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Guest Review: Inventions Sunday Brunch Buffet in Disneyland Paris

I am delighted to bring you this guest review from veteran Disney World Moms Panelist Erin Foster of a recent visit to the Inventions Restaurant Sunday Brunch Buffet in the Disneyland Hotel in Disneyland Resort Paris. I, for one, have never experienced this restaurant, and now I can’t wait to go! Take it away, Erin!

I had the great good fortune to make a trip to Paris with my family last week. Because no true Disney devotee could get less than an hour away from an as-yet-unexperienced Disney theme park, we decided to visit Disneyland Paris and the Disney Studios Paris. We stayed for two nights at the magnificent Disneyland Hotel, which is literally a handful of steps away from the Main Gate of the Disneyland Paris park.

Disneyland Paris was the first stop on our vacation. We went directly there from Charles de Galle airport after an overnight flight, customs, baggage gathering, and a 45-minute taxi ride, but no meal. Suffice it to say that we were tired, hungry, and more than a little cranky. Our room was about an hour from being ready and we needed to eat and get our bearing. The front desk cast member suggested that we go upstairs to the Inventions restaurant, which was serving a character lunch buffet.

Atmosphere
Inventions is one of two restaurants at the Disneyland Hotel. The other is called California Grill. The California Grill is a top-of-line spot, which only serves dinner, much like the Contemporary Resort’s California Grill at Walt Disney World (though the menus are entirely different). There is no quick-serve option at the hotel.

We walked right into Inventions with no reservation and no wait. (Try doing that at Chef Mickey’s.) We had no idea what to expect, but immediately were put at ease when we saw characters working the room, just like at “home.” There did not seem to be any theme to the characters that came out. During the course of our meal we saw Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, Pinocchio, Scrooge McDuck, and Alice’s White Rabbit.

Erin's Daughters With Scrooge McDuck

Erin's Daughters With the White Rabbit

The restaurant has two spacious dining rooms, connected by a long, wide hallway that houses the buffet line. From the windows of the room, you have lovely views of the park, including the Main Gate, Sleeping Beauty’s Castle and Space Mountain: Mission 2. Hung on the ceiling over the buffet line are dozens of antique machines: vacuum cleaners, bicycles, typewriters, etc., contributing to the “Inventions” name of the restaurant.

First Dining Room

Second Dining Room With View of Main DLRP Gate

Buffet Hallway With Inventions On Ceiling

View of Sleeping Beauty Castle From Inventions Restaurant

Eats
Our meal started out quite civilized. Our table was set with a white tablecloth and wine glasses. Our server immediately brought out a basket of warm French rolls with fresh butter, along with the wine list. Because we were so tired from travel, we opted for Coca-Cola Light (aka Diet Coke) instead of wine. The Coke came out in heavy glass bottles. The entire meal was expensive (I’ll get to that later), but getting the Coke ended up to be a mistake, each bottle cost 4.50, or approximately $6.10. A bit much, even by theme park standards.

Bread Basket and Coca-Cola Light

But now onto the good stuff:

Because we were first seated in one of the dining rooms to the side, we did not initially see the buffet line. (By the way, they pronounced “buffet” like the last name of singer Jimmy Buffet. My kids thought this was a real hoot.)

My first look at the buffet was quite literally a take-your-breath-away moment. The entire display was simply unimaginable by American standards. The French clearly take their food seriously. We were going to have a MEAL. The characters were an afterthought here; the real attraction was the food.

There were five main areas to the line: salad and cold dishes, cold seafood, hot food, cheeses, and dessert. The salads and cold dishes included fresh tomatoes and mozzarella, served with teeny bottles of vinaigrette; and chilled asparagus. There were also tortilla chips presented with strikingly beautiful conical cups of sauce: layers of green guacamole, a red sauce that was somewhere between cocktail sauce and salsa, and a white tangy cream. These conical cups of dips could also be used with the items on the seafood table.

Cold Buffet Section With Mozzarella, Tortilla Chips, Sauces, and Asparagus

Also at the Cold Buffet were olive bread; cold cuts, including prosciutto, and smoked chicken; fois gras; chilled fois gras crème brulee; individual cups of shrimp cocktail, individual cups of chicken Caesar salad; individual cups of tomato and olive salad; smoked salmon with all appropriate toppings; an olive bar; cold poached trout; a green bean and ham salad; carrot salad; plus various mustards and sauces.

Part of the Cold Buffet With Cold Meats, Individual Cups of Salads, and Fois Gras

Part of Cold Buffet With Chilled Trout at the Center and Smoked Salmon in the Middle Left

Olive Bar with Green Salad

The extraordinary selection of cold seafood included escargot, giant mussels on the half shell, crayfish, and the largest peel-and-eat shrimp I have ever seen. One shrimp covered the entire palm of my hand.

