It’s no secret that I am absolutely enamored with Epcot. I’ve had a love affair with the Park ever since I called Figment “Figit”. If I close my eyes and think about it, I can still smell Horizons. It always smelled like orange lollipops to me. That’s where I learned “If you can dream it, then you can do it”- a lesson I still carry to this day.
Epcot doesn’t get the love I think it deserves. Case and point? Quick…think about the World Showcase. Did Drinking Around the World challenges and adult-oriented events come to mind? You’re probably not alone. That is the reputation the World Showcase has gotten in recent years but that’s not my World Showcase. My World Showcase is a fascinating trip around the world in just a few hours. Where I can take in the sights and explore different cultures by having conversations with Cast Members who have actually lived there. Where I can taste and experience cuisines from far-flung regions throughout the world. It occasionally involves the alcoholic beverage here and there but that is not the main focus. The main focus is one of discovery.
It never fails to leave the World Showcase with a new travel dream. Most recently I’ve decided that I’m going to go to Morocco some day. My husband usually decides he’s going to Japan after a trip to Epcot.
So at last year’s D23 Expo when it was announced that Epcot would be getting a revitalization I held my breath and waited for news of the World Showcase. When that news came… I was not happy. The plan– a revitalization that would make the World Showcase more family friendly. That wasn’t, in itself, a bad thing…but characters and rides in my World Showcase? I didn’t think I liked that very much.
Then I remembered what it was like as a child. It was magical, it was exotic, it was… boring. Though I’ve always loved Epcot, the World Showcase was an affinity I had to grow into. It held my attention for a little while but then I was quickly over it. I thought about it some more, really thought about it — would characters and rides have made a difference? 100% yes. They would have. I still would have been immersed in these foreign lands that were exotic and exciting with so much to explore but there would have also been rides and characters and things that were on my level to keep me entertained.
Now that I’m a parent, that’s what I want my son’s world showcase to be. A place where he can discover new cultures alongside his favorite Disney movies. They don’t have to be mutually exclusive. I want it to be a place where he can look around him and see himself in the movies that he watches at home.
Think about the Morocco pavilion for just a moment. Specifically, the marketplace area. Can’t you just see Alladin bouncing the rooftops? Running from the guards passed the shops selling lamps and rugs? Or the fountain in the France pavilion. Couldn’t you picture Belle reading to her sheep? Can’t you see Remy longingly peering in the windows of Chefs de France? How about Elsa roaming then Norway Pavillion? Yes, the more I thought about it the more I thought this was actually a good idea.
I hear you, “The places in those movies are fictional! Arendale and Agrabah aren’t real places!” True…but they could be, couldn’t they? They were modeled after very real places and those real places are represented in the World Showcase. “But characters cheapen the experience” I get that line of thought, I really do, because it was mine not long ago. My question back to you is do they really? I’m going to say no. The French Pavillion is still just as immersive, still just as illuminating as it ever was. But now, there will be a Ratatouille ride and a Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along IN ADDITION to the other experiences. Nothing is lost, but much is gained.
I can already see my son and I traipsing through the France Pavilion, pretending to be Remy, talking about the delicious dishes we want to prepare. Or singing “Bonjour! Bonjour! Bonjour bonjour bonjour!” as we explore the paved alleys and perfumed shops with macaroons in hand. I can already imagine how much more magic this will add to his experience so I don’t mind sharing my World Showcase with him. After all, it’s his “World” too!
Ready to start planning your next vacation? Contact me today! I’m a Travel Agent with Pixie Dusted Dreams Travel and Events, the official Travel Agency of Chip and Co. Find me on Facebook or Instagram or email me at Jill@ for your free quote! My services are completely free and I can’t wait to help you turn your Disney dreams into Disney plans.
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