One of my favorite ways to spend time in Epcot is touring around the World Showcase Countries. My entire family enjoys it, including my children (ages 8, 16 & 20). One of the big draws that keeps us coming back and spending lots of time are the entertainment options offered by each country. They give us a glimpse into the culture and cultural legacy (both past and present) of each place. It is a difficult task, but I’ve ranked the 11 Epcot World Showcase Countries in order of their entertainment offerings.
Unfortunately, as one of the gateway countries to the World Showcase, the Canada Pavilion doesn’t present the strongest entertainment. At certain times you can find live musicians and performers on the stage just past the main part of the pavilion. The Canadian Voyageurs provide musical entertainment here at sometimes. There are no characters to meet in Canada, and there is not an Agent P Mission. You can find some activities for kids at the Kidcot station (that you’ll find in every country). My kids do enjoy collecting the Kidcot cards and coloring to take a break from walking, and interacting with the International Cast Members is also a good activity. Canada’s attraction, a CircleVision 360 film, is also a form of entertainment here that you may want to experience.
While I really love the charm of the Norway pavilion, it is lacking in entertainment outside of the attractions and dining housed here. You will find one of the Perry World Showcase Missions that involves using the Disney Parks Play app on your phone to work with characters from the Disney Channel show “Phineas & Ferb” to help defeat Dr. Doofenshmirtz and save various countries from his evil-inators. You could also count the meet & greet with Anna & Elsa as entertainment here. During certain festivals you may find more entertaining options in Norway. If you visit during the International Festival of the Holidays, Norway skyrockets to the top of my list with the holiday storytellers, Julenissen and Ingrid, who tell of the mischievous barn Santa. This is my favorite of all of the stories.
Germany has a few things going for it other than the beer and pretzels (and Caramel shop). Here you will find some various musical presentations year ‘round on the outside stage—these acts are seasonal and change throughout the year, so it gives you something different to experience if you visit more than once. If you have a dining reservation at Biergarten (and it is very tasty), you will have the chance to experience the traditional Bavarian music of the live Oktoberfest Musikanten, they are always entertaining. For children you will find an Agent P mission here, along with a Snow White meet and greet. You can also watch some of the candy being made in the Karamell Kuche.
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Morocco has a few different entertainment options, one that will be must-dos for your children, and others that are something you may stop to watch if you are passing by during a performance. Princess Jasmine does a meet & greet in Morocco which feels like the perfect setting for her. While there is not an Agent P Mission here, you can find a great Kidcot station where children can learn about the Arabic language. Pro Tip: If you can’t find the Kidcot stations, the Play app has a puzzle game you can activate for each country that walks you through and leads you right to them. Then you can scan the puzzle piece you find there and it unlocks puzzle activities for your kids. Like Germany, Morocco offers an entertainment option for diners at Restaurant Marrakesh, traditional music and belly dancing. There is one other activity in Morocco that I think is entertaining. Getting a traditional Henna tattoo (for a fee) is a very fun activity, and if you do it at the beginning of your vacation it is fun to have while you are traveling.
Italy doesn’t have a character meet & greet, or an Agent P mission for kids, but it does offer a very fun and interactive live show. Sergio, a juggler, presents an amusing act at various times during the day. He involves the audience in the show which makes it fun for everyone. You will find a Kidcot station here as well.
You can often hear the live entertainment in Japan from across the World Showcase Lagoon. Japan features traditional Taiko drummers, Matsuriza. I would recommend planning to catch one of their shows of rhythmic drumming if this is your first visit to World Showcase, if you’ve been many times then catching it as you walk through the country is a special treat. Inside the Mitsukoshi you will find the very popular Pick A Pearl activity that is quite entertaining with the little show they put on. Purchasing and pick your own pearl is the best way to enjoy this interactive experience, but if you time it right you’ll be able to just watch others pick their pearls if you don’t want to invest yourself. Japan also offers a nice museum with exhibits of Japanese culture to tour. Like a couple of the other countries, if you book a reservation for Teppan Edo, you will be entertained by the talented Teppanyaki or Hibachi chefs. For kids, there is an Agent P mission in Japan.
I don’t know what it is about the live mime show in France, I’ve seen it a hundred times and it draws me in every time. Definitely check the times guide for this one and plan to see it. Serveur Amusant is a comical show featuring a waiter who has some mad balancing skills. France also features a film attraction that is my favorite of all of the World Showcase films. In early 2020 you will also have the chance to see the Beauty & the Beast Sing Along attraction here. Children will be entertained by the Kidcot Station, an Agent P mission, and a variety of characters who have a French background like Belle and Sleeping Beauty.
