Epcot, Part 2: World Showcase

Disney’s World Showcase at Epcot in Orlando, Florida is a large area reminiscent of a permanent World’s Fair. It contains 11 official pavilions, each one themed and dedicated to a specific country, including architecture, landscapes, streetscapes, attractions, shops, and restaurants representative of that country’s culture and cuisine. Some pavilions also contain themed rides, shows, and representative live entertainment. Only Morocco and Norway were not present at the park’s opening, having been added later in 1984 and 1988, respectively. Together, the pavilions surround a large man-made lake, over a mile around, known as the World Showcase Lagoon.

In counter-clockwise order, the 11 official pavilions are:

  1. Canada Canada – with its Hotel du Canada, inspired by the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa
  2. United Kingdom United Kingdom – featuring a replica of London’s Hampton Court Palace
  3. France France – featuring a miniature version of Paris’s Eiffel Tower
  4. Morocco Morocco – featuring a replica of the Koutoubia Mosque in Marrakech
  5. Japan Japan – featuring a replica of the floating torii gate of Itsukushima Shrine
  6. United States USA (as The American Adventure) – featuring a replica of Independence Hall
  7. Italy Italy – featuring a replica campanile (bell tower) of St. Mark’s in Venice
  8. Germany Germany –  featuring typical timber-framed houses (above)
  9. China China – featuring a replica of the Temple of Heaven in Beijing
  10. Norway Norway – featuring a replica Norwegian village and Stave Church
  11. Mexico Mexico – featuring a pyramid inspired by El Castillo at Chichén Itzá

There is also a small unofficial pavilion, located between China and Germany, called the African Outpost. There are currently eight undeveloped spots for other countries, including the space occupied by the Outpost. And at one time or another, pavilions for Brazil, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Russia, Denmark, Switzerland, Costa Rica, Spain, Venezuela, the United Arab Emirates, and Israel have all been rumored as potential future pavilions. So far, however, none have made it past the planning phase.

Though closed since March 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, numerous design changes have been taking place at the park recently. For example, the France and United Kingdom pavilions will each receive new attractions inspired by Ratatouille and Mary Poppins, respectively. And a new nighttime spectacular, known as HarmonioUS, is set to replace IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth (below), which has been performed nightly for the past 20 years. It will feature similar elements, however, including: pyrotechnics, choreographed water fountains, searchlights, lasers, floating set pieces, and LED panels.

3

  • Visited: 1982, 1991, 1999, 2000, 2009

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s