Vote of the week: A Brazilian pavilion for Epcot's World Showcase?*
Published: April 21, 2011 at 11:21 PM
Dora Kramer, an important journalist from O Estado de Sao Paulo, Brazil's second biggest newspaper, posted a note on her column, that Disney's executives had a meeting this week with Brazilian authorities to inform that they will build a Brazilian Pavilion at Epcot, and asked for input (an probably for official money) about the project.
It seems that after many years Disney will finally improve WS.
Update: Robert here, hijacking this post to make it our vote of the week. (By the way, here's the link to the original article, which is behind a paywall and in Portuguese. If neither of those stop you, read away!
I have to admit some skepticism, notwithstanding my personal history with Brazilian journalists. ;^) Talk is cheap. And it's not unusual for third parties looking for a development deal to throw around Disney's name. I hope that Disney expands World Showcase, but for all we know Disney could be talking to multiple countries, not just Brazil.
Which brings me to our question this week. Which country would you like to see Disney bring to Epcot? We have asked this question before. This time, I'm limiting the responses to the top countries which bring the most visitors to the United States, but that are not currently represented with an Epcot pavilion. (Plus, I'm adding Egypt, the winner of our last vote on this topic.)
Brazil leads that list, sending more than 1.7 million visitors to the United States last year, according to the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of Travel and Tourism Industries. South Korea follows, with 1.1 million visitors. The final two slots in our ballot go to Australia, which sends more than 830,000 visitors a year to the U.S., and India, with about 650,000 visitors.
For context, Brazil ranks seventh overall among countries sending visitors to the United States. Canada leads the way, with almost 20 million visitors coming to the U.S. in 2010. Mexico's next and the United Kingdom is third, sending more than 3.8 million visitors a year our way.
I'm not suggesting potential attractions for each of these pavilions. But do think about attraction, and restaurant, potential when voting. (Personally, I'd love to see a Brazilian churrascaria or a great Indian restaurant in Epcot.)
I'd love to hear your attraction and restaurant ideas for these national pavilions, in the comments. As always, thanks for reading Theme Park Insider, and for spreading the word to your friends via Facebook and Twitter.
Update 2: We've got two new attraction openings happening today. The new Shamu show, One Ocean, debuted at SeaWorld Orlando, and the renovated Texas Giant opened to the public at Six Flags Over Texas. Those attraction's pages are now open for your reports, ratings and reviews.
Published: April 22, 2011 at 3:34 AM
Not trying to be disrespectful or anything, but does anyone care about World Showcase anymore? What decade do they live in? EPCOT'S World Showcase was good before the era of travel agents, social networking, and cheap air travel, but it is such an outdated concept nowadays. So what if there's a tacky Brazil pavilion? Why not search YouTube and see what the real thing looks like?
In Singapore at the moment, the same company who owns Singapore Zoo and Singapore Night Safari are building another wildlife park called River Safari. It will basically be animal habitats but themed around river ecosystems of the world (Mississippi, Congo, Ganges, Mekong etc.). My point is, River Safari is basically World Showcase and Animal Kingdom combined but guests travel from section to section via boats, rather than walking. It has not been done before.
Why doesn't WDW pull its fingers out of its pockets and invest in something similarly unique, rather than merely adding a tacky pavilion to an outdated concept in what is arguably the worst major theme park in the state of Florida.
And why Brazil? It's not exotic enough to be in Florida, it's only like 300 miles away. What are they going to do, have a replica of Copacabana Beach face onto the Lagoon, with a few samba dancers run through the area with anacondas round their necks?
There is a reason why people are avoiding WDW and heading over to Universal Orlando, you know...
Published: April 22, 2011 at 6:36 AM
That will be fantastic if it turns out to be true. I think it would be the first country in the southern hemisphere represented there, right?... Being Brazilian myself, who visits WDW at least twice a year, I'm really curious about it now... Let's hope it is for real! Thanks for posting this.
