This week on WDW ESCAPE, we travel the World Showcase, part 2!
World Showcase Part 2
They say that travel broadens the mind, and if that is true, then surely traveling the world would broaden it the most. But somehow, when you travel the world at World Showcase at EPCOT there seems to be just as much broadening around the middle as anywhere else.
Lunch was a complete success, and you are as completely satisfied by good old American barbecue as a person can be, but you know that nothing makes a delicious lunch guilt-free quite like getting your steps in, and nowhere in the world makes that more fun than Walt Disney World.
The day is perfect. The sun is high, but not too hot. A breeze blows in across World Showcase Lagoon. You have a Fast Pass for Test Track coming up, and plans for a glorious afternoon in Future World.
There is just the small matter of half a world to travel through on your way back, and what could be more exciting than that?
Besides, while you travel, you can start collecting ideas for dinner, because in the World Showcase it is never too early to plan your next meal. Off we go!
Ah, Italy. The architecture and romance of Rome, Venice, Naples and more. The bell tower of St. Mark’s Square, the Doge’s palace, the fountains and gondolas, all tied together by Mediterranean citrus, olive trees, cypress, and pines.
Everything feeds your senses and invites your imagination to take you away. Most importantly, because you are in Italy, every food that you encounter is delicious.
You pause and consider the Tutto Italia Ristorante. Elegant inside and out, with warm hospitality and traditional favorites, Tutto Italia would be a wonderful place for dinner. From the bread service to the calamari to the stuffed chicken breast, you loved everything about it the last time.
But is that playing too safe? Shouldn’t you spread your wings? But can you really pass through Italy without eating at all? Outrageous. Impossible!
And of course, pizza is nature’s perfect food… Via Napoli is delicious… but you are still pretty full of barbecue.
There must be a middle ground somewhere… like, say… in the back corner of the pavilion? The walk-up window at Pizza al Taglio? Surely you could manage a pizza slice? Done. And if you eat it while walking, it probably has no calories at all. That’s probably how it works. Andiamo! The world awaits!
Moments later the music has a decidedly oom-pah rhythm and you know you are in Germany.
The pavilion is a cobblestoned wonder, and yet you bolt right for the tiny village full of electric trains. You just can’t help yourself, and it seems like many other people feel the same way.
It’s a tiny wonderland, and a soothing way to relax and recover from that extra slice of lunch that you probably shouldn’t have enjoyed as much as you did.
When you’re ready to explore again, you wander into the plaza and marvel at the fountain of St. George slaying the dragon. The Glockenspiel clock rings out and you smile. There is magic in the air here.
Wait… you breathe in again… that’s not just magic, that could very well be the smell of your dinner, and your nose leads you right to the Bavarian village that is the Biergarten.
Now that could be worth a trip back at dinnertime. It’s a buffet, and not for the feint of heart, but this is hours from now, and you’re bound to be hungry by then. Sausages, chicken, smoked pork loin, sauerbraten and spaetzle. Plus apple strudel if you’re good, and you always are.
Plus more yodeling than you’re going to find anywhere else around the world. This is definitely a leading contender. The smell of it has you feeling a little bit peckish already, but that’s nothing that a quick soft pretzel from the Sommerfest couldn’t fix. This is no mere Mickey pretzel—soft and salty, more authentic and much, much bigger. No regrets. No regrets at all.
You take it easy as you stroll on, and pause at the outpost for a soda, just to take the edge off that salty pretzel. Everyone around you is smiling and enjoying the day as much as you are. And several of them walking towards you are carrying treats that can only have some from one place….
China. One of the most intricate and beautifully imagnineered pavilions in the World Showcase. Every part of it is meant to whisk you away, down the Street of Good Fortune, to a far-off land full of astonishing sights, mysterious sounds and, of course, delicious flavor.
From the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests to the terra cotta warriors, the lotus pool and Chinese garden, everything here tells you to stop, take it slowly and experience the magic. It’s good advice, and you have the time.
You slip into the queue for the Circle-Vison 360 film, and let it take you to amazing places, far, far away.
You return refreshed and ready for adventure, but you haven’t forgotten your mission. The Nine Dragons Restaurant is one of your favorites. They serve something called “Spicy Mala Beef” that someone told you means “numbingly spicy,” and that’s always fun.
Maybe this will be your dinner destination. But in the meantime, it couldn’t hurt to cool off a little with some Carmel-Ginger Ice Cream from the Lotus Blossom Café… and maybe a few pot stickers while you’re at it? Can you carry all of this and keep walking? You can if you believe you can.
Before you know it, you have sailed up in the fjords of Norway, which has almost completed a transformation into Frozen-land. It’s hard to argue with the logic, especially when you see the crowds of happy parents watching the delight of their overjoyed children. Seeing their favorite characters come magically to life is something they will never forget.
It reminds you of the times you visited Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, for a princess-filled parade of magical memories. There is a delightful buffet filed with things you can’t even begin to pronounce, most of which end up being some form of meatball and all of which are delicious.
If you were going to have dinner here, you would need to know it long before this moment, but there is some small consolation. You can always stop in the Kringla Bakeri for some School Bread. Do bad ideas ever come filled with custard? Of course they don’t.
You barely have time to brush the coconut flakes off of your hands when you find yourself at the front of a line to meet Donald Duck in a sombrero. You can only be in one place, that wonder of the World Showcase, the Mexico Pavilion!
And if this is Mexico, you have somewhere to be right now—in a boat on the Gran Fiesta Tour! You plunge into the perpetual twilight of the Plaza de Los Amigos and off you go on your adventure.
Riding with the Three Caballeros reminds you of how much you love the San Angel Inn Restaurant. Delicious Mexican food with wonderful atmosphere, who could ask for more? A quick stop at the desk and the reservation is secured.
Your mission is complete and your magical dinner plans have been made. Now all that remains is to work up an appetite worthy of such a fine meal. No problem, there is still a lot of Future World to see, and Test Track isn’t going to ride itself.
But maybe first a stop at the Cantina for a quick Taco Trio? That’s probably a very good plan… don’t you think?