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Vote of the week: Which way do you walk around Epcot's World Showcase?

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Published: September 27, 2013 at 12:31 PM

With the annual International Food & Wine Festival opening today, many theme park fans will be visiting Walt Disney World's Epcot over the next several weeks. Drawing more than 11 million visitors per year, Epcot is one of the world's most popular theme parks anyway, special of event or no. But almost every one of those 11 million visitors a year faces the same question when visiting Epcot:

Which way to turn when entering World Showcase?

World Showcase
Decision time: Left (clockwise), or right (counterclockwise)?

Do you turn left and go through the national pavilions clockwise, starting with Mexico? Or do you turn right, and move counter-clockwise, starting with Canada? (Okay, "anti-clockwise" for our European friends.)

Coming in through the back, from the Boardwalk? Same question. Do you head left, clockwise, toward England, or right, counter-clockwise, toward France?

Years ago, I always went through World Showcase in the clockwise direction. But I've noticed that since I've moved back to California, I always start with Canada now, instead. Perhaps it's because I just want to get to France more quickly. Or I just get my fill of Mexico at home.

Which way do you go around Epcot? If you're not consistent with your choice, select the one you take more often.


Tell us in the comments why you go the way you do. Is it for the scenery? The food? Drinking around the world? Habit? Thanks in advance for voting, for commenting, and just for hanging around here being part of the Theme Park Insider community.

Readers' Opinions

From 174.57.56.48 on September 27, 2013 at 12:36 PM
I like the rides, so I go that way first. Also, I prefer eating dinner in England, and lunch either in Germany or Morocco.
From Tim Odom on September 27, 2013 at 12:45 PM
I think the answer to this is simple: Test Track. Since there is that walkway between Test Track and Mexico, it is the easiest path. That and generally we skip Journey into Imagination (though next time we might have to hit it, it will be my wife's first trip and she wants to see everything.)

So clockwise for me, the only time I went counter-clockwise was when we went in through the International Gateway (thus, our first nation was France, but even then we skipped over to England for lunch.)

From Iris Hernandez on September 27, 2013 at 12:46 PM
At first it was habit. My parents always went clockwise...now in adulthood I kept the tradition because of Mexico's margaritas!! Its nice to start the walk around the world with a refreshing beverage in hand. The only exception I make is during the food & wine festival. That way if I am not satisfied with my tastings of the day I will finish the day on high note ;-) Ole'
From Mitchell Botwin on September 27, 2013 at 12:50 PM
We normally go 3 times to food and wine - 1st time to Canada, 2nd time to Mexico and 3rd time to re-eat what we liked best
From 96.240.252.106 on September 27, 2013 at 1:02 PM
I go towards mexico because that's the direction all the rides are in, and that way you get to England just in time for fish and chips, and Canada in time for Off Kilter!!!!!
From 70.226.130.236 on September 27, 2013 at 1:08 PM
I have been to Epcot twice, once as a kid and once in my 20's in 2010. I don't remember what way I went when I was a kid, but in 2010 I went the route of visiting Canada first as approaching the area from the main entrance through Future world is seemed the logical and easier way to turn.

On my trip my sole focus was on visiting the World showcase and saving Future World attractions for a later visit. I did not plan what way to go, but as I remember it definately seem much shorter and easier to go to Canada first.

Canada was a nice starting country -- the culture is close to usa (remember people from the country of note are the workers there) and it's neither the best or worst country in the showcase. I prefer to save the best for last and think Mexico with it's ambience and boat ride is best saved fro last. If you start with Mexcio and than Norway second you knock off the 2 countries with the best attractions and you'll be too bored with Japan, Morocoo, United Kingdom later in your tour.

I would rate the 11 country pavillions in the following order:

1. Norway
2. Mexico
3. American Adventure
4. France
5. Canada
6. Italy
7. China
8. Morocco
9. Japan
10. Germany
11. United Kingdom

From 108.225.126.23 on September 27, 2013 at 3:02 PM
Tradition since opening day in 1982, clockwise, and to get to the only remaining original attraction, Impressions de France.
From robert morris on September 27, 2013 at 3:03 PM
We also enter from the Boardwalk and if drinking around the world...

