lunch is offered at the Hakuna Matata restaurant in Adventureland. This menu is the meal included in the special Lion King Signature Experience with the Disney Hotels over the summer, but can be booked separately for €39.

The menu is decidedly simple, there are essentially two options to pick from. The adult menu features a Yassa Chicken, Plantain, Beef Meatballs, sautéed shrimps, vegetable salad with a peanut dressing; the Vegan menu which contains a Vegan sauté with tomato sauce, plantain and a vegetable salad with the peanut dressing.

Ordering takes only a few minutes and the meal is presented on a tray much like a standard quick service meal, once you have tray in hand you will be taken to a seat by a Cast Member.

The food is actually delightfully tasty. The chicken dish is nothing particularly special but is a cut above all other quick service chicken dishes; where this meal delivers on flavour is the delightful plantain – a cooked banana – this is both very tasty and unique, more importantly, it was cooked very well allowing all the flavours of the banana to be tasted. The meatballs in sauce were also very good.

The whole dish worked really well together, each part of the main having its own very unique flavour and texture. It felt more like a tasting platter where I got to try a little of everything and I came away wanting more of everything on the regular menu.

Major points go to the presentation of the plates, the bamboo plate and cutlery added something quite special and unique. It’s refreshing to see such effort going into a quick service meal; of course this also helps it be elevated above any of the other quick service meals.

For desert the coconut and banana flavour ice cream which has a number of flavours on it and a Simba motif – this was exceptional, a real themed snack that is Instagram heaven. Whilst it looks really good, it also tastes brilliant, the banana flavour is really evident and refreshing – add in that the ice cream is actually surprisingly large, we have a winner here.

The character meet and greet element to the meal is also super relaxed and chilled – just like the signature packages last year – Mickey, in a very cute new adventurer outfit – and Rafiki will walk casually up to your table and you have a very relaxed pace meet and greet, there’s no time pressure and the characters are brilliant.

Overall, I would not hesitate to recommend this lunch to anybody who loves the Lion King, or who just wants to be further immersed in this wonderful season. This is one not to skip during your visit, you will not be disappointed!

The Lion King Signature experience lunch runs daily from 30th June – 22nd September 2019. It is priced at €39 for adults and €35 for children. Dining reservations can be made by phoning the Disneyland Paris dining reservations line on +33 1 60 30 40 50.

Review: Breakfast with the Disney Princesses

Pastries next to a menu during the Disneyland Paris Princess breakfast at the Auberge de Cendrillon

Who doesn’t want to wake up with breakfast in the heart of Fantasyland with the Disney Princesses? From July 1st 2019 this popular breakfast offering is returning to Disneyland Paris, I had the chance to try it during its Spring 2019 run and it was such a wonderful experience that I’m so glad is making a permanent return to the park.

The food

Upon arriving at the Auberge de Cendrillion in Fantasyland, a friendly Cast Member will take you to your table in the restaurant; already set up on the table are a range of pastries including Croissants, Pain au Chocolat, Breads. These pastries tasted fresh and were a great way to open up the meal.

Pastries next to a menu during the Disneyland Paris Princess breakfast at the Auberge de Cendrillon

At this point you will also be brought your choice of hot drink and fruit juice. These are pretty basic, but fine, they are never going to be the highlight of the meal.

After a few minutes, you will be brought a selection of sweet items including yoghurt, salmon and a few other bits. These felt mostly forgettable in the great scheme of the breakfast, an afterthought and not the most tasty one at that.

A breakfast dish at the Auberge de Cendrillion including an egg, 3 sausages, potatoes and assorted vegetables. The plate is finished with a Mickey Mouse waffle

The main dish is a good mix of eggs, sausages, potatoes and a Mickey waffle. These were all delicious and tasted like the premium offering that this meal is. The potatoes are cooked in butter and taste richer for this, whereas the sausages are the usual veal sausages that you’ll find in the hotel breakfasts. Whilst I enjoyed the Mickey Waffle, and it does make for a good photo, it would have been nice for some form of accompaniment to it, perhaps some maple syrup? Without it, the waffle lacks something.

