Credit: Disney

Fun Facts About the China Pavilion

Sometimes it is interesting to find out behind the scenes facts about details around Walt Disney World. Imagineer Zach Riddley shared on his Instagram something you may not know about the China Pavilion.

Credit: Zach Riddley

Today we continue to explore the unique art and architecture of the pavilions around EPCOT’s World Showcase. Our next stop is The China Pavilion – which shares the country’s rich history and beauty. EPCOT’s first Imagineers drew inspiration for the pavilion from the Imperial Palace located in the Forbidden City and the 15th century Temple of Heaven, both found in Beijing.


The Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is a three-tiered temple with a roof of deep blue ceramic tiles trimmed with gold. Chinese numerology is embodied in all the measurements and proportions, giving the temple a unique sense of scale and order. If you’ve ever had a chance to visit China, you “feel” the scale of the buildings. All the choices are intentional and reflect the deep sense of purpose.

Credit: Zach Riddley

Inside, the architecture boasts precise geometrical relationships, with vertical elements in odd number ratios representing Heaven, while horizontal elements in even number ratios representing Earth. The twelve columns that support the temple represent the twelve months of the year and the twelve-year cycle of the Chinese calendar. While the four columns in the center of the space represent the four seasons.


At the center of the dome is a spectacular golden bas relief sculpture of a dragon and phoenix intertwined. This stunning piece of sculpture includes a five-clawed dragon representing imperial strength and the phoenix representing peace and prosperity. The Chinese consider the number 9 auspicious— associated with longevity (long life). A Chinese dragon is normally described in terms of nine attributes and usually has 117 (9×13) scales – 81 (9×9) Yang and 36 (9×4) Yin.

Credit: Disney

This rich layering of meaning is brought to life in stunning details throughout the pavilion, and represents one of the most colorful and vibrant of all EPCOT pavilions. And next time we’ll head over to the Nine Dragons Restaurant to see how Imagineers drew on this rich legacy of dragon iconography to craft the experience of this dining destination.

Related: Exploring Epcot’s China Pavilion in Walt Disney World

Related: 6 Things You Will Love About Epcot’s China Pavilion At Walt Disney World

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