We walk through England and grab a drink in Canada and then to Mexico so we can end at the Rose & Crown for the show.

From Anthony Murphy on September 27, 2013 at 4:08 PM
I think the reason I go to Mexico first (and this could be just be perception), but I feel Test Track is closer to World Showcase.

Interestingly enough, for the Food and Wine Festival, I go towards Canada.

From Daniel Etcheberry on September 27, 2013 at 4:46 PM
Clockwise. The main reason being that I only go to Epcot for the Food and Wine Festival, and my favorite kiosk is Argentina which is to the left. On other occasions I also start left out of routine. I once did it counter clockwise, and it was nice since one gets to relax on the Mexican boat ride after a long walk.
From 81.109.186.5 on September 27, 2013 at 5:08 PM
Canada wins every time to watch the amazing film they have.
From 166.147.104.143 on September 27, 2013 at 7:01 PM
Viva La Mexico!!!! I live the atmosphere in there plus the great boat ride within it. Then there's the acid trip called Malstrom right next to it followed by orange chicken at China. Beautiful way to end my vacation at WDW every time. And of course Illuminations as the goodnight kiss
From KJ Simpson on September 27, 2013 at 7:03 PM
Clearly, only crazy people would go counter-clockwise ;).

Seriously, though, I always go clockwise; however- I realized after reading your post- that when I enter through International Gateway, I head to France. Maybe it's an ending thing for me. I guess I like to end in Great Britain/Canada...

From 172.0.193.217 on September 27, 2013 at 7:29 PM
How about "(c) The opposite direction of whichever of the above options gets the most votes"???

Seriously though, we start in Mexico b/c our family tradition has us at Akershus for our first meal for each WDW trip so that we can kick off the trip with princesses and Illuminations. When we come back the second time on a trip we still turn towards Mexico so we can make our way around in time to hear Off Kilter in one of their afternoon shows.

From Jim Williams on September 28, 2013 at 4:02 AM
I usually spend 2 days at Epcot, so I go clockwise the first day, then counter-clockwise the second day.
From Tim Hillman on September 28, 2013 at 7:45 AM
There should have been a third option for me: Neither Way.

If I start out going clockwise, I get to Mexico or Norway, and then I just lose interest in going any further. If I go counterclockwise, I stop at Canada.

It will take something more than a bunch of restaurants and shops, a propaganda film (China), and a roomful of animatronics to get me to take that hike. Until Disney puts some serious attractions on the backside of the lake, I'll spend my time elsewhere.

From Phil B. on September 28, 2013 at 1:03 PM
I've always gone counter clockwise. It feels natural to me since the Pavilions seem to build in grandeur and attractions that way. Mexico is my favorite of all the pavilions. I think it's just really beautiful inside and out, and I've always been partial to exotic lands and themes, to for me it's saving the best for last. The inside market place is just stunning, I love dining at the San Angel Inn and a pack of wild dogs couldn't keep me away from partaking in a nice, strong frozen strawberry margarita at the end of a long hot day as I watch Illuminations.

I'm actually pretty thrilled to be in the minority for going counter clockwise. It means the crowd has always been lighter at that side of the lagoon as my day is coming to a close. Maybe one day I'll go clockwise and see how the other half lives, or more like close to the other two thirds.

On a side note, this is the only park where I do this, any other park I go clockwise. Even in the Magic Kingdom, where I would end up in Adventureland last, my favorite of the lands because of it's exotic locales it emulates. Go figure.

From 72.186.42.8 on September 29, 2013 at 9:04 PM
I was there on Friday and Saturday and I go counter-clockwise. F&W just gets so crowded and the Canada pathways are wider and easier to walk through. The path from Mexico to China seems is narrower and gets so crazy crowded which tends to put me in a bad mood. I want to enjoy my visit. Also, getting the pork slider at Hawaii then maybe something at Greece and a fisherman's pie at Ireland is a great dinner. The rest of the time is devoted to strolling and snacking and drinking at a leisurely pace.
From Tony Duda on September 30, 2013 at 2:10 PM
The above anonymous comment (I was there Friday and Saturday...) was mine, didn't notice I wasn't logged in. Oops!

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