World Showcase is one of the two themed areas of EPCOT, opening with 9 pavilions on opening day October, 1 1982. Morocco was added in 1984 and Norway in 1988. Since 1988, there have been few changes to the pavilions look, but many changes within them, including restaurant additions and changes to movies and attractions. The addition of Frozen Ever After in the Norway pavilion came with mixed emotions from Disney lovers. Though I am a Magic Kingdom girl at heart, Epcot is where I spend most of my time. Whether it is the Food and Wine Festival, Festival of Arts, Flower and Garden Festival or the outstanding restaurants, I find more and more to enjoy and appreciate each return trip to Epcot. Here are 8 sensational facts about the World Showcase!
8. The World Showcase has 11 pavilions and one area designated as the Outpost, which has refreshments and African souvenirs. Clockwise, the countries represented are Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, The American Adventure, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada. There was supposed to be 3 more pavilions that were actually advertised when the park was being built, but never were: Spain, Israel and Equatorial Africa. Plans for Africa were most advanced and would have placed it between China and Germany. There actually is more room in the World Showcase to add up to ten more pavilions, 9 if you do not replace the Outpost.
7. The World Showcase spans 1.2 miles from Mexico to Canada. Including the lagoon, you could pick up Magic Kingdom, put it down and still have room left over, and that’s only half of Epcot. Some people ask if Epcot is a half day park because it does not have as many rides as Magic Kingdom, but the only way is if you skip a whole bunch! Make sure you dedicate at least a day to Epcot!
6. The Epcot Food and Wine Festival has become an incredibly popular event, where food and wine booths line the World Showcase offering tasty small plates and small alcoholic beverages. Over 30,000 bottles of wine and champagne, 100,000 desserts and over a million small plates are sold during the festival alone. Foodies rejoice!
5. The Morocco pavilion is the only pavilion that was funded by another government. The King, Hassan II, wanted to make sure that the details of his culture were correct and sent over a team of artisans to guarantee it was done properly. Even today, the pavilion and the restaurant, Marrakesh, is still run by the team set up by the King and is still sponsored by the government of Morocco.
4. Biergarten, the restaurant in the German pavilion, celebrates Oktoberfest every day. They serve 26.3 miles of bratwurst every 60 days. The length of a full marathon of bratwurst. Once you wrap your head around that, make a reservation for your next visit to add to that statistic!
3. There are several replicas you can find around the World Showcase. In the UK, The Tea Caddy shop is modeled after Anne Hathaway’s house, Shakespeare’s wife. In Japan, the Torii gateway is a replica of the one in Hiroshima; In France, you’ll find the 103 ft tall Eiffel Tower. The bridge that connects the UK and France is modeled after the Pont des Arts, but you may not have noticed that because Disney does not allow you to leave a lock to signify your love. I think it would be a fun idea! What others have you found?
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2. Did you notice the building behind the Morocco pavilion? You might squeal in delight when you realize it’s the Tower of Terror! The tower was painted to blend into the pavilion so that when you look at it, it looks like a big castle. The color of the Tower of Terror wasn’t exactly right for the 1930’s theme of Hollywood Studios, but it was really important to keep the integrity of the pavilion.
1. Have you ever noticed the pair of wooden doors at the rear of the Sommerfest quick service location in Germany? That was supposed to be another attraction! Originally, there was going to be a water attraction where you can take a boat down the Rhine. It was never completed due to lack of funding, but there seems to be buzz about it getting completed one day in the future. I hope so!