Cold Seafood Buffet

The centerpiece of the hot food was a carved-to-order lamb, stuffed with mushrooms and coated with parmesan and herbs.

Herb and Parmesan Crusted Lamb Stuffed With Mushrooms

There were at least a dozen oval copper pans filled with delicacies that included bouillabaisse, pan fried bass with vegetables,

Bouillabaisse, Pan Fried Bass with Vegetables

duck confit, beef with paprika sauce,

Duck and Beef Dishes

rack of lamb with goat cheese and potatoes,

Rack of Lamb

green vegetables with butter, and sautéed potatoes with thyme.

Green Vegetables with Butter, and Sautéed Potatoes with Thyme

There was no separate children’s serving station, but there were American kid-friendly food options including a four-cheese pizza, pasta with four cheeses (a mac n’ cheese stand-in), plain spaghetti noodle with the option of adding red sauce with meatballs, fried fish filets, fried chicken cutlets, and Mickey-shaped fried potato patties.

Kids' Options

Fried Fish, Chicken, and Mickey-Shaped Potatoes

Look at the photos and I don’t have to tell you that each and every dish was magnificent.

Plate Example

Moving on, there was a selection of cheeses for the next course: Camembert, blue, goat cheese coated in ash, as well as few more mild wrapped options.

Cheese Selection

Next to the cheese were fruit and dessert, dominated by a bountiful display of pears, bananas, clementines, kiwi, grapes, berries, and exotic melons.

Fruit Display

The dessert options included madelines, pots de crème, small cups of French yogurt, cheesecake, pineapple upside down cake, raspberry crème cake, fruit gelatins, wrapped candies and lollypops, Mickey waffles (exactly like Chef Mickey’s breakfast waffles, but here topped with chocolate sauce), chocolate cakes with whipped cream, and even Buzz Lightyear éclairs. And if that weren’t enough, at the end of the line stood a small refrigerator housing ice pops and wrapped ice cream cones.

Dessert Plate

Buzz Lightyear Eclairs

Cheesecake, Gelatin, Pots de Creme, Madelines, Fruit

wrapped candies and lollypops, Mickey waffles, chocolate cakes, yogurt, raspberry creme

Pots de Creme

Cakes

Frozen Treats

All of this was an out-of-body experience for my family. We have been to at least a hundred character meals at Walt Disney World, and we enjoyed them all, but this impeccable feast puts the displays in Orlando to shame.

As for pricing, I was so overwhelmed by the food that I forget to note the price of the meal. Later in the day, I walked by and took a photo of the price plan for the dinner buffet. I didn’t get to take a look at the dinner service; I can barely imagine the largesse. The pricing for dinner was 48.60 (about $65) for guests ages 12 and up, 24.70 (about $33) for children ages 7-11, and 19.00 (about $25) for children ages 3-6. As at WDW, guests under age 3 eat free. Our lunch pricing was a bit less than this. This is obviously not an inexpensive meal, but the quality and presentation of the food was unparalleled. As a point of comparison, dinner at Cinderella’s Royal table in WDW’s Magic Kingdom currently costs about $57 for guests age 10 and up, and about $35 for guests ages 3-9, so pricing is definitely in the same ballpark as CRT.

Bon appetite!

Thanks, again, Erin, for sharing your adventures with us! I’m always excited to see the next place your travels will take you and to explore the food through your descriptions and camera lens.

Speaking of, Erin will be back next week with more stories from her Disneyland Paris trip! Stay tuned!

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19 Comments

  1. Gray says:

    Wow. I’ve been to some nice buffets in Vegas before, but this buffet looks a notch above everything I’ve seen before, at least in presentation. I especially like the Buzz Lightyear eclairs. Nice touch.

  2. Sarah says:

    What an incredible buffet! The lamb looks delicious, as do the olive, seafood, and cheese selections. I’m looking forward to hearing more about your trip, Erin!

  3. Wow, that looks like an amazing feast! Thank you Erin for sharing part of your very special Disneyland Paris adventure.

  4. Abby says:

    Wow. The French know how to do a buffet!

    And to think, I lived about 2 hours away from Disneyland Paris for a year and never went!!!

  5. James (Disneynorth) says:

    Any buffet that serves foie gras must be outstanding! No wonder the French eat so much of the stuff….

  6. Morgan says:

    Holy. Moley. We were going to go to TDR for our 1 year but this makes me want to go to DLP! Yum, yum!

  7. Cody says:

    That looks fantastic. Just one more reason i have to head over to DLRP. Thanks Erin (and AJ) for the feature.

