Mirror Walt Disney World 3.0 – The Definitive Version


Well-Known Member
In the Parks
As promised, here's a recap of all that can be found here in MWDW 3.0's Magic Kingdom. And just for the sake of context, *** denotes things I forgot to mention in the posts.

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Magic Kingdom
Main Street, U.S.A.


1. Walt Disney World Railroad
2. Walt Disney: One Man’s Dream
3. Main Street Vehicles
- Fire Engine
- Paddy Wagon
- Horseless Carriage
- Jitney
- Omnibus
- Horse-Drawn Streetcar
4. Discovery Arcade
5. Penny Arcade
6. Main Street Cinema
7. Plaza Swan Boats

1. Tony’s Town Square Restaurant
2. Main Street Confectionery
3. Casey’s Corner
4. Main Street Bakery
5. Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
6. The Plaza Restaurant
7. Crystal Palace
8. Walt’s - An American Restaurant
9. Club 33

1. The Disney Gallery
2. Emporium
3. Sherman Music Co.
4. Kodak Camera Center
5. The Chapeau
6. Uptown Jewelers
7. Wonderland of Wax Candle Shop
8. Greenhouse Flower Shop
9. Harmony Barber Shop
10. Hallmark Card Shop
11. Toymakers to the World
12. Disney Clothiers
13. House of Magic
14. The Storybook Store
15. Market House
16. Crystal Arts
17. The Shadow Box Silhouette Studio

-- Dapper Dans
-- Citizens of Main Street
-- Flag Retreat
-- Main Street Trolley Show
-- Walt Disney World Marching Band
-- Casey’s Corner Pianist
-- Mickey & Friend Cavalcade
-- Royal Princess Processional
-- Adventure Friends Cavalcade
-- Hundred Acre Cavalcade
-- Remember the Magic Parade
-- SpectroMagic
-- Once Upon a Time
-- Happily Ever After Nighttime Spectacular
-- Kiss Goodnight

-- Mickey and the Gang; Disney Princesses; and Hundred Acre Friends at Town Square
-- Disney Adventure Friends at Central Plaza



1. Legend of the Lion King
2. Swiss Family Treehouse
3. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
4. Jungle Cruise
5. Indiana Jones Adventure: Temple of the Forbidden Eye
6. Pirates of the Caribbean
7. Caribbean Arcade

1. Tropical Hideaway
2. Sunshine Tree Terrace
3. Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd. Skipper Canteen
4. Aloha Isle Refreshments
5. El Pirata y El Perico

1. Bwana Bob’s
2. Colonel Hathi’s Safari Club
3. Adventureland Bazaar
4. Plaza del Sol Caribe Bazaar
5. Lafitte’s Portrait Deck
6. The Pirate’s League
7. The Golden Galleon
8. La Princesa de Cristal

-- Arabian Knights
-- The Bootstrappers
-- Adventureland Steel Band

-- Rafiki and Timon along the path leading to Legend of the Lion King
-- Characters from The Jungle Book across from Colonel Hathi’s Safari Club
-- Tarzan, Jane and Terk nearby the Jungle Cruise
-- Characters from Aladdin in and around the Adventureland Bazaar
-- Moana in the Enchanted Tiki Garden
-- Characters from Pirates of the Caribbean at Caribbean Plaza



1. Western River Expedition
2. Thunder Mesa Railroad
3. Beaver Brothers Rafting Co.
4. The Diamond Horseshoe Saloon Revue
5. Country Bear Jamboree
6. Tom Sawyer Island
7. Frontierland Shootin’ Arcade
8. Hiking Trails
9. Stagecoaches
10. Covered Wagons
11. Liberty Belle Riverboat
12. Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes
13. Walt Disney World Railroad
14. Tiana’s Bayou Jubilee

1. The Diamond Horseshoe
2. Mesa Terrace Restaurant
3. Mile Long Bar
4. Pecos Bill Café
5. Aunt Polly’s Dockside Inn
6. Friendly Firefly Restaurant
7. Mint Julep Bar
8. Mama Odie’s Swampy Delights

1. Westward Ho! Clothing Co.
2. Frontier Trading Post
3. Big Al’s
4. Prairie Outpost & Supply
5. Prince Naveen’s Cabin
6. Tiana’s Supplies and Sweets
7. Jouet de Marais
8. Mortis’ Clothes Limited

-- Fantasmic!
-- Frontierland Hoedown
-- Frontierland Stunt Show
-- Nine Old Men

-- The Country Bears outside Country Bear Jamboree
-- Pecos Bill and Slue Foot Sue nearby Pecos Bill Café
-- Woody, Jessie and Bullseye; Kenai and Koda and Cowboy Mickey and the gang at Lookout Dock
-- Miguel Rivera and Mirabel Madrigal *** near Thunder Mesa
-- Characters from The Princess and the Frog at Greetings Gazebo

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

1. Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
2. Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple
3. Vision Cave
4. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run

1. Ronto Roasters
2. Kat Saka’s Kettle
3. Docking Bay 7 Food and Cargo
4. Oga’s Cantina
5. Kalikori Club
6. Milk Stand

1. Resistance Supply
2. Black Spire Outfitters
3. Toydarian Toymaker
4. Creature Stall
5. The Jewels of Bith
6. Dok-Ondar’s Den of Antiquities
7. Savi’s Workshop
8. Droid Depot
9. First Order Cargo

-- Battles of the Force (Streetmosphere)

-- Characters from the Sequel Trilogy roaming through the land
-- Other Star Wars Characters in the Vision Cave

Liberty Square


1. Hall of American History
2. Ichabod Crane’s Midnight Escape
3. The Haunted Mansion
4. Sailing Ship Columbia

1. Liberty Tree Tavern
2. Sleepy Hollow
3. Columbia Harbour House

1. Olde World Antiques
2. Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe
3. Samuel Osgood, Postmaster General
4. Blacksmith Shop
5. Paul Revere’s Silver Shop
6. New England Print Shop
7. Mlle. Lafayette’s Parfumerie
8. Memento Mori

-- The Muppets Present...Great Moments in American History

-- Pocahontas nearby Olde World Antiques
-- Ichabod Crane, Katrina van Tassel and Brom Bones roaming throughout the land



1. Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel
2. Sleeping Beauty’s Spell
3. The Hunchback of Notre Dame
4. Mary Poppins’ Jolly Holiday
5. Princess Fairytale Hall
6. Frozen Ever After
7. Voyage of the Little Mermaid
8. Ariel’s Grotto
9. Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
10. A Tangled Tale
11. The Jolly Roger
12. Hangman’s Tree
13. Peter Pan’s Pirate Adventure
14. Pixie Hollow
15. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
16. The Tale of Beauty and the Beast
17. Royal Reception
18. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
19. Casey Jr. Splash ‘n’ Soak Station
20. The Barnstormer featuring The Great Goofini
21. Walt Disney World Railroad
22. Pete’s Silly Sideshow
23. Mickey’s Madcap Circus
24. Carnival Corral
25. Toy Story Midway Mania!
26. Mad Tea Party
27. Alice in Wonderland
29. “it’s a small world”

1. Cinderella’s Royal Table
2. The Friar’s Nook
3. Storybook Treats
4. Pinocchio Village Haus
5. Rabbit’s Garden
6. Be Our Guest Restaurant
7. Gaston’s Tavern
8. Big Top Treats
9. Woody’s Roundup Rodeo
10. Queen of Hearts Banquet Hall
11. Cheshire Café

1. The King’s Gallery
2. Sir Mickey’s
3. The Wishing Well
4. Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique
5. Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post (and Sauna)
6. Geppetto’s Toy Shoppe
7. Gadgets & Gizmos
8. Hundred Acre Goods
9. Bonjour! Village Gifts
10. Village Bookshop
11. Little Town Traders
12. Big Top Souvenirs
13. Midway Mercantile
14. Mad Hatter
15. Small World Imports

-- The Sword in the Stone Ceremony
-- The Pearly Band
-- The Giggle Gang and the Silly Saxtet
-- Wowzer

-- Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Phoebus, Clopin, Frollo, Mary Poppins, Bert, Penguins, Pinocchio, Geppetto, Jiminy Cricket, Merida, Snow White, Prince Florian, Dopey, Rapunzel, Flynn, Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee roaming throughout Storybook Village and at certain locations in Storybook Village and the Enchanted Forest
-- Merlin normally meets guests after the Sword in the Stone Ceremony
-- Fairy Godmother, Jaq, Gus, Suzy and Perla *** at La Fontaine de Cendrillon, or nearby the castle
-- Lady Tremaine, Anastasia and Drizella *** also roaming through Storybook Village
-- Cinderella, Aurora, Elena of Avalor and Anna and Elsa at Princess Fairytale Hall
-- Ariel at Ariel’s Grotto
-- Tinker Bell, Iridessa, Rosetta, Silvermist, Fawn, Vidia, Terrence and Periwinkle at Pixie Hollow
-- Characters from Winnie the Pooh at Pooh’s Thoughtful Spot
-- Belle and Prince Adam at Royal Reception in the Beast’s Castle
-- Gaston, Lefou and the Bimbettes in Belle’s Village
-- Dumbo and Timothy *** at Dumbo the Flying Elephant
-- The Three Little Pigs, Clarabelle Cow, Horace Horsecollar and Clara Cluck at Pete’s Silly Sideshow
-- Woody, Buzz, Jessie, Bo Peep and Bullseye at Carnival Corral
-- Characters from Alice in Wonderland roaming throughout the Wonderland section of the Gardens of Imagination



1. Red Car Trolley
2. Disney Animation
- Animation Academy
- Character Close-Up
- Sorcerer’s Workshop
- Back to Neverland
3. The Golden Mickeys
4. The Great Movie Ride
5. Roger Rabbit’s Runaway Trolley
6. Jim Henson’s Muppet*Vision 3D
7. Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop
8. Tower of Terror

1. Philippe’s
2. Fairfax Market
3. Award Wieners
4. Clarabelle’s Hand-Scooped Ice Cream Parlour
5. Fifer, Fiddler & Practical Café
6. The Hollywood Brown Derby
7. Ink & Paint Club
8. The Great Gonzo’s Pandemonium Pizza Parlor

1. Oswald’s Filling Station
2. Mickey’s of Hollywood
3. Pluto’s Toy Palace
4. Sid Cahuenga’s One-of-a-Kind Antiques and Curios
5. Celebrity 5 & 10
6. Off the Page
7. Gag Factory
8. Rizzo’s Prop & Pawn Shop
9. Tower Gifts

-- Red Car Newsboys
-- Citizens of Hollywood
-- Five & Dime
-- Silver Lake Sisters
-- Drawn to the Magic
-- Dr. Teeth and the Electric Mayhem
-- Muppet Mobile Lab

-- Mickey and the Gang roaming through Hollywoodland
-- Various Disney Friends at Character Close-Up at Disney Animation
-- The Muppets at Jim Henson’s Muppet Workshop
-- Oswald the Lucky Rabbit at Oswald’s Filling Station



1. The ExtraTERRORestrial Alien Encounter
2. The Timekeeper
3. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
4. Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
5. Astro Orbiter
6. Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
7. Avengers United
8. Avengers Academy
9. Hall of Fame
10. The Mysterious Galaxy
11. Space Mountain

1. Cosmic Ray’s Starliner Diner
2. Pan-Galactic Pizza Port
3. Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies
4. The Lunching Pad
5. Space Bar

1. Merchants of Venus
2. The Space Place
3. Treasures of Xandar
4. Expo Gifts
5. Hall of Armor

-- PUSH, the Talking Trash Can
-- Superhero Demonstrations at Stark Expo ***

-- Characters from Lilo & Stitch at Close Encounters
-- Buzz Lightyear, WALL-E and EVE roaming through Tomorrowland
-- PUSH, the Talking Trash Can also roaming through Tomorrowland
-- Marvel Superheroes at Stark Expo

Compared to the real-life Magic Kingdom, this Magic Kingdom stretches a few acres more than the modern Magic Kingdom, thanks to Galaxy’s Edge and Hollywoodland, and the various attractions on the other side of the railroad berm; and clocks in at 84 attractions, and if you were to count the entertainment – of which there are 37 kinds – as attractions, as well, then the total would be bumped up to a whopping 121 attractions! For comparison, there are about 33 (34 with the upcoming TRON Lightcycle/Run) attractions in the modern Magic Kingdom, as of this posting – November 15, 2022, for those who are reading this in the future. Of course, I didn’t count all of the meet and greet areas, as most of them are set up near other attractions or they involve roaming characters. Plus, this Magic Kingdom has 55 restaurants and 79 shops, altogether making 134 places where guests can spend their money; compared to the 33 restaurants and 44 shops in the modern Magic Kingdom. Plus, there are a whole bunch of snack and merchandise carts throughout the park, but I didn’t count them, either.

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Once again, I'm gonna be taking the rest of the week off, so the next post will be coming out on Monday, November 21. And in that post, we will start our tour of EPCOT!
I did done my timeline of Disney-MGM Studios/Disney-Warner Bros. Studios., but I need to do holiday overlay for the park like Halloween and Christmas. So you can check my timeline for the park here:


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
As promised, the 21st has arrived and we shall now begin our tour of EPCOT!

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Isn’t it fascinating – the lives we live? Ours is a world full of discovery and innovation. As history has gone on, we've made so many new things that have helped our lives, and we have learned so much about the people who live the world over. The rich tapestry of the human race – its inventions, its cultures, its food – combined with the wonders of the natural world is something worth celebrating. And that is exactly what we shall do when we step inside Walt Disney World’s glorious second gate: EPCOT.

The sun rises high over the Floridian skies. The monorail pulls into the station of Venture Port, unloading the day’s first group of guests, ready to explore EPCOT. EPCOT tells the story of our world’s greatest resource: its people. People from the past, present and future, and all across the globe, are in showcase in this inspired tribute to our beloved planet and the varied achievements of mankind – and nature – that have since been (or will be) established. Its four distinct districts are ready for guests to come and explore them, to learn about our planet and its many wonderful and natural resources, and what we can do to make sure it can be sustained for future generations. Beauty is the most significant thing stressed in EPCOT. Everything here focuses on the natural, cultural and technological wonders of the Earth.

World Bridge


As everyone knows, any day at EPCOT begins at World Bridge. Upon entering the park from Venture Port – the ticket stations and security screenings are set up right inside – you’ll find yourself in a natural oasis. Completely re-theming the original Entrance Plaza in 2002, World Bridge is full of water features, beautiful trees and gardens. The large, geometrical sphere of Spaceship Earth, the symbol of all EPCOT, rises high over the numerous trees.


In a style borrowed from @comics101 and his incredible EPCOT Renaissance thread, much of the concrete that composed the original structures of EPCOT’s Entrance Plaza has been removed, replaced with sleek white structures intertwined with rockwork and nature. Indeed, many of the structures have been built into the new entrance’s rocky terrain; highlighting, as comics101 put it, “the importance of finding the right balance between nature and industry.” The lush and oasis-like trees, flowerbeds and lagoons aesthetically complement the expected locales of Guest Relations, First Aid & Baby Care, and Locker Rentals, as well as two important locales.


First, on the left-hand side, is the World Bridge Mercantile, EPCOT’s main gift shop. The World Bridge Mercantile is the largest shop in EPCOT, so large that it takes up two floors. As with the overall aesthetic of World Bridge, the idea for this shop comes from @comics101 and his Discovertorium. The building itself is modeled after a home designed by the Russian design firm Niko Architect, and it rises out of an artificial hill. Its walls are composed almost entirely of glass and its roof is full of skylights, and its interior looks something like a futuristic mall, designed to be open and airy. The first floor of the Mercantile features a large assortment of EPCOT and Disney character merchandise. Items include books, slider puzzles featuring the EPCOT pavilion logos, stuffed animals, buttons, jewelry, DVDs, CDs, posters, t-shirts, and hats. The second floor of the Mercantile can be accessed by a glassed-in elevator. From here, you can look down at the first floor. Items found on the second floor include various electronic gadgets, such as watches, model vehicles, and mobile phone or tablet accessories. The second floor also features, as comics101 described it, “a new line of EPCOT products designed to inspire children and adults to discover the wonders of science and of the universe.” The World Bridge Mercantile building also plays host to Wheelchair and Stroller Rental and also houses ATMs.

On the right-hand side, Stargate Terrace is, like the Main Street Bakery, EPCOT’s location for Starbucks Coffee and other casual dining entrees. We can also find Disney-favorite sweet treats, such as divine cookies and brownies as well as Starbucks signature beverages, artisan breakfast sandwiches and a wide selection of baked goods.

Guests walk through and around the several mazes of trees and flowers, before arriving at a fountain, just at the entrance of Spaceship Earth. Atop the fountain is a tall, three-pronged sculpture, adorned with the EPCOT logo. Likewise, flags surrounding the gardens bear the twelve logos representing the pavilions of World Celebration, World Discovery and World Nature. You can tell where each pavilion is located because of the color scheme: World Nature in yellows and greens, World Celebration in blues and purples, and World Discovery in pinks and reds. In fact, here is a picture depicting the twelve logos themselves…

EPCOT logos.png

Past this fountain, we explore the iconic sphere itself…

Spaceship Earth


One of the most iconic structures in all Walt Disney World, the gargantuan silver sphere that is Spaceship Earth clocks in at an incredible 180 feet, encased within a delicate latticework of shimmering steel and fiber optic lighting. Built into the sides of this imposing sphere are two other shops. To the left is the Gateway Gifts store, which features a series of EPCOT and Spaceship Earth-based merchandise. Continuing to wrap in-front of Spaceship Earth and on the opposite side of the plaza is the Camera Center, which features specialty camera and picture products. And of course, right in the middle of it all, is an inclined ramp that takes guests inside the giant geometric sphere for a ride that sets the mood for our time here at EPCOT – the very ride that Spaceship Earth is named for.


Spaceship Earth takes you through the historical and cultural progression of the world, showing how the world has evolved through communication. The attraction begins at the earliest periods of the cavemen, who used cave drawings to communicate, and proceeds through many different eras and civilizations, from the invention of papyrus paper and the creation of the alphabet, to the fall of Alexandria and the rise of the Renaissance, and to the early-century telephones to the later-century computer, before arriving in the current one in which we live today. Set to a powerful score and featuring detailed animatronics, the excitement and majesty of Spaceship Earth is an excellent way to begin a day here at EPCOT.

At this point in our Mirror universe, Spaceship Earth has undergone a refurbishment, which opened just in time for EPCOT’s 40th anniversary. This Spaceship Earth is a fusion of the four versions that came before it. Narrated by Morgan Freeman, this version weaves together elements from all four scripts, utilizes themes from both Edo Guidotti and Bruce Broughton’s scores, the screen technology of the Dench version (used to showcase a timeline and exact locations of the events depicted in the ride), as well as “Tomorrow’s Child” from the Cronkite version, underscoring a brand-new climax, a climax so beautiful and stirring, I shall wait until we get to the Spaceship Earth ride-through to describe it.


Spaceship Earth exits out into Innoventions, the fourth incarnation of the Spaceship Earth post-show exhibit space. “Innoventions” is a combination of the words “innovation” and “invention”. Therefore, the exhibits presented here are exactly that, a cutting edge glimpse into the various future technologies and ideas of our ever- and always-changing world. In this tribute to the human spirit of innovation, we discover an interactive “museum” bursting with games, activities and exhibitions that connect us with the latest in real-world advancements, as well as with friends, family and beloved Disney characters – both real and virtual – like never before. Innoventions is divided into one unique exhibit after the next, all in focus on the wonder and imagination that we might use to better our tomorrow. In fact, with the advent of Innoventions, it was decided to expand upon the space of the post-show, by expanding it up into the former AT&T/Siemens VIP Lounge. With this change, the access points to the lounge, once hidden by walls and secret doors, became open to the public. The spiral staircases have been replaced by escalators, and the once-enclosed elevators became see-through glass elevators; both of which lead up to the new level; while the first floor gained new, see-through glass walls, so that all who pass by can see what amazing things await inside.

This sweeping, two-level rotunda is beyond imagination and everyday reality - it is unbelievable in sight, scale and design. Whirring contraptions and peculiar sculptures fill the spacious interior of this inspired, breathtaking “museum.” Abstract designs and murals, bright neon fixtures, and oddball furnishings act together in a perfect theatrical production. There are eight main exhibits on display here in Innoventions. First, on the ground floor, the Apple Exhibition – hosted by the multinational Apple Inc. – previews the up and coming best in personal living, consumer electronics, computer software, and online communication.

The “If We Can Dream It” Labs are an interactive design laboratory which enables guests to create new technology that will be useful into the 21st century and beyond. These laboratories will set guests up at specific design stations for a variety of technology of the 21st century. If you're interested in designing technology for outer space, you venture to the spaceport and with assistance from design guides, follow the “story” on each design studio to help build technology for the future. For instance, the spaceport story - a group of explorers are on the Moon and their communications are lost. You are given three options to see how you can restore the communication and you work together with friends and family to try and solve the mystery and get the communication back by creating new solutions to the problems. It’s an interactive exhibit that actually requires critical thinking skills and deductive reasoning, making it a unique location in EPCOT and something that embodies the edutainment values of the original theme park.

City Builders allows its guests to sit at design stations and essentially build a city from the ground up. Starting in the current year and working your way up 100 years, you’ll be able to create your own city using futuristic designs and your own customized layouts. Situated nearby is the first meet ‘n’ greet found here at EPCOT. Baymax, Hiro, Fred, Go Go, Honey Lemon and Wasabi – otherwise known as Big Hero 6 – can be found here, meeting guests and demonstrating the latest SFIT technological breakthroughs.


In the center of the ground floor of Innoventions is an old friend from the early days of CommuniCore: SMRT-1. SMRT-1 is a purple and chrome robot set on a rotating pedestal surrounded by telephones, and he invites guests to play along in trivia and guessing games. When your turn comes up, SMRT-1 asks you (in its synthesized voice) to speak your answer loud and clear through the phone. It also spends some time ad-libbing and singing between games: “If I keep this up, I might graduate from Solid State.” Yes, this is a fully interactive animatronic, eager to carry on conversations with any passer-by.

Nearby SMRT-1 is Voyager 3, an exhibit tying in with Carl Sagan and Ann Druyan’s Voyager program. As @sshindel of the EPCOT Manifesto, a project that has inspired several of my EPCOT layouts over the years, described it on his blog, Voyager 3 would be “a series of kiosks asking people to participate in a new Golden Record project.” Guests are able to pitch suggestions for sounds to put on the record, listen to the sounds of the original record, and Disney has even teamed up with NASA and the Carl Sagan Institute to “take the best suggestions (voted on by visitors maybe?) and put them on a new probe, or have them blasted out via radio waves into the galaxy.”

Taking the stairs or the elevator up to the next level, we come across a few more exhibits. First, taking the place of the Explorer’s Lounge is Green Eyes. In a partnership with the Disney Conservation Fund, World Wide Fund for Nature, and Ocean Conservancy, Green Eyes focuses on what we can do, as well as what the world can do, to better preserve our incredible planet and its natural resources and beauty. In other words, it's a look at what we can do if we see the world through green eyes. Eco-friendly transit and food production are among the possible advancements in protecting the environment. Pollution-reducing methods and the use of less plastics are demonstrated. Diagrams and video presentations portray how, if in effect, these methods and ideas might improve our world in a detailed timeline.


In the center of the second floor is the Observatory, offering incredible views of EPCOT, as well as views of the ground floor below. For the most part, the Observatory functions as a “rest zone”, where guests can come to get a break from all the hustle and bustle of a typical day at the park. You can sit comfortably, enjoy some air conditioning, charge your phone, and just take it easy. But, in the center of the Observatory is the Globe of Knowledge, allowing guests to learn about any country in the world at a mere tap. Yes, just tap on any country on this globe and you will get a glimpse into its culture and its history. A restroom facility is situated nearby the Observatory.


The final exhibit in Innoventions is a personal favorite of mine. Von Drake’s House of Genius, which replaces the bar and Innovation Hall, is an unexpected and unrealistic delight - the kookiest and most unusual exhibit in Innoventions. Ludwig’s Hall of Invention holds a number of useless inventions and ideas - back-scratching robots, googly-eyed trash cans, dancing wind-up toys the size of a cow - you name it. Von Drake Labs on the other hand is an interactive playground for scientists of all ages to explore. Various contraptions and whirligigs invite hands-on discovery and nonsense, often at the expense of an unwilling Donald caught as the stubborn participant in the wrong place at the right time. Even so, Donald, Daisy and Ludwig himself host a meet ‘n’ greet at the exit to the House of Genius.

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Thus begins our journey through EPCOT! I must say that most of the Innoventions concept comes direct from @MANEATINGWREATH's Wonders of Science from his excellent Mirror Disneyland. I say "most of" because two concepts--specifically, the "If We Can Dream It" Labs and City Builders (and technically, the name "Green Eyes")--come from a concept for a "New Horizons Pavilion", created for the 2016 House Cup Competition by the following: @disneydf, @GrandCanyonConcourse, @Fox&Hound, @Brer Panther, @Adam Snider, @deere839, @Tony the Tigger, @Steel City Magic, @Mattyice16, @DarthMileZ and @spacemt354, so all credit goes out to all these fine people!

Also, I should point out that the pavilion logo picture was originally sourced from this picture, uploaded to Reddit by an account that has since been deleted. I altered things to include the World Above, Horizons, Wonders of Life and Universe of Energy/Energy in Motion logos. Nonetheless, all credit must go out to the original poster of that picture; so thank you very much.

The next post will be out on Wednesday, and in that post, we'll start exploring the park in-depth, starting with World Celebration! See you then!
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Well-Known Member
Original Poster
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World Celebration


Behind Spaceship Earth, we step into World Celebration. Its warm and inviting atmosphere is the perfect way to be led further into the wonders of EPCOT. World Celebration is surrounded by lush greenery, almost like a park in a bustling city. In addition, you’ll also find new flowing streams and small rocky waterfalls adding motion beneath the swaying of the tall trees, which also provide much needed shade to the area. Vibrant flowers along the grassy banks of the water add color to the area, while the reflections of Spaceship Earth and the surrounding buildings add even more life and visual interest to the World Celebration plaza.


Exiting from Spaceship Earth, which is itself classified as the first pavilion of World Celebration, the first thing you’ll come across is Dreamers’ Point, which offers sweeping views of World Showcase just across the way. Dreamers’ Point is anchored by Walt the Dreamer, an original statue celebrating Walt’s legacy and how it inspired this park. Ah, but Walt is one of many dreamers honored here. In another @comics101 idea, Dreamers’ Point is dedicated in tribute to some of the world’s most significant historical leaders, inventors, and innovators; “Dreamers and Doers,” as Walt liked to call them.

Surrounding the Walt statue in the center of Dreamers’ Point, like the points of a clock, are twelve statues dedicated to the characteristics of the dreamers represented (comics101 compared these to another series of twelve statues – those surrounding the stage of The American Adventure). Such characteristics include communication, dedication, discipline, empathy, focus, integrity, resilience and vision; and such luminaries include Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., Susan B. Anthony, Gandhi, Abraham Lincoln and Steve Irwin.

Further tributes to these “dreamers and doers” can be found in supplemental statues, busts, paving stones and plaques. The most prominent paving stone is Inventor’s Circle, found on the pathway between World Celebration and World Nature. This multi-layered tribute highlights various inventions that have sparked human progress, from the discovery of fire in 500,000 B.C. to the creation of the Internet in 1990.

The center of World Celebration is home to the EPCOT Gardens, a natural oasis of tall trees and beautiful flowers, foliage which changes with each season, often coinciding with whatever festival is taking place within the park. The EPCOT Gardens also contains beautiful natural environments and global design elements filled with Disney magic and surprises, including a Wishing Tree in an enchanted forest and a garden inspired by Alice in Wonderland’s mad tea party.

Embedded all along the walkways of the EPCOT Gardens are fiber-optic lights. At night, they give the EPCOT Gardens an extra dose of magic, as the lights make the pathways come alive. There are various designs embedded at certain points, and lights that seem to follow our footsteps. In the center of the EPCOT Gardens is an elaborate feature. If you were to look at it from an aerial view, you would find that the feature is in the exact shape of the EPCOT logo; and in the center of that logo is the Fountain of Nations, celebrating the power, music and imagery of our world. As part of the transformation which led to the EPCOT Gardens, the original Fountain was torn down, and a new Fountain was set up. And this concept comes direct from comics101, so credit to him:

Before departing VenturePort for the rest of EPCOT’s Discovery World, the final feature to discuss is the all-new Fountain of Nations. The fountain is given a state-of-the-art upgrade that could only be achieved by Walt Disney Imagineering. **Using the “water curtain” that debuted at New York City's LaGuardia Airport in late-2020 as inspiration (see Figures 1 and 2), EPCOT’s new Fountain of Nations will be able to create various geometric shapes (stars, circles, squares) within sheets of water that are shot into the air, all to a brand-new musical score. At dusk, the fountain show takes on an entirely new dimension, as it becomes a quasi-World of Color-like production, with a series of multi-colored lights illuminating the streams of water as they burst into the sky, along with various images and video clips projected onto water screens.

**Important to note, the "water curtain" at LaGuardia Airport streams water from the ceiling, while EPCOT's new Fountain of Nations will shoot water from a fountain located on the ground. I have no idea if this technology exists just yet, but I imagine it is something that WDI would have to create from whole-cloth.

In addition to the new show, the Fountain of Nation's aesthetics are also changing to better fit VenturePort's new theming. The fountain itself will now be perfectly round, rather than in the shape of an oval. A silver orb sits at its center, from which a single beam of water is shot into the air. Black marble forms the base of the fountain, as well as the area surrounding it, creating a viewing area from which guests can watch the show. When the fountain show is not running, the water inside of the fountain swirls clockwise, creating a massive vortex surrounding the orb. The vortex, of course, ceases its rotation shortly before shows begin playing. Hopefully in the near future, I'll have time to take pencil to paper and sketch out a better idea of the Fountain of Nations' new appearance.

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Figure 1: LaGuardia Airport's new water feature, located in Terminal B, projecting a Tyrannosaurus Rex onto the water.

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Figure 2: The sorts of geometric shapes and swirls that can be created by LaGuardia Airport's water feature.

More to come...

Now, of course, the center of what was then Future World wasn’t always like this. In 1982, Spaceship Earth was flanked by the two buildings of CommuniCore, which offered various exhibits focusing on the latest technologies. However, as time wore on, both buildings were torn down in order to build new experiences. In 1994, it was decided to completely tear down the entire CommuniCore East complex, in order to prepare for quite the new arrival…which we shall get to later; and in 1997, CommuniCore West was torn down, as well, and subsequently became the home of three new experiences that opened as part of the “Project Gemini” initiative. Two of those experiences have long since closed; those being Internet Café, which served as the new Fountainview Espresso & Bakery, allowing guests to surf the Web while enjoying some good food; and Cool Stuff, a showcase of the (at-the-time) latest consumer products. As part of the park’s 2019 rebirth, those additions, which had been considered dated, would soon be closed to make way for an all-new pavilion to be part of the new World Nature. As for the lone remaining remnant from Project Gemini…well, we’ll get there later.


Steps away from Spaceship Earth, we find two buildings, with a path leading toward World Discovery in-between. The eastern building houses Club Cool, a modern-looking hangout spot with an emphasis on “cool.” Not only does air conditioning offer a bitter chill on even the hottest of days, but the area is awash in moody hues of blue and white. Breaking the blue and white palette are shades of red, befitting the attraction’s main focus and sponsor, Coca-Cola. Yes, here at Club Cool, we are invited to try various types of Coca-Cola from all around the world. Here’s a list of all the international flavors, and their country of origin:
  • Bibo (South Africa)
  • Bon Bon Anglais (Madagascar)
  • Country Club Merengue (Dominican Republic)
  • Fanta Kolita (Costa Rica)
  • Fanta Melon Frosty (Thailand)
  • Fanta Pineapple (Greece)
  • Guarana Kuat (Brazil)
  • Inca Kola (Peru)
  • Kinley Lemon (Israel)
  • Krest Ginger Ale (Mozambique)
  • Lift Apple (Mexico)
  • Mezzo Mix (Germany)
  • Minute Maid Joy Apple Lychee (South Korea)
  • Royal Wattamelon (Philippines)
  • Smart Sour Plum (China)
  • Smart Watermelon (China)
  • Sparletta (South Africa)
  • Sprite Cucumber (Russia)
  • VegitaBeta (Japan)
  • Viva Raspberry (Moldova)
And of course, there is also the dreaded Italian variety: Beverly. Long have EPCOT fans enjoyed getting a kick out of tricking their friends and family into giving this bitter-tasting beverage a taste!

The western building is yet another @comics101 idea: Bot’s Diner. I chose to include this not only because it is a super cool concept, but since this Mirror EPCOT does get a variation on Project Gemini coming to fruition, it only made sense to include it. If you know anything about Project Gemini, you know that a Robot Restaurant was considered as one of the six buildings that would replace Innoventions. And what better way to bring that Robot Restaurant concept to Mirror EPCOT than with Bot’s Diner? Once again, here’s comics101’s explanation of what this restaurant will entail:

Themed as a roadside diner and full of retro-future googie design elements, Bot’s Diner is the most unique of all of the buildings at VenturePort. Complete with a black and white checkered floor and a silver, linoleum-lined countertop, what make’s Bot’s unique isn’t its retro décor or its food, but its waitstaff, which is comprised entirely of Robots. The robots follow magnetic strips in the floor which guide them to the correct table, seen in Figure 2. In addition to robot servers, guests can take a peek into “the kitchen” to see a a group of robotic chefs “preparing their food” (Figure 3).

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Figure 2: The robot staff of Harbin, China's "Robot Restaurant."

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Figure 3: A robotic chef prepares food for diners at Foodom in Guangzhou, China, the first fully-robotic restaurant in the world. At EPCOT, to save on costs, robotic chefs only appear to be preparing guest's food.

As mentioned previously, Bot’s Diner will bring a googie diner aesthetic to VenturePort. While the structure will still largely be white, a series of neon blue and pink lights will bring a splash of color to the area, particularly at night. The same is true of the interior; bright neon lights will bring color to the walls of the diner, similar to the design of the diner interior by Denny Busyet in Figure 4 and in Figure 5's "Diner Vibes" by ashe101ashe on Reddit.

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Figure 4: "Cocktails And Dreams" by Denny Busyet. Originally posted to Dribbble.

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Figure 5: "Diner Vibes" by ashe101ashe. Originally shared on Reddit.

World Celebration is alive with entertainment. Throughout the day, you might come across the Future Corps, an elaborate drum and bugle corps who perform high-energy shows alongside their own color guard; or the JAMMitors, performers who utilize trash cans and buckets as drums. World Celebration is also home to the Celebration Coterie, a troupe of dancers and gymnasts who captivate passers-by with their feats of strength and grace…and who often invite guests to join in the fun!


