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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Characters Around EPCOT's World Showcase

As you take a mini-trip around the world via EPCOT's World Showcase, you can bump into Disney characters that originate from a particular country based on their story or movie or both.

Marie, the friendly feline from Aristocats, can be found in the France Pavilion. The first time we met Marie was during our last trip to the World
Mary Poppins and Alice can be found in the United Kingdom Pavilion. And, again, the first time we saw these characters at the pavilion was during our last trip. We had previously met Mary Poppins in the Magic Kingdom on Town Square, and had met Alice at the Magic Kingdom near here the teacups.

In Mexico, you can meet Fiesta Donald. He is located in the walk/driveway between Mexico and Norway pavilions.

Snow White can be found in Germany. Here meet and greet area has music and sound piped into the area including birds chirping and singing. Disney theming!

The characters from Aladdin can be found outside the Morocco Pavilion. Typically Aladdin and Princess Jasmine are there meeting and greeting guests. We were fortunate to also meet Genie!

In addition to Marie, France is also the home of Belle and The Beast and Princess Aurora (a.k.a. Sleeping Beauty). Belle and The Beast can be found closer to the World Showcase Lagoon, while Princess Aurora can be found near the garden and fountain towards the middle of the France Pavilion. If you want The Beast's autograph, just as Belle, as she will sign his name.

During one of our many visits to EPCOT, I was in line to get a snack while the husband and boy were playing in/with the jumping fountains at the Imagination Pavilion, when a multi-family group came up behind me in the line. I could overhear their conversation and it went something like this. . . EPCOT is the most boring park, I don't get it, etc. I turned around and asked them if they had been on Soarin' or Test Track or Mission Space or Maelstrom. They said "No" and asked where those attractions where. They were standing just steps from the entrance to The Land Pavilion which is the home of Soarin.
This whole conversation got me thinking about another criteria for differentiating the 4 parks at Walt Disney World--how "in your face" the attractions where in the park. The husband and I had a good conversation about it and decided that the fact that the attractions at EPCOT are not "in your face" but actually somewhat difficult to find, as compared to say. . Dumbo, makes the park even more appealing. What I tell people going to EPCOT for the first time is know what's there. If you don't know what's there before you go, you may miss out on some of the experiences. Take The Land Pavilion for example. It is home to the famous Soarin' but also hosts the Living With The Land attraction, the Garden Grill character dining restaurant, the Sunshine Seasons counter service restaurant, and an environmental movie featuring the characters from the Lion King. I just can't think of the title right now. If you just happened upon the outside of The Land Pavilion, you would have no idea what was inside. Now, the question is would most people go inside. And, the answer is no. Hence the family's comment about EPCOT being boring.
We think the exact opposite. Each time we go to EPCOT we discover or try something new and we have yet to see/do everything. One of EPCOT's strengths is its subtlety.
So here's our order of the most "in your face" park to the most subtle:
1. Magic Kingdom
2. Animal Kingdom
3. Hollywood Studios
The middle two are actually difficult to discern and could tie for the middle spot. It is just that there are more inside attractions at Studios.
OK, back to World Showcase and the characters. A tip would be to check the times guide for times and make your way around the World Showcase to see the characters you would like to meet.
Another EPCOT character meet and greet location is EPCOT's Character Spot. Click here to read more.

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