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Greetings, Internet Stranger! I’m Stella Jane, author of the travel guide Get Lost, and welcome to snacking around the world at Epcot. Epcot is probably my favorite section to visit in Disney World when I go to Orlando, Florida.
Epcot is one of the theme parks at Disney World in Orlando, and everyone knows that nothing is synonymous with mainstream and popular like Disney. But EPCOT isn’t like the Magic Kingdom theme park at Disney. It’s much stranger, and much more delicious, which makes it the perfect place to try the game Snacking Around the World. Allow me to explain exactly why.
Three fun facts: Epcot
1) What does epcot stand for?
It stands for the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, and it was the brainchild of Walt Disney. He wanted EPCOT to be an ideal living community for real families. But after Walt’s death, it was decided that it would be more profitable to turn EPCOT into another park.
This prediction turned out to be correct. Epcot is now the 4th most attended theme park in the United States. Ordinarily I’d never bet against Walt’s cryogenically frozen brain, but this time he turned out to be wrong.
2) What can you do at epcot?
Half of Epcot used to be called Future World, and if the rides are any indication, apparently this means that the future will be made up of sustainable farming, mischievous purple dragons, space travel, Judi Dench, fast cars, and lost clownfish.
However, Epcot has recently undergone a massive transformation, so now the park is divided into four sections: World Showcase and then three other sections called Not World Showcase. (I kid, they are World Celebration, World Discovery, and World Nature.)
But for the purposes of Snacking Around the World, the Not World Showcase part of Epcot is less interesting because it doesn’t have so much great food.
3) Is that All?
The World Showcase is Epcot’s other (and better) section. It has World’s Fair style Pavilions presenting the goods and foods of ten foreign countries (plus one extra for America). Clearly the best thing to do at the World Showcase is to pick an activity and then try to complete that activity in every pavilion, whether it be drinking, shopping, or breakdancing.
Some people enjoy Drinking Around the World but I prefer Living the Hangover Free Life Around the World, so instead, I decided to try Snacking Around the World, which means that I needed to buy and eat a snack from a shop in all eleven pavilions.
Spoiler Alert: I was successful! And now I shall teach y’all lucky folks how to follow in my footsteps.
Snacking Around the World
Morning: Former Future World
As with any Disney park, I recommend getting there as soon as the park opens at 9, so you can have as much time as possible to try your snacking around the world. As soon as you get inside, run into that giant disco ball that doubles as the symbol of EPCOT.
We’ll start our day of Snacking Around the World here with the ritual of riding Spaceship Earth.
THE APPROXIMATELY TOP FIVE: FORMER FUTURE WORLD
1) Spaceship Earth
Spaceship Earth is a ride dedicated to one of old Walt’s obsessions, technological innovation. You can choose the language for the narration of the ride, but the English version is currently narrated by Dame Judi Dench (!!!) The ride shows you the progress of humanity from the creation of fire to the invention of the personal computer.
Humans! Where would we be without ourselves? I was especially impressed that the ride credited Islamic scholars with mathematical innovation. Way to be inclusive, Disney!
This ultra popular ride is in The Land building. Get here as soon as you can because the lines usually go up to 90 minutes pretty quickly. I always get a Lightning Lane pass for this if it’s available. Basically Soarin’ is a flight simulation that makes you feel like you are Soarin’ over a myriad world wonders, from Neuschwanstein Castle to Iguacu Falls.
I think people like this ride because, unlike many of the attractions at Epcot, you don’t have to think about it at all. After all the deep thinking that Spaceship Earth made me do, it was nice to chill out, look at pretty pictures, and pretend that I could fly like Tinkerbell.
3) Living With the Land
This ride is basically the opposite of Soarin’. Soarin’ is about the air, this is about the land. There’s always a huge line at Soarin’, but there’s never any line at Living With the Land.
Soarin’ is a fact-free (albeit enjoyable) thrill ride, Living with the Land is an educational look at ways in which humans can farm more sustainably. (I especially was interested in hearing about how some farmers are trying to use natural predators instead of pesticides to kill pests.)
Living With the Land has a “g” in it, Soarin’ drops the “g”…I could go on and on.
4) Sunshine seasons
You’re going to want to save most of your appetite for Snacking, but we’re not going there until 11:30 and you need to eat breakfast. I recommend getting a snack at Sunshine Seasons, which is a bakery in The Land building.
One of the best snacks to try here is the Carrot Cake Cupcake. It was moist and spicy and had plump raisins in it. You may say that you can’t have a cupcake for breakfast, but I say I can do what I want on my vacation! Also carrots are good for you! This carrot is made out of frosting, but still!
