Home Button Places Button Theme Park Button Other Stuff Button Video Button Wallpaper Button

Walt Disney World Resort - Epcot, Part 4

World Showcase, Part 1

Index

Epcot - World Showcase

World Showcase Concept Art
1975 Concept Art of World Showcase, across the Seven Seas Lagoon from Magic Kingdom. ©Disney...
Epcot Map As mentioned before, the basic idea of World Showcase dates back to 1972. Later concept art had World Showcase to be two almost complete, but connected circles, with a figure 8 courtyard in the center. Every pavilion would have the same size entrance facing this courtyard, but the different pavilions could extend outward as far as desired or needed.

Later concepts of Epcot Center had a single circle behind Future World, with no large central lagoon, but the possibility of a lake, merchandise and hotel area behind World Showcase. That sort of came true with the addition of the Crescent Lake hotels and The Boardwalk, but with nothing so large as Crescent Lake.

So why is there a big lagoon in the middle of World Showcase? Because, like the area that separates Future World from World Showcase, there's nothing there to build on. It was described as a five acre root mass, about four to five feet thick. Underneath it was nothing but "muck". (Disney has since become an expert on muck, and has learned how to stabilize such land, but it makes me wonder if the city of EPCOT could have been built as Walt planned it back in the 70's.)

WED's engineers talked with people in academia, and learned how to slurry the "muck" to a pumpable material. They put sand on the root mass, then slurried the muck underneath and pumped it out from below, letting the weight of the sand sink the root mass until the depression was formed. Then they took the sand away and lined the lagoon.

What did they do with "the muck"? It was pumped over to the Southeast, and filled in some big holes that were there, and is now the Caribbean Beach Resort. (The white sand at Caribbean Beach and other resorts was mined from Bay Lake. It's probably the same sand that created the World Showcase Lagoon.)


AA to SE
Taken from the Presidential Suite at American Adventure. Even though the lagoon is a little bit lopsided, Epcot was built with a defined North-South dividing line.
Early plans had American Adventure at the entrance to World Showcase. It was to be elevated, where guests went under the building to be greeted by all the countries on the other side. Dick Nunis nixed that idea, pointing to the large lagoon and said that the castle of World Showcase had to go to the back of the park to make the guests want to go there. (More in American Adventure.)

Today, there are 11 pavilions (Morocco, then Norway are the addition to the original 9), each with its own recognizable icon. There were preliminary agreements for eight more pavilions (Equatorial Africa, Costa Rica, Denmark, Iran, Israel, Spain, Switzerland and Venezuela), but never went beyond the preliminary stages.

There's room for perhaps two more pavilions, and there are always rumors flying around of another country being sponsored.


The World Showcase Plaza

The plaza holds a couple of gift shops, boat docks to the pavilions on the other side of the lagoon, the Christmas tree during the holiday season, as well as welcoming the guest to World Showcase with topiaries and/or other special themeing during events like the Food and Wine and Flower and Garden shows...

World Showcase/Plaza
0710SE_03910I221353 0710SE_03920I221353 201209WDW_0691X30171 200007WDW_144N02125 200007WDW_146N02125 200007WDW_147N02125 200304FL_038N28194 200304FL_039N28194 200504WDW_341C28110 200504WDW_342C28111 200504WDW_343C28111 201012WDW_324P09145 201012WDW_325P09145 201110WDW_755756P02124 201110WDW_757758P02124 200209FNO_431C04004 200310FL_103C25153 200106ECT_144s406T11192 200504WDW_386C28165
Back to Top

Canada

Canada Pavilion
The Canada Pavilion
Epcot Map No matter which way you turn, the first pavilion you'll encounter is one of America's neighbors. Turn East, and you encounter Mexico. Turn West, and you'll find Canada. Well, no one said they were geographically correct...

Anyway, like most of the guests, we'll turn to the right as we enter World Showcase.

