Pavilions In The World Showcase - Epcot
This is a restrained, formal place with a traditional Japanese garden, a Samurai castle, and a pagoda modeled on a seventh-century temple in Nara – whose five levels represent earth, water, fire, wind, and sky.
The Mitsukoshi department store, a copy of the ceremonial hall of the Imperial Palace in Kyoto, offers kimonos, wind chimes, bonsai trees, and the chance to pick a pearl from an oyster. Kabuki theater troupes and other performers appear throughout the day. However, Japan really only comes to life in its restaurants, where visitors can sample delicacies such as sushi and tempura.
On the second level of the pavilion, chefs work dexterously with flashing knives, demonstrating the Japanese art of tableside cooking.
Morocco’s appeal lies in its enameled tiles, its keyholeshaped doors, its ruddy fortress walls, and the twisting alleys of its medina (old city), which is reached via a reproduction of a gate into the city of Fez. The use of native artists gives the show a greater sense of authenticity.
Morocco offers some of the best handmade crafts in World Showcase. The alleys of the old city lead you to a bustling market of little stores selling carpets, brassware, leatherware, and shawls.
There are several interesting dining experiences on offer. The Tangerine Café serves a variety of Moroccan sandwiches and specialty pastries. Try the couscous, steamed and served with lamb or chicken, at the Restaurant Marrakesh. It is also the place to see belly dancers perform in a stimulating show.
A Gallic flair infuses everything in the France pavilion, from its architecture to its upscale stores. Architectural highlights include a onetenth scale replica of the Eiffel Tower, Parisian Belle Epoque mansions, and a rustic village main street.
Among the authentic products from France sold here are perfumes – such as the famous Guerlain range – wine, and berets. Excellent French food can be sampled in a couple of restaurants in the pavilion and a patisserie selling sinfully rich croissants and cakes.
A film entitled Impressions de France is the main entertainment. The film, shown on five adjacent screens and set to the sounds of French classical music, offers a whirlwind tour through the country’s most beautiful regions.
The Rose and Crown Pub is the focal point in this pavilion. It serves traditional English fare such as Cornish pasties, fish and chips, and even draft bitter – chilled to suit American tastes. There’s also a “chip shop” takeaway booth next door for those in a hurry or wanting a smaller, less expensive meal.
The pub also sports a genuine singalong most evenings. Pleasant gardens surround the pub, as well as a medley of buildings of various historic architectural styles. These include a castle based on Hampton Court, an imitation Regency terrace, and a thatched cottage.
There is not much to do here in this pavilion other than browse around the shops, which sell everything from quality tea and china to sweaters, tartan ties, teddy bears, and toy soldiers. The terrace of the Rose and Crown, however, offers good views of IllumiNations.
A Native Indian village with a log cabin and 30-ft (9-m) high totem poles, a replica of Ottawa’s Victorian-style Château Laurier Hotel, a rocky chasm, and ornamental gardens make up the large but rather staid Canadian pavilion.
The country in all its diversity, and particularly its grand scenery, comes to life much better in the Circle-Vision film O Canada! – though China’s Circle-Vision film is even better. The audience stands in the middle of the theater and turns around to follow the film as it unfolds on no fewer than nine screens. Shops at Canada sell a wide range of Native Indian and Inuit crafts and various edible specialties, as well as wine. Le Cellier Steakhouse restaurant serves tasty Canadian seafood and steaks along with wines and beer from Canada.