Snacking Around the World
Afternoon: World Showcase Part One
At this point, it should be around 11:30 and it’s time to head for the World Showcase. Our 24 Hours of Snacking Around the World in EPCOT are finally going from good to great! We are going to start in Canada! It’s aboot time!
Approximately top 5: world showcase part one
The movie here used to be “O Canada”, which was basically a long ad from the Canadian Tourism Bureau, but is still pretty funny because it’s narrated by Canadian hambone Martin Short. He made lots of jokes about how Canada isn’t really a ice-infested snow-covered hellscape and pretends he’s trapped inside the movie screen.
Now the movie is Canada Far and Wide, narrated by Schitt’s Creek stars and Canadian icons Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy. There are jokes about the metric system and mentions of the Toronto Raptors, so you know it’s quality Canadian humor. (Question: Are you allowed to say Schitt’s Creek at Disney World?)
Snacking Around the World: Ketchup Chips in Canada
Canada has the worst snacking around the world options of any pavilion. Go to one of the stores, buy a bag of bilingual ketchup potato chips and call it a day.
2) shopping in the UK Pavilion
The United Kingdom pavilion doesn’t have any movies or museums, but it does have a lot of shopping. You can get anything here from Beatles paraphernalia to Yardley’s of London perfume.
My favorite shop is The Tea Caddy, which is devoted to selling Twinings Tea and other tea goods and services. I usually just end up buying Alice in Wonderland mugs. Are they authentically English? No. Do they delight me? Yes!
Snacking around the world: fish and chips in the uk
You’ll be wanting some lunch right about now, so go on, guv’nor, and get some fish and chips at the Yorkshire County Fish Shop for about ten dollars. The line gets long but it moves pretty quickly.
I was impressed with the quality of the fried fish. It’s crispy on the outside and moist on the inside. Plus you can get malt vinegar packets to put on the fries, which is much more authentic than ketchup, m’lady.
So my favorite thing about France is how all the cast members working here are French and they all look so depressed to be working there. Do all their French friends back home tease them about working at Disney? What are their feelings about Disney in Paris? I am dying to know!
But just like Actual France, what the French Pavilion lacks in politesse, it makes up for with beauty and food and mimes. You can buy some perfume, watch a silent comedy show called Serveur Amusant, and eat lots and lots of sweets. What more could a person want from Faux France?
“Impressions de France” is the France Pavilion’s 18 minute answer to the “Canada Far and Wide” film. What it lacks for in Schitt’s Creek, it makes up for in providing real seats so you can actually sit for the duration of the film. Sometimes the same theater also shows a Beauty and the Beast sing along film narrated by the late, great Angela Lansbury, who was not French.
Snacking around the world: croque glace in france
The food at the France Pavilion is provided by an actual French restaurant group, so it is all around a great place for snacking. But I find myself always choosing the croque glace from L’Artisan des Glaces over all the other treats. This is a brioche cut open, stuffed with house made ice cream, and then smooshed in a hot press.
I prefer the not-too-sweet-but-very-French caramel fleur de sel ice cream and chocolate sauce on mine. Just be sure and bring a spoon with you when you are eating this. A lot of the ice cream scootches out of the back of the brioche, so you’ll lose a lot of deliciousness if you’re not careful.
The Moroccan pavilion is extremely lovely to look at, which is not surprising considering the Moroccan government helped to design it. Like Actual Morocco, it is fun to go exploring and shopping around the little nooks and crannies here. Unlike Actual Morocco, booze is readily available.
Spend some time wandering about and appreciating the realistic architectural details. I especially love the Fez House. Though it is just a replica of a Moroccan home, for a second it made me feel that I was back in Morocco. There’s a lot more fanny packs and Big Gulps at Disney than I saw in Morocco, though.
Snacking around the world: tabbouleh in morocco
At this point you’ll be full from your lunch and ketchup chips, so we’ll want something small. Stop at the Tangerine Cafe and order a side dish of tabbouleh salad. It’s very leafy and will be a nice palate cleanser after that giant brioche ice cream sandwich.
Is Japan the greatest pavilion? That depends. Do you like food, shopping, and good times? If so, then yes, I would have to go for Japan. If you prefer funnel cakes and terrible souvenir pictures of bald eagles, then the American Pavilion is more your speed.
Snacking around the world: kakigori time!
I’m obsessed with the kakigori, which is a Japanese shaved ice dessert served at the Kabuki Cafe stand. I like the melon flavor, but I really like it with sweet milk topping. The whole thing is a frosty sugar rush directly to the brain!
