The final area of Epcot we will be exploring is World Showcase which features eleven main pavilions each based on eleven different countries: the United States, Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Italy, China, Japan, Morocco and Norway.

The American Adventure

The United States pavilion known as The American Adventure is set in a colonial-style building aligned with paintings depicting the history of American life and quotes from famous Americans (including Walt Disney). The pavilion’s main attraction, also called The American Adventure, is an audio-animatronic stage show hosted by Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain who present and discuss scenes from various periods of American history, including the Revolutionary War, the Civil War and the Great Depression. Some parts of the show have been updated through the years, including the addition of rescue crews from the NYPD and New York City Fire Department following the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001. It was all set to the music of Robert Moline and Randy Bright’s “Golden Dream.”

Across from the pavilion is the American Gardens Theatre which frequently hosts singers, bands and concerts from around the world. Plus you can get some barbecue at the Muppet-themed Regal Eagle Smokehouse and go shopping at Heritage Manor if you want (although Heritage Manor is currently closed for renovation). In addition, it was announced in 2021 that a new exhibit called “The Soul of Jazz” based on the Pixar film Soul is set to open at The American Adventure with the film’s lead character Joe Gardner guiding you through Chicago, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York and Puerto Rico.


The Mexico Pavilion takes you through a Mesoamerican pyramid-like building aligned with Mexican artwork and into Plaza de los Amigos, which resembles a marketplace at a Mexican village and where you can eat at San Ángel Inn Restaurante which oversees an indoor lagoon. In 1982 when Epcot opened, the pavilion’s star attraction was El Rio del Tiempo (The River of Time), a dark ride that carried passengers on a boat through a musical and audio-animatronic tour of Mexican history that culminated in a fireworks-filled finale in modern-day Mexico City.

In 2007 the ride was updated and changed into the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, and it became the first World Showcase attraction to incorporate pre-existing Disney characters: Donald Duck, José Carioca and Panchito Pistoles. This version of the ride featured José and Panchito frantically searching Mexico for Donald and getting him out of trouble before the Mexico City finale where the trio finally performs their signature song on stage together. Disney animator Eric Goldberg even provided some new animation for this attraction.


Through a tall gate and into a courtyard that replicates the Temple of Heaven in Beijing is the China Pavilion, bordered by Chinese restaurants like the Nine Dragons and Lotus Blossom Cafe and shops like the House of Good Fortune, as well as featuring performances from the Dragon Legend Acrobats and meet & greets with the Disney characters Mulan, Mushu and Shang. The pavilion’s opening day attraction was the Circle-Vision 360° film Wonders of China which showcased the people, landmarks and culture of China, narrated by ancient Chinese philosopher Li Bai as portrayed by Chinese actor Keye Luke. It was later replaced in 2003 by an updated movie called Reflections of China and is set to be replaced once again by the upcoming film Wondrous China.


The Germany Pavilion is designed to resemble a German town featuring working model trains, a town square, the Oktoberfest-themed German folk music-filled Biergarten which sells German food, several shops that sell German goods like cuckoo clocks and dolls, and of course occasional appearances from the cast of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.


Featuring recreations of the Venetian, Florentine and Roman architecture of Italy like St. Mark’s Campanile, Doge’s Palace and the Sistine Chapel, the Italy Pavilion features Italian restaurants (which makes this the first place I would visit if I was ever hungry in Epcot), a wine cellar, several shops and some entertainment, including Sergio the juggler and authentic flag throwers hailing from the town of Sansepolcro.


The Japan Pavilion greets you with the sight of a Japanese Pagoda, is filled with Japanese gardens and at the end of the courtyard features a castle that puts a spotlight on Japanese culture. One of the galleries, Bijutsu-Kan, plays host to an exhibit of Japanese art and culture, currently exploring Japan’s “Culture of Cute” in the Kawaii Life presentation. The pavilion also features Teppanyaki-style restaurants, the sushi restaurant Tokyo Dining and the Mitsukoshi Department Store, which sells items like clothing, jewelry, stuffed animals and manga.


Designed to resemble a Parisienne neighborhood, the France Pavilion is home to the panoramic film Impressions de France which highlights the beauty of the country, lots of French dining and appearances from Disney characters like Belle and Remy the rat. In 2020 a Beauty and the Beast sing-along show premiered, alternating showtimes with Impressions de France, and in 2021 the dark ride Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure based on the Pixar film Ratatouille made its Epcot debut here after first appearing at Disneyland Paris in 2014. Guests were shrunk to the size of a rat and followed Remy through the restaurant in their ratmobiles as they got chased across the kitchen floor by cooks, caused a riot in the dining area and eventually escaped into the air vent and safely reached Remy’s kitchen. Patton Oswalt and Brad Garrett reprised their roles as Remy and Chef Gusteau for this attraction.

