Disney’s Epcot vs. the World

I was diagnosed with a severe case of the travel bug back in 2006. Symptoms of this bug include slight anxiety attacks and mild twitching when having to stay put in the one spot for more than seven months at a time. I know I am not alone and am seeking help.

While interning at Disney World throughout 2009 – 2010, due to work constraints, I could not travel as much as I would have liked and so the twitching began; cue Epcot.

Epcot is one of Disney World’s four main theme parks – it is the place I happily frolicked about when in need of a quick travel pick-me-up; in short, it’s where I went to fulfil my travel kicks. Epcot isn’t your regular theme park with rides and candy – it is a world showcase experience where creativity is encouraged, imagination is celebrated and countries are united. To make it that little bit more awesome, Disney has cast members from right around the globe ready to welcome you and to help authenticate your Epcot cultural experience!

Epcot’s World Showcase is a collection of pavilions that wrap around the World Showcase Lagoon. Each pavilion represents a different country and features shops, attractions, live performances, kid-centric entertainment and restaurants that represent the culture of the following 11 countries:

1. Mexico
2. Norway
3. China
4. Germany
5. Italy
6. United States
7. Japan
8. Morocco
9. France
10. United Kingdom
11. Canada

You’re probably thinking this sounds all a little lame, right? The first time I ever went there back in 2006, I thought the same thing too, but it wasn’t until I actually started travelling that I realised just how wonderfully Epcot perfectly encapsulates the above countries to share with Disney World guests all year round!

Here’s a look at how some of the Epcot World Showcase measures up to the real thing…

CHINA

The Paifang Gate that marks entry into Beijing’s Summer Palace.

Beijing's Summer Palace GatePhoto Credit: Flickr – donnaerickson

Epcot’s Paifang Gate replica at the China Pavilion.

China - Epcot

The Temple of Heaven in Beijing.

Photo Credit: Flickr – Ray Devlin

Epcot’s Temple of Heaven replica at the China Pavilion.

Temple of Heaven - EpcotPhoto Credit: Flickr – cheukiecfu

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ITALY

St. Marks Square in Venice.

St. Marks Square - Venice, ItalyPhoto Credit: Flickr – fredsphotoweb

Epcot’s scaled down replica of St. Marks Square at the Italy Pavilion, complete with the
famous bell tower (one-fifth scale).

Italy - EpcotPhoto Credit: Flickr – Bertram Ernest

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MOROCCO

The Koutoubia Minaret in Marrakech.

Koutoubia Minaret in MarrakechPhoto Credit: Flickr – xeniazup

Epcot’s Koutoubia Minaret at the Morocco Pavilion. King Hassan II of Morocco was heavily involved in the construction and even dispatched native craftsmen to build this particular Epcot Pavilion.

Morocco - Epcot

A Moroccan Bazaar.

Moroccan BazaarPhoto Credit: Flickr – volcanous

The Moroccan Bazaar at Epcot.

Morocco - Epcot

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CANADA

Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City.

Le Château Frontenac - Quebec

Epcot’s Canada Pavilion features a 19th century chateau-style design, closely resembling that of Le Château Frontenac in Quebec City.

Canada - EpcotPhoto Credit: Flickr – Scott Hanko

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MEXICO

El Castillo – Temple of the Feathered Serpent in the city of the Gods, Teotihuacan.

Mexico TemplePhoto Credit: Flickr – PVCG

The Mexico Pavilion in Epcot is loosely modeled after the pre-Columbian pyramid in Teotihuacan
which dates back to 150-200CE.

Mexico - EpcotPhoto Credit: Flickr – johnny1968

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Although not having yet been to all eleven countries featured in the Epcot World Showcase, I must say I was impressed with the pavilion resemblance of the six countries I had already visited. If you’re strapped for cash but still want to see the world, maybe Epcot is the way to go!
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Do you think Disney’s Epcot is a a great example of a cultural experience
for those that have never had the opportunity to travel much?

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