January 5, 2010

Epcot's World Showcase in Miniature

Just as with the minute details spread throughout the Disney parks, if you keep your eyes open, it's easy to find rarer pieces of concept art in magazines and books. The Imagineers have created some stunning pieces for Epcot, and here are a few of the less known:

At the top of this article, we find Morocco. The pavilion itself is among the most stunning and diverse in all of World Showcase. It's easy to get lost in the midst of the back alleys, shops, and little nooks and crannies! Much like Disneyland's exquisite New Orleans Square, guests must take more than one or two trips through to see all there is!
Ah, China! One of the original World Showcase countries from opening day- and one just as mesmerizing as it first was over a quarter of a century ago. The Circle-Vision 360 film still enchants! The attraction is a must-see on every visit of mine. I never tire of the sights and sounds of the film or the pavilion. The shops are filled with gems both expensive and affordable. Besides, where else can you find authentically reproduced terra cotta Warriors to take home?
Even though it is now home to the uninspired Gran Fiesta Tour, Mexico is one beautiful showcase! Stepping into the temple and discovering a small town lit by the moonlight surprises and delights visitors. The food at the San Angel Restaurant is no longer top-notch, but it is a good place to sit with an appetizer and a drink while soaking in the visuals. When its truly evening outside, the temple lighting is magical. The entire area fills with song, and it seems the moon and stars shine a little brighter.

On the left, Italy. On the right, Japan. Both are, unfortunately, without attractions due to the accountant's slashing. However, having been to both countries, I can tell you with authority that the representations are pretty accurate! Venice is the inspiration for the Italian showcase and scale aside, the Epcot version does a great job of bringing it to Florida. Japan's gardens are especially beautiful in the evening. When the crowds are ravishing expensive meals all over the park, a small dish found at the little teahouse is just the ticket! The food is good quality and of fair value while the quiet surroundings lit by small garden lamps transport you to a back street in old Kyoto.

In my many trips to Walt Disney World, each has been unique, and I've always enjoyed them for different reasons. However, with the opening of EPCOT Center, this single park transformed my love for the place. The ability to travel the world in a day pulls me in. It alone is the one reason that without the proposed but abandoned Westcot for California, the Disneyland Resort will never be able to compare to what can be found on Florida's soil.

Will the suits of the Walt Disney Company ever allow the Imagineers to create more attractions or pavilions for Epcot's World Showcase? Who knows. But I can tell you they would be fools not to. Who else can give us the world in a day?
(Concept art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)


Brandon Starr said...

I like your article,but would love to see bigger images. Keep up the good work.

Mark Taft said...

Thanks, Brandon.
Most of the time, the images can be increased when clicked on. Sometimes, like in this case, these are as big as they can be without too much distortion.
Thanks for reading the site!