Puerto Rico’s presence was expanded this year at the 2014 Epcot Food and Wine Festival bringing not only many different flavors from the island to guests at Epcot, but also a bit of heritage and a look at the history of Puerto Rico. In a recent article published by Puerto Rican newspaper, Metro, details were divulged of the partnership that they’ve created with Disney. The island of Puerto Rico has signed a 3 year contract to bring the flavors of the island to the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, as well as the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival beginning in 2015 and running through 2016. For the Food and Wine 2015 display, they’ve already begun working on a design based on “El Yunque“, the second tallest mountain on the island and the only Tropical Rain Forest located within the United States National Forest System.
Various different companies from Puerto Rico including CC1, Yaucono, Club Caribbean, and Pan American Grain have invested over $700,000 to bring Puerto Rico to the Epcot festivals.
Also mentioned in the article is that Disney and Puerto Rico are currently in talks to bring a permanent addition of Puerto Rico to Epcot’s World Showcase. The addition of Puerto Rico to World Showcase would reportedly cost over $100 million that would be split over the course of 10 years (2017 – 2027) through a contract between Disney and the private companies involved.
We’ve seen in the past many attempts to add a new country to World Showcase, and all of them since Norway in 1988 have never made it off of the drawing board. A few years ago, a similar story about Brazil was posted on this very site. Of course, there is always the possibility that a Puerto Rico pavilion would never end up being built at Epcot, but the possibility is still there if the proper corporations actually come through on funding the project.
As the resident WDWNT Puerto Rican, I would be very excited to see my home island as a World Showcase pavilion. The heritage and architecture of Puerto Rico would make for a fantastic pavilion. For those familiar with Puerto Rico, El Morro would be an excellent choice to represent the Old San Juan area of the island in the pavilion.
What are your thoughts if Puerto Rico were to join the other countries at Epcot? Leave your thoughts in the comments below!