As you’ve probably already heard, Walt Disney World has given the pink slip to several popular Epcot World Showcase shows, which held their final performances this week. I spent a stormy Tuesday afternoon catching up with a few of these old favorites with one final viewing, and wanted to share some video of these now-extinct Epcot World Showcase shows.
Off Kilter, the popular Canadian Celtic rockers, were unfortunately off duty during my visit. But I captured closing-week performances from three of their compatriots: Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps, MO’ROCKIN, and World Showcase Players.
Spirit of America (American Adventure)
The Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps played traditional patriotic tunes from our nation’s founding. Child volunteers participated in a brief parade outside the American Adventure pavilion and were presented with free copies of the Declaration of Independence. The Spirit of America has now marched away, but the Voices of Liberty continue to perform.
For 15 years, this lively musical group played original tunes that were apparently inspired by the African Funk movement of the 1970s. MO’ROCKIN were accompanied by belly dancers who encouraged audience participation from younger guests. The group will be replaced by traditional Berber musicians. No word yet if they will still feature belly dancing, or if guests will now have to pay to eat at Restaurant Marrakesh to experience that alluring artform.
World Showcase Players (United Kingdom)
The World Showcase Players, a troupe of improvisational comics who roped audience members into an interactive retelling of the King Arthur legend, is (in my opinion) the biggest loss among the Epcot World Showcase entertainment cancellations. The act originated at a Rennaissance faire and was recruited to Orlando when Epcot first opened, establishing the style of interactive entertainment that was once a staple of Disney parks. Members of the original troupe went on to found DHS’s Streetmosphere (now known as Citizens of Hollywood), Pleasure Island’s Adventurers Club, and downtown Orlando’s SAK Comedy Lab. Stick around to the very end of this rainy video for some truly touching final words that are emblematic of this “end of an era” in Disney entertainment.
Which now-closed Epcot World Showcase show will you miss the most? Share your memories in the comments below.