The Disney Princesses

Whilst a delicious breakfast is one part of the breakfast, you’re really here to meet some of the Disney princesses! At the breakfast 3 princesses will be present – no princes or other characters. Whilst this is not a large number of characters, you never feel rushes in your interactions, it always feels relaxed and that the princess has time for a good conversation.

Aurora posing in a medieval castle looking doorway at the Auberge de Cendrillon at Disneyland Paris

Cast Members will always be walking around to ensure that you get to see each of the 3 as well, you’ll never be caught short. On my visit I had the chance to meet Aurora, Cinderella and Snow White. Getting 3 princesses in quick succession with no wait time can be worth its weight in gold during the peak seasons!

I felt that 3 was the optimum number, I came away feeling both satisfied with my meets but also that I had the chance and opportunity to have a relaxed breakfast meal.

Practical Information

The Princess breakfast at the Auberge de Cendrillion returns on 1st July 2019. Bookings can be taken via your travel agent or via the Disneyland Paris dining line.

The meal is priced at €49 (with annual pass discounts applicable as usual) and is broken into two sittings – 8:30am and 9:45am.

Should you do this meal?

If you are wanting to have a more upper-end breakfast or meet the Disney Princesses without the wait, then almost certainly yes, you should make time for this. The Princess Breakfast is a truly special experience and will make many faces light up with joy.

It would be nice for the breakfast to have photographers with the characters to add to the Disney PhotoPass+ service, but unfortunately this does not happen – make sure you bring your camera to immortalise those memories!

An empty dining room in a castle-like setting at the Auberge de Cendrillon in Disneyland Paris

Cépages: Restaurant Review

Cépages wine - Villages Nature Paris

On the Lakeside Promenade at Villages Nature Paris sits a cluster of a few restaurants. From my reading and research, a lot of excitement and hype seems to surround the Cépages Wine Bar and Restaurant. Luckily, as part of the InsidEars Hotels and Resorts Discovery Weekend, I was given the chance to take a look around Villages Nature and the chance to try a meal inside this restaurant.

From the outset, Cépages is a distinctly French affair playing loud live performances of French music outside as you approach. But this is no traditional old bistro, Cépages is distinctly modern in both look, food and sounds.

Cépages at Villages Nature

Design with a modern French flair

Cépages, as previously mentioned is very modern in outlook, this suits the Lakeside Promenade down to the ground; everything here is about the large glass fronts allowing for enjoyable vistas over the main lake. The airy modern feel means that you never really feel like your fellow diners are on top of you.

The wine cellar at Cépages, Villages Nature

For those wanting a private dining experience, there is the private wine cellar area. This closes off to be protected from the rest of the restaurant and offers intimate group dining away from the crowds.

Food that prioritises shared experiences

Food at Cépages is a very traditional affair. Most dishes are inspired by classic French cuisine with plenty in the way of sharing dishes.

For starter, I opted for the Butternut soup. The dish was plenty big enough for a starter portion and had a very rich and creamy taste. I was unsure about having the seeds inside the soup dish, I ended up eating around them and leaving them. This was slightly annoying as it obviously caused avoidable food waste; whilst the seeds are good from a presentational perspective, I think practically it does not work so well. However, the taste was very good and overall I still enjoyed the dish.

For my main course I opted for the Bœuf Bourgignon which was served on top of a bed of Tagliatelle  pasta. Mains are presented in sharing hot pot dishes which you are able to share amongst your table; the concept works really well and encourages a shared dining experience – as a quirk of this restaurant, I think this is a great idea and adds something quite fun into the mix.

Taste wise, this dish was sublime. The beef was delightfully tender, the vegetables and potatoes were slow cooked until soft and the sauce flavouring was rich.

Bœuf Bourgignon at Cépages - Villages Nature
Desert, for me, was the Pomme façon tatin (Apple in the tatin style). Having expected the presentation of this to have been more like a tart, this was a bit of a surprise. The apple, in a caramelised sauce on a bed of ice cream, pastry and crumble tasted delightful. As a picture, it looks a bit messy; but don’t let the photo deceive you, the taste of the warm, soft apple really does work well. It’s not a tart, but it is good.

