Last week, we asked a question on our Facebook page that stirred up quite a response. On this week's DIS Unplugged, the team shared their answer to the Facebook question, and I'd love to know what your answer would be as well. Ready? Here's the question: You can visit only one World Showcase pavilion during your visit to EPCOT. Which one are you choosing and why?
It's like picking your favorite child, right? You can only visit ONE pavilion during your time in EPCOT. And, yes, let's say that it's during non-COVID times so that all of the things that we love most about the pavilions are available to guests.
I enjoyed getting to read the responses that people posted. Some were straight to the point and simply stated their pick. I respect that. You know what you like and you don't mess around. Others stopped and fleshed out their reasoning in the comments by listing their top two as well as each respective pavilion's highlights before whittling it down to one choice. Still others simply listed their answer and then took a moment to detail the pavilion's best attributes. And I'd like to give imaginary extra credit gold stars to those who, along with their response, included a picture of family and/or friends enjoying said pavilion. Usually with adult beverages in hand. And wearing sombreros. Too cute.
While I won't go into what the DIS Unplugged team's answers were (you'll have to watch the show - available below for your convenience - for those), I will reveal one team member's answer as we go through the top 4 answers as per Facebook. Here goes...
4. The Germany pavilion
I hear you. The Germany pavilion is one of my faves. The architecture, the sights and sounds (giant cuckoo clock, anyone?), and the shops are all tops for me. On Facebook, many cited the German pretzels, the Karamell-Küche shop, and the Schöfferhofer grapefruit beer as their reasons to give the Germany pavilion their vote. I'm with you on the caramel; that shop and its dark chocolate sea salt caramel are big in my world. And, over the years, Biergarten has become one of my favorite places to dine, even now that the Oktoberfest favorites are served family style. Live polka being played, all-you-care-to-eat schnitzel and pretzel rolls and everything else brought to my table, plus a charming atmosphere? Sign me up. If you'd like to read my review of Biergarten's family style dinner, click here.
When the question was asked of the DIS team, Kevin said that the Germany pavilion was his pick, and I can completely see why. Kevin mentioned that the pavilion's immersive environment creates a space where guests are able to almost forget that they're in a theme park. Kevin has visited the actual spot in Germany that the pavilion is based off of, and he loves the way that you can get lost (in a very good way) in the pavilion. I agree with him completely; I find that the Germany pavilion has an enveloping warmth to it. It's incredibly charming.
3. The France pavilion
To be honest, I was surprised that the France pavilion didn't rank higher than third place. That being said, again, this is a tough decision to make, and all of the pavilions have something that'll appeal to someone.
Our friends Facebook cited everything from the pavilion's amazing bakery (if you haven't visited Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie, please jump into your trip planning spreadsheet software right now and add in a visit during your EPCOT day) to Impressions de France (iconic, n'est-ce pas?). Shoutouts also included the pavilion's dining locations, which, during non-COVID times includes signature dining at Monsieur Paul. The infamous Grand Marnier Slush also received acclaim in the responses. Add in the forthcoming Remy's Ratatouille Adventure and the table and counter service options that'll be offered at La Crêperie de Paris, and I can understand why some feel this pavilion hits it out of the park.
2. The Japan pavilion
So many of the Japan pavilion's elements were cited as reasons behind getting top votes on Facebook. The serene koi ponds were mentioned, and I agree wholeheartedly. The area near the ponds, as well as its multi-leveled seating and viewing areas, always catch me off guard. I'm amazed at the thought that went behind providing this respite from the hustle and bustle of the World Showcase.
Of course, the pavilion's amazing and expansive shopping location, Mitsukoshi, was also listed as a highlight, as was the kawaii exhibit found in the Bijutsu-kan Gallery. So many people mentioned the pavilion's food offerings, including Kakigōri (shaved ice), which I'm ashamed to say that I've never tried. That will be changing soon. And, from what I understand, I need to order it with the sweet milk topping. Yummm.
1. The Mexico pavilion
Yes, the iconic pyramid of the Mexico pavilion stood taller than the rest of the pack in the responses on Facebook. From margaritas to queso blanco to the lovable Three Caballeros and their attraction; people believe that this pavilion has it all.
The pavilion's atmosphere was also mentioned as a huge plus. I get it. I remember visiting this spot as a 10-year-old and being completely enchanted by the nighttime marketplace that was laid out before me. It was wild (and still is!) that you could step out of the bright Florida sun and be ensconced in a cool, outdoor environment simply by walking through a door.
The aforementioned margaritas were cited time and again as a deciding factor when voting for Mexico, and the pavilion features both indoor and outdoor options to fulfill your margarita wishes. La Cava del Tequila is located inside the pavilion, and can garner quite a queue, so plan accordingly. Choza de Margarita can be found just outside the pavilion, and has a pretty good guacamole from what I've heard.
The pavilion's shopping options can't be beat, and the classic Gran Fiesta Tour is among my personal favorites, even if the attraction's main characters are a fragment of their former selves these days. I'm hoping that we'll see the beloved audio-animatronics return in the near future.
If you're planning a visit to the Mexico pavilion in the days ahead, factor in that, on the busiest EPCOT days, we've seen a lengthy wait just to access the pavilion.
So, how would you answer the big question? If you could only visit one World Showcase pavilion, which one would it be and why? Please let me know your thoughts in the comment section below!
Want to know how the team voted? Watch this week's DIS Unplugged below to find out: