Written by Tonga Princess Diva
I always enjoy EPCOT – working my way around World Showcase is a great Disney pastime. With festivals it is easy to stroll the periphery and not delve into everything the countries have to offer. Trust me when I say, World Showcase has so much offer beyond specialty food booths. Do not get me wrong – I LOVE the food booths but the rich culture and attention to detail should not be missed!
World Showcase is made up of 11 countries. Starting from the left, we are a “left” family, the countries are: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada. Each country is designed to authentically represent a time and mostly staffed with cast members from that country.
Here are a the 6 Wonders of World Showcase that take you beyond the food!
# 1 Cast Members – No matter the country the Cast Members are the gem of World Showcase and all of Walt Disney World honestly. I urge you to pause and engage with them. Ask about their home country — favorite traditions, foods and how they compare to the pavilion offerings, and how they are enjoying America. Cast Members love sharing tales of their homeland and you may just learn something about your own heritage or break a biased you had of another country or culture.
#1 Morocco – Aesthetically the riches, in my opinion, of all the countries this pavilion is my favorite. I think this country is best experienced at night. I am always pleasantly surprised by how deep and complex this pavilion is. You truly get the sense of meandering small Moroccan streets and market fairs. The tile work is intricate and breathtaking – I can never get enough pictures of. As I learn more about EPCOT World Showcase from podcast I love it even more. I love that many of the countries were heavily involved in the design and development of their pavilion. This is very clear in the beauty of the Morocco pavilion!
#2 Japan – Oh, this pavilion is so special! I love the Japanese gardens behind the pagoda.These gardens are extensive with a load of meandering walkways and little seating areas. Shaded by the gorgeous greenery and gentle trickling water it is perfect to rest and share a quiet moment with a loved one. I might add, at the mid-way point of World Showcase it is a good time to take advantage of this tranquil spot!
#3 Mexico Pavilion – For years I had no idea what was inside the pyramid. The first time I finally went in I was taken aback with the quiet beauty. The inside of the pyramid is HUGE! The combination of the soft lighting, water and cool temperatures you believe you are inside a real pyramid. You can meander among kiosks of gorgeous Mexican goods or enjoy a libation, sit-down meal, or take a ride on The Three Caballero’s.
#4 Italy – The soft warm buildings that border the piazza are gorgeous and is generally filled with people taking a rest around the fountain. After enjoying a wine flight and delectable small bites at Tutto Gusto I prefer to rest at the water’s edge. I love the view of Spaceship Earth mixed with the bridge and gondola pillars in the foreground. I have a dream that phase II of Italy, which was cancelled, will be resurrected one day soon!
#5 United Kingdom – This pavilion always feels like the largest of all the pavilions. Do you think so too? I like to visit this pavilion early in the day the best. The village street and english garden towards the back are my favorite places. I like that I feel fully immersed in a small English village. There is always the hopes that Mary Poppins and Bert may invite me to pop into a chalk picture and enjoy a country fair.
What is your favorite non-food related part of EPCOT’s World Showcase?