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Everything to Know About World Showcase at EPCOT — Including the Return of the Cultural Representatives!

by Leap on November 6, 2022 Orlando

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Summary

Ever wanted to travel through different countries in the world — all in one day? World Showcase in EPCOT allows you to do just that! World Showcase has 11 country pavilions to explore with immersive architecture, food and more. We are so hoppy that the cultural representatives are back — it's great to speak to cast members from the actual countries and learn more about their culture. Here's our complete guide to World Showcase at Walt Disney World!

EPCOT World Showcase — Cultural Representatives from Norway

 

EPCOT World Showcase Overview and Map

EPCOT World Showcase Map

EPCOT is composed of four neighborhoods — World Celebration, World Nature, World Discovery and World Showcase. While there are some thrilling rides and fun experiences in the front of the park, World Showcase is the heart of EPCOT. As you circle the large lagoon, you'll travel through 11 pavilions representing Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France, the United Kingdom and Canada. You'll find yourself immersed in each country's history, culture and cuisine throughout your journey. It's a great experience for all ages (plus we have additional tips for navigating World Showcase with kids!).

While you can stay on the main path and see snippets of each country if you need to get somewhere quickly, we highly recommend taking the time to explore each country thoroughly. Many of them go further back than you think, with lots of intricate details to discover. Be sure to chat with the cultural representatives to learn more about their home country!

Read on as we explore each of the country pavilions, learn more about the cultural representatives and share tips on how best to experience World Showcase at EPCOT!

Details on the World Showcase Pavilions

There is so much to explore in World Showcase with lots of details to uncover!

Mexico

EPCOT Mexico pavilion

If starting clockwise, you'll first enter the Mexico pavilion. Along the pathway, you'll find many dining options, including La Cantina de San Angel, La Hacienda de San Angel and the popular margarita bar. The best theming is found in the large Mexican pyramid. Inside you'll be magically transported to nighttime. Check out the displays with nods to Dia de Los Muertos and "Coco." The courtyard is intimate with lots of shop kiosks and a few restaurants. Here you'll also find the Gran Fiesta Tour boat ride.

World Showcase EPCOT - Mariachi Cobre in Mexico

While in Mexico, you won't want to miss the Mariachi Cobre. They perform at various times throughout the day. This frog-favorite band has been a World Showcase staple for a long time, so we definitely suggest stopping for a listen (showtimes are listed in the My Disney Experience app). On select days, there is also a trio performing Marimba de las Americas. Across the way, you can also meet Donald Duck in his sombrero.

  • Attractions: Gran Fiesta Tour: Starring the Three Caballeros
  • Entertainment: Mariachi Cobre & Marimba de las Americas
  • Dining: La Cantina de San Angel (quick-service), La Hacienda de San Angel (table-service), San Angel Inn Restaurant (table-service), La Cava del Tequila (lounge), Choza de Margarita (kiosk)
  • Characters: Donald (in a sombrero)

Norway

EPCOT Norway pavilion

EPCOT Norway

Next up is Norway, where you'll find lots of "Frozen" theming! You'll first hoppen upon the Royal Sommerhus area, home to the meet-and-greet location for Anna and Elsa.

Head a little further and you'll enter the rest of the Norway area with its European architecture. Here you'll find the ever-popular Frozen Ever After boat ride and the prime princess character dining location, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (newly reopened as of Nov. 4, 2022).

Never fear, it's not all "Frozen" here. Be sure to explore the shops and the interesting "Gods of the Vikings" exhibit and pop into Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe for some delicious snacks (school bread, anyone?).

  • Attractions: Frozen Ever After
  • Dining: Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe (bakery)
  • Characters: Anna and Elsa

China

EPCOT China

The China Pavilion is beautiful with intricate designs, lovely gardens and beautiful buildings. The main building houses Reflections of China, a 12-minute Circle-Vision film (note it is a standing view). There are cultural displays and shops in the back portion, and be sure to try the egg rolls from Lotus Blossom Cafe. Keep an eye out for Mulan as she makes appearances here throughout the day.

  • Shows: Reflections of China
  • Dining: Joy of Tea (kiosk), Nine Dragons Restaurant (table-service), Lotus Blossom Cafe (quick-service)
  • Characters: Mulan

Germany

World Showcase – Germany

After China, you'll pass the smaller African-inspired Outpost (though not considered an official pavilion). Rounding the corner, you'll visit Germany. We love this pavilion and its thematic courtyard. There are lots of shops and food and drink to enjoy. Leap likes to grab a beer while the rest of us get caramel apples from Karamell-Küche bakery. Snow White is also seen periodically at the wishing well.

EPCOT Germany train set

Just after the main area, enjoy the whimsical train set as one of our favorite EPCOT hidden gems. Spy the mini EPCOT festival banners in the village!

  • Dining: Karamell-Küche (bakery), Sommerfest (kiosk), Biergarten Restaurant (table-service)
  • Characters: Snow White

Italy

EPCOT Italy

Next, you're transported to the beautiful streets of Italy. With towering columns and unique buildings, it's like you're really exploring the streets of Venice. Be sure to head to the bridge by the water for a beautiful view of the lagoon. We can't leave the pavilion without grabbing the best pizza on Disney World property, Via Napoli. Don't miss Sergio, the Italian mime and master juggler, performing his fun act.

  • Entertainment: Sergio
  • Dining: Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria (table-service and walk-up window), Tutto Italia Ristorante (table-service), Gelateria Toscana (kiosk)

The American Adventure

The American Adventure

The halfway point is The American Adventure Pavilion, showcasing classic colonial architecture. Inside, you'll see the beautiful rotunda where the Voices of Liberty sing a capella periodically throughout the day (a frog favorite!). There are various exhibits highlighting American history, and even The American Adventure, a 30-minute show highlighting important events and people. Enjoy classic barbecue and beer at Regal Eagle Smokehouse.

Outside is the American Gardens Theatre, the main stage that hosts all of EPCOT festivals' featured entertainment, such as the Candlelight Processional during the EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays.

  • Entertainment: The Voices of Liberty
  • ShowsThe American Adventure
  • Dining: Regal Eagle Smokehouse (quick-service), Fife & Drum Tavern (kiosk — turkey legs!), Funnel Cake (kiosk)

Japan 

EPCOT Japan

Take in the beautifully tranquil Japan pavilion with its unique buildings, traditional Japanese garden and koi pond. You'll definitely want to explore the main building for lots of cool merchandise. There's a huge section of current popular franchises such as Nintendo, Studio Ghibli and other anime. We love trying the Japanese candy and soda, or grabbing a shaved iced cone from the outdoor kiosk. Enjoy a tasty treat while witnessing the talented Matsurza drummers.

  • Entertainment: Matsurza drummers
  • Dining: Kabuki Cafe (kiosk), Katsura Grill (quick-service), Teppan Edo (table-service), Tokyo Dining (table-service)

Morocco

World Showcase EPCOT - Morocco

World Showcase EPCOT - Mosaics in Morocco

I'm always in awe of the beautiful details in the Morocco Pavilion. The mosaic tiles and fountains are just stunning, especially in the Fez House. Be sure to take the time to explore the entire pavilion — its winding alleyways truly make you feel like you are in a small Moroccan city.

Tangerine Cafe: Flavors of the Medina now houses the rotating festival food and drink, offering up traditional dishes such as kebabs. There are so many immersive details that make Morocco one of our favorite pavilions in terms of theming. Plus, you can meet Jasmine at select times throughout the day.

By the way, did you know that the Tower of Terror was purposefully designed to blend in with the Moroccan architecture and skyline?

  • Entertainment: Atlas Fusion band
  • Dining: Spice Road Table (lounge)
  • Characters: Jasmine

France

World Showcase – France pavilion

Can you spy the Eiffel Tower in the distance? That's right — you're in France! With beautiful buildings and a large fountain, you'll feel like you're on the streets of Paris. There are unique shops and plenty of dining options. Be sure to check out the ice cream from L’Artisan des Glaces and pastries from Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie. Belle and Aurora each make rotating appearances throughout the day.

World Showcase EPCOT – Remy's Ratatouille Adventure

France was expanded in 2021 to include the new Remy's Ratatouille Adventure. This 4-D attraction shrinks you down to the size of a mouse alongside an eventful journey through Paris. After riding, treat yourself to sweet and savory crepes at La Crêperie de Paris.

