When I was a little girl, I always loved visiting Epcot’s World Showcase, because I felt like I was traveling the world, visiting so many exotic countries in the span of one afternoon. Now that I’m older, the World Showcase remains one of my favorite locations for (wining and) dining, shopping, and taking in wonderfully diverse entertainment acts. I also enjoy chatting with the Disney Cast Members in each country’s pavilion. Each pavilion is entirely staffed by people (most college students) from that country, and it’s fascinating to hear where each person is from, what languages they speak (often several), and what their impressions are of America, Americans, and Disney World.
Set to one side of the World Showcase Lagoon, Canada is a popular jumping off point for Epcot visitors as they embark on their “trip around the world.” Our neighbors to the North have done a wonderful job of putting together and maintaining a beautiful Pavilion that highlights the diverse culture and landscapes of their homeland. Below are a list of five things you won’t want to miss when visiting the Canadian Pavilion:
1. Le Cellier Steakhouse:
Set inside the Hotel du Canada, and fashioned to look like an elegant wine cellar, Le Cellier is one of the most popular and most highly rated restaurants in all of Epcot. Now considered a “signature dining experience” on the Disney Dining Plan, Le Cellier boasts a delicious and diverse menu with an emphasis on steak, though there are many other meal options as well. Upon my last perusal, the menu offered not one, not two, but three different types of poutine! Delicious! The restaurant is also well-known for its delicious cheddar cheese soup. Reservations can be difficult to acquire, depending on the time of day, week, and year you visit, but if possible, this is a dining experience well-worth scheduling into your trip.
2. Rocky Mountain Waterfalls:
If you don’t know where to look, you could walk right by without getting to enjoy one of the Canadian Pavilion’s amazing hidden gems. If you walk through Victoria Gardens, a lovely and beautifully maintained garden area, and make your way behind Hotel du Canada, you will find the wonderfully impressive, 30 foot tall Rocky Mountain Waterfalls! The waterfall makes for a wonderful photo backdrop, so be sure to bring you camera. Also, because many people don’t know that this back area exists, it’s often less crowded than the rest of the World Showcase, offering a nice quiet area to relax for a while, before continuing on with your day.
3. O Canada Circle-vision 3D:
The Canadian Pavilion offers a fun and entertaining short film highlighting the beauty and spirit of the country and its people. Narrated by Martin Short, and featuring music by Canadian Idol winner Eva Avila, this film, projected onto a 360 degree, completely round screen, gives viewers a glimpse of Canada’s different regions, impressive landmarks, and national traditions and pastimes. As an added bonus, the air-conditioned viewing area is a wonderful place to cool off on those hot summer afternoons.
4. Maple Syrup and More:
One of Canada’s most well-loved exports is delicious maple syrup. At the Northwest Mercantile shop, you can purchase a variety of maple syrup products in a plethora of sizes. In addition, the Mercantile also sells many other fun and unique items, ranging from Christmas ornaments, to hand-crafted pottery, and from whimsical dream-catchers to official NHL jerseys.
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Each of the countries included in the World Showcase has its own unique cuisine, shopping, entertainment, and culture waiting for you, and it’s wonderful to spend time in each, appreciating everything they have to offer. Even after many trips to Epcot over the years, it still seems like there is always something new to see or discover. I hope you’ll check out the wonderful Canadian Pavilion on your next visit; check back soon to see which country we review next!