Epcot’s World Showcase is one half of the educational theme park in Disney World, Florida. You have to walk through Future World, where all the rides are until you reach the huge lake, which has a cool fireworks display every night.
The World Showcase consists of 11 countries that surround the lake. The whole concept is so exciting and unique. When Emma has visited in the past she had been able to get a ferry across the lake to Morocco, which is half way round the world. But that wasn’t running when we were there, so we only had the 2 choices, turn left and start at Mexico or turn right and begin with Canada. One of the times we turned left was on our second visit and we wanted to make it round to China as soon as possible to have some scrumptious orange chicken with steamed rice at Lotus Blossom Cafe for $9.99.
I love China in the world Showcase and not just for the food. There was a shop that sold a lot of panda items like pens, rubbers, toys and even a backpack! We even met Tinkerbell in China and I have the photo to prove it!
The 2 countries before China are Mexico and Norway. Sadly Norway is half the country it used to be, as Frozen has taken over. (None of that last sentence is a metaphor for the real country!) Well it was still in the process of a reconstruction when we were there. Norway’s ride Maelstrom was being adapted into a Frozen ride, but it will be the same ride just with a Frozen theme. We didn’t spend as much time in Mexico as we would have wanted. There’s a large Aztec pyramid and inside it are stalls and restaurants designed in a way to make you feel like you’re still outside in some sort of Mexico town at night, which makes it very atmospheric. We went on the basic but enjoyable boat ride which gave us a funny flavour of Mexico.
Once you have passed by China you reach Germany. Here there was a lot of stereotypical German memorabilia, mainly beer glasses. Also there was a lot of beer and sausages on sale!
Italy was one of our favourites. It sits rather central to the lake and has wonderful views towards Future Land. It really is little Italy, or little Venice to be more accurate. There’s even a gondola moored up by a classic Venetian looking bridge. It was here that we spotted one of the photo pass photographers. We were apprehensive as we had used this photgrapher before in Future World and his picture taking was not that great…He took photos of us on the bridge with the Doge’s Palace and San Marco Campanile in the background. Sadly once we received the photos to our Disney app we realised he had done the same error as before and zoomed in way too close to our faces! Italy behind us was barely visible and he even made us do the painfully staged poses, such as kissing each other.
Next was USA, or The American Adventure, where the best highlight was a statue of Woody from Toy Story made out of plants and flowers! It was awesome!
Japan, Like China had a big shop with a lot of cool stuff in. Just as I couldn’t resist buying something panda related in China, Emma couldn’t resist buying a cat related item in Japan. Quite a few of the countries have entertainment on that runs at certain times of the day. Japan is one of them with Matsuriza, which is the thundering sound of Taiko – a time honoured form of drumming. This is on several times a day at the Japan Pavilion.
Morocco is another favourite of ours because of the realism. We had lunch at Tangierine Cafe. We had a tasty wrap each and my falafal wrap for $8.99 made me feel like we were actually in northern Africa, especially as all the chefs and waiters appeared to be Moroccan. This is what Disney do throughout the whole world. In the Moroccan shops are Moroccan shopkeepers, which adds to the realism. I think incense was being burned too, so we had the sights, sounds and smells of the country.
There’s a lot to love about France, especially in the evening and the lights come on which light up the fountain. the Beauty and the Beast characters past the fountain somehow suited France. We both had a cake slice from Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie, which made up for the painfully outdated short film Impressions of France we had watched before eating. It was clearly done in the 1980’s. I’m not sure why Disney have not invested in doing an updated version.
The United Kingdom was the penultimate country and we actually felt like we were back home when we went into the pub. The toilets reminded us of being in a pub in the 1990’s. We remembered we weren’t in the United Kingdom every time we left a shop or the pub when the Floridian heat hit us, instead of cold and drizzly weather.
The last country was Canada. There wasn’t much to this one. It mainly consisted of Le Cellier Steakhouse and the Trading Post shop.
Epcot’s World Showcase is so well thought out and brilliantly designed, but that is Disney World in a nutshell. Which ever park you are in, whatever ride you are on, Disney transport you into that story or that world and you forget about everything else and enjoy the adventure.