On top of that, it is here in World Celebration where EPCOT’s rope drop ceremony takes place. Guests enter from World Bridge and gather here in the center of World Celebration to take in the spectacle of a ceremony known as “The Future is Now.” In essence, this is practically the same thing as @D Hulk ’s epic rope drop ceremony for DisneySky. To the strains of Aaron Copland’s “Fanfare for the Common Man”, a fitting piece for a park devoted to how humanity can look to the future, our Disney friends – Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Donald, Daisy, Pluto, and Chip and Dale, all dressed in outfits that resemble spacemen, explorers, historians and other such luminaries – walk towards us from Innoventions down to Dreamers’ Point. Their steps are measured and heroic, almost in slow motion, like the astronauts marching in The Right Stuff.

With continued heroic solemnity, Mickey & Pals gather ‘round Walt’s statue. In steady pace with the music, they wave to the guests. An announcer booms over speakers (the spiel would start at 1:40 in the video), warmly welcoming guests to EPCOT thusly…

“Good morning, dreamers and explorers of all ages. All of us at EPCOT are glad to have you as our guests today. We welcome you and hope you find your day with us to be a most enjoyable one.

Walt Disney was a dreamer and a doer. A man who cared about the world and its problems. He believed that people could develop solutions to problems if equipped with information, technology and opportunity. EPCOT has been created to showcase the natural and man-made wonders made over a thousand years of progress; and to highlight the vast and varying cultures of countries around the world. This is the essence of EPCOT – a collective endeavor by people, for people, in the hope for a better world. As Card Walker said when he dedicated this place of joy, hope and friendship, ‘May EPCOT Center entertain, inform and inspire and above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man’s ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere.’

From all of us in the Disney family, we hope you enjoy your day at EPCOT. And now we ask, for your safety and the safety of those around you, that you walk slowly and carefully to your first destination. Have a great day and welcome to this celebration of what lies ahead. The future is now!”

This spiel ends just as Copland’s orchestra crescendos. Unique daytime fireworks fire off all around Spaceship Earth and World Celebration, from the flanking rooftops of Bot’s Diner, Sunrise Terrace and the World Bridge Mercantile! The day has begun! As the fireworks and applause subside, World Celebration comes alive with the sounds of EPCOT’s theme song: “Celebrate the Future Hand in Hand.”

Naturally, World Celebration is also home to a few attractions, as well. Moving on from Club Cool and Bot’s Diner, we find ourselves standing before what looks like a giant golden spacecraft. It is, of course, the home of EPCOT’s “Mission Statement”:



Within its walls, Horizons brings the entirety of EPCOT together, uniting all prevalent themes into one spectacular attraction. Technology, transportation, food, health, history, space, imagination, and more connect the dots of creativity into a fantastic glimpse at our future from a scientific, nonsensical, or realistic viewpoint. Just about everyone is fascinated with the future and what it might hold for us. And Horizons provides us with an inspiring and exciting look at how life may change for humanity in the years to come.

Having been re-built to the exact degree, complete with the trees and greenery in the proper place, Horizons officially opened in its new space on October 1, 1999. Since EPCOT was to be the center of the Millennium Celebration, it only made sense to move the future-centric ride from its placement to the side to a more prominent position just behind EPCOT’s icon. Horizons has undergone many refurbishments over the years, the most recent one opening just in time for Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary. And by the way, this was a concept created by @Harryg11, so credit to him on that count!


Taking off from the FuturePort, readied to “take the journey we’ve always dreamed of”, we meet our narrators: a young couple (the Mesa Verde-dwelling granddaughter of the original narrators, and her Sea Castle husband) eager to showcase what the future has in store. Brilliant dioramas populated with Audio-Animatronic figures and three-dimensional sets portray our world from on and under the sea, and well into outer space, a decided glimpse at life in the distant future. Our journey begins with a look at what past visionaries dreamed the future would be like from Jules Verne to sci-fi 1920s and 30s comic books. Then, we jump ahead to the future as seen through the eyes of the 1980s – the time of the original Horizons. Four famous scenes from the O.G. Horizons have been recreated for this new version, to showcase how far we've come in such a short period of time. For Nova Cite, the old narrators’ living room. For Mesa Verde, the harvester scene with the control booth and hover vehicle. For Sea Castle, the young husband’s solo sub repair room. Finally for Brava Centauri, the anti gravity room with the dog and the child’s missing shoe. But of course, what the future truly holds is absolutely magnificent.

We jump ahead in time to see how these four cities would evolve with 21st-century technology in mind. We are treated to an even bigger and better adventure into the future with an ongoing message of coexisting with our fellow humans in a peaceful and unified world. In urban Nova Cite, the homes are fully-automated and highways have been expanded to include lanes specifically for flying vehicles. Mesa Verde showcases how humans have learnt to live with a land affected by climate change, showcasing more modern desert farming, dense forests filled with trees, and national parks where endangered species can be conserved. Sea Castle has been updated to showcase modern possibilities for how to colonize the seas and to make sure the coral reefs continue to flourish. Finally, Brava Centauri depicts the harvesting of many resources in the cosmos, plus the arrival of fusion power – the power of the stars. Heading inside a space station, we see our guides step inside a teleportation tube to be sent back to Earth. From there, the ride ends much like the original did: the teleportation tube has taken them to their family’s home in Nova Cite for their nephew’s birthday party…but unlike before, everyone is in the same room, thanks to similar instantaneous transportation methods. Leaving the revitalized utopia, we are given the opportunity to glance at our own future through the ride’s spectacular finale: a simulated, “choose-your-own” journey back to the FuturePort. Via flight (or submarine), we can choose one of three methods: land, sea, or space…


Often considered to be this park’s masterpiece, Horizons is the promise of a bigger and better future with an ongoing message of global unification and peace. We are treated to an even bigger and better adventure into the future with an ongoing message of coexisting with our fellow humans in a peaceful and unified world. In this future, and as it should hold true today, it does not matter whether we come from different races, backgrounds, cultures or religions, we all have the same aspirations and dreams. Together, this peaceful and unified future can be achieved. If I may quote from the ride’s original narrator, “If we can dream it, we really can do it. And that’s the most exciting part.”

Here is how Horizons, Club Cool and Bot’s Diner would be set up here in World Celebration.

Horizons World Celebration v3.png

For the sake of context, The Futurist’s Tavern was the name of the restaurant I had set up; before I decided to use @comics101 ’s Bot’s Diner. And yes, I did use an old S.W. Wilson picture for this; namely, from his 2017 EPCOT Center map.


The lone remaining remnant of Project Gemini still stands strong to this day: the House of the Future. Taking the original concept of Disneyland’s House of the Future, and updating it for the new millennium, this walk-through attraction showcases the latest and greatest in home technologies, designed to coexist with nature. Fittingly, it was built just across the way from Horizons, and is normally considered an extension to the beloved pavilion, given how both attractions focus on possibilities for future homes.


The World Nature Trails hearken to a Mission Statement one and the same with the Project Gemini layout of the early 2000s: “the importance of Nature in a worthwhile Future.” The lush gardens and grounds beneath the elevated House of the Future meander down into serene paths, wooden foot bridges and cave-like tunnels and forests on a self-guided trek from World Celebration into the heart of World Nature. Along the way, we spot captivating creatures of real flesh and blood from convenient observation stations amid a picturesque backdrop of exotic trees and plants. A majority of the real animals encountered were moved over here from the recently-closed Discovery Island so that they may find a new home. These animals include…
  • Capuchin Monkey​
  • Trumpeter Swan​
  • Scarlet Ibis​
  • Galapagos Tortoise​
  • Toucan​
  • Macaw​
  • Cockatoo​
  • Rhinoceros Hornbill​
  • Albino Peacock​
  • Ring-Tailed Lemur​
  • Brown Pelican​
  • Demoiselle Crane​
  • Sandhill Crane​
  • Grey Crowned Crane​
  • Muntjac​
  • White-Tailed Deer​

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
That is the first half of World Celebration! What did you all think? Please feel free to leave any comments you have. Now, I'm going to be taking Thanksgiving off, so the next post -- covering the rest of World Celebration -- will be out on Friday, November 25. See you then, and have a Happy Thanksgiving!

In addition to all the people I credited in this post, I must also credit @MANEATINGWREATH for inspiring me to put the World Nature Trails into this Mirror EPCOT; as it was a part of his WestCOT layout.
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Original Poster
Here's the second part of World Celebration.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Going forward from the center of World Celebration, we find two extensions. First, heading over towards Test Track in World Discovery, is a space formerly held by the Odyssey Restaurant, which had closed in 1994. And the reason for its closure was so that it could transform into our next stop:

Celebration Center


Having also opened in 1999, just in time for the Millennium Celebration, the Celebration Center, which is the idea of @DlpPhantom, is an ideal place for live events, and the home of EPCOT’s signature festivals, collectively dubbed the “Four Festivals of EPCOT.” This beautiful structure reuses the hexagonal and geometric architecture of its predecessor, and features many amenities.

Outside of the building is a theater used for the concerts as part of the Four Festivals (with the exception of the Candlelight Processional, which remains at the America Gardens Theatre). The stage can be viewed from within the seating area, which slopes downwards towards the stage or by people walking by on the walkways above and around the theater. This space is inspired by the Space Mountain Stage at Disneyland (seen below) that was replaced by Captain EO. Also outside is a food and beverage location that would offer various seasonal alcoholic beverages and snacks.


Inside the Celebration Center, you’ll find a wide variety of offerings. There’s a presentation space for chefs and artists to hold demonstrations, a flex space for various purposes like a corporate party or exhibit space for the festivals, as well as a mixology bar and gallery space. Lastly is the new Test Kitchen quick-service restaurant where various genres of cuisine can be brought in for a seasonal run without committing to a permanent fixture or an entire festival booth. The dining area for this restaurant is located on a second level about the rest of the building with views overlooking the stage below and the rest of EPCOT in the distance.

And atop the building is one of my own personal additions to @DlpPhantom’s idea: a park that sits in the sky, offering a stunning elevated view of the entire park and an ideal spot to witness IllumiNations: An International Songbook, the park’s signature nighttime spectacular held on the World Showcase Lagoon. If you couldn’t tell, this is an idea taken from the scrapped Festival Center concept that was announced at the 2019 D23 Expo.

The Four Festivals of EPCOT are…

– Festival of the Arts: A celebration of visual, culinary and performing arts from January - February. The popular Disney on Broadway Concert Series, held here at the Celebration Center, offers a daily performance in showcase of Disney’s various stage outings. Interactive fun is around every corner. Visitors can help paint a mural, pose for a memorable photo in the frame of an iconic art piece, participate in a workshop, or take a break to watch a performance of artists in action. The pavilions of World Showcase offer displays of art, music, theater and dance native to their respective countries; while World Celebration features local performers, from local bands and singers, to high school bands and show choirs.
– Flower and Garden Festival: Millions of spring blossoms transform EPCOT into a wonderful world of brilliant color from March - May in a celebration of flowers, topiaries, themed food, libations and music. Featured gardens focus on butterflies, bees, bamboo and Shakespeare’s metaphoric plants, while more than 100 Disney-themed topiaries – from Snow White to Cinderella – adorn the landscape.
– Food and Wine Festival: This iconic culinary dine-around runs September - October, with more than 30 kiosks and marketplaces to offer tempting tastes and sips throughout EPCOT and the Celebration Center.
– Festival of the Holidays: The annual Yuletide celebration celebrates holiday traditions from around the world with live musical productions, spirited storytellers, seasonal lights and décor, delicious holiday treats and more. The celebration begins the day after Thanksgiving, and continues until the day before New Year’s Eve, and invites holiday travelers to experience the story of peace on earth and goodwill toward men. The Lights of Winter link World Celebration to World Showcase, while each pavilion around World Showcase features a storyteller describing holiday customs native to that country, and the America Gardens Theatre offers the traditional Candlelight Processional, which involves the Biblical retelling of Jesus’ birth narrated by a celebrity host to the cherished Christmas music performed by a professional orchestra and full choir.

Here is a map @DlpPhantom devised showcasing how the Celebration Center layout would alter the original Odyssey layout.



On the outskirts of the Celebration Center is Flamingo Cove, a natural arboretum tying in with the lush green sights of World Celebration. One of the many nice little touches of the original EPCOT Center was the flock of flamingos that used to hang out nearby the Odyssey. Well, with this new arboretum, the flamingos gained a new home, which serves as one of the major focal points of the World Nature Trails. Leading off past the arboretum, the path splinters off in two directions. The left path leads to World Showcase, while the right path connects back to World Celebration.

As for the other extension of World Celebration, since this area of EPCOT is devoted to the promise of the future, we’re going to need to showcase how we can discover new ways to improve our future. Fortunately, we have the perfect way to showcase that. Permit me to present one of the most visually stunning pavilions in all of EPCOT:

Journey Into Imagination


Identified by its two crystal pyramids, Journey Into Imagination is a whimsical tribute to the inner workings of the human mind. The pavilion is one of the most visually-appealing in all of EPCOT. Those crystal pyramids can turn into rainbow prisms (thanks to projected lights). Gentle shades of blue and purple highlight the area surrounding the pyramids. Unique fountains provide fun, enticing kinetic energy. At night, LED lights and fiber optics brilliantly illuminate the area. Even on the cloudiest, rainiest day, it would be necessary to wear sunglasses to look at the pyramids. That’s how bright they are!

Once inside, we find ourselves in a circular, sunlit lobby with a spiral staircase at its center. The entire room is surrounded in pastel murals of scenes from Journey Into Imagination, the forthcoming adventure, all while a continuously-moving line of purple sleighs advance around the corner, disappearing into the dark. These two-row, pastel-purple vehicles are a modified version of the Omnimover ride system, with each vehicle able to rotate in any which way. However, once on board, four vehicles at a time advance ahead, separating themselves from the rest.


Rising through the clouds, lights pulse to the classic song “One Little Spark”, a Sherman Brothers original. A jolly, eccentric man, known only as the Dreamfinder, soars into sight aboard his flying machine, the kinetic Dreamcatcher. Figment, a purple dragon who is a literal figment of Dreamfinder’s imagination, is introduced through a pressure cooker. Dreamfinder and Figment use their imaginations to create wonderful imagery and magic for all to enjoy. After a brief tour of the DreamPort, where the twosome store all their ideas, guests then proceed through several rooms representing four different areas influenced by the imagination: art, literature, the performing arts and science; all to discover how much can be accomplished with just “one little spark of inspiration.”


Upon exiting the ride, you can go up inside the pyramids and explore the ImageWorks, where you can let your imagination run wild through several different exhibits. ImageWorks is a futuristic playground of visual delights, light shows, interactive games, and such similar activities that spark creativity and tickle the senses. Families can learn, play, and grow in the ImageWorks, all while marveling at the unthinkable feats of the imagination. Not only that, but from up here in the pyramids, you’ll get some incredible views of EPCOT below! There are two ways to get here – you can come here after taking the Journey for yourselves, or you can head up a spiral staircase found right in the middle of the ride’s queue. In fact, if I may borrow a floor-plan from the excellent EPCOT Discovery Gateway site, here’s what you’ll be able to find here.

1. Bubble Music: Held within the small pyramid, guests use touchpads to project bubbles onto circular screens along the roof of the pyramid. When they overlap, they create new colors.
The Sensor – “It Knows You’re There!”
2. Rainbow Corridor: A tunnel of neon tubes light up as you walk past. As you enter, a particular color is assigned to you and follows you all the way through. When the next person enters, a new color lights up.
2a. Lumia: Not pictured in the floorplan, because that floorplan reflects how the ImageWorks was remodeled in 1991. When that happened, the Vibrating Mirror Room was completely taken out and the Rainbow Corridor was slightly shortened. However, here in this Mirror EPCOT, Lumia takes up the former Vibrating Mirror Room space. Lumia is a 7 foot diameter ball that responds to sounds by spinning in different light and color patterns.
3. The Mirage Room: The use of mirrors makes it seem like you can grab onto three dimensional videos of Figment, but when you try to, it vanishes.
4. Stepping Tones: Hexagonal colored spots on the floor correspond to pictures of instruments on the walls. When you step upon a spot, the instrument it corresponds to will start playing “One Little Spark.” If enough people step on the spots, it’ll feel like you’re hearing an entire band playing!
5. Optical Illusion, or Dreamfinder’s Balloon Race: A painted scene showing hot air balloons (including a Mickey balloon and the Dreamcatcher – that would be Dreamfinder’s iconic dirigible) rotate around a cylandrical mirror. The balloons are drawn flat and elongated, but when they are reflected onto the mirror, they appear in perfect proportions. Dreamfinder and Figment banter with each other during the course of the “race.”
6. Dreamfinder’s School of Drama: Ever wanted to be an actor? Well, Dreamfinder and Figment are giving you the chance! Through the use of Chroma-Key video technology, a background is added into the picture and other guests can see the finished product. The School of Drama has been continuously updated ever since EPCOT opened; and legendary Imagineer Joe Rohde has starred as the Dreamfinder through it all. Rohde, though not the voice of the Dreamfinder in the main dark ride (that would be Chuck McCann), has filmed each updated segment for the School of Drama since, and Muppeteer Dave Goelz has since assumed the vocal performance of Figment from the late Billy Barty in all updated appearances.
7a. Making Faces: At the western kiosk in the center of the ImageWorks, your picture is taken and then you get to alter your face with different hairstyles, noses, ears, and accessories.
7b. Create-A-Figment: At the eastern kiosk in the center of the ImageWorks, you can make your very own version of that loveable dragon!
8. Pattern Panels: Test your memory at one of three series of twelve vertical lighted panels. Follow the pattern and see how long you can keep up!
9. Kaleidoscope: Large versions of traditional kaleidoscopes. Rotate the image to create fascinating designs.
10. Pin Screens: Giant tables with thousands of pins allow you to run your hands underneath creating swirls of color.
11. Electronic Philharmonic: Conduct an orchestra by raising or lowering your hands above sensors that will raise or lower the volume of individual sections of the orchestra. If you go back and forth fast enough, you can get all of the sections playing together.
A: Elevator
B: Stairs
C: Escalator Up
D: Escalator Down


Just outside the attraction is the pavilion’s beautiful outdoor courtyard, known as the Magic Garden. The Magic Garden is home to wacky varieties of flowers and greenery, but it is most well-known for a number of leaping, laminar-flow water fountains and a hypnotic “upside-down” waterfall churn into a gentle flow on the lagoon’s surface. A giant topiary of Figment standing on a grass ball spins around and around in the center of the garden. This garden is a nice place to meet up with Dreamfinder and Figment themselves.

Located within this garden is the Sparks of Inspiration shop. Longtime visitors may recognize this place by its old name: the Kodak Camera & Film Shop. In 2010, after Kodak’s sponsorship of the pavilion ended, it turned into the shop it is today, selling Figment and Dreamfinder merchandise, creative supplies such as pencils and sketchbooks, and novelty science items such as bubble mixture or laser pens. Plus, tying right in with the “imagination” aspect of the pavilion, this is the place where imaginative folk can design our own toys, purchase Legos and erector sets, customize our phone cases, and make their own plush, via a satellite extension of Build-a-Bear Workshop, who sponsors the shop.

When EPCOT first opened, one of the components of the Journey Into Imagination pavilion was the Magic Eye Theater. This was a 3D theater that played three films over the course of over 30 years of entertainment. From 1982 to 1986, it played host to Magic Journeys, before getting replaced by Captain EO, an elaborate sci-fi fantasy starring Michael Jackson. This ran until 1994, when Honey, I Shrunk the Audience moved in. This was easily the longest-running tenant of the Magic Eye Theater, running for almost 16 years. But then, with Michael Jackson’s tragic passing, Captain EO was brought back in tribute to the fallen King of Pop. However, as the 2010s rolled on, 3D was becoming less and less of a quintessential theme park attraction, with almost every other big studio release being in 3D. So, when Captain EO’s return ended in 2015, it was decided to take the Magic Eye Theater and do something completely different with it. Thus, in June of 2016, two new experiences moved into the former Magic Eye Theater space.


First, taking the space of the old lobby and the pre-show area, the Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Laboratory is in showcase of a fascinating collection of sketches, paintings and 3D models to gain a better understanding of how artists, architects and engineers at WED Enterprises designed (or design) the upcoming attractions and adventures for the Disney Parks worldwide. Furthermore, the Blue Sky Laboratory also gives guests the chance to indulge their creative side, in a series of unique exhibits:
Imagineering Exhibit Center: View concept art, models and blueprints for new and upcoming developments at Disney parks worldwide. The Exhibit Center also features a preview film that features Imagineers talking about the upcoming attractions, which is updated routinely as construction progresses.
Living Easels: Use a giant digital easel to create your own artistic masterpieces. This exhibit is a new version of the Magic Palettes that used to be found upstairs in the ImageWorks.
Animation Academy: In just 30 minutes, you'll be able to draw one of your favorite Disney characters. This is a sister location to the Animation Academy in Hollywoodland at the Magic Kingdom.
CyberSpace Mountain: In this beloved part of the Blue Sky Laboratory, you can personally design your very own roller-coaster. You can pick out layouts, settings and themes, and completely customize what the cars will go along – loops, corkscrews, hills, the works. Whether you’re more “chill” or more “thrill”, you can make it as tame or as white-knuckle as you want! Even better, you can step inside a simulator and take your creation for a test-run! The cylindrical simulator is able to capture the exact movement and direction of the entire coaster, as designed by the armchair Imagineers themselves!
Imagineering the Future: At Imagineering the Future, you can achieve a dream that I’m sure many Disney fans have dreamed of: designing your very own attraction, or even your very own Disney park! If you choose to create your own attraction, you would follow the experience @comics101 laid out for his Imagineering Labs: guests encounter interactive displays on Story & Theme, Layout & Landscape, Physics, Engineering, and Animatronics. By the end of their experience, guests will have created their own attractions, characters, and more! In addition, through the magic of Virtual Reality, guests will have the opportunity to experience their attraction as though it actually exists in one of Disney’s Parks around the world.
Or, if you choose to create your own Disney park, you can pick and choose elements from Disney parks worldwide, even those attractions that aren't with us anymore. In order to get the most out of anything, the restaurants and shops can be filled in automatically, and the foliage can be added in automatically, too. In addition, if you don't want to pick and choose, you can use pre-made sets (like MK’s Main Street, DLP’s Fantasyland and all that other stuff). You can even adjust the exteriors to your liking, too! And the best part? After you’re done, you can step into a similar VR system and explore the park yourself! But if you don’t want the fun to end here, no sweat. Once you’re done creating, as you’re inside the Virtual Reality system, a special thumbdrive of your park or attraction is made, and it can be hooked up to one of your gaming systems or your computer so you can continue to explore your park or your attraction!


Replacing the theater itself was an all-new restaurant: Food for Thought. Taking full advantage of being located in an imagination-centric pavilion, Food for Thought practically runs on “create-your-own.” In fact, as if the picture was any indication, this restaurant is basically inspired by Landscapes of Flavor, the main food court of Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, which itself contains a “create-your-own-pasta” section. Anyway, this restaurant specializes in food often associated with customization – breakfast platters, yogurt parfaits, salads, pasta, pizza, burgers, tacos, sandwiches, ice cream sundaes and more – and invites guests to customize their meals to their hearts’ content, thus allowing for a truly unique and imaginative experience. Of course, there are a la carte options, as well, for those who don’t wish to customize. Not only was the 3D theater completely gutted, the exterior was given a tune-up, with wall-to-wall windows offering guests a view of the wonders inside. And the entrance/exit path to the restaurant reuses the old exit ramp that once led guests out of the theater and back into the Magic Garden.

With such a good, creative meal in our bellies, we venture forth to explore the rest of EPCOT.

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And with that, our time in World Celebration is complete! Now, our next stop will be in World Discovery, and forgoing the usual tradition I have of posting every two days, the first World Discovery post will be coming out tomorrow night -- Saturday, November 26. See you then!

By the way, I should point out that the School of Drama description -- particularly, the bit about how it has been updated over the years and how Dave Goelz succeeded Billy Barty as Figment -- came from @MANEATINGWREATH and his Mirror Disneyland 2.0.
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Well-Known Member
Original Poster
And now, as promised, let's begin our exploration of World Discovery.

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World Discovery


Returning to the center of World Celebration, the path leads towards World Discovery. Almost resembling an industrial park or science center campus, all the better to fit its more technological-based attractions, World Discovery celebrates science and technology. As a result of Project Gemini, World Discovery features tons of trees, almost creating a forest, offering shade from the hot Florida weather, as well as elevated grass plateaus.

At the entrance to World Discovery is the semi-circular Discoverers’ Point. Continuing the themes of World Celebration, this semi-circular garden honors four prominent figures in the fields World Discovery highlights. And fittingly enough, each statue is placed facing the direction of their respective pavilion. The four figures represented in statue form are, as follows: John Dalton, who is considered “the father of atomic theory”; Robert Hooke, the man who discovered the cell, the building block of life as we know it; Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon; and Karl Friedrich Benz, inventor of the automobile. We can see the four distinct pavilions just ahead.

Starting from the left, we will first arrive at...

Energy in Motion


For nearly fifteen years, Universe of Energy had always been regarded as EPCOT’s weakest link. The original concept, befitting a park dedicated to the future, was to focus on alternative energy – specifically, solar energy. But then, Exxon came along as the sponsor and the attraction was reworked to be about energy in general – specifically, fossil fuels. And such a twist of fate would spell doom for the pavilion’s history. Universe of Energy was often considered boring as sin, and only worth going on just to see the elaborate dinosaur animatronics. Not only that, its pro-fossil fuels message increasingly became more and more outdated as humanity learned more about global warming and climate change.

At long last, in 1995, it was announced that Universe of Energy was getting a long-overdue overhaul. No more would the traveling theater “ride on sunshine.” Instead, the solar-topped building that once housed Universe of Energy would transform into the headquarters of the Entropy Labs, where scientists study how to best utilize all different types of energy (i;e potential, kinetic, thermal, and so on) in order to create sensory thrills. And so, on January 21, 1996, guests were brought into the Universe of Energy for the last time; and work began on transforming the place into Energy in Motion, which opened on September 15, 1997.


Looking at any map of EPCOT post-1997, you’ll see that the exterior of the Energy Pavilion remains one of EPCOT’s most visually-striking exteriors. While the original, solar panel-topped show building from the days of Universe of Energy remained intact, it received a larger and taller extension at its back to expand the current floor space. Retaining the diamond shape, the new extension was designed with architect Frank Gehry. Towering waveforms and shapes now rise above the façade as if reaching out to the skies.

Cool tones dominate the entry plaza, symbolizing potential or stored energy and an individual at rest. Patches of blue cover the planters that contrast with the original dark mirrored tiles leftover from Universe of Energy. The original Reflecting Pool and its reflective capstone centerpiece were likewise retained, though new signage bearing the pavilion’s new name were installed. In 2012, various decorations showcasing “green” energy technologies were added around the pavilion exterior. For example, you’ll see “trees” of wind-power blending in with the actual plantlife, algae lamps illuminating the walkways, and solar-collector walkways leading up to the pavilion doors.

Moving forward to the former Universe of Energy façade, its columns or the protruding “ribs” that flank both sides of it are now painted in warm tones, the same colors that the wall pads between them were. These symbolized the gradual transition from potential to kinetic energy and an individual beginning to work. A light yellow joined the original color scheme, helping blend in the original Universe of Energy facade with Gehry’s light titanium gray extension. Randomized-looking waveforms, curved to reflect the Floridian sun and almost changing the extension’s light gray color to nearly white, sat on top of the pre-existing roof and the new extension's higher roof, blending the two structures together. These symbolized the “infinite potential” that an individual now has after receiving energy and proceeding to do work “that moves the world, one day at a time.”

The entrance portals into the Universe of Energy pavilion were also changed for the Energy in Motion transformation. The original geometric tiled entrance wall was ripped open in favor of black-framed glass walls that opened up the original pre-show area to let in more natural light. Within these walls is the Entropy Labs.


Picture originally posted on Twitter by garlicclm

The Entropy Labs are where we can learn about energy in a whole new way. Like Innoventions, whirring contraptions and oddball furnishings fill our field of vision. Spinning gears, humming motors, moving chains and all other sorts of unique, scientific doodads move about in harmony – a perfect example of kinetic energy. When the revamped pavilion opened in 1997, it was sponsored by K’Nex; and one could clearly tell. It was as if the entire place was built by K’Nex themselves – the bright colors and unique styling were clearly inspired by the K’Nex toys. However, when their sponsorship ended in 2012, it was decided to re-tool the theme slightly. Nowadays, the Entropy Labs are inspired not by K’Nex, but by more of a “whimsical Steampunk” idea. Gears, cogs, chains, pulleys and other such delightfully bizarre contraptions became the norm; maintaining the original theme of kinetic energy, while also removing all traces of the pavilion’s former sponsor.


In the center of the Entropy Labs is the Wheel of Creation, a sprawling 55 foot tall Ferris wheel. Naturally, one can see all the cogs and motors and gears working to make it spin. With each rotation, the moving parts create an elaborate spectacle, attracting the attention of all guests’ eyes, beckoning them to come for a spin themselves. Flanked on both sides by switchback queues, guests can ride two spins on the wheel rising high into the ceiling atrium of the pavilion and getting a look down below at many of the new attractions and exhibits on display.

Surrounding the Wheel of Creation are various exhibits, all about energy – in particular, energy in motion, as well as alternative sources of energy beyond fossil fuels. However, one exhibit found here is Homework Helpers, a designated location inside the Energy in Motion atrium that facilitates guests’ understandings of physics in everyday life. Guests ages 6-18 can also bring in their math homework from school for assistance in solving problems. Guests can get a haircut on Main Street, and now, they can get their homework done at EPCOT!

In addition, there will be various math and physics problems scattered throughout the exhibit for guests to learn about in an interactive almost ‘trivia night’ level challenge. Many of the problem sets in these exhibits also cross-promote the Disney films of the era – for example, one problem on Opening Day was based around The Rocketeer. Here, guests will be able to relate the films they enjoy with the math they may not enjoy, making the learning experience a more eventful and satisfying edutainment endeavor at EPCOT.


Also within the atrium is a meet ‘n’ greet with the pavilion’s unofficial mascot: Adam the Atom. A colorful creation using particle energy, Adam is a jolly atom, but if you bring negative energy near his electrons, don’t be surprised if you get repulsed!

A long day at work in the Entropy Labs is sure to work up an appetite, but not even the cafeteria is going to be ordinary here. True to the pavilion’s purpose, the Kinetic Kitchen’s goal is to provide diners with foods that will energize them, in a healthy and delicious way. This quick service restaurant’s interior is striking, with sleek, sharp surfaces and a stark white color scheme. As you wait in line, tune in to the latest broadcast on WNRG; as a loop of shorts features pastiches of regular TV shows all themed around energy: the forms of energy, how it works, the effects of energy on the world, etc. There are even music videos for the two songs from the original Universe of Energy: “Energy (You Make the World Go ‘Round)” and “Universe of Energy”; as well as a Goofy “How-To” cartoon about the process of food being converted into energy. It’s fun for kids and adults alike.

Are you eating in the morning? There’s a breakfast menu. Warm oatmeal, fresh fruit, and sweet yogurt parfaits are sure to delight diners of all ages. Older guests will appreciate the different flavors of coffee being offered. For lunch, have smoked salmon or a BLT. At dinnertime, split a shrimp platter, or save your appetite for the lemon garlic chicken breast with a side of sweet potatoes. And for dessert, try some Pythagoras Pastries. We hope you enjoyed your meal and learned a thing or two along the way.

But of course, all this is just a build-up for the pavilion’s major E-ticket: Power Trip!


I know this is a picture of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, but it’ s the closest picture I can get for what I envision this coaster to be like: indoors and intensely-thrilling!

We’ve all been on roller-coasters before, but have any of us ever wondered how roller-coasters work? Well, energy itself plays a huge part in the making of a good roller-coaster – particularly in how it powers a roller-coaster – and the Entropy Labs are here to demonstrate. And what better way to explore how energy powers a roller-coaster than to see it for ourselves? The head of the Labs, Dr. Hasselback – as played by none other than Bill Nye – intends to take us onto the Invention Course, something of a “rite-of-passage” for all Entropy Labs employees, but his plans are hijacked by a headstrong young intern named Johnny, who intends to showcase his own custom track.

The attraction is a roller-coaster ride demonstrating the sources of energy used in an average roller-coaster ride, involving a 65-foot drop, two inversions and all sorts of unique action. Plus, expect the ride to be scored to an updated take on the original “Universe of Energy” theme song! Yes sirree, Power Trip has quickly established itself as one of EPCOT’s biggest E-tickets, and brought unprecedented attendance to the Energy Pavilion, not seen since EPCOT’s first years! It is definitely a big part of any day at EPCOT, and any trip to Walt Disney World! The experience exits out into the Model Room, where guests can explore and help build their own model coasters. The Model Room also hosts annual scholastic events such as science fairs for nationwide middle schools, high schools, and collegiate endeavors showcasing their math and psychics prowess.

Nearby is the Kinetorium, the pavilion’s major gift shop. The interior is laboratory chic. Whiteboard walls filled with mathematical equations, energy formulations, and Post-It notes formed the shop's walls, rising from the tiled floor to the ceiling. On some wall pieces, nerdy motivational posters are tacked on by the Entropy Labs interns (“May the d/dt (mv) be with you”, says one), as well as some slotted boards with slotted bins filled with purchasable trinkets on them. Free-standing steel-and-glass shelves are scattered about. Several laboratory workbenches dotted the show floor topped with various merchandise. The fixtures overall reminded you of your school physics laboratory but filled with themed merchandise instead of stressed students. The merchandise in here is usually good, including items you can’t get anywhere else in the park: Entropy Labs-themed lab coats, exclusive K’Nex toy sets, jewelry pieces, Adam the Atom plush toys, etc.

But there’s still one more thing to see here at Energy in Motion. For those who can’t yet ride Power Trip, there’s the Electric Express, EPCOT’s first-ever junior roller-coaster. Like Power Trip, this ride is based around one of the coaster designs Entropy Labs has been fiddling around with. On the ride, guests will ascend to 35 feet inside the atrium, before swerving through curves, bunny hops, and eventually a 360 curve into the brake run. All in all, this 45-second experience will be a crowd-pleaser for the little ones while their older siblings take on Power Trip.

Continuing around World Discovery, the guests walk through several tucked away seating areas and shaded tree areas. They come across a ramp, which leads the way upwards to the next pavilion:

Wonders of Life


In this incredible journey within, we will explore the inner-workings of the complex human machine, learning that good health is based more than anything else on our own responsibility and behavior… A 72-ft high “Tower of Life” stands outside the entrance to the pavilion. This colorful landmark is a replica of DNA weighing in at 25 metric tons in shades of turquoise, magenta, gold and silver, and it sits atop a cascade waterfall that flows along the ramp leading up to the pavilion.


Stepping inside the golden dome of Wonders of Life, you’ll find yourself on the Great Midway of Life, a real circus of anatomy and science. A series of intricate, semi-chaotic and abstract carnival rides, tents and structures act as a three-dimensional “mural” and facades for the innumerable attractions and exhibits found at Wonders of Life; even so, the “rides” and other carnival standbys resemble human body parts, organs and functions, lovingly “oddball” and even artistic, a natural facade choice for the real attractions, not to mention a smooth crash-course in Immersion 101. The Great Midway of Life was the brainchild of legendary Imagineer Rolly Crump, and his creative influence is apparent throughout.

The Care-of-Self Carousel is the central “weenie,” a kinetic centerpiece and symbol of good diet and self-care. No horses or chariots here; instead, we “gallop” on the Crump-stylized “backs” of fresh fruits and vegetables, grains, wild-caught salmon and grilled chicken wings, farm-fresh eggs, gallons of milk, and even raw steaks. Diagrams in the queue entail the importance of a well-balanced diet and nutrition.

Going from left to right, we find a variety of unique attractions and marketplaces. Directly to the left as we enter is Pure & Simple. Here, the menu places an emphasis on low-fat and nutritious items, as well as various gluten-free and dairy-free items. Breakfast items include bagel sandwiches, low-fat muffins and breakfast wraps. On the lunch/dinner menu, there’s a variety of sandwiches, salads, soups, pasta, chicken, turkey, and fish samplings, as well as whole-grain pizzas and breads, with smoothies, fruit salad and yogurt for dessert. The “Wonder Waffle”, shaped in a pentagon of hearts, is Pure & Simple’s most iconic offering - a hot and cold topping bar of fruit-based syrups and healthy toppings is available.

Next door is the Midway Nickelodeon, the home of The Making of Me. This sixteen-minute film, hosted by Martin Short, details the process of human reproduction. It begins with Short showing us his parents as children, then highlighting their meeting, their romance, their marriage, and the process of how babies are formed in the womb before they officially come into the world. The film is somewhat infamous for its no-nonsense approach to the process of birth – no storks here. There is even a brief sequence involving animated sperm and eggs!


At first glance, the Sensory Funhouse is entirely bizarre… Rolly Crump’s influence is unmatched. Bizarre patterns and architecture - clowns in the keystones, arms in the columns - illustrate a weird and immersive adventure through the five senses of the human mind and body, all whilst reminiscent of a Victorian carnival, or something out of Yellow Submarine. The ticket kiosk is closed and admission is free. We enter through an old funhouse standby - a spinning tunnel - only here, it’s called the Tunnel of Taste. We enter a giant mouth, walking right past the lips, across the tongue, and beneath the teeth and uvula. We experience vertigo and a loss of equilibrium as our brains receive conflicting signals from our bodies and senses. Traversing the tunnel is a beam bridge (the tongue). Handrails securely fastened along the length of the bridge - designed to look like giant toothpicks - are necessary for our safety.

The Sensory Funhouse was the creation of the eccentric Dr. Sven Sation, marked by his bushy eyebrows, handlebar mustache and white lab coat. As we reach the end of the Tunnel of Taste, the doctor himself appears in a funhouse mirror! His German accent will be our main vocal point of contact as we traverse through the rest of the funhouse. The Mirror Maze is first. Dr. Sation, however, is here to help! The medically-trained guide, popping-up from mirror-to-mirror, will teach us about the correlation between our eyes and our brain as we navigate through the twisted mirrors and distorted reflections. The Optical Illusion Corridor is next, a long hall filled with swirly patterns, hypnotic wheels and other mind-tricks.

We traverse the Perplexion Pipes, a series of vertical, technicolor pipes. One pipe is hot, another is cold. By grabbing both at the same time, our sense of touch is thrown off. Other pipes make cartoon sound-effects, while others bend and curve in every which way. One pipe is both hot and cold! The Touchy Subjects Room is filled with many different boxes. The long, oddly-shaped boxes are fronted by black bristles. Sticking our hands inside will reveal unknown objects on the other side, with the voice of Dr. Sation asking for us to describe what we feel - one object is a car, and another is a dinosaur!

Smell You Later follows a similar mold to Touchy Subjects, as unique “smell boxes” put our noses to the test. The challenge: identify which aroma is in each box. The smells are a combination of good and bad, and have a wide variety of sources, both food (vanilla, garlic, seafood, chocolate, coffee, bacon, rotten eggs and orange) and nature (grass, firewood, pine, flowers, jasmine, lavender, sea breeze, carrion flower, skunk spray). Audio Antics has a series of headphone-shaped booths. The three-dimensional audio inside plays an “audio illusion”. For instance, what sounds like rain pouring outside is revealed to be bacon frying. Lastly, we visit the Crooked Room. Video cameras and monitors track our every motion. The room’s crooked floor, slanted walls and disproportionate items put our senses and balance to the test in one final funhouse trick. At the end of our tour, an Audio-Animatronics Dr. Sation congratulates our success with a “Diploma of Sensitivity”, signed by the good doctor himself.


Among the vibrant tents of the Midway, one building stands out: an Art-Deco theater, its glittering neon marquee telling us that this is the home of Kitchen Kabaret. An elaborate lobby features posters advertising the various acts we will see in this show, in addition to fun facts about food and nutrition. At last, the automatic doors open, the overture swells and the curtain rises…

In the grand tradition of Country Bear Jamboree or the Enchanted Tiki Room, Kitchen Kabaret is, essentially, an Audio-Animatronics revue promoting the ideals of good nutrition...through a bunch of singing food. Our hostess, Bonnie Appetit, has quite a few tips up her sleeve to help make the “mealtime blues” go away. Accompanied by the kitchen’s house-band, the Kitchen Krackpots, Bonnie introduces four distinct acts, representing the four major food groups: the sweet dulcet tones of Mr. Dairy Goods and his Stars of the Milky Way; the Andrews Sisters-esque Cereal Sisters, alongside the bugle-blowing Toast of the Town; that wacky vaudeville duo Hamm & Eggz; and perhaps the revue’s most famous foodies, the Colander Combo and the Fiesta Fruit. Featuring a toe-tapping score by Scott Hennessy and legendary Disney composer Buddy Baker, Kitchen Kabaret truly is “a show that has the whole town cooking!”

Kitchen Kabaret has been a staple of EPCOT ever since it opened back in 1982. Its original home was at The Land, as the original focus for that pavilion was less on environmentalism and more on agriculture. Then, once Wonders of Life began construction, it was decided to move Kitchen Kabaret over to the new pavilion. Not only did its messages about good nutrition blend in beautifully with Wonders of Life’s themes of health and proper body care, but its wacky, vaudeville-esque tone perfectly matched the Midway’s delightfully wacky theming.


The Midway Theater has played host to two shows. From the pavilion’s opening until 2007, the theater played host to Cranium Command, a show combining Audio-Animatronics and video screens, detailing the first command of Captain Buzzy, as he attempts to guide a 12-year-old boy named Bobby through a typical day at school. Upon its closure in 2007, the theater sat dormant for almost a decade, and the Buzzy animatronic would go on to become a prominent display at various Disney Archives exhibitions. Disney was stumped as to what to replace the outdated show with. But then, inspiration struck like lightning.


When Inside Out was released on June 19, 2015, the film was praised for its concept, screenplay, subject matter, and musical score. The film grossed $90.4 million in its first weekend, making it the highest opening for an original title at the time, accumulating over $857 million in worldwide box office revenue. The film received several awards, including a Golden Globe Award and Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. It was more than evident that Inside Out would be a suited addition to EPCOT.

The Train of Thought sits outside the entrance to the revamped Cranium Command theater. The purple freight train is used for communication from the rest of Riley’s mind to the towering Headquarters above. Beneath the marquee and past the Train of Thought, we enter a detailed queue creatively re-purposed from the theater’s original holding area and into a series of large models and murals depicting Imagination Land, a creative world in the back of Riley’s mind. The French Fry Forest, Trophy Town, and House of Cards (among other landmarks) protrude along the “skyline”.

Inside Out: Driven by Emotion is the first-ever “open house” tour of Riley’s eleven-year old mind. The old Midway Theater has been retrofitted to resemble the Headquarters of the human mind, in this case, the mind of Riley. The show, using “2 1/2-D technology”, portrays human imagination and thought process in a new light; one that captures the design and intent behind peculiar ideas and nonsensical creations. We join Joy, Fear, Sadness, Anger and Disgust (all of whom, like Buzzy before them, are Audio-Animatronics) as they aide Riley in the creation of an illustrated book report. We explore colorful imagery and visualized thoughts from reading the book, and things grow even wilder as Riley puts crayon to paper; a literal whirlwind of color and light.

The Great Midway of Life would be incomplete without subtle reference and nod to the standby games of an actual carnival, and here, the games are far from inactive. Head to one of the dispensing machines near the Midway Arcade, and purchase a special play card with prepaid credits. Then, play away! In a batting cage-type area, we can either swing a baseball bat, golf club, or tennis racket in a VR-rendered court. The higher our score, the higher chance we have in taking home an adorable prize. The WonderCycles are an unexpected workout; a simulated-biking experience, we pedal to “move” through a virtual course on the monitor before us. The faster we pedal, the quicker we move through the course.

Another element of the Midway Arcade is The Psychology Department, which is an interactive area where you can give your brain a run for its money in a series of interactive games. Although there are many cool games to play here, there are two I’d like to point out. First, there’s The Memory Test, a game where you test your memory of certain images that flash onto a computer screen – such as a cat, bird, dog, goat, etc – and they flash up quick. Your job is to remember the order in which they are presented. Most people will have a 7+/- 2 capability with memory – and statistically the first and last images will be most remembered. the 7 +/- 2 is why phone numbers are 7 digits – most people can remember in that range – but test your memory to see what you can get! There’s also Brain Drain, a maze in the shape of the human brain, complete with visual cues and images representing the various parts of the brain; and Brain Games – test your skills and see if you can figure out mind tricks designed to fool your brains! Optical illusions, sensory deceptions, and more are included.

Next door to the Arcade, Health Carnival Hotspot is Wonders of Life’s flagship store. The mercantile sells, among other things, athletic merchandise, including jerseys and hats, as well as Disney-themed jerseys, exercise attire, and figurines.

In contrast to the colorful and abstract carnival of the Great Midway of Life, we have passed beneath the framework of a “far-off” roller coaster, through a large portal, and into the serious, high-tech facilities and laboratories of MET – Miniaturized Exploration Technologies. You won’t find the likes of Dr. Sation or Bonnie Appetit here. Instead, we are introduced to the scientists and doctors at MET who have pioneered an amazing technology that allows a miniaturized crew to travel inside the human body from the comfort and safety inside a “Body Probe” vehicle. And we will get to step aboard that vehicle ourselves when we queue up for Body Wars.


Once beyond the Great Midway of Life, through the portal and beneath the “roller coaster,” we find the queue to be in stark contrast - a massive mural around the inner circumference of the queue is a collection of blood vessels, tubes, arteries and veins that illustrate something inside of us. The music has gone from an electro-synthetic carnival to a dramatic science-fiction soundtrack…

The laboratories and facilities of MET are concealed and barred from the Great Midway of Life to better control the potential invasion of disease and external pathogens. The mural transitions into working labs and equipment, where video monitors and diagrams explain the incredible LGS-2050 Body Probe Vehicle. These white pods can be miniaturized to the size of a cell and beamed into a human body for research and exploration. Interactive exhibits in the queue include the “MET Lifestyle Review,” a hands-on survey based on our health habits and what we can do to improve them, and a full-scale LGS-2050 Vehicle, our soon-to-be method of transportation.

In the pre-show, the Mission Commander explains our situation. Ten minutes ago, Dr. Cynthia Lair, one of MET’s foremost immunologists, was miniaturized and beamed into the right index finger of a volunteer with a splinter. Dr. Lair is researching the “inflammatory response of the neutrophils as they react to invading bacteria.” Unfortunately, she is now trapped - and it now takes our Captain and 10 EPCOT visitors at a time to shrink down and rescue her.

Following its success in WestCOT at Disneyland, EPCOT’s Body Wars swapped its original film for their film, which was a step-up in every sense of the word: more different, more grandiose, and even more intimate in a sense. The enclosed LGS-2050 is almost like a bubble in appearance with an all-enveloping glass viewing port. We board our motion-simulator, the Body Probe, and watch a film projected onto a large, dome-shaped IMAX screen. The ride-film itself is different, as though the premise remains the same as the original, the actors and settings have been recast and redesigned as CGI had improved greatly since the conception of the 1989 version.

Body Wars exits out into Frontiers in Medicine, an exhibit all about the latest scientific breakthroughs in health and medicine – 3D printing of human tissue, prosthetic advances, cancer treatments via immunotherapy, and even a section on how vaccinations work and why it is important to be vaccinated. Frontiers in Medicine also plays host to the Life Research Center. This is a fully-staffed research lab associated with the University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando specializing in the research of autoimmune diseases and how to protect the body against itself. Separate special tours are given on select days much like the Behind the Seeds tours.

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I must credit the creators of the original Energy in Motion Pavilion: @Brer Panther, @Disney Dad 3000, @DisneyFan32, @Imagineer Brandon, @montydysquith-navarro and @spacemt354. You truly breathed new life into what was easily the worst part of Future World in EPCOT's early days, so much so that I had to bring it here. And if you want to see the way they presented this for One Little Spark, click this link. It's got all sorts of pictures; most of which I can't post here due to broken links and all that. Likewise, the idea of surrounding the pavilion with various green energy technologies was an idea I borrowed from @sshindel and his EPCOT Manifesto.

Regarding Wonders of Life, most of this came from @MANEATINGWREATH and his Mirror Disneyland 2.0; but I must also credit @spacemt354 for coming up with The Psychology Department, which he devised for an alternate Wonders of Life as part of the Twist in Time competition; as well as the Life Research Center, which came from his Life Pavilion concept from the TAFI Brainstorming Series.

The next post will come out on Monday, November 28; and in that post, we'll visit the other two pavilions of World Discovery -- Mission: SPACE and Test Track! See you then!
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Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Let's finish up World Discovery!

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In 1977, WED envisioned an attraction for EPCOT Center to be built where The Living Seas would later stand. The huge, spherical space station would have featured NASA exhibition areas, an Omnimover-ride through simulated space, and a theatrical show looking out into the limitless boundaries of the known galaxies and stars in the realms beyond. In the late ‘90s, as work was beginning on WestCOT, which itself would contain a Space Pavilion, it was decided to take the old concept for a Floridian Space Pavilion and finally bring it to life. And given that Horizons had just closed to prepare for its central move, that left plenty of space to work with…

Mission: SPACE


The Mission: SPACE pavilion itself is gargantuan. In fact, it is about the same height and scale as Spaceship Earth: 180 feet. The massive, interstellar-inspired structure is remarkable; a sight to behold. It hearkens to a time and moment of idealism and optimism, the hope of the Space Age. Like EPCOT itself, Mission: SPACE is equal parts yesterday’s vision of tomorrow and tomorrow’s view of yesterday. The “spacecraft” exterior of Horizons has been retained, only now, it has been painted white; not to mention it sits in the shadow of a conjoint and towering space station and a massive red, metallic gantry lift. In fact, the back half of the “spacecraft” was demolished in order to make way for the space station. The sloping walls of the “spacecraft” were extended in order to give off a pyramid shape – a fitting choice, as according to a Disney press release, pyramids were “often used in ancient civilizations as part of their celestial studies and observations.” Furthermore, the exterior was carved into in order to make way for another “weenie” to Mission: SPACE. In the entrance courtyard stands an armillary sphere, a tool that, essentially, maps out space. All in all, the new “spacecraft” looks a little like this:


Like with Horizons before it, we have to enter the pavilion through the “spacecraft.” But if you’re expecting to enter some big space-tech facility, you’d be wrong. Instead, once you pass through the “spacecraft”, you’ll find yourself in an entire faux forest of towering redwood and pine cast beneath crisp, autumn twilight. We then come to a clearing where a small amphitheater surrounds a campfire. Overhead is a planetarium-like sky... Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune and others float past - gargantuan, undulating with ethereal color and light. This becomes a sound, light and projection show to evoke our curiosity and wonder about space, connecting us to man’s earliest yearnings. The show is aptly called…. “Mission: SPACE.”

A live narrator relays the story of man’s history of space, and man’s eagerness to explore its vastness, using the constellations and stars to help illustrate their story. The pavilion’s theme, “Destiny”, is also worked into this presentation. At the show’s climax, the forest clears, the stars and planets appearing closer. We are now in a futuristic Mission Control station, being invited to travel up to space ourselves.

The massive gantry lift soars almost higher than the entire pavilion. Though, in reality, it is simply a disguise for the Stellarvator, a special “space elevator” held within the gantry lift, which will take us from the comfort of Planet Earth all the way up to the farthest reaches of outer space. Windows at the top and in the bottom of the space pod gives us incredible views of the earth surface and of the changing skies, as buildings and landscapes become more distinct as higher and higher we climb.


We are now aboard the Alpha Centauri Space Station; a spacecraft not far from the Earth’s orbit, and a sister station to Brava Centauri, as seen in Horizons. It’s a large hall. All-encompassing windows look out into surrounding space. The stars, planets and outlined constellations move as we turn through our orbit. The center of the craft features a large round window in the floor surrounded by railing that looks down on the Earth. The area around the window hosts Mission: EARTH, a series of interactive stations that teach us about space exploration and sciences.

Other points of interest here include The American Space Experience. Presented by NASA (I should mention that they also sponsor Mission: SPACE as a whole), this is a museum focusing on “the challenge of outer space”. Again, since NASA is sponsoring this, the museum is constantly updated, making sure the pulse of space exploration progress is ever ready for guests to view for themselves. The Space Base is a playplace where little astronauts can blow off some steam. There are also two games to play here. Expedition: Mars is a video game where guests have four minutes to try to find four astronauts on the surface of Mars. Space Race is a game dividing guests into two teams: Triton and Orion; and the object is to be the first team to get their rocketship to the surface of Mars and back to Earth.

There’s also The World Beyond. Much like Horizons and Carousel of Progress, The Mysterious Galaxy and The World Beyond are considered “sister attractions”. If The Mysterious Galaxy over at the Magic Kingdom focused exclusively on the Solar System, then The World Beyond focuses on the universe as a whole. In this 3D film, we go on a virtual voyage through the universe, experiencing both its beauty and its severity. It concludes with a close-up look at a supernova - a bit too close, being honest.


No dining experience on Earth can match what’s in store at the Space 220 restaurant. Space 220 is an unbelievable experience that transports us further into space for incredible meals that are “out of this world.” So named because the Alpha Centauri Space Station is located 220 miles above the earth’s surface, we dine alongside incredible celestial views. A lounge and bar, in addition to some of the finest delicacies this side of the Milky Way, make Space 220 one of EPCOT’s greatest restaurants. A menu of internationally-inspired cuisine and more than 1,000 bottles of the world’s finest wines and a wide selection of craft beer grace this galactic galley.


But that’s not all. Mission: SPACE is also home to an experience you won’t find anywhere else in Walt Disney World: the WALL-E Encounter. Yes, the art of using animatronics for meet ‘n’ greets has reached its apex here. We can meet up with the beloved, trash-compacting robot – as well as his beloved EVE – in their own space, and they are fully interactive, directly responding to guests and all that. Featuring animatronics designed in collaboration with Mike Senna and Michael McMaster, the WALL-E certainly offers a family-friendly and more child-oriented alternative to Mission: SPACE’s intense, signature attraction…


Behold, the Spacewalk. You know why the space station dominates over the skyline of the pavilion’s courtyard? Because the Spacewalk is that big. The attraction uses KUKA robocoaster technology, which allows the ride vehicles to pivot while being held below the track by a robotic arm. However, the attraction is not a roller coaster, but rather a scenic dark ride with thrilling elements.

In the pre-show we learn how to operate our “EVA” units, advanced “pods” that offer free range and protection through our forthcoming exploration of the Milky Way. Each unit is suspended from an overhead-track on a continuously moving belt. It has two seats and a four-point safety harness. Our feet dangle free. A joystick allows us to control yaw and roll. We can turn completely around or completely upside-down. If we want, we can ride backwards facing two other friends to share in the experience. A moving walkway allows us to board and secure ourselves while the track keeps in motion.

The ride circles us around new angles of the exterior of the Brava Centauri Space Station, the aforementioned location from Horizons. We have views into space and into the interior of the station. We can see some of the public spaces filled with our fellow visitors, and we see other “off-limits” spaces we wouldn't otherwise see. These paint a picture of life on the station, as well as the extraordinary wonders shared in an anti-gravity “Spacewalk.”

Then, our Spacewalk journey is cut short from the tranquility and discovery. Space debris from a broken satellite has formed a rapidly-expanding cloud of high-speed danger. The debris strikes Brava Centauri and separates our EVA units from their usual path. We are ordered to return to the station immediately. Our communication with Mission Control is lost shortly thereafter as more and more satellites are destroyed by the debris. Even worse, we can no longer control our EVA unit - the joystick and motion now have a mind of their own.

The debris has left us tumbling far and through distant space. We narrowly avoid the high-speed onslaught of debris and matter, completely unharmed. The mishap leaves us dropping, spinning, twisting, turning, and even hanging upside-down, all the while hurtling through dark space. We fortunately regain traction and end up in a “comfortable” cruising speed. Somehow, we have been launched far enough to be pulled into the Moon’s orbit. Then, we do what was once thought impossible for the everyday person - we “walk” on the Moon.


The Moon segment is emotional. The rich orchestral score by famed composer Bruce Broughton (Lost in Space, Timekeeper, The Orville) and gorgeous, three-dimensional views of a distant Earth are enough to make a grown-man weep. We see the American Flag and original footprints of Neil Armstrong. We regain communication with Mission Control, and a Brava Centauri shuttle brings us back to Alpha Centauri.

When the time comes to head back “down to Earth” from the space station, we can just hop aboard the Stellarvator again for a descent back down to terra firma. Our time in space is complete. Returning to Mission Control, we naturally find a gift shop at the exit to the pavilion. At the Alpha Centauri Cargo Bay, we can peruse through a vast selection of space-related merchandise: toy rockets, planetarium models and projectors, robots and other such wares.

Returning to World Discovery, heading over towards World Showcase, we find a circular building made of stainless steel. The gleaming, glass-covered outer surfaces of the circular building constitutes the near-whole of the exterior, a testament to retro-futurism and abstract architecture. However, as you pass by, you might catch a glimpse of blue cars roaring past the front of the building, along a stretch of track going around the building like the rings of Saturn. Curiosity peaked, we decide to enter this building, and we find ourselves hopping aboard a “SimCar” and setting off for a wild ride on…

Test Track


The Test Track facility is gleaming, state-of-the-art; almost TRON-like in its environment and design. The queue (and attraction itself) is an exhibition on forward-thinking and innovative design in transportation and efficient, eco-friendly travel. En route, we can design a virtual concept car and later put it to the test in the thrilling, high-octane ride to follow. Of course, these cars are not the ordinary cars of today; these are the self-driving and electric-powered cars of tomorrow.


Our prototype “SimCar” whisks us into a digital circuit in which we experience for ourselves the difficult tests and trials that all prototype vehicles must undergo before receiving their standard safety clearance. We rev and float through rough terrain and obstacles along the winding, computerized circuit. We accelerate through straightaways and hairpin turns, maneuver switchbacks through inclement weather and get into some barely-missed collisions, all culminating in the final test: a 65 miles-per-hour “speed test” out and along the exterior rim, including a banked turn above the ride’s entrance!

The ride exits out into the Test Track Showroom, where we can see how well our car held up on the track, play various games themed around the testing process, and even make our own ad for our car! Speaking of which, the Test Track Showroom shares floor space with the Green Light gift shop, selling merchandise themed around Test Track.


While we are here, let us take a moment to remember Test Track’s predecessor, World of Motion. In essence, World of Motion offered a light-hearted look at the history of transportation, in all its forms, and it did so with style. World of Motion made use of the largest cast of Audio-Animatronics figures ever assembled in a Disney attraction, housed in detailed sets with the joyous music of “It’s Fun to Be Free” (penned by Buddy Baker and X. Atencio) to encapsulate the historic and often comical story of man’s quest to “travel from here to there.” It entertained guests for nearly 15 years, before General Motors requested a modern-day tune-up. Thus, on January 2, 1996, World of Motion closed, and on March 17, 1999, after years of delays and other problems, Test Track roared into Future World.

Originally, Test Track was a lot more industrial. The original conceit was that we were going through a realistic car testing facility. In fact, the conceit was that we would be serving as crash test dummies, complete with the build-up to the speed portion being the infamous wall test! This version delighted guests for nearly a decade, but in January of 2012, it was announced that Test Track would be getting a futuristic makeover, which opened in December of that year.


But that’s not all – the Test Track pavilion also features the Junior Autopia. Basically a modern-day version of the classic Disneyland attraction – and for that matter, a reborn version of the former Grand Prix Raceway at the Magic Kingdom – the Junior Autopia takes younger guests on a gentle drive through the woods and forests outside Test Track. And that’s all that one can say about it; it’s just a leisurely, relaxing little cruise. Featuring a working gas pedal and steering wheel, each classy roadster seats 2 adults or 3 children and navigates curves and inclines just like the real thing. Furthermore, since the original Grand Prix Raceway was notorious for the scent of gas stinking up that corner of Tomorrowland, the cars of the Junior Autopia are all electric cars. Thus, we not only get rid of the smell, but also help to promote a lesser-known way of driving that could play a major part in cutting down carbon emissions.

Plus, given that World Discovery is home to four of EPCOT’s most thrilling attractions – Power Trip, Body Wars, the Spacewalk and Test Track, all within walking distance of each other – it’s a necessity to have major attractions that are nice and calming and everyone can enjoy together. Energy in Motion has the Electric Express and the Wheel of Creation, Wonders of Life has Kitchen Kabaret and Inside Out: Driven by Emotion, Mission: SPACE has its various exhibits and the WALL-E Encounter, and Test Track has the Junior Autopia.

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And there we have World Discovery! I hope you all enjoyed it. I should point out that Mission: SPACE comes directly from @MANEATINGWREATH's Mirror Disneyland concept, so all credit to him on that count; and I also borrowed a bit of his Autopia description to help describe Junior Autopia; so credit there, as well.

Oh, and by the way, if you're wondering why I didn't save World of Motion as I have done in the past, I have since realized that there is very little space between Horizons/Space and World of Motion/Test Track. In fact, this picture shows that the outdoor track of Test Track takes up a great deal of that limited space. Not to mention that, if you look at a satellite view of EPCOT, there is some sort of backstage building in-between Mission: SPACE and Test Track, presumably having been built long before those two rides opened, and I don't know where it could be rebuilt. Therefore, I don't think it would be feasible to have World of Motion and Test Track be neighbors in this Mirror universe.

Well, the next post will be coming out on Wednesday, November 30; and in that post, we'll start our exploration of World Nature. See you then!
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Let us now begin our journey through World Nature.

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World Nature


World Nature is devoted to the natural wonders of our humble planet. Compared to World Discovery, the layout mainly consists of several walkway bridges connecting from one pavilion to another. The bridges are suspended over beautiful, glistening reflecting pools, lined with stones. The walkways are offered covered by tall trees suspended from circular stone holders, which often make for good resting locations as well. Whereas World Discovery is more industrial, World Nature is more natural, featuring pavilions based on natural subjects, as we will soon see.

Like World Discovery, the entrance to World Nature is marked by Naturalists’ Point, with three statues marking people who made significant contributions to awareness of the land, sea and sky: Henry David Thoreau, that prominent naturalist; Jacques Costeau, who was one of the biggest advocates for marine conservation; and Orville and Wilbur Wright, the brothers who pioneered air travel.

We walk along the large pathways meandering throughout World Nature. The pathway is lined with beautiful rose gardens, flower beds, tall trees and grass fields. The pathways stretch over large reflective pools of glistening water beds. The World Nature Trails continue on, featuring live animals mere feet from us. Continuing along the rim of the area, we walk through a dense forest, arriving at World Nature’s first pavilion:

The Land


Held within what looks like a mountain made of glass and metal, The Land focuses on environmentalism – agriculture, conservation, the beauty of nature and how to live in harmony with our fragile ecosystem. In essence, it’s one great big love letter to our Mother Earth.


Before we even step foot inside the pavilion, our time in The Land starts right outside. As I said earlier, a great, sprawling forest is found surrounding the pavilion. Flanking The Land are two outdoor attractions. As you admire the forest, you may hear…screaming? Yes, screaming can be heard throughout the treetops. Why? Well, that’s because darting through this forest is Rainforest Race, an outdoor roller coaster set around a temperate rainforest. If you were to ask the common person on the street to describe a rainforest, you’d more than likely have them describing a tropical rainforest, like the Amazon. Thus, with this roller coaster, we’ll showcase a second kind of rainforest and get some good thrills over to this side of the park. In fact, Rainforest Race is the only thrill ride here in World Nature.

Rainforest Race is an inverted coaster, taking guests through a temperate rainforest canopy. The track sweeps through the dense trees and foliage of the forest, almost as if guests are birds, darting through the canopy. To quote from Theme Park Tourist, “Of about Big Thunder Mountain levels of intensity, this family coaster would zoom through the trees in a thrilling race with the queue and lift hills providing for some immersive learning and discovery.”

Also found within the forest is the Earthly Labyrinth, an elaborate hedge maze situated in-between The Land and Journey Into Imagination. To quote once again from Theme Park Tourist, “The misty, exotic, gorgeously maintained maze would serve as the perfect continuity between the two pavilions, combining the wonders of Earth with our inquisitive minds.” The lush gardens and grounds of World Nature meander down into a labyrinth unlike any other. Various interactive, educational exhibits can be found within the maze, all focusing on conservation and environmentalism. And yes, the tracks of Rainforest Race go over and past this maze, as well.


Beyond these two experiences within the forest, guests enter The Land through the “mountain”, past ever-growing trees growing out of a skylight. Along the walkway leading up to the pavilion are abstract murals representing the layers of the Earth’s core, leading into the indoor atrium, as a complete balcony surrounding the rim of the building looks down onto the lower floor of the pavilion. Each floor of the pavilion represents a different aspect of the land. The ceiling of the atrium is decorated with a mural designed by Walt Peregoy. The mural represents the sky and the clouds. Fittingly, hot-air balloons hang from overhead, adding some atmosphere to the “sky”, designed to represent the Earth and the four seasons. The walls of the atrium are decorated with stylized murals depicting mountains, cliffs, trees and other things, with The Land pavilion logo prominently displayed in-between Garden Grill and the Harvest Theater. Against the vertical beams that go from the ceiling to the ground floor are giant trees, adding some greenery to the area. The floor is decorated with tiling to represent the ground, the dirt and the sand. But however, as the designs edge towards Living with the Land, the tiling will represent water, since Living with the Land is a boat ride.

Located to the right of the atrium is the Harvest Theater, which hosts an elaborate film called Planet of Wonders. A collaboration between Disneynature and the BBC, they who gave the world the amazing Planet Earth series, this all-new film takes guests through various biomes, from the North Pole to the deep sea to the forests and savannas, revealing how plants, animals and humans all live with the environment. Not only that, it focuses on the ideals of conservation and man’s harmony with nature, and highlights some of the more negative connotations of said harmony – pollution, rising sea levels, climate change, more intense weather, etc., and showcases efforts to mitigate them. It also makes use of in-theater effects like wind and water, to fully immerse guests into the story. The film should make heavy use of the amazing visuals of Planet Earth, set to a sweeping score and a warm, inviting narration, courtesy of David Attenborough. It should serve as one of the highlights of a day at EPCOT.

Continuing along the rim of the overhead balcony surrounding the pavilion, guests will come across the Garden Grill, a rotating, circular restaurant, which also offers a look into the dioramas featured in the Living with the Land attraction. Of course, the murals on the walls surrounding the restaurant will represent farming and harvesting. The restaurant consists of a menu that has many healthy, natural food products that are grown right here at The Land, as well as character dining with Mickey, Pluto, Chip and Dale. Right beyond the Garden Grill is an escalator, staircase and elevator, leading down to the lower floor of the pavilion.


The escalator descends down into the sitting courtyard for the Farmers’ Market. This is an elaborate food court themed around a...well, guess...with a vast wealth of picnic tables, each one topped with a uniquely-designed umbrella. This, combined with the design of the pavilion, gives one the illusion of eating on the “grass.” Various stations, not unlike the kind found at an actual farmers’ market, offer a wide variety of foods, mostly healthy and natural in nature. There are eight stations: “Soup, Salad and Sandwich”, “Barbecue”, “Pasta & Potato”, “The Cheesery”, “Gifts of the Land” (a produce stand), “Grandma’s Bakery” (offering all kinds of sweet treats, as well as breakfast foods from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.), as well as an ice cream stand and a drink station.


After such a good meal, you can find out how the fruits and vegetables at the Farmers’ Market and Garden Grill were grown on-board Living with the Land. The attraction takes guests through the many agricultural procedures done throughout many different climates, before taking guests into the heart of the attraction, the agricultural plant domes, where guests pass by real growing methods incorporated by The Land, spotting several fruits and vegetables along the way, while also spotting new and innovative ways to advance the growing process of these crops.

Living with the Land has been an EPCOT staple since Opening Day, when it opened under the name “Listen to the Land”, complete with its own theme song. It got its current name in 1993, as part of a pavilion-wide refurbishment, a refurbishment that slightly altered the ride, removing the “Symphony of the Seed” opening with an expanded rainforest scene. Subsequently, in 2006, the original theme song returned to underscore the ride’s ending, albeit with a slight lyric change to reflect the ride’s new name. 2006 also saw the removal of the live guides in favor of a pre-recorded narration by voice actor Mike Brassell.


1994 saw the arrival of a new show in The Land. When Kitchen Kabaret moved east to Wonders of Life in 1989, the theater sat dormant for quite some time. With the pavilion-wide refurbishment, it was finally decided to give the theater a new tenant. Thus, on March 26, 1994, The Land welcomed The Four Seasons. The Art-Deco theater that marked Kitchen Kabaret has been turned into a rustic old barn – very fitting given that Farmers’ Market is just steps away. Stepping through the barn, the old “city” waiting area has been turned into a lobby featuring a wall-to-wall mural depicting landscapes in each of the four seasons painted by the legendary Bob Ross. The show itself is just as breathtaking.