  8. AJ says:

    Gray — I love those Buzz Eclairs…talk about “style”

    Sarah — I would go crazy all over that cheese… You do NOT want to leave me free to eat that much cheese!!

    TAF — So, when are we going? ;-)

    Abby — You and me both! One year in London and one year in Geneva and I STILL never made it to DLRP!! What’s wrong with us?! We must not be true Disney fans…

    James — Cold fois gras AND warm fois gras, don’t forget…

    Morgan — Ooh! Morgan!! TDR?!??!?!?!?!?!?! Taking your camera?!??!?!?!? ;-)

    Cody — I ask again, when are we going?!

  9. Anything in those mini dessert cups is delicious. Small package, big flavor!

  10. Oh wow. It’s almost 2am and I just read this. Now I want to EAT! It looks absolutely amazing. Worth the trip for that food alone, I’d say!

  11. AJ says:

    Rachel — Have you been to DLRP? Would love to hear more!

    Heather — I KNOW! Can you imagine that gorgeous meal right after a looooong trans-Atlantic flight? Just what the doctor ordered.

  12. Tim says:

    That buffet is intense!! I’ve wanted to see Disneyland Paris for a while now, and this just reinforces that desire.

  13. AJ says:

    Tim, I’m with you!

  14. MammaViv says:

    I called to reserve a table for a character lunch @ Inventions and was told there are no characters for lunch. Only Sunday brunch. Glad I was told in advance ;)

  15. Julie says:

    We were just at this restaurant yesterday. I went on the advice of this review. It was nothing like the pictures suggested. The only cold seafood was shrimp. They were great but the display was not anything like that pictured. We were very sad at the options. We had eaten dinner the evening before at the Plaza Garden Buffet right off Main Street in Disneyland and had many of the exact food options. The desserts at both restaurants were exactly the same. The main difference was the price. Either this reviewer attended on an exceptionally good day or we attended on an exceptionally bad one. Out 10, my family rated it a 5.

  16. AJ says:

    Julie — I’m sorry you didn’t have a good experience. Thanks for your review and comments. I’m surprised to hear that the options were changed so significantly, but perhaps the issue is that the reviewer visited for Sunday Brunch — perhaps that’s a different meal altogether than the regular lunch options. I’ll be sure to make note of it in the post.

  17. Sacha says:

    Sounds good–one comment: 4,50 euro the Coke isn’t Disney pricing. It’s just Paris pricing. Elsewhere in France (<>) you can get it for around 3,50 per bottle. But in Paris and environs, it’s oftentimes 4,50. All individually bottled anything (water, soda, juice) is just exorbitant, especially with exchange rates. Better to just drink tap water (une carafe d’eau) and save the money for French wine! (Actually depending on the place, a glass of wine costs less than a Coke, and definitely a bottle of beer would.)

  18. Figgygirl says:

    This is a fantastic review Erin – very detailed, with lovely photos. I ate here with my son in August, for weekday lunch. It was nice and quiet compared to the busy restaurants in the very crowded park. The latest time we could book was 2.45pm, and most diners were finishing their meals by this time.
    There was still plenty of choice on display, similar to these photos. No Buzz Lightyear eclairs though – maybe they had all gone!
    Although after a while we were the only diners left in the restaurant, the staff did not hurry us, nor clear anything away, until we had finished with each course. We had a table by the window with a good view of the Castle and Space Mountain.
    Ordinary lunch is cheaper than Character Dinner -we used our HB Plus dining vouchers, and paid the extra, as Inventions is Premium HB category.
    Lunch without Characters is currently € 36 adult and € 18 child ( ages 3 to 11 )
    Character Dinner is € 52 adult and € 26 child.
    A glass of wine costs around € 5-7 depending on which one you choose.
    A 33cl glass of coca cola cost € 4.70
    With drinks, I paid an extra € 25.10 for two adults using our Plus vouchers.
    I agree that this buffet is pricey, but it is the most expensive in DLP, so not an example of general prices there.
    Walt’s and Blue Lagoon are both excellent fine dining table service restaurants in the Disneyland Park, covered by HB Plus category.
    I am not sure if they still do Character Sunday Brunch in Inventions, as they now have Character Sunday Brunch in The Steakhouse in the Disney Village.
    Did you do any more reviews like this of restaurants in DLP?
    Where can I find them? I would love to read them.

  19. Figgygirl says:

    Just to add that Inventions now has Sunday Character Brunch again. ( from April 2011 ).

    € 59 adult and € 29 child aged 3-11.

    Character Dinner costs € 51.60 adult, € 25.70 kids aged 7-11, and € 20.50 kids aged 3-6.

    Lunch without Characters costs € 34.30 adult, € 17.10 ages 7-11, and € 15.20 ages 3-6.

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