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Every World Showcase Pavilion, Ranked

3. Japan

 aloha75, Flickr (license)

Image: aloha75, Flickr (license)

It’s hard to put a pavilion without an attraction in the top-3. However, that’s easier to do when that pavilion asks you to reconsider your definition of “attraction” along the way.

The Mitsukoshi Department Store in the Japan pavilion is, essentially, just a store. But calling it a “store” sells short just how much of an experience it is, and just how much time you can spend exploring it. Featuring everything from anime memorabilia to sake and unique foods, the Mitsukoshi Department Store has more to see than some entire World Showcase pavilions.

Beyond that, Japan includes several dining locations, including the scenic Katsura Grill, as well as an art gallery dedicated to various exhibits about Japanese culture. And, if you want something a bit more interactive, the thrilling taiko drum performers add a pulsing energy to World Showcase whenever they perform.

Japan is beautiful, full of places to explore, and incredible food to try — making it a top-3 pavilion, even without a real attraction. If it had one — like, say, the long-rumored bullet train experience or Mt. Fuji roller coaster — it would be a real contender for No. 1 on this list. 

2. France

 pandapples, Flickr (license)

Image: pandapples, Flickr (license)

Impressions de France isn’t just the best attraction in the World Showcase. It’s also one of the best attractions at Walt Disney World. Featuring music, poetry, and images from one of the most beautiful and artistically prolific country’s the world has ever known, the not-quite-CircleVision film is a work of art itself (as well as an early influence of the modern Soarin’ Over the World attraction around the corner).

But even without Impressions de France, this pavilion would be among the best. Monsieur Paul and Chefs de France offer incredible sit-down cuisine, while Le Boulengerie Patisserie Des Halles gives guests an incredible assortment of pastries and breads to try. Smaller dining kiosks offering gelato and other sweets combine with charming shopping and gorgeous architecture to make France among the most photogenic pavilions in the entirety of Epcot.

And, it’s only getting better — with the forthcoming Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure attraction opening soon, France will likely be the most popular stop in Word Showcase.

1. Mexico

 marada, Flickr (license)

Image: marada, Flickr (license)

But, just because France is the most popular, that doesn’t mean it’s the best. That title goes to Mexico, one of the best themed areas in any Disney park, anywhere in the world.

Tucked inside a replica of an ancient Mayan temple, the Mexico pavilion places guests into an eternal nighttime party on the streets of a bustling village. There’s a restaurant right along side a river — the same river that takes guests on a Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Three Caballeros.

There are kiosks selling Mexican toys and souvenirs. There are shops offering high-end jewelry and other more adult goods. And, of course, there’s La Cava de Tequila — one of the best bars on Walt Disney World property.

Outside the pyramid, the pavilion continues its culinary offerings with a table-service restaurant alongside the World Showcase lagoon and a quick-service spot for those touring around the world at a brisker pace.

But if you’re looking for a pavilion that truly transports you to another place, and creates a sense of time and mood unlike anything else you’ve ever experienced, Mexico is that pavilion. It’s the perfect encapsulation of everything the World Showcase is about — giving you a taste of another country’s culture and feeling without ever leaving home.

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