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Lost in Time: 12 Epcot World Showcase Pavilions That Were Never Built

6. Spain Pavilion

"Phase II" of World Showcase was to include a Spanish pavilion, boasting two attractions. The first would be a movie showing landmarks in the country, while the second was a dark ride showing off the country's culture. The main restaurant would have served tapas.

5. United Arab Emirates Pavilion

A 1978 plan for World Showcase includes a United Arab Emirates Pavilion, which would have seen guests entering past two Arabic Dhow ships. Inside, a Bedouin desert encampment would await them. The main attraction would have been a magic carpet ride through the Arab world.

4. Venezuela Pavilion

Venezuela Pavilion

Image © Disney via Jim Hill Media

In 1981, Disney announced that Venezuela had signed on as the fifth South American tenant in World Showcase. The main attraction was to be an aerial tram ride through the tropical rainforest, but the deal fell through.

3. Australia Pavilion

Sydney Opera House

Image: Edwin Lee, Flickr

Little is known about plans for an Australia Pavilion, other than that Imagineers hoped that it would form part of the original World Showcase line-up. It is believed that the design would have included a recreation of Sydney's iconic Opera House.

2. Equatorial Africa Pavilion

Equatorial Africa Pavilion
Image © Disney via Jim Hill Media

One of the most intriguing pavilions that was dropped from the original World Showcase plans was the Equatorial Africa Pavilion. This would have boasted an enormous, 60-foot treehouse, which guests could climb to look down on an image of animals gathering at a waterhole at dusk (an illusion created by Imagineers). A live show featuring African musicians and dancers would be hosted in an outdoor amphitheater, while the "Heartbeat of Africa" show would offer insights into the continent's culture.

1. Switzerland Pavilion

Image © Disney

The Switzerland Pavilion would have been dominated by an East Coast version of Disneyland's Matterhorn Bobsleds roller coaster. Negotiations with the Swiss government fell apart in 1987, and Disney was unable to secure a commercial partner to help fund the pavilion.

Learn more about Disney's unbuilt attractions

I'll soon be releasing my third book, Possibilityland: The Disney Theme Parks That Could Have Been. This will include detailed descriptions of many Disney parks and attractions that were designed but never built. It will place these in the context of the overall story of Disney's theme park business, so that you can learn why they were proposed in the first place, why the projects didn't go ahead and how they influenced subsequent attractions that really did see the light of day. If you'd like to be notified when the book is released, sign up for the special newsletter.

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There are 2 comments.

I wish the Disney Company would work on making these pavilions become reality instead of wasting time and energy on an Avatar Land in Animal Kingdom or "dumming down" World Showcase with the Frozen ride and the 3 Caballeros in Mexico Pavillion. I want to tour the world in a way I and many others could not have the opportunity. Initially Epcot offered that possibility, but now not so.

It's worth noting that Isreal eventually did have a presence in Epcot. They had the largest Pavilion inside the Millennium Village. Relations to get that worked out were tense at times and there was a lot of dissension among the other MV tenants that Isreal was so prominantly featured.

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