Leave the Florida heat behind and be transported to the beauty and majesty of France in Impressions de France.
Take your seat in an elegant French theater where classical music by French composers like Claude Debussy and Paul Dukas, and magnificent scenes of France envelop you in a stunning 200-degree widescreen view.
Bon voyage and keep reading for our complete guide to Impressions de France.
Impressions de France Quick Facts
Description: A 20-minute show which features the sights of France, shown in a plush air-conditioned theater.
Impressions de France is located inside the Palais du Cinéma in the France Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase.
How to Watch Impressions de France
Impressions de France has a Standby Line. There is no Single Rider Line.
Do I need to use Genie+ at Impressions de France?
Impressions de France does not offer Genie+, nor is it needed. The theater is quite large, with plenty of seating for guests to relax and enjoy the show.
Rider Switch/Child Swap
Since there is no height requirement for Impressions de France, this show does not offer Rider Switch.
Rider Switch is Disney’s system that allows guests with small children to take turns riding bigger rides, while another person/people wait with the little one.
You can learn more about Rider Switch via our handy guide.
What to Expect when you Watch
Enter the front room of the beautiful Palais du Cinéma where you can peruse the “Tales As Old As Time: French Storytelling on Stage and Screen” exhibit as you wait.
After a Cast Member makes announcements that the show is about to begin, the doors to the theater will open on their own. File into the theater to take in Impressions de France.
Those in ECVs and wheelchairs may remain in them to watch Impressions de France. They will be seated in a special section of the theater.
Handheld captioning, assistive listening, and audio description is available for guests.
In the Show
If you prefer to experience Impressions de France without spoilers, you may want to skip this section.
Impressions de France is a travelogue film narrated by Claude Gobet. It showcases 46 locations in France, set to a score of classical music that includes French composers such as Claude Debussy and Camille Saint-Saëns.
Directed by Rick Harper and produced by two-time Academy Award nominee Bob Rogers, the film features stunning views and scenes of French life.
Guests get to see the cliffs in Normandy, views of the Loire Valley, The Palace of Versailles, the French Alps and Mont Blanc, Mont Saint-Michel, the Champs-Élysées and the Arc de Triomphe, the Seine River in Paris, Notre Dame de Paris, the Louvre, and of course, the Eiffel Tower
They’ll also witness Bugatti race cars in Cannes, a wedding reception at a Brittany farm, hot air balloons taking off near Chaumont Castle, and delicious French pastries.
If you want to get a taste for the joie de vivre of the French, then you’ll definitely want to stop at the Palais du Cinéma for Impressions de France.
Is Impressions de France Kid-Friendly?
While Impressions de France is appropriate for guests of all ages, little ones may not be taken in by the beauty of France and get antsy.
Strollers are not allowed in most queues at Walt Disney World, including Impressions de France. Instead, you’ll need to leave your stroller in the designated stroller parking area in the pavilion.
Impressions de France went through many changes before making its debut on the opening day of Epcot.
Filmmakers Bob Rogers and Richard Harper were originally tasked with creating a 20-minute Circle-Vision 360 film, similar to the 360-degree films that had been created for the Canada and China pavilions. However, they decided to present the film in 200 degrees to allow guests to sit down in the Palais du Cinéma.
As they were developing the list of proposed filming locations, Harper decided to match each locale with French music from the late Romantic and early Impressionistic eras.
If you’ve ever noticed how well the timing of the music matches up with the action in each shot, that is because during shooting they sometimes used a stopwatch, or played back the music on a cassette recorder, to ensure that the shots would line up with the music.
Composer Buddy Baker ended up using all of Harper’s musical selections, but re-orchestrating them to improve the transitions. After the score was complete, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra recorded the soundtrack at the legendary Abbey Road Studios in London.
Impressions de France debuted along with Epcot’s France pavilion on October 1, 1982. In 2011, the film was remastered and the theater was updated with digital projectors.
Then in 2019, it was announced that the theater housing Impressions de France would welcome another film to its lineup. On January 17, 2020, the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along debuted in the Palais du Cinéma. Both shows are now showcased in the theater (be sure to check the schedule for daily showtimes).
Other Fun Details
- While waiting for Impressions de France to begin, guests can take in the “Tales As Old As Time: French Storytelling on Stage and Screen” exhibit located inside the Palais du Cinéma. Items on display from the Walt Disney Archives include a glass slipper from the live-action Cinderella (2015) and Belle’s costume from the live-action Beauty and the Beast (2017). It also features artifacts from the Orlando Ballet, Opera Orlando, The Garden Theatre, and Florida State University’s College of Music.
- The screens in the theater are 21 feet high and 27 and a 1/2 feet wide.
- The Palais du Cinéma, which houses Impressions de France, is based on a theater in Fontainebleau, a commune in the metropolitan area of Paris, France.
- Impressions de France is the first film with an entirely digital soundtrack.
- Disney film crews shot 140 different locations for the film. However, the scenery was cut down to 46 locations for the film’s final version.
- As of 2017, Impressions de France holds the Guinness World Record for the “longest-running daily screening of a film in the same theatre”.
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