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Epcot

Walt Disney World's Epcot is a sprawling theme park packed with hidden details. It's easy to miss the level of craftmanship on show as you race around the park.

Epcot was constructed at the enormous cost of between $800 million and $1.4 billion, and opened back in 1982. That level of investment enabled Disney's Imagineers to cram in a huge number of authentic elements, particularly in the World Showcase area. Looking out for some of these little touches can add an extra dimension to your visit. Take a look at these 34 hidden secrets at Epcot...and let us know any we've missed!

34. Bring your walking boots

Epcot World Showcase If you walk around the entire World Showcase lagoon, from China to Canada, you've covered a distance of some 1.25 miles.

33. The grass is always greener

World ShowcaseNotice that the concrete paths around the lagoon are red - this is partly to make the grassy areas look greener.

32. There's something inside...

African Outpost

When passing the African Outpost in Epcot, stop and go over and open some of the crates. You may get a little soaked...

31. Floating into place

 

 

If you are near the African Outpost in the early afternoon, watch out for the drawbridge going up - you'll be able to see the barges used to launch the Illuminations fireworks being brought out.

30. Hidden platforms

American Adventure

Image © Disney

Ever wondered why you have to go up to the second floor to watch the American Adventure show? It's because the presidents and other figures that you see during the performance are all housed on hidden platforms, which are stored underneath the audience's seats.

29. Going up...

 

In the USA Pavilion, take a look at the paintings on the front wall. One of them opens to reveal an elevator.

28. Larger than it appears...

Image: Disney

 

The USA Pavilion is 5 stories tall, but enormous doors and windows are used to make it appear only 3 stories tall. The façade was created using 110,000 bricks handmade from Georgia red clay - each of which was aged to look authentic.

27. An expensive present

Japan

Image © Disney

Glance at the statue on your right as you enter Japan. It was a gift from the government of Japan when the Magic Kingdom opened, but was later moved to Epcot.

26. Sharp rocks

 

Take a look at the rocks in Canada and Japan when the the Illuminations show is about to begin. The top of some of them will open, revealing sound and lighting equipment.

25. Not so tall after all

Hotel du Canada

Image: Sam Howzit

The Hotel du Canada in the Canada Pavilion is only 3 stories tall. To make it look larger, Imagineers added 5 stories of windows.

24. Totem poles

 

There are three totem poles on show in the Canada Pavilion. Only the one on the left is real - it was carved by Tsimshian Indian carver David Boxley, and weighs some 700 pounds. The other two totem poles are made of pieces fiberglass stacked on top of each other.

23. Echo...echo...echo

China
Image © Disney

Stand in the middle of the Temple of Heaven in the China Pavilion (it's a half-size recreation of the Beijing landmark, and houses Reflections of China). If you speak, you'll hear your voice echo back to you - the temple is acoustically perfect.

22. The Strait of Gibraltar

 

As you walk from Morocco to France, notice that the walkway becomes darker. This is intended to represent the Strait of Gibraltar. It's not geographically correct, however, as it actually lies between Spain and Morocco.

21. Cuckoo!

 

Look towards the back of the courtyard in the Germany Pavilion, and you'll notice a clock. On the hour, a wooden boy and girl emerge from the clock and twirl around.

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Comments

"China to Canada?" Why do Norway and Mexico get left out?

Does anyone know how the gold colored spaceship model on the pylon in front of destination space got damaged. I have older pictures that show it whole and more recent ones that show the left upper tail find glued back together with cracks still showing and the right upper tail fin cut short and ground straight.

Here's another Norway one if it's determined the old maelstrom painting one needs to be replaced:

While the Norway pavilion was built and opened after EPCOT opened, there is an opening day structure within the pavilion. When the park was opened they built bathrooms with a old European style on the plot between Mexico and China. Several years later when they were building the Norway pavilion the opening day bathrooms where incorporated into the pavilion design/layout.

"If you walk around the entire World Showcase lagoon, from China to Canada, you've covered a distance of some 1.25 miles." The first country to the left as you enter the World Showcase is actually Mexico. If you start at China you've missed Mexico and Norway.

I knew 27 of these, but pleased to have learned more.

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