Epcot is truly a unique theme park experience. Yes, all Walt Disney theme parks are special. But not all are truly unique. The Magic Kingdom parks are quite similar at Disneyland, Walt Disney world, Tokyo, and Paris. Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park is all about animals – and there are other parks focused on animals too, like Busch Gardens in Tampa or Sea World in Orlando. And Disney’s Hollywood Studios is all about movies – just like the Universal Studios parks in California and Florida.
But Epcot has different. There is no other theme park in the world that focuses on both the future and culture in the unique away the Epcot does. And Epcot has some very special in picturesque places throughout the park – especially around the World Showcase lagoon.
Chris Barry from the Mouse Planet web site has written an article identifying five of the most unique and picturesque spots around the World Showcase (Source). I think it is hard to limit a list to just five, and I may have picked a few different ones, but this list is good and worth taking a look. None of these items in the list are exciting thrill rides orhave amazing high tech special effects. They are just unique, fun, and different things to see in this very unique park.
Walt Disney himself was a huge fan of trains, so much so that he created a miniature training track that ran around his backyard. The German pavilion in Epcot has a small scale model train complete with houses, train stations, even people tiny little people wandering the streets. The detail is terrific, and it is a fun way to spend a few minutes enjoying something from a simpler time that can still bring great pleasure today.
Our friends in England are well known for their well maintained it gardens – including both tightly cropped shrubs and flowering plants. The United Kingdom pavilion at Epcot pays tribute to that with some extraordinary gardens. It seems that they are always in colorful bloom. This is a great place to get away from some of the crowds in the noise and enjoy a few moments peaceful quiet among the beautiful flowers.
Many of the buildings, shops, in restaurants in the Italian pavilion are simply beautiful. Like many of the other countries in Epcot, this one truly transports you to a different time and place. It is easy to get drawn into the streets of Italy and wander the shops. However, be sure to take a few minutes to cross the street toward the World Showcase lagoon and look at the Italian theming along the water’s edge. Here you will see gondolas and greenery that transport you directly to Venice.
Many people tend to skip past the Morocco pavilion. There is no thrill ride, and many people are not familiar with the food and culture of this place. However, exploring the back alleys, shops, and even restaurants of this pavilion can make for a wonderful time. USA today reported in the article that the King of Morocco flew his workers to Epcot when Disney was building this pavilion. He wanted to be sure that everything was authentic and high quality. He succeeded. You will appreciate this detail when you spend a few minutes wandering the back alleys in browsing through the shops.
Much like the United Kingdom, the Canada pavilion offers some beautiful landscaping and flowers. It also has some amazing waterfalls that transport you far away from the flat Orlando landscape and take you due north to the mountains of Canada. Again, it’s not a thrill ride or special effects. Instead it is a beautiful area to spend a few moments away from the crowds and the noise – simply enjoying the nature of a different place.