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How the magic of Disney doesn’t extend to its food

This weekend I went with the family to Disneyland Paris. We had good weather, the park was busy but not horrendously so and I think we all had a good time (despite some badly-timed illness).

However, being in France, a nation of food lovers, the country that gave the world gastronomy, you might expect to be able to get something to eat there. Apparently not. French food culture is left at the gates.

I expect it to be expensive and I don’t expect it to be Raymond Blanc standard, but I was truly unprepared for just how bad it was. I’ve never come across fish and chips that was actually tough to chew before. Every French fry was served cold and limp. And the coffee…. *shiver*.

Not only that but they don’t even seem to be able to cope with what ought to be a fairly simple system. The restaurants we went to operated on a set menu basis. You enter, tell the man on the door what you want to eat, pay for it, are then seated and your food arrives (in the fish and chips case, almost exactly as we sat down. Not cooked to order then…).

Seemingly simple but even this doesn’t work. The menus aren’t clearly displayed so you don’t know what drink you want because you don’t see the options. The process of actually ordering then becomes painfully prolonged as you have to order each meal/drink combination individually (which when you’re in a party of nine, takes a while). Bookings we’d made and confirmed then seemed to be a surprise. Service was surly and rude.

I don’t understand how, when everything else in the park is so carefully managed they can get this bit so wrong. I guess it’s a captive market so they don’t have to try but it’s so at odds with everywhere else in the park where ‘cast members’ are happy, smiley and helpful.