Published: April 22, 2011 at 7:37 AM
Note to Ricardo: Thanks for making Orlando a regular destination. The people of Brazil have made a powerful contribution to our local economy. There are times I wish that the residents of Central Florida were more appreciative of the people of Brazil. Maybe the new "Showcase" will make that happen.
Published: April 22, 2011 at 8:45 AM
Awesome! Hope this is something that doesn't fizzle out like so many other times we've heard expansion rumors for WS.
Although I appreciate all the recent upgrades to the Mexican and Italy pavillions, all that construction would have put the park half way to another country if it was concentrated on a new country expansion project. Still, it's great that those pavillions were improved upon AND now a new pavillion might be added as well. Here's hoping that this is the start of a new pavillion being added every 5-10 years instead of the long drought that's prevailed in this section of the park.
One word of advice to WDI though. Please no Brazilian circle vision :)
Published: April 22, 2011 at 9:02 AM
If true, that's an excellent choice for a new country to be represented. So far there isn't anything from South America and Brazil is, in my opinion, the biggest player on the global stage from that continent.
Published: April 22, 2011 at 9:42 AM
I voted for Egypt because there is potential for a great ride and for the architecture of the pavilion itself. The restaurant would be the only weakness.
Brazil would have the edge with the restaurant, but for the rest of the pavilion it would not have the potential of Egypt.
Published: April 22, 2011 at 9:47 AM
it'll be excellent to have a Brazilian pavilion, they have soo many great beautiful natural areas: two that come to mind, the Iguazu Waterfalls and the Great Rainforest. Plus they have the Christ in that mountain, which is magnificent...it will be great a 360-degree movie ala China...or if you want action, a dark ride that goes thru the waterfall as if you are heading to fall, but stopping here and there to hear the sounds and sights around the waterfall, it will be fantastic!
also another thing that have is that in 2014 Brazil is hosting the World Cup and the ties to ESPN will be there!
and to top it all off, 2016 Brazil has the Summer Olympic Games!!!
so it will be one after another celebration, plus who can beat a little parade that will resemble the Carnaval!!!! raise your hand who WOULDN'T like to see that, exactly my point...what a beautiful sight, Disney and Brazil music together, plus you get the Three Amigos man!
Published: April 22, 2011 at 10:00 AM
I voted for Egypt, but I am reconsidering. While, on the surface I would like to see an Egypt pavilion, I also want to see something completely unique. And the more I think about it, Egypt would not be unique with what they have.
Could they make this completely unique from the Moroccan pavilian? I mean, after the big building the attraction would be in (probably a sphynx replica, as Mexico already has a pyramid), would the shopping and food feel completely unique?
As such, I think the best bet would be Australia or Brazil. These are from areas Disney has not touched at all yet, with cultures that would be completely unique to Epcot. Now, I am not against an Egypt pavilion, it's just I think Brazil or Australia would fit better.
Published: April 22, 2011 at 10:19 AM
Heading over to Texas Giant today. . .
Published: April 22, 2011 at 10:44 AM
I'd love to see this happen but put me in the skeptic column. Disney hasn't added a pavilion in decades so I won't hold my breath that it's suddenly happening.
I think Brazil would make for a really great pavilion. As much as I love Egypt, I think the idea is a little cliche in terms of theming, especially since BGT already has an Egypt section and USO has a major Egyptian themed ride already.
Published: April 22, 2011 at 11:37 AM
I voted for Brazil (because there aren't any South American countries in Epcot's WS), but I'd also love to see what they'd build for an Egyptian pavilion. Frankly, any of these except for Australia would be great. It's nothigg against Australia; I just think there are enough " safe white people" countries in the WS already. It's 2011. We don't need to be shielded from "dangerous brown people" anymore.
Published: April 22, 2011 at 2:17 PM
My vote is Israel!
