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Foto Fridays: Face-off – World Showcase

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Congratulations on making it to the conclusion of another work week! With your weekend about to start, hopefully this eases you into relaxation mode. In this edition of Foto Face-off Friday, the weekly blog that features photographs from our TouringPlans Flickr Group that are an extension of the Disney Debates we’ve been holding on our Twitter Account, @TouringPlans, we are asking you which World Showcase country is best!

Here is what some of our followers on Twitter had to say:

@marytsdollhouse Norway because if the Maelstrom ride.

@thadarkslayer Norway: the perfume, attraction, & school bread

@mytsukata Japan, because they have the best store! Canada runs a close second for me, though…same reason. 🙂 #DisneyDebate

@GarrettJD @TouringPlans Canada… Le Cellier and Off Kilter, a great combination!

@khelmstetter @TouringPlans I think Germany is the prettiest but I love that tequila bar in Mexico

@markjohns1 @TouringPlans Germany! Beer, pretzels, and meat in tube form. What’s not to like?

@rashizb Favorite World Showcase pavilion = United Kingdom for shopping and ambience, but Canada for Off Kilter wins!

Along with their photo entries, we asked for an explanation as to why each Flickr poster preferred their respective choice. Their reasons may pertain to photography, general enjoyment of the choice, or both. Their personal thoughts are provided below their photo-entry. To view more of their photography click on their respective submission, which will direct you to their Flickr photostream.

American Adventure (with the 85mm f/1.2)
Some people might find it boring, but I love the American Adventure. Call it national pride or whatever, but I can’t listen to the Golden Dream song without tearing up just a bit. Then there’s always the Voices of Liberty, which I have to see at least a few times on each trip, they’re amazing!

Photogineer (Doug):
Skip Norway
Well this was a tough one because I think every country has a unique feel to it. I do find myself in either Japan or China the most. I picked China because of the huge amount of photo opps that present themselves. There is just so many details that I keep finding that I have not gotten boarded in this area yet. Plus I really like the Mango Green Tea Slush in that area. Had four of them in two days there.

My favorite countries in Epcot are the most "exotic" ones, Japan and Morocco. Both have unique architecture, plenty of places to explore, excellent dining, interesting shops and great musical entertainment. If I have to choose between the two, Morocco and Mo’Rockin will always be my choice, for one obvious reason.

Isabelle Boivin:
Ouf ! Not an easy one. For two things. First, I love all EPCOT pavillons. Each one as the spirith of is country and each one is very unique. I was going to fall for home, Canada… but then, I’ve got no good picture of it. Which bring us to my second "thing" ! So, Italy it is. I used to love the restaurant there, the Orginale Alfredo. Went twice and ate the exact same thing. And I always loved the look of that pavillon. Calm. Pretty. You always whan to climb thoses stairs at your left and wait for a nice guy to pick you up !

Larry White (Trying to Shine):
World Showcase - Japan Pavilion
Not sure I have a "favorite", but I do enjoy Japan’s architecture. The shops are also fun to walk through. My kids (now adults) love the Japanese shows with all of the various characters. This is a shot taken during the May Photo Walk.

I love them all for different reasons, but if forced to choose, I guess my favorite pavillion is Mexico. I love the outside pyramid, but I especially love the outdoors-inside theme of the interior: the festive but relaxing feel of the plaza, the smell of food from San Angel, the volcano in the distance, and I’ve always been a fan of the ride – no matter what it is called or how it is themed.

Natasha Joyan:
Night Lagoon
Although I love pretty much all of the World Showcase, one of my favorites is Japan. It is home to a great restaurant with one of my favorite types of foods- sushi! I could easily spend hours in the Mitsukoshi store! I find all the architecture so inspiring and the whole atmosphere very tranquil.

