Theme Park of the Day: Disney's Animal Kingdom

What country would you add to Epcot's World Showcase?

Walt Disney World: It's time to add a new country; there is space to do it.

From Daniel Etcheberry
Posted March 4, 2011 at 5:47 PM
My choice: Ireland.

It would have a Riverdance show, and a ride with Leprechauns.

From Anthony Murphy
Posted March 4, 2011 at 5:48 PM

Though, I might go with a South American Country or the Dominican Republic since those areas of the world are not exactly represented.

From Raul Araoz
Posted March 4, 2011 at 6:25 PM
If you look at Google Earth, there is more than enough room for 4-6 countries... and by George, it has been WAY too long since we got one.

Personally, I want nations that have a uniqueness of culture as well as a rich history to them. I'm really not interested in any more Western European pavilions. 5 of them are already from there. IMHO, Ireland is so well done at Busch Gardens that it fells redundant to repeat it again at Epcot.

I definitely second Greece. It has the architecture and storied past that would work wonders at World Showcase. Greek mythology lends itself to an amazing ride and the food would be great.

Russia has been kicked around for so long by the Imagineers that I would feel cheated if it didn't eventually make its' way there.

Egypt seems like a no-brainer to me for the reasons I stated earlier.

India is the fastest growing country in the world with a fascinating culture. I could picture a replica of the Taj Mahal already.

A South American nation needs to be represented. Not entirely sure which, but I think Brazil or Peru have the most going for them.

Lastly, I have always been fascinated with Thailand. The temples, dances and food there have always captivated me. An elaborate Khon dance would be stunning.

Lots of choices there.

From Tim W
Posted March 4, 2011 at 7:31 PM
I'd love to see Ireland, but I have to agree, it may be a bit redundant due to Busch Gardens having an irish themed land. However, it would still be one of my top picks.

From Randall Peek
Posted March 5, 2011 at 3:49 AM
I'd love to see India, Australia, Egypt, Greece, Spain, Holland, or a Polynesia land. I'd rather not have Russia, since it would almost require the inclusion of vodka in huge quantities...

From Andy Stevens
Posted March 5, 2011 at 5:02 AM
Some good suggestions here. I'd go for Russia, India or Brazil. All large counties that are not represented, however Egypt would also be worthwhile.
Also like the idea of Ireland, but there's more to Ireland than Leprechauns and kitsch.

From Joshua Counsil
Posted March 5, 2011 at 4:26 PM
Daniel -

I'm assuming your Ireland comment was a joke. A ride with leprechauns? Really?

From Daniel Etcheberry
Posted March 5, 2011 at 6:58 PM

The boat ride at Norway has trolls, so why not have Ireland show their own mythical characters?

From Randall Peek
Posted March 6, 2011 at 2:40 AM
Ireland has a very rich mythos, but few people are familiar with the Seelie and Unseelie Courts and the rest of Faerie. All they know are leprechauns and possibly the banshee. While it is a rich tradition, I just don't know how well it would translate, short of inclusion in a Disney animated film.
Now, if we did a Pixar film about the various denizens of Faerie, then Ireland would be a shoo-in for its own land. For now, the thought might be that it is already represented, albeit peripherally, in the United Kingdom plaza.

From Tyler Bell
Posted March 8, 2011 at 6:20 AM

From Lauren Hayhurst
Posted March 8, 2011 at 6:22 AM
I'd defo go with India...The colours, the music and food would be amazing. There could be a covered market area, I can just see the scarfs and saris flaping in the breeze.

The food would be fantastic, you could have a few stalls selling somosas with chapatis and other Indian nibbles, there could be a stall selling lassis (like a thin milkshake drink) and then for a table dining option, a sit-down resaurant with a full menu. This could be inside the model of the Taj, which could be set-back behind a glistening (scaled-down) lake, just like the real Taj Mahal...

I supposed we couldn't get away with having cows roaming around, could we?

Sorry, was back on my travels then, getting a bit carried away :-D

From James Koehl
Posted March 8, 2011 at 7:44 AM
Rome is in Italy.

From Robert Niles
Posted March 8, 2011 at 9:23 AM
Perhaps Tyler's point was that Epcot's Italy excludes Rome in favor of Venice?

Build a Colosseum theater and it's Disney Gladiators! C'mon, who wouldn't want to see Gladiator Donald versus Gladiator Goofy? :^)

From TH Creative
Posted March 8, 2011 at 10:31 AM
Add attractions rather than entire countries. Loch Ness Monster encounter in the UK.

From Terry O'Neal
Posted March 8, 2011 at 10:48 AM

From Terri Pierce
Posted March 8, 2011 at 10:58 AM
They're after me lucky charms!

Ha- I'd love to see something like Greece, Brazil, Russia or any of the ideas here really. Something that would fascinate a wider age range... more younger chirldren, would be nice. And it would definitely need a ride with it. Boat rides like the one in Mexico or even Norway are a great way to educate people without them knowing it. People like my sister closest to me hate to be educated when they pay $80 a day to get into the park, so in order for them to go along with the rest of us who DO want to learn we need to trick them. Thus, fun boat ride.

From Jack Curley
Posted March 8, 2011 at 11:47 AM
I went to WDW back in 2000, when Epcot had the millennium pavilion open with several other countries represented. To be honest, the only ones I recall are Ireland and Israel. Israel was a nice choice, because the Middle East isn't really represented in Epcot, but it had a motion simulator ride that laughably bad.