Obviously, in a wine bar you’d expect to have a range of wines on offer. Cépages is no different, as part of the tour we had a red wine – selected by the restaurant – to try (unfortunately I did not manage to catch the name I’m afraid); the wine was light and packed a good taste. I would be confident in saying that Cépages would be able to guide you to the right wine for your meal and for that wine to be of a good quality.

Cépages wine - Villages Nature Paris

Final thoughts

Cépages is a restaurant to try if you are passing through Villages Nature. Its location, close to all the central facilities of the resort, means that even if you are just passing through for a day that this is a viable option for a meal.

Inside you will have an enjoyable meal in a sleek modern environment which mixes modern French life with its traditional past. I look forward to one day returning and trying even more dishes.

Yacht Club: Restaurant Review

The Yacht Club restaurant is a table service outlet in Disney’s Newport Bay Club. Serving a range of dishes, could this be the sleeper hit of the resort?

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What is ‘Fait-Maison’ and why does it matter to Disneyland Paris?

Brie de Meaux at Bistrot Chez Rémy at Disneyland Paris

Let’s face it. When you are in Disneyland Paris, you are essentially a prisoner to the mouse. You want a cheap table service meal, your choices? Cough up €40 in the parks, go to Disney Village and cough up €35 or get a RER to Val d’Europe and cough up €15-€20.

The logical choice is simple, you’d go to Val d’Europe (Of which there is a nice Italian restaurant with a set menu for €10). This will cost you €4 return in RER tickets and a LOT of lost time. Because at Disneyland Paris, time is of the essence. So you decide to go to Disney Village right? Wrong. You’ll be losing more time and Disney have a monopoly there too! They can charge whatever the heck they want – and you’ll still go. As for the Group Flo restaurants in the village; well, as long as they undercut Disney, you’ll be going. So we eat in the parks in, what is often, beautiful decors. Because at Disneyland Paris, the ambiance is part of the experience.

But this is not a ‘let’s moan at Disneyland Paris restaurant prices’ post. But it will inevitably become one. No, this is a post about food that is ‘fait-maison’ because a new French scheme which will soon become law could have a profound effect on Disneyland Paris.

Fait-Maision logo by the French Government


This logo could change everything. From this summer, restaurants in France will be adding it to their menus? Even in the world’s culinary capital of France, shortcuts are made in restaurants in order to maximize profits and enable fast turn-arounds. But French restaurants should be proud of their home-cooking. This is what this logo is for; the symbol, made to make menus easier to understand for tourists (let’s not forget, France is the country that welcomes the most tourists in the world), but also provides a symbol for quality. The symbol, representing a house and a frying pan, simply means that what you are ordering has been made in-house.

This summer, it’s optional. However, from January 2015, it’s law. What does this mean for Disneyland Paris? Well, if you go to a restaurant in January in the parks and this logo doesn’t appear, your food has been pre-prepared. That shouldn’t come as much of a shock. But if you are paying €40 for a meal, you expect the best. Could this affect Disneyland Paris? It either will, or won’t.

Scenario One: Disneyland Paris pre-prepares ALL its food. Then you could get away with not making reference to it on any menu at all. Foreign tourists won’t be educated as to the existence of the symbol and everything continues as normal.

This will not be the case: The Ratatouille in Bistrot Chez Rémy is certainly fait-maison.

Steak and Chips at the Bistrot Chez Rémy at Disneyland Paris

Scenario Two: You have some ‘fait-maison’ food, the logo appears on some menus but not others. Guests have a choice to make, and might question why Restaurant A pre-prepares food, whilst Restaurant B does not.

If all restaurants in Disneyland Paris start home cooking every item on the menu, prices will go up – but as will quality. But already asking €40 for a table service, would a price increase be a step too far?

Coup de Cœur: Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show

Red sign for Arena entrance at the Buffalo Bill Wild West Show
From the moment you see the building, to the moment you leave; one thing is clear about Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show, that is its Wild West Rodeo nature. It’s easy to see the attraction of this, the second most viewed show in Disneyland Paris; the show features animals, stunts and food meaning that there is something for all the family.

