Imagineering the World Showcase

There are currently 11 countries in the World Showcase at EPCOT.  There is reportedly room for more countries to be added.  The last country to be added to the World Showcase loop was Norway back in 1988.  Like I discussed earlier this week, countries pay for the right to have a pavilion built and then support the pavilion with people from their country working at the pavilion on J-1 Visas.

So, with more room for countries to move into the World Showcase…what countries should be added?  There are some glaring omissions from the World Showcase which could be easily filled.  In this article, I’m assuming that the country’s government is going to be willing to spend the money to fund the pavilion.

photo courtesy of disney food blog
photo courtesy of disney food blog

Looking at the map, I think there is room for four more countries.  You can probably squeeze two into the space between China and Germany as well as two more between the International Gateway and Canada.  It would be a tight fit but I think it could be done.

In my opinion, there are two major areas which are under-represented in the World Showcase: the Southern Hemisphere and Eastern Europe.  When EPCOT was being built, these economies weren’t the strongest or did not have good relations with the United States.  Flash forward 30 years, these economies and relations have improved.  As a result, we have two areas full of countries that could move into EPCOT.

1) South Africa

photo courtesy of Lonely Planet
photo courtesy of Lonely Planet

South Africa is one Africa’s fastest growing countries in terms of world stature.  It has recently hosted a World Cup in 2010 as well some other worldwide and continent wide events.  It would instantly become the southern-most country in the World Showcase.  South Africa could easily slide into The Outpost location between China and Germany.  People have talked about having a third African-themed dining alternative at Animal Kingdom.  A potential South African pavilion could provide the third African-themed restaurant on Disney property.

2) Australia

photo courtesy of Lonely Planet
photo courtesy of Lonely Planet

Australia is a far south as South Africa and has a rich history.  The country has two major population centers on both coasts along with a large Aboriginal population in the middle of the country.  The country has great traditions in sailing and other outdoor activities.  The only downside to Australia’s addition to the World Showcase is it very similar to the United Kingdom and Canada.

Australia could differentiate itself from those two nations by putting in attraction like Soarin’ but over Australia.  Guests could start on the west coast by Perth and then fly over the great desert in the middle and over Ayers Rock before finishing in the east coast at the nation’s capital of Canberra.  It could be a popular attraction in an attraction-poor region of the park.  Australia could be kept away from the United Kingdom and Canada by locating itself in the Germany/China area.

3) Brazil

photo courtesy of Lonely Planet
photo courtesy of Lonely Planet

Brazil is one of the world’s fastest growing economies and has recently hosted the World Cup and getting to host the Summer Olympics in two years.  It is a population that is familiar to Walt Disney World when the hordes of Brazilian Tour Groups descend upon WDW every summer.

photo courtesy of wdw prep school
photo courtesy of wdw prep school

Brazil’s addition to the World Showcase lineup could do a few things:

  1. Brazil is one of only few countries that are in both the Northern and Southern Hemisphere.  This leads to a very diverse habitat, ecosystems, and climate.  All things which could be easily highlighted within a potential pavilion.
  2. It could add a really good steakhouse to the World Showcase restaurant lineup.
  3. It could provide a place for people to hide from the Brazilian Tour Groups.  This pavilion would be the one place that they wouldn’t go!  🙂

4) Russia

photo courtesy of Lonely Planet
photo courtesy of Lonely Planet

A country that is so vast it spans two continents: Asia and Europe.  It has plenty of money to spend on a pavilion due the vast of amount of oil money flowing through the country.  It is trying to establish itself on the world stage, like Brazil, by hosting an Olympics (2014) and a World Cup (2018).

Most of the population is located in the European portion of the continent but the country has a definite Middle Eastern and Asian influence as seen through it’s architecture.  Disney would probably veto any mentions of the communist rule in the second half of the 20th century.  It would probably want the country to focus on “golden age” during the 18th and 19th century and Catherine the Great and Peter the Great’s rule.  It would also join Norway and Canada that could focus any potential attractions on it’s winter-time activities.

Those are the countries that I would like to see added to the World Showcase.  What countries would you like to see?  Please take the time to vote in our poll below.

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5 thoughts on “Imagineering the World Showcase”

  1. I’d love to see Spain or Cuba represented. Never thought of adding Australia!

    There was talk about adding Switzerland with a mountain and a coaster inside of it, they must have dropped it.

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