The Four Seasons is, perhaps, one of the most “beautiful” attractions in all of EPCOT. Making use of elaborate puppets, scenic design and projections, and taking full advantage of sensory effects, The Four Seasons showcases how the seasons affect the earth and the environment, taking us to far-off places and showcasing the flora and fauna associated with the seasons. The show is narrated by James Earl Jones, and scored, naturally, to Vivaldi’s famous “Four Seasons” string concerti; the scoring session featuring such luminaries as Itzhak Perlman and Yo-Yo Ma. Basically, The Four Seasons is a next-gen Fantasia segment.

Spring is welcomed by the birds; rabbits and squirrels awake from hibernation, the “Largo” representing their first sleepy steps, as well as the movement of a dog frolicking through the fields, and the flowers bloom in time with a merry dance. Summer is heralded by the lions and creatures of the African savanna; the bugs buzz about; and a great storm comes to the savanna. Autumn brings us back to the forests, where the forest animals roam about, but the mood is shattered when the hunters come a-calling. And winter brings us to the Arctic Circle, where polar bears, reindeer and moose experience the cold; and to the South Pole, where penguins waddle and trip about the ice. The show exits out into the Winds of Change (formerly Broccoli & Co.) shop, featuring wares based around The Land, including stuffed animals of the puppet creatures seen in the show.

Not so far away from The Land, you’ll find the second pavilion of World Nature:

Journey of Water


Journey of Water is, forgive the pun, a natural extension to the World Nature Trails. If Flamingo Cove in World Celebration starts the trail, then Journey of Water is where it ends. The animals encountered in the Nature Trails transition well into World Nature and carry into the Journey of Water experience.

Stunning water features and tropical trees and blossoms compose a “symphonic” masterpiece of natural awe and beauty, with tropical birds, reptiles and fish among the local fauna. Beautiful waterfalls, jumping fountains, and spectacular rock formations form a lush setting reminiscent of the natural beauty and life of the Hawaiian Islands. This lush, entirely-outdoor pavilion invites us to “meet and play” with the magical, living water, and discover how the water cycle works. The water has a life of its own – a trickling stream grows from a small inlet of a lagoon found at the entrance to the pavilion and carries into a stream, then a river, and finally, back into a lagoon – a message on the importance of the natural water cycle.


If you’ve heard anything about WestCOT, you know that it was an Opening Day attraction when The Sea first opened at Wonders of Earth. However, at EPCOT, it was quite a longer wait. It took until 2022 for EPCOT to get its own Journey of Water. At the 2019 D23 Expo, it was announced that the Internet Café and Cool Stuff would be removed, as they too had become outdated, in favor of a Floridian Journey of Water; which would be greatly expanded and turned into its own pavilion. Only here, the tropical setting would further be influenced by the 2016 animated film Moana. For example, a few of the film’s design motifs are a part of the motifs for the attraction, and images of the film’s characters can be found carved in certain areas of rockwork. Plus, overlooking the entire pavilion is a 16-foot-tall statue of Mother Island herself, Te Fiti. Real flowers and plants make up the hair and body of the goddess as she watches over this oasis, ensuring that the natural cycle carries on.

Of course, the wayfinder herself can often be found meeting guests nearby the pavilion.

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The next post will be out on Friday, December 2, and in that post, we will visit the final two pavilions of World Nature. See you then!
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Okay, confession time: When I tried to do a post describing both pavilions, it exceeded the character limit. So, I've decided to split it up into two individual posts: One about The Living Seas and one about The World Above.

With that out of the way, here we go!

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Where last our tour left off, we had just finished exploring Journey of Water. In hindsight, it’s rather coincidental that that’s where we left off, because it is now time to “dive in” and explore...

The Living Seas


Much like The Land, The Living Seas focuses on conservation and awareness of our environment and how we treat it...only here, the focus is placed firmly on our relationship with the sea. Together with The Land and The World Above, The Living Seas forms a part of a “land, sea and sky” triptych, highlighting the natural wonders of our world. On August 21, 2005, as part of Project Gemini, The Living Seas closed to prepare for a makeover that completely revitalized the pavilion, top to bottom. Now, the experience will not just allow us to explore the sea from the confines of a sea base. We are now going to explore the sea from zone to zone. A newly-added third story serves as the new “surface level”; while the existing second and first stories become the photic and benthic zones, respectively.

As part of the massive overhaul, the pavilion received an all-new look. The new Living Seas exterior visually resembles a crashing organic waveform. Imagineering draws major inspiration from the freeform, monumental museums of Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, which are among the most prominent examples of architectural futurism in the 1990s. To a lesser extent, inspiration also derives from the similarly organic designs of younger architect Zaha Hadid. Curvilinear concrete designs are made possible by breakthroughs in 3D computer modeling and construction materials. The flowing concrete forms are painted white to emphasize their sculptural shape. Like the rest of Discovery World at the time, this expressionist design communicates its theme in ways both abstract and direct. Closing in beyond the macro-level wave structure, The Living Seas feels nautical at every scale. The building’s blue-tinted glass envelope suggests undulating ocean waves. Ben Day dots on the glass suggest a watery texture. Exterior walkways are shaded by prefab white coralline structures. The molded grey concrete which forms The Living Seas’ foundation is textured with seashells and nautical fossils. At night, projection mapping covers the structure in soothing watery reflections.

Walkways ferry guests to the pavilion interior. These paths meander around exterior saltwater pools. This is the “surface zone” where guests are above the ocean looking into it. Naturalistic designs coexist with the abstract architecture. Throughout is a free-flowing maze of seashore rockwork, exposed coral, tidepools, and kinetic crashing waves.


The Living Seas experience begins even before you enter the pavilion itself. Surrounding the pavilion’s exterior, the pools outside of The Living Seas and The Land were converted into living ecosystems, collectively dubbed the Outer Tide Pools. The pools were made deeper and are connected to a series of filters and wave machines that emulate the natural habitats of the shallow lagoons of the sea. These pools are connected underneath the pathways which serve as the “piers” that we walk above.

Each pool is connected to a wave machine which simulates the rippling that would naturally exist in the water. Inside each pool is a series of artificial rocks and corals that make up the geography of the habitat. The rocks serve as hides for the animals within, places for animal keepers to place food, and ways to conceal the filters and wave makers within the pool. Also inside the habitats are live corals that attach themselves to the rocks to make a much more lively habitat. The habitat also features water cooling features that keep the pools at a reasonable temperature in the hot Florida sun. Inside these pools are a wide selection of fish and invertebrate species that call these shallow habitats their home. The selection of reef fish include:

  • Black-tip Reef Shark
  • Epaulette shark
  • Cownose ray
  • Southern stingray
  • Permit
  • French Grunt
  • Coral Trout
  • Leopard Shark
  • Caribbean Spiny Lobster
  • Giant Clam
  • Humphead Wrasse
  • Atlantic Horseshoe Crab
  • Other fish and invertebrate species


At the side of the pavilion, along the pathway leading towards The World Above, Dolphin Delta is an outdoor dolphin habitat that serves as an expansion of the current habitat for the Atlantic bottlenose dolphin pod already at The Living Seas, as well as an additional four dolphins purchased from SeaWorld Orlando down the road. This brings the park’s pod of dolphins up to eight individuals, making it a naturalistic pod that greatly benefits the animals’ mental health.

The pool is outfitted with the same wave machine and filters and water coolers that the tidepools on the outside of the pavilion have. This exhibit sits at 2.69 acres with a depth of about 30 feet, bringing its total water content to close to 5 million gallons of water, just slightly less than the main aquarium tank inside the pavilion prior to this current remodel. The dolphin habitat is surrounded by gunite rockwork and foliage that emulates a seaside cliff where native birds such as gulls, ibis, and storks may roost above the pool. These pieces of rockwork also mask the filtration units, coolers, and wave machines that keep the habitat running.

The pool itself is sand and rock bottom with a shallow end and a drop off towards the building. The shallow end is where dolphins swim up and beach themselves for daily enrichment and training sessions with their trainers. This is also where the dolphin encounter experience takes place. The dropoff goes towards the building as this is the location where the underwater viewing in the Living Seas building is located. Viewing of the habitat is mostly above-water, much like SeaWorld Orlando’s habitat, but features porthole viewing along the rockwork siding that allows guests to get a look at the dolphins as they swim by. Unless it is in time of a hurricane, the dolphins will have 24/7 access to their indoor and outdoor habitats, but viewing often closes at the same time as the other pavilions before the nightly fireworks spectacular.


Upon entering the building, we find ourselves walking along a sandy beach in the twilight. The sound of seagulls and crashing waves set the scene as we enter a swirling, eroded, carved grotto amidst the din of a gathering surface storm. Now inside the grotto, we find ourselves in a rocky, windswept lagoon, where a stormy night sky rages above. This clever disguise for a Circle-Vision 360 theater is the stage that is set for Legends of the Living Seas, an immersive Circle-Vision 360 and dark ride combination-experience.

Wind, mist, and rolling thunder shake the theater. With a flash of lightning, Poseidon, god of the seas (played by Sir Anthony Hopkins) appears, calming the storm with a flick of his wrist and introducing us to a number of brave men and women who have conquered the oceans through history. The experience concludes with a message on the importance of preserving our oceans and aquatic wildlife, as well as an immersive, first-hand view of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Mexico’s Dos Ojos (Two Eyes), and the chilling waters of the Arctic Ocean.

With Poseidon’s blessing, we are invited to explore the sea ourselves - the true cradle of life on Earth.


The rocky walls of the theater clear to reveal a continuation of the Living Seas attraction - the “undersea” load area for an Omnimover dark ride. Boarding a “SeaCab” disguised as a glass bubble, we are whisked away through an elaborate adventure through the ocean*. Poseidon narrates as our SeaCab travels through time in an elaborate re-creation of a coral reef through history. Audio-Animatronics re-create creatures of the prehistoric age, from Ammonites and ancient sea turtles to the monstrous Megalodon. At one point, a Spinosaurus, a semi-aquatic Cretaceous dinosaur dips beneath the surface for a bite, just narrowly avoiding our SeaCab with its hulking jaws... An underwater volcano erupts - our travels are whisked forward in history and carried into the modern era.

Real fish now swim around us, and if we’re lucky, we might even catch a glimpse of a real researcher out for a dive amongst the wildlife. This portion of the attraction is not through a faux set but rather through the pavilion’s massive, multi-million gallon aquarium. The ride through the massive tank - ostensibly, the ocean from our point of view - is short, but spectacular. At the end of our “true-life” adventure, Poseidon bids us farewell and leaves us to disembark from our SeaCab and step into a place that looks and feels vastly different from the surface world of World Nature: the One Ocean Aquarium.

* For this, I was inspired by the layout of what is now The Seas with Nemo and Friends. In this idea, the dark ride portion of Legends of the Living Seas follows the same track as The Seas with Nemo and Friends, while the Circle-Vision theater takes up what is now the remaining (and closed-off) Theater 2 from the original Living Seas.


The One Ocean Aquarium is the main aquarium tank in The Living Seas, featuring a massive tank that spans all three stories of the pavilion. From the surface layer at the newly-added third story of the pavilion, guests can look down into the aquarium from the top down, a railing with a catch guard wrapped around the tank’s surface to prevent anyone from throwing trash or other objects into the aquarium. From the second story of the building, the intermediary zone, guests get a great viewing window into the massive aquarium. Rather than the plain blue painted walls and faux-rock that once made up the aquarium’s interior, this new and refurbished aquarium is made to look far more like the open ocean. A sand and rock bottom with rocky reefs lining the outskirts of the tank allows for a wide diversity of fish to all be able to share the habitat.


This habitat remains home to many of the fish species already found within, including French grunt, sandbar sharks, Atlantic stingray, and squirrelfish, but rather than solely being Caribbean-themed, this tank is taking a more abstract approach at depicting the whole ocean across the world. New species are added to this massive tank, including giant ocean sunfish, great barracuda, tarpon, and tasseled wobbegong to name a few. This tank also remains home to green and loggerhead sea turtles.

The tank will be receiving a massive remodel to take up much more of the new building, shaped like a horseshoe to follow the contour lines and filling in space, allowing this single tank to reach over 8 million gallons of water, including the indoor portion of the dolphin habitat which follows the same habitat style as the other side, with a reef wall replacing the ugly separation wall dividing the tanks. Many habitats are sprinkled throughout the pavilion, featured in smaller educational exhibits such as seahorses and lionfish found in the plant life habitat. Another habitat featuring a massive tropical coral reef is filled with colorful tangs, butterflyfish, and clownfish as well as other species that can also be found in the plant life exhibit.


On the benthic floor of the pavilion, being the basement level, guests can find a habitat featuring flashlight fish and anglerfish that live in the deeper reaches of the ocean, as well as a massive aquarium on the wall housing a giant pacific octopus pair, a tank featuring Japanese spider crabs, and other smaller habitats.


The manatee rescue tank remains but gets an expanded tank that extends outside to a private pool where guests cannot sea that allows more than two rehabilitated animals to live in it, which allows EPCOT to participate in the much-needed rehabilitation of these Florida species. Other smaller tanks for garden eels, leafy sea dragons, gobies, moray eels, and other tanks are sprinkled across the pavilion, all looking like windows out into the ocean.


And there are various exhibits to be found here, as well. In the center of the aquarium, moved up to a place in-between the surface and the photic zones (the ground floor, the benthic zone, is almost completely enclosed, as if to simulate being such a dimly-lit area) is the famous Diver Lock-out Chamber. Every half hour, divers enter or exit the main aquarium by way of this two-story tube, with informative guides on hand to explain the latest in wetsuit and portable air tank technologies.

The remainder of the exhibits are scattered across all three floors. There are things to see, learn and do. Touchscreen computers, a section about undersea exploration robots and suits where kids can get in a suit and try and manipulate the pincer hands, and all sorts of wonderful things. In fact, here’s a list of just a few of the many exhibits found here at The Living Seas.

  • The Waves has as its centerpiece a large kinetic wave machine. Guests move a lever to control currents under the water, thus creating waves visible through Plexiglas walls. This is a dynamic, easy-to-grasp depiction of fluid dynamics.
  • Plant Life features not only live tank displays of the oceans’ plants, divided by region, it also features a coral reef-inspired playground. Young guests can race through undulating floor-to-ceiling seaweed strands. Guests can explore a massive coral play structure. They can bounce inside spongy anemones, or cause sea flowers to bloom using motion sensors.
  • The Pelagic Zone covers the many layers which cover everything between the ocean surface and the seafloor. A self-guided walkthrough tunnel carries guests ever deeper through the varying zones – the Epipelagic & Mesopelagic & Bathypelagic & Abyssopelagic – as natural sunlight grows dimmer. Tank displays represent each zone’s distinct ecosystem.
  • The Seabed spotlights sedimentary soil samples of the sea surface supremely suited for sensory stimulation. Guests may feel all manner of clays & silts & sands.
  • The Plate Tectonics section features moving cutaway models of the Earth’s crust, demonstrating how these moving shelves may interact with the oceans. Guests can crank open volcanic fissures in the ocean floor to expose magma and activate sea vents.
  • Undersea Exploration (found on the Surface)
    • Jason: An Audio-Animatronics version of the real Jason (created by Bob Ballard) explains how robots can explore the depths of the ocean.
    • JIM suit: One complete suit is on display and two are cutaway so that we can try to turn an arrow, push a lever, turn a wheel, and shift a gear using the counterbalanced (for weightless effect) manipulator hands.
Also found on the Surface level is Beneath the Waves, a film held within a 4D IMAX dome (The Waves exhibit serves as its preshow). Narrated by Sir Patrick Stewart, the film takes us through various ocean ecosystems, learning how both fish and other creatures benefit their habitats, and how the habitats benefit them in return. Among the creatures we see in this incredible film are parrotfish, cleaner shrimp, dolphins, great white sharks, octopi and even the mysterious creatures found along the pelagic zone.

The pavilion’s gift shop is also found within the One Ocean Aquarium: Treasure Chest Gifts. This shop is a mix of an educational exhibit and a gift shop as little fact windows about famous shipwrecks dot the shop. The window contains a fact card and an artifact (or a recreation) of an item found in the shipwreck. The shelves are carved to look like waves and coral, filled with a mix of general merch, plushes of the animals in the pavilion and environmental concussus items, with a portion of the profits going to ocean-based charities. The sales counters are made out of seaglass. Along the wall behind the sales counters, the iconic “Sunrise” mural that once graced the pavilion’s exterior has been reconstructed here, offering a powerful backdrop to the shop.

If that’s not enough, there’s also DiveQuest, an amazing experience where guests suit up in scuba gear and take a closer look at the deep, underwater sea life. A separate experience also allows guests to be able to swim with dolphins. Altogether, over 8,000 sea creatures live here, including rays, fish, sharks, manatees, and dolphins. This portion of the Living Seas pavilion isn’t about a headlining ride, but is rather a collection of experiences encouraging deeper exploration, allowing access to real animal care and research, and seeing marine animals up close – animals that, otherwise, many visitors would live their whole lives without seeing firsthand.

Whenever you decide to leave The Living Seas, just step through an undersea cave in the benthic zone. Along the rocky walls of the cave, lighting suggests going further and further up, back towards the surface, complete with a lighting effect suggesting the sun (or moon) rippling against the water. Walk through the cave, and you'll be back up “on the surface” in no time.


Wrapping around the side of the building, guests will find one of EPCOT’s most unique table-service restaurants: The Lunar Phase, where guests can dine among the beautiful scenery of an underwater setting, offering a unique view of the marine life of The Living Seas. The Lunar Phase gets its name from how the moon is responsible for the tides and their phases. One of the first noteworthy features is how the entryway is set up, with simulated waves crashing over the translucent dome at the front, with a moonlit sky mural painted and visible from the tube, so sunlight doesn’t make things too bright to see for times when it’s sunny out, and to keep the moonlit feel no matter what. Regardless, the lobby does look much like that of the original Coral Reef, but with a more bluish color scheme, to fit the moon theme.

The iconic giant fish tank is still here, and like always, Mickey Mouse can occasionally be seen, in full diving gear, swimming in the tank. There is also another mural, depicting the cycle of moon phases and how they aid in harvesting food, as well as how they change the tides. Look closely and you may notice Ariel peeking out from the ocean in the mural. Once you receive your menu, even this carries on the moon theming with the names for sections. “New Moon” for beverages, “Waxing Moon” for appetizers, “Full Moon” for entrees, and “Waning Moon” for desserts. Be sure to check out “Nemo’s Moonlight Menu” if you have children!

This menu has a bit less emphasis on Southern-style cuisine as opposed to other forms of seafood. Though yes, there are still southern-style dishes to be found, like the hush puppies, they’ve just been intermixed with other cuisines, such as a Japanese-style fish dinner and cucumber sushi. Speaking of cucumbers, the “Cucumber Cooler” is the signature drink here. In fact, we also have quite a few marine vegetables available on the menu, like water chestnuts and seaweed. It shows that seafood can be vegetarian, too, which is something many people don’t know, but should. For dessert, try some mooncakes! All in all, a meal at The Lunar Phase is legitimately like dinner under the sea.

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The revitalized Living Seas was created for Season 3 of One Little Spark by Team B; which was composed of @D Hulk, @Lizzy May Bee, @Miru, @PerGron, @Shannoninthemagic and @ThemeParkPriest; while the concept for Legends of the Living Seas is one I borrowed from @MANEATINGWREATH and his WestCOT layout.
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World Nature focuses on “land, sea and sky”, so it is only fitting that we conclude our tour here with the sky-themed pavilion. Welcome to one of EPCOT’s most exhilarating pavilions:

The World Above


The World Above is one of the most visually-stunning pavilions in all of EPCOT. Sleek white wings reach up to the sky as the nose of the pavilion points downwards towards the pavement. This captivating architectural feature symbolizes an airplane, evoking the theme of the sky and aviation even from the outside of the pavilion. As guests begin to walk closer to the pavilion, they encounter the entrance sign – three diamonds, one below the other, with the pavilion logo and sponsor on the top-most diamond. This same sign is also on the walls flanking the entrance/exit of the pavilion. Two circular fountains rest in the pavilion’s forecourt.


Proceeding into the pavilion, guests are greeted by the sight of The Mouse – Walt Disney’s Personal Plane. This historic plane has been placed on an elevated platform with fencing around it, allowing guests to get close to this piece of Disney history, but not close enough to touch or damage it. A plaque in front of the plane bears this inscription…

“This Grumman G-159 Gulfstream 1, otherwise known as The Mouse, served as Walt Disney’s personal aircraft when scouting out the land for his second theme park. The story goes that as The Mouse flew over Central Florida, Walt Disney became entranced by the beauty and decided this was the place for his vision of E.P.C.O.T. Today this plane is displayed here at The World Above Pavilion to remind us of the legacy of Walt’s dream that has led us all here today to EPCOT Center!”

Above guests is a rounded ceiling with skylights that let light pour in from the sky above.


To the left of guests is the entrance to the pavilion’s signature attraction: Soarin’. This epic attraction, which opened on February 8, 2001, at WestCOT Center at Disneyland, proved to be so successful that a Disney World follow-up was all but inevitable, opening on May 4, 2005. The attraction has a very notable marquee: a field of clouds, with the ride’s name written in blue, and featuring a red hang-glider flying along a yellow flight path. The wait time and FASTPASS return time are displayed on smaller clouds below the marquee.

Upon passing under the marquee guests are led through a series of switchbacks in a well-lit queue area. The walls have slight cloud designs with quotes about flying from various aerospace engineers, pilots, and even the CEO of Boeing. A portal at the farthest end of the queue leads towards a hallway, not unlike a jet bridge (the tunnel that airports use to get passengers on a plane). After a safety video featuring Patrick Warburton as a flight attendant, we move into the main theater.

The ride makes use of a unique ride system that gives off the illusion of hang-gliding. As the film begins, the vehicles rise up on three levels, and undulate with the wind. There are even certain scents that are pumped into the vehicles at certain moments. When Soarin’ opened in Florida, they made use of two theaters, each one showing a different film. The first theater showcases a film specifically focusing on famous landmarks throughout the United States, while the second makes use of footage of famous landmarks from all over the world; but both make use of a beautiful, sweeping score by famous film composer Jerry Goldsmith. And when Soarin’ came to town, even its towering IMAX theater building was made to blend in with the symbolic airplane design of the pavilion’s exterior; made to resemble an abstract depiction of the clouds.

While we’re here, we might as well spare a moment for the predecessor of Soarin’: Take Flight, which closed on January 3, 2004. This aerial dark ride, inspired by Peter Pan’s Flight, took guests aboard a Wright Brothers-esque flying machine for a ride past some of the world’s most iconic places. It is that spirit that Soarin’ strives to live up to.

Near the entrance to Soarin’ is a set of elevators to the second floor, and tucked away in this hallway of elevators is a door that leads to the Boeing Flight Deck Lounge, a lounge for the corporate sponsor of the pavilion. The lounge itself provides a nice clean design with several comfortable seating areas and a small kitchen offering free beverages and snacks. Many of the lounge items take inspiration from the famous 747’s lounges in the sky. A history of Boeing logos, since its first iteration in 1928, adorn the walls in the form of unique art pieces. The lounge’s location in the “wings” of the pavilion also offers plenty of lighting through the many glass panels as well as one-way glass viewing into Soarin’ from above.

On the first floor of the pavilion, opposite Soarin’, is the pavilion’s quick-service restaurant, Tastemosphere. Tastemosphere gets its name from the layers of the atmosphere, as this is actually the secret sixth layer of taste! The dining area is out in the open, giving diners views of the amazing skylights in the center of the pavilion. Multiple fun design elements tie back into the study of the atmosphere. Any wall sections in the space are painted in a subtle gradient style representing the various layers of the atmosphere with visual representation of the various flight capabilities within each. Each of the layers of the atmosphere have additional representation in sections of the dining space via small hanging mobiles, children’s placemats with details on each and the carpet itself designed in a pattern with the exosphere at the entrance taking you to the troposphere at the order counter. The menu itself offers several lighthearted and on theme options providing an all-around, quick, and fun meal for the family. A number of light and airy options are available for those needing a small bit of sustenance. Guests needing something a little heartier will find several unique, and layered options on both the entrée and dessert menu.


Near Tastemosphere is Runway Gifts, the pavilion’s gift shop. When guests enter the store, they will find themselves in a rather busy airplane hangar. It seems that there is an excess amount of baggage here, what with all the baggage trains scattered around the area (actually disguised shelves). Still, the crew is trying their best to get it all loaded, as can be seen at the end of the store where a conveyor belt carries a seemingly endless amount of bags onto a strangely small passenger plane, much like a special effect in Adventure Thru Inner Space at Disneyland. In addition, unused plane parts hang from the ceiling giving guests glances at what makes up those flying contraptions. The merchandise in this store will help guests lift-off into the world of above! Guests here will find t-shirts, airline captain hats, and toy airplanes (both “model” and RC). Guests will also be able to find all sorts of merchandise for Forecast Follies, which includes adorable plush versions of all the characters from the show. Ah, but what is Forecast Follies? Well, let’s find out.


Disney has always been known for having charming shows starring casts of Audio-Animatronics. EPCOT’s two biggest equivalents to the Magic Kingdom’s Enchanted Tiki Room and Country Bear Jamboree are Kitchen Kabaret and Forecast Follies. Imagineers working on the pavilion were especially excited to design Forecast Follies, as it gave them the opportunity to create lovable new characters matched up with a lovely selection of music. They hoped that the characters featured in the show would grow to become the next Tiki Room, Country Bears, or even Carousel of Progress!

The show’s marquee is also shaped like a cloud; with its name lit up in blue neon. Stepping under the marquee, guests find themselves in the queue, where large screens show weather maps from all over the world. The doors swing open, and into the theater guests go. The theater resembles a college classroom, with a large chalkboard and desk at the front. In this show, we join Professor Sunny Showers, as he attempts to give a lesson on the weather cycle. However, things go awry when the weather – represented through five characters: Mr. Sun, Rain, Snow, Cloudy and Wind – bicker with each other and try to upstage each other. They compete for the attention of the audience, each one singing their own song as the frazzled Professor tries to regain control and direct attention back to his lecture. Finally, Cloudy convinces the others to cooperate, pointing out to them that when you combine different types of weather, you can make great things (for example, Mr. Sun and Rain create a rainbow that spread across the theater). The six characters perform one last song, “Wonderful, Wonderful Weather”, composed by the Sherman Brothers, before bidding the audience farewell.


Turning the corner, guests will find restrooms for the pavilion, and escalators (along with stairs) up to the second floor. On the second floor, guests can look down towards the first floor and see all the people meandering through the pavilion. Upstairs, guests will find the entrance to Ludwig von Drake presents “The Sky was the Limit: A History of Aviation.” In this 50-seat theater, guests can watch this 23-minute presentation that gives the history of aviation to guests in an interesting, and humorous, way. Plus, the film runs continuously, so guests can come and go as they please. Over the course of those 23 minutes, we are shown…

  • The centuries-old desire to fly like the birds found in myths like Icarus & Helios (Greek), Mercury (Roman), and magic carpets (Arabian)
  • The first flying contraptions such as balloons (China) and aerial helixes (Leonardo da Vinci in Italy)
  • Dirigibles (first designed by Jesuit/Catholic priests as early as 1670) and hot air balloons (first demonstrated in 1783)
  • The Wright Brothers’ first flight in 1903
  • Helicopters (the first flights occurred in 1906)
  • Amelia Earhart’s transatlantic flight on May 20, 1932
  • The use of airplanes in World Wars I and II
  • The growth of commercial airlines (starting as early as 1914), especially following World War II
  • The discovery of rockets and the first satellite launch into space (Sputnik in 1957)
  • The passage of the Airline Deregulation Act of 1978 (U.S.A.) meant than an airline no longer had to seek regulatory approval to serve a route
  • Discussion of the future of air travel
And as the title indicates, the whole thing is hosted by Ludwig von Drake, who was added to the film in 1996. Much of the von Drake footage in the revised film comes from the Wonderful World of Color episode “Fly with Von Drake.” And when von Drake was added, some scenes have been cut and modified so that there is more of a focus on the developments that had shaped the industry in the 15 years since the original film was made.

When the pavilion opened in 1983, one aspect was the Airport Design Exhibits, which focused on, of course, how an airport is designed. In 1996, the decision was made to get rid of the Airport Design Exhibits and expand upon the weather theme of the pavilion. Thus was born the WeatherWorks.


An extension to Forecast Follies down below, the WeatherWorks is hosted by two of Professor Showers’ students: Astro, a wannabe astronaut going for a degree in astronomy, with the hopes of working aboard the Brava Centauri Space Station – and who is often covered in stardust – and Celcia, his little sister studying weather patterns and aerodynamics. Joining them is their cloud friend and partner-in-crime, Nimbus. Visually, Nimbus is very heavily based on the same kind of “Ugly Cute” style that was hugely popular in the 1980s (Figment and Zipper from Chip ‘n Dale: Rescue Rangers were designed with this style in mind as well).

The WeatherWorks features various exhibits:

  • Create your own live tornado! In the center of the exhibit, guests can use levers to study and manipulate a 40-foot vortex of swirling air and vapor.
  • Walk through a wind tunnel, where guests can learn the basics of fluid dynamics - you know, hot fluids rise, fill the shape of the container, etc.
  • Enjoy the “Build a Storm!” station. On one of the many screens in this exhibit, guests can use buttons and levers to decide what type of storm they would like to create, wind speeds, time of year, temperature, etc. in order to try and wreak as much havoc upon man’s world as possible.
  • Other exhibits include learning how rainbows are made via Newton’s prism (refraction- reflection-dispersion), a tank which demonstrates how tsunamis are formed (and guests can actually push a plate on the back of the exhibit rapidly to create their own demonstration), watch a Tesla coil in action, and an exhibit on civil engineering and earthquakes (where guests can use wooden blocks to construct their own structures to see if they would survive an earthquake - which is represented via mini shaking plates).
  • Astro, Celcia, and Nimbus even have their own meet ‘n’ greet set up here.


Nearby is The Aviator’s Lounge, a table service restaurant that offers unique views from above. The Aviator’s Lounge provides a more complete dining experience compared to the quick service Tastemosphere in the lower level. Harkening back to the 1950’s, the so-called golden age of commercial aviation, the restaurant aims to provide a top to bottom dining experience for “travelers” making their way around the park. Guests arriving for lunch are greeted by the club director who will take their name and check in for seating. No membership required here! Cast uniforms are standard for the park, with a bit of pilot influence, especially in the tops. A small lounge area offers a few seats for any patrons that need to wait for a table in the restaurant.

Simulating a high-end airport lounge from the 50’s, the design of the restaurant itself is unique to be sure and a bit of a time capsule. Taking cues from the older art deco style, the space offers mostly clean lines in the floor and wall patterns, save for a few accent pieces (to draw guests’ attention) hanging from the ceilings, and a few aviation related items. Various shades of red and yellow are used to make the space pop.

Thanks to its location in one of the “wings” of the pavilion on the second floor, the restaurant offers floor to ceiling windows on one side, with portions of the ceiling curved matching the shape of the outer shell of the pavilion. Spaced around the room are various destination travel posters. Many of these are mockups from the World Showcase, with a few specially created ones for various Disney attractions like Tumbleweed with Big Thunder Mountain and Hawaii with the Tropical Serenade. Occasional announcements can be heard announcing departing flights and gate changes to complete the mood, though not enough to be obtrusive to the meal.

With the World Showcase pavilions already offering a variety of foods from around the world, The Aviator’s Lounge offers a range of food for a simple palette yet cooked to perfection. Due to the exorbitant cost of airline travel at the time, the food options provided in flight would boggle today’s travelers’ minds. Many of those options at the time, a beef carving station, steak, and lobster all find their way onto the menu. Several alcoholic options ranging from champagne to wine are also available to complement the meal.

Finally on the second floor is a secondary entrance into the Boeing Flight Deck Lounge.

To close this section of EPCOT, here is a map detailing where everything is here in World Nature.

World Nature V.png

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The World Above, was inspired by a project created for Season 7 of The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Team Space; a team composed of @b-wolf95, @Brer Panther, @Disney Dad 3000, @MickeyWaffleCo., @Solaris Knight, @tcool123, @ThemeParkPriest and @TheSquirrel. The WeatherWorks and the characters of Astro, Celcia and Nimbus, however, were something I borrowed from another World Above; the one created by Team Castle for Season 4 of The Sorcerer's Apprentice; and that team was composed of @Brer Oswald, @DisneyFan18, @kmbmw777, @MA Screamin', @mickeyfan5534, @Pi on my Cake and @TwilightZone. Originally, they called it the SkyFrontier Expo, but I changed the name.

Now, I have some relatively big news to share: Next week, I will be going on vacation! Therefore, you won't be seeing any new posts from me for a while. I intend to get the next post out on Monday, December 12. Right now, it's my hope to get World Showcase finished by Christmas, and then do a post about how WDW celebrates the holidays on Christmas Day itself. So, until I return from vacation, as Mickey Mouse would say, "see ya real soon!"


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Hello, everyone! I am back from vacation! Although, as I stated before, the next post won't come out until tomorrow, certain circumstances have prompted me to take the time to go back and edit a few things. Notably, you'll notice a certain new picture marking the start of the World Nature post; as well as a more comprehensive detailing of a certain E-ticket at Galaxy's Edge.

I am happy to be back from vacation and I can't wait to start this tour of Mirror Walt Disney World back up tomorrow! See you then!


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Original Poster
At long last, it is time to resume our tour of EPCOT!

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World Showcase


World Showcase is reminiscent of a permanent World’s Fair, featuring various pavilions representing different countries of the world. The pavilions surround the World Showcase Lagoon, a large man-made lake located in the center of it all. World Showcase can take guests from country to country in just a quick walk, where they can experience the sights, the food, the cultures, the experience of being able to explore the world, assisted by Cast Members who actually come from their country of origin. In keeping with the feng-shui styles of the first three districts of EPCOT (three districts with four pavilions each), World Showcase is similarly designed. Nineteen countries are represented, with nine countries on either side of The American Adventure, the host pavilion for World Showcase.


Just continuing north from World Celebration, we find ourselves in Showcase Plaza, where all voyages through World Showcase begin. Directly ahead is the World Showcase Lagoon. Just continuing north from World Celebration, we find that the once-open entryway has been slightly closed off to make way for the all-new TravelPort, which serves as the icon of the revitalized Showcase Plaza. The centralized building of the TravelPort is designed to look like an old-fashioned train station. Specifically, it’s designed to look like the Main Street Station in Richmond, Virginia. Its unique architecture serves as a perfect compliment to The American Adventure across the way. The interior of the TravelPort is incredibly ornate. Amid the soaring architecture and décor, stairs and ramps lead up to two points of interest. To the south, the first access point of the World Showcase Express.


Given how massive World Showcase is, it can be quite cumbersome for tired feet to trek across. This train ride – an idea initially envisioned by @D Hulk – should help to alleviate such pain and get people around much faster. The World Showcase Express makes four stops throughout World Showcase, the first one being right here in Showcase Plaza.