Then take your kakigori and eat it by this replica of a Japanese gate. It can almost convince you that you are really in the Land of the Rising Sun, except for the Epcot Disco Ball behind you.
Don’t miss the Bijutsu-kan, which is the museum exhibition dedicated to Japan’s cute culture. Cute culture can inform every part of Japanese life, from tourism to the home to the office. I was intrigued to learn that much of Japan’s fondness for cute things started as kind of a cultural rebellion in the 1970s.
It was especially interesting seeing the “kawaii” bathroom set-up. I want that Totoro mat for my bathroom, stat!
6) The American Adventure
Ugh, America. Don’t get me wrong, I love my country, but the American Pavilion leaves much to be desired. The souvenirs are hideous kitsch, the food is basically just funnel cakes, and the decor pales even in comparison to Liberty Square in the Magic Kingdom. There’s basically just one attraction, but lucky for America, that one attraction is worth seeing.
The American Adventure is the name of the Animatronic American History show presented at regular intervals throughout the day at Epcot. Check ahead for showtimes to help you figure out a convenient time to visit the American Pavilion.
The conceit of the show is that it is a presentation of American history based on an imaginary conversation between Animatronic Ben Franklin and Animatronic Mark Twain.
Franklin tends towards optimism about America and Twain towards pessimism. I was impressed with the way that the show included the points of view of those historically critical of American policy, such as Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony.
I also cried at this scene set in the Depression in which deep voiced Disney Robots perform “Brother Can You Spare a Dime?” because that song always makes me cry. Then I cried again at the end of the show when they showed a video about major moments in American history because they showed the Challenger explosion and I can’t deal with that.
Disney has not yet cut Lance Armstrong from the video, but I really think they should because everyone giggled when his face came on screen. (Editor’s Note: Disney has since cut Lance Armstrong, but I’m leaving this comment up for historical preservation reasons.)
Snacking around the world: beer in america
I could not deal with pumpkin spice funnel cake at this stage of my day, so instead I opted for a craft beer. This was a Meyer lemon lager from San Francisco, just the thing for a warm January day in Florida. America might not do souvenirs or food right, but we still win at brewskis. USA! USA!
Snacking Around the World
Evening: World Showcase Part Two
Now the sun is beginning to set. (It’s January in Florida, go with it.) We’re ready to head to some of the slower pavilions, and by slower pavilions I mean Germany. Don’t worry, though! There’s loads of fun left in our 24 Hours in Epcot
Approximately top 5: world showcase part deux
The Italy pavilion is lacking in certain areas. It doesn’t have a movie, it doesn’t have a museum or a ride, and it doesn’t have any places to buy a slice of pizza. It does have charming architecture inspired by Venice, a good sit-down pizza restaurant, and Italian wine. Also it has this statue of Poseidon.
I checked carefully to make sure Poseidon was dressed appropriately for being around children. He is! But it is a close call.
Snacking around the world: cannoli in italy
Italy is not great for snacks because most of its restaurants are sit-down only. That’s why I stopped at the gelato cart. I’d already had ice cream in France, so I decided to make do with my most favorite dessert in the whole wide world, cannoli.
The EPCOT cannoli loses points for being pre-filled (the best cannoli are filled to order) but it gains points for a creamy, not-too sweet filling and a chocolate shell. Chocolate shells are not authentic, but they taste amazing, and they prevent the pre-filled cannoli from getting soggy.
The German pavilion is the second worst thing Germany has ever done. It’s pretty to look at, but there’s no movie, museum, or ride and the shopping is horrible. Everything is tacky. I had to resort to buying a Christmas pickle ornament as a souvenir.
No one needs a Christmas pickle, Germany! I don’t even have a Christmas tree! Make better choices. On the plus side, there’s always food.
Snacking around the world: caramel in germany
The only thing you really need to do in Germany is visit the Werther’s caramel store. Aren’t you just tempted by everything in this window? But I was good and just had one perfectly chewy dark chocolate covered sea salt caramel. It was very good, and almost made me sorry I compared the German pavilion to Hitler.
24 Hour Treasure: basically nothing
I guess you can look at this little model train garden? I feel like recommending anything in the German pavilion outside of the caramels disgraces the honor of the award of 24 Hour Treasure.
Well this is much better. China has a movie and a museum and really fabulous shopping. Its food isn’t as strong as some of the other pavilions, but I promise we will make do. Let’s go! We have a dead fake Chinese poet to meet.