Other than an acclaimed steak house (Le Cellier) which I've never eaten at, the single attraction here is one of the last two Circlevision 360 movies at Disney World, O Canada. (Typical foreign propaganda, with your host, Martin Short. Heh.)

There's a very nice walk down a narrow rock canyon complete with waterfall. It's actual purpose is to hide the theater and Imagination Pavilion so nothing breaks the theme, but it's a nice, cool walkthrough on a hot day.

Canada
201108WDW_648P20115 200812FL_0998P18152 200812FL_1000P18152 200007WDW_538N05134 200106ECT_145s228T09111 200504WDW_385C28165 200812FL_1003P18152 201108WDW_650P20115 201108WDW_651P20115 0710SE_03290I221137 0710SE_03300I221137 201108WDW_654P20115 200106ECT_147s257T09183 0710SE_03310I221137 201108WDW_656P20115 201108WDW_649P20115 201203WDW_1098P08154 201203WDW_1099P08154 201203WDW_1100P08154 201203WDW_1102P08154 201203WDW_1103P08154 201203WDW_1105P08154 201203WDW_1106P08154 201203WDW_1107P08154 201203WDW_1108P08154 200106ECT_149s259T09184 201203WDW_1109P08154 201203WDW_1110P08154 201203WDW_1111P08154 201203WDW_1113P08155 201203WDW_1116P08155 201203WDW_1117P08161 201203WDW_1118P08161 201203WDW_1119P08161 201108WDW_659662P20115 201209WDW_06790687X30171 200504WDW_360364C28123
Back to Top

Canada - Off Kilter

There is another attraction here, but only rates to be on the Times Guide, and not the official Epcot Map. It's the Celtic Rock band, Off Kilter. Of course, I have no idea what the Celts had to do with Canada, except maybe the basketball team is closer to the Canadian border than I am. That said, if you ever wanted to see guys rock out to a bag pipe, this is the place to be.

The stage Off Kilter uses, was originally an open air workshop, where the Totem Poles outside of the Canadian Pavilion were carved. The Totem Poles were completed and erected, then the workshop was turned into the stage we see today. It does explain the shallow but wide, open air building and how it's themed, though.

Off Kilter
200007WDW_201N02184 200812FL_1004P18152 201012WDW_320P09132 201012WDW_322P09132 201012WDW_323P09132 201203WDW_1095P08153 201203WDW_1096P08153 201203WDW_1097P08153
Back to Top

World Showplace

World Showplace
Note the facade. It's fake. (If you haven't seen this before, it's because World Showplace is usually behind closed gates.
Epcot Map In 1999, Disney opened the Millennium Village, a 60,000 square foot building, to house displays, exhibits and people from around the world. At least those not already represented around World Showcase.

It closed on December 31, 2000, at the end of the Millennial Celebration. It was said it would be used for future event space. Around 2010, this indeed became true, using the space for events such as Food and Wine, special character meet-and-greets and several D23 events. They had opened about 1/2 of the space when I attended D23's 2011 Magic and Merriment, and it completely swallowed the 200 attendees.

World Showplace
201105WDW_0836P13114 201105WDW_0837P13115 201105WDW_0838P13115 201105WDW_0839P13115 201105WDW_0840P13115 201105WDW_0842P13115 201105WDW_0843P13115 201112WDW_0686P09080 201112WDW_0687P09080 201112WDW_0688P09082 201112WDW_06900694P09082 201112WDW_0696P09083 201112WDW_0697P09083 201112WDW_0702P09084 201112WDW_0703P09085 201112WDW_0704P09085 201112WDW_0705P09085 201112WDW_0713P09090 201112WDW_0715P09090 201112WDW_0716P09090 201112WDW_0717P09090 201209WDW_0673X30164
Back to Top

United Kingdom

United Kingdom
The United Kingdom Pavilion
Epcot Map The United Kingdom pavilion is one of those pavilions that has excellent examples of English architecture and ambience, plus food service and gift shops. And Alice from Alice in Wonderland or Mary Poppins, depending on when you're there.