4. The United Kingdom
The UK Pavilion features a musical act, British Revolution, which has a huge following. The group performs outside behind the pavilion in the gardens and features British Rock from the 1960s-1980s. You will be sure to be singing along. I think this group is really good, and they are a fun way to spend an evening after you’ve had dinner and accomplished most of your touring plan for Epcot—just relax and enjoy the familiar music. Don’t be surprised if you see fans dancing in the streets. Inside the Rose & Crown Pub you can enjoy lively pub music as well. British Characters will delight your kids here—Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, and Winnie the Pooh. The UK also has a Kidcot Station and an Agent P mission.
The entertainment in China has been a personal favorite of mine since I was a child. Although they have undergone changes in routines and presentations over the years, the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats will amaze you with their feats of strength, balance, and flexibility. Kids in particular will really like this act, and I recommend checking a times guide early in the day to pick the time you want to attend. Plan to arrive pretty early before it starts to get a comfortable viewing location, the acrobats are popular. China also features Wenbo Zhang, a cotton candy artist, who appears seasonally to create artful creations from cotton candy. For the holidays it was a red and white Santa hat, in the Spring it was a multi-colored flower. Kids will love the Kidcot station here where they can learn a little Chinese, or have their name written in Chinese characters. The China Pavilion also hosts an Agent P mission. Mulan has a meet & greet in China as well. There are so many things in China to occupy your time, and I haven’t even mentioned the attraction here which is another 360 movie to open in early 2020.
I love the Mexico Pavilion, inside and out. Inside the pavilion, where it feels like you are back outside in an open market, captures my imagination. Here you can find talented artisans carving and painting Animales Fantasticos, or Oaxacan Wood Carvings. These brightly colored and festively painted animals are one of my favorite souvenirs, and I think they were made even more popular after Coco featured the beautiful spirit animals. Take a few minutes to watch them work and chat with the artists. Mexico also features my second favorite (by a tiny margin) musical act in the World Showcase: Mariachi Cobre. This long-running group place traditional Mexican music, and they do so beautifully. They feature some seasonal shows as well. You definitely don’t want to miss at least one of their performances during the day. For kids, Mexico has an Agent P Mission in addition to the Kidcot station. Donald Duck does a meet & greet outside in his Three Caballeros attire.
1. The American Adventure
With all of the seasonal offerings at the America Gardens Theater, The American Adventure had to land the number one spot on this list. But, even without those (which we will talk about in a minute), I think the nod has to go to the American Adventure just based on it being the home to the amazingly talented acapella group, The Voices of Liberty. The vocal skills of these men and women astonish me every time I hear them . . . often they move me to tears with the beauty of their voices and presentations. If you are visiting during the Christmas holidays please do not miss your chance to hear them. But, any time of year you are in Epcot, the Voices of Liberty are can’t miss entertainment. Check the times guide and plan to arrive maybe 15 minutes (or more during busy times) before their scheduled performance. When you arrive find a seat on the floor under the rotunda—this is where they invite you to sit and where you can best experience the acoustics for the group. Outside you’ll find the America Gardens Theater, a huge amphitheater that hosts seasonal concert events. So many of these are excellent—and included with your park admission. In the winter during the International Festival of the Arts you’ll be treated to the stars of Disney on Broadway shows—I’ve attended several of these and they have all be amazing. In the Spring during the Flower and Garden Festival the Garden Rocks concerts feature various rock groups, and in the Fall the Food and Wine Festival has the Eat to the Beat Concerts that also feature various groups. Summertime has had different offerings from cover bands, to a Guardians of the Galaxy Show, to a modern acapella group. And for the holidays, it is the spectacular Candlelight Processional which features an orchestra, mass choir, and celebrity narrator (like Neil Patrick Harris, Whoopi Goldberg, Gary Sinise, and others) telling the Biblical Christmas story in a way that you will never forget. All of these performances throughout the year makes the American Adventure the top stop in World Showcase for entertainment, hands down.
Please note that all of the entertainment in World Showcase is subject to change, and the days it is offered vary. You can check schedules a little bit ahead online for your vacation, but pick up a times guide upon entering Epcot to see what is being offered in each country on the day of your visit. Enjoy!