Hopping aboard a luxurious Old World train, we’ll get a relaxing ride around World Showcase, stopping at Tanzania, The American Adventure and France. Utilizing a similar technology as the Hogwarts Express, as we ride along, we’ll see landscapes from certain countries being projected in the windows, as if we are legitimately rolling past their countrysides. As @Suchomimus described it, “Most of the videos would also be filmed along scenic highlights of real life railways and have some transition effects; like tunnels, big buildings, forests and clouds. The only places where it wouldn't be real are the stations themselves and the line from Mexico to Showcase Plaza to Canada, as that will be rendered in photorealistic CGI as with the Hogwarts Express.” This helps hide backstage views from guests’ eyes, and cuts costs by allowing tunnels to go unbuilt. There are four trains used, one for each station – the America, the Africa, the Eurasia and the Oceania – and each train has its own unique design, and its own projection loop (and again, credit goes out to Suchomimus for devising these loops).

  • Oceania: Showcase Plaza - Mexico - Tanzania - India - United States - Japan - France - Jamaica - Showcase Plaza
  • Africa: Tanzania - Germany - United States - South Africa - France - United Kingdom - Showcase Plaza - Jordan - Tanzania
  • America: United States - Morocco - France - Colombia - Showcase Plaza - Norway - Tanzania - Brazil - United States
  • Eurasia: France - Canada - Showcase Plaza - China - Tanzania - Italy - United States - Thailand - France
To the north is the Voyager’s Salon. Taken directly from @DlpPhantom’s WorldPort Pavilion, which has served as an inspiration to the one that appears here in Mirror Walt Disney World, the Voyager’s Salon serves as the new go-to place for private events here at EPCOT. In keeping with the old-time feel of the TravelPort, the Salon takes its aesthetic inspiration from early 20th century ocean liners.

Located to the left and right of Showcase Plaza are landings for the Friendship Cruise Boats. The Friendship Cruise Boats are a quicker way to travel from country to country, while enjoying a leisurely boat cruise across the World Showcase Lagoon. The boat cruise takes you from the entrance of World Showcase, to Germany and to Morocco.

Right in the middle of the plaza, along the edge of the TravelPort, is a viewing area for IllumiNations: An International Songbook. On both sides of the TravelPort are two other points of interest. To the left, towards, Mexico, is Port of Entry, a shop which hosts several country-related items, as well as EPCOT merchandise. Port of Entry is also the first of several KidCOT Fun Stops. Each pavilion of World Showcase has a KidCOT Fun Stop, and they are, essentially, craft stations where young travelers can make crafts inspired by the cultures of each country represented. At Port of Entry, guests receive passports containing all sorts of fun facts about each of the nineteen countries of World Showcase, and they can go around World Showcase to collect stamps for each country. The Cast Members at each KidCOT Fun Stop are also happy to answer any questions little travelers may have about their homeland.

To the right, towards Canada, is the all-new World Showcase Character Hub, inspired by the attraction devised by @D Hulk for DisneySky, as well as @DlpPhantom’s International Greeting Place. In keeping with the vintage design of Showcase Plaza, this is held within a building designed to emulate the 1923 Akron Airport Terminal in Akron, Ohio. Within this building, we can meet Mickey and the gang, dressed in vintage traveler’s costumes – Pilot Mickey, Aviator Minnie, Captain Donald, Flight Attendant Daisy and Sailor Goofy. However, also within this terminal is a separate queue for a “visiting guest from a far-off land” – i;e a character from the latest WDAS or Pixar film, thus giving Disney a chance to promote their latest feature while still maintaining the overall theme.

Mere steps nearby these locales is Refreshment Port, the place to go if all this world-trekking is making you hungry. They sell chicken nuggets, fries, croissant-doughnuts and ice cream.


In the center of Showcase Plaza is a long, V-shaped, flower-filled planter. In this planter are nineteen flagpoles, upon which the flags of the nineteen countries of World Showcase fly proudly. Furthermore, thirty-one supplemental flagpoles are planted in the surrounding planters, honoring countries represented in Animal Kingdom and Mythica, as well as other countries around the world that speak to the ideal of world peace. A half-hour before World Showcase opens for the day, a Flag-Raising Ceremony takes place. After a brief announcement detailing World Showcase’s meaning – a tribute to the cultures and peoples of our world – as well as a roll call featuring a majority of the various nations of the world, one by one, the flags of all nineteen countries represented in World Showcase, from Mexico to Canada, are raised on the flagpoles to the sounds of their respective country’s national anthem. Each anthem would be preceded by the voiceover declaring: “Friends and neighbors, we will now raise the flag of _____”; followed by a repetition of that phrase in the country’s language(s), if necessary. For the anthems, Disney has utilized Philip Sheppard’s absolutely beautiful arrangements, composed for the 2012 Summer Olympics, as performed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra.


When the afternoon comes, the streets of World Showcase come alive with the Tapestry of Nations. Tapestry of Nations, created for the Millennium Celebration, is a celebration of the human spirit in the form of a processional. It is a story of unity told and led by the Sage of Time, a wise grandfatherly figure. He reminds us that years ago, humans lived in peace and harmony with one another and with the Earth. But as time passed, humans strove to rule the Earth and to rule over each other. Today, while there are still disputes and power struggles, humans are realizing that life is not about what country you can conquer and which people you can persecute. We are realizing that it is acceptable to be different. We are learning from each other, improving our lives and our societies. Each one of us is a single thread. As we realize we are all a part of one human family, we join together to celebrate our differences, our similarities, and our accomplishments hand in hand. Our threads weave themselves together forming a tapestry of one human family. We are many nations and we are many people, but within each one of us we all have the same threads of joy, kindness, compassion, and love which weave together to form our human spirit.

Each of us and our ethnic, cultural differences are represented by the different groups of puppets. Group A is found between Mexico and Germany; Group B is found between Germany and Morocco and Group C is found between Morocco and Canada. Within each group, each puppet is different. Tapestry of Nations shows us how we can embrace each other and celebrate life together as the puppets dance together along with us, the human audience, which is invited to interact with the puppets to the heartbeat of drums. The parade makes two runs throughout the day: one in the afternoon, and one in the evening, just before the nighttime spectacular.


When night falls, gather around the World Showcase Lagoon to take in the spectacle of IllumiNations: An International Songbook (or, as it is known in our real-life WDW, Harmonious). This epic nighttime spectacular is essentially the story of human connection and development, and how music links the world together. Utilizing Disney music to help tell the story, the show weaves a powerful narrative of how important it is to seek freedom and democracy in this world, and ultimately proves that the hope that there will one day be “peace on earth” begins with us. The show makes use of projections, fireworks, lasers, fire, water and light. What’s more, to help give a sense of power and unity to this mighty tale, live musicians are featured in this show, performing from special stages all across the World Showcase Lagoon – usually coinciding with the countries represented along the lagoon and in the show. It’s definitely among the best shows at Walt Disney World.

Soarin’ has given us a little taste of what to expect here, so let’s begin our world tour. We’ll explore the nineteen countries of World Showcase in a clockwise motion. Heading immediately to the left from Showcase Plaza, we’ll arrive at the first country of World Showcase:



Rising around the bend, curbing the corner of World Showcase Lagoon, guests can see a rising, multi-tiered Aztec temple, surrounded by dense forests. The temple rises high into the sky, dominating over the rest of the Mexico pavilion.

Just across from the temple is a building that plays host to two restaurants, both serving excellent Mexican cuisine. The location features La Hacienda de San Angel, an indoor sit-down restaurant, as well as La Cantina de San Angel, a quick-service location. The restaurants feature a complete tequila bar and are located right alongside the waters of World Showcase, making it an excellent viewing location for the nighttime fireworks. Attached to the side of the restaurant is El Ranchito del Norte, which specializes in Mexican knick-knacks and what not. Performing in the courtyard of the pavilion, either right in front of the temple, or nearby El Ranchito del Norte, is the world-renowned Mariachi Cobre. These festive performers have been an EPCOT favorite for years, having played here since the park opened in 1982! Come gather ‘round to hear the authentic sounds of Mexico surround you in a veritable fiesta of music!

The colored stone steps leading up to the temple reveal a small seating area, camouflaged in lush foliage. Entrances lead into the temple on both the left and right side of the temple, re-connecting back into the center of the temple, where posters and artifacts align the walls, showcasing the many different facts and activities of Mexico. Inside the center temple room is the Mexican Folk Art Gallery, currently playing host to “Remember Me – La Celebración del Día de Muertos.” This is an exhibit honoring the important Mexican holiday, and Oaxacan alebrijes, spirit animals that serve as guides for the dead. Furthermore, this exhibit is also the first entry in “The Story Behind the Story”, a series of exhibits, shows and small attractions found all around World Showcase. In yet another concept designed by @comics101, The Story Behind the Story details the culture, histories and other inspirations for Disney’s classic films. Naturally, here in Mexico, this exhibit weaves in themes from Coco, as well, to help link the film to the holiday that inspired its story.


Continuing into the next room, guests find themselves entering into a Mexican courtyard at nighttime. From the stone balcony overlooking the pavilion, guests see a streaming fountain just below, surrounded by bustling merchandise carts and stores, which is then preceded by a courtyard of tables adorned with flickering candles. Strings of lanterns are draped over the courtyard, as the sky is awash in blue lights. The farthest end of the courtyard reveals a small temple. From the balcony, descending ramps to the left and the right lead down into the center courtyard, Plaza de Los Amigos. The Plaza is filled with all sorts of merchandise, from over-sized sombreros, piñatas, baskets, leather goods, Latin foods, Mexican wines and liquors, ceramic and glass sculptures, blankets and decorations. To the right of the courtyard, another tequila bar, La Cava de Tequila, is located, tucked away in one of the Mexican building facades. Just past the bustling carts and stores, guests will find the San Angel Inn, a restaurant which serves fantastic Mexican food by candle-light. The restaurant is located right on the waters outside of a Mexican temple, surrounded by lush foliage. The entire restaurant is quite romantic and simulates being outside in a nighttime courtyard.


To the left of the restaurant is Coco: Una Gran Celebración, an updated take on Mexico’s boat ride. Sailing past the temple, we arrive in Santa Cecilia, to see the Riveras preparing for Dia de los Muertos. In the town square, there is music everywhere. At the edge of town, the cemetery transports us onto the marigold bridge that heads towards the Land of the Dead. It is another Dia de los Muertos, and all are getting ready. We float past the Customs Offices, through the streets of the area, down past Shantytown – everywhere where we can find the Dead preparing to return for one night. The last sight we see is of Hector, Imelda, Coco and the rest of the dead Riveras preparing to cross the bridge together. Pepita meets us at a tunnel, taking us back to the Land of the Living.

We’re back on the streets of Santa Cecilia. We hear music off in the distance. Dante leads the way to the Rivera household. The place where the Three Caballeros once performed their concert has been transformed into the backyard of Miguel’s house. As fireworks boom up above, we see Miguel singing “Proud Corazon”, accompanied by Hector on guitar and his cousins, Abel and Rosa, on accordion and violin, respectively. All Riveras, living and dead, watch on with pride.

When EPCOT opened, Mexico’s boat ride was known as El Rio del Tiempo (“The River of Time”), offering a rather straight-forward trip through Mexico’s culture. In 2007, this was changed to Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros, which kept most of the same set pieces as its predecessor, but involving a new story in which José and Panchito must find Donald before their big concert. A decade later, it was clear that the ride was starting to show its age. Complicating things was the release of Pixar’s 2017 film Coco, essentially one giant love letter to Mexican culture, with close attention paid to Mexican traditions of family and music, set around the prominent Mexican holiday of Dia de los Muertos. Thus, in 2019, the Three Caballeros played their last concert and work began on bringing the world of Coco to the Mexico pavilion.

Continuing back outside the stone steps of the Mexican temple, outside of the pavilion, guests will come across a stone wall with inscribed details. This is often where Miguel and Hector host meet-and-greets, although Panchito, Donald and José have been known to drop by from time to time. The Three Caballeros mainly meet over in Brazil nowadays...more on that later.

One pavilion down, eighteen more to go. Next stop:



Jordan (as designed by @TheDesignPirate) is the only country in the Middle East to get representation here at World Showcase; and it is listed as one of the safest countries to visit in that region. The Aztec-inspired sightlines of Mexico give way to relics of another ancient civilization. The rocks along the edge of the World Showcase Lagoon are rocks taken directly from the Dead Sea. The main plaza of the Jordan pavilion is comprised of landmarks from the past and the present. To the left, we have a building from the present: Le Royal Hotel Amman. In the dead center, the ancient City of Petra. And to the right, the voices of a bustling market behind Roman Ruins of the Citadel, complete with the naturalistic beauty of Ma’in Hot Springs waterfall in the distance.

Le Royal Hotel Amman provides a natural transition into Souk Jara, a mercantile themed after the actual Market in Amman, Jordan. This shop sells various curios and merchandise. Tents sell items depending on the handicraft item. Festival Booths are also found here during Festival of the Arts, Flower and Garden, Food and Wine, and Festival of the Holidays.

For more mercantile opportunities, remember what I said about the market behind the ruins? Well, much like Mexico next door, most of this pavilion’s amenities are all indoors. Indoors, you’ll find yourself in perpetual twilight, surrounded by mysterious and inviting nighttime ambience in the Wadi Rum Desert.


At the Wadi Rum Restaurant, enjoy the flickering lights on the table as a glorious aroma of slow roasted meat and vegetables spreads across the air. Bedouin Tea & Coffee is a service of coffee and tea like no other. Climb into the camp of Bedouin tents where you can either try one of your favorites, or experience the Tea Sharing experience, where your server brings 5 pots of different teas from the region, as well as complimenting tapas. Alcoholic specialty drinks are also available.

On an elaborate “outdoor” stage, you’ll find the pavilion’s major attraction: The Music of Jordan. In this show, a dance troupe demonstrates Jordan’s arts culture, highlighting a series of famous dances, including the dabke, the sahjah, and the Circassian sword dance. They are accompanied by a live band playing authentic Jordanian instruments. The stage itself is a theater-in-the-round with rock benches, lit by the light of the “moon”. The show has gone on to become one of the highlights of a day at EPCOT, with its catchy music and energetic performers providing a natural festive atmosphere.

* In The Design Pirate’s concept, the main attraction of the Jordan pavilion was an Indiana Jones ride. I did not go with that because, as established earlier, there is already an Indiana Jones attraction at the Magic Kingdom.

From the deserts of the Middle East, we arrive in the tundras of Northern Europe. This is...



Norway was the third pavilion to be added to World Showcase after EPCOT had opened in 1982, and this country remains to keep its original sentiment. Guests walk along the quaint village of a Norwegian town, taking in the quaint cottage-like buildings and architecture. The first notable building is a replica of the famous Stave Church, which offers quiet solitude to take in a small museum of Norwegian history and culture.

Just outside of the Stave Church Gallery, we come across a quaint Norwegian village. The atmosphere is welcoming and warm. If you time it right, you may see Spelmanns Gledje, a band specializing in Norwegian folk music, performing in the village square. The first sight we come across is Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe, a small bakery offering baked specialties from Norway, including fruit pastries, desserts and even ham and apple sandwiches. Neighboring the bakery is The Puffin’s Roost, a complete gift shop for everything Norway-related. The gift shop features Norwegian clothes, custom-made in Norway, including heavy winter clothes, to fine wines, perfumes and colognes, leading to a room of princess dolls and merchandise. The inside of the shop almost looks like a quaint skiing lodge.

Just outside of the bakery, in-between the building and the Stave Church Gallery, an area of tables is located, under one of the roofed buildings. The roofs of these buildings above the sitting area are topped with grass running up along the sides of the roof, with planted flowers aligning the roof, creating quite a quaint, almost fairytale appearance. Across from Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe is the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, a complete sit-down dining experience, where guests are welcomed into a beautiful Norwegian hall, where the delicious food and customs of Norway are shared with the guests.

At the furthest end of the pavilion is a mountain, with a small waterfall cascading down the side of it, and a cavern from which the water runs down from. The waterfall spills into a small lake, surrounded by beautiful planted flowers and trees. For all you character-hunters out there, this is a good place to find Anna and Elsa. A bridge crosses over the lake and in front of the waterfall, leading to the entrance to Norway’s major attraction.


A stone-faced façade, inspired by King Håkon’s Hall in Bergen, marks the entrance to the Museum av Norrøn Mytologi (or in plain English, “Museum of Norse Mythology”). After passing through the museum for a while, going past various displays and murals about the Vikings and Norse lore, we hop aboard Viking ships of our very own to take part in Battle at Dawn.

This is a ride using S.W. Wilson’s “Privateers” concept, as seen in his Hong Kong DisneySea project. The way he described it was so cool, I just had to include it in Mirror Walt Disney World somewhere. This simulator, based around a great battle between two Viking ships, uses wrap-around screens and in-theater effects to make the guests feel as if they truly are careening on the waves, achieving things practical sets never could. Furthermore, two dueling theaters mean that guests can actively take part in a great sea battle, firing at the enemy ship, leading to randomized experiences depending on which ship emerges victorious. The storm sequence is one of the most technologically-advanced sequences ever produced for any Disney attraction! And yes, as a tribute to the original ride, we get caught in a legitimate maelstrom! The experience exits out into The Fjording, selling various wares themed around the Vikings – helmets, fake swords, shields, the works.

Many EPCOT purists may remember the original Norway ride: Maelstrom. Although considered a cult classic, many people agreed the original Maelstrom was far too disjointed and short. Hence, on October 5, 2014, Maelstrom went “over the falls” for the last time; and on June 21, 2016, Battle at Dawn opened to positive reception. Oh, and speaking of Vikings, don't be surprised if you run into a few while you’re here in Norway! In fact, right along the water’s edge is Langskip, a gigantic replica of a Viking ship, where guests can climb aboard and explore how the Vikings of old sailed the seas. It’s essentially a bigger and better version of the old Viking ship that used to be in the pavilion from 1998 to 2008.

Along the banks of World Showcase, the sounds of Norwegian waterfalls dissipate into the background, as the guests come across the next pavilion in World Showcase:



Guests arrive at the many beautifully-adorned and decorated temples of China. The architecture depicts the beautiful scenery of a typical Chinese city. The entrance to the China pavilion is highlighted by a tall red arch, leading the way into a small Chinese water garden, filled with waterfalls and lily pads. Mulan, Shang and Mushu often meet guests in this garden. The garden is also where you'll find the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats, a group that showcases China’s unique and beautiful gymnastic styles.

Nearby, just to the left of the entrance archway is the Nine Dragons Restaurant, which offers an extensive selection of Chinese dishes in a beautiful, relaxing setting. The menu consists of various Chinese flavors: the bold and spicy flavors of Szechuan cuisine, the predominantly seafood Shandong cuisine, and the hearty stylings of Cantonese cuisine. Plus, many of these ingredients are prepared by a chef stir-frying on a wok right in front of them.

Straight ahead of the entrance arch, leading down a narrow path over the water garden, steps lead up to a very detailed replica of the Temple of Heaven. Inside of the grand temple, guests will come across Wondrous China. In this experience, guests are welcomed inside of the grand temple. The lobby of the temple is adorned with Chinese artifacts, beautiful sculpting, banners and images depicting the origins of China. Often, Si Zhu, a duo of musicians playing zither and dulcimer, respectively, perform tranquil melodies in this lobby. Guests are then brought into a Circle-Vision theater – notably, the very first Circle-Vision theater to utilize seamless technology – where guests are then enveloped in the history, the art, the cultures and the life of what the country of China is. The grand Circle-Vision experience offers a wonderful portrayal of the country of China, teaching the guests more about the country through the colorful portrayal.

Attached to the temple, just inside of the lobby, to the left, guests will come across the House of the Whispering Willows. The small room is tucked away in the corner of the temple and serves as the exhibit area for the pavilion, featuring “Tomb Warriors: Guardian Spirits of Ancient China”. The terracotta soldiers in this exhibit are replicas of the soldiers found in the famous tomb excavation in Xi’an, the single largest excavation in the world. The original figures, dating from 210 BC, were discovered in 1974 by some local farmers. And they were indeed an army! Current estimates are that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there were more than 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots with 520 horses, and 150 cavalry horses. Legend has it that members of the royal dynasty carried miniature terracotta or stone carved warriors with them in their tombs to protect them from supernatural threats.


Just outside of the temple, an alleyway leads to the back end of the pavilion, running in tangent to the Yong Feng Shangdian store. The store is an extensive shopping plaza, running through the facades of several different Chinese buildings. Wondrous China also exits through the shop’s plaza. The shop features everything from expensive Chinese jewelry and sculptures, to Chinese garments, lanterns and incenses and stuffed animals. Continuing back up north to the entrance of the pavilion, on the right, is the Lotus Blossom Café, a small café serving delicious Chinese cuisine.

As the new millennium began, China got an expansion stretching out towards the back of the pavilion. A pathway leads out through Yong Feng Shangdian and towards another tranquil garden plaza. Smaller than the main plaza, this new plaza nonetheless has plenty of interesting sights, all dominated by a forced perspective Great Wall of China stretching off into the distance. Built in the shadow of the Great Wall is the Celestial Theater, designed after the Ancient Observatory in Beijing; as well as the Purple Mountain Observatory in Nanjing. Within this theater, guests can take in the spectacle of Mulan: Reflections in Dance.


In this highly unique show designed by our own @D Hulk, the story of Disney’s 1998 animated feature is retold fully in the style of traditional Chinese theater. Told entirely without dialogue – conveyed solely through dance and pantomime – the show makes use of a strong troupe of 22 performers – seven leads (Mulan, Shang, Fa Zhou, Shan Yu, Chi-Fu, Mushu and Cri-Kee) and a 15-person strong dance ensemble (ten men and five women) – live musical accompaniment, special effects and so much more! And if you want to learn more about this show, click right here.

To the left of the theater is an extension of Yong Feng Shangdian, but to the right, lush peppertree groves hide three more terra cotta warrior statues depicting Yao, Ling and Chien-Po, the three comic relief soldiers from Mulan. Sitting in front of the Theater is a faux-bronze replica of Zhang Heng’s armillary sphere, held atop an oxidized copper dragon statue. This little garden leads up to the Zodiac Noodle House (another @D Hulk idea), a rural Chinese inn and eatery found across a koi pond. Several interactive features line the pathways before it. Little coin-op “pagodas” provide fish food so that guests may feed the koi. On a nearby wall is a large interactive Chinese abacus. A few unaccompanied jiao (royal litters) provide good photo opportunities. The menu consists of accessible Asian foods like wraps and Hong Kong-style street food. Naturally, Zodiac Noodle House’s specialty is Chinese noodles, with varieties like kimchi or Beijing beef. Dessert options prominently include Mickey-shaped custard tarts. Look to Vulcania at DisneySea for an example of how Disney creates authentic, delicious Asian cuisine which can remain accessible for all palettes. Once again, for more information, click right here.

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Those are the first four pavilions of World Showcase! What do you think, everybody? We'll go through World Showcase about four or five pavilions at a time. The next post will cover the pavilions of World Showcase East up to The American Adventure; the one after that will cover Japan to France; and the last will cover the International Gateway to Canada.

I personally created the Jordan logo, and the font I used is called "Zanzabar."
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At the edge of China is a wooden bridge going over a river leading into the lagoon. On the other side of the river, we find ourselves trekking into the fifth country of World Showcase:

Tanzania logo.png


For as long as EPCOT has existed, so too has the idea to represent Africa. The original plan was to have all of Equatorial Africa represented in one pavilion, but plans fell through due to no country being willing to sponsor it, with the exception of South Africa…and you can guess why Disney refused to associate with them. So, for the first ten years of EPCOT’s life, the rockwork that would have welcomed guests to Equatorial Africa remained under the title of “Africa Outpost.”

But as the years wore on, and EPCOT grew and grew, and gradually gained traction and success, Disney kept on trying. In the late 1980s, Tanzania expressed interest in being represented in the park; and at long last, the Equatorial Africa concept was revived – now focusing solely on Tanzania. The pavilion opened on October 1, 1992 as part of EPCOT’s “tencennial” celebration, and the dedication ceremony even featured speeches from the President of Tanzania, Ali Hassan Mwinyi, and his predecessor – the first President of Tanzania – Julius Nyerere.

Tanzania is marked by the mighty Mount Kilimanjaro, which dominates over the rest of the pavilion, and is easily an impressive figure in the World Showcase skyline. The pavilion outline is similar to the outline proposed for Equatorial Africa, with the wilderness on the outside, the village in the middle, and a theater at the back. The outskirts of the pavilion are inspired by the vast Serengeti. On the left-hand side, desert rocks are set along the base of the World Showcase Lagoon, while the right-hand side gets its inspiration from the waterside Forodhani Gardens.


Although the pavilion was centered around Tanzania, one element from the original Equatorial Africa concept remained: The Vast Savanna. Held within a 60-foot-tall treehouse, this experience allows guests a unique look into the savannas of Tanzania. As the blog Disney and More described it, “Up in the tree house a wooden observation platform, which surrounded the upper trunk. From the center of it thanks to WDI Imagineers wizardry and a real movie filmed by cinematographer Jack Couffer guests would have overlook a waterhole at dusk with wild animals of the jungle coming to bathe or drink. It would have been a multi senses experience as, in addition to the far projected 70 mm live action movie projected on a 20 foot screen, was included wind and heat effects as well as scents - thanks to Disney’s ‘smellizer’ technology - and HD sound to create the perfect illusion that guests were actually in Africa watching real wild animals.”

Every day, along the banks of the World Showcase Lagoon, Tanzania comes alive with the sound of Bongo Flava. Bongo Flava is one of Tanzania’s most well-known forms of music; a derivative of our own rap and hip-hop. And here at EPCOT, it seems only fitting that an authentic Bongo Flava group take to the streets of the Tanzania pavilion. For character-hunters, Rafiki and Timon can often be found here, as the Pridelands were heavily inspired by the Serengeti.


Taking over much of the pavilion is a replica of the Stone Town of Zanzibar, filled to the brim with restaurants and shops featuring wares and food native not only to Tanzania, but to Africa as a whole. The main restaurant is Zawadi za Bahari (Gifts of the Sea), specializing in one of Tanzania’s signature foods: fish. Various Tanzanian ways to serve fish are on the menu, in addition to mchicha, ugali, curry, rice, chicken, chipsi mayai (basically an omelet with French fries), ndizi na nyama, mchemsho and mandazi. Tanzania also has its own coffee shop: Jua. Named for the Swahili word for “sun”, Jua specializes in African coffee and pastries, in addition to street food like mshikaki.

The main shop here in Tanzania is Hazina ya Tanzania (Treasure of Tanzania), offering goods straight from the shores of Tanzania – beads, carpets, and other such goods. Another prominent shop here is Nyumba ya Tinga Tinga (House of Tinga Tinga), an art gallery/shop specializing in the Tanzanian art form known as tinga tinga. Another element of the Stone Town brought to life here at EPCOT is the House of Wonders, which, like its real-life counterpart, is home to a museum on the history of Swahili culture and of Zanzibar culture.

However, much like the original Stone Town, one area features a memorial towards the Tanzanians who were casualties to the slave trade. A plaque nearby tell us, in both English and Swahili, that we must never forget the horrific practice of slavery, and must learn from the misdeeds of those that came before us.

In the shadow of Mount Kilimanjaro, hidden among the jungle foliage, is a replica of Kilwa Kisiwani, a prominent trading hub of Tanzania’s past. Here at EPCOT, this replica plays host to The Spirit of Tanzania, a 30-minute film detailing the vast history of Tanzania. Strict attention is paid to the various tribes that inhabit Tanzania, and how each live their lives. Across the way from Mt. Kilimanjaro and The Spirit of Tanzania is a replica of the Dar es Salaam railway station, where the World Showcase Express makes its second stop.

The Sergenti landscape of Tanzania provides an excellent transition for us to explore the opulent and adventurous country of...



To me, there’s just something so beautiful about this country, that I felt it definitely deserved a spot in the World Showcase roster. India is a country with plenty of qualities that would be wonderful to showcase through attractions, shows and food. India calls to mind the wonderful people and culture of its land, the exotic jungles and mountains of its landscape and its mysterious and beautiful animals.

We enter the India pavilion through a gate inspired by the Mughal Red Fort in Delhi. Along the lagoon is an ancient temple inspired by the Shore Complex of Bengal. The pavilion itself is dominated by a 5-story Hindu gopuram (monumental gateway tower), a replica of the one at Virupaksha, pictured above. Behind this gopuram is a step well descending deep into the earth. It’s a very peaceful pavilion, yet at the same time, inviting and adventurous. The pavilion’s major gift shop is Cancala Ioga, selling Indian toys, books, games, film, and sundries. Another store is present nearby: Faridabad Fashions. This one sells Indian clothing, shoes, and perfumes. A band of Indian musicians – The Musicians of Mumbai – strolls through these marketplaces, performing on traditional Indian instruments.

In-between these two stores, tan walls, dim lighting and lanterns mark the Shaanti Coffee House. Befitting the name of the coffee house – “Shaanti” is the Indian word for “peace” – there’s an air of relaxation here, inspired by Hinduist and Buddhist ways of life. The menu offers the finest of Indian coffee and all sorts of Indian desserts. On the other side of the street, you'll find the pavilion’s signature table-service restaurant, the Maharajah’s Palace. Inside this opulent restaurant, you can dine like Indian royalty. The restaurant is designed gloriously, like the inside of an actual Indian palace. Large windows provide breathtaking views of the World Showcase Lagoon. Ancient Indian riches are prominently displayed. All in all, it's a breathtaking place to be inside. But what of the menu? Here at the Maharajah’s Palace, you can feast on the finest Indian delicacies imaginable: Curry, chicken, naan, pork, hummus, and all other sorts of Indian food await your taste buds. Speaking of royalty, India is the place to go if you want to meet the gang from The Jungle Book: Mowgli, Baloo, King Louie and – for the first time ever in a Disney park – Shanti, the girl who Mowgli followed into the Man-village.


The pavilion is dominated by the huge and hulking Rajput fort – a backdrop inspired by Gwalior and Amber Forts – built of yellow sandstone atop a rocky outcropping. Inside, an elaborate Omnimover dark ride in the style of Journey Into Imagination or World of Motion. You know, India is a country rich in folklore, from epic poems to religious icons to morality fables that would make The Twilight Zone blush. And that's where the book of Hitopadesha comes into play. Hitopadesha is a series of ancient Indian texts designed as common fables for both children and adults alike to gleam meaning from. The fables are separated into different themes such as losing and gaining friends, war and peace. It is in this tradition that The Four Fables casts its foundation. The Four Fables will bring life to the four themes of the Hitopadesha. These fables are a part of Indian culture that used anthropomorphic animals to tell their stories. Riding aboard hollowed-out logs, complete with vines draped over them, we will travel through the jungles of India to see how these four fables are illustrated through the eyes of the animals. Though at times, the journey may be treacherous, peace and friendship always triumph with each new day.

Also within this fort is a beautiful art gallery. It's a gorgeous hall made of “marble” (painted from a distance), as well as tile pedestals. Here, on the tile pedestals, guests will find authentic pieces of Indian art, and sculptures, each with an adjoining placard to explain the cultural significance in English and Hindi. Although the gallery is beautiful enough as is, it's actually the queue/holding area for a second attraction here in India: a show called Festival of Wonder, a celebration of the many wonders found in India. Utilizing live musicians, a team of dancers, CircleVision screens and many other wonderful surprises, Festival of Wonder would certainly be one of the most amusing aspects of EPCOT.

Moving on from India, guests will arrive at the entrance to...



Germany consists mainly of many different shops, with some restaurants tucked in here and there. Just on the outskirts of the pavilion is a beautiful wishing well, where Snow White often meets guests. Upon entering the pavilion, to the right is the Das Kaufhaus store, which specifically sells crystal and glass figures, artwork and other types of merchandise. Surrounding the front of the pavilion is a nice relaxing area of trees and benches, which also make a great location to view the nighttime fireworks. Along the edges of the lagoon is the iconic miniature train display, installed as part of the 1995 Flower and Garden Festival. Guests find themselves in a quaint village of Germany, just at the base of a clock tower. Every hour, on the hour, the clock comes to life, as a series of gizmos and figures appear from within the clock’s frame, creating in the midst of the town. The clock comes to life in a wonderfully animated scene, including several different moving gadgets and figures. The German village surrounds a beautiful fountain, atop of which sits a statue of St. George and the dragon.

On the left corner of the town is Karamell-Küche, a wonderful bakery, offering all sorts of treats. The bakery specializes in caramel sweets, from everything to caramel and vanilla cupcakes, chocolate cookies with caramel frosting, brownies, cupcakes and wonderful other snacks. Passing through the sweet shop, guests will come across Die Weihnachts Ecke, a store completely devoted to Christmas items, featuring many different ornaments and Christmas merchandise. Through this store, guests will then be able to come across Weinkeller, a location that features a variety of different German wines and alcohols, where guests can purchase and even partake in their own wine tasting. Through the wine room, guests will then be able to reach the Kunstarbeit in Kristall store, which features more art work pieces and figures made completely out of glass.

All of these stores appear on the left hand side of the Germany pavilion. On the right side of the pavilion, the Volkskunst store can be located, offering many different Germany-based merchandise, from clothes, to yodeling attire, to sports equipment and working clocks. The store is also attached to the Der Teddybar store, which sells Disney Princess and teddy bear merchandise. On the farthest back end of the Germany pavilion, guests will find the sit-down Biergarten restaurant in the clocktower structure. Biergarten is a place where it’s pretty much Oktoberfest every day. As guests dine on a German buffet, they are entertained by Oktoberfest Musikanten, an ensemble comprising a band that performs on instruments native to Germany, as well as a lively troupe of German dancers, who often invite diners to join them in a polka or two. Nearby, Sommerfest has great German dishes, where guests can dine while being entertained by a quartet of yodelers. The location also features a quick-service location, consisting mainly of hot dogs and pretzels.


Located right next door to the Biergarten is the loading dock for the Rhine River Cruise. According to the Walt Disney Company’s 1976 annual report, the Rhine River Cruise is “... a cruise down Germany’s most famous rivers -- the Rhine, the Tauber, the Ruhr and the Isar. Detailed miniatures of famous landmarks will also be seen, including one of the Cologne Cathedral.” Indeed, on this ride, we’ll float past Germany’s most enduring landmarks such as the Neuschwanstein castle, the Brandenburg Gate, the Cathedral of Cologne, and the Schwarzwald (Black Forest). And when we reach the unload dock, the exit walkway has small seating areas so that we can stop and view the shows at Biergarten from above.

With Germany explored, we come across the eighth country of World Showcase:

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For most of EPCOT’s life, a Brazil pavilion was always frequently rumored to be joining the World Showcase line-up at some point. Well, in April of 1996, just in time for Walt Disney World’s 25th anniversary – and for that matter, EPCOT’s 15th anniversary – Brazil had finally arrived!

