EPCOT is the second theme park of the four built on Bay Lake, Florida. The park officially opened in 1982, when it was called EPCOT Center, on a property that covers 300 acres, which is twice the size of the Magic Kingdom Park. Dedicated to the celebration of human achievement, international culture, and technological innovation, the theme park complex is often referred to as a “Permanent World’s Fair.” The park in 2011, hosted approximately 10.83 million guests, which made it the sixth most visited theme park in the entire world. The giant geodesic sphere called Spaceship Earth serves as the parks icon and attraction.
The World Showcase is a large area containing eleven world pavilions reminiscent of the world’s fair. Each of the themed pavilions represents a specific country. Each of the 11 pavilions surround the large man-made lake located in the center of World Showcase called the Showcase Lagoon. The World Showcase has a perimeter of 1.2 miles.
The 11 Pavilions include representations from each of these countries: the United States, Norway, Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, Morocco, Italy, China, Morocco, France, and Germany.
The Norway and Morocco pavilion were not originally represented when the park opened, but were added later on. Each pavilion has uniquely themed streetscapes, landscapes, restaurants, shops, attractions, and building architectures. The pavilions have also been primarily staffed by citizens of their respective countries to help maintain the authenticity of the respected countries. Some of the pavilions will also contain shows and live entertainment in addition to themed rides that help represent the country. The Morocco Pavilion is the only pavilion that is directly sponsored by its respective government, while the rest of the pavilions are primarily sponsored by private companies with ties to their represented countries.
The remaining undeveloped parcel of property, which may one day be developed into a new pavilion, is currently home to The Outpost, which is a small African themed refreshment shop. There have been past rumors of pavilions for the countries of Israel, Venezuela, Spain, Russia, UAE, and Switzerland, although these have never made it past the initial planning stage.