Author: Canadian Diva
Mr. Jean Phillippe Paré hosts a French-speaking Disney Podcast based out of Québec City. He provides a wealth of information and tips for French-speaking visitors to Walt Disney World with a few episodes on Disneyland as well.. To our knowledge, his podcast DestintationWDW is the only French podcast about Walt Disney World. It was nominated in 2013 at the PODCAST Awards in Las Vegas, Nevada in 2 categories: Best Produced and Travel.
DestinationWDW has already produced over 200 shows and provides listeners with 2 shows a week. Mr. Paré is also a blogger for WDWorld.com . This website has been active since 1999 and gives tips and information to French Language readers about Walt Disney World. WDWorld.com also has tournaments for best attractions or restaurants and they love talking about food as well as answering listener questions.
About Jean Phillip Paré: He first visited Walt Disney World in 1983 when he was 7 years old. He has been visiting frequently since then, sometimes more than several times in one year. He is a father of 3 children, all of whom love Disney as well. Jean Phillip Paré is currently working on a book about WDW. He is also a musician.
I wanted to ask Mr. Paré more about his Podcast and to give our readers from Quebec, tips on traveling to Walt Disney World…
Your Podcast is fantastic and a wealth of knowledge for French speaking visitors wanting to vacation at Walt Disney World. Could you explain why you wanted to start this podcast?
I spend many hours every week listening to Disney podcasts. I also have a background in radio broadcasting, having hosted different collegial and community radio shows many years ago. I wanted to give the French speaking Disney community a Disney podcast to help them with planning their next trip, but also to help me avoid the ‘’Post Disney Depression’’ between two trips.
In the two years of being on air, what moments were the most memorable from your podcast?
At first, I was all by myself. Then when we were a full team for the first time on the show, it was pretty cool. It changed the show completely for the better. I also had the great opportunity to interview a lot of people that I admire so much : Mike Rahlman, Lou Mongello, Len Testa, A.J. Wolfe and many others. On the 100th show, my team had a great surprise for me. They played different audio messages from fans of the show. but also from people of the Disney community like Jim Hill, the Be Our Guest podcast team, Matt Hotchberg, Steven Barrett and many others. I also had the great pleasure to be joined by André Ducharme, who is a comedian, a member of the mythic group of comedien Rock et Belles Oreilles, and a TV and Radio host who is well known in Quebec. I grew up watching him so it was pretty cool to talk Disney with him.
When I went to Walt Disney World, I did meet quite a number of visitors from Québec. Is there a really big market of people from Québec to visit Walt Disney World?
Oh, yes. Thousands of Quebecers visit WDW each year. This is probably the number one destination for Québec families.
You started visiting Walt Disney World from a very young age, what are the most notable changes you have seen since you were younger?
Food! I remember when I was a kid, restaurants like Le Cellier were cafeteria serving cheap meals. There were no great quality food options. Also, in the 80’s, there were only deluxe resorts so the whole experience was not the same because we were staying at hotels in the Orlando area. WDW Resort was not the same at this time so I had the chance to discover a lot of new things during those years. I had the chance to visit Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios (then Disney MGM) and Disney’s Animal Kingdom in their first months of operation. It is a great feeling for a Disney fan to be able to experience a whole new park.
I know the Walt Disney World Website for Canadians, has an English and French version. Other than this, do you feel the Walt Disney Company provides enough information for French-speakers who want to visit Disney World?
No, not at all. It is probably why our website, WDWorld.com is so popular. Every day we receive questions and emails asking information that people cannot find by themselves on Disney website. A lot of brochures are not translated.
Any tips for the best time and way to travel from Québec to Walt Disney World?
If you don’t want your kids to miss any school during the school calendar year, you can visit in the last 2 weeks of August because most schools in the USA starts classes mid-August. In Québec, schools start in late August. And if you are lucky, you will be able to take advantage of free dining. Same thing for Spring Break. Usually, Spring Break is not the same week in Québec as it is in USA or in the rest of Canada. And usually, you can also take advantage of great promotions like “Play, Stay and Dine”. But if you don’t mind your kids missing school, September to early December is always a great period because crowds are low, weather is great and you can experience great events like “Epcot Food and Wine Festival” as well as the Halloween and Christmas parties.