United Kingdom

The British village of the UK Pavilion has pubs for drinking, spots for tea and biscuits and several memorabilia shops including the Crown and Crest, the Sportsman’s Shoppe, the Historical Research Center and the Toy Soldier which sells memorabilia for popular British entertainment such as Winnie the Pooh, Sherlock Holmes, Paddington Bear and The Beatles. Speaking of which, the pavilion has also been home to the British Revolution, a band covering musicians like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Police and Led Zeppelin. Plus Disney characters like Alice, Mary Poppins and the cast of Winnie the Pooh are often seen strolling through this area.


The Canada Pavilion features the beautiful sights of a canyon, a waterfall, several totem poles and the Victoria Gardens, which were inspired by the Butchart Gardens near Victoria in British Columbia and are the largest of all the gardens in the entire World Showcase area. The pavilion also offers dining at Le Cellier Steakhouse and shopping at Northwest Mercantile, and at one point the area was a frequent sight for the Disney characters Meeko and Percy from Pocahontas and Kenai and Koda from Brother Bear.

O Canada! was the Circle-Vision 360° film that opened with the pavilion in 1982, showcasing sights like Quebec, Ontario, Vancouver and the Ottawa River and inspired by Canada’s own Circle-Vision 360° documentary Canada ’67, first shown at Montreal’s Telephone Pavilion to mark the centenary of the Confederation of Canada. The attraction was updated in 2007 with new narration by Martin Short (who calls out the original version as being dated) and includes new footage set to a Bruce Broughton score and a cover of the song “Canada (You’re a Lifetime Journey)” by Canadian Idol season four winner Eva Avila. The film was once again changed in 2019, renamed Canada Far and Wide and this time narrated by Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy.


The Morocco Pavilion, which first opened in 1984, was the first World Showcase pavilion in which the foreign country it was based on actually aided in the design, featuring authentic Moroccan dishes like roast lamb and Harira soup, traditional Moroccan shoes, hats, rugs, mirrors and lanterns sold at the shops and defining Moroccan architecture based on the necropolis of Morocco’s capital city Rabat and the Koutoubia Mosque of Marrakesh, not to mention belly dancing performances in the evenings and meet & greets with the Disney characters Aladdin and Jasmine.


The Norway Pavilion first opened in 1988 as World Showcase’s final main pavilion, inspired by the architecture and culture of Oslo, Setesdal, Bergen and Ålemund in particular. Here you can get something to eat at Kringla Bakeri og Kafe and the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, and you can go shopping at the Puffin’s Roost and the Wandering Reindeer. The Norway Pavilion’s opening day main attraction was the dark ride Maelstrom, in which guests rode in a Viking longboat and witnessed scenes of a mythological version of Nordic villages and seafarers, including mythical creatures like the Nokken (water spirits) and trolls, who cast a spell on your boat and send you flying backwards rapidly (via some hidden conveyor belts). Later you move forward again and plunge Splash Mountain-style into the stormy North Sea. By the ride’s end, guests could watch a film called The Spirit of Norway, which was basically a Norway tourism documentary.

Maelstrom would last until 2014 before getting an update inspired by the Disney film Frozen and being renamed “Frozen Ever After” in 2016. The ride was similar to Maelstrom but it revolved around a new story in which Queen Elsa commemorates the day Anna saved her life in the first movie with an anniversary event she dubs an “official summer snow day.” In addition to Anna and Elsa, the characters Kristoff, Sven, Olaf and Marshmallow also make appearances during the ride.

Beyond these eleven pavilions, World Showcase has been home to other attractions through the years, including an interactive scavenger hunt you played on your phone called Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure based on the Disney Channel TV series Kim Possible, in which you received clues and directions as an agent of Team Possible and it was your mission to hunt down supervillains like Dr. Drakken and Shego across the globe to stop them from achieving world domination, and the hunt was huge because it spanned every World Showcase pavilion. In 2012 Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure was re-themed to the Disney Channel series Phineas and Ferb and re-named Agent P World Showcase Adventure featuring Perry the Platypus. That version lasted until 2020 with a re-theme based on the 2017 series DuckTales set to follow.

There are many countries that aren’t represented at World Showcase but Disney had many ideas in the works at various points. You even got a taste of them at one point, because from 1999 to 2001 during Epcot’s fireworks and parade-filled Millennium Celebration, a new pavilion called the Millennium Village opened that highlighted the cultures of many countries such as Brazil, Chile, India, Israel, New Zealand, Saudi Arabia, Scotland and Sweden. Cast members from around the world introduced park guests to their culture through stories, food courts that featured recipes from around the world, and interactive exhibits and games. The Artisan marketplace featured storytellers from Ecuador, Egypt, Greece, Korea, Lebanon, Peru, Thailand and Venezuela. But after 2001 when the Millennium Celebration ended, that area (now known as World Showplace) only opened for festive occasions.

There is also one more small Africa-themed pavilion at World Showcase called The Outpost where you can go for some shopping and refreshments. Be sure to visit that place before you leave Epcot and make your way back home. That concludes my Epcot tour. Hopefully I did what Epcot has always set out to do: educate and inspire.