Hello Friends and Family,

1983 - Epcot, part 2

Link to this year's index by clicking here.

Next up on our tour of the World Showcase at Epcot is the American Adventure Pavillion. At the time of my visit, it was still under construction inside. It took Disney Imagineers five years to complete and is considered a feat of entertainment, engineering, and aesthetics.

Online Disney describes it as a stunning building that was intended as a “people’s mansion,” taking design cues from the classic Georgian style of the late 1700s, Colonial Williamsburg, Independence Hall, Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, and the Old State House in Boston.

Pivotal moments in history appear and disappear seamlessly using a massive computer-controlled movable device. Ten different sets are stored under the stage and are moved forward or backward on cue by this American technological marvel.

Coincidentally, it is currently closed for refurbishment. However, the exterior is quite impressive. I particularly liked the clock tower that sits atop the center section of the building.

Although we could not be entertained inside, I was well entertained with a performance outside by a Hawaiian halau (hula school). It was cool that day (note the jackets worn by the spectators) so the dancers had to keep moving to stay warm 😎.

Here we see the Italy Pavilion. Anyone who has ever been to Italy or even seen movies of Italy could identify this pavilion - the architecture is unique and so beautiful. Thus it is, without a doubt, one of the most visited pavilions in Epcot’s World Showcase. This destination is so popular that it was named Travel + Leisure’s 2021 Destination of the year.

The pavilion's design is a melting pot of Venetian, Roman, and Florentine architecture and icons. It features smaller versions of Italian works in a plaza such as the St Mark’s Campanile Bell Tower and the Doge’s palace.

Italy is one of the go-to pavilions for a truly authentic experience of Italian cuisine. Chose from Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria, Tutto Italia Ristorante, Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar, and Gelateria Toscana.

There are also small shops selling Italian goods, such as candy, household items, perfumes, and wine. Venetian Mask Artisans from Balocoloc in Venice, Italy have also been featured in this Pavilion since 2001, performing live painting throughout the day and showcasing their authentic handmade masks. Musicians, clowns, and acting troupes often appear in the piazza throughout the day.

And what recreation of Italy would be complete without the famous gondolas of Venice?

Next up is the China pavilion entered via a large Chinese gate. Disney did a great job designing and constructing this authentic structure.

The courtyard is dominated by a replica of the Temple of Heaven, which contains the entrance to "Reflections of China", a Circle-Vision 360° movie exploring China's history and scenery, as well as a museum containing several ancient Chinese artifacts. The courtyard is bordered by shops selling Chinese merchandise, and two Chinese restaurants. The pavilion is decorated with ponds, crossed by bridges. Chinese acrobats also perform frequently in the pavilion.

Across the corner of the lagoon, we can see the Mexico pavilion that resembles a Mesoamerican pyramid with steps leading to entrance doors. Visitors enter through a gallery display of Mexican artwork, the "Animales Fantásticos" art collection. The central indoor area of the pavilion is themed as an outdoor twilight-lit Mexican village and marketplace, Plaza de Los Amigos.

At the edge of the plaza, there is a restaurant, San Ángel Inn Restaurante, overlooking an indoor lagoon with a themed backdrop of another pyramid and a smoldering volcano in the distance with themed lighting and smoke effects. I dined here and really enjoyed it. I have read that this is one of the most popular restaurants in all of Epcot. In fact, I was told that if you want to dine here during normal meal times, you must make a reservation when you enter the park. I didn't but it was 4:30 or so and guests arriving then were seated right away.

There is a boat ride inside that I enjoyed immensely. The theme was El Río del Tiempo (The River of Time) but has been updated to Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros.

Epcot was fantastic and probably even better today. I would recommend it to everyone. Next week, we will visit The Magic Kingdom (the Florida equivalent of Disneyland).

To be continued...

Life is good.

B. David

P. S., All photos and text © B. David Cathell Photography, Inc. — www.bdavidcathell.com