So, I love Disney, as most people do, and I got to go there for a few weeks with my band a few years back, and then again with my family the summer before my senior year, and my favorite park, as you can guess, was Epcot. I have always been infatuated with cultures and different languages, so I found this the best chance to learn, practice, and explore. Epcot is like a little miniature world, full of people you can interact with, the architecture of the country, and the food (which is amazing). so below I have my favorite restaurants, stores, pavilions/events, and my favorite chances for culture exchange. so AWAY WE GO!
When it comes to the food, it can get difficult. I ate at many places around Epcot, and I find it hard to pick the perfect place for everyone. In case you don’t know, Epcot has 11 pavilions, each one styled for a different country (those being Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, The USA (which is completely boring), Japan, Morocco, France, The UK (separated from France by a miniature “English Channel”), and Canada). during my multiple days at Epcot, I ate at Mexico, China, Italy, Japan, Morocco, France, and the UK, and each has their own perks, so I will give you my top 3 choices. At 3, I would say go to the Kasturba Grill, which is kind of a fast food restaurant, Japanese style. you can get sushi (which I have never been a fan of) or something simple like Chicken Teriyaki with white rice, and enjoy it from the interior area, styled as you would find it in Japan.
#2 I would say head to the UK and go to the Rose and Crown Pub. One thing I love about Epcot, is that only from each country can work in that pavilion, so that means I was surrounded by British accents and I loved it. The food is great as well. As it was England, I had to try fish and chips, and I’ve got to say, they were pretty good. the best reason to go here though is the atmosphere. When I went with family, we were sitting by the lake in the middle of the world showcase, talking Dr. Who with multiple Irish and British workers while enjoying a great taste of fish and chips. if that isn’t bucket list, I don’t know what is.
My favorite place to eat though was the Restaurant Marrakesh in the Morocco pavilion. before eating here, I had never eaten Moroccan food, by dear lord was this amazing. the interior of the building was styled in what I describe as a Casbah kind of feel, complete with tiled floors, pillars, and amazing Krystal chandeliers. they also have live music and Belly-dancing, which the lady pulls girls to the front to belly-dance with her, which I find to be a unique experience. if you go there, my recommendation is to get the Chicken Couscous with mint tea (couscous is the Moroccan national dish and mint tea it’s national drink)
My favorite store in the entire park, by far, is the store Mitsu-koshi in the Japan pavilion. it is probably one the biggest, coolest stores that I have ever seen. the very front room is complete with just about any kind of anime item that you could imagine. as you walk farther, you start to see a stand where you pick an oyster, they pry it open in front of you, and they give you the fresh pearl from inside, all for about $5 (don’t quote me on that). walk even farther and you will go into more traditional Japanese items. you will start to see puzzle boxes, little lucky figurines, and even more amazing trinkets. you then get to a room that has all kinds or robes and Japanese clothing and clothes, including the traditional shoes you see on all the TV shows. you then get to a room that is filled with swords on sale (this could be in the second room, I forget) along with many different calligraphy sets and parasails. the last room is probably one of the best spots I have seen in all of Disney, as it is full of all kinds of Japanese candy that you can buy, along with a wall full of different chopsticks. this is where I found my favorite candy, Hi-Chew.
My overall favorite area was probably the Moroccan pavilion, just due to how strange it was compared to where I grew up. the music, smells, atmosphere, was all so overwhelming. you really got the idea you were in the middle of a Moroccan city. I can say the same for the Japan pavilion and all the other locations. they put so much effort into making sure they were authentic, and you can tell that came through. be sure to check you map when you arrive to make sure what free events you want to go to. I would recommend the Chinese circus and the Japanese Tonka drum demos.
one fun thing that we did when we went is that we went and bought those little kid passports (I know. it’s funny but a lot of fun and cheap as well) and we ran around the park to get all the stamps and signatures that we could. I was also learning Spanish and Italian at the time (I am still working on Italian) so whenever we got to Mexico or Italy, I would have small conversations with the people who were signing to get practice. My cousin was learning German so she was practicing when we got to the Germany Pavilion.
these are just a few of the many experience you can have in such a small part of this one park. Disney is huge, and this is just the beginning of this explanation. I hope you guys enjoyed!
Ni Mingtian Jian!