  • Attractions: Remy's Ratatouille Adventure
  • Shows: Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along, Impressions de France
  • Dining: Chefs de France (table-service), L’Artisan des Glaces (dessert shop), Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie (bakery), La Crêperie de Paris (table-service and walk-up window)
  • Characters: Belle and Aurora

United Kingdom

World Showcase – United Kingdom

After France, you'll come upon the United Kingdom pavilion. The British village has a wide variety of architecture and even a garden with a miniature hedge maze. The shops sell classic British items and a mix of merchandise ranging from Winnie the Pooh to Queen Elizabeth's corgis. Grab some fish and chips from the Yorkshire County Fish Shop and snap a photo in the iconic red telephone booths. And be sure to say hi to Mary Poppins and Alice!

  • Entertainment: Command Performance band, Rose & Crown pianist
  • Dining: Yorkshire County Fish Shop (quick-service), Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room (lounge, table-service)
  • Characters: Mary Poppins and Alice

Canada

Canada pavilion

The final pavilion (or first, depending on your route) is Canada. This pavilion has quite a mix of settings to represent the country. There is the Native American area that leads to the small village (influenced by British and French culture). In the back, you'll find a small canyon and waterfall (it reminded us of our trip to Niagara Falls).

World Showcase – Canada gardens

On the side, there is a beautiful garden with a small pond and cottage. There's a little bit of everything in Canada!

  • Entertainment: Alberta Bound band
  • Shows: Canada Far and Wide
  • Dining: Le Cellier Steakhouse (table-service)

The Cultural Representatives at World Showcase

EPCOT World Showcase – Cultural Representatives from the United Kingdom

EPCOT Cultural Representatives — Nametag from Germany with language tag

Did you know everyone working at the pavilion is actually from that country? In August 2022, the Cultural Representative Program returned, meaning you can speak to international cast members and learn about the county they represent. The program was gone for just over two years and we felt like World Showcase just wasn't quite the same.

Though normally everyone in the pavilions is native to the country, other cast members were placed in these areas during the program's absence. Since the program just restarted, more and more cultural representatives will slowly fill in these positions. You can spy the cultural representatives first by their costumes. They wear outfits inspired by their country's heritage, while regular cast members wear a generic EPCOT outfit. Cast members will have their hometown on their nametags, and if they speak any other languages (this is true for all cast members on property, but of course, you'll find quite the variety in EPCOT).

We highly recommend speaking to the cultural representatives and learning more about their country's culture. It really makes World Showcase feel complete!

Tips for Experiencing the World Showcase

World Showcase EPCOT – UK pavilion

Here are our hoppin' tips for experiencing World Showcase at EPCOT!

  • When visiting World Showcase, you'll most likely be visiting during one of four EPCOT festivals — EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival and EPCOT International Festival of the Holidays. Additional food booths are added so you can savor even more dishes from other countries, including some not represented in a pavilion, such as Brazil, Ireland or Greece. It's a great opportunity to try something new!
  • Encourage your kids to navigate World Showcase with the Kidcot Stations. Each pavilion has a fun activity to learn from as they slowly collect mementos from all of the countries.
  • Though there is limited seating throughout World Showcase, try to take breaks in the shade or A/C as you make your trek around the lagoon. Walking around in the sun can definitely be draining.
  • Did you know EPCOT has a second entrance? You can enter the park through the International Gateway entrance, located between France and the U.K. pavilions in World Showcase. If you're staying at an EPCOT area hotel, such as Disney's Beach Club Resort, or a hotel along the Disney Skyliner route, such as Disney's Caribbean Beach Resort, you can easily access this entrance!
  • While you can head in either direction once you cross the bridge into World Showcase, you may need to turn left or right depending on your next plans. Head left to get to Frozen Ever After in Norway or right to get to Remy's Ratatouille Adventure in France.

What's your favorite part of World Showcase in EPCOT? Have you ever spoken to the cultural representatives? Let us know in the comments below!

Related: Not-to-Miss Rides and Experiences at EPCOT

Keep hopping, Leap!
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