As we enter the building, which is shared by the Gaumont Cinema; we can smell the smell of horses and buffalo. The sights and the sounds of the wild west begin to fill the air, we are greeted with a smile and our ticket is scanned. We are then placed into our ‘team’ for the night indicated by the chapeau that we are given, then into the western style saloon bar. It’s here we can order our wines for the evening (should we be inclined for a more sophisticated evening); meet Sheriff Mickey and be entertained by a country-style band, with a special guest… Goofy! It’s also here that we begin to meet and mingle with our new team mates, and rivals.


The music ends, the wait is over. It’s time to go to our seats and prepare for a night of action, and fun in what is Disneyland Paris’s 2nd most popular show. We have a good amount of leg room and table space, perfect for the night ahead. In front of us lies part of our starter for this evening dinner show. A slice of corn bread. As the lights dim, and the action begins, the second part of our starter is delivered to the table, chili con carne. The familiar western music begins to play, and all of a sudden the real stars of the show appear. The horses, which we have so often seen in training on the artisans du reve DVD and the France 3 documentary Disneyland et ses secrets appear.

The beginning of the show is a triumphant and joyous occasion, we begin to meet the stars of the show: Buffalo Bill, Annie Oakley, Sitting Bull and the Rough Riders; of course every show needs a Maître de céremonie, and this is the case here as well. The show begins to run through a wild west story involving various types of animal, stunts and effects. We meet the Disney characters who are all dressed in their western finery.
By now we are eating our western platter with the potatoes. This dish allows us to sample many different campfire foods on one plate, whilst sitting and enjoying campfire antics with the Disney characters. A real high point of the show was Mickey singing You are my Sunshine to Minnie, it was a sweet and tender moment in the show; and perhaps the only emotional moment of the evening.


However, if you went into the Wild West Show, having been assigned your team, to be able to just sit and enjoy the show, you’d be mistaken. The second act of the evening is a fun and games session featuring the newest recruits, you. Over the course of 45 minutes or so, spectators feel the highs and lows together. You may find that family sitting next to you become your best friend as you laugh and joke with one another. Of course, what is a game without prizes, a few gold coins have been found; can your team win the day and walk away with a gold coin?

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show is a fantastic evening of entertainment, especially in the colder winter months which often see Disneyland Park close early. The mix of show, games and food will make sure no member of the family gets bored – and the hat gift always goes down well with guests!

Toad Hall Restaurant re-opens

Toad Hall restaurant exterior
Toad Hall restaurantFor the last month or so, the Toad Hall restaurant in Fantasyland has been closed for refurbishment. Toad Hall is a restaurant serving traditional British cuisine at the northern end of Fantasyland.

@Disney_ParisEN (the official English language twitter account of Disneyland Paris), the restaurant used to have 3 cashier desks, this has now been increased to 6 desks to speed up ordering, one of the lanes has been adapted to people with disabilities (this has already been done in ‘Au chalet de la marionette’ in Fantasyland), food is now served in a food basket (such as in ‘Cowboy Cookout’ in Frontierland), more good news for those concerned with how the food is cooked, the kitchen has been upgraded with the safety of the cast members in mind.

We also received information about the refurbishment from @InsideDLParis (if you don’t follow him, I really recommend it for the inside track on Disneyland Paris every single day), the menu remains the same (Menu 1 is Chicken Burger €10,99, Menu 2 is Fish and Chips with either a yogurt or ice cream for €11,99 or a double fish and chips with either fruit cake or fruit salad for desert) for €13,99. There are also sauce dispensers instead of sachets for Ketchup, Mayonnaise and Mustard.

Good news all round, who plans on eating some lovely Fish and Chips in Fantasyland on their next visit?

Toad Hall is located in northern Fantasyland between Peter Pan’s Flight and the Disneyland Railroad serving a range of fast food options including a chicken burger and Fish and Chips, inside the restaurant is a traditional British theme and the character Mr. Toad from the 1949 Walt Disney Studio’s film ‘The adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad’.