Written by Amy Yacullo
Epcot has long overtaken Magic Kingdom as my favorite park at Walt Disney World, and the World Showcase is the main reason for my love. I adore the World Showcase. In my mind, there is no better way to spend an afternoon than eating and drinking around the world (and I have the waistline to prove it!). That said, I often spend quite a bit of time wondering what’s “missing” from the WS. I don’t necessarily love all of the countries in World Showcase—I don’t hate any of the countries, but everyone has their favorite, must-do pavilion (Morocco, I’m looking at you!), and everyone has one that they can say, “Eh, no thanks,” and skip without remorse (what’s up, America?).
I’ve read that the World Showcase has room for at least 6 more pavilions (and depending on who you ask, there’s room for as many as 10 more). As I was falling asleep last night, I thought to myself, “If Disney were to add a few more countries to the World Showcase, what would I like to see?”
Please note, my choices are not meant to replace any of the current countries; these are just countries (and, let’s be honest, I’m talking mostly about food here) that I’d like to see represented in the World Showcase alongside the current lineup. A few of my choices may be considered “controversial,” but please keep in mind, I chose them because of the culture and food, not because of politics.
I would absolutely love to see Greece represented in the World Showcase. Greece has such a rich cultural heritage that there would be plenty of opportunity to create an attraction based on the Greek Pantheon (a Hercules meet-and-greet opportunity perhaps?). Disney could also go the educational route and create something educational that outlines the Greek ideas of education and politics. And can you imagine the food opportunities?! Gyros! Baklava! Moussaka! The list goes on and on!! I’d love to see Greece hanging out next to Italy, representing the northern Mediterranean countries.
Representing the southern Mediterranean, I’d adore an Israel pavilion. I know this pavilion was originally supposed to be in the World Showcase, but due to multiple circumstances, Israel’s only representation thusfar was in the Millennium Village. Having spent some time in Israel, I know that there are tons of things that could be featured in this pavilion. It would be fascinating to learn about the history of the country from a non-religious viewpoint (although due to politics in the region, it may be difficult). Israel is such a breathtaking country with so much to see—a circlevision film would not be remiss here. It would also be fascinating to explore all of the food options Israel has to offer—Kosher and Halal cuisines spring to mind (which would be a lovely option for those guests who maintain a Kosher/Halal diet).
Moving on to Asia, I can’t help but think that India would be a perfect addition to the Showcase. Once again, food reigns supreme in my mind: there are at least 37 distinct regional cuisines in the country, so there are plenty of options—it wouldn’t be hard to represent 5 or 6. India is the second most populated country in the world, rich in culture and with lots to offer. Can you imagine if there were an Indian music and dance troupe that performed daily, or a whole exhibit on Bollywood films?! It would be incredible!!
Thailand is another wonderful locale that has a great food profile. I’d love to be able to grab some Tom Kha or Pad Thai while strolling around the Lagoon. Fans of spicy food would enjoy it too! Thailand is a country that I don’t know much about (other than food), so I don’t know what the attraction would be here, but I’m sure it’d be amazing—language, dance, and music abound!
Moving North on the Asian continent, how about we get a little love for Russia? Russia has produced so many prolific artists; I’d love to see an attraction based around the music, dance, and literature of the region. And how awesome would an attraction based on the Tsars of Russia be? Anastasia may not have been a Disney movie, but there was some gorgeous art and fashion represented! While the food may be a little heavy for the Florida heat, I’m sure this pavilion would be the hottest spot in town on those “chilly” winter nights (sorry Floridians, but I have to giggle at you all complaining that 50 degrees is cold—it’s not cold until your hair freezes when you walk to your car in the morning after showering!). Caviar and vodka would be a nice addition too, don’t you think?
Moving East, let’s go to Polynesia! Now, as a fan of the Polynesian Resort, I’d love to see Polynesia represented in the World Showcase. While it may be a bit redundant to have a resort AND country in the World Showcase, having another locale to get some Dole Whip wouldn’t be remiss, would it? To be fair, the fire-twirling will always belong to the Luau at the Poly, but a Moana meet and greet might be fun (based on the success of the movie, of course). And come on, who doesn’t love a little roast pig in their life? Heck, maybe we can throw in a sponsorship from Hormel and feature an all-SPAM menu!!
As we completing our circumnavigation of the globe, we land in South America. Now, I know we have the Mexico pavilion featuring our buddies the Three Caballeros, but it would be so nice to see Chile represented on its own. I feel like we’ve kind of lumped South America in with the Mexico pavilion, and that doesn’t seem right to me—Mexico isn’t even in South America!! As with all of the previously mentioned countries, there’s a rich history of music and dance here. I, for one, would love to see an exhibit on the national sport of Chile—rodeo!! And, of course, the food will be delicious—can you just imagine relaxing and enjoying an Asado cooked steak accompanied by a nice Chilean wine? So good!!
Our world is such an incredible place, with so many different kinds of culture and cuisine. I think a few additions to the World Showcase would be a great way to revitalize Epcot. Who knows, maybe Disney will see this post and run with it!
So there you go! There are my seven additions I think would make the World Showcase even better than it already is. Do you agree with my choices? Do you think I missed anything? Sound off on Twitter using the hashtag #WorldShowcaseAdditions!!
Amy is a 20-something Disney fanatic living with her Disney Prince in New Jersey. She has dedicated her life to all things Disney and is debating naming her first child Ariel. When not blogging, she likes playing video games, reading, and snuggling with her Disney-named cats. You can find her online at www.shortfatandsassy.com