Service Animals
Epcot - World Showcase

Donna shares her experiences at Epcot
and her Service Dog Gracie


First of all is Mexico and El Rio del Tiempo. Gracie can go in the pavilion, but we've never done the ride. We just never wanted to. When the dog goes into a pavilion, it must be at your side (closely by your side, not just walking on basically the same plane as you are) and not be a disturbance to any of the guests. There are lots of things for her to stick her nose into, so you must keep close watch on the dog and make SURE he/she doesn't filch goodies out of easily reachable baskets.

Next is Norway, where we spend most of our EPCOT time (she's a Norwegian elkhound, after all!). There's the Stave Church, the Bakery, the store, the ride (the Maelstrom), the Viking ship and the restaurant. She's been in all of these, and she's done very well. The Stave Church is very nice, but the dog should be well-behaved and very quiet to show the proper respect. If the dog can't be quiet, it should be taken outside. The bakery is a little restaurant type place. The eating tables are outside; the inside is very small. Keep the dog close to you; don't let it disturb the other guests. The store is very nice. Keep the dog's nose out of baskets of goodies; especially guard against the candy display to the right hand side of the front door! The ride (the Maelstrom) is not very wild, but it has enough things in it to make sure the dog is very well-behaved before you take him/her on it. There are a couple of very short drops. The trolls that you pass are fairly fierce looking; make sure the dog can tolerate "scary" looking things. There are also polar bears and camp scenes that you glide through. The movie at the end gives you a chance to sit down and relax for a few minutes.

We've not done the China pavilion very much. It has a stand up movie that you can go to. Make sure the dog lays down next to you, so all the guests can see the movie. It should be a good, steady down stay! The store is very big and you must again watch for any "basket surfing" of the nose!

Germany is Ed's favorite, but I can't go in because of the smell of the restaurant (I can't stand sauerkraut smells, etc.). Gracie is always very good beside me outside, however; she lays down and just waits for Ed to come out! She goes in the stores (keep the nose out of baskets!) and has always been welcomed.

Italy is another one that we don't go to very often. I don't think we've been there wiith Gracie.

We've been to the American Gardens theater (Candlelight Processional) MANY times. Gracie's an angel. She just lays down throughout the whole ceremony, except she does stand during the Halleleujah Chorus! She's excellent during the program, and people usually don't even know that she's there. She quiet, respectful, and very still.

The American Adventure is another don't miss attraction. She's very good with the accapello singing group (Voices of Liberty, I think is their name). She's very quiet. We're usually on the balcony above because that's where they funnel the wheelchairs as soon as you come in the door, but it's an excellent viewing area, and it puts you directly into the theater when they're finished. Handicapped seating is in the rear of the theater. The dog must lie down, but can be a little antsy (that's a LITTLE antsy) because there's no-one to disturb unless the theater is full, and it's a large theater that does't fill up very often at all. The program is very good, one of my favorites! There's a little noise occasionally, but it's not very disturbing for the dogs.

Japan is the next pavillion The Taiko drummers outside draw a large crowd, so watch the dog in a large group. There are a couple of restaurants (Gracie's been in the...I think it's called Tepanyaki...restaurant; it's the one like Benihana's), and if the dog is well-behaved, there is no problem. The dog must remain in a prone position throughout the meal and not beg from you or anyone else!

Morocco is the next pavillion. We've not been there very often at all.

France has a film and street performers, and lots of atmosphere. It's another good place to rest up! The restaurant is good. Again, the dog must be beside you and very well-behaved

The United Kingdom has excellent restaurants and a beautifully designed pavillion. Outdoor performers are there all the time (well, almost!) and are usually pretty good! The Rose and Crown is excellent. Good food and a good place outdoors to catch the fireworks! Again, the dog must lie down and not disturb any guests.

Last but certainly not least is Canada. There is an excellent restaurant, the store is wonderful (lots of basket-type displays though; watch you dog's nose!), and the landscaping is escellent. A circle-vision film that you must stand to watch (unless you're in a wheelchair) is excellent but it's 18 minutes long and can be tiring for people to stand that long. Dogs do great, however, because they can sleep through it!

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