Published: April 22, 2011 at 3:24 PM
I thought I'd see more votes for India- that was my vote, by far. I can appreciate wanting some South American representation, but the possibilities for India are so rich, and much more appealing to me.
Published: April 22, 2011 at 3:28 PM
I actually wanted Greece
Published: April 22, 2011 at 3:53 PM
EPCOT is the best theme park in florida and the best one i've been too. My family only gets 1 vacation a year anyways. So why not get it all?
Published: April 22, 2011 at 4:35 PM
Bring on Brazil! By the way, I want to see a Coffin Joe Haunted Boat Ride ASAP! (Bonus points if you know who Coffin Joe is!)
Published: April 22, 2011 at 4:41 PM
I would have voted for Russia, but it wasn't an option. Russia has great history & architecture so I think it would be a good fit.
Published: April 22, 2011 at 6:10 PM
@Rod - A blast from the past! I'm surprised you know/remember Coffin Joe! I wonder if he still has the long fingernails... And yes, a haunted dark boat ride would definitely be interesting! LOL!
Published: April 22, 2011 at 6:21 PM
@TH Creative - Brazilians love visiting the US, especially Florida! Unfortunately some bad apples do too, they cause problems and give the rest of us a bad name. But again, bad apples can be found everywhere. We just can't generalize, although that's really human nature...Glad to know you don't! :)
Published: April 22, 2011 at 8:24 PM
I say the more exotic, the more interesting. Since the criteria require that the pavilion represents a large segment of foreign visitors to the US, my first choice is automatically eliminated: Thailand. I think that people like to experience places that they most likely won't ever get to visit, countries that are exotic and represent cultures that are the most dissimilar to our own. Since Thailand isn't a choice, my vote is for India. I can imagine great architectural, botanical, and of course, gastronomic potential!
Published: April 22, 2011 at 8:49 PM
I agree that Israel would be a fantastic choice!
Published: April 22, 2011 at 8:51 PM
Planned on SF over Texas, got to Arlington 1.5 hours before close. Since we had Season Passes, we swung by the Texas Giant opening. Hearing of 3 hour waits earlier in the day, we were glad we went after dark. Waited about 55 minutes, then got on. Extreme smoothness, steeper drop and intense banking around corners made it well worth the hour wait. Probably would wait up to two hours tomorrow. Major upgrade for the entire park.
Published: April 22, 2011 at 9:28 PM
I love the Brazil idea!!
Theme wise: Samba, Rio (Christ Rede./Sugar Loaf), Amazon Jungle, Futbol Stadium (Soccer), lots of possibilities plus I like "Robert's" food idea a lot.
Like the Egypt idea. But in honesty the whole concept seems a little over used. Australia? Not really seen it, I liked it for Animal Kingdom cause... Well, obviously Australian Animals and the Outback.
Published: April 22, 2011 at 9:30 PM
I went with Brazil, but India was a close second.
Published: April 22, 2011 at 9:36 PM
Brazil would be fine they can run a Carnival street party, build a water ride themed of the Amazon river and a Brazil BBQ with the meat on the stick like Ohanas.
Published: April 22, 2011 at 9:43 PM
@Ricardo K -
(I've seen some beautiful people walking around those parks with Brazilian flags, and I'm not speaking Super Models I'm saying regular people.) I know that really doesn't have much to do with anything... But a gathering place? I'm just saying...! Lol.
I'm Puerto Rican and visit Florida every other year, and I know about the "bad rap", we often get some by merit (I'll admit) but some by association... So, I would totally love to see a Brazil Pavilion.
@TH creative - I totally agree with you! Good looking out... I've read stuff around from Florida locals not speaking that great about some foreigners type travelers. Like I said I know some of it, is earned rep. But WE are not all like that!!
Glad to see your not one of those people!
Published: April 22, 2011 at 11:33 PM
Personally I'd love a Swiss pavilion, selling swiss chocolates, with a toboggan ride or a wild mouse, with a big cuckoo clock centrepiece.