Let's look at what's missing from Epoct to try to decide what should be put there (in no particular order):
1. Middle East
2. Central Asia
3. Central/Southern Africa
4. Australia
5. South America
6. Eastern Europe

Also, I'd love an Iceland pavilion, because they have the coolest accents ever.

From James Rao
Posted March 8, 2011 at 1:20 PM
It pains me to do it, but I agree with TH. Disney should flesh out the World Showcase pavilions that are already present before adding more.

And they should take a stab at resurrecting the Wonders of Life pavilion while they're at it.

From Bryan Fear
Posted March 8, 2011 at 2:55 PM
Agreed with TH as well, but if more countries were to be added then I'd also agree that western Europe is already well represented. Epcot looks less like the world and more like an organization of favored economic partners. The orient and South America need something more. Maybe the answer is the same for both cases? Whether further developing existing countries or adding more, the real issue is "What attraction can be made in conjunction with this?" If no one's coming up with a very good answer then move onto the next. Some very unlikely and surprising countries may end up being selected simply because they had something INTERESTING to offer.

From Donna McKay
Posted March 8, 2011 at 3:23 PM
I'd like the UK pavillion to have more of a Scottish flavour...purely selfish really as I'd just want to quit my job and go and work there....

From Flavio de Souza
Posted March 8, 2011 at 3:32 PM
With huge quantities of Brazilians visiting Epcot every year, a sure bet would be an Argentinean pavilion!

Every Brazilian dream to visit Argentina without argentineans!!

From James Koehl
Posted March 8, 2011 at 4:26 PM
Flavio, I don't know any Brazilians or Argentineans. What's the problem with Argentineans? Is it a fun rivalry, or does it go deeper?

From Sean Campbell
Posted March 8, 2011 at 8:09 PM
Russia for sure

From Ray Schroeder
Posted March 8, 2011 at 8:38 PM
Greece, Egypt, Australia,the South Pacific.
I saw a Disney exhibit at the Cooper Hewit museum in NYC a few years back. The had a model of the Russian Pavilion they were planning to build but never did. It was modeled after Red Square in Moscow. Very cool.

From Daniel Etcheberry
Posted March 8, 2011 at 5:51 PM
Italy is modeled after Venice, so Disney should add canals with gondolas. Like the one in Las Vegas.

From Tony Perkins
Posted March 8, 2011 at 9:17 PM
World Showcase needs to add more attractions (no more films, please) before adding any more countries.

From Raul Araoz
Posted March 8, 2011 at 10:46 PM
For the most part, I'm against the notion of adding new rides for existing countries instead of new pavilions. World Showcase was always a different beast from the average theme park area. It was never meant to be a thrill-a-minute place. Heck, Epcot wasn't designed with that in mind. It's why I much prefer the 80's version of Future World to its' current iteration.

WS, in its' kitschy stereotypical way, was supposed to recreate a leisurely walk down the Champs-Élysées or St. Mark's Square. Every nation doesn't need a ride or major attraction. Especially at the expense of future expansion. I've spent hours in the Japanese pavilion watching performers, checking out the exhibits, and browsing the store. I think its' perfect as is. There is limited space around the lagoon and a whole new culture to explore would be preferable to a simple addition to an existing one.

Being generous, only 6 new countries can be built on the land remaining. That includes the spot that the old Millenium Pavilion sits on which is used for special events. If major rides were built for Japan and the UK, that would reduce the space significantly.

Having said that, Italy definitely needs work. It is the only pavilion you could see in about 15 minutes unless you have dinner reservations. It is blatantly apparent that more was originally meant to be done. There is more than enough room in the back to build the Small World-style, gondola ride through Italian history that Imagineers wanted in the first place. Do it.

Germany, Morocco and France also have available land out back, but for the life of me, I can't think of any need for improvement. The remaining pavilions have used up their space. The UK is pretty landlocked inbetween the International Gateway and the special events area. Something would have to go in order to expand. I'm not adverse to using some of the SE parking to add Scotland or an attraction based around King Arthur or Robin Hood. Not sure if its' a viable option though.

There are at least 12 countries that would make great additions to the Showcase. That's why I feel it would be a shame to not use the space for new pavilions. It's also why I would use the Animal Kingdom as a de facto secondary WS for areas like Australia.

Oh, and of course, all future pavilions should have a ride, show or both included in the design. :)

From James Rao
Posted March 9, 2011 at 4:45 AM
If they added new pavilions AND new attractions in those pavilions, they would be killing two birds with one stone. I approve of your plan, Raul!

From Daniel Etcheberry
Posted March 9, 2011 at 2:20 PM
The problem of adding Brazil is that it would have a carnival, and that would mean topless girls :^o

From Nick Markham
Posted March 10, 2011 at 7:55 PM
Obviously Greece is the best choice. Then they can add some themed ride and or coaster to Hercules, a surprisingly missing figure from the parks.

From Armando Thomas
Posted March 11, 2011 at 11:23 AM
As stated above, I feel it would be imperative and wise to update the current pavilions before beginning a new project. More than likely since all the underlying work on Russia has already taken place it will be the next pavilion. With any luck maybe we will see multiple countries added down the road. With Animal Kingdom representing SubContiental Asia and Africa it would be wise to assume that South America or Southeast Asia will be key contenders. I would love to see some of the proposed west coast ideas realized.

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