Hidden and Some Not-So-Hidden Gems of Epcot’s World Showcase

Posted:  Entertainment Parks Recreation

World Showcase at Epcot is ever-changing. Throughout the year, there are a variety of festivals. The first usually starts in January, the Festival of the Arts. That’s followed by Flower and Garden Festival, then Food and Wine, and finally, Holidays Around the World at the end of the year. The decorations, displays, and things to do can vary depending on when you visit. But some things are always available, and not all are obvious to guests. Sometimes it can be easy to pass by these things as you rush from one big attraction to another. Let’s go around the World Showcase, starting with Canada, and see what each country has to offer that you may have never noticed. Caveat: Some of these items are more obvious than others, but hopefully, everyone will learn something new from this blog. 

Epcot Ball at Night


Canada: If you stand by the steps that lead to the shops and look to your left at the top of the steps, you’ll see a totem pole. About 2 feet down from the top, the pole shows a figure with arms holding a head. Underneath the right arm of that figure is a hidden Mickey! 

Totem Pole in Canada

Hidden Mickey on Totem Pole


UK: In the rear of the buildings in the UK, there is a gazebo-type stage used for various musicians throughout the year. I’ve seen piano players playing Disney music during the Festival of the Arts and the Flower and Garden show. A rock band called The Hooligans played there several times in 2022, doing cover songs of various British artists. The group played five shows daily, with no performances on Wednesday or Thursday. 

UK Gazebo

As you pass by the UK pavilion, look for a sign in front of the main shop. You will be able to see what, if any, musicians will be performing that day and what the showtimes are. FUN FACT: There is a hedge maze in front of the gazebo where the musicians play, and kiddos seem to enjoy running through it!

UK Garden

The UK also has a beautiful garden on the left side and behind the tea shop. The flowers vary according to the time of the year, but it’s always beautiful. Additionally, there is a butterfly display, but you’ll only find information about butterflies during the cold times of the year. You’ll see butterfly chrysalis’ there in the Spring during the Flower and Garden Festival. 

UK Butterfly Spot


France: There’s a meet and greet with Sleeping Beauty located all the way to the right, off the path that leads to Ratatouille. Check My Disney Experience for times. It’s a very picturesque spot for photos with the Princess. 

Sleeping Beauty

Don’t miss the fabulous Boulangerie Patisserie, located in the very back of the France Pavilion. If you don’t know it’s there, it’s easy to miss. There are wonderful options of a variety of French pastries, sandwiches, and more, all so very yummy. 


Morocco: Just off the World Showcase path, on the left, is a building with a sign that says “Race Against the Sun.” It is not obvious that it’s accessible to guests. Many think it’s a façade and pass it right by. Inside is a fun video game, as well as a LOT of information about Morocco. One of the best parts about this building is it’s air-conditioned, and there are very comfortable benches. Since so few people enter, I have found it a wonderful place to sit, relax and cool off during the summer. It’s rare to find more than a few other guests inside. More than once, I have been the only one there. 

Entrance to Race Against the Sun

Exhibit inside Morocco


Japan: Another area guests seem to pass by is the Bijutsu-kan Gallery, which shows “Kawaii: Japan’s Cute Culture.” You can find this area on your right as you exit the large store in Japan, or you can enter by walking towards the exit of the store and looking to your left for a sign indicating Kawaii is inside. As you can imagine, this exhibit highlights many adorable items used by those who enjoy Kawaii. The room is quite large and has some fascinating and fun exhibits.

Kawaii Window Display

Display inside Bijutsu-kan Gallery


USA: Most everyone has experienced the wonderful Voices of Liberty and the American Adventure in the USA pavilion. I suggest you take the time to check out the American Heritage Gallery, located on the right side of the pavilion. The exhibit changes now and then, but it’s always something fascinating related to the history of the United States. Currently, various Native cultures are being showcased in the area. There are interactive exhibits as well as murals, paintings, Native clothing, tools, toys, and more. 

Entrance to The American Heritage Gallery

Exhibit in The American Heritage Gallery


Italy: As you’re walking the path along World Showcase and you reach Italy, have you ever noticed there is a gelato stand? Gelateria Toscana is the name of the kiosk, and if you like gelato or have never tried it, this is a great place to stop and get some. Also, in the rear of the Italian pavilion in the courtyard, there is a fountain called “Fontana Di Netuno,” which translates as “Neptune Fountain” in English. It’s a very nice photo spot.

Gelateria Toscana Sign

Fontana Di Netuno


Germany: If you walk to the very rear of the pavilion, between the quick service area and the Biergarten restaurant, look up on the wall for a bell with two blue doors on either side. On the hour, two Hummel figures emerge from the door and hit the bell. The tune they play was composed specifically for Epcot, but the exhibit is supposed to be reminiscent of the famous Glockenspiel in Munich, Germany. HEADS UP: I have found that this does not always happen exactly on the hour, so I suggest getting there a little early and/or staying a little later if you don’t see the figures at the top of the hour.

Germany Bell

Germany also has the most well-stocked and elaborate Christmas store in Epcot. Guests can find Christmas items here all year round. It’s a beautiful store to walk around, even if you’re not buying anything. 

Christmas Store in Germany


Outpost: While sometimes they are not there, most of the time, guests can see an African artist carving canes, animals, and other items from wood. Seeing a plain old stick turn into an elaborate cane/walking stick is fascinating. 

Artist Whittling


China: Did you know there is a HUGE exhibit about Disney Shanghai in the China pavilion? Walk to the main building, and enter either through the main door and turn left, or find the door outside the pavilion that says Shanghai and go inside. You’ll find a plethora of exhibits showcasing the park in China, including a movie that plays on an endless loop. Most all the attractions are shown, and it’s very well done. If you’d like to see what Tron Light Cycle looks like in action in Shanghai, be sure to watch the movie! The other exhibits have displays from the various lands and resorts at Disney in Shanghai, as well as costumes their cast members wear. 

Exhibit inside the China Pavilion

Disney Shanghai movie on loop


Norway: This is another area where many guests think the building is a façade and pass right by it. Even though it’s directly on the World Showcase path, it’s often ignored. Look for the brown building with the Viking outside, and enter. On the inside, you’ll see statues and memorabilia related to the Norse Gods. It’s an interesting exhibit and another great place to catch some air conditioning on those hot days. 

Entrance to the Gods of the Vikings

Exhibit inside the Gods of the Vikings


Mexico: Mariachi Cobre has been playing at Epcot since it opened in 1982, yet many guests have never taken the time to stop and watch them perform. The band is very talented. They use a variety of instruments and also sing traditional Mexