A World Away

By: Carmine Torchetti             The World Showcase in Epcot houses some of the most interesting and ethnical aspects of Walt Disney World. It is indeed a classic area of the resort, comprising half the EPCOT theme park, including pavilions devoted to such countries as Italy, America, China, Japan, Morocco, Canada, England, and much more.  Indeed one of my favorite parts about the resort, it offers a wide variety of everything to be found in Disney World, well, almost everything.  There is much in the way of shows, dining, and shopping, but what about the rides? 

            We have Maelstrom, one of my favorites belonging to the Norway Pavilion, which is an exciting boat ride that takes you through the past of Norway’s Viking history. Then we have the Grand Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, a boat ride that takes you through the culture and livelihood of Mexican culture.  Those are all fine and good, but for a pavilion that has some eleven countries, two rides seems too be not sufficient.  Now, there are theatrical shows that the other pavilions displays for the guests, such as Reflections of China in China’s pavilion, the American Adventure in the American Pavilion, and O Canada in the Canadian Pavilion, which will be getting its facelift, but there are some countries that don’t offering neither a sit-down theatrical show or a ride, such the United Kingdom, Morocco, and Italy.  Now although, some of these countries have stage productions, such as Morocco and Italy, again, it doesn’t seem to be sufficient.

            In the past, there have been plans to add such rides to the world showcase.  For example, some of the original pavilions were thought of when imagineers thought of adding rides to the showcase.  These included a Rollercoaster for Japan named Mount Fuji, due to the fact that it would be sponsored by Fuji Film and a simulated bullet train ride for Japan as well.  However, due to the fact that Disney had a long standing relationship with Kodak Film, the idea fell through.  Germany was also rumored to have a boat ride added to its pavilion, named Rhine River Cruise, another ride idea fell through.  Finally, more of a rumored ride idea was thought of for the Canadian Pavilion, a Brother Bear themed boat ride.

            Besides the Fuji/Kodak dispute, reasons for the rides above not being added are unknown, and sadly, no new ideas have been made public lately with the with regards to the world showcase and its rides or lack there of.  Now, some can make the argument that too many rides may take away from the effect of the World Showcase, and this I can agree with.  However, all I am talking about is something for every pavilion, if not a ride, a theatrical show.  For example, stage shows outside in Morocco and Italy do not seem to be enough for me, as I feel that a boat ride and a theatrical show in Norway leave guests with more of an understanding in Norwegian culture than in Italian culture.  The purpose of the world showcase is too educate and enlighten the guests of Walt Disney World to the very ethnicities, backgrounds, and lifestyles of their fellow guests as well as their own.  I firmly believe that in addition to the shows, rides, and appropriate cast members that work the pavilions that represent their respective  nationalities, additional rides will help improve the already popular area of Walt Disney World, as well as maintain the lure and luster it has had for so many years. 

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