China has a movie just like France and Canada called “Reflections of China”. The narrator is neither Martin Short nor an invisible, disdainful Frenchman, but rather an actor in the role of famous Chinese 8th century poet Li Bai.
As you wait for the movie, take advantage of the little museum located right next to the entrance of the theater. The current exhibition is on the construction of Disneyland Shanghai.
There was interesting information about how Disney tried to incorporate elements of Chinese culture into the design of the park. They even assigned one Disney animal to each of the Chinese zodiac characters (Mushu is the dragon, Apu is the monkey, Pluto is the dog…etc.)
I have to admit that the exhibit made me want to visit Shanghai. Look how cute Minnie looks in that vintage Shanghai style! I bet I would look just as cute because I am definitely not a mouse.
Snacking around the world: curry Chicken Pocket
The pastry on the outside was flaky and the chicken on the inside was flavorful and meaty. A perfect savory snack after the cannoli and chocolate covered caramel.
Epcot’s Norway has kind of been taken over by Frozen-mania and I think that’s a shame. I’m sure it drives more traffic, but a lot of the Norwegian goods in the stores have been replaced by Frozen stuff and the line for the Frozen Ever After ride takes up a lot of space.
But the Norway pavilion still has some seriously yummy baked goods, a museum in the Stave Church, and charming architecture, so it’s far from a total loss.
Now the show at the Stave Church Gallery is on Viking Lore, so be sure to check that out if you have Viking fans in your family.
Snacking around the world: School bread in Norway
The place to snack in Norway is the Kringla bakery, which strangely enough does not serve kringla. My favorite pastry there is the cult classic school bread, which is a creamy custard in a fluffy bun that tasted a bit of cardamom to me.
They did not serve anything like this at my school, more’s the pity! This version does taste like the school bread I had every morning in Oslo.
We’ve come to the last pavilion, and fortunately, it is a pavilion that is well suited for exploring at night. The first reason is that the pyramid looks quite smashing all lit up, and the second is that Mexico serves my favorite cocktails in Epcot at La Cava del Tequila. Don’t give up! We’re almost there
There is a ride inside the Mexican pavilion and there’s never a long line, so it’s an easy way to take a load off. The ride is about the “3 Caballeros”, Donald Duck and his friends Panchito Pistoles and Jose Carioca. (As you can probably tell from their names, only Panchito is Mexican because Jose is Brazilian. I feel that’s more info that I need to have about the nationalities of animated fictitious birds.)
During the ride, you watch the 3 Caballeros get lost and have adventures all over Mexico. Also at one point Donald gets beat up like a pinata by some Mexican children, so if there’s anyone else named Donald you don’t like, you can imagine it’s him.
Snacking around the world: avocado margarita
La Cava del Tequila is the always-packed tequila bar inside the Mexico pyramid. The line is long, but it moves pretty fast. They have tasty and creative margaritas, which are the perfect way to cap off a day of heavy eating.
I love the refreshing and melon-y avocado margarita, but you can always be boring and get a regular one. I won’t judge you because I’m sure you won’t tell me about it.
Snacking Around the World
Where Should I Stay?
As a solo-traveling non-driver, I recommend staying at one of the Disney resorts for your Snacking Around the World itinerary because the transportation to and from the parks to the hotel is so convenient. I like to stay at one of the Port Orleans hotels because I am ride or die for The Princess and the Frog.
You can see which Disney resort hotels are available when you visit by clicking here. This search engine will help you find the perfect choice.
In order to get the most out of your Snacking Around the World itinerary, I suggest you get coffee at your hotel, hop on the free shuttle, and arrive at Disney in time to enter the park when it opens. If you’re able to get in even earlier for Extra Magic Hours for Disney resort guests, so much the better.
And if you don’t want to stay at a Disney resort and would rather explore options for other hotels in Orlando, I’ve got you covered!
Just go right here to check out the best hotel search engine out there.
It will show you the best deals on literally thousands of hotels in Orlando.
That’s a Perfect 24 Hours of Snacking Around the World in Epcot!
What would you do with 24 hours in Epcot? Which looked like the most delicious snack? And can you say Schitt’s Creek in Disney World? Please email me at email@example.com and let me know!
Note: If you want to know how I put my travel itineraries together, just click here. Keep in mind that while each article is about how to spend 24 hours in a place, that doesn’t mean you should ONLY spend 24 hours in Epcot.
Don’t forget to add on this Epcot itinerary. Try out a Magic Kingdom itinerary. Check out a Disney Animal Kingdom itinerary. Go for a Disney Hollywood Studios for adults itinerary. You can see the best Epcot Food and Wine booths.