Epcot's other themed area, World Showcase is an ongoing World’s Fair encircling a picturesque 40-acre lagoon. The cuisine, culture, history, and architecture of almost a dozen countries (and one makebelieve kingdom) are permanently displayed in individual national pavilions spaced along a 1.2-mile promenade. Pavilions replicate familiar landmarks and present representative street scenes from the host countries.

World Showcase features some of the loveliest gardens in the United States. In Germany, France, United Kingdom, Canada, and, to a lesser extent, China, they’re sometimes tucked away and out of sight of pedestrian traffic on the World Showcase promenade. They’re best appreciated during the day, as a Clio, Michigan, woman explains:

Visit World Showcase in the daylight in order to view the beautiful gardens. We were sorry we didn’t do this because we were following the guide and riding rides that we could have done later in the dark.

Unofficial Tip

If you do not want to spring for the Passport Kit, the Disney folks will be happy to stamp an autograph book or just about anything else (we saw one four-year-old with a stamp from France in the middle of his forehead).

Most adults enjoy World Showcase, but many children find it boring. To make it more interesting to children, most Epcot retail shops sell Passport Kits for about $11. Each kit contains a blank passport and stamps for every World Showcase country. As kids accompany their folks to each country, they tear out the appropriate stamp and stick it in the passport. The kit also contains basic information on the nations and a Mickey Mouse button. Disney has built a lot of profit into this little product, but I guess that isn't the issue. More importantly, parents, including this dad from Birmingham, Alabama, tell us the Passport Kit helps get the kids through World Showcase with a minimum of impatience, whining, and tantrums:

Adding stamps from the Epcot countries was the only way I was able to see all the displays with cheerful children.

Children also enjoy Kidcot Fun Stops, designed to make World Showcase more interesting for the 5- to 12-year-old set. The stops are usually nothing more than a large table set up somewhere in each pavilion. Tables are staffed by Disney cast members who stamp passports and lead modest craft projects relating to the host countries.

A mom from Billerica, Massachusetts, is a fan of the Fun Stops:

The Kidcot project at Epcot was amazing! Our 2- and 5-year-olds loved making masks and collecting stamps.

The World Showcase offers some of the most diverse and interesting shopping at Walt Disney World. Boats ferry the foot-sore and the weary across the lagoon, although it's almost always less time to walk. Moving clockwise around the promenade, here are the nations represented and their attractions.

Related Blog Posts on World Showcase:
Epcot's Morocco and Me: A Love Story
Drinks of Walt Disney World Vol 3 - Germany
Drinks of Walt Disney World Vol 1 - United Kingdom
A Trip Around the World: Japan
A Trip Around the World: Mexico
A Trip Around the World: Norway
A Trip Around the World: China
A Trip Around the World: Germany
A Trip Around the World: Italy
A Trip Around the World: America
A Trip Around the World: France
A Trip Around the World: Canada
Holiday Storytellers Around World Showcase
Impressions de France is Better Than Soarin'