Walt Disney World’s second theme park is known for its interactive exhibits and attractions that explore space travel and the history of communication. But about one-half of EPCOT exists in the form of the World Showcase, which sits along a promenade around the World Showcase Lagoon. It is home to pavilions for 11 different countries from all around the world. That’s a lot of countries, cuisines and customs! Here’s what you need to know about all there is to do, see, experience and eat in each of the 11 pavilions.
Inside a giant Mexican pyramid that serves as the icon for the Mexico pavilion, you can experience an interactive exhibit featuring characters from Disney/PIXAR’s Coco. Beyond this initial experience, you will step into an area of the pavilion designed to look like an open-air Mexican marketplace. Find souvenirs made by artisans, including hand-painted items, as well as sombreros, maracas and more. Toward the rear of the pavilion to the left, you can board a boat at the Gran Fiesta attraction. In this attraction, Guests enjoy a tour of Mexico. The attraction features the Three Caballeros—one of whom is missing (Donald). Will Jose’ and Panchito find Donald in time for their concert? If you’re hungry for authentic Mexican cuisine, you can dine at San Angel Inn along the waterfront of the Gran Fiesta attraction, at La Hacienda de San Angel (both table-service venues) or at Cantina de San Angel, which is a counter-service restaurant with seating along the banks of the World Showcase Lagoon.
Next door to the Mexico pavilion, you will experience the Norway pavilion. The pavilion has a very evident Frozen presence. Inside Royal Sommerhus, you can meet Princess Anna and Queen Elsa, pose for photos with them and ask them to sign your autograph book. Then take a short walk through the Stave Church Gallery before heading to the Frozen Ever After attraction, which replaced the former Maelstrom attraction. Board a Norwegian vessel and take a tour of Arendelle. Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Olaf, Sven and even the Snowgies play a role in this ride. Frozen Ever After boasts some of the most advanced audio-animatronic robots on Disney World property. If you have little princesses in your traveling party, you’ll want to reserve lunch or dinner at Akershus Dining Hall. The Storybook Dining experience is fun for the whole family and features many of the Disney Princesses who make their way around the dining room for photos and to sign autographs. Book this experience by calling (407) WDW-DINE or via the My Disney Experience app.
The China pavilion was created to look like an ancient Chinese city. In the courtyard of the pavilion stands a replica of the Temple of Heaven. Beyond the courtyard, Guests can enter a building where they can soon see the new “Wondrous China” a Circle-Vision 360 film. Chinese acrobats perform outside in the pavilion at certain times throughout the day. There are also 2 Chinese restaurants in the pavilion, as well as several shops selling Chinese merchandise. Beautiful Chinese ponds also decorate the pavilion. If you’ve never explored this pavilion, it’s worth doing so—the pavilion extends far beyond what Guests can see at the main entrance.
Step into a German town that showcases architecture from different eras and regions of Germany. In the town square stands a statue of St. George and the Dragon, as well as a clock tower. Meet Snow White near the wishing well and celebrate Oktoberfest every day of the year at Biergarten. This table-service restaurant serves a wide variety of German dishes buffet-style, and a German band performs throughout the day. At Christmastime, the show is a Christmas-themed production. There are also shops that sell German candies, German toys such as teddy bears, Christmas ornaments and beer steins. This pavilion is a great place to buy cuckoo clocks as well! Just outside the pavilion along the promenade sits a miniature village with miniature working trains.
The Italian pavilion is home to several buildings that showcase Venetian, Florentine and Roman architecture. There is also a bell town and the Neptune fountain. Entertainment is offered in the piazza each day—weather permitting—and includes musicians, clowns, acting troupes and a mime. Several Italian shops decorate the pavilion, and if you’re hungry, visit Tutto Italia or Via Napoli—an authentic Italian pizzeria.
6. The American Adventure
The American Adventure sits at the center of the World Showcase. Inside the stately building in the pavilion, you’ll find the Hall of Flags exhibit, the Voices of Liberty a cappella ensemble and the American Adventure stage show, which is presented with film and audio-animatronic robots. The presentation is narrated by audio-animatronic versions of Ben Franklin and Mark Twain and details the trials and triumphs in building our great country since its inception in 1776. You’ll also find the Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue restaurant, which serves all kinds of great American barbecue.
The Japan pavilion boasts a big, beautiful pagoda, as well as Japanese pools and gardens. It’s a beautiful pavilion that is also home to Japanese art exhibits, a counter-service sushi house, many shops selling Japanese merchandise—including Pokemon—and three restaurants—Takumi-Tei, Teppan Edo, and Katsura Grill. To make dining reservations at either, call (407) WDW-DINE or open the My Disney Experience app.
The Moroccan government played a big role in the design of this pavilion, and it still plays the role of sponsorship to this day. When the pavilion was being built, King Hassan of Morocco sent several of his royal artisans to help with artistic details throughout the pavilion. Because of the country’s Muslim beliefs, none of the artwork depicts people. Visit the Gallery of Arts and History and stroll through the pavilion as you take in the beauty of the date palms and olive trees—both naturally occurring in North Africa—that are used to adorn the pavilion. Make dining reservations at Restaurant Marrakesh or visit the Tangierine Café, which serves roast lamb, couscous and Harira soup. If it’s small Moroccan dishes you’re hungry for, stop by the Spice Road Table restaurant. Be sure you have your camera and autograph book because you can also meet Princess Jasmine in this pavilion.
The France pavilion was designed to resemble a neighborhood in Paris. There is a view of the Eiffel Tower in the distance as well. See the “Impressions of France” and/or “Beauty and the Beast Sing A-long” films, shop for French cosmetics, including fragrances of all kinds. Dine at Les Chefs de France, stop in at Boulangerie Patisserie for scrumptious desserts and even meet a couple of princesses. Belle meets Guests across the promenade from the pavilion, and Princess Aurora meets Guests in the gardens near the fragrance shop. Construction is underway on an all-new attraction called Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, which features the characters and storyline from Disney/PIXAR’s Ratatouille. Disney hasn’t given a firm date for the opening of the new attraction but has said that the ride will be open in Summer 2020.
2. United Kingdom
In the United Kingdom pavilion, you can step into a British village, complete with British gardens, such as hedge mazes. Visit the Twinnings tea shop where you can purchase teas of all kinds, as well as tea kettles, British candies and more. Have lunch or dinner at the Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room, or sample great fish and chips at the Yorkshire County Fish Shop. See the band “The British Invasion” perform songs from different British artists, such as the Beatles, The Blur and more. You can also meet Mary Poppins and Alice from Disney’s Alice in Wonderland.
The Canada pavilion was designed to highlight the Canadian outdoors and includes a canyon, waterfalls, sprawling Canadian gardens and totem poles. The Maple leaf dots the pavilion, and inside the shops, you can even find Maple syrup and Maple-flavored lollipops. See the film “Canada Far and Wide” which highlights different parts of Canada. Enjoy a meal at Le Cellier Steakhouse while you’re there!