The pavilion is designed like a small village, with Cristo Redentor overlooking it, in the forced-perspective distance. Along the edge of the water is the pavilion’s quick-service restaurant, Festa da Imaginação (Portuguese for “Feast of the Imagination”). Festa da Imaginação serves traditional Brazilian and Portuguese meals. Although the second floor mainly has just seating, the real show is on the ground floor, where there’s an open kitchen area with large grills right in the middle of the dining room. The pavilion’s major table-service restaurant is an authentic Brazilian steakhouse called Fruta da Terra (“Fruit of the Earth”). Specializing in tri-tip sirloin steak, the restaurant also has other menu items of seafood, pastas, and more all unique to Brazilian cuisine.

The streets of the village are lined with shops, offering a vast array of Brazilian goods. Similar to the Sportsman Shoppe over in the United Kingdom, Maracanã Mercantile offers souvenirs themed around the famed Brazilian sport of futebol – jerseys, balls, vuvuzelas, and authentic World Cup merchandise. Na Cozinha (“In the Kitchen”) features authentic Brazilian cooking supplies and specialty goods, like coffee and bottled butter. The Mercado offers traditional Brazilian goods, in the style of an authentic, vibrant Brazilian marketplace. As for entertainment, throughout the day, Carnaval sweeps the entire pavilion into its celebration. Beautiful floats, energetic dancers, live musicians and pure, unadulterated fun make for one of EPCOT’s liveliest entertainment offerings.

Now, of course, what pavilion would be complete without an attraction? In Brazil, it comes in the form of two. First is an idea thought up by @DlpPhantom: The Three Caballeros’ South American Tour. The way he put it initially in his 50 Years and Beyond thread, “Panchito, José Carioca, and Donald Duck will perform real songs from South America. The show will be brought to life by 11 audio animatronic figures including those that are currently found in the Mexico pavilion.”


Then, there is the pavilion’s main E-ticket: Little King Mine Trek. In this attraction, originally designed by Imagineerland, we will zip and zoom through the mines of Brazil. The queue begins in the mining museum of the city, and passes through areas of equipment storage and museum, making this area seem very much in use. As with most other coasters at Disney parks, we will eventually board a mine vehicle, similar to the ones that are actually used in mines there, although quite a bit more substantial.

We load and then leave the indoor station. The coaster is entirely indoors, but as we leave the station and turn into the mine cave ahead, we can look out over a realistically projected vista over the Brazilian countryside. Once in the mine, we travel through the gold mining operation with running machinery all around. We see the gold piled in mine cars and in the cave walls around us. We go up the first lift hill and begin the mine coaster section, through rooms of glittering topaz and gold. The obligatory “exit-through-the-gift-shop” is the Mina de Pedras Preciosas (Gemstone Mine), offering authentic Brazilian gemstones.

Oh, and by the way, if you’re wondering why the Imagineers didn’t go the obvious route with Brazil and have the headlining attraction be themed around the Amazon Rainforest…both Brazil in World Showcase and South America at Disney’s Animal Kingdom were being planned at the same time, and it was decided that two rainforest-based attractions would be redundant.

Strolling along, we find ourselves in the pastoral settings of...



Guests arrive in the quaint square of a city reminiscent of Venice. It looks quite majestic and beautiful. In the forefront of the pavilion, there are two landings jutting out onto the World Showcase Lagoon, the two connected by a pair of twin bridges. The landings display a set of fountains. In-between the bridge landings and tunnelways, several canal boats can be seen on a nearby dock, making it seem as though the landings really are floating over the canals of Venice. Back up north, guests will arrive in the Italian courtyard. To the left, guests will come across Enoteca Castallo, an Italian shop, which specializes in clothes, perfumes and ceramic art pieces. Just across the courtyard, guests will come across Il Bel Cristallo and La Bottega Italiana, one being a wine location, offering a variety of wines to the guests and the other a chocolate store, offering some of the finest chocolate sweets and candies from Italy. Outside of the two stores, a small seating area is located, which also happens to be a perfect location for guests to have a wine tasting. The courtyard often becomes host to a series of performances from three different sources: Sergio the mime; Imaginum, the famous “Living Statues” of EPCOT; and the World Showcase Players. This troupe of players go around World Showcase to tell their butchered versions of classic tales from the countries they perform in. In the UK, they perform King Arthur & the Holy Grail, as well as A Christmas Carol during the holidays; they perform Cyrano de Bergerac in France; and here in Italy, they perform a very unique take on Romeo and Juliet.

Tucked away in the corner behind one of the shops is a stairway leading up to one of the upper levels of the buildings. This location is often used as a meet & greet location for Pinocchio and Geppetto. Guests come across a beautiful fountain area. Just past the fountain, to the left, is the Tutto Italia restaurant, which offers some of the best pasta, salad and Italian dishes in all of Walt Disney World. Originally, this was L’Originale Alfredo di Roma, but it switched to Tutto Italia when Alfredo’s 25-year contract ran out.

Across the way from the restaurant is the pavilion’s major attraction. Originally, the pavilion’s main attraction was Gondolas di Italia. As guests journeyed down along the rivers of Italy, a live gondolier sang to them and told them the history and stories of Italy. They traveled through scenes from some of Italy’s best-known cities, including Venice, Milan, Florence, Pisa, Rome, and Naples, and encounter some of the country’s most enduring landmarks. The ride uses miniatures and audio-animatronics to help bring Italy to life. It wasn’t an E-ticket, but it was educational, relaxing and entertaining.


But where once guests took off for a tour on gondolas, guests now board Vespas for a ride on Luca: Race Rematch. This ride follows a similar storyline to the Luca event that was created for the Disney Magic Kingdoms mobile game: Luca and Giulia have returned to Portorosso for a holiday, and are eager to spend the days playing with Alberto. However, the egotistical teenaged biker Ercole is still bitter about losing the Portorosso Cup to them, and is clamoring for a rematch. Thus, guests are brought around on a ride through the Portorosso countryside, through the streets, up the hills… and even down under the sea! Like with Gondolas di Italia, the experience exits out into an elaborate replica of the Roman ruins*, as Luca and Giulia are heading there to learn more about the ruins for a school project. Naturally, one can meet Luca, Alberto, Giulia and yes, even Ercole – all of whom are face characters – for meet ‘n’ greets here at the Italy Pavilion.

* The ride itself takes place in a show building behind the ruins.

These ruins are separated from the rest of the pavilion via an elaborate, arched overlook, connecting Tutto Italia to another restaurant: Via Napoli. Via Napoli is an elaborate pizza restaurant, located above Luca: Race Rematch’s entrance and queue. This restaurant is a great pizzeria, utilizing three different oven burners to create some of the finest dishes, transporting the flavors of Italy to their guests. The restaurant features a large sitting area, as well as a quaint outdoor seating location, offering wonderful views of the fireworks at nighttime. For dessert, the Gelateria has been set up along the path between Italy and The American Adventure. The Gelateria, true to its name, is a bakery that offers a wide assortment of sweet Italian gelato, as well as numerous pastries, such as biscotti, cannolis, and zeppole.

Continuing on from Italy, we arrive at the heart of World Showcase, exactly symmetrical to where we first entered World Showcase. From across the vast World Showcase Lagoon, one could just make out the Spaceship Earth globe and the border-line buildings of World Celebration, World Discovery and World Nature. This location is the home of the host pavilion of World Showcase:



When entering into The American Adventure, guests feel as though they are entering into the colonial era of American history. The buildings are adorned in brick, with white finishings. Oak trees create a serene vista for the American pavilion. The pavilion is similar to the Liberty Square land over at the Magic Kingdom, as they share the same theme.

A beautiful plaza featuring lush fountains and beautiful gardens greets us as we enter. Orchestral arrangements of beloved Americana fill the air. At certain points throughout the day, the Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps add a flavor of Revolutionary-era America to the pavilion. The plaza features two small food buildings. The first is Fife & Drum Tavern, featuring turkey legs, pretzels, popcorn and ice cream. On the other side of the plaza is the famed Funnel Cake Stand. The area also features a few small carts featuring merchandise.

Just across from the main plaza of the pavilion, guests will find the open-air America Gardens Theatre, which is host to several events such as the annual 4th of July concert featuring the Voices of Liberty, EPCOT’s annual Birthday Concert, and the famous Candlelight Processional during the holiday season. However, when there are not events going on, the amphitheater serves as a viewing area for IllumiNations. Directly behind the theatre is the Golden Dream, which, according to WDW Radio correspondent KS Wicks, is “described as a historically accurate replica of a 1776 Continental rum runner sloop.” One cannot actually step foot onto the sloop, but it does help to give the area a bit more depth.

For the 25th Anniversary of EPCOT, it was decided to turn the pavilion’s counter-service restaurant, the Liberty Inn, into the Colonial Marketplace. This is a kind of narrow street that leads to the back of the pavilion, based upon Elfreth’s Alley in Philadelphia, the nation’s oldest residential street. This unique food court is divided up into multiple little shops with different menus and multiple themed dining rooms. (For example, New England, Louisiana, Hawaii, Native American cuisine, Pacific Coast, etc.) A pathway along the Marketplace also leads up to the third stop of the World Showcase Express, modeled after the Texas and Pacific Depot in Marshall, Texas.

On the other side of the pavilion, a beautiful herb garden leads up to The President’s Tavern. Here, guests dine in an upscale, colonial-inspired dining room surrounded by antique furniture and paintings of the Founding Fathers, to the point where guests will feel as though they are dining at Mount Vernon or Monticello. The menu changes each day of the week, highlighting a different regional cuisine each day.

The plaza then proceeds to open up before a beautiful fountain, centering the pavilion, showcasing the main building, which overlooks all of World Showcase. The building’s interior is very regal and colonial, set around a grand rotunda. Quotes from some of the most famous American innovators festoon the walls. Paintings around the room showcase the many different eras of American civilization. In a small side passage to the right, guests will find the National Treasures Exhibit, which features actual artifacts from previous historical figures, such as Martin Luther King, Will Rogers and Mark Twain. Heritage House Gifts, found within the building, features American-based merchandise, such as t-shirts from many different cities, hats and colonial props and some of America’s favorite candy treats. At certain times throughout the day, guests’ ears are treated to the powerful sounds of EPCOT’s premier a capella group, the Voices of Liberty. They perform underneath the building’s rotunda, which amplifies their sound.

When the time is right, guests then proceed up a grand staircase through the Hall of Flags, featuring flags from all of the states of America. This staircase takes guests up to the upper level of the rotunda, which offers more breathtaking views of the rotunda. Further down the hall are the doors that serves as our entrance to a stately theater. On either side of the audience stand life-size statues of the “Spirits of Freedom”, iconic statues that embody the ideals of individualism, innovation, independence and more. We’d best take our seats, because the curtain is about to go up on one of the most moving and influential attractions in all EPCOT – and all Walt Disney World, for that matter.


The American Adventure unfolds the rich, weaving tapestry of our nation’s history in a stirring and dramatic production featuring 35 Audio-Animatronics figures, digital rear-projection images on a 72-foot screen and stirring patriotic songs. Pivotal moments in history appear and disappear seamlessly through the use of a massive mobile device. Ten different sets are stored under the stage and are moved forward or backward on cue by this American technological marvel. Our hosts, Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain, allow us to witness such landmark events as the landing of the Mayflower, the Boston Tea Party, the winter at Valley Forge, the Declaration of Independence, the Civil War and the Great Depression. A feat of entertainment, engineering and aesthetics, The American Adventure is a strong reminder that the “Golden Dream” of America is always there for anyone who wishes to have it come true. When the show ends, guests exit the theater – and the building, for that matter – via a long, carpeted ramp that leads down to the first floor of the building. There are areas where it levels off so the ramp isn’t too steep. The ramp leads right back out into the plaza of the pavilion.

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And with that, we are halfway through our tour of World Showcase! The tour will pick back up again on Friday, December 16, so stay tuned!

My biggest inspiration for doing a Tanzania pavilion for Mirror Walt Disney World came from a blog post from TAP-G, co-host of the now-defunct YouTube-based podcast "What's the Attraction?" In December of 2020, he put out a list of 10 countries he thought should be added to World Showcase; and Tanzania was on that list. Likewise, the India pavilion was inspired by three sources: S.W. Wilson's concept for a new version of EPCOT, @ScorpionX's concept from the "Gemini Series" and the India created by Team Verde -- aka, @ctxak98, @DinoInstitute, @Magic Feather, @RMichael21, @Skipper2 and @TheOriginalTiki -- for The Sorcerer's Apprentice: Homecoming Edition. The idea for the Colonial Marketplace also came from Imagineerland, whereas The President's Tavern came from the "Re-Imagining Disney World" blog, and I though it was too good not to use here.

The font for the Tanzania logo I devised is known simply as "Africa", the font for the India logo is "Samarkan" and the font for the Brazil logo is "Storybook."
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As stated before, The American Adventure is the halfway point in our journey around World Showcase. We have nine more pavilions to enjoy here before we return to Showcase Plaza. Continuing down along the lagoon of World Showcase, guests will then come across the next pavilion:



Guests find themselves in a beautiful city, designed to recreate the wonderful and beautiful setting of Japan. To the left, a tall building is located, where Matsuriza, a troupe of Taiko drummers, often showcase their drumming talent. Further entertainment here in the Japan pavilion can be found via Miyuki, the famous candy artist, and Chiriki, a brigade of “stilt-birds” who often roam the northeastern quadrant of World Showcase, from Japan to France.

Just beyond the building is a beautiful Japanese garden, featuring beautiful flowers, cascading waterfalls and real fish. Bridges lead across the garden at the summit of a small hill, where the Katsura Grill quick-service restaurant, as well as the new table-service restaurant, Takumi-Tei, is located. Katsura Grill is inspired to appear just as it would in Japan. It seems as though it is something out of an anime movie, which is essentially what the entire pavilion feels like. The restaurant also features a small outdoor sitting area on the other side of the restaurant. Takumi-Tei celebrates the relationship between Japanese craftsmanship and the natural world, while the food is inspired by the wonderful collaboration between nature and takumi, the artisan. The upscale dinner menu will highlight wagyu beef in a sublime setting, and guests interested in the ultimate experience will be able to indulge in a multi-course tasting menu featuring traditional tea service.

Across from this half of the Japan pavilion, across the main courtyard, guests will come across the Mitsukoshi building, a complete Japanese store, one of the biggest in EPCOT. This store features everything from kimonos, Japanese t-shirts, headdresses, jewelry, selections of bowls, bonsai plants, paper fans, lanterns and a great deal of Japanese wines, candies and other sweets. One could probably spend hours in this store, as there is so much to see. The store wraps around the complete right side of the pavilion, leading to the back and heading towards the front of the pavilion. At the exit of the gift shop, still in the main Mitsukoshi building, guests will then be able to find the Bijutsu-Kan Gallery. Located above the Mitsukoshi store are two restaurants that share the same building space: Teppan Edo and Tokyo Dining. Teppan Edo is a teppanyaki-style restaurant. More commonly called a “Japanese steakhouse”, the experience combines cooking and service into one fun performance. Tokyo Dining offers sushi, fish and maki.

Standing at the far back of the pavilion is an all-new addition: the hulking structure of Mount Fuji. The palace found at the pavilion’s rear serves as our queue as we weave past displays detailing the history of the mighty volcano. Once aboard the roller-coaster, guests travel both inside and outside the mountain from its base to the snowy summit, passing through caves, past waterfalls, and even narrowly escaping an avalanche. Basically, Mount Fuji is the Floridian equivalent to the Matterhorn at Disneyland.

From the Land of the Rising Sun, we come across...



The South Africa pavilion features two distinct areas: a Dutch-inspired area representing the colonization of South Africa; and a traditional African area honoring the rest of the continent. Much like with the nation’s anthem – a combination of two different songs, sung in five different languages – we are honoring the unity between Africans and Afrikaners.

On the edge of the water is a replica of Umhlanga Lighthouse. The front half of the pavilion is modeled on the Groot Constantia Manor House, a historic museum and winery that architecturally has Dutch influence. The main building and its adjacent garden hold the table service restaurant, Kos vir die Siel (that’s Afrikaans for “Food for the Soul”), which features a host of famous South African dishes, including boerewors, Cape Malay curry, chakalaka and pap, authentic braai, and the national dish of South Africa, bobotie. Kos vir die Siel is surrounded by smaller winery buildings housing retail, as well as a counter-service cafe across the way, Indlu Yokuvumelana (that’s Zulu for “House of Harmony”). Indlu Yokuvumelana features famous South African comfort food and baked goods, including Malva pudding and the famous melktert. However, it should be noted that this pavilion does not contain an actual winery because Greece, as we all know, is one of the wine capitals of the world, so a wine-based attraction would make more sense there. And you will see what I mean once we start our journey through Disney’s Mythica…

A prominent house in this colony plays host to the Museum of Freedom. This is a museum depicting the long march for racial equality and desegregation, and the devastating effects of Apartheid. Of course, one section of the museum is dedicated to the late, great Nelson Mandela, who was one of the most prominent leaders of the African National Congress, and who would go on to become South Africa’s first democratically-elected president. Like with Tanzania’s memorial, the Museum of Freedom should speak as a stark and unforgiving denouncement of racism, and should stress the importance of equality and inclusivity.


Beyond this Dutch colony, we come across the vast African wilderness. This area is marked by large, rolling hills and cave entrances. Early African structures modeled on the village of uMgungundlovu mark the entrance to the Caves of Man, an explorable cave system modeled on the Cradle of Mankind, the real cave system where the earliest human remains have been found. As part of their extensive research and building process, Disney has teamed up with the true-life Cradle of Humankind to help make sure the Caves of Man closely resemble its South African counterpart. In the cave forecourt, entertainment can be found via Umdanso, a group of dancers who perform traditional Zulu dances – in fact, “Umdanso” is how you say “dance” in Zulu.

The wild South African landscape soon gives way to the mystery and wonder of...



Guests find themselves walking among the beautiful, ornately designed buildings of Morocco, with its grand archways and beautiful architecture. Tall, turret-like buildings stretch into the sky. The place is somewhat designed to be similar to a maze, with several buildings revealing passageways, connecting location to location. Moroccan artisans actually came from their country to EPCOT to match the pavilion detail to detail. Koutoubia Minaret, a replica of an ancient prayer temple, stands guard at the entrance of the pavilion. Just on the borders of the World Showcase Lagoon, guests will find Souk Al Magreb, a merchandise cart which features hand-crafted brass merchandise. Also on the border of the lagoon is the Spice Road Table, which offers small plates and an interesting wine list featuring bottles from throughout the Mediterranean region.

A fountain is located in the center courtyard of the pavilion. The fountain leads to the Medina, which stands for “Old City.” Here, guests will find the Marketplace in the Medina, where guests can come across hand woven baskets, wallets, bags, hats and carpets. After passing through a small chamber, featuring a fountain, guests will find the Brass Bazaar attached to the Marketplace. The Brass Bazaar features decorative plates, pots, serving sets, wooden collectibles and even lamps. Pointed archway buildings and swirling patterns adorn the passageways from building to building, featuring wooden, plaster and tiled accents. The passageway leads towards the back of the Moroccan city, where guests will find an entryway into one of the buildings. Inside the building, a magic lamp, the same one seen in Aladdin, rests on a mantle. The room is filled with large, luxurious pillows. This is a common location for Aladdin, Jasmine and the Genie to host meet-and-greet appearances. Every day in the courtyard, the Festival Marrakesh turns the courtyard of the Morocco pavilion into a grand celebration.

The passageway then connects back to the Tangier Traders merchandise store, which is a complete clothing store, offering garments, woven belts, shoes and other styles of Moroccan clothing. The store is also attached to the Tangerine Café, which operates as a quick-service restaurant in Morocco, while also featuring a very nice dessert display, as well. Across from the Tangerine Café is the Gallery of Arts and History, a gallery showcasing how the unparalleled artistry and craftsmanship of Moroccan decorative arts are a visual representation of cultural identity. At the farthest back corner of the pavilion, guests will find Restaurant Marrakesh, a nice sit-down restaurant, where guests feel as though they are completely surrounded by the feelings of Morocco through the flavor of their food, their customs and their fantastic hospitality service. A live band and belly-dancer are also on hand to entertain diners.

Also at the far back of the pavilion is a brand-new attraction. One of the most popular pieces of literature in the Arab world is One Thousand and One Nights, more commonly known as Arabian Nights. This is a collection of various stories and tales that, while they did not originate in Morocco, are reflective of the country’s culture and history. It would be extremely tempting to put an Aladdin attraction in Morocco since it is one of the stories found in Arabian Nights, but there’s another story in Arabian Nights that would be absolutely perfect. The hum of an ethereal flute beckons us to enter an old fortress, where inside we find the wonders of Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage.


To the strains of the inspired hero’s anthem, “Compass of Your Heart” (written by iconic Disney composer Alan Menken), the fantastic adventures of Sindbad and his trusted tiger cub Chandu are reborn. Hopping aboard a boat of our own, we follow Sindbad and Chandu as they explore the islands and continents of the Arabian Sea in search of adventure. Giant Rocs, beautiful mermaids, musical monkeys, and a one-eyed, singing cyclops are just a handful of the obstacles and friends encountered on our voyage through fantasy and beyond. No doubt about it: this attraction is an absolute must-see if you’re visiting EPCOT. Oh, and fun fact: the ride building is not built at ground level. The building is raised, so as to allow access to the service roads on both sides of the Morocco pavilion.

Now, the expansion pad in-between Morocco and France has reduced in size ever since the Ratatouille ride was built. So, if a new country were to be added on this pad, it would have to be a small country. With that said, welcome to...

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The idea for a Thailand pavilion also comes from @TheDesignPirate , and I chose it because of its small size, as she originally designed it for the 2014 ICS Elite Eight Competition; as a way to put a pavilion on the Millennium Village space, while still keeping the Village itself open for events and all that. As such, along the edges of the World Showcase Lagoon are a series of huts containing the shops of the pavilion, collectively referred to as the Floating Marketplace. Likewise, one hut also is home to Thailand’s Kidcot Fun Stop.

Past the huts and the amazing rockwork that replicates rocks from famous Thailand beaches, guests come across a temple with the two heavy hitters of the pavilion. Outside on the second floor of the temple is The Temple Restaurant, which looks over the entire World Showcase Lagoon. This is the only restaurant of the pavilion, and it is a table-service restaurant. It is also one of the most sought-after tickets of all EPCOT restaurants. Who wouldn’t want to enjoy a meal overlooking World Showcase Lagoon? The menu here is comprised of famous Thai dishes: pad thai, moo ping, mango sticky rice, papaya salad, Tom yum soup, sriracha, spring rolls and desserts featuring banana and coconut.

Inside the temple is a one of a kind movie: Thailand Dreams. This movie is featured on “waterfalls” (effects similar to Blackbeard and Davy Jones in Pirates of the Caribbean) in surroundings similar to the cloud forests found in Thailand. The film basically highlights the landscapes and people of Thailand, all set to a musical score by prominent Thai composer Narong Prangcharoen.


The Thai landscape soon gives way to the serene scene of...



The buildings here are reminiscent of a beautiful French city-scape during La Belle Époque (“The Beautiful Era”). A canal passes through France, much like the Seine. Upon entering into the pavilion, guests will come across a few carts, which sell delicious home-made French crepes, as well as some other delicious treats. The stone walls that barricade the World Showcase Lagoon showcase canvasses of French artistry and artwork. In this area, artists are located to draw portraits and silhouettes of guests. France features several kiosks that often punctuate the streets of Paris. The smell of a nearby bakery seems to run through the area. From behind the buildings at the back end of the courtyard, guests can see the grand Eiffel Tower, stretching high into the sky. The Eiffel Tower utilizes the technique of forced perspective to make it appear larger than it actually is.

To the left, the first building that guests will come across is the luxurious Les Chefs de France, which features some of the finest French cuisine that you could find in Florida. The restaurant establishes itself in a beautiful setting. Located above the restaurant is the even-more-luxurious Monsieur Paul. Named after one of the original chefs of Les Chefs de France, the late Paul Bocuse, the restaurant offers breathtaking French food, as crafted by Chef Bocuse himself. Entertainment is abound here at France. The famed Serveur Amusant balancing act continues to delight guests, while the World Showcase Players put on their own version of the classic French romance, Cyrano de Bergerac ... or should that be Cyra-nose de Bergerac?

Continuing up through the plaza towards the top of the pavilion, guests walk along a beautiful fountain, before arriving at the Arcade, a mall of different shops, including Plume et Palette, La Signature and L’Esprit de Provence. All of these shops offer wonderful French items that could only be found from within the country. At Plume et Palette and La Signature, guests can sample and purchase a display of numerous perfumes and colognes from the country. L’Esprit de Provence offers displays of dinnerware and kitchen accessories. On the opposite side of the string of shops is a small maze and a rose garden, a gazebo within being where the likes of Belle, Aurora and Cinderella – all of whom have their tales rooted in French origins – meet guests. If you wish to meet more Disney friends while in France, characters from The Hunchback of Notre Dame often meet along the riverbanks near the bridge leading towards the last half of World Showcase.


Back in the main courtyard of the pavilion, to the left, a small alleyway leads to the farthest back point of the pavilion. However, directly ahead, guests will find the Palais du Cinema, the home of Impressions de France, an eighteen-minute film in which the guests can witness the beauty, landscape, foods and cultures of France. The film features beautiful estates, vineyards in harvest time, beautiful harbors, the French Alps and a view of the Eiffel Tower. The entire experience is enhanced by a wonderfully composed score of French classical music, as well as a 200 degree screen that wipes across the entire front and sides of the theater. The theater exits out into the Souvenirs de France store, which features everything from Eiffel Tower statues and shirts to CDs and gifts themed to the artwork of several French artists.

Just outside of the shop, to the right, guests will find the Boulangerie Patisserie, a wonderful bakery in the pavilion, located amongst the other themed buildings in the Paris city. The bakery features delectable treats, some of them include turnovers, parfaits, sandwiches and pot pies, amongst other things. There is a quaint small sitting area just outside of the bakery. Just across from the bakery is Les Vins de France, a wonderful wine shop, where guests can hold their own wine tasting. The alleyway proceeds to lead further down, back into the main plaza of France.

A pathway leads past the garden and towards a newly-discovered corner of France. It is here in this courtyard that we can see the sights, sounds and smells of Paris from a different point of view...


Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is a trackless LPS dark ride based upon the 2007 Pixar film. It’s a wild adventure through the kitchens of Paris alongside Remy as he hunts for the perfect ingredients… and startles a few patrons along the way. The breathtaking dark ride – based on the attraction at Disney Studios Paris – is a new classic through-and-through, and a perfect ride for the whole family. Of course, once you’re through cooking with Remy, you might as well share the spoils!

La Creperie de Paris, located just a few doors down, offers many varieties of the famous French pancake. Much like with the other major restaurants of the France pavilion, it is managed by Jerome Bocuse, son of the late great Paul. Remy and Emile themselves can be found in this new corner of France, eager to meet all culinary fans. This corner of the France pavilion is also home to the fourth stop of the World Showcase Express, modeled after the Gare du Lyon.

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Fifteen pavilions down, four more to go. Join me on Sunday, December 18, to find out what those pavilions have in store!

I already credited @TheDesignPirate for creating the Thailand pavilion, but I must also state that I took most of my inspiration for South Africa from the two concepts presented by Imagineerland over the years, so all credit on that count goes to him. The font for the South Africa logo is literally called "South Africa"; while the font I used for the Thailand logo is called "Siamese Katsong Pro."


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
And now, let us finish our tour of World Showcase!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~


Continuing on from the France pavilion, guests cross a bridge, leading over the lagoon and proceeding towards the final four pavilions of World Showcase. Here, a fork in the road leads guests down two ways. To the left, guests enter the International Gateway. While the International Gateway is not an actual “land” in the park, it still does serve some vital purpose. This serves as a “second entrance” – or a “back door”, if you will – for EPCOT. The International Gateway is connected to the nearby EPCOT area resorts: the BoardWalk Inn, the Swan & Dolphin Resorts and the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts. FriendShip boat service is available for these locations, and the majority of the International Gateway components are all located in one big building across the way from the boat station. Just like at the main entrance to EPCOT, admission tickets can be purchased at International Gateway from one of the two ticket booths. Lines are rarely long here.

Near the ticket booths are large, seldom crowded restrooms. Just beyond the ticket booths are bag check and then the turnstiles leading into World Showcase. The turnstile hours of operation at International Gateway are the same as those located at the main entrance. Once inside the park, strollers, wheelchairs, and a limited number of ECVs are available for rent. Guide maps and Times Guides are also found in this area. In addition, a small number of lockers can be rented here. The International Gateway also features the World Traveler store, which feature EPCOT and World Showcase merchandise. Plus, for all you character-hunters out there, the International Gateway is a perfect place to see some rare Disney friends. Much like what occurs in Showcase Plaza, various Disney characters come out at certain times of the day for photos and autographs.

Moving on from the International Gateway, I welcome you to the tropical paradise that is...



Another area of the world that has yet to be touched upon here at World Showcase is the Caribbean, so I decided to add Jamaica to represent it. Many of the Caribbean countries originated from Spanish settlers like Puerto Rico and Cuba so their architecture, cuisine and culture would look similar if we were to add them to the Showcase. However, Jamaica embodies that island nation vibe and lifestyle perfectly as well as brings diversity in its history, cuisine and architecture. I can easily see something like in the picture above alongside the World Showcase Lagoon.

Marked by a replica of Lover’s Leap Lighthouse, Jamaica is the tropical paradise we’ve all come to know and love. Reggae music fills the air as guests move through traditional bungalows. These bungalows serve as locations for the shops of the Mandeville Marketplace, an open-air bazaar selling authentic Jamaican goods. Located in a tropical-colored building overlooking the bungalows is Restaurant Royale, serving Jamaican patties, chicken, and seafood, plus authentic Caribbean beer and coffee. Plus, there is an eating garden right outside the restaurant’s doors. Nearby, located among the bungalows is the Banana Boat Café. Named after the iconic Harry Belafonte song, the Banana Boat serves Jamaican jerk chicken, beef, lamb sandwiches, salads, and desserts ... most of which involve bananas (and a drink of rum).


In a shaded alcove of the pavilion is a replica of one of Jamaica’s most notable landmarks: Dunn’s River Falls. In case you’re unfamiliar, Dunn’s River Falls are a notable landmark, and tourists can actually climb up the waterfalls. However, for guest safety, EPCOT’s replica wouldn’t allow that to happen. The only way you could climb up the Falls would be via stone staircases on either side.

At the far back of the pavilion is a replica of Rose Hall in Montego Bay. This is the home of The Heartbeat of Jamaica, a show that showcases the history and culture of this vibrant island nation. In a vibrant theater-in-the-round setting, the world of Jamaica is brought to life in a highly-emotional journey, utilizing the music and dance of Jamaica, brought to life through a host of live musicians, singers and dancers. Much like with Restaurant Royale, the theater offers two levels of seating to allow for bigger guest capacity in a small setting. Don't be surprised to see a few performers up in the balconies during the show! Located right nearby the theater is the Taino Spirit House, featuring traditional and contemporary art forms from around the Caribbean. Further entertainment in Jamaica is found via the Junkanoo Bus, where a live band rides on the bus’ top level to bring the music of the Caribbean to EPCOT.

Right next door, we find World Showcase’s last European representative:



The United Kingdom takes guests to the beautiful city-scape of a London square and then to the edge of a canal on a rural countryside, all within the realm of a contained bustling city street. The streets are framed by London buildings, which perfectly capture the elegance and charm of England. The buildings receive their architectural styles from English Tudor, Georgian and English Victorian style characteristics. As soon as you enter the pavilion, a thatched roof cottage will be just on the left, amidst the other English buildings in the area. Inside of the cottage – which was inspired by the home of Anne Hathaway, William Shakespeare’s wife – guests will find The Tea Caddy. The cottage features a fireplace, amongst the beams. The shop stocks a wide variety of English teas, teapots, china and biscuits. Characters like Alice, Mary Poppins, Robin Hood and Peter Pan often meet guests in the gardens nearby. Just next to the Tea Caddy is The Queen’s Table, which offers a wonderful display of perfumes, soaps and other fragrances.

The pathway then empties out into the Rose and Crown Pub, which is a fantastic restaurant that serves wonderful England-inspired dishes. The restaurant also operates at a basic pub, which serves some great alcoholic drinks. To the side of the restaurant, the Yorkshire County Fish Shop quick-service location serves a limited list of items from the Rose and Crown. Just before the restaurant, guests will find a pair of faux telephone booths, identical to those that could be found around the United Kingdom. The main plaza is home to a series of great entertainment: the Caledonia Bagpipes honor the music of Scotland, the aforementioned World Showcase Players bring a twisted tale of Camelot to life in King Arthur and the Holy Grail, and the musicians at the Rose & Crown always make “happy hour” even happier.

Connecting back into the main plaza of the English town, guests will then come across The Crown and Crest. The exterior of the shop is beautiful, almost like something out of the days of King Arthur. The store is adorned with bright banners, a fireplace and gallant crossed swords, depicting a fanciful scene in the store. Here, guests can purchase mugs, limited chess sets, stamp sets and even their family coat of arms. Through a small passage, guests will come across the Sportsman Shoppe. This store features clothing wear and accessories that are centered around British local events, from Wimbledon tennis attire, to golfing accessories and Rugby shirts. At the back end of the pavilion, guests will find one last store, the Toy Soldier, which features a nice selection of British toys, as rather as an extensive gift selection from Winnie the Pooh and the gang from the Hundred Acre Wood. In fact, this shop is where you can meet the “silly old bear” himself, often alongside Tigger, Piglet, Rabbit or Eeyore!

At the rear of the pavilion is a beautiful park, with beautiful flowerbeds, tall trees and hedge mazes surrounding a gazebo, where guests can enjoy the sounds of the British Invasion, a tribute band based around one of England’s most well-known music groups: The Beatles. Rising above the treetops behind the gazebo is a scaled-down replica of Big Ben, the iconic clocktower of London. But among the more cultured guests, they tend to flock towards what lies to the east of this park: an exact replica of the Globe Theatre, where the works of one of Britain’s most legendary authors were first performed, for it is within these walls that we can enter The Worlds of William Shakespeare.


Described as a “trackless Carousel of Progress”, this moving theater attraction takes us past elaborate depictions of famous scenes and characters from seven of the Bard’s famous plays. Beginning, naturally, with a recitation of the “All the world’s a stage” monologue from As You Like It – recited by Kenneth Branagh, no less – we then witness scenes from Hamlet, Twelfth Night, the Scottish Play, The Tempest and Romeo and Juliet, before ending, also naturally, with Puck’s famous monologue from A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Utilizing animatronics, special effects, and vocal performances from some of the most famous Shakespearean actors of our time, this truly is one of EPCOT’s most emotionally-resonating experiences.

