Spotlight: World Showcase
Walt’s original vision of Epcot was, literally, an Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow—a utopian society where cultures could co-exist peacefully. World Showcase is the embodiment of this idea, and brings together countries from around the world (Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the US, Japan, Morocco, France, the UK, and Canada) in one large loop around the back of Epcot. This pavilion is unlike anything else you’ll find at Disney, or in any theme park, for that matter.
First of all, no detail is too small for this pavilion. Each country is diligently themed and represented, from the availability of local foods to the architecture of the all the buildings. Cast members can also only work in the park if they’re originally from the country that they are representing. Each new pavilion really feels authentic, and you’ll leave Epcot feeling like a world traveler.
Several of the pavilions have rides to accompany their country, such as Mexico’s boat ride led by Donald Duck. Norway also has a famous ride, Maelstrom, which was a journey through land conquered by the vikings. As of late 2014, this ride unfortunately closed to make way for a new Frozen-themed attraction to break ground soon. Other countries, like Italy and the UK, have performers and shows that take place at various times, such as concerts in the garden or jugglers in the town’s square.
I would recommend dedicating a night or two to explore World Showcase and soak up the culture—and be sure to catch IllumiNations on your way out!