They are the largest and most popular dining location in any Fantasyland they inhabit and reccurently make it to almost every Kingdomers’ ‘Where do we eat? list! Only among them can you order your food in an italian village and go seat under a vast Pinnochio’s mural.
They are to mountain urbanism what the Matterhorn is to the Alps’ grandiose terrain, this article is about the 3 Village Haus style restaurants of the 5 Magic Kingdoms!
[tweetmeme]Or more precisely and in chronological order, 1 The Pinnochio Village Haus, 1 Village Haus and 1 Au Chalet de la Marionnette (At the Puppet’s Cabin)
Le Chalet de la Marionnette’s own welcoming sign
flickr user and fellow blogger: Hilary JW
Chronological you said? Indeed! Here is a restaurant which was originally Floridian. Pinnochio’s Village Haus openned first in Orlando as one of the first and largest eatery the Magic Kindom held on opening day.
In 1983, when Disneyland redesigned its Fantasyland, came along Village Inn a grand yet smaller Village version of its floridian sister that would soon be renamed Village Haus. The third Village, Au Chalet de la Marionnette opened along Disneyland Paris innauguration in 1992.
For the locations in the 3 Kingdoms they were built into, those three alpine themed restaurants all sit in Fantasyland. In Disneyland and Disneyland Paris they both reside on the furthest side of the patch of buildings left to the castle. In Walt Disney World, their location is across the way from the castle, facing the left side of what is now the Fantasyland Expansion project.
There are 2 designs for those 3 locations.
Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom bares the unique and original one. A lavish, mutli-building like construction which stretches from It’s a Small World side up to the now gone Ariel’s Grotto. It looks like a fair size village surrounding a modest, busy centercourt along witch runs a narrow balcony.
The whole structure spans on three facades each build with their own entrance and style. Thus it looks like you’re passing 3 very distinctive locations and twice as many town houses.
Above this swissish ensemble rises a bulky pinacle whose large opening displays 3 big bells.
The east and west facade. Central is in article head.
The second design, created for Disneyland and later adopted by Disneyland Paris is more modest in size but still revolves around a center court dominated by a pinacle. The houses are lower but their roofs and walls seem more complex, less squarish in shape. While the first design seems to homage the massive gable-roof houses of Munich the second one bends more toward a rural appreciation of bavaria.
Disneyland and Disneyland Paris’ own bucolic version
Upon entering any Village or Chalet using the main door, you walk up a large isle leading up to the counters. They sit in a recreation of a small town square whose first floor windows all overflow with colorful flowers.
Disneyland’s Village Haus counter area, very similar to Paris.
flickr user: Mandy Coleman
After that, when you walk around the several rooms, the two designs differ in matter decor. The fisrt Floridian interior has smooth walls and wooden floor. The atmosphere is of a Fantasy medieval castle. The second design welcomes you in a cosier, smaller ‘tavernish’ mood with its bulky wall and log ceilings. Both though are covered with murals and wood carving all depicting Disney’s Pinnochio’s characters.
Orlando’s first and simpler interior
flickr user: Javier Doren
Stone arches lead up to the town square like counters area.
Those wood carvings are present in every Village Haus (here Paris).
Now about their own little twists.
Disneyland Paris’ Chalet has a special section themed with barrel-like tables and other naval artifacts wich leads to an outdoor area with a similar atmosphere. This is to better match the Adventureland theme where you exit to from this side of the restaurant.
Smooth transition between Le Chalet’s Cabin and Galleon theme
And last but not least, not only Walt Disney World can accommodate guest on two floors plus a balcony but it also has a side of this second floor which is open to It’s a Small World loading area. That makes it the second restaurant open to an indoor attraction in a Disney Kingdom after the 3 variations of the Blue Bayou.
Magic Kingdom’s Pinocchio’s Village Haus let guest dine overlooking It’s a Small World’s loading area.
flickr user: partyhare
As in any counter service Kingdom’s dining, the menus change every so often as they so recently did in Disneyland, but one special stays in Paris where le Chalet de la Marionette is famous for its nowhere else to be found ‘Bavarian Hot Dog’ wich is no less than frankfurter in a bun, generously topped with sauerkraut.
No matter what you ate, no matter the name of your Village, you lunch or dinner has been a unique one beautifully framed in a themed counter service unique of his Kingdom’s area. Because of both their incredible outside and inside themeing the Village Haus are one of the rare restaurants every guests ultimately remembers after their firs visit!
Famous or not trivia :
For some debated reasons the exit sign is off-centered in Disneyland hence this little Figaro cameo which Paris paid tribute to by putting another Figaro, this time giving the thumb’s up, next to their perfectly aligned exit sign.
flickr user: idogcow
Want to know more : Read Sam Genneway’sarticle about the Figaro trivia.
and read DF’82‘s two articles on Au Chalet de la Marionnette’s murals !