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Epcot World Showcase Overview
The concept of Epcot formed in the mind of Walt Disney when he was developing ideas for the California Disney Land. He imagined an ' International Street' and that vision is today known as Epcot. The largest of all the Disney parks, Epcot is divided into two sections and offers vastly differing presentations.
Future World explores innovation, imagination, energy, space and land and offers a multitude of interactive attractions to keep all ages amused. World Showcase is a display of countries each with its own pavilion celebrating the unique customs, architecture and lifestyles of each participating country. The Showcase was launched with the official park opening on October 1 1982 and was then home to 9 countries: Mexico; China; Germany; Italy: Japan; America; France; United Kingdom and Canada. Morocco opened in 1984 followed by Norway in 1988.
Located around the 40 acre Showcase Lagoon, World Showcase is not a place to jump on rides or experience wild thrills, it is a cultural explosion of lifestyles where you can absorb the individual traditions celebrated by each country.
Many of the pavilions offer character meet and greets - see Mary Poppins and Pooh in the UK, Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie in Morocco, Mulan in China, Snow White in Germany and Norway, Sleeping Beauty in Norway, Beast and Belle in France and Pinnochio in Italy.
For live entertainment, there are two resident bands that play to the crowds. ' The British Invasion' is a Beatles tribute band that can be found in the gazebo in the United Kingdom Pavilion and ' Off Kilter' are a Celtic rock band performing daily at the Canadian Pavilion. For lots of laughs, head over to France where you can catch ' Serveur Amusant' who are a duo who perform comedic balancing acts high above the ground on a pile of stacked wooden chairs. ' Mo Rockin' offer exotic sounds at Morocco and ' Matsuriza' bang away in perfect synchronisation on the large drums in Japan. For an American traditional approach, ' The Voices of Liberty' present capella harmonies inside the American Adventure pavilion prior to the show. Outside the ' Fife & Drum Corps' march and play to honour America several times a day. Most countries offer some form of entertainment, so do make sure you explore them all.
For dining options, you will be spoilt for choice as the World Showcase leads you on a delicious culinary journey of taste. Le Cellier Steakhouse in Canada offers a fine sample of prime rib and seafood while bangers and mash or fish and chips are amongst the favourites in the Rose and Crown Pub dining room in the United Kingdom. Les Chefs de France provides an elegant backdrop featuring french nouvelle cuisine and, for a taste of China, visit the Nine Dragons Restaurant. For a quick bite, try Yakitori House over in Japan which is a 16th-century replica tea house. Celebrate Oktoberfest all year round at the Biergarten Restaurant in Germany or sample the flavours of Southern Mexico in La Hacienda de San Angel. There really is something for everyone, so go hungry!
For the younger members of your group, do take advantage of the ' Kidcot' stations located in the various countries throughout World Showcase. They offer craft stations for preschoolers where the kids can meet Cast Members and ' travel the world' drawing, writing, colouring and creating vibrant masks.
The Showcase Lagoon has a 1. 2 mile perimeter and ' FriendShip' boats navigate the lagoon transporting guests to and from World Showcase to Future World. The lagoon is also the base for ' IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth' which is an award winning night time spectacular firework and laser show. A giant Earth in the centre of the lagoon rotates with LCD screens depicting people and places of the world while fireworks explode in the sky and lasers dance across the water.
All in all, Epcot is a terrific day out and World Showcase offers a unique experience for all the family.
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