This is it! The grand finale we’ve all been waiting for, Canada! I have to tell you guys I’m a little sad to see it end, but I’m so excited to show you the Canada pavilion! If you haven’t been able to join us until now, why not take a look at Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France, and the United Kingdom? You can take a world tour and still be home in time for dinner! (Anyone who caught that obscure Muppets reference, please leave a comment. We should really be best friends.)
I always like to start with a wide shot of the land, but if you were leaving the United Kingdom and heading towards Canada, the view wouldn’t be quite so glamorous. You’d come to the park entrance to the old Millennium Village. This area hasn’t been open to the average guest since 2001, and it’s now used mostly for convention space and private events. The photo below gives you a peek at what it looks like inside today.
In the photo below you’ll see a large gate on the left. Behind that gate is the entrance to Millennium Village. To the left of this gate is a cart with merchandise for the UK. On the right is Espresso Coffee & Pastries, which I find a little bit confusing. The morning I was there, it wasn’t open before 11am. I wonder if people wondering through in the afternoons really want coffee that much? It seems like all the unique food offerings in the different countries would be far more tempting.
Continuing on towards Canada the first thing you’ll see is the Off Kilter stage. This is a fun, loud group that you should make time for on your next visit. The seating is limited, but there is a ton of standing room, and you can hear them from really far away! If you’d like a seat, plan to get there 20 minutes early to be safe.
Moving past the Off Kilter stage, you’ll come across one of the most fun photo opps in the park. Everyone should have a picture of herself poking her head through this thing! In the background you’ll see the Hotel Du Canada, which is modeled after Chateau Laurier in Ottawa.
Moving past the photo opp and beyond the stairs, you’ll see this outdoor cart selling some limited merchandise from the Canadian pavilion.
But let’s take a few steps back and look up that staircase. The Canada pavilion unites a lot of different structures! When you first head up the stairs, you will see a Native Indian Village, but on the right you can see just a bit of Hotel Du Canada sneaking into frame.
Up the stairs and on the left, the first thing you’ll come to is the Northwest Mercantile. The building looks like a cabin on a snowy mountain peak somewhere. Attached to the building are all the things you’d need for an outdoor expedition.
However, inside things are more pedestrian. Most of what I found were clothing items that either said “Canada” or had bears on them. There were also some interesting looking snacks and some Christmas decorations that were unique to the pavilion.
Next door on the right is the Trading Post. The outside of this building is amazing, with intricate paintings and even totem poles (pictured below).
Here is what the shop looks like inside. I can remember when this store used to boast some unique items, but now it is mostly plush. There were also some goofy hats and snacks. Check out the decor inside this shop, though. The paintings are gorgeous!
When you step outside you’ll see this totem pole. I purposely left a person in frame in the background so you can get an idea of how large these are. They are huge and impressive!
Past the Indian Village is a small staircase that will lead you to the below pathway. I did a great deal of reading and found conflicting information on which city this is supposed to be modeled after. However, it’s clear this is the French side of Canada. While this is a lovely and photogenic walkway, the doors don’t open, so it’s all just for show.
Here is another view down the same little path through Canada. It really is a lovely spot. This would be a great spot for some family photos. It’s worth mentioning that this area did once contain stores, but they have been closed for awhile and now just hold offices and storage.
Below is a close up image of the plaque on Hotel Du Canada. The building is pictured several times in this piece, but I want to show this neat sign up close. The Canadian National Hotels Group owns the Chateau Laurier, which inspired the building.
Once you walk through this French pathway, you’ll come to the below sign. Before you reach it, you’d never guess what the staircase looks like! So take a look at this sign and remember the civilized city street you just passed through.
And then you descend down this staircase and into the Rocky Mountains! It really feels like a completely different world after just walking a few feet.
At the bottom of the stairs, you’ll find O Canada! a 360 degree movie starring Martin Short. I was surprised how busy this film was around noon. I’m guessing it’s because Canada is the first country when guests start the world showcase in this direction. I’ve never seen a crowd for it later in the day, so it would be better to head there after lunch.
Here is what the indoor waiting area for the movie looks like. The films doesn’t provide any seating, so keep that in mind that your legs won’t get a break. (Except for this lovely waiting area with ample seating.)
Leaving O Canada! and heading to the other side of the pavilion you’ll be faced with this narrow bridge. It’s quite long and can be tight with two way traffic, but it’s such a neat perspective that you have to check it out! The morning I was there a group of kids was just running back and forth across this bridge, proclaiming it was the coolest thing they’d ever seen.
Even better, the below waterfall actually empties into the stream beside the bridge. It was a tough (and wet) angle to really show what that looked like on the bridge. You’ll have to check it out on your next visit! (Or I can go back and get some GoPro video to add. Let me know if anyone is interested.)
On the other side of the bridge, you emerge from the Rocky Mountains into the Victoria Gardens. These gardens were inspired by the Butchart Gardens in British Columbia. I’ve been fortunate enough to visit Butchart, and I can tell you the real thing is a million times better! (Which says something, because this display is amazing!)
Also in the area is the infamous Le Cellier Steakhouse. Personally, I haven’t eaten here in quite awhile just because reservations are so hard to get. The cheddar cheese soup is to die for, but I’ve been able to get my fill during Food & Wine Festival. The day I visited for photos, there was a woman desperately trying to add an extra person to her reservation. It’s a good restaurant, but I tend to not try this hard for food.
Here is a look inside the dining room. It’s lovely in there, and I do miss the pillowy, soft pretzel bread they bring to the table at the start of every meal. A meal at Le Cellier makes you forget that you’re mere feet away from a bustling world of tourists. It’s a great meal if you can get it! 🙂
Walking out of Le Cellier and out of the gardens, you emerge back on the World Showcase Lagoon with this lovely view behind you. Even if you don’t dine at Le Cellier, be sure that you walk through that arch to see the beautiful gardens and find that little path through the Rockies to O Canada! Even if you don’t stop for the show, it’s a fun path to explore.
Below is the view walking away from Canada. From here you can see three of the four unique landscapes we’ve explored. It is pretty amazing now much the Imagineers fit into this space!
If you head past the gardens and continue towards the World Showcase entrance, you’ll come across a DVC booth, but I just couldn’t end the series with that! So instead take a look at the beautiful photo below and remember that Flower & Garden Festival is here, and there’s lots more beauty to share from around the World Showcase. 🙂
With that we’ve come to the end of this series. Thanks so much to each and every one of you who has visited and spent some time with me. I’ve had so much fun sharing this with you! Do you have any ideas of what you’d like to see next? I’d love to hear your thoughts! I can’t wait to find my next adventure with you guys! Until then – thanks for reading!