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Florida Guide - Epcot - Canada Pavilion
Depending on how you plan your route around the World Showcase Lagoon, Canada could either be the first or the last pavilion you come to (unless you enter the park by the International Gateway entrance between the France and United Kingdom pavilions). This is a stunning pavilion to come across and quite architecturally amazing.
Inspired by the great Canadian outdoors, this pavilion features a canyon, a waterfall, gardens and pools with fountains. Towering over the main entrance to the pavilion is an impressive looking main building, the Hotel du Canada, which is modeled after the Château Laurier hotel in Ottawa. As is often the case with Walt Disney World buildings forced perspective is used to make the building appear even more impressive than it actually is! The building appears to be six stories high, however, in reality it is only three. This clever trick on the eye is used time and again throughout the Disney parks.
As you go up the main entrance to the pavilion by the steps or the ramp you find yourself in a series of courtyards with shops selling Canadian merchandise. To the left is Northwest Mercantile, which sells various Canadian goods including Roots products, NHL jerseys for the Canadian teams, wines and ice wines and various different maple products and stuffed animal toys. This building is made to look like a traditional wooden house and is a great place to meander through to escape the heat if you want. Within the Hotel du Canada on the right side used to be a shop selling Anne of Green Gable gifts and other more delicate souvenirs, however, it hasn’t been open at our last visits.
Once past these courtyards you descend down a series of wooden looking steps to get to the main entertainment of the pavilion. As you go down a huge waterfall to your right cascades down an impressive rock face. This is a great place to get some photos.
You then enter into a tunnel which looks like a mine with various different mining items decorating the walls and some benches to sit and wait on with windows overlooking the waterfall and its lake. This is the holding area for the main attraction which is O Canada! a circle-vision 360° movie of Canada. This movie has been recently updated and now features some of the original footage dating back to 1979 cleverly mixed in with modern narration by Canadian actor Martin Short. This film really brings to life the beauty and magnificence of the scenery of Canada and Martin Short’s commentary helps to gently poke fun at many of the stereotypes associated with Canada. It is well worth taking the time to enjoy this film, the only downside is that you have to stand throughout the presentation, but at least it is cool.
As you leave the film theatre you wander back up through the beautiful Victoria Gardens, which are the largest gardens amongst all of the pavilions. On the way out you pass by Le Cellier Steakhouse. This full service restaurant is set in the wine cellars of Hotel du Canada and offers seafood and steaks and Canadian wines and beers. We have not eaten here ourselves, however, it is one of the more upscale eating choices in Epcot and I would imagine it would be very pleasant.
Overall we really enjoy the Canada pavilion and it is a definite stopping off point on our tours of Epcot.
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