EPCOT - World Pavilions - Part 1/2




EPCOT China Pavlion Walt Disney World
The Temple of Heaven - China World Pavilion at EPCOT
EPCOT stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. There are a number of rides and eleven world pavilions to explore covering a distance of nearly 2 kilometres. Eleven countries showcased are: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France, U.K, and Canada.

Kidcot Funstops and EPCOT Passports
Kids can get special Passports ($10 USD) at any Kidcot Funstop at any of the 11 World Pavilions. The Passport comes with stickers and pictures of each country and makes a nice souvenir. The Passport can get a stamp and a personal message from a Cast Member native to that particular country. The cast members inside the World Pavilions are from their respective countries on the Disney cultural exchange program – usually here for a 12 month stint. None that we spoke to were keen to go home and really enjoyed the experience.

I would really recommend buying the Passport as it gives the kids something to look forward to at each pavilion, its educational (the Cast members at these Kidcot stations are only too happy to chat to you about where they are from). If you don't want to purchase the Passport the Cast Members are happy to stamp anything – people do bring notebooks/scrapbooks from home to get stamped.  

Norway Pavilion EPCOT Walt DisneyWorld
At the Norway Kidcot Funstop

KidCot EPCOT Passport

Kidcot Passports EPCOT
An example of whats inside the Passbooks
In April 2018, the Kidcot stations were handing out complimentary cardboard Duffy the Disney Bear cut-outs. The Cast members would stamp these too and write messages from their respective countries. This was discontinued in July 2018. 


There was a new free Kidcot activity introduced in  July 2018 – kids can now collect travelers cards from around World Showcase and these come in a neat zip locked bag. The cards have fun facts about each country and on the other side of the card – a picture that the kids can colour in. These cards have replaced the Duffy cut-outs. I do think though that little kids (like 3-5 year olds) would probably much prefer the Duffy cut-outs as they are bigger to colour in and they can easily carry them around. The card packs do look smarter – but I think they are aimed at an older child audience which defeats the purpose of Kidcot – which was to entertain the little ones at each Word Showcase. This is just my humble opinion though.

Duffy Cutouts EPCOT
The old Duffy Bears cut-outs

The Adult version at EPCOT is colloquially known as ‘Drinking around the World’ where you sample the world’s alcoholic beverages. This is probably more prevalent during EPCOT’s International Food and Wine Festival though that runs from late August until mid-November (exact dates are on the official Disney websites).


The World Pavilions:
Germany - The shops here were very tempting. We didn’t spend much time here at all though. A lot of advertising for ‘Octoberfest’ the famous beer drinking festival in Germany. Apparently at Karamelt-Kuche (Caremel Kitchen), the fudge is divine.

EPCOT World Showcase Germany
China - Has the 'Reflections of China' 360° degree film where you stand watching the film - there are no seats. I actually found these 360° degree films kind of made me feel a bit dizzy. I think because the pictures were moving, but we as the audience were not. I had this same problem in the Canada 360° degree film.

EPCOT World Showcase China

China gates EPCOT
Also in the China Pavilion there is a replica of the 'Temple of Heaven' that is found in Beijing. This temple is acoustically perfect - if you say something in the middle of the room, you can hear your own voice echo. I did try this with a Cast member, but I think there were far too many people in the room with me at the time.


Temple of Heaven China World Pavilion EPCOT
The Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven China EPCOT
Inside the Temple of Heaven
 
China Terracotta Warrior
Terracotta warrior statue

There was also a rather large exhibition of Shanghai Disneyland including models of rides, maps and costumes.
Norway - Get Fast Pass (FP) for the ‘Frozen ever After’ indoor boat ride through Arendale (4.5 minute ride) otherwise the standby queue is a long wait of over an hour. Kringla Bakeryi Og Kafe is one of the best places in the World Showcase for a quick snack/lunch. In the shops there is a lot of Frozen and Trolls merchandise to be found. The Stave Church in the Norway Pavilion was built in the style popular in the middle ages.

Norway Village EPCOT

Norway Stave Church EPCOT
A medieval replica of a Stave Church, once common in Norway
 
Norway Troll at EPCOT


American Adventure – Includes a 30 minute film with audio - animatronic figures of Mark Twain. This was ok, but I found a similar show at Magic Kingdom (which for me) was a better experience overall. There is a collection of U.S President Memorabilia in the entrance hall which was interesting. Walt Disney greatly admired Abraham Lincoln, and to my great surprise, my daughter actually learnt a bit about U.S Civil War history attending these shows – as she told a teacher about Abraham Lincoln and the Civil War when we returned back to Australia!

USA Pavilion at EPCOT


Mexico - The Aztec pyramid contains many authentic and valuable museum artefacts, and pays homage to the recent movie ‘Coco’ which was set in Mexico and covers a lot of Mexican traditions. Also inside the Mexico pavilion there is a 7 minute Gran Fiesta Tour indoor boat ride ride, which is a lot like ‘It’s a Small World, but with fireworks on the ceiling. There are absolutely no drops and it is a nice boat ride for all ages. The queue was very short too – like less than 15 minutes.

Mexico Pyramid at EPCOT
Aztec Pyramid

Mexican Art at EPCOT

Mexican World Pavilion Gran Fiesta Tour

Mexican Market EPCOT
Inside the Mexican Pavilion is a night market

Overall, it was fun exploring the different ‘worlds.’


Read more about the other World Pavilions in next weeks blog (Morocco, Canada, France, Japan and Italy)
I hope you enjoyed reading my review of the World Pavilions. Do you have a favourite World Pavilion?

Until next week,
KJ 
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June/July 2018: Typo.com has alot of Disney merchandise on sale here including Snow White. It also includes a $10 voucher!!

Typo Disney Stationery Snow White
Whats new at Typo!


You can read about other Disney Parks below:

Blogs:
What’s inside the Disneyland Castles Part 2
How to plan a Disney Wedding 
Planning Tips for Someone without a Car
Interview with an Annual Passholder -WDW






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