Published: April 23, 2011 at 1:37 AM
India got my vote but I think Australia would be good too. I didn't think the comment about "safe white countries" was very fair, what about the Aborigine people?
I really want a Greek pavillion too. The food and the ancient history really appeal to me.
South Africa would be a good option too. But lots of people seem to think it's covered by Animal Kingdom.
Published: April 23, 2011 at 6:20 AM
I stuck with Egypt. there was a wonderful film produced for them during the Mallium Celebration. Which was fantastic. And at the time it was runnung around the cast members that it was for a future povilian. ANd as for shows why not move build a theater there and bring Alaidden from DCA there. And move the flying carpets over as well. We could walk the streets of Acrabar and shop. See snake charmers. dine a kabobs on a stick..etc.
Published: April 23, 2011 at 7:25 AM
When I see it I'll believe it. Years ago there was a sign next to the Germany announcing a new pavilion was coming (been so long I can't remember what country). Nothing was ever built. Then I heard that a Swiss pavilion was going to be built with the Matterhorn ride. That faded away too. Would like to see a new pavilion whatever the nation is. Also reopen Body Works!
Published: April 23, 2011 at 10:43 AM
I think it would really be cool if it was Egypt.Disney would be able to represent Egypt really well with a pyramid type ride and a walkthrough exhibit of a sphinx. The imagineers would be very creative this.
Published: April 23, 2011 at 10:55 AM
To be totally honest, I don't care what Epcot adds as long as the restaurant is good. If they add a thrill ride, even better.
Published: April 23, 2011 at 2:48 PM
Personally India sounds like by far the best choice. It's exotic, has great potential for attractions, and most importantly it wouldn't be very similar to any of the existing pavilions. Brazil would be nice but wouldn't it somewhat resemble Mexico? Both Latin American countries with similar cultures and history. Egypt would be a great choice, if it wasn't for the fact that we already have Morocco. Modern Egypt, as an Arab country, has very similar culture and architecture to Morocco. That is unless the pavilion would somehow transport us to Ancient Egypt, which wouldn't really be in keeping thematically with the rest of the WS. As for Australia, it would be a nice pavilion but again it is a country of English settlers that just doesn't seem to stand out as something really new to the WS. And lastly South Korea is a very small country that was heavily influenced historically by both China and Japan.
The only country on the list that does not have strong connections to an already existing pavilion is India. For the sake of freshness that is the best of those options IMO.
Published: April 23, 2011 at 3:47 PM
I have to agree about India. If the World Showcase is mainly about food, then count me in as I am completely addicted to chicken tikka masala and many other Indian dishes, and a hot piece of naan bread is about the best thing in the world.
Published: April 23, 2011 at 3:59 PM
They are currently in the exact order I would have placed them. Australia, followed by Egypt, Brazil, and India. I'm not even sure that I would want to see a South Korea World Showcase area.
Australia would be great though and I think Disney would do a wonderful job with Egypt as well.
Published: April 24, 2011 at 9:40 AM
One more reason for a Brazilian pavilion; perhaps with it people would stop saying nonsenses like " Brazil and Mexico have similar history and cultures".
They speak different languages, were colonized by different countries, and had diverse cultural influences (Spanish and indians in Mexico and Portuguese and African in Brazil, Italians playing also a big part).
Food couldn't be more unrelated! They share no common history.
Mexico is mostly desertic, with the exception of the south, while Brazil has mostly equatorial rain forests and savannas.
Published: April 24, 2011 at 2:41 PM
Mr. O'Neal, how was your visit to the Texas Giant? I will be visiting SFOT towards the end of May for the very first time, and while it is a huge step down from my vacation last May (WDW for ten days), I am very much looking forward to the Giant. I hope it is a huge success as this new hybrid steel/wood tech could bode well for the future of many old, painful woodies at parks across the nation.
As for the vote, I picked Egypt, with which there is an entire theme park worth of attraction ideas just waiting to happen.
