Epcot’s World Showcase is one of our all-time favorite Disney locations. It is full to the international brim with amazing hidden gems. Here are just a few!
8. Spontaneous Entertainment
Epcot is full of surprises! At any time of the day throughout the World Showcase, you have an excellent chance of encountering delightful – and completely free – entertainment in the spirit of whichever pavilion you are in. You might stumble upon mesmerizing drummers in Japan, hear a Beatles cover band in the UK, gravity-defying chair tumblers in France, or flag twirlers in Italy. There’s never a dull moment in Epcot!
7. Get Lost
Morocco is hands-down our favorite pavilion to get lost in for an afternoon. Unbeknownst to many guests, there’s an elaborate – and magical – warren of streets and alleyways to explore that will instantly make you feel transported to Northern Africa. There are hidden niches and alcoves; gorgeous, old-world fountains; a secret prayer room designed for Morocco’s cast members but open to the public; and of course, lots of authentic Moroccan merchandise to peruse! Fun fact: the intricately beautiful tiles and carvings found throughout this pavilion were created by actual artisans from Morocco, who routinely visit Epcot to repair and touch up these works of art.
6. Hide-and-Seek, Imagineer Style
This hidden gem is actually more of a Hidden Mickey – except it’s not Mickey who is hiding: it’s an entire ride at another theme park! Hollywood Studios’ The Tower of Terror is so tall that it can actually be seen from Epcot, if you know where to look. When you’re at the Moroccan pavilion, look up and notice the Tower-Hotel-shaped building rising above it in the background; it’s the back of the ride that you can see, and Imagineers decorated it to make sure that it blends in with the architecture in the Moroccan pavilion. But if you know what you’re looking for, it’s unmistakable.
5. British Butterflies
When hopping across the pond to the UK pavilion, be sure to check out the lovely butterfly garden. Imagineers created the garden using lots of plants that butterflies love, to make sure they’d want to stay in the garden. When caterpillars spin their cocoons, the cocoons are placed in protective bottom-less boxes in the garden, and when the butterfly emerges, it can just fly out of the bottom of the box. And because butterfly-friendly plants are right there in the garden, they tend to stick around, leading to lots of happy butterfly fans.
4. Temple of (Acoustic) Heaven
Did you know that the Chinese pavilion’s Temple of Heaven is a faithful, one-half scale recreation of the actual ancient Beijing landmark? You can go inside to check out the temple when you watch the stunning 360 degree Circle-Vision film. While you’re there, try to find the exact centre of the room – if you stand there, and speak quietly, you’ll hear your own voice echo back to you. This is because the temple’s acoustics are practically perfect! You’ll also easily hear the whispers of other guests. Perhaps not the best place to tell a secret, but definitely an amazing and beautiful architectural feat!
3. True Canadian Beauty
Some of the most stunning scenery in Epcot’s World Showcase is in the Canadian pavilion. Many people come here for the fantastic food at Le Cellier, and rightfully so! But it’s worth taking a walk to the back of the pavilion, before or after your reservations. Your stroll will take you by trees forming what’s meant to look like the thick forests of Canada, and there’s also an artificial mountain meant to symbolize the Canadian Rockies. Finally, you’ll arrive at a spectacular 30-foot high waterfall – the perfect spot for a pre- or post-dinner photo!
2. Ice Cream Delights
We’re huge fans of the ice cream at Beaches and Cream, but it’s possible the France pavilion’s L’Artisan des Glaces has it beat! This little shop serves fantastic, unique ice cream flavors that you just can’t get anywhere else on property. We love the coco-white chocolate, cinnamon with caramelized apple and crumble crunch, and milk chocolate orange – but more traditional flavors are also available for those with less adventurous palates. You can also get ice cream in sandwich form, served in a delicate macaron or a brioche – or treat yourself to an ice cream martini.
1. Festival of Holidays
Epcot tends to be at its busiest during the International Food and Wine Festival, unsurprisingly. But we love to explore Festival of Holidays during the holiday season – and the crowds aren’t as bad as during Food and Wine! If you visit during the holidays, make sure you pick up a Holiday Passport on your way in; this will tell you all about the special entertainment and food on tap. Favorites include Chinese lion dancers, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa celebrations, mischievous Norwegian gnomes, Mexican mariachis, and various storytellers in their own cultural costumes across the World Showcase. Where else can you travel across the world, celebrating different global holidays through song, dance and food, all in one day?