Finally, my entry and commentary:
EPCOT - The American Adventure's Ultra Wiiiiiide Fountain
First, let me start out by saying, you all are crazy. And wrong. Besides DisneyGirlinNJ. She’s cool. This Face-off should be a no-brainer. It should be so ridiculously easy that a blind-folded untrained monkey could pick the best country. The American Adventure is without question the greatest World Showcase country. Heck, even if it had only a McDonald’s & PBR stand and an unthemed restroom, it would still easily trounce the other countries. This is by virtue of the name of the country, as no country can compete with America in a battle of excellence. In a relatively short time, America has produced such great things as Robocop, Thomas Jefferson, Ken Griffey, Jr., Segways, the George Forman Grill, ALF, Stephen Colbert, Jurassic Park, and of course, Mickey Mouse & Walt Disney, just to name a few things. In total, the only awesome things the other World Showcase countries have produced are samurais, polar bears, Celine Dion, sombreros, British accents, vikings, trolls, and giant oil rigs.

Sarcasm aside (although it’s only partly-sarcastic; I am unabashedly patriotic), the American Adventure easily gets the win from me. It’s really a no-brainer. The experience begins with the Fife and Drum Corps performing riveting marching demonstrations outside the stately colonial manner. Once inside, listening to the Voices of Liberty bellow out amazing a cappella Americana classics really sets the mood for the inspiring show that’s to follow. Even the decor inside elicits an emotional response from me. Then, the main show, the American Adventure, narrated by figures of Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain, which is simply engrossing, and a technical marvel. By the time “Golden Dreams” plays to conclude the show, I am holding back the tears of joy, while simultaneously ready to go on a patriotism-fueled rampage. It’s easily one of the top attractions at EPCOT.

Now, I realize there are those out there who think the American Adventure is a sanitized, reductionist view of American history. I’ve heard people discuss this, and frankly, it baffles me. Expecting the American Adventure to discuss complex or controversial topics in American history, or give any serious depth of treatment, is akin to expecting a child’s picture book about puppies to go into the anatomy of the species. Neither are the appropriate vehicles for such discussions. By its very nature, it cannot, and should not, be this complex or edgy. I appreciate it for what it is, and that is an amazingly well produced and emocotive theme park experience.

While the American Adventure is probably the weakest choice for dining and shopping, this shouldn’t be too surprising given that so many other restaurants in WDW offer “American” cuisine and shopping options. Thus, I don’t feel this is a reasonable critique of the pavilion, either, and despite this complaint, I crown the American Adventure the undisputed winner of this Face-off. Congratulations, America, you win again!

What are your thoughts on the face-off? What is your favorite World Showcase Country? Let us know in the comments! Just remember, choosing anything besides America is distinctly unpatriotic.


The next challenge features Disney CHRISTMAS! Post a shot of your favorite aspect of Christmas, Disney-style. It can be from the Parks, an ornament on your tree, or anything else Christmas and Disney related! Also, voice your thoughts about Disney Christmas on Twitter to @TouringPlans and entering your submissions in the TouringPlans Flickr Group discussion entitled “TouringPlans’ Foto Face-off Friday Blog – Disney Christmas!” You could have your comments and picture chosen to be featured in the next Face-off blog, so get to Tweetin’ and Postin’! With so many of you heading down to 2010 Reunion in a couple of weeks, we expect lots of photos! In the spirit of the holidays, any on-topic photo submitted will be featured in the blog!

If you want tips on taking those holiday photos, stay tuned for next Friday’s post, when I will provide a thorough guide to photographing Walt Disney World during the holidays!

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Tom Bricker

Tom is an amateur Walt Disney World photographer. He recently married his princess, Sarah, to whom he became engaged at WDW on the beach of the Polynesian Resort in 2007. Tom and Sarah have a miniature dachshund named Walter E. Dogsney and a yellow cat named Yossarian the Cat. Together, Sarah and Tom run the website Tom's photography can be found on his Flickr page ( and he can be contacted via Twitter (@wdwfigment) and Facebook (

One thought on “Foto Fridays: Face-off – World Showcase

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