From its debut in 2017, the Rendez-Vous Gourmand has doubled in size for its 2018 edition. The festival, inspired by the Food and Wine festival in Walt Disney World’s Epcot, now showcases both French and European foods across the Walt Disney Studios Park. In addition to an expanded offering, the 2018 edition of the festival also extended the run from a simple 2 week event into a full festival covering just over 2 months.
In this review, I will discuss food and drink items that I have tasted, discuss its value for money and give you some top tips to make the most out of the festival.
A park-wide festival
The first thing that you’ll notice about the Rendez-Vous Gourmand is its scale – it’s not an understatement to say that it is huge. Covering the entire length of Hollywood Boulevard right down to the very back of the Place de Rémy. Along the route, there are stands almost everywhere with some dining areas to enjoy your food and drink with friends and good company – the perfect way to enjoy a meal.
In addition, there’s also a full range of really fun bands and music near the Chalets several times a day, just to add some more fun and ambiance to the festival. This is a perfect event to have during the summer!
Delicious food and enjoyable drinks
Whilst visiting the Rendez-Vous Gourmand, I tried a range of different things and got a good overview of the type of food and drink involved. The problem is that trying everything would involve a heck of a lot of money. But that’s not the aim of a festival such as this, you can pick and choose which items you’d like to try from the different regions. This part of the review will focus only on the items I managed to try, but it all looked quite good.
At the Belgium stand the Fricadelle, which is served with fries, for €7 was an unexpected highlight of the festival. The portion was of a decent size and served as a good lunch. The Fricadelle was tasty and tasted fresh. I wouldn’t hesitate buying another portion of this.
Next door in the Bistrot de l’été, I tried a glass of Champagne and Sancerre white wine. Both were particularly good and great value (at €7 and €4 respectively). The glass sizes are not huge, but again the aim is to allow you to taste multiple different things, something that would not be possible with large glasses.
In Spain, I then tried the Churros. There’s not really overly much to say about these but at €5 I found them to be another good buy. There were a good 6-7 churros given for the price, which is more than enough.
Down in the Place de Rémy you’ll find all the French regions represented. In the Savoy region, the Raclette sandwich €6 was again, very nice. This sandwich was on the small side, so you’d certainly need something else to tide you over for lunch, but the roll was rustic, crusty and delicious, as was the cheese inside the sandwich. If you are a cheese lover, the Savoy chalet is a must-do.
The final stand I visited was the Brittany chalet where I had a traditional crêpe (€4) and cider (€3). It’s difficult to go wrong with these choices, but for the price it was OK. The cider at €3 was excellent value (and was absolutely delicious), the €4 crêpe was on the expensive side, but it was an enjoyable treat.
Overall, the choices I made at the Rendez-Vous Gourmand suited my tastes well and I did genuinely enjoy everything I tried.
Is the Rendez-Vous Gourmand value for money?
The question on most people’s lips is the one of value for money. The answer to this question needs to be, of course, framed by the fact that you are in a Disney Park which, of course, means that everything is expensive compared to the ‘outside world’.
Compared to similar restaurants in Disneyland Paris, you can have a good meal at the Rendez-Vous Gourmand for a price that is similar to a quick service meal if you play it right. At the festival there are a lot of different food options and some are indeed good value for money, and some are not. You’ll need to have a look around the festival at the portions before you place your order. Luckily, I found that the demonstration portions on display at each stand were, in fact, quite accurate so this is one good way to judge. The other way to judge value for your chosen food item is to look around at other people’s food.
I made a conscious effort to look around and felt that the items I bought were mostly good value. Others feel differently about their choices. You just have to make that call personally.
Top Tips to make the most of the festival
The main tip I have is to have a little look at the menus before you go, they are all right here on DLP Town Square (a shameless plug!). Then, once you arrive, take a moment to walk around the festival and decide which is the best option for you. Queues here do move very fast, so don’t worry too much about the longer queue at the Belgium stand, for example.
Take cash! The card machines at the Rendez-Vous Gourmand are, quite honestly, terrible. They take a very long time, especially for UK-based cards (for some unknown reason), make sure you take out a bit of cash just before your visit. The closest cash machine is located in Front Lot, next to the Stroller boutique.
Pace yourself, there’s a lot to do here. You don’t have to do everything in one sitting, I kept returning to the festival over a period of three days. I found this a perfect way to enjoy the event as I was in the mood for different things on different days.
An enjoyable festival which should continue to grow
The Rendez-Vous Gourmand is a stellar festival which is one of the highlights now of the Disneyland Paris year. Everything was tasty, the staff were (mostly) friendly and the smell of food and sounds of people enjoying themselves really did fill the air (especially in the walk way behind the Art of Disney Animation, which is usually lifeless). I really do hope that this festival continues to grow (why not to fill the entire park!) over the coming years and that it becomes a real staple of the Disneyland Paris year.
For anyone heading over, bon appétit!