Posts Tagged With: theme park

The Architecture of EPCOT

Japanese Torii

TEDDY’s RATING: 

For those of you who have been following my blog for the past year, (Wow! A year already. Thank you to everyone!) you know that my favorite Walt Disney World theme park is EPCOT. And my favorite part of EPCOT is World Showcase. I’ve always loved to travel and around World Showcase you can visit 10 foreign countries all in one afternoon.

To pay tribute to those countries around the lagoon and to give you a taste of what those countries are really like, the Disney Imagineers did a beautiful job of recreating the architecture of each country when they designed the different pavilions. I’ve gathered some photos from both EPCOT and the countries to give you a comparison. EPCOT photos on the left, real places on the right.

Canada is patterned after a 19th century French chateau in Quebec City.

Canada Pavilion            Canada Quebec City

The toy store in the United Kingdom pavilion is designed to look like Hampton Court Castle.

UK Toy Store    Hampton Court Castle

And, of course, there’s Paris, France’s iconic Eiffel Tower.

France Pavilion  Eiffel Tower

Morocco features a replica of the Koutoubia Minaret in Marrakesh.

Morocco pavilion            Minaret in Marrakesh

Japan’s pagoda is representative of many pagodas of the Far East.

Japan Pavilion           Pagoda in Japan

The US pavilion’s colonial-style was inspired by Independence Hall, Boston’s Old State House, Jefferson’s Monticello and Colonial Williamsburg.

American Adventure      Independence Hall

Italy looks just like the Doges Palace in St. Mark’s Square in Venice.

Italy Pavilion     Italy Doges Palace

Germany’s architecture pays homage to the German town square, or Platz, from the 16th century.

Germany Pavilion   German village

The centerpiece of China is the Temple of Heaven. The original is in Beijing.

China pavilion            Temple of Heaven Beijing

Norway harkens back to the days of Vikings and includes a Stave Church.

Norway pavilion            Stave Church

And Mexico was designed to look like the Aztec Temple of Quetzalcoatl.

Mexico pavilion            Aztec temple

I’m sure a lot of people don’t really consider the architecture of the theme parks, but when these buildings were designed, as with all the buildings at Walt Disney World, a lot of thought was put into them to make them as realistic as possible, giving park guests a truly immersive experience.

Dates of Visit:  Various

https://disneyworld.disney.go.com/destinations/epcot/

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

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Categories: Disney, Play | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Get a Taste of the World

TEDDY’s RATING: 

It’s time once again to tempt your taste buds at the 17th annual Epcot International Food and Wine Festival going on right now through November 12th.

If you’ve never been, it’s definitely worth going to try some of these culinary creations. I love having the chance to try new foods, which are in tapas-sized portions. I’m not that courageous when it comes to foreign dishes, but over the years I’ve enjoyed some interesting and yummy things at the Food and Wine Festival.

        

More than 25 booths, or marketplaces, are set up around Epcot’s World Showcase. This year features two totally new food stops: Terra, where you can partake in vegan treats like Trick’n Chick’n Curry; and Florida Local, which features the Sunshine State’s local flavors like Zellwood Sweet Corn Salad.

Other new exhibits include The Chocolate Experience: Bean to the Bar, hosted by Ghirardelli where you can try their drinking chocolate; The Mr. Food Watermelon Patch; and the Festival Center Wine Shop.

          

My favorite foods and drinks are Canada’s Cheddar Cheese Soup, the Caribbean’s Bacardi Frozen Dragon Berry Colada, Morocco’s Mimosa Royale, Ireland’s Chocolate Lava Cake with Bailey’s Ganache, Belgium’s Belgian Waffle with berries, Australia’s Lamington cake and Scandinavia’s Swedish Meatballs with Lingonberry sauce. Oooohhhh, I’m so hungry.

I tried a couple of new things this year: the Wild Mushroom Beef Filet Mignon with Truffle Butter Sauce in Canada and Linda Bean’s Perfect Maine Clam Chowder at the Hops & Barley place. Both were good, but unfortunately, not great. I had hoped to try the Chocolate Cake with Passion Fruit Sorbet and Coconut Foam at the new Terra marketplace, but by then I was stuffed.

There are also celebrity chef demonstrations and wine seminars throughout each day. HGTV hosts home entertaining seminars featuring their celebrity designers.

“Eat to the Beat” is a concert series that takes place at the American Gardens Theater each evening of the festival. In addition to regular bands like Air Supply, Gin Blossoms, Survivor, and Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, there will be some new performers appearing this year: Smash Mouth, Blues Traveler and Dennis DeYoung from STYX.

Here are some fun facts about the festival:

Each year more than 3,000 gallons of Canada’s Cheddar Cheese soup are made. I eat about half of that!

The Kielbasa and Potato Pierogie dish is one of the most popular menu item at the festival. I concur.

The lingonberry is a staple food in Scandinavian cuisine. I compare it to cranberries, but not as tart.

More than 100,000 desserts are eaten at the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. Of all the dishes I try, most ARE desserts!

          

One big change to the Festival this year is the use of Earth-friendly food containers. I completely understand Walt Disney World’s dedication to recycling, but these containers tend to make the food look much less appetizing.

