Of the four theme parks in Walt Disney World, many guests love to spend lots of time in Epcot thanks to its unique theme and wonderful experiences. The front of the park is home to Future World which celebrates the unity of nature and technology and the rear of the park houses World Showcase. World Showcase is a celebration of the world with eleven pavilions which each bring a country from around the world to life through architecture, dining, shopping, entertainment, attractions, and more. Each of the eleven pavilions in World Showcase are amazing and guests can easily spend an entire day exploring them. Part of what makes World Showcase so wonderful is the amazing attention to detail that allows guests to truly feel transported to different locations around the world. These details can be so subtle that oftentimes guests totally overlook them! From Hidden Mickeys to historical references, World Showcase is filled with wonderful details for guests to discover. Here are eight hidden gems in Epcot’s World Showcase to find on any visit to Walt Disney World!
8. Mexico Hidden Mickey —
The Mexico Pavilion in World Showcase is mainly housed inside an ancient pyramid that is home to the Plaza de los Amigos. The indoor market is constantly lit to look like nighttime and features lively kiosks that sell authentic Mexican artwork and trinkets. In the rear of the marketplace is the San Angel Inn Restaurante which overlooks a serene river featuring boats that slowly pass by from the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros. Behind the river is a volcano in the distance that can be seen omitting smoke. Guests who pay attention to the smoke will notice a classic Hidden Mickey every few minutes!
7. Prince Min —
One of the most intricately detailed pavilions in World Showcase is the China Pavilion which features ornately decorated buildings and architecture. Near the front of the pavilion is the Nine Dragons Restaurants and guests who look up to the roof can spot a wonderful detail that references China’s history. On one corner of the roof is a series of animal statues alongside one man. The man is Prince Min, a third century ruler who was eventually hanged for his cruelty. Chinese tradition in many towns calls for a likeness of Prince Min to be featured to warn people of his cruelty. The guard of animals are often accompanying his likeness to prevent him from ever escaping.
6. St. George —
The Germany Pavilion is also home to a statue that references a cultural tradition. In the middle of the pavilion is a fountain that features a large pillar riding up topped with a statue. The statue represents St. George, a man who was said to have slayed a dragon to protect a princess. May German villages feature a statue of St. George to bring protection to the people, and the Germany Pavilion in World Showcase is no exception!
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5. Canada Hidden Mickey —
The Canada Pavilion in World Showcase brings guests on a whirlwind tour of the vast country’s architecture and natural beauty. Near the top of the large set of stairs in the front of the pavilion is a trio of ornately carved totem poles. Guests who look closely will notice that one totem pole differs slightly since it was crafted by Disney and not Canadian artisans. Near the top of the different totem pole is a classic Hidden Mickey!
4. Miniature Trains —
Nestled between the Germany and Italy Pavilions is a wonderful detail that many guests often overlook as they walk by. The Epcot Garden Railway is an intricate display of miniature trains moving through a countryside. Guests who stop to take in all of the details of the display will notice beautiful buildings, tunnels, bustling trains, townspeople, and rolling hills. This small display is an amazing example of how detail helps to bring World Showcase to life!
3. Maelstrom Reference —
The Norway Pavilion features two wonderful attractions that bring the Disney animated classic Frozen to life. The Royal Sommerhus invites guests inside to meet Anna and Elsa in their kingdom of Arendelle. While moving through the queue before meeting the sisters, guests can check out the charm and details of Norway including a painting that references an extinct attraction from the pavilion’s past. The painting depicts a trio of trolls on the top and a large waterfall leading to the bottom where another troll can be found. The trio of trolls were from the former attraction Maelstrom where they banished guests back over the falls below.
2. Hidden Drawbridge —
Between the China and the Germany Pavilions, guests pass through the Outpost which features a circle of drums, small merchandise stall, and quick service location. Just before entering into the Outpost, guests walk over a bridge that many don’t notice is a drawbridge! Every morning the drawbridge opens for a few moments to let the massive globe from Illuminations: Reflections of Earth pass through onto World Showcase Lagoon. Guests who are lucky enough to be nearby when the drawbridge opens can get a glimpse at just how large the globe is and check out its details!
1. Temple of Heaven Echo —
The China Pavilion is home to Reflections of China, a Circle Vision film that showcases the beauty and diversity of the massive country. To get to the film, guests pass through the Temple of Heaven, an ornately decorated and detailed building that is perfectly round. Thanks to its shape and architecture, the Temple of Heaven is acoustically perfect and guests who stand in the very center of the room can hear their own echo from the ceiling above.