Epcot’s World Showcase

Epcot’s World Showcase is seen by many guests as being a very adult orientated park which is not much fun for kids. I would disagree with this as it is one of my kid’s favorite parts of Disney World. We have been fortunate enough to visit many of the actual countries which are represented and they enjoy the restaurants and entertainment and love browsing around the stores.

But I can see why some parents feel that it is not that much in this part of Epcot for kids. There are no major rides and some children must find the experience pretty tiring too if they are walking. So take a stroller or rent one if you have young kids. Also, Kidcot Fun Stops are a fun way to travel around the park. At every Pavilion, there is a table where you collect a mask to color. Travel around and collect a stamp from each country. When you collect all eleven stamps the kids get a certificate. This incredibly simple and free idea keeps children entertained. You would not believe how many masks I have in my home from many years of collecting.

Canada Epcot World Showcase

Thirty-foot tall totem poles, beautiful gardens, a chateau, and a waterfall await you at the Canada Pavillion. It has a small shop, a very popular restaurant and the movie O Canada. This 18-minute presentation gives you a great overview of the Canadian nation.

Photos used under CC from Joe Penniston

A wonderful overview of Canada but the unfortunate feature of the theater is that guests have to stand. The movie is shown on screens all around you so you do need to move to appreciate it all, but I often wish I could just sit down!

You will find the Kidcot Station just outside the exit to the theater. I often sit there with my 2-year-old when he has reached his limit of time on the movie and we need to exit early!

The Le Cellier restaurant is a steakhouse which is one of the most difficult restaurants to get a table for in the whole of Disney World. The combination of being very popular and not having that many tables make this a restaurant that you would be well advised to make Advance Dining Reservations for by calling 407 WDW DINE up to 90 days ahead. You could be lucky and get a walk-in but in my experience, it is pretty rare. Steaks are the specialty but you will find the king salmon really good too.

The United Kingdom Epcot World Showcase

Enter a quaint maze of streets representing many different ages of British buildings. Step into one of the stores which sell traditional goods – don’t forget to try the chocolate! Be sure to listen to The Beatles tribute act in the bandstand at the back of The Pavillion. Then stop off for a pint at the traditional pub!

Photos used under CC from auntie_rain

The United Kingdom store sells traditional favorites such as tea, chocolate, Thomas the Tank Engine and of course Winne the Pooh toys.

France Epcot World Showcase

A replica Eiffel Tower dominates your view of this French Pavillion. This is one of my favorites for shopping and eating! Browse the perfume, wine, cooking items and gifts. Don’t forget to try the patisserie. Then watch Impressions de France the movie which shows the landscape and culture of France.

Photos used under CC from Joe Penniston

Morocco Epcot World Showcase

For a taste of the exotic head to the Morocco Pavillion. With its street market feel, bright colors, and narrow back streets you feel as though you have stepped into a different world. The shopping here is excellent with some unusual items. There is also a room displaying art. Watch out for the belly dancers and authentic music.

Photos used under CC from Joe Penniston

Stroll from France to Morocco and experience a complete change of sights, sounds, and cultures. Designed to look like a Moroccan city – Casablanca, Fez, and Marrakesh are represented.

I always enjoy the shops in Morocco as it has so many things which you just don’t seem to find anywhere else. They sell rugs, leather goods, and clothing. I particularly like the colored lamps – I have one here in my home office.

A favorite counter service restaurant of mine is the Tangierine Cafe. There is seating inside and out and you can enjoy traditional Mediterranean food. My kids really like it here too. We enjoy the Tabouleh, Couscous Salad, Olives, and the Baklava dessert.

Japan Epcot World Showcase

The imposing 5 story pagoda greets you at the entrance to the Japanese Pavillion. This is another favorite shopping spot with one of the largest stores at Epcot selling jewelry, food, fashions, books, and even pearls. There are a peaceful garden and a gallery which houses Japanese art.

Photos used under CC from Joe Penniston

The United States Epcot World Showcase

The most imposing building of all – the American Adventure is housed in a huge colonial-style building. The attraction itself is a 29-minute theatrical presentation that includes movies and audio-animatronics to tell the story of the history of The United States of America. The store is somewhat disappointing though – selling a small selection of books and clothing.

Italy Epcot World Showcase

There is no mistaking that this is Italy! A coffee stall at the entrance, a huge imposing bell tower leading to a piazza and stores selling everything from wine to hand-painted masks this is another of my favorite places in Epcot.

Photos used under CC from lemoncat1

Unfortunately, there are no attractions or shows in Italy but I enjoy spending time there just soaking up the atmosphere. Grab a cappuccino – much cheaper than the ones in the real St Mark’s Square – and watch the world go by.

