As Epcot transitions into Magic Kingdom 2.0, it seems as if Animal Kingdom will become the new World Showcase with its emphasis on natural environments and culturally based food and music. (Or in the case of Pandora, the Otherworld Showcase.) Yet, us long time fans of the original EPCOT Center know it was not supposed to play out that way. The archives of Imagineering are studded with concept art for new countries waiting to be added.
How many, you say? Israel, Equatorial Africa, Russia, Switzerland, Venezuela, Spain and the Philippines were all ready to go each at various levels of development. Philippines? Yes, that beautiful Southeast Asian country made up of over 7,000 islands was once on the books- and here is the concept art to show it.
Looking closely at this piece, some unique elements are easily seen, but did you notice the Epcot guests upstairs in the second level? There are not too many pavilions in which you can go upstairs unless it is to dine in one of the many restaurants.
Not much more is known about what was planned for the Philippine showcase, but certainly this addition would have brought a nice change of pace from the other more familiar Asian nations represented. Truth is, in all these years since opening, almost any new country added to Epcot would have been a plus. That long list of potential additions would have easily made Epcot a three day park. So much for the past. Change is coming, and like it or not, it's long overdue.
(Concept art copyright The Walt Disney Company.)