Tuesday, September 26, 2006

What a Wonderful World (Showcase)

Though it would benefit enormously from the addition of a country or two (or more); though many of its shops have lost their individual personalities in favor of increasingly generic Disney-branded stuff; though it has been almost ignored by Disney since its inception (save the addition of two countries); though it lacks any sort of "E-ticket" thrill ride; though it is resolutely low-tech ...

World Showcase remains simply awesome.

Each time I travel to Epcot, it seems to me more and more that World Showcase really is the heart of the park. Future World is where the action is, Future World is fantastic and wonderful to explore ... but World Showcase is where the charm lies. It is a beautiful place.

It's really a shame Disney's management doesn't see how special their cross-section of the world is and do more to make it bigger and more representative of our planet's nations. Nonetheless, I can hardly think of a better place to spend a day ... and that's why on each successive trip to Epcot, I find myself spending more and more time there. It is a genuinely special place.


Anonymous said...

The picture in your post is really spooky, as I was in that exact spot facing in that exact angle 2 weeks ago with my horrible camera phone. I captured and subsequently deleted that pic later that day due to said horrible camera phone failing to capture my fancy.

I stood in that spot admiring the France pavillion and the tiny bits of theming spread throughout. Afterwards, I took in the panoramic movie that awaited me inside for the very first time (a movie hosted by a very charming CM of the female persuasion). The movie, while dated, is very pretty. France's countryside is _almost_ as diverse as California's.

Let's not forget one of the best night-time spectacles on property, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, taking place in the World Showcase lagoon. I stood in front of Mexico, with a Spaten Dark Lager in hand from Germany, watching the sky literally light itself on fire in time to a powerful heart-lifting soundtrack. The show is the complete package and a perfect cap on a long day at EPCOT. It's even sweeter watching Illuminations when you're participating in Extra Magic Hours afterwards and can relax knowing you can get multiple rides on all the major EPCOT attractions (especially Spaceship Earth).

I'm rambling at this point, so I'll conclude with this: nice post.

Anonymous said...

No E-ticket thrill ride, but Maelstrom has lines well out the door. (As of my last visit. Still happening?)

If they can just get the non-Norwegian princesses out of Akershus -- which is to say, all of them -- World Showcase will be completely true to itself, no?

Hmm. E-ticket thrill ride. New countries. Flight of Baba Yaga, anyone?

Scott said...

That first picture is awesome.

As lovely as World Showcase is, it's difficult to get the younger crowd to truly enjoy it because of its lack of rides. The real young kids have the passport or mask thing (or whatever they're doing now to have kids collect something from each country, I forget), but most of the teens just don't appreciate it. I know I was this way when I was in high school a little over 5 years ago. The teens would rather spend their time in Future World and/or other parks.

I went twice with my high school band and the last day was reserved for EPCOT and if you wanted to go other parks. Many would spend the morning in EPCOT, take the monorail to the Magic Kingdom, and come back at night to catch Illuminations and the bus back home.

I'm not sure how to change teens' perception of World Showcase; on the other hand, should we even worry about teens' perception? Maybe World Showcase is just something most teens need to figure out for themselves when they get older.

Epcot82 said...

If only Disney would heed those words, SilentSpectre! And I hope they will and leave World Showcase (with the exception of expanding it!) alone.

Not everything at Walt Disney World needs to appeal to kids and teens. It's refreshing to have an area of a park that appeals primarily to older, thoughtful adult visitors (who, most likely, also happen to spend more money and linger in high-priced shops a bit longer!). One day the kids and teens will appreciated World Showcase, and its the memories they have of not appreciating it when they were younger that will make them enjoy it all the more ... and drive them to return to Walt Disney World with their own families (perhaps with kids and teens who don't yet appreciate World Showcase).

Funny how that works. ;-)