Did You Know?
There’s so much to be discovered at Epcot! So let’s dive right into the lesser-known fun facts… one fact in particular that I didn’t even know until recently! Do you know about the Sunken Garden at the Canada pavilion? According to the Victoria Gardens plaque in the garden, you’ll find that the gardens were inspired by the Butchart Gardens of British Columbia.
Upon further research, you’ll learn that Robert Pim Butchart was a limestone worker. He developed a quarry and a cement factory. After he dug out limestone, the area was left with a big, empty pit. His wife, Jennie, made the pit into a beautiful garden. Today, the gardens are a popular tourist attraction and a National Historic Site of Canada.
Another interesting thing about the garden area is that the mountain in the back uses forced perspective. The plants on the mountain are big at the bottom and smaller at the top. The differences in sizes makes it appear taller than it actually is. See? Disney’s use of forced perspective isn’t just used on Main Street, U.S.A. and Cinderella Castle in the Magic Kingdom!
Forced perspective is used again at the America and Italy Pavilions! The U.S.A. Pavilion looks like it’s only a few stories tall, like traditional Colonial buildings are, but it is actually five stories! The doors may look normal, but are twelve feet tall! Our eyes are tricked once again with the tower in Italy. The bricks that make up this tower get smaller as they go up (just as the bricks do on Cinderella Castle), making the tower seem taller than it really is.
Did you know that the large troll statue inside the Norway Pavilion gift shop isn’t one of a kind? Nope! There’s at least one more exactly like him, located in the actual country of Norway! Norway’s troll can be found in Voss, Norway at the Flam Railway - and he’s painted too! Epcot’s troll doesn’t have color though.
Disney has a reason for each and every plant used in their landscaping. So, it’s only fitting that Italy has an olive tree. You can find an olive tree next to the canal bridge. Where else?
When looking at the Moroccan Pavilion, you can see the Tower of Terror in the distance. When the Tower of Terror was first built, it looked out of place, so Disney added minarets to the top to help it blend in with the Moroccan architecture. The king of Morocco sent craftsmen to America to ensure the accuracy of their buildings. The Moroccan Pavilion is the only World Showcase Pavilion that is sponsored by a government, not a company. If you watch Illuminations, you may notice that the Morocco Pavilion, with respect for Muslim beliefs, does not light at night.
Speaking of Illuminations, did you know that the very tip top of the Mexican Pavilion contains the control tower for the nightly show? All of the magic, if you will, happens through the control station housed on the top of the Mexican Pavilion pyramid! There’s so much more fun hidden within Epcot - we only touched on World Showcase, perhaps next month we’ll see what Future World has in store!