LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. – The newest chef at Walt Disney World Resort may be small in stature, but he’s a big hit with guests enjoying haute cuisine at Les Chefs de France in Epcot. With his flair for French fare, diners of all ages are eating up his whimsical tableside visits.
His name is Remy, and he’s the rat-turned-chef made famous in the Academy Award-winning Disney•Pixar film “Ratatouille.” A new Audio-Animatronicscharacter created by Walt Disney Imagineering, Remy stars in a new guest experience at Les Chefs de France entitled “Bon Appétit from Chef Remy.” Les Chefs de France is one of the restaurants featured at the France pavilion in Epcot.
Six days a week, four times a day (subject to change), a Maître d’ greets diners with a rolling gourmet food cart. Dramatically lifting the lid from a silver-domed cheese platter, the Maître d’ reveals the guest of honor – a six-inch-tall rat with silky-soft fur, pink paws and traditional toque. Chef Remy then comes to life, entertaining diners with sprightly movements and lively banter. Winding their way through the restaurant, Remy and his Maître d’ pal make stops at each table. In addition to his hijinks, Chef Remy might even bust a move to the beat of different tunes, from the soft sway of a French love song to the hot sounds of hip-hop.
The 40-minute experience provides guests an up-close encounter with the “Ratatouille” star as he laughs, sniffles and even flirts with his new friends.
Remy is part of the Living Character initiative created for Disney Parks by Walt Disney Imagineering.
“By combining technologies, our Living Character initiative creates new levels of guest interaction and brings characters to life like never before,” said Holger Irmler, who worked on the Remy project for Walt Disney Imagineering. “Things we do are so complex, yet our goal is to make them seem so magical to our guests.”
Since its inception, the initiative has been providing guests with a dash of never-before-seen technology and a heaping helping of legendary Disney magic. The first Living Character debuted in 2004 in the form of a large and lovable dinosaur named Lucky.
Not only is Remy one of the newest Audio-Animatronicscharacters created by Walt Disney Imagineering, he also holds the distinction of being the smallest one ever created. Having already wowed guests at Disneyland Resort Paris, Imagineers chose Epcot as the next park for Remy to visit – with Les Chefs de France serving as the perfect Parisian setting for his Walt Disney World debut.
Guests dining at Les Chefs de France are encouraged to make advance reservations by calling 407/WDW-DINE (407/939-3463) up to 90 days prior to their visit. “Bon Appétit from Chef Remy” is scheduled to take place at Les Chefs de France Monday through Saturday until Sept. 5, 2009 (subject to change).