Published: April 24, 2011 at 5:33 PM
My family is Korean and I live in Brazil. I have to say, a Brazilian pavillion would be great for foreigners, but I don´t think Brazilians themselves would rush to Epcot to see this pavillion. Maybe just for the food, when they got homesick!
I would like to add that Dora Kramer is a respected journalist here in Brazil, and she certainly wouldn´t post any information she didn´t hear from very sound sources. Disney may be talking to several countries, but if Kramer says they´re talking to Brazil too, it´s probably true.
BTW, I voted for Brazil. I think Disney will bring a lot of visitors to Epcot if they make it right!
Published: April 24, 2011 at 6:57 PM
@Flavio de Souza - Totally agree... You took the words right out of my mouth. I don't know how somebody could even had said that. One of the dumbest things I've ever heard here...
Perhaps he/she should do a little "Wiki Search" to see if in Brazilian history it says: "For the history of Brazil - look at Mexico's history, caused is about the same..." LMAO!!
Published: April 24, 2011 at 9:57 PM
I'm sorry if I came off the wrong way but I was really not trying to knock Brazil by comparing it to Mexico. I was already aware of the facts you stated about their differences. I should have been clearer but I was comparing the countries on a GLOBAL scale, so Brazil and Mexico, sharing the Latin American region, share some broad cultural and historical ties, the way that countries in the Western European region are broadly similar, or that the United States and Australia are broadly similar. They are different on a regional scale but if you would compare both Brazil and Mexico to, say, China, you will start finding a lot more similarities between the first two nations than with the last. These comparisons may be vague, but they are significant when you are discussing the WORLD Showcase.
IMO the WS needs a completely different country from a completely different region than the ones already represented, and for me India would be a good example.
No offense meant.
Published: April 25, 2011 at 9:59 AM
The current country selection is quite bad, very focused on rich western countries. Would be more interesting to represent the world and more exotic places people are unlikely to visit in the real version. India is by far the biggest miss, has a bigger population than all Southamerica or all countries already there ex China. Australia would be most boring, why add a third English settler colony with just 30 million inhabitants?
Published: April 25, 2011 at 7:23 PM
The concept of Latin america is an american simplification, a way to put apples, pineapples, lettuce and tomato together and call vegetables.
Mexico and USA shares much more history and culture than Mexico and Brazil. In terms of culture Brazil is closer to Italy or Africa than to Mexico. Beans and jokes about Argentineans aside, I don’t see any food or cultural connections.
About India, there isn’t any real opposition between one or other. It could be both. Disney always used other people’s money to pay their bills. But now, with corporate america (european, japanese) in the middle of an economic crisis, they can’t count with them for new investments. So the best alternative to add attractions without spending their own money is to look for sponsors to WS pavilions. And who are the candidates to sponsor a new pavilion? I should be a country with a sizeable economy, currently facing an economic boom, and without a presence in WS. The list is not very large, Brazil, India, Russia…
I don’t think Disney chooses to invest in WS. It hasn’t many alternatives. With all their money going to DCA and Shanghai, this is the only way to add new attractions to Epcot.
Published: April 26, 2011 at 2:12 PM
Can those who have voted for Israel please explain? What exactly would you put in that pavilion? What ride? What food? I don't think of any food as "Israeli". And no, kosher doesn't count. Kosher is nearly everywhere; it isn't unique to Israel. Although i wouldn't mind some kosher hot dogs and Coke (made with suger, not HFCS).
Published: April 26, 2011 at 11:31 PM
Egypt could be awesome, as well as a South Korea. South Korea is a surprisingly wonderful place that would be a fantastic addition to have.
For Egypt, how could there NOT be an awesome ride there. Tons of fantastic possibilities. South Korea, couldn't really think of a ride type or what exactly could be done, but Theme Parks in South Korea are Top Top TOP notch, and could maybe see some things they have there and replicate it in a Disney way at epcot.
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