France seems to come alive right before your eyes as you make your way towards the France pavilion at the World Showcase, a sort of jumbling of countries at Walt Disney World's Epcot Center. Certainly this make-believe France is no substitute for the real thing, but the folks down in Florida sure do their best to make you feel like you're there. Every single person working there is from France, and they can communicate with you in either French or English (some speak even more languages). The fancy "Les chefs de France" restaurant has an impressive collection of French wine and treats for lunch or dinner. A crêpe stand on the side of the "street" will catch your eye as you wander around, admiring all the carefully designed architecture that really gives a French feel (most of it is very Parisian). A large book and souvenir shop has everything from a handbag with a Robert Doisneau photo printed on it to a snowglobe with the Eiffel Tower in it. Fashion lovers will revel in the beauty shop with French fragrance and makeup from Guerlain, Lacoste, and other French couturiers. There is even a small Beauty & the Beast themed vestibule connecting two of the shops. If you've overlooked Disney World as an opportunity to immerse yourself in French culture, you may want to give it a try! I really enjoyed speaking French with the waitresses, sales associates, "vendors" and cashiers, all of whom were eager to speak it with me!
Meet the Author My name's Samantha Decker and I'm a middle school French teacher from Saratoga Springs, NY. I started The French Corner in high school as a resource for French students, and have since expanded it into a blog for French teachers. Read more about the blog here.