The land that once held the Millennium Village has since been razed and given over to...

Colombia logo.png


The most recent pavilion to be added – in fact, it is the pavilion that ensured that every pavilion site in World Showcase was filled – Colombia adds another representative from South America to the World Showcase roster.

My biggest inspiration in deciding to bring Colombia to World Showcase came from the website Disney at Play, and they pitched the pavilion with the intent of having its main attraction be themed around the recent Disney smash hit, Encanto. Now, it may seem heresy to some EPCOT purists for me to add this pavilion in, centered around an IP. Well, Disney at Play summed up their reasoning thusly: “Colombia needs a new paradigm having faced decades as simply being the home base for world drug trafficking. But Colombia is so much more, and this is a great time to showcase the beauty and heritage of Colombia.” Indeed, Encanto has been praised by many Colombians for showcasing the country in a positive light. Plus, even in this Mirror universe, although Frozen does not take over Norway and the Guardians of the Galaxy instead set up quarters in Tomorrowland, we still have attractions themed around Coco in the Mexico pavilion, The Three Caballeros having moved over to Brazil, a Mulan show in the China pavilion, an Inside Out show at Wonders of Life, a Moana-themed pavilion in World Nature, and Ratatouille remains the centerpiece of the France pavilion expansion. Therefore, I feel safe using Encanto as a basis for bringing in Colombia. Frankly, I believe Disney should legitimately build a Colombia pavilion at EPCOT solely to bring Encanto in, instead of their blue-sky proposal of doing an Encanto land at the Magic Kingdom!


However, the entire pavilion will not be centered around the film. The front half of the pavilion will take us into a typical Colombian village. The atmosphere should feel warm and inviting, in order to help further break the typical perceptions of Colombia. The marketplaces are bustling, the food is delicious, and it should generally give guests a happy feeling. El Mercado de Barrio takes up one bustling building, and extends out into the streets, selling wares typical to the country. Another shop prominent in this pavilion is El Molinillo de Café, selling rich Colombian coffees and merchandise related therein. There are many other shops here, as well. Cocina de la Abuela, the pavilion’s quick-service restaurant, offers traditional Colombian comfort food: empanadas, la bandeja paisa, picada o fritanga, chocolate con queso, and other such delicacies. One will definitely feel as though they are eating at grandma’s house!

But of course, the major place to go for food here in Colombia is El Paseo de Olla, a restaurant that demonstrates – and is named for – the Colombian tradition of the “Pot Gathering.” What is the Pot Gathering? Well, the official Colombian tourism website describes it thusly: “This much-loved ritual encourages Colombian families to gather beside their local river, and share the traditional Colombian dish: sancocho. This typical stew mixes chicken, pork or beef rib with plantain, potato, corn-on-the-con, cassava, tomato and cilantro, served with rice and avocado. The purpose of the ‘Pot Gathering’ picnic is to reunite family and friends to share their successes, celebrate special occasions or just have an excuse to bring everyone together.” And although there are no rivers in the pavilion, I’m sure that having this restaurant be found along the edge of World Showcase Lagoon is the next best thing.

The bustling streets of Colombia come alive at a moment’s notice. Throughout the day, let your feet be your guide as Los Bailarines de Colombia arrive to demonstrate the various dances of their home country: the salsa, the cumbia, the vallenato, the joropo, and so many more. Naturally, guests are invited to come try a few steps themselves! What is more, each year, the Colombia pavilion puts on a representation of one of Colombia’s most famous festivals: the Carnaval de Barranquilla. Described as “a joyous celebration of everything it means to be Colombian”, this Carnival takes to the streets on the four days before Holy Week, and boy, is it ever a celebration! At certain times during this period, watch as Colombia explodes to life with masquerades, music, dancing and street dances. Once you’ve seen it, you’ll see why their motto is “Quien lo vive es quien lo goza!” (He who lives it, enjoys it!)

But of course, beyond this village is a very familiar sight: Casita, or as some might call it, La Casa Madrigal.


Now, my inspiration for this attraction came from two sources. The biggest one comes from the incredible Omnimover attraction that @TheSorcerersApprentice devised for his Disneyland Rio. However, I’d personally not go with an Omnimover for this, but instead take a page from Disney at Play; as they claimed that an Encanto ride could be an American equivalent to Mystic Manor at Hong Kong Disneyland. Here is how they described it: “This is a physical place that is a character in and of itself. It lends itself to an amazing experience like no other. Moreover, the casita in Encanto was far more fantastical than you would find at Mystic Manor. Yes, the house comes alive in its own friendly and haunting manner. But the individual doors of this house leads to amazing places in and of themselves. Isabella’s room is a floral Fantasyland all of its own. Antonio’s room is such an over-the-top Adventureland that it’s animal collection of toucans, capybaras, and jaguars that they could move this whole attraction into a land of its own at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. And then there is the haunting passages of Bruno–No one talks about Bruno, so we won’t either–but know that it offers its own unique part.”

La Casa Madrigal is a trackless dark ride in the style of Mystic Manor. Like with Frozen Ever After and Coco: Una Gran Celebración, the events of this ride take place after the movie. Casita has been rebuilt, Mirabel has found her place in the family, and Bruno has been welcomed back with open arms. In this ride, the Madrigals are preparing to throw a “Welcome Back” party for the long-lost future-seer. We travel through Casita, room by room, to see the various Madrigals preparing for the big event, whilst also getting to see their powers in action. Now that Abuela Alma has at long last learned to get over her perfectionism, the Madrigals are finally free to use their powers not only to benefit their community, but to test their own limits!

Naturally, various members of the Madrigal family can be found for meet ‘n’ greets. Mirabel is a given, of course, but there’s also her sisters, Isabela and Luisa, her cousins, Dolores and Camilo, her uncles Félix and Bruno, her aunt Pepa, and her mother and father, Julieta and Agustín. You can even find Mariano Guzman here, often joining his girlfriend, Dolores, of course. As for Alma, she is looking after little Antonio, so she doesn’t come out that much.

All right, folks, this is it. We have reached the final country in all of World Showcase, which connects back to the entry point to Future World. Welcome to...



This pavilion celebrates the United States’ neighbor to the north, and features a rocky landscape, leading past a set of totem poles. The Mill Stage plays host to a Canadian folk band; and more entertainment can also be found via the Canadian Comedy Corps, a group seemingly straight out of Dudley Do-Right. This group portrays the foibles and fables of the dashing Mountie Samuel Steel, his beloved girlfriend and roving reporter Faith Fenton, and his rival, the dastardly Soapy Smith, all to the accompaniment of a live brass band.

Arriving just beyond, at the top of a wooden staircase leading to the upper section of the pavilion, guests will be able to find Northwest Mercantile and La Boutique des Provinces. Northwest Mercantile features Canadian apparel, as well as plush toys, lanterns, maple syrup and other Canadian-themed collectibles. La Boutique des Provinces is located inside of Hotel du Canada, a large recreation of the famous Canadian hotel, and features items crafted by Canadian artists.

Down the steps and leading to the right, guests will find a small pathway, wrapping down a lovely garden area, right beside a babbling brook and a cascading waterfall. Here, guests are then brought to Le Cellier Steakhouse, one of the finest steakhouses in Florida. The restaurant features great entrees, a relaxing atmosphere and a great selection of desserts. However, because this restaurant is one of the most popular in all of the resort, landing a specific reservation here can be somewhat tedious. As such, Le Café du Matin Soleil can be found here, as well. Matin Soleil is a counter-service restaurant that offers quick-service meals and dishes inspired by the Great White North, like poutine, Newfoundland cold plates and various Canadian pastries. Also here in the Canada pavilion is the Beaver Tails stand. This classic EPCOT snack originated in Ontario, and basically amounts to a delicious, whole-wheat pastry shaped like a beaver tail, topped with a wide variety of toppings.


Just north of Le Cellier Steakhouse, guests will walk along the rushing waterfalls of the Canadian Rocky Mountains. The mountainous range stretches a vast way, leading guests to the farthest point of the pavilion, where they are then brought to Canada: The Lifetime Journey, a three-minute voyage through the Great White North. If the name sounds familiar, that’s because this ride gets its name from “Canada (You’re a Lifetime Journey)”, the song that underscored the finale of the pavilion’s original attraction: the CircleVision presentation O’Canada!. The film closed in 2015 to make way for the new attraction, which opened on Canada Day 2017, a date specifically chosen because it marked 150 years since the Dominion of Canada gained its independence from Britain. This attraction is inspired by In a Place of Stars from @D Hulk’s DisneySky – a “tone poem” attraction taking guests through the cosmos to the strains of Ludovico Eudani’s “I Giorni.” However, I chose to take the “tone poem” aspect of @D Hulk’s original attraction and apply it to the glory of the Land of Grandeur.

Despite the new attraction, the basic plot remains the same as that of the old O’Canada!: a journey through the splendor that is Canada, from prairies and plains, shorelines and rivers and untouched snowfields. The attraction takes guests along a journey through many of Canada’s cities, such as Montreal and Quebec, before ending the presentation with a trip by Niagara Falls; all aligning perfectly with the lyrics of the ride’s theme, performed by John Zov and Juanice Charmaine, remastered from the original recording made for the 1982 version of O’Canada!. Not only that, when The Lifetime Journey was introduced, additional mountainous rockwork and trees were installed to hide all views of the expanded ride building. From here, the pathway connects back to the center point of World Showcase.

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And with that, our tour of EPCOT is complete! A recap post will be along later tonight. But, as for future posts, I'm actually going to be taking the next few weeks off. I say that because I don't want to start a tour of another park only to interrupt it barely after starting just to talk about holiday celebrations at Walt Disney World. So, here's a schedule for what will be released next. On Christmas Day, I'll share with you all a post about how Walt Disney World celebrates the holidays; on New Year's Day, I'll share with you a post detailing all the other holidays Disney celebrates over the year; and then, on January 2, we'll start exploring Disney's Animal Kingdom. So, until I see you all again, have a wonderful holiday season and I'll see you in the next post!
Most of the idea for Jamaica came from @ScorpionX, so credit goes out to him there; while The Worlds of William Shakespeare was first devised for Season 3 of The Sorcerer's Apprentice by @tcool123, @Zweiland and @RMichael21.

The font I used for Jamaica is called "Caribbean Tool"; and the font I used for the Colombia logo is called "Spanish Castles."


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I still don't understand why people are so enamored with Encanto. But it would make a great attraction in Epcot... or Magic Kingdom.
Honestly, I believe Encanto fits in more at EPCOT. I said this before, but Disney hasn't added a single country to World Showcase since Norway in 1988. Encanto has now given them an obvious excuse to build a Colombia pavilion, and they would be foolish not to let this golden opportunity pass them by. I also think Coco fits in at EPCOT more; as I really would like to see a Coco re-theme of Gran Fiesta Tour come to fruition. The "villain land" concept is one that as been teased for years, and it deserves all that space behind Frontierland to do it justice!

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World Bridge

Sunrise Terrace

World Bridge Mercantile

World Celebration

Bot’s Diner
Club Cool

Future Corps
Celebration Coterie
The Future is Now Rope Drop Ceremony

1. Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth

Gateway Gifts
Camera Center

2. Horizons

House of the Future
World Nature Trails

3. Celebration Center

4. Journey Into Imagination

Journey Into Imagination
Walt Disney Imagineering Blue Sky Laboratory

Food for Thought

Sparks of Inspiration

-- Mickey and the Gang at the EPCOT Gardens
-- Ludwig von Drake, Donald and Daisy at Von Drake’s House of Genius
-- Characters from Big Hero 6 at Innoventions
-- Dreamfinder and Figment at Journey Into Imagination

World Discovery

1. Energy in Motion

Power Trip
Electric Express
Wheel of Creation

Kinetic Kitchen


2. Wonders of Life

Care-of-Self Carousel
The Making of Me
Sensory Funhouse
Kitchen Kabaret
Inside Out: Driven by Emotion
Midway Arcade
Body Wars
Frontiers in Medicine
Life Research Center

Pure and Simple

Health Carnival Hotspot

3. Mission: SPACE

Mission: SPACE
Mission: EARTH
The American Space Experience
Space Base
Expedition: Mars
Space Race
The World Beyond
WALL-E Encounter

Space 220

Alpha Centauri Cargo Bay

4. Test Track

Test Track
Test Track Showroom
Junior Autopia

Green Light

-- Sport Goofy, Joy and Sadness *** at Wonders of Life
-- WALL-E and EVE at Mission: SPACE

World Nature

1. The Land

Rainforest Race
Earthly Labyrinth
Planet of Wonders
Living with the Land
The Four Seasons

Farmer’s Market
Garden Grill

Winds of Change

2. Journey of Water

3. The Living Seas

Outer Tide Pools
Dolphin Delta
Legends of the Living Seas
One Ocean Aquarium
Beneath the Waves

The Lunar Phase

Treasure Chest Gifts

4. The World Above

Forecast Follies
Ludwig von Drake presents “The Sky was the Limit: A History of Aviation”

The Aviator’s Lounge

Runway Gifts

-- Moana at Journey of Water
-- Astro, Celcia and Nimbus at the WeatherWorks

World Showcase

Showcase Plaza


World Showcase Express
FriendShip Cruise Boats
World Showcase Character Hub

Voyager’s Salon
Refreshment Port

Port of Entry

-- Flag-Raising Ceremony
-- Tapestry of Nations
-- IllumiNations: An International Songbook

1. Mexico

Coco: Una Gran Celebración
Mexican Folk Art Gallery

San Angel Inn
La Cantina de San Angel
La Cava del Tequila

El Ranchito del Norte
Plaza de los Amigos

Mariachi Cobre

2. Jordan

The Music of Jordan

Wadi Rum Restaurant
Bedouin Tea & Coffee

Souk Jara

3. Norway

Battle at Dawn
Stave Church Gallery

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe

The Puffin’s Roost
The Fjording

Spelmanns Gledje

4. China

Wondrous China
Mulan: Reflections of Dance

Nine Dragons Restaurant
Lotus Blossom Café
Zodiac Noodle House
Joy of Tea***

Yong Feng Shangdian

Jeweled Dragon Acrobats
Si Zhu

5. Tanzania

The Vast Savanna
House of Wonders
The Spirit of Tanzania
World Showcase Express

Zawadi za Bahari

Hazina ya Tanzania
Nyumba ya Tinga Tinga

Bongo Flava

6. India

The Four Fables
Festival of Wonder

Maharajah’s Palace
Shaanti Coffee House

Cancala Ioga
Faridabad Fashions

The Musicians of Mumbai

7. Germany

Rhine River Cruise


Das Kaufhaus
Die Weihnachts Ecke
Kunstarbeit in Kristall
Der Teddybar

Oktoberfest Musikanten

8. Brazil

The Three Caballeros’ South American Tour
Little King Mine Trek

Festa da Imaginação
Fruta da Terra

Maracanã Mercantile
Na Cozinha
Mina de Pedras Preciosas


9. Italy

Luca: Race Rematch

Tutto Italia
Via Napoli

Enoteca Castallo
Il Bel Cristallo
La Bottega Italiana

Sergio the Mime
World Showcase Players

10. The American Adventure

The American Adventure
National Treasures Exhibit
World Showcase Express

Colonial Marketplace
The President’s Tavern
Fife & Drum Tavern
Funnel Cake Stand

Heritage House Gifts

Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps
Voices of Liberty
America Gardens Theatre

11. Japan

Mt. Fuji
Bijutsu-Kan Gallery

Katsura Grill
Teppan Edo
Tokyo Dining



12. South Africa

Caves of Man
Museum of Freedom

Kos vir die Siel
Indlu Yokuvumelana



13. Morocco

Sindbad’s Storybook Voyage
Gallery of Arts and History

Restaurant Marrakesh
Tangerine Café

Souk Al Magreb
Marketplace in the Medina
Brass Bazaar
Tangier Traders

Marrakesh Performers

14. Thailand

Thailand Dreams

The Temple Restaurant

Floating Marketplace

15. France

Impressions de France
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
World Showcase Express

Les Chefs de France
Monsieur Paul
Boulangerie Patisserie
La Creperie de Paris

Plume Et Palette
La Signature
L’Esprit de Province
Souvenirs de France

Serveur Amusant
World Showcase Players

International Gateway

16. Jamaica

The Heartbeat of Jamaica
Taino Spirit House

Restaurant Royale
Banana Boat Café

Mandeville Marketplace

Junkanoo Bus

17. United Kingdom

The Worlds of William Shakespeare

Rose and Crown Pub
Yorkshire County Fish Shop

The Tea Caddy
The Queen’s Table
The Crown and Crest
Sportsman Shoppe
The Toy Soldier

Caledonia Bagpipes
The British Invasion
World Showcase Players
Rose and Crown Pub Musicians

18. Colombia

La Casa Madrigal

El Molinillo de Café
Cocina de la Abuela
El Paseo de Olla

El Mercado de Barrio

Los Bailarines de Colombia
Carnaval de Barranquilla

19. Canada

Canada: The Lifetime Journey

Le Cellier Steakhouse
Le Café du Matin Soleil
Beaver Tails

Northwest Mercantile
La Boutique des Provinces

Canadian Folk Band
Canadian Comedy Corps

-- Various Disney Friends at Showcase Plaza and International Gateway
-- Miguel and Hector at the Mexico Pavilion
-- Anna, Elsa and Kristoff at the Norway Pavilion
-- Mulan, Shang and Mushu at the China Pavilion
-- Rafiki and Timon at the Tanzania Pavilion
-- Mowgli, Baloo, King Louie and Shanti at the India Pavilion
-- Snow White at the Germany Pavilion
-- The Three Caballeros at the Brazil Pavilion
-- Pinocchio, Geppetto and Jiminy Cricket at the Italy Pavilion
-- Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie at the Morocco Pavilion
-- Cinderella, Belle and Aurora at the French Gazebo
-- Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Phoebus and Clopin at the Eau de France
-- Alice, Mary Poppins, Robin Hood and Peter Pan at the United Kingdom Pavilion
-- Winnie the Pooh and Friends at The Toy Soldier
-- La Familia Madrigal at the Colombia Pavilion

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With that, our time in the second park of Mirror Walt Disney World is done! Like I said, I'm gonna be going on a little Christmas break, with a Christmas post coming out right on Christmas Day, another post coming out on New Years Day, and the start of our journey through Animal Kingdom coming on January 2. So, until the next post, please leave any and all feedback you may have and I'll see you later!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays to everyone! As promised, now that Christmas Day is here, here is how Mirror Walt Disney World celebrates this "most wonderful time of the year."

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Holidays Around the World


There’s a great chill in the air…a chill not of the cold, but of excitement. The scent of baked goods and pine regains its familiar presence. A festive tune is playing in the air. And if one listens closely, they may hear the sound of sleigh bells and a familiar jolly laugh. Yes, the holidays have arrived once more! Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Soyal, Diwali, or any other winter holiday, this time of year always brings something special for the young and the young at heart. Of course, when the holidays come, Walt Disney World celebrates in grand style. There’s so much to do: decorations, food, shows, events – it’s enough to put a smile on anyone’s face! Though each park celebrates differently, collectively, the celebration is known as “Holidays Around the World.”


Throughout the Magic Kingdom, each land has been given special Christmas decorations. On Main Street, U.S.A., a giant Christmas tree stands in the middle of Town Square, lit every night in a special ceremony. Garlands with wreaths in the shape of Mickey’s head stretch from one side of Main Street to the other. Every storefront is decked with garlands and tinsel, with Hidden Mickeys abound. In Adventureland, steel drum and tropical arrangements of holiday classics fill the air (with the exception of the Jungle Cruise loading area, which utilizes holiday music of the ‘20s and ‘30s) as the various tenants of the Forgotten Kingdom put up their own unique, wacky decorations. At the Tiki Room and Caribbean Plaza, decorations traditional to Hawaii and the Caribbean fill one’s eyesight. Frontierland brings a series of authentic, rustic decorations – garlands, spurs, ornaments, the whole ten-yards. Galaxy’s Edge doesn’t get any holiday decorations, but that hasn’t stopped fans from assembling to stage a fan-made Life Day celebration! Liberty Square brings back memories of going to Grandmother’s house for Christmas, as decorations consist of beautiful trees, lights and ornaments.

In Fantasyland, Storybook Village and Belle’s village become even more magical, as the various buildings are decorated in the “Old World” style, evocative of a German or Scandinavian Christmas. Candles in the window, garlands along the roofs, unique ornaments for each ride in the village. Even the roofs of Prince Eric’s castle and Christopher Robin’s farmhouse get dusted in snow, and the “it’s a small world” clock face gets its own Santa hat! And in Hollywoodland, the grandeur of Tinseltown combines with the magic of Christmas to turn the area into a practical Winter Wonderland. As for Tomorrowland, the Deco-Tech aesthetic doesn’t lend itself well to Christmas decorations, so the land gets a lighting package that turns the chrome red and green!

And that’s not to mention the fact that some attractions here get special holiday overlays!

  • Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade: Serving as the afternoon parade throughout November and December, and stepping off twice during party nights, this classic parade celebrates the familiar sights and sounds of Christmas: Christmas trees, winter’s breeze, candy and cookies, a romantic Christmas ball, all leading up to Santa’s workshop – complete with those famous marching soldiers – and an appearance by the man himself!
  • Santa Claus: Santa himself makes appearances throughout the day in the days leading up to Christmas, in the gardens found in-between the Chamber of Commerce and City Hall on Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Castle Dreamlights: During the holidays, Cinderella Castle is transformed into a winter beauty, covered in LED “icicles”. This is the result of Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother, who uses her magic to achieve this transformation every night in a special ceremony on the Castle Forecourt Stage.
  • Main Street Cinema: The usual loop of shorts is swapped out in favor of a holiday-themed loop: On Ice, Santa’s Workshop, Donald’s Snow Fight, Toy Tinkers, Once Upon a Wintertime, The Clock Watcher, Pluto’s Christmas Tree, The Little Matchgirl and The Night Before Christmas, all sandwiched between three “feature presentations”: Mickey’s Christmas Carol, The Small One and Winnie the Pooh and Christmas, Too.
  • Main Street Carolers: An eight-person strong group of carolers sing songs along the street when night falls, alternating between performing a cappella and accompanying themselves on handbells.
  • Jingle Cruise: The Jungle Navigation Co., Ltd., brings tidings of comfort and joy to the jungle, when a plane carrying a shipment of holiday decorations crashes into a thicket of carnivorous plants, incidentally dumping its entire load of goodies throughout the jungle. With displaced polar bears, wild “bell-ephants” and dangerous fruitcakes around every turn, the Jingle Cruise is a must-see for those few explorers seeking a little winter magic among the dreadful humidity of the Forgotten Kingdom.
  • The Enchanted Tiki Room: Kalikimaka Serenade: Following the successes of the Country Bear Christmas Special and “it’s a small world” holiday, it was decided to give the Tiki Room a holiday overlay. Thus, in 1998, the Kalikimaka Serenade opened for the first time. Wally Boag, Fulton Burley and Thurl Ravenscroft all reprised their roles as José, Michael and Fritz, respectively, but Jerry Orbach replaced Ernie Newton as Pierre (This was the idea of @tcool123, so credit to them!).
  • Country Bear Christmas Special: The ursine performers of Grizzly Hall provide a country twist on classic songs of the season.
  • Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare: What would happen if the delightfully macabre nature of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas infiltrated The Haunted Mansion? It would probably be this crowd-pleasing spin on a Magic Kingdom favorite. In fact, so well-known and beloved is this overlay that it will take an in-depth ride-through just to showcase it all!
  • “it’s a small world” holiday: Every year, Small World Palace gets into the spirit of the season as the children of the world anxiously await the arrival of Santa Claus as he readies for his Christmas Eve departure. The ornate turrets and landmarks are lined with thousands of colorful lights, while the Santa Hat-topped clock tower unleashes a festive “Parade of the Wooden Soldiers." Inside, the holiday traditions of many nations are fancifully displayed amid stunning decorations, winter wear, charming toys, and holiday magic, the famous anthem beautifully integrated into such seasonal favorites as “Deck the Halls” and “Jingle Bells.” The colorful canvas of the facade is used further through a nightly projection show that temporarily turns the palace into a wonderland of holiday imagery, inspired by the music of The Nutcracker and Babes in Toyland.
  • The Great Movie Ride: Come the holidays, the finale of The Great Movie Ride gets an update, featuring some of the most beloved holiday movies of all time: It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, The Muppet Christmas Carol, Miracle on 34th Street and on and on and on. The guide’s narration even changes to focus on this new theme: “Well, folks, as Dorothy famously said, ‘There’s no place like home.’ Soon, we’ll step out of the silver screen and back into reality. But before we go, all of us here at the Magic Kingdom would like to send a special holiday greeting to all of you. The magic of the movies has provided us with so many classic films set around this joyous time of year, and here are just a few of my favorites…”
  • Space Mountain: Glorious Galaxy: The Aurora Borealis is often synonymous with winter's beauty, and it can even be seen from space, so come Christmastime, Space Mountain becomes a bit more beautiful, involving a sequence where riders pass right through the famous lights.
  • Main Street Snowfall: As night falls and guests exit the park, regardless of whether the party happens or not, they’ll notice a very special kiss goodnight: snow gently falling on the rooftops and sidewalks of Main Street, U.S.A.


The fourth of EPCOT’s yearly festivals, the park comes alive in a showcase of how countries around the world celebrate in the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays. The Celebration Center offers holiday treats, and throughout the nineteen countries represented in World Showcase, storytellers and representatives present holiday customs in their countries.

  • Mexico: Mariachi Cobre performs classic Mexican carols and dances, and also invites children in the audience to help demonstrate the tradition of Las Posadas; and the Three Kings appear to share the story behind Dia de Los Reyes.
  • Jordan: A girl named Jana describes the December Solstice, a quiet, reflective holiday in Jordan.
  • Norway: Sigrid, a farm girl, tries to discuss holiday customs in her country...but it’s not easy when she’s the victim of mischief, courtesy of two nisse: a Fjøsnissen, a gnome who serves as the guardian of the farms; and Julenissen, a special Fjøsnisse who serves as the holiday gift-giver, or “Barn Santa.” They only make mischief due to Sigrid’s disbelief in them, but can they make a believer out of her yet?
  • China: The Monkey King tells the story of his legendary exploits.
  • Tanzania: Emmanuel, a young boy from a local village, describes how Tanzanians celebrate Christmas.
  • India: A friendly lantern vendor describes Christmas traditions in different regions of India, including the famous star lanterns of Goa and Mumbai, and a young girl from the village describes the Hindu winter holiday of Diwali.
  • Germany: The real-life equivalent of Santa Claus, St. Nicholas, discusses prominent Christmas icons that have their roots in Germany: the Christmas tree, the Advent calendar and the nutcracker.
  • Brazil: Bom Velhino, the Brazilian Santa Claus, describes unique ways Brazilians mark the holiday.
  • Italy: La Befana explains her story and how it pertains to the Italian Christmas celebration.
  • The American Adventure: All four major winter holidays are represented here at The American Adventure. Storytellers share the stories and traditions of Hanukkah, Soyal and Kwanzaa, whilst Christmas is represented by the Voices of Liberty, who don the clothes of Dickens-era carolers and sing sweeping a cappella arrangements of traditional Christmas music. And of course, this is the place to go if you want to meet Santa Claus himself, alongside Mrs. Claus.
  • Japan: A Daruma vendor explains the story behind a famous Japanese Christmas custom.
  • South Africa: Noxolo, an elderly woman whose name means “mother of peace”, describes South African holidays.
  • Morocco: Taarji the drummer describes holiday traditions in Morocco.
  • Thailand: Chaem Choi, whose name means “grace”, discusses how the Christmas holiday can be celebrated in a country where Christians make up a small population by focusing on “Sanook”, the Thai concept of enjoyment.
  • France: France gets a visit from Pere Noel, who explains French Christmas customs in response to a letter he received from a young girl named Yvette.
  • Jamaica: Amelia, a girl from the cities who works in the Grand Market come the holidays, describes a busy Christmas in Jamaica.
  • United Kingdom: Hear the story of how the Brits celebrate Christmas from jolly old Father Christmas.
  • Colombia: A humble lamplighter appears in Colombia to describe Christmas celebrations in their country, particularly Dia de las Velitas, a candle-based day of celebration held on December 7 that marks the start of the Colombian Christmas festivities.
  • Canada: Noel, a friendly old lumberjack, tells of Christmas in Canada.
And just like at the Magic Kingdom, there are all sorts of other special additions and overlays that only come out at this most festive time of year.

  • The Lights of Winter: The walkway leading from World Celebration to World Showcase is decked out in archways of different lights and patterns, making for quite the show at night.
  • Soarin’: Winter Winds: At this time of year, the “Soarin’ Over the World” film is swapped out with this film, created by our own @InspectorSpacetime. In his words: “Guests fly over the snow blanketed temples of Kyoto, beneath the northern lights of Alaska, past Alpine villages wrapped in yuletide spirit, and through Central Park at its most picturesque. A celebration of worlds Natural and Man-Made and civilizations East and West, Soarin’: Winter Winds captures the spirit of the season in all its forms, joining the headliner attraction’s adventurous spirit with the Festival’s global perspective on the holidays in a merry marriage that’ll have guests dreaming of an Epcot Christmas.”
  • Joyful! A Gospel Celebration of the Season: Performing daily at the Celebration Center, this group provides a soulful celebration of Christmas.

  • The Candlelight Processional: Perhaps Disney’s most famous holiday tradition, the America Gardens Theatre comes alive with the joyous sounds of the season in this moving rendition of the Nativity, with readings direct from the Bible interspersed with classic Christmas carols. The show involves quite the cast: a huge choir composed of WDW cast members – recognizable as a “living Christmas tree” – and guest choirs from across the state of Florida – led in their processions and recessions by Victorian lamplighters carrying lanterns on staffs – in addition to a sweeping orchestra, the Voices of Liberty in their Dickens finery, a few soloists, herald trumpeters, a handbell choir and a celebrity narrator.
  • Peace on Earth: A special holiday tag for IllumiNations: An International Songbook.


At Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are all sorts of festive goings-on, all reflecting how the people who live in the represented continents celebrate.

  • Merry Menagerie: Appearing on Discovery Island, this team of puppeteers bring the animals of winter to life amid this tropical paradise. To the strains of local musicians, animals like polar bears, foxes, reindeer and even a family of penguins roam about, greeting all new friends.
  • Christmas in Harambe: Harambe comes alive for the holidays, with the entertainment changing with the season; and the area featuring decorations and information about how East Africa celebrates the holidays.
  • Christmas in Anandapur: The spirit of Diwali comes to Anandapur at this time of year. Lights and lanterns hang on wire, connecting buildings, and the Anandapur Kite Festival gets a Diwali update.
  • A Woodland Christmas: The trees of North America become homemade Christmas trees, reflecting the small-town, natural beauty of the Pacific Northwest and of New England. The Campfire Carolers, an a cappella singing group, perform traditional holiday tunes in the center of town.
  • Natal da Comunidade: Comunidade Terrestre comes alive with the Christmas spirit, honoring the traditions of countries throughout South America.
  • Christmas in the Bush: The Outback is decked in decorations highlighting a summer-set Christmas. At certain times throughout the day, a friendly, guitar-playing surfer named Bruce (or if a female is playing the part, Sheila) shares what it’s like to celebrate Christmas in the summer. This is a setup similar to the Holiday Storytellers over at EPCOT.


Even in a park as new as Disney’s Mythica, there is a special way to mark the winter holidays! Just like at EPCOT, holiday storytellers appear in all areas – with the exception of Atlantis and Tianxi – to discuss traditions used in their respective countries.

  • Anglia: Since Father Christmas discusses traditional British Christmas in EPCOT, a group of Revelers, joined by minstrels, appear here to describe how Christmas was celebrated in medieval times.
  • Helios: St. Basil appears to discuss Christmas in Greece, as well as the Grecian holiday of St. Basil’s Day.
  • Aegyptus: Baba Noel, the Egyptian Santa Claus, appears to discuss the Orthodox Christmas, which is celebrated on January 7, as well as prominent Egyptian Christmas traditions.
  • Valhalla: Storytellers gather to describe Yule, the Norse predecessor to Christmas celebrations.
  • Inti: Elderly Amaru (who, like the name, is genderfluid) discusses how Christmas is celebrated in Peru, and also discusses Inti Raymi, the Incan celebration of the winter solstice.
  • Atua: Maia, a young Māori woman, describes Christmas in New Zealand, as well as Māori holidays.


At Disney Springs, the village is bustling with the joy of the season, and just like at the parks, there are all sorts of fun holiday things to do!

  • Disney Springs Christmas Tree Trail: In the Village Marketplace, 25 trees can be found, each one decked out in decorations harkening to a certain Disney movie, theme park attraction(s) or franchise. The trail itself is a winter wonderland, complete with falling snow and toy soldiers.
  • Hanukkah at Waterview Park: This Landing hotspot is where guests can learn the story and the music of Hanukkah.
  • Kwanzaa at the Dockside Stage: Kwanzaa celebrations happen here on December 26 and 27.
  • An Adventurers Club Christmas: For this festive time of year, the fun and frivolity of the Adventurers Club gets a brief holiday makeover with two special shows.
    • Holiday Broadcast: Pamelia tries to bring some Christmas spirit to the club, resulting in a seriously irritated Otis who abandons the show. Memorable moments include Hathaway singing “Home for the Holidays,” the Maid performing “Santa Baby,” Pamelia’s song, “The Pretty Little Dolly,” and Emil and Pamelia telling the tale of “Dominick the Christmas Donkey.” Otis returns to the show, making Pamelia’s job easier, because, after all, it is Christmas.
    • Christmas Eve Reading: On Christmas Eve just before midnight, the characters take turns reading passages from “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas.” This only takes place on Christmas Eve, because the club closes early due to the holiday, and with that early closure comes no performance of the Rhythm Ritual or the Hoopla.
  • The Marvelous, Magical Christmas Tree: In the Town Center, a group of carolers (a sub-section of EPCOT’s Voices of Liberty) gather at the big Christmas tree to tell the story of a little tree with big dreams. Mickey, Santa Goofy and Rudolph appear to help tell the story, as well. This show is only performed during daytime, because when night falls, the carolers appear in our next event…
  • The Glory and Pageantry of Christmas: The Captain’s Tower in the Village Marketplace plays host to this hallowed Disney Christmas tradition, which has been performed at Disney Springs since it opened in 1976. To the accompaniment of an organ and the sound of carolers, the Nativity is brought to life. The set itself designed to look like a creche that was designed for King Charles III of Naples. Live actors portray all the familiar figures – Mary, Joseph, the shepherds, the angels, the Kings – as well as figures from the marketplace (a tradition of many creches). There are even live animals used in the show, as well!