There isn't even an "Attraction" section for the UK on the Epcot Park Map.

But, it does have its saving graces, like pretty good food. The Fish and Chips from the Yorkshire County Fish Shop (counter service) is probably the best on property.

United Kingdom
200504WDW_365374C28123 200007WDW_525N05134 200007WDW_534N05134 200007WDW_537N05134 200812FL_1005P18152 201203WDW_1092P08153 201203WDW_1093P08153 200812FL_1006P18152 200006WDW_026N29151 200006WDW_027N29151 200812FL_1010P18152 201108WDW_663P20115 0710SE_03330I221204 200310FL_146C26154 200504WDW_377C28123 201210WDW_1720X03120 201210WDW_1721X03120 201210WDW_1723X03120 201210WDW_1724X03120 201210WDW_1725X03120 201210WDW_1727X03121 201210WDW_1729X03121 201210WDW_1730X03121
Back to Top

If you wander to the back of the pavilion, you'll see some more modern architecture, but otherwise it's a peaceful square where you can get away from the crowds and enjoy an adult beverage or savor your Fish and Chips. Be aware, if it's a hot day, this area feels even hotter...

To break the peacefulness, there's a pretty good British rock band named "British Revolution" who appears a few times a day, doing covers from Led Zeppelin to The Who to The Beatles. They're pretty good. If you ever see the show, watch the audience. It's amazing everybody from the kids to the grandparents know the music, and the one's who really get into it have graying hair. Just sayin'. (Yeah, I've heard the "Don't throw stones" thing...)

United Kingdom (in the back)
200106ECT_150s394T11172 200106ECT_151s395T11172 200106ECT_152s396T11172 200106ECT_153s393T11172 200106ECT_154s263T09191 201112WDW_0947P09130 201112WDW_0952P09130 201112WDW_0953P09130 201112WDW_0957P09130 201112WDW_0959P09130 201112WDW_0960P09130 201112WDW_0962P09130 201112WDW_0963P09130 201112WDW_0967P09133 201203WDW_1124P08161
Back to Top

International Gateway

Int Gateway
A Friendship Boat coming into Epcot from Crescent Lake
Epcot Map The International Gateway is the back-door to Epcot, built in 1990 as the Crescent Lake hotels ( Yacht and Beach Club, then The Boardwalk and Swan and Dolphin) started to open. It's a miniature version of the entrance, complete with a guest services and ticket booth, bathrooms, lockers, bag check, and of course, someplace to buy something. That last minute thing for Aunt Sally, donchaknow.

A canal (known as the English Channel because it flows between the UK and France, just like the real one) emerges from the World Showcase Lagoon here which quickly opens into Crescent Lake, a relatively large body of water, with the Boardwalk on one side, and The Yacht and Beach Clubs on the other. Another canal exists the far side of Crescent Lake that goes all the way to Disney's Hollywood Studios. You can catch a Friendship boat or walk from one end to the other.

You can read more about Crescent Lake in the Walt Disney World Onsite Resort section.

International Gateway
201108WDW_666P20120 201112WDW_04270432P07111 201109WDW_468P30120 201203WDW_1126P08161 201203WDW_1128P08162 201203WDW_1130P08162 201203WDW_1131P08162 201203WDW_1132P08162 201203WDW_1134P08162 201203WDW_1135P08162 201203WDW_1136P08162 201203WDW_1138P08162
Back to Top

End Epcot - Part 4.

Jump to: Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5 Part 6 Part 7 Part 8 Part 9

Revisions:
  • 05/09/2010 - Page Updated, pictures re-imaged, pictures added
  • 07/12/2012 - Complete replacement
  • 12/31/2012 - Update to v3.1
  • 09/01/2014 - Update to v3.2
  • 06/21/2015 - Rewrite and update