Epcot’s World Showcase is a cultural experience unlike any other. While nothing can come close to actually GOING to the countries themselves, Epcot is the next best thing. Disney has done their best to recreate the countries as much as they can – including hiring people from those countries to work in the pavilions!
If you can, I recommend taking time to explore the cultures of each country. Each one has exhibits pertaining to the culture, and almost all the countries have some sort of ride or show to accompany it. In fact I feel these exhibits are some of the most overlooked attractions at Disney!
However, if you have to decide on just a few things to do in a crunch, these are my must do’s in Epcot’s World Showcase!
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Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
If you’re looking for a way to beat the heat, the Gran Fiesta Tour is an excellent option and a great start to your World Showcase tour. Imagine It’s a Small World – but in Mexico. And starring Donald and his mariachi band.
This ride hardly ever has a wait more than 5 minutes, and this slow boat ride is a relaxing tour through Mexican culture. The actual “story” of the ride is that José Carioca and Panchito Pistoles, the two other members of the Three Caballeros, are trying to locate Donald, who has gone on an adventure across Mexico before a big show. It may be simple, but it’s one of my favorites because it’s a nice little break. Plus, it stars my boy Donald, and has some amazing footage of the natural beauty of Mexico scattered throughout the ride.
You’ll leave the ride wanting to go on a trip to Mexico ASAP!
Frozen Ever After
If you don’t mind waiting in line, and you want to see some of the best animatronics around, you’ve got to experience Frozen Ever After. This ride is a refurbished version of the Maelstrom ride in Norway, redone to coincide with the popular Disney movie. There is a Fastpass+ available, but it’s in the top tier along with Soarin’ Around the World and Test Track so it might be feasible for your trip, hence why I recommend just biting the bullet and standing in line. It is a fast loading ride so even with the popularity of this ride, you might be able to catch a shorter wait time (compared to the other top tier rides, anyways!)
The ride takes you along a new story featuring Anna, Elsa, Olaf and friends and is a definite improvement over Maelstrom (sorry not sorry!) One way to get past the line is to do the Frozen Ever After Sparkling Dessert dining package. This dessert party not only gets you prime seating at IllumiNations but also gives you an opportunity to ride the ride afterwards, when the rest of the pavilion is closed! The tasty sweets aren’t a bad plus either.
Beer in Germany
Is there anything better on a hot day than a cold German beer? Germany is well known around the world for having amazing beer, and Epcot is the place to get your hands on one of those beers without having to travel to Germany itself! I’m personally a fan of the Wiessbier (white beer) because it has a light hoppy taste, but you can find all sorts of options here. Be sure to pair it with a pretzel!
Macaroons in France
Who doesn’t love French pastries?? And since macaroons are all the rage right now, be sure to head over to the France pavilion and grab some. These little pastries are one of my favorite Disney treats and they’re the perfect little snack to satisfy your sweet tooth! If you want a bit more of a sugar rush, check out their raspberry and lime flavored one!
In addition to macaroons, Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie features lunch and dinner quick service items, and you can find gourmet coffees and authentic champagne to make you feel like you’re truly dining in Paris!
Shopping in Japan
Souvenir shopping is great in ALL the pavilions, but if you’re a big nerd like me, Japan is the best. Looking for Hello Kitty? You’ll find her there! Pokemon and Pikachu? Absolutely! Japan’s pavilion also has some amazing candy and mochi flavored items that you can shop for till your heart’s content (the matcha Kit Kats are my personal favorites!) Out of all the shops in the Showcase I feel Japan has the biggest selection. Candies, novelty toys, and traditional Japanese clothing like kimonos can all be found here, making it a true cultural shopping experience you can’t miss!
Live Music in Canada
On the Canadian live music stage, you can find everything from British cover bands to classic Celtic music. The venue is right off the main pathway and hardly ever has a huge crowd. It’s the perfect place to drink a beer and relax in between your Fastpass reservations, or just chill while you’re waiting for IllumiNations! Be sure to check your Disney app or the Times Guide at the park each day to see when the music starts!
These are just a few of the stops I recommend in World Showcase, but each pavilion has so many hidden treasures it’s hard to do them all in a day!
Is there anything you love to do in World Showcase that I didn’t mention above? Let me know in the comments below!