The World Showcase Pavilions That Never Came to Be at Walt Disney World

Epcot‘s World Showcase is one of the coolest and most unique areas of Disney World.

World Showcase Lagoon

There are eleven countries represented around World Showcase Lagoon, but did you know that there are actually some countries that never made it to the park despite storied planning? Let’s take a look!

Check out these World Showcase pavilions that never came to be!

Venezuela Pavilion

Just after Epcot’s opening in the early ’80s, a Phase 2 for the World Showcase was announced so that guests could look forward to the addition of a few more pavilions. Venezuela was one of them.

World Showcase Lagoon

The pavilion was meant to be themed after a modern-day Venezuela with modern (at the time) architecture modeled primarily after Caracas, the capital of the country.

Skyliner

The pavilion was also set to have a sky-tram style ride in the more natural section of the pavilion that would tour guests through the natural and historical landmarks of Venezuela. How neat!

Israel Pavilion

The Israel Pavilion was also proposed as a part of Phase 2, but this one made it much further along. It was actually set to be sponsored by the government of Israel (similar to how the nation of Morocco took the lead on its pavilion)!

©Jim Hill Media

The pavilion was set to focus on several historical sites from Jerusalem as well as the cultural elements of Israel.

Small World Israel

Unfortunately, the rising political tensions in the area of Israel at the time, as well as the religious implications of bringing Jerusalem to the park ultimately resulted in the project being canceled.

Equatorial Africa Pavilion

Equatorial Africa was actually supposed an original pavilion but was pushed back to Phase 2 before being canceled. It was set to be located on where the African Outpost is today.

Refreshment Outpost

The pavilion was supposed to be the only one to represent a group of nations with different parts of East and West Africa represented. The main landmark of the pavilion was to be a treehouse that guests could go into.

Refreshment Outpost

The pavilion also had two proposed shows about Africa’s history. Many of the concepts for this pavilion are represented today in the Africa land of Animal Kingdom!

Spain Pavilion

The final Phase 2 pavilion was set to represent Spain. The pavilion made sense as many of the other major European powers were already represented in the showcase.

Spain Pavilion Logo

It was set to include a journey through the Spanish countryside, a new attraction, shopping, and dining. Like many pavilions, it would have represented the new and old of Spain.

Food & Wine Spain Booth

Unfortunately, due to changes in the Spanish government at the time, the sponsorship of the pavilion could never be finalized.

Philippines Pavilion

This next pavilion was never officially mentioned, but Disney historians have acknowledged that the concept was being developed prior to the opening of Epcot — it’s the Philippines Pavilion! The pavilion was planned to be a mix of natural and anthropological elements that represented the people and the land of the Philippines. This would have been super cool to see!

Polynesian Village Resort Beach

According to a book by Jack Lindquist, the Philippine first lady at the time rejected the enormous cost ($9 million) for the pavilion, considering the money better spent elsewhere.

Costa Rica Pavilion

Similarly, a Costa Rica Pavilion was proposed for the opening of World Showcase. As you can tell though, it never came to be. Concept art of the potential pavilion shows a beautiful conservatory building and likely would have had a focus on the national environment of Costa Rica — tying in nicely with Epcot’s sustainability messaging.

Walt Disney World is vast — be prepared to ramp up your step count!

Disney never secured a sponsor for this pavilion, and the World Showcase opened without it.

Switzerland Pavilion

The Switzerland Pavilion was heavily set to be released in 1985 and was mainly set to be the location for the Disney World version of the famous Matterhorn Bobsleds.

Switzerland Pavilion Concept Art ©Disney

This pavilion got pretty far along in production with concept art drafted for the pavilion as a whole and the Matterhorn ride, too.

The Matterhorn Entrance in Disneyland

Still, the Swiss government and Disney never came to an agreement, and the plans were abandoned indefinitely.

Russia Pavilion

Though never announced, we’ve even seen concept art for the Russia Pavilion that was being developed in the early 1990s!

Disney’s rendering of a possible Russia pavilion

The pavilion was set to include a replica of historical Russian buildings, an animatronic show, a possible boat ride, and Russian food, drink, and shops. It looks really cool.

Mickey in Russia ©Disney

Unfortunately, plans were tabled when the Soviet Union fell. The idea has yet to be officially revisited, but it would be interesting if they were one day!

Denmark Pavilion

In 1993, word got out that Disney World was looking to add a Denmark pavilion to the World Showcase featuring a classic approach to a representation of Denmark.

Denmark ©Disney Cruise Line

According to the Orlando Sentinel, a Disney spokeswoman said that the idea was put on hold but not dropped altogether.

World Showcase’s Norway Pavilion

The plans were set aside as Disney focused less on building big buildings in World Showcase and more on giving the section of the park a feeling of space.

Rumored Pavilions

The scrapped Phase 2 is the only officially announced World Showcase plan that Disney didn’t follow through on. The other pavilions are technically rumors but are generally known to  have been considered. Some, though, have never been proven.

Rumored Brazil pavilion concept art

Perhaps the most recent World Showcase pavilion rumor was a Brazil Pavilion. A lot of people even thought this was going to be announced as a part of the Epcot Transformation!

Disney Cruise Line Puerto Rico

In 2014, it was rumored that a Puerto Rico Pavilion was being considered, but Disney ended up debunking these theories.

What countries would you like to see represented in World Showcase? Tell us in the comments!

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3 Replies to “The World Showcase Pavilions That Never Came to Be at Walt Disney World”

  1. Australia/New Zealand would be interesting!

    I also agree with Ashley in thinking that a Greece pavilion is long overdue.