The United Kingdom Pavilion, celebrating the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, is one of the original pavilions at Epcot theme park’s World Showcase. The World Showcase currently features pavilions highlighting eleven different countries around the globe, and the United Kingdom is one of five representatives from the continent of Europe.
In addition to being one of the original pavilions, the United Kingdom area is also one of the largest pavilions at the World Showcase. It has a rambling layout that borders both the World Showcase Lagoon and the international gateway – a waterway and walkway that leads in and out of Epcot to other parts of the Epcot Resort Area.
Visitors to the United Kingdom pavilion will have fun recognizing many small and large elements that have become closely associated with British culture. Next to the imposing and exotic feel of many other World Showcase pavilions, the quaint and cozy atmosphere of the United Kingdom makes it a great place to relax and feel at home.
United Kingdom Design and Attractions
With one long and curvy cobblestone street, several gardens, and the waterfront walkways, the pavilion gives guests plenty to explore. As you approach the United Kingdom from the direction of Future World, your eye will almost certainly be caught by a bright patch of red. A pair of replica telephone boxes, looking as though they were lifted straight from the center of London, fulfill one of the popular images that spring to mind when many people think of that great city.
Just beyond the telephone boxes is a neat English hedge garden, and rising in the background is a replica of Hampton Court Palace. The original of this palace sits in the London borough of Richmond, and was built in the 1500s during the reign of Henry VIII.
Past Hampton Court Palace a cobblestone street appears to the left, which winds its way through a representation of a classic British village. Closer inspection reveals that this representation is just a little too classic to be genuine – it contains buildings reflecting Tudor, Georgian, and Victorian architecture side by side in a condensed expression of the buildings that exist throughout the British Isles.
The cobblestone streets and various styles of building come together
to give you a taste of the many styles of old time England and Ireland.
Nevertheless, the effect of this architectural mish mash is quintessentially British, especially when your nostrils catch the scent of fish and chips wafting from the pub. Most quintessential of all is a small thatched-roof dwelling inspired by Anne Hathaway’s Cottage. Anne Hathaway was the wife of William Shakespeare, and many British people consider her home to be the perfect representation of old England.
Tucked behind the main street of the pavilion is a peaceful garden refuge with a variety of hedged walkways and topiaries. A copper-roofed gazebo sits in the center of the garden and periodically hosts musical performances. Children may enjoy Tigger’s Maze, and will also have the chance to meet classic British Disney characters such as Winnie the Pooh, Mary Poppins, and Alice in Wonderland at certain times of the day.
Dining at the United Kingdom
There are two classic British dining establishments at the United Kingdom Pavilion: the Yorkshire County Fish Shop and the Rose and Crown Dining Room. Both offer classic British comfort food, and both offer excellent views of the World Showcase Lagoon.
The Yorkshire County Fish Shop is simply a booth with some informal outdoor seating on the waterfront. It serves a single entrée – fish and chips (wedge fries) – with shortbread for dessert. Guests looking for a simple snack may also order a side of chips or simply enjoy a drink.
A quick serving of fish and chips transports you to jolly old England.
The Rose and Crown Dining Room is a traditional British pub featuring British beers and all the classic entrees from a quintessential British pub menu. Fish and chips, bangers and mash (sausage and potatoes), shepherd’s pie, and curry are a few of the dishes guests can enjoy while enjoying a view of the lagoon. The Rose and Crown is especially popular during the nightly Illuminations show on the lagoon.
Guests who want to shop for all things British will find a number of shops available to explore, and merchandise from both Britain and Ireland from which to choose. “The Queen’s Table” features Belleck Fine Parian China, which is manufactured in Ireland, as well as books, music, and musical instruments celebrating Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. If you have always wanted your own set of bagpipes (and who doesn’t?), this is the place to visit.
At “The Crown and Crest”, visitors will find a hodgepodge of goods representing past and present elements of British culture. The shop carries everything from Beatles merchandise to beer steins, as well as crests from the various countries of the United Kingdom. For slicing and dicing a villainous foe, “The Crown and Crest” offers a range of knives, daggers, and swords. This is also the place to have your family crest engraved or embroidered.
“Fancy Goods for Lords and Ladies” carries a variety of luxury items including perfume, Kit Heath Celtic Jewelry, and personal care products. “The Tea Caddy” has all the elements of a fancy tea party, including teapots, tea biscuits, and loose and bagged tea. Finally, rugby and football (soccer) fans can find all of the sports memorabilia they could wish at “The Sportsman’s’ Shop”.
The details like traditional phone booths and gardens bring the
authentic feel of the Epcot United Kingdom pavilion to life.
The United Kingdom pavilion does not have a main feature attraction, but there are a variety of entertainment opportunities including comedy and music performances. The World Showcase Players improvisation group performs a live comedy show on the United Kingdom’s cobblestone streets, while the Hat Lady at the Rose and Crown Dining Room performs a sing-along show at the pub piano. All are terrific crowd pleasers and include touches of English humor.
The copper roofed gazebo hosts regular performances by a band that calls themselves The English Channel. This group performs well-loved hits by bands such as the Beatles, the Who, and Led Zeppelin.
The United Kingdom pavilion is also a stop along the World Showcase Adventure, which is a scavenger hunt for children that allows them to join a secret spy mission to foil an evil villain.