Germany Epcot World Showcase

As you approach you will hear traditional Germanic music and see the distinctive German architecture. A large shopping area where you can browse glass art, Christmas decorations, dolls, and other German imports. The main attraction here is the buffet restaurant The Biergarten.

The design of the buildings is actually a mixture of various styles. There is a Biergarten towards the back of the pavilion which is modeled around the 16th-century town of Rothenberg.

China Epcot World Showcase

This pavilion is dominated by a replica of the Temple of Heaven. Showing the amazing architecture colors and sounds of the Chinese nation, there is an art gallery and a large store. The attraction here is the movie Reflections of China. This is another presentation for which you must stand and the 14-minute movie is presented in circle vision. The movie has been relatively recently updated and is well worth a viewing.

Photos used under CC from Joe Penniston

China is certainly one of the most beautiful of the Epcot pavilions, particularly at night. You enter the pavilion through a large gate and step into a courtyard which is bordered by a huge store, and 2 restaurants. The dominating backdrop is The Temple of Heaven building inside of which is the Reflections of China Movie Theater.
The store sells clothing, furniture, jewelry, kitchenware, silk furnishings, and paper fans.

The Reflections of China movie in circle 360 vision is well worth seeing. This attraction is, like the one in Canada, a standing-only theater. Whilst it needs to be as you are surrounded by the images and have to turn around to appreciate them fully, this does mean that this is not always the attraction to take small children or tired adults who need to have a rest!

Norway Epcot World Showcase

A wonderful collection of Norwegian architecture dating back to the 14th century gives a welcome feel to this Pavillion. There is a small store that mainly sells clothing and this is also where Restaurant Akershus is located which is home to the Princess Storybook character dining.

The Norway Pavillion has a very popular attraction Maelstrom which is a water ride (no you don’t get wet) which sails through dark Viking legends of storms and trolls. This is not a thrill ride but it is dark and can be scary for small children. There is a movie presentation at the end of the ride. You can walk straight through if you prefer not to spend the time watching this – once you have seen it once this is probably enough!

Maelstrom is one of those Disney rides which I could go on again and again. Really well themed and with a sense of humor. But it is pretty dark and although it does not have a height requirement some children (my youngest included) find it pretty scary. At the end of the ride, you disembark into a movie theater showing a 5-minute film about Norway. It is worth seeing (once) but if you want to skip this then simply walk straight through the theater – you will, of course, find yourself in the store!

Mexico Epcot World Showcase

Most of the attractions of the Mexico Pavillion are housed inside a giant ancient pyramid. This really is a special place. Step inside the pyramid and you will find a bustling market place. There is a boat ride attraction El Rio del Tempio. This is a 7-minute long gentle boat ride past the restaurant and through the sites and sounds of the history of Mexico. It is a pleasant and relaxing way to spend some time.

Photos used under CC from Joe Penniston

The counter-service restaurant Cantina de San Angel serves decent quality Mexican food. This is a great place to view the Illuminations Reflections of Earth so if you are looking to eat here and snag one of the best tables then arrive early before the show starts at 9 pm. One of my favorites here is the frozen margarita.

Characters at Walt Disney World Epcot

You will find many of your favorite characters at Epcot. Mary Poppins is regularly seen in The United Kingdom. The Disney Princesses are found in World Showcase. Look out for Princess Belle and Sleeping Beauty in France. Snow White also sometimes makes an appearance.

For a guaranteed view of a Disney Princess, you can choose to dine at the Restaurant Akershus in the Norway Pavillion. You can get priority seating for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Epcot Illuminations Reflections of Earth

Fireworks At Epcot

One of the most spectacular fireworks displays at any of the Disney parks is Epcot’s Illuminations Reflections of Earth. This nightly firework display uses lasers and pyrotechnics all set to a brilliant musical score. The display is centered over the World Showcase Lagoon.

What is the best spot to view the Epcot fireworks? There are many great spots around the lagoon but amongst the best are the bridge between The United Kingdom and France, the Japan Pavillion, The Rose and Crown Restaurant in the United Kingdom. Most would say that the very best spot to view Illuminations is Cantina de San Angel at the Mexican Pavillion. If you want a seat here then be prepared to stake this out at least 90 minutes and possibly up to 2 hours in advance.

Restaurants at Disney World Epcot

One of the major attractions of World Showcase is the authentic dining experiences that it offers both in counter service and full-service restaurants. Some particular standouts are in France, Mexico, and Japan. Take the chance to try some new type of cuisine and enjoy the atmosphere!

The counter service options in World Showcase are excellent too. Try the crepes in France, coffee in Italy, and fish and chips in The United Kingdom.

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