Whether you are starting your journey on the far left in Mexico or from the right in Canada, you’re going to hit eleven nations one way or another. The Epcot World Showcase is one of the most marquee “attractions” in all of Walt Disney World. This is due to the uniqueness of each country due to its cuisine, culture, shopping, and educational exhibits and attractions. Some nations tend to be more popular than others, but each country has a hidden gem you may or may not know existed. We’re here to let you in on a few Disney secret locations.
11. Mexico – Whether you are trying on a large sombrero at one of the kiosks or sampling a taste of authentic Mexican tequila, Mexico tends to be one of the more crowded nations. One of my favorite Disney hidden gems ‘flows’ directly behind the restaurant in Mexico. The Three Caballeros boat ride is, in my opinion, the best kept secret in Epcot. This boat ride (much like Living With The Land), takes you on tour of Mexico with colorful videos, presentations, while Donald Duck is getting himself into some trouble with friends Panchito and Jose Carioca. It is a great way to rest your feet for the journey ahead or the long walk back to your vehicle/monorail.
10. Norway – Given Norway just went through a massive expansion, Frozen Ever After is a must see. Guests have the luxury of seeing Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, Sven, and of course Olaf up close while being serenaded by your favorite Frozen tunes. I’d highly recommend setting up a Fast-Pass far in advance of your visit. Also, be sure to check out the shopping in Norway, where they sell a full line of Helly Hansen winter wear.
9. China – Want to have your mind blown? Walk straight into the temple and stand in the direct middle of the room and talk. I’ll let you be the judge if it is Disney magic or not! Also, be on the lookout for Mulan and Mushu as well. They are a “diamond in the rough” character which makes photo ops and autographs with them a premium. One of my favorite films at Epcot is the Reflections of China. It has an IMAX projection type feel in the 360 degree viewing hall.
8. Germany – Prepare your sweet tooth’s for apple strudel and soft pretzels. Sommerfest is my go-to for a little sugar boost before I get to France. Wies n Baum also put on a show most days. If polka music is your thing, these guys are surely not to be missed. Be sure to look out for a few hidden Mickey’s as well! Also, the Christmas store has every holiday themed ornament you can imagine. I always seem to be adding an ornament for the tree from this shop.
7. Italy – Ciao from Italia! It is no secret that Via Napoli has been voted “Best Pizza in Orlando” for the last two hundred years. It hasn’t been that long, but it should be. My one recommendation for every Epcot visitor is to try the pizza and calamari there. Sure this doesn’t classify as a “secret” but I can’t sing its praises enough!
6. United States – Are you a Disney Chase Visa card member? If so, there is a secret lounge at the top of the United States building. It is fully air conditioned with couches, televisions, charging stations, and FREE refreshments! Of course indulging in a turkey leg isn’t a bad thing as well!
5. Japan – Be on the lookout for the stand that sells bubble tea! It is a Japanese favorite. Also, head into the Mikimoto store where guests can pick their own oyster and see what kind of pearl lies inside of it. There is an area in the back most guests don’t know about where you can try on kimonos and learn about their history and meaning.
4. Morocco – Though they do have daily walking tours to take you through the streets, Morocco is filled with a few hidden secrets. Did you know you can meet both Aladdin and Jasmine?!? They are tucked into a tiny inlet when heading down the first street in Morocco. Also, one fun fact most folks don’t know is that the president of Morocco was so excited for Morocco being part of the original world showcase, he help fund the endeavor. Spice Road Table has the best lamb sliders this side of Agrabah!
3. France – First off, you need to get the macaroons in the bakery. We’ll typically buy these and they are gone before we even hit Canada. They are that good! Take your time going through France and keep an eye out on the bridge for a photographer. They will take some very “romantic” photos of you and your family, while summoning a special guest from Peter Pan via some pixie dust! Can you guess who?
2. UK – There is typically a Beatles cover band playing towards the rear of the United Kingdom area in the early evening. My secret for this location are the characters you can run into. Did you know Mary Poppins has a photo location here? If you really want to throw her for a loop, ask her how to say “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” backwards! You may also run into Winnie the Pooh and Tigger here as well. The area isn’t as popular, so wait times for photos is typically minimal.
1. Canada – The best steakhouse in Disney is located in Canada. Reservations are booked up far in advance. It is referred to as the Victoria and Albert’s of the theme parks. I’m a massive steak fan, and am going to be sure to check it out on my next visit down. Martin Short also has a short film about the history of Canada as well “behind the cave”.
Some of these tidbits you may already know, however many of them don’t get taken advantage of nearly enough. Disney is great at not giving “too much away” both literally and monetarily. However, with these tips, you can take full advantage of everything Disney has to offer that most guests don’t know about.
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