Over the past calendar year, I’ve detailed the greatness of all 11 pavilions at Epcot’s World Showcase. I have celebrated the architecture, the artistry, and the activities at each facility. Last time, I evaluated the “worst” pavilions, all the while emphasizing that the worst of them is still a destination location for all theme park tourists. Today, I’m going to talk about the pavilions that somehow stand out in an entire themed land predicated on excellence. Here are my choices for the best six pavilions at the World Showcase.
Let me start by saying that this list exists in tiers. This and the next selection comprise the “lowest” tier, which the third and fourth entrants are of superlative quality, only not as great as the top two. Those pavilions are in my estimation as close to perfect as pavilions can be.
So, why do I rank the Morocco Pavilion so highly? The attention to detail here is the finest at the World Showcase. I’m not slagging the other pavilions, simply acknowledging a hard truth. No matter how much Imagineers study the styles of various countries, they’ll always be at a disadvantage relative to residents of said countries.
King Hassan II didn’t leave the construction of his pavilion to Disney. He was footing the bill for it, and he wasn’t willing to take a chance on people he didn’t know. So, he shipped his own people and construction elements to Epcot to assure true authenticity. Guests can’t help but notice the gorgeous inlays and realistic bazaar merchandise. Plus, the food’s exotic, even by World Showcase standards.
My German heritage comes into play here. I never lived in or even visited the country, but when I am in the Germany Pavilion, the architecture feels familiar, even homey. Modeled after a humble Bavarian village, it’s such an inviting place to visit. I can’t help but stop here every time I walk through it on the way to a different pavilion.
A running theme on this list is the importance of architecture, and this place is high on this scale due to the realistic structures. It also has the warmest theme imaginable, a permanent Oktoberfest. Every time you visit here, the most delicious beer is on tap, and the restaurants have delicious schnitzels and other tubed meats. At the World Showcase, this pavilion has always seemed the friendliest to me in terms of design and theme. Also, anyone who doesn’t love the miniature trains is dead inside.