EPCOT’s World Showcase has eleven pavilions, each representing a different country from around the world. The pavilions are styled with architecture from the country, serve up delicious, authentic snacks, and are packed with details that make each one an experience you can dive into.
We’re looking closely at each pavilion in EPCOT to reveal hidden details you missed in your last trip around the world!
In Canada, you’ll see several carved totem poles around the pavilion. But did you know that only one of these totem poles is real?
The only real totem pole was carved by Tsimshian carver David Boxley, and it weighs a whopping 700 pounds. The Tsimshian people are an indigenous group who live mainly in Coastal British Columbia.
If you’re crossing from the UK pavilion into France, you’ll walk across a bridge over a small river.
Did you know that this bridge is meant to represent crossing the English Channel to get to the European continent? Who would’ve thought the transitions between countries in EPCOT could be quite so literal?
But while you’re in the UK, check out The Toy Soldier shop to see another hidden detail.
Inside, you can find an umbrella rack that’s addressed to Mr. Banks, 17 Cherry Tree Ln., London. It’s a nod to Banks family from Disney’s Mary Poppins!
Once you’ve crossed the Channel (er, bridge) into France, stop by the Perfume shop to see one of our favorite quiet spots in the park.
There are benches outside the store that are hardly ever occupied, so it’s a great place to stop and enjoy your pastries from Les Halles!
Finding quiet seating — and maybe even a table or two — in Disney World can be really tricky, but there are a few good spots in EPCOT’s World Showcase where you can enjoy some peace while snacking on delicious food.
You might not have noticed while you were in Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but the Tower of Terror ride has a very Moroccan color scheme.
This isn’t a coincidence! You can actually see the Tower of Terror from the Moroccan pavilion in EPCOT, so Imagineers coordinated its exterior so that it wouldn’t stand out so much against the rest of the Moroccan buildings.
Remember that quiet spot in France that we mentioned earlier? The Morocco pavilion has MORE hidden seating and tables if you go to the back.
And the biggest perk is the gorgeous decor you’ll get to see while you’re there.
Next on our world journey is the Japan pavilion. Here you’ll find one of the most beautiful seating areas in the park, outside the Quick Service restaurant Katsura Grill. There’s a Japanese garden complete with a koi pond, and you can find several little bridges along the walking path.
If you look at the koi pond carefully, you’ll be able to spot a hidden Mickey on the drain cover, too!
We’ve made it halfway, which means we’re at the American Adventure pavilion.
The main building at the American Adventure has a clock with roman numerals to mark the time. But if you look closely, you’ll see that the number 4 is written as IIII instead of the traditional IV. Disney chose to do it this way so that it was easier to read from a distance, since the clock was up so high on the building.
That clock is actually up higher than you might think! In the American Adventure, Imagineers used forced perspective when designing the buildings. Usually they do this to make buildings look taller (like with the Eiffel Tower in the France pavilion), but in this case, they actually made the buildings look shorter than they were. This was to preserve authenticity because colonial buildings weren’t usually five stories tall, like those in EPCOT’s pavilion.
One of our favorite spots to grab a bite to eat in EPCOT is Via Napoli. Here, you can get Italian-style pizza made in one of the restaurant’s three pizza ovens.
The pizza ovens have designs on the front that look like someone is eating the pizza when it’s placed inside. Each of these three ovens is named after a volcano in Italy: Stromboli, Visuvio, and Etna. Next time you’re eating a Via Napoli pizza, just think: it was cooked by a volcano (sort of…).
There are actually lots of cool details in the Germany pavilion at EPCOT, but we’re just going to look at a couple of our favorites!
If you look toward the back of the pavilion while you’re standing in the courtyard, you’ll see a big clock. At the top of each hour, the clock chimes and a little wooden boy and girl come out and twirl around! It’s essentially a giant cuckoo clock in the courtyard.
And don’t walk past the tiny train village in the Germany Pavilion, which is home to a lot of tiny citizens that even decorate the village for holidays and festivals!
You can walk around it on the paths provided and see all the amazing details.
The most prominent building in the China pavilion is the Temple of Heaven, with its entrance located through the front archway.
The interior of the Temple of Heaven is acoustically perfect, and sound will echo really well inside. This is a nod to the actual Temple of Heaven in Beijing, which is famous for its amazing acoustics as well. Gentle music is piped in to accentuate the serenity and peace when you’re there.
While you’re walking into the Norway pavilion, you might notice something unusual on the rooftops there: grass!
In Norway, people traditionally built rooftops with water-tight birch bark, and the sod and grass helped to keep the bark together. It also acted as insulation and a noise barrier to help keep the inside cool and quiet.
You can’t miss the Frozen Ever After Ride in Norway, and while you’re in line take a close look at the waterfall near the entrance. There’s a sword hidden behind the falls, which you can usually only see when the water is turned off! Can you spot a glimpse of it?
The Mexico Pavilion is the only fully indoor pavilion in World Showcase. You enter a Mayan pyramid to find a bustling marketplace, restaurants, shops, and even a boat ride.
Inside the pyramid, it’s always evening time, with lanterns and other lights providing the illumination. That’s because the traditional time to gather and socialize in Mexico is in the evening!
With all this new knowledge, you’ll officially be the most informed world traveler next time you go through the countries in EPCOT.
Which World Showcase pavilion is your favorite in EPCOT? Tell us in the comments!