When I was growing up we would take trips to the Walt Disney World Resort and we would always spend at least two days at Epcot.
One day was for Future World and one day was spent completely in the World Showcase. I don’t thing people realize just how much is there to explore in the 11 countries around the lagoon.
Let’s take a look at some hidden and not so hidden gems in the World Showcase!
The Canadian pavilion has a beautiful Victoria Gardens are that you can visit. It’s a replica of the Butchart Gardens in Vancouver.
If you go down the path in front of the waterfall you can visit Oh Canada. It’s a 360° Circle vision film starring Martin Short. As interesting as the film is, the path on the way to it is amazing! Fantastic for photos!
2. United Kingdom
If you follow the walkway between the shops to the back of the area there’s a small and quiet park, based on Hyde park in London. It even has a hedge maze there. You can also find water fountains and benches to take a bit of a rest.
The current rumors are that this area may be removed for an attraction to be added. The most prevalent rumor is a Mary Poppins themed attraction of some kind. But for now, it’s a nice area to get away from the crowds. The United Kingdom usually seems to have a lot of people.
France has some amazing homages to art around the area. From the canvases near the water front, to the pole covered in posters. But the place we always visit is tucked in behind the signature service restaurant.
If you follow the walkway to the left, you can find Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in the back corner. They have all kinds of amazing desserts! My kids love stopping there for a treat!
The Morocco pavilion is beautiful! There is so much work and authenticity in this area. The King of Morocco himself send his own workers to construct the area and they still come in and repair it and improve it. The care and craftsmanship shows!
What most people miss is the small museum off to the left hand side. It’s called The Gallery of Arts and History, and there are authentic pieces exhibited there. Definitely check it out!
Japan is my family’s favorite pavilion to visit! We love the store there but there is also a museum that we really enjoy.
If you pass the pagoda and head back to the end of the walkway there is a door. On the right hand side is a statue that was donated to Walt Disney World from the Japanese government.
Once you enter the doors you can go straight into the store, or if you turn left, you can enter the museum called the Bijutsu-kan Gallery. Inside there are wall units to display items as well as a rock garden area.
The current exhibit is called “Kawaii: Japan’s Cute Culture” and features many adorable everyday items from Japan, as well as a sculpture by Sebastian Masuda.
6. American Adventure
I’m sure a lot of people have visited The American Adventure attraction at the World Showcase. But when you enter the waiting area, with the rotunda and the Voices of Liberty, look around.
The walls have several paintings depicting different times and scenes from American History.
If you enter and look to the right there is a small museum called the American Heritage Gallery.
Here they rotate exhibits based on the cultures and peoples of America.
Italy has amazing architecture and some popular restaurants. But one thing that we love to visit is the large fountain featuring Neptune.
It’s called the Fontana de Nettuno and is based on the Fountain of Trevi in Rome. Make sure you check it out!
The Germany pavilion is home to an amazing outdoor train display! Technically it’s between Italy and Germany (on the Germany side.) It’s a lot of fun to watch and look for hidden figures (and hidden Mickeys.)
We always love to stop and check it out. There is a rumor circulating about this area as well. The current rumor is that they will remove the train to add a new Brazilian pavilion to the area.
The China pavilion is host to a bunch of beautiful things to look at. From the Temple of Heaven to the gardens, it’s gorgeous.
While visiting the China pavilion make sure to visit the museum connected to the Circle Vision Reflections of China film waiting area. Currently it’s hosting an exhibit on Shanghai Disneyland.
Another fun thing we found is going to the House of Good Fortune. Besides all the amazing clothing, toys, gifts, and jewelry, in the very back of the store are Shanghai Disneyland items! You can get souvenirs from the newest Disney park without leaving the country.
The Norway pavilion is always busy now that Frozen Ever After attraction is there, but did you know that you can also meet Elsa and Anna?
If you go to the Royal Sommerhus on the other side of Norway (heading towards Mexico) and you can visit with Elsa and Anna. To enter the meet and greet area guests go through the Royal Summerhus. There are some fun Easter Eggs inside, including a tapestry featuring the trolls from the original Malestrom attraction.
Another great activity in Norway is the Stave Church Museum.
The church located in the middle of the area is called the Stave Church and inside is a small museum space. Currently it’s housing an exhibit called the “Gods of the Vikings.” It features Norse gods like Thor, Odin, Loki and Freya.
Our tour around the World Showcase will conclude at the Mexico pavilion.
Most of you know about the boat ride- The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, but there are some other great things to check out in this area.
On your way from Norway to the stepped pyramid, if you look to the right, there is a small shaded area that hosts a Donald Duck meet and greet.
When you enter the pyramid centerpiece you will immediately step into a museum display area. On either side, before the doors, are special Coco displays that project the skeletal characters from the film.
Another fun activity in the entry way is a new Coco inspired interactive exhibit that lets guests create their own skeleton.
The next time you visit Epcot set aside time to thoroughly explore the countries of the World Showcase. You never know what hidden gems you will find!
What do you think? Comment and let us know!
Image Sources: Ziggy Knows Disney, AllEars.net, EasyWDW, Trip Advisor, Disney World, Walt Disney World, Yesterland, WDW Kingdom, WDWMagic, Kambrea Pratt- The Kingdom Insider, WDWMagic, Walt Disney World.