What is the best advice you can give to someone from Québec, visiting Walt Disney World for the first time?
If they don’t speak or understand English very well, I would suggest to try the “Ears to the World”. For Guests with limited English fluency, complimentary Disney Show Translators are available to translate attraction narration in up to 5 different languages.
We also offer on our website, WDWorld.com, restaurants menu in French. So I would suggest to take a look at those menus to be able to select and make reservations for restaurants that will please your family.
Could you tell us a bit more about the book you are working on?
I’m writing a book which will not be a generic touring guide. I am, focusing on tips, thoughts and ways to take advantage of all the magic that is available for you. The little hidden secrets or tips that can improve your visit. With all the work I have to do on the podcast and website, I can’t tell you when the book will be finished but I really want to share my tips with the French community so I work on the book any chance I can.
And now for some FUN Walt Disney World questions…….
Favorite Walt Disney World Theme Park?
EPCOT, without any hesitation. Funny thing, most of my favorites rides or shows are not in Epcot. But I love the design of Future World and I love walking around World Showcase. We visit Epcot every day when we are at WDW. It is hard to explain, but when I am in EPCOT, I feel like this is where I belong.
Favorite Walt Disney World Resort?
Contemporary Resort. I love to be able to walk to the Magic Kingdom. I love the restaurants at this resort and I am a great fan of the Monorail. I also like Port Orleans Riverside. It is usually the resort we are stay at.
Favorite Quick Service?
It is hard to choose only one. I love The Mara at Animal Kingdom Lodge. I also love Yak and Yeti Local Food Cafes.
Favorite Table Service?
Yak and Yeti at Animal Kingdom and Via Napoli at Epcot. Narcoosee’s and California Grill are my favorite Signature Restaurants.
I have to say that it is a tie between Expedition Everest and Rockn’ Roller Coaster. My favorite attraction to ride with my family is Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. I also love Spaceship Earth. The Hall of Presidents and The American Adventure are also attractions that I try to experience on every trip.
Favorite Character to meet at Walt Disney World?
I’m not a character guy. This is not something that I like to do. But I am pretty sure that when Star Wars will have a bigger presence in the parks, I will want to meet Darth Vader and Boba Fett.
Do you feel the Canada Pavilion represents our country well? And which World Showcase Pavilion is your favorite?
I think the movie is great and Martin Short is really good in it. The Pavilion is beautiful but it really needs a quick service restaurant. Maybe a poutine kiosk. Of course, just like other countries, the Pavilion showcases a lot of clichés. We don’t wear this type of costumes and we don’t live that way but it is the same for all the countries around the World Showcase.
My favorite Pavilions are Mexico and Japan. A Pavilion where you can buy shrimp flavored chips is a great Pavilion!
(from Canadian Diva: I totally agree, a Poutine Quick Service in the Canada Pavilion would be AWESOME!)
How do your show your #DisneySide?
Making sure to share all my tips, broadcasting a great podcast and writing articles are ways for me to show my DisneySide. My house is not full of Disney Memorabilia. This is not how I show my love for Disney. I prefer to talk Disney all day long!
Finally, if you were to meet Walter Elias Disney in another life, what would like to say to him?
I would ask him about his vision of EPCOT, I would reveal to him how EPCOT was built and what it is today and ask him his opinion about how this dream became a reality. I would also thank him for giving us so much to experience and dream about.
Thank you Mr. Jean Philippe Paré for your insightful answers and great tips!
You can find Jean Phillip Paré here:
and on Twitter: @WDWorld
Canadian Diva Tip: Are you from a province outside of Québec? Are your children in a French Immersion Program or currently learning basic French in their school curriculum? Do they love Disney? Listening to Jean Phillippe Paré’s Podcast, reading the articles from WDWorld’s site and (for myself) following them on Twitter, really helps with learning French while reading about Disney. What could be a more fun way of learning French than this?