Many guests love visiting Epcot while on a Disney vacation to spend time wandering through the eleven countries of World Showcase. Located in the rear of the park, World Showcase offers guests the chance to travel around the world while learning about the different culture, cuisine, history, and architecture of various countries. Each country is full of amazing attention to detail which helps guests feel as though they have left Central Florida and traveled everywhere from Europe to Asia. Found in the endless details are plenty of hidden secrets for guests to discover and enjoy while spending time in Epcot. From hidden cultural stories to Hidden Mickeys, guests love finding a hidden gem in the details. Here are seven hidden secrets in World Showcase in Walt Disney World.
7. Hidden Tower –
Guests who find themselves gazing across World Showcase Lagoon at Morocco might be surprised to learn that the tallest building in the distance isn’t even located in Epcot! When Imagineers were constructing the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror in nearby Disney’s Hollywood Studios, they realized that the structure was so large that it could be spotted from World Showcase. In order to help the attraction blend in, Imagineers opted to use a color scheme reflective of the buildings already constructed in the Morocco building and small matching architectural details were added to the back of the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. The result today allows guests to wander through World Showcase and enjoy the Moroccan skyline in the distance without ever realizing that the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is included.
6. China’s Prince –
The China Pavilion in World Showcase is one of the most ornately detailed with beautiful architectural details and artwork. On the roof on Nine Dragons Restaurant, guests can enjoy different figures including animals and one man on a corner. The man is a representation of Prince Min, a third century ruler who was hanged for his cruelty. A Chinese custom is to include a likeness of Prince Min on a building as a warning to other cruel leaders and to have the prince guarded by a series of animals to prevent him from ever escaping. Guests who look up while passing by Nine Dragons Restaurant can spot the Prince and learn a little bit about an interesting Chinese tradition.
5. Familiar Costumes –
Guests who stop by France are treated to beautiful architecture, decadent pastries and snacks, and the wonderful Impressions de France. The film is housed in the Palais du Cinema and takes guests on a scenic tour of France accompanied by music from famous French composers including Debussy and Dukas. Before entering into the attraction’s theater, guests can wander through a small lobby full of historical details and facts about French architecture with a focus on Notre Dame. In both the lobby and the theater of Impressions de France guests can spot female Cast Members who have costumes which are directly inspired by a famous French artist. The Cast Member outfits are inspired by Edouard Manet’s painting “A Bar at the Folies-Bergere” and those who look up the painting will easily recognize the similarity.
4. A Smoking Hidden Mickey –
The Mexico Pavilion is home to a massive ancient pyramid in which the Plaza de los Amigos resides. The plaza is made to resemble a bustling nighttime marketplace featuring several shopping stalls, The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, and the San Angel Inn Restaurante. Guests who dine at the full service restaurant are seated along a tranquil river which overlooks a distant smoking volcano. Every so often, those who look closely can spot a classic Hidden Mickey in a puff of smoke expelled from the volcano.
3. A Hidden Drawbridge –
Those who walk the entire loop around World Showcase Lagoon might not realize that at one point they pass over a drawbridge! Between the Outpost area and the China Pavilion, guests move along the walkway over a small river which winds its way out of sight across from World Showcase Lagoon. Once a day the path is momentarily closed so that a hidden drawbridge can lift up allowing the massive globe used nightly in Illuminations: Reflections of Earth to move into World Showcase Lagoon. The drawbridge is made to seamlessly blend into the normal path, so unless guests are looking for it they usually don’t notice it!
2. A Great View –
One of the main draws in World Showcase is the nightly showing of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. While there are plenty of spots all around World Showcase Lagoon that offer great views of the show, there is a fantastic spot in Japan that is hidden in plain sight. Tokyo Dining is a full service restaurant located on the second floor of one of the buildings in the Japan Pavilion which serves up traditional Japanese cuisine including fresh sushi. On the side of the restaurant facing World Showcase Lagoon there is a large balcony that is also open to the general public via an outdoor staircase. The balcony offers sweeping views of World Showcase and World Showcase Lagoon and it is a great place to watch EPCOT fireworks.
1. Germany’s Saint –
Guests love spending time in the Germany Pavilion where they can sample traditional caramel candy, enjoy a full service buffet at the Biergarten Restaurant, and soak up the architecture and feel of a traditional German village. Located in the middle of the village square is a large fountain which features a pillar with a statue on top. The statue features a man on horseback slaying a dragon and has direct ties to German tradition. The man is a representation of Saint George who was said to have saved a princess from a dragon. Many German villages feature a likeness of Saint George to bring protection to their people, and the Germany Pavilion in Epcot is no exception!