But of course, the piece de resistance of Walt Disney World’s Yuletide celebrations is Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party. On special nights throughout November and December, the Magic Kingdom comes alive with the spirit of the season. From 7:00 p.m. to midnight, Mickey and the gang invite you to celebrate the holidays along with them! There’s a whole bunch of incredible things to see and do here, and here’s just a sample of what you’ll find…

  • Special showings of Mickey’s ‘Twas the Night Before Christmas and two runs of Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade.
  • Specialty performances from the Dapper Dans, the Main Street Carolers, the Pearly Band, and JP and the Silver Stars.
  • Celebrate the Season: The seasonal Castle Forecourt Stage plays host to this fun-filled show, featuring Mickey and the gang celebrating the holidays. Highlights include an on-stage Santa Claus parade and selections from The Nutcracker, all to the accompaniment of a live band.
  • Minnie’s Wonderful Christmastime: A nighttime fireworks spectacular hosted by Minnie Mouse. Notable for being among the final vocal performances the late, great Russi Taylor did for Minnie.
  • The Muppets’ Christmas Caroling Coach: The Omnibus that travels down Main Street becomes a traveling stage for our Muppet friends – Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Gonzo, Pepe, Camilla and Sam Eagle – who travel through Main Street and Central Plaza, performing their very unique take on Christmas classics.
  • Diamond Horseshoe Holiday Hoedown: A country-fied Christmas is celebrated down at the Diamond Horseshoe in Frontierland, where we can join Woody, Jessie, Bullseye and the Country Bears for a boot-scootin’ dance party!
  • Royal Christmas Ball: Belle and Prince Adam are having a ball to celebrate the Yuletide season, and we are invited! Within the beautiful ballroom of the Beast’s Castle (The Be Our Guest Restaurant naturally closes early in the day so the ballroom can be prepared), to the strains of the visiting Grand Floridian Society Orchestra, we can waltz the night away with Disney’s famed princes and princesses – Snow White and Florian, Cinderella and Charming, Aurora and Phillip, Ariel and Eric, Aladdin and Jasmine, Tiana and Naveen, Rapunzel and Flynn, Elena of Avalor and Anna, Elsa and Kristoff.
  • Club Tinsel: This Tomorrowland hotspot temporarily takes over Cosmic Ray’s, and allows us the chance to boogie with elves, reindeer and polar bears.
  • Access to the Magic Kingdom’s most popular attractions.
    • On Main Street, U.S.A.: Main Street Cinema
    • In Adventureland: Jingle Cruise, Swiss Family Treehouse, Indiana Jones Adventure, Pirates of the Caribbean
    • In Frontierland: Western River Expedition, Thunder Mesa Railroad, Beaver Brothers Rafting Co., Country Bear Christmas Special, Tiana’s Bayou Adventure
    • In Galaxy’s Edge: Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
    • In Liberty Square: Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare
    • In Fantasyland: Cinderella’s Golden Carrousel, Sleeping Beauty’s Spell, Mary Poppins’ Jolly Holiday, Frozen Ever After, Voyage of the Little Mermaid, Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, A Tangled Tale, Peter Pan’s Pirate Adventure, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Mickey’s Madcap Circus, Toy Story Midway Mania!, Mad Tea Party, Alice in Wonderland, “it’s a small world” holiday
    • In Hollywoodland: The Great Movie Ride, Roger Rabbit’s Runaway Trolley, Jim Henson’s Muppet*Vision 3D, Tower of Terror
    • In Tomorrowland: Space Mountain: Glorious Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Avengers United, Astro Orbiter, Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
  • Special character meet and greets, including rare characters
    • Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Scrooge McDuck and Jiminy Cricket in Town Square, dressed up as their characters from Mickey’s Christmas Carol
    • Santa Claus at the Town Square Gardens
    • Baloo, King Louie, Mowgli and Shanti at the Tropical Hideaway
    • Aladdin, Jasmine, Genie and Abu at the Adventureland Bazaar
    • Moana at the Enchanted Tiki Room queue
    • Captain Jack Sparrow in Caribbean Plaza
    • The Country Bears roaming through Frontierland
    • Mirabel near Pecos Bill Cafe
    • Jack Skellington (in his Sandy Claws outfit, naturally) and Sally at Liberty Square, near Haunted Mansion Holiday Nightmare
    • The Disney Princesses and Princes at the Royal Christmas Ball
    • Mary Poppins, Bert and the Penguins near the carousel
    • Merida in the Enchanted Forest
    • Peter Pan and Wendy roaming through Fantasyland
    • The Seven Dwarfs near Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
    • Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, Rabbit and Eeyore near The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
    • Woody, Buzz and Jessie at Carnival Corral
    • Alice and her Wonderland friends near the Mad Tea Party
    • Lilo and Stitch near the Carousel of Progress
    • Nick Wilde and Judy Hopps in Tomorrowland
  • The chance to get specialty merchandise at the Emporium and Ye Olde Christmas Shoppe.
  • A dessert party at Tony’s Town Square Restaurant (requires separate ticket), with advanced seating for Mickey’s Once Upon a Christmastime Parade
  • Complimentary cookies and hot chocolate available at select locations … although complimentary pretzels, Sno-Cones, eggnog and chocolate milk are also available. In addition, the following restaurants are open during the party, providing additional noshes (with an * marking places that only offer the complimentary treats):
    • On Main Street, U.S.A.: Main Street Bakery*, Casey’s Corner, Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
    • In Adventureland: Aloha Isle, El Pirata y El Perico*
    • In Frontierland: Pecos Bill Cafe, Mile Long Bar*, The Diamond Horseshoe, Friendly Firefly Restaurant*
    • In Liberty Square: Columbia Harbour House*
    • In Fantasyland: Pinocchio Village Haus*, Storybook Treats, Gaston’s Tavern, Big Top Treats*
    • In Tomorrowland: The Lunching Pad*, Pan-Galactic Pizza Port, Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies*
One thing is for sure, when it comes to the holidays, you can’t go wrong celebrating with Disney!

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As I mentioned before, the next post will be out on New Years' Day, and will cover the other seasonal events throughout the year. Until then, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, and in general, Happy Holidays!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Happy New Year, everybody! What better way to start off 2023, the year of Disney's 100th anniversary, than with this look as to how Mirror Walt Disney World finds ways to throw a party all through the year?

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Other Seasonal Events
They say that any time is a great time to visit Walt Disney World, and with all the holidays that occur, there’s always something to celebrate! Not only are there all sorts of holidays, and all sorts of wonderful events throughout the year, but at certain times throughout the year, there’s “Disney World After Dark”, a series of special, limited-time-only ticketed events throughout the parks, all revolving around a certain theme. In fact, here’s a brief rundown of all the special events that happen throughout the year at Walt Disney World.

Winter (January-February)

  • New Years’ Eve: Of course, the coming of another year is marked with fanfare all across Walt Disney World. The Magic Kingdom, EPCOT and Disney’s Mythica hold special New Years’ Eve events (Disney’s Animal Kingdom does not, as it traditionally closes early for the benefit of the animals.). Mickey and the gang can be spotted throughout the day in their black-tie best. The parks’ biggest table-service hotspots are sold out for reservations and special New Years’ parties.
Each park has its own unique countdown. At the Magic Kingdom, Mickey and the gang step out onto Castle Forecourt Stage to lead the countdown. At EPCOT, Spaceship Earth is transformed into a giant clock. At Disney’s Mythica, following World of Myth, drones are utilized, drones that light up and form the shape of each number; and as the calendar turns, Pharos Lighthouse, the Library of Alexandria and the various peaks of Mythica are bathed in projections depicting glorious, golden sunrise. And all lead to elaborate fireworks displays, bringing the sky alive.

  • EPCOT International Festival of the Arts (January 18 – February 25): The first of EPCOT’s four yearly festivals, this one honors culture and art around the world. Everywhere you look, there’s something special happening. The pavilions of World Showcase offer displays of art, music, theater and dance native to their respective countries; while the Celebration Center features local performers, from local bands and singers, to high school bands and show choirs. World Celebration also involves a giant “paint-by-numbers” wall, where guests can paint in the squares to help make a giant mural.
  • Walt Disney World Marathon: Normally occurring on the first full weekend of January, a series of races and marathons are held, and many are eager to participate.

  • Disney World After Dark: Season of the Heart (February 1 – February 14): In the first Disney World After Dark event, the Magic Kingdom opens its gates for a Valentine’s Day celebration unlike any other! To celebrate the “Season of the Heart”, Cinderella and Prince Charming are inviting one and all to a royal celebration celebrating true love! Famous Disney couples and classic Disney friends are among those on the guest list, and the celebration includes delicious food, special merchandise, unique entertainment and exclusive access to some of the Kingdom’s most famous attractions. In fact, here is a list of everything you can take part in in this event…
    • Access to the Magic Kingdom’s most popular attractions.
    • Dining options at the following locations.
      • On Main Street, U.S.A.: Main Street Bakery, Casey’s Corner, Plaza Ice Cream Parlor
      • In Adventureland: Aloha Isle, El Pirata y El Perico
      • In Frontierland: Pecos Bill Cafe, Mile Long Bar, Friendly Firefly Restaurant
      • In Liberty Square: Columbia Harbour House
      • In Fantasyland: Pinocchio Village Haus, Storybook Treats, Big Top Treats
      • In Tomorrowland: The Lunching Pad, Pan-Galactic Pizza Port, Auntie Gravity’s Galactic Goodies
    • Special Performances: Two of the Magic Kingdom’s most well-known musical groups – the Dapper Dans of Main Street, U.S.A. and the Adventureland Steel Band – offer special performances throughout the night.
    • Moonlight Cruises: Aboard the Liberty Belle Riverboat, guests can take a romantic cruise to the sweet strains of a live jazz band.
    • Royal Romance Ball: The ballroom at the Be Our Guest Restaurant is converted into a ballroom, and all are invited to join the Disney princes and princesses for a royal ball, waltzing about to the strains of a live band – aka, the Grand Floridian Society Orchestra.
    • Hollywood Lovin’: A live swing/jazz band takes to the Chinese Theatre Courtyard for an elaborate Hollywood celebration of all things love.
    • Stitch’s Family Bash: This dance party in the center of Tomorrowland celebrates the love shared between ohana.
    • Couples’ Encounters: Throughout the event, you can meet some of Disney’s classic couples, as well as those who express familial or friendship-based love.
      • On Main Street, U.S.A.: Mickey and Minnie; Donald and Daisy; Horace and Clarabelle; Max and Roxanne; Oswald and Ortensia; Goofy, Pluto, Chip, Dale and Clarice
      • In Central Plaza: Bernard and Bianca, Mary Poppins and Bert; Thumper and Miss Bunny; Roger and Jessica; Jack and Sally; Flik and Atta; Kermit and Miss Piggy
      • In Adventureland: Tarzan, Jane and Terk; Aladdin, Jasmine and Genie; Mowgli, Shanti and Baloo; Moana; Simba and Nala (utilizing the puppets from the Legend of the Lion King show)
      • In Frontierland: Woody and Bo Peep; Pocahontas and John Smith; Mirabel, Isabela, Luisa, Camilo and Dolores; Miguel, Hector and Imelda
      • In Fantasyland
        • Snow White and Prince Florian; Cinderella and Prince Charming; Aurora and Phillip; Ariel and Eric; Belle and Adam and Tiana and Naveen at the Royal Romance Ball
        • Rapunzel and Flynn; Hercules and Meg; Quasimodo, Esmeralda and Phoebus; Mulan and Shang at Princess Fairytale Hall
        • Anna and Kristoff; Elsa and Olaf at the Royal Sommerhus
        • Peter Pan and Wendy; Robin Hood and Maid Marian roaming the streets
        • Elena of Avalor, Merida, Gaston, Anastasia and Drizella roaming the streets
        • Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet and Eeyore near The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
        • Dumbo near Dumbo the Flying Elephant
      • In Hollywoodland: Cliff Secord, aka the Rocketeer, and Jenny Blake
      • In Tomorrowland: Lilo, Nani, Stitch, Angel, Jumba and Pleakley; Mr. and Mrs. Incredible; WALL-E and EVE; Mike, Sulley and Celia; Buzz Lightyear and Jessie; Milo and Kida
    • Celebration of True Love: As the party prepares to come to a close, Major Domo and our Disney friends invite all couples present to end the night by reaffirming their love for one another. Immediately following this, as the “Season of the Heart” theme plays, fireworks explode in a joyous celebration.
  • Lunar New Year: The China Pavilion at EPCOT and Tianxi at Disney’s Mythica come alive during this time to celebrate the Lunar New Year. Both locations are completely redressed with a grand assortment of red lanterns strung throughout the buildings. Cherry blossoms appear amidst the plantings. Creative paper creatures throughout represent that year’s zodiac animal. The animal is also represented by a large central faux-paper sculpture which is formed from kites. Special foods such as lunar new year dumplings temporarily feature on restaurant menus.
Additional streetmosphere performances make the event more than mere redecoration. At EPCOT, the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats engage in processionals meandering through the walkways, clad in evocative dragon and animal costumes. They perform the lion dance and similar ceremonies. And in Tianxi, for the eight days preceding the official start of the holiday, and for the festival’s fifteen official days, unique and appropriate ceremonies feature. There are distinct new performances on each day, following the classic Chinese traditions.

Spring (March-May)


  • EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival (March 3 - June 5): Millions of spring blossoms transform EPCOT into a wonderful world of brilliant color, in a celebration of flowers, topiaries, themed food, libations and music. Featured gardens focus on butterflies, bees, bamboo and Shakespeare’s metaphoric plants, while more than 100 Disney-themed topiaries – from Snow White to Cinderella – adorn the landscape.
  • St. Patrick’s Day: This joyous day, honoring the culture and people of the Emerald Isle, is naturally celebrated in grand style at Raglan Road over at Disney Springs. Starting just a few days before the big one, and continuing a few days after, the Mighty St. Patrick’s Festival makes the pub come alive with music and dancing and alcohol. The United Kingdom pavilion at EPCOT even gets in on the fun, as well.

  • Magic Kingdom Pirate and Princess Festival (March 31 – May 31): In this elaborate celebration, which actively takes place during normal operating hours – no hard-tickets for this one – the Magic Kingdom comes alive, honoring two prominent players in Magic Kingdom mythos. Whether you wish to be a princess or a pirate – or perhaps both – the Festival offers many chances for you to live out those dreams. Since all this takes place during normal operating hours, these events happen throughout the day.
    • Pirate or Princess – Make Your Choice!: In this elaborate street spectacular, which runs intermittently throughout the day, the two sides come together for an elaborate party. Gliding down Main Street, U.S.A. come the princesses, led by Betty Rose and Mickey Mouse, in a glittering garden float; while storming through Frontierland come the pirates, led by Jimmy Ocean and Minnie Mouse, atop a large pirate galleon. Although both sides make a show stop in their respective land, it is when they both reach Central Plaza that the fun really starts. Both sides together have a grand celebration in the center of the Magic Kingdom, all raising their voices in a catchy rhythm.
    • Events in Adventureland: Captain Jack Sparrow’s Pirate Tutorial offers all buccaneers the chance to learn the tricks of the pirate trade, while Jasmine’s Court offers any adventurers the chance to become part of Jasmine’s Royal Guard, with help from Aladdin and Jasmine, naturally. One can even meet Jack Sparrow, Jake, Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook and Mr. Smee here throughout the day.
    • Events in Fantasyland: Fantasyland allows one and all the chance to rub shoulders with royalty; and every night, a royal ball is held within the Be Our Guest Restaurant’s ballroom, which closes early to prepare for such an event.
    • Transformations: Naturally, Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique and The Pirates’ League play a huge part in this Festival, as well, offering one and all the chance to truly become a princess or a pirate.
    • Adventure Maps: Kids are given special maps with clues on it. Throughout the park, they can answer the clues at different marks, and be rewarded with pirate treasure and princess gems, which they collect in their own pirate bags.
  • Easter: Naturally, one of the spring’s biggest holidays has to be celebrated at Disney; and at all four parks, you can partake in Easter egg hunts. Character-themed Easter eggs are hidden throughout the parks, and if you can find them all, you win a special prize. Disney’s many rabbit characters (Oswald, Thumper, Miss Bunny, Roger Rabbit, Judy Hopps, the March Hare, the White Rabbit and Rabbit from Winnie the Pooh) meet guests in Central Plaza at the Magic Kingdom, and in The Oasis at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Ah, but as is typical for the parks, the Magic Kingdom gets a little bit more. The Main Street Trolley Show dancers, as is typical for the spring season, don their Easter-themed ensemble; the Easter Bunny and his wife meet guests in Town Square; Main Street and Central Plaza are decked out in streamers and banners; and on the day itself, the Azalea Trail Maids make appearances in Town Square, and help lead off a special Easter pre-parade.
  • Disney World After Dark: Party for the Planet (April 15 – April 22): To celebrate Animal Kingdom’s birthday, as well as Earth Day, Walt Disney World’s third theme park hosts this celebration of the earth’s flora and fauna. You can ride some of the more popular rides with little to no wait, enjoy live music, meet some rare characters, and enjoy some delicious food. Plus, although the regular animal encounter attractions are closed in order to ensure they get some sleep – to the point where North America and South America remain closed, as they are very animal-heavy – there are nocturnal animal encounters on Discovery Island. And for every food or merchandise purchase, a cut of the profits go towards benefitting environmentalist causes the world over!
  • Disney World After Dark: A Star Wars Celebration (April 28 – May 4): May the 4th is, naturally, quite the big day for Star Wars fans, and Disney celebrates in style. At this event, Tomorrowland and Galaxy’s Edge alike come alive in an intergalactic celebration! There’s all sorts of goings-on: lightsaber demonstrations, dance parties, a special Star Wars fireworks display, complimentary food, special merchandise and encounters with characters from all points of the Star Wars saga.
Summer (June-August)


  • Disney World After Dark: Pixar Pandemonium (June 1 – June 7): The Magic Kingdom celebrates all things Pixar in this summertime celebration. All lands – except Galaxy’s Edge – are open to celebrate Pixar through rides, food, merchandise, photo ops, and all sorts of other fun events. There are dance parties themed to Toy Story in Fantasyland, The Incredibles in Tomorrowland and a mariachi-inspired Coco celebration in Frontierland. The Animation Academy in Hollywoodland offers guests the chance to learn to draw some of their favorite Pixar characters. And of course, a whole bunch of characters are here for us to meet.
    • Friends from Toy Story at Carnival Corral
    • Flik and Atta; Joy, Sadness, Anger, Fear and Disgust; and Meilin Lee in Central Plaza
    • Nemo, Marlin and Dory – represented through the puppets as seen in Finding Nemo: The Musical – on the border of Main Street and Adventureland
    • Mike, Sulley and Boo; the Incredibles; and WALL-E and EVE in Tomorrowland
    • Lightning McQueen and Mater; and Remy and Emile on Main Street
    • Carl, Russell and Dug in Adventureland
    • Merida, Ian and Barley in the Enchanted Forest
    • Luca, Alberto and Giulia roaming through Fantasyland
    • Miguel, Hector and Imelda in Frontierland
    • Joe Gardner in Hollywoodland
  • Midsummer (June 21): At Disney’s Mythica, the Norse holiday marking the Summer Solstice is celebrated in grand style over at Valhalla. Expect to see people wearing flowers in their hair, expect to see revelers dancing about with maypoles, and expect a great Midsummer feast to be held in the Mead Hall. Bonfires are also held during the night, with much drinking and singing.

  • Disney World After Dark: ‘90s Nite (July 1 – July 7): Come and celebrate the decade that was “all that and a bag of chips!” The Magic Kingdom once again hosts a celebration of an era that was big for Disney. The Renaissance was in full swing, the Disney Afternoon captivated kids after school, and everything was totally radical! Of course, there’s the usual event perks of classic attractions with little or no wait, special food and merchandise, but there’s also a Renaissance ball inside the Beast’s Castle, a Powerline-inspired dance party in Tomorrowland, a Rocketeer-inspired party in Hollywoodland, a special Disney Afternoon-inspired fireworks show, and a whole slew of ‘90s Disney friends to meet!
    • Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad McQuack and the nephews; Darkwing Duck and Don Karnage; Chip, Dale, Gadget and Monterey Jack on Main Street, U.S.A.
    • Baloo, Louie and Rebecca Cunningham; Rafiki and Timon; and Tarzan, Jane and Terk in Adventureland
    • Aladdin, Jasmine, Genie, Abu and Jafar at the Adventureland Bazaar
    • Indiana Jones near his ride
    • Pocahontas and Meeko; and Mulan and Mushu in Frontierland
    • The Sanderson Sisters roaming through Liberty Square
    • Jack and Sally near The Haunted Mansion
    • Quasimodo, Esmeralda, Phoebus and Clopin near The Hunchback of Notre Dame
    • Hercules, Meg and Hades in Fantasyland
    • Belle and the Beast at their castle
    • Bear in the Big Blue House and Rolie Polie Olie in the Chinese Theatre Courtyard
    • Cliff Secord and Jenny Blake in Hollywoodland
    • Goofy and Max – dressed as Powerline – in Tomorrowland
  • 4th of July: Naturally, Walt Disney World celebrates our nation’s birthday in a massive way, and the resort’s first two parks get the most celebratory offerings. At the Magic Kingdom, Main Street, U.S.A. becomes bedecked in patriotic bunting. Twice on this day – once in the afternoon and once at night – America on Parade marches down the streets of the Magic Kingdom. Created in 1975 for the bicentennial, this half-hour procession involves floats themed around pivotal moments and iconography from across our nation’s history, all set to an evolving medley from the Great American Songbook. After its daily run ended in 1976, it was decided to have the parade become an annual 4th of July offering, a tradition that has been going strong ever since then. And as the day winds down, all eyes turn toward Cinderella Castle for Disney’s Celebrate America, a stirring tribute to the music and the spirit of America.


At EPCOT, The American Adventure is the place to go. In addition to packed, standing-O-receiving performances of the titular animatronic show, the Voices of Liberty perform two special shows: two shows in the rotunda involving “echo sets” (where, for the final song, a second group of singers join in from the balcony), as well as a special concert at the America Gardens Theatre, famous for an ending where they are joined by Mickey, Donald, Goofy and the Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps for a performance of Sandi Patty’s legendary version of “The Star-Spangled Banner” (not sung by Ms. Patty herself, of course, but by one of the VoL singers). IllumiNations even receives a special 4th of July tag, setting the skies of World Showcase ablaze with patriotic pride.

  • Disney World After Dark: ‘70s Nite (August 1 – August 7): This event highlights the decade in which Walt Disney World opened its gates! You know the usual things by now – attractions, food, merchandise, fireworks – but here, there’s a disco dance party in Tomorrowland, a Bedknobs and Broomsticks-inspired “Beautiful Briny Sea” dance party in Fantasyland, chances to ride all the attractions that have been open at the Kingdom since Opening Day, as well as all those that opened in the ‘70s, a special photo opportunity with a replica of the iconic Elliott float in the Main Street Electrical Parade, meet ‘n’ greets with characters from The Aristocats, Robin Hood, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh and The Rescuers, and a whole bunch of groovy ‘70s surprises!
Autumn (September-November)


  • EPCOT International Food and Wine Festival (September – October): This iconic culinary dine-around offers more than 30 kiosks and marketplaces to offer tempting tastes and sips throughout EPCOT.
  • Disney World After Dark: ‘80s Nite (October 1 – October 7): EPCOT is the host of this, the final Disney World After Dark event of the year, highlighting the decade in which this park opened. All ‘80s kids can relive the wonder of that decade at this happening event. Besides the usual food, merchandise and access to attractions, there’s also a happening ‘80s dance party at the Celebration Center, a special fireworks display, a “Totally Minnie” dance party at The American Adventure, a TRON-themed area in World Discovery, a Honey, I Shrunk the Kids set-up at the Imagination Pavilion, and more great surprises! And given that the ‘80s introduced us to all sorts of Disney friends, there’s all sorts of meet and greets, including…
    • Minnie, Mickey, Donald, Goofy and Pluto at The American Adventure
    • Dreamfinder and Figment at Journey Into Imagination
    • Captain Buzzy and Bonnie Appetit at Wonders of Life
    • Winnie the Pooh and his friends in World Nature
    • Taran and Eilonwy; and Basil and Ratigan at the United Kingdom Pavilion
    • Ariel (in her mermaid form) and Sebastian at the Norway Pavilion
    • Roger Rabbit; and Oliver and Dodger at Showcase Plaza
    • Chip, Dale, Gadget and Monterey Jack at the House of the Future
    • Scrooge McDuck, Launchpad McQuack and Huey, Dewey and Louie at International Gateway
  • Dia de los Muertos (October 26 – November 6): At EPCOT’s Mexico pavilion, Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in high fashion. Ofrendas are set up in Plaza de Los Amigos, alebrijes and skeletons can be found wandering the streets of the pavilion, and the Mariachi Cobre retell the story of what happened to a certain music-loving boy on one certain Dia de Muertos.
  • Thanksgiving: For this harvest holiday, many of Disney’s sit-down restaurants serve special Thanksgiving feasts.
Yes, indeed, there certainly is a lot to celebrate at Disney; and with all this stuff going on throughout the year, I guess it‘s true what they say around here: “Every day’s a holiday!”

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What did you think of that, everyone? I must credit @D Hulk because I used elements of his seasonal events for DisneySky for some of the events here at MWDW, so credit to him; and likewise, the descriptions of the Four Festivals of EPCOT came mainly from @MANEATINGWREATH and his Mirror Disneyland, so credit to him, as well.

Now, as for the next post, I thought "What better way to start 2023 off on a brave, adventurous foot than to start our tour through Disney's Animal Kingdom?" And that's exactly what we'll do! So, at some point tomorrow, January 2, the adventure will begin! See you then!


Well-Known Member
Original Poster
As promised, today, we shall begin our tour of Disney's Animal Kingdom!

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Disney’s Animal Kingdom

The Walt Disney Company has always had a committing association to wildlife, as Walt Disney himself pursued his interest in animals during the creation of his True-Life Adventures series. And beyond that, Disney films have starred countless animals and the modern Disney company takes pride in taking part in environmentalist and conversation causes the world over. Yes sir, this incredible planet we call Earth has given us many natural wonders, from its unique and varied biomes and landscapes, to the many familiar animal friends that roam its forests, swamps, oceans and tree-lines; and we’ll get a chance to see some of those incredible beings up close and in person as we begin our journey through Walt Disney World’s third gate.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is dedicated to all of the animals of the world – animals that are, animals that were and animals that never were. This park is a real-world experience, taking guests into a world of wonder and knowledge, observing and learning about the lives of the animal species that call Disney’s Animal Kingdom their home.

Imagine for a moment: you are a traveler, whose trek to get here has been a long, tiresome journey. Across the six distinct lots of the Animal Kingdom Parking Center – Butterfly, Dinosaur, Giraffe, Peacock, Unicorn and Yeti – is the undeniable fact that you have to park in the direct sunlight, with nary a shady area in sight. Think that the trek from the parking lot is akin to that of a trek across the desert. Well, at last, the long journey has ended, and you have finally come to…

The Oasis


The Oasis offers an escape from reality, operating as the entrance to Disney’s Animal Kingdom. From first stepping into the entrance of the park, guests immediately find themselves taken away from the everyday world and transported into a beautiful oasis of palm trees and heavy jungles of trees on both sides of the entrance. The Oasis puts the guests in touch with nature and immediately sets the tone for the adventures to come. The Oasis is bountiful with unspoiled nature, taking us back to a time when some of the other complex natures found in the rest of the park did not yet exist at the time.

The mystical wonder of Disney’s Animal Kingdom sets in before you even enter through the gates. In the center of the park’s entrance area stands an Acacia tree from Africa, with a Sacred Lotus from Asia resting in a pond below. A rainbow eucalyptus from Australia grows next to the acacia with South American Orchids growing below. A Norway Spruce from Europe is the final tree, surrounded by Wintergreen found in North America. All six of these species represent the six continents featured in Disney’s Animal Kingdom.


On the outskirts of the park’s entrance, on the right-hand path, roaring waterfalls mark the entrance to the Conservation Station. The Conservation Station is one of the very few areas of the park where guests can actually learn about the health and well-being of the animals that take up residence at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It offers a behind-the-scenes look at the care methods and procedures that happen at the park, while also exploring the possibility of conservation efforts happening all around the world. The presence of the Conservation Station in Disney’s Animal Kingdom offers a real-world experience, where there doesn't have to be any major attraction or storyline, the animals, their health and the efforts of research and advances being initiated in the pavilion is the entire purpose of the exhibit. Conservation Station informs the guests that they can do good in the world and that they can take action to make the planet a better place.

The exterior of the Conservation Station features several animals in a marquee above the entrance. The pavilion features bright and bold colors and shapes, the patterns are playful and colorful. Images of animals appear everywhere, in a very realistic fashion. Before the entrance here is the Conservation Court, a small open courtyard featuring benches, planters, and a small waterfall that spills into a wishing pond. A plaque by the pond reads that every coin tossed into this pond will be donated to the Disney Conservation Fund, a non-profit conservation charity run by Disney and found at many of their parks worldwide.

Heading into the Conservation Station, guests walk down the Hall of Animals. The immediate entrance features a changing board as well as black walls painted with hundreds of photorealistic animals. The Hall of Animals serves as the entrance to Conservation Station, so we go through until we get to the building’s main hall.


We enter into the main forecourt of the Conservation Station, where the wise and knowing Rafiki acts somewhat as a host, speaking of humans’ actions upon the environment and how all of our choices have consequences. Along the walls of the pavilion, video screen exhibits play of the animals’ lives in their natural habitat, as Rafiki narrates the films. The center of the indoor pavilion is lush with large trees and a flowing raised waterfall fountain, circulating throughout the lush foliage, as it cascades down the sides of the fountain. This fountain is a popular place to meet random characters throughout the day – characters like Pocahontas, Scrooge McDuck, Chip and Dale, Rafiki and Jiminy Cricket, who serves as the mascot of Disney’s “I’ve Got Environmentality” program. But for more realistic encounters, the trees and foliage yield terrariums and habitats for species like lizards, frogs, snakes, and even an exhibit for giant land snails.

Conservation Station is where many animal program efforts take place, in some ways, it could be considered as the truest heart of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. There are various exhibits here, and they can be divided into two categories: Animal Care and Environmentalism. On the “Animal Care” side of things, we have a food preparation center, a backstage viewing area, a hatchery, a nursery, a science center (where actual working scientists come to do research), as well as windows featuring amphibian, reptile and invertebrate habitats. But by far, the most popular exhibit in the “Animal Care” category is the Veterinary Treatment Room. This is where guests learn and witness the care methods given to the animals of Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The visible windows into the care units of the station shows that Disney uses the highest level of care that they could possibly give. At times, this exhibit offers the guests a chance to witness a surgery or a birth, which can happen from time to time.

On the “Environmentalism” side of things, we have the Eco-Web, which showcases conservation efforts taking place around the globe, as well as Song of the Planet, where guests enter booths, put on headphones and listen to the sounds of four different biomes on Earth: The Amazon Rainforest, the Serengeti savannah, the polar ice caps, and the Chinese bamboo forests.


At the north end of the Conservation Station, connecting back to the entrance, guests will find the Affection Section, an area for guests to have the closest encounters with animals. The Affection Section operates as a petting zoo, where guests can have physical contact with the animals, bringing that value closer to the guests. Although, the Affection Section might only seem as a petting zoo for sheep, llamas, horses and rams, but it also brings a sense of connection to the animals throughout Disney’s Animal Kingdom. The Conservation Station also features Out of the Wild, a shop featuring conservation-themed apparel, decorative gifts, bath care, books and soft cuddly animal toys.

From the Conservation Station, guests proceed to the gated entrance of the park. On both sides of the entrance, new waterfall features have been implemented into the entrance, to make the area look more lush and beautiful. Also alongside these waterfall features are ponds, with each one containing various forms of waterfowl. In the left-hand pond, you’ll find the Fulvous whistling-duck, the black-bellied whistling-duck, the marbled duck and the Argentine ruddy duck. In order to control breeding, all of the waterfowl in this exhibit are males, depicting the bright colors of male ducks, while not dealing with constant egg collecting. The right-hand pond is home to a unique species of stork known as the black stork that live alongside another group of waterfowl including a pair of long-tailed duck, a small group of northern pintail and a pair of Eurasian white-fronted geese.

The entrance of the park is also heavily influenced by the Arts & Crafts movement, having nature itself being a heavy influence in the Oasis. Embedded in the courtyard of The Oasis is a matted graphic representation of the Tree of Life, something that might go unnoticed if you're not looking for it. After passing through the main gate, guests are then distributed into a promenade filled with lush jungles, trees and vines. The sound of a cascading waterfall could be heard just in the distance. Throughout the day, various Disney characters can be found, ready to welcome you to a day of adventure. To the left, guests will find Guest Relations and the right features the Stroller and Wheelchair Rental and Garden Gate Gifts, a merchandise location that offers disposable camera and video belongings, as well as Disney’s Animal Kingdom merchandise. There is a path that leads to both the left and right, re-connecting further into the Oasis.


On both the left and right paths, guests will find the Oasis Animal Exhibits. The winding pathways lead through dense vegetation and jungle alcoves. Canopies of tree branches and leaves blot out the sunlight from above. The pathways are filled with serene, peaceful settings and fascinating animals in very close proximity to the guests. The exhibits feature anteaters, sable antelopes, ducks, parrots, and other sorts of birds, iguanas, gazelles and other types of animals. The exhibits offer just a peek into the many wonderful encounters just waiting to be held further on in the park. Each animal is carefully sheltered into an environment that is reminiscent of their actual living environment. Being able to replicate a living space for a wildlife animal in a theme park can be somewhat of a daunting task, yet Disney's Animal Kingdom puts in the effort, flawlessly.

The rest of the animal exhibits are located in-between flowing rivers, serene pathways overlooking lagoons, covered jungle alcoves and rock formations, spouting cascading waterfalls. The entire area is reminiscent of a serene maze through a mystical jungle. There is even a rock cavern that guests can explore, with flowing waterfalls, leading to a rocky wooden bridge. When emerging from the rocky cavern, all of the separate pathways throughout the Oasis converge into one, leading across a wooden bridge, and heading deeper into Disney’s Animal Kingdom…

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The adventure has just begun here at Disney's Animal Kingdom! Come and join me again on January 5, when we'll explore the central hub of Disney's Animal Kingdom: Discovery Island! See you then!

And I would just like to mention that the idea of having the fauna representative of each continent; as well as the specific types of waterfowl at the entrance, were ideas I borrowed from @PerGron and his Disney's Wild Kingdom concept, so credit to him on that count!

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