If you want to travel the world, just head to Epcot’s World Showcase! This massive area features 11 countries, 40 acres of land, and just over a mile stretch of walkway! It also features some of the best hidden gems to explore on Disney property. Here’s 8 things we think you should check out:
1. Talk to the Cast Members
Did you know that the Cast Members in each country actually originate from there? Take this opportunity to ask questions or chat with them about their rich cultures. You’ll find that the Cast Members are more than happy to share information about their homelands!
2. Visit the Kidcot Stations
The World Showcase is sometimes stigmatized as “not kid friendly,” but this isn’t the case! Each country has a special Kidcot station where children can participate in craft activities and decorate a complimentary cardboard Duffy the Disney Bear, which is Mickey Mouse’s teddy bear. You can even purchase a World Showcase passport for around $12 at any of the retail shops inside of Epcot. Your children can then bring their passports to the Kidcot stations to get them stamped. This becomes a very fun activity and a memorable souvenir!
3. Notice the Moroccan Architecture
Stroll around the Morocco Pavilion and take in its beautiful architecture. After all, the King of Morocco actually sent over his own artists to provide design input to ensure its authenticity. Venture into Morocco’s marketplace and you’ll think you’ve been transported overseas. Details like the intricate tile work, dramatic archways, and unique artifacts stay true to Moroccan culture. The architects of this pavilion were so ingenious that they even designed the back of Hollywood Studios‘ Tower of Terror attraction, which can be seen from this space, to blend in with the overall Moroccan theme. Look up and you’ll be sure to notice it!
4. Check out Germany’s Miniature Garden Railroad
Okay, all you train lovers… You must stop by the Germany Pavilion to check out the miniature train making its way through the gardens. This special exhibit often changes for seasons and for special events like the International Flower & Garden Festival, so be sure to take notice of all its miniature details. The Disney Parks Broadcast Production team even put together a first-hand view of the train’s travels by using a pint-sized camera. Watch the video here!
5. Witness The American Adventure Production
Smack dab in the middle of the World Showcase is the United States Pavilion, also commonly called American Adventure. We suggest you check out its namesake attraction inside, which features audioanimatronic versions of Mark Twain and Benjamin Franklin recounting America’s storied history. This 29-minute show weaves together film with live action storytelling on a larger-than-life stage area and projection screen. Guests might at first consider this attraction as a reprieve from the often hot Florida weather, but we think you’ll leave with a greater appreciation of American patriotism.
6. Spot Butterflies in the United Kingdom
Head over to the Butterfly and Herb Knot Garden in the United Kingdom Pavilion and embrace nature’s beauty. Your little ones will love spotting the numerous kinds of butterflies attracted to the unique flora and fauna that grow here. There’s even a butterfly box that houses many cocoons waiting to hatch. Afterwards, wander the short hedge maze, which is enjoyable for adults and children alike.
7. Stand in the Center of China’s Temple of Heaven
The China Pavilion features a smaller version of its sacred Temple of Heaven where guests can experience Reflections of China, a 13-minute Circle-Vision 360° film. But there’s even more to discover here. Guests who stand in the very center of this temple can experience acoustic perfection; just whisper and your voice will echo back to you! There’s also Chinese symbolism steeped into the ornate architecture of this building. The 12 outer columns inside of the hall represent the 12 year cycle of the Chinese calendar, whereas the 4 columns near the center of the space symbolize the 4 seasons. These columns work together to support a structural beam topped by a rounded beam; this represents the connection between heaven and earth. Pretty cool, right?
8. End Your Day with IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
This one might not be “hidden,” but it’s definitely a gem! Epcot’s nightly fireworks show, IllumiNations, is breathtaking and inspiring as it combines fireworks, laser lights, music, and a moving message about humanity and its relationship with the earth. Guests love this show, so it’s best to claim a viewing spot early. We suggest the waterfront promenade by Germany or Italy, the bridge near the International Gateway entrance, or the outdoor eating veranda at La Cantina de San Angel, which is the perfect spot for snacking and viewing. (But be sure to snag a spot early as this counter service spot fills up!)
There’s lots more to explore when traveling along Epcot’s World Showcase! We guarantee you’ll notice something new every time you visit!
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