Dates of Visit:  Various years

www.epcotfoodfestival.com

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

Categories: Disney, Eat, Play | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Bagpipes and Belly Dancing

TEDDY’s RATING: 

If you like world music, take a stroll around EPCOT’s World Showcase and get a taste of tunes from Canada to Mexico, Japan to Morocco.

In my opinion, the musical entertainment at the Walt Disney World theme parks is always first rate. I’ve rarely seen a show that’s not at least very good. And no matter what your taste in music, you can find something worth seeing, and hearing, at EPCOT.

MEXICO: Mariachi Cobre, a 12-piece Mexican Mariachi band, performs at the Mexico Pavilion. Originally formed in 1971, the group has been performing at EPCOT since it opened in 1982. With 3 guitars, 2 trumpets and 7 violins, they bring to life sounds of Mexican folk music.

GERMANY: Oktoberfest Musikanten performs traditional Bavarian music inside the Biergarten restaurant and outside in the courtyard of the Germany Pavilion. This 6-member group, decked out in German lederhosen and playing accordions, tubas and guitars, frolic to the oom-pah sounds of Germany.

UNITED STATES: The United States Pavilion features both the Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps as well as the Voices of Liberty, inside the rotunda of the American Adventure building. The Fife & Drum Corps is a colonial-era band that plays the spirited patriotic music of early America. The Voices of Liberty is an 8-member a capella group that sings classic American songs like “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “Ol’ Man River,” and “Amazing Grace.”

JAPAN: Matsuriza performs on the huge Japanese Taiko drums at the Japan Pavilion. This percussion troupe was formed in 1998 and they play traditional works as well as their own compositions. You know when a Matsuriza performance is going on. You can hear it and feel it all the way across the World Showcase Lagoon.

MOROCCO: Mo’Rockin’ is a 6-person group that plays music from the Middle East, Africa, Spain and America. With traditional and modern instruments, they create original high-energy sounds that keep your feet tapping. And if you feel a bit adventurous, join the belly dancer and wiggle your hips to the beat.

UNITED KINGDOM: The newest addition to the EPCOT World Showcase musical groups is the British Revolution. They replaced the British Invasion who performed the music of the Beatles, Herman’s Hermits and the like. The British Revolution performs hits from bands like Led Zepplin, The Clash, The Rolling Stones and the Police.

CANADA: I save the best for last. Off Kilter is a kilt-wearing, bagpipe-playing Celtic rock band. I just love these guys. I have several of their albums. If you never thought a bagpipe could be part of a rock group, think again. These guys put on a kick ass show. They’ve been performing at the Canada Pavilion since 1997.

Next time you’re at EPCOT, why not take in a show or two? You may be surprised at what you hear. And maybe you’ll develop a taste for some new music.

Dates of Visit:  All the time!

http://disneyworld.disney.go.com/parks/epcot/

If you enjoyed this post, you might like my other blog:  http://ilovebritishtv.com

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An Extra Day to Enjoy the Magic of Walt Disney World

For the first time ever, Walt Disney World kept the gates of the Magic Kingdom open for a full 24 hours. What a special way to spend that extra day of this leap year!

I have a weekday season pass, so I can go to any of the four Walt Disney World theme parks pretty much anytime. I thought it would be a fun to check out the Magic Kingdom on this special day, this extra day of the year, to see what it would be like and who would be there.

Now, I’m not one of those diehard, mouse ear-wearing, pin collecting Disney fans, so I wasn’t there at 6:00am with plans to stay the whole 24 hours, although I’m sure there were many people who did just that. They were probably the ones walking around in their pajamas and fuzzy slippers. No kidding, I saw several people dressed like that.

11:30pm – Arrive at Magic Kingdom.

I was very surprised to see so many people still at the park. And not just adults. There were little kids wide awake and raring to go. I did catch some people sneaking in a few yawns, though. Most of them were weary parents.

Some of the rides still had long wait times. But since it was a special day, I waited 30 minutes to ride something I had never ridden before, the Astro Orbiter. Flying high in a spaceship – whoohoo! From there, back down to earth on the PeopleMover. It was kind of a long wait for that too.

It had been quite a while since I’d seen Mickey’s PhilharMagic 3-D movie, so caught that. Took Aladdin’s Magic Carpet Ride. And then ventured into the Enchanted Tiki Room. I can’t even remember the last time I saw that show. But I tell you, it’s pretty surreal watching those animatronic birds at 2:00am!

Before heading out, rode Pirates of the Caribbean, which was only about a 5 minute wait. The Haunted Mansion is always a favorite, but the wait was 35 minutes, even at 2:30am. And believe it or not, at that time of night/morning, the wait for Peter Pan’s Flight was 40 minutes.

A special commemorative t-shirt saying “I Took a Leap and Didn’t Sleep. I Pulled an All-Nighter at the Magic Kingdom” was for sale, but when I was ready to buy one, they were sold out. The shirts would be available online, but only through March 1, 2012.  I put my order in!

3:30am – Leave Magic Kingdom

So, a mere four hours of extra magic for me. But it was a fun experience. If this turns out to be successful for Disney World, which I’m sure it was, there are plans to do it again in four more years. Let’s start the countdown…

Dates of Visit:  February 29 – March 1, 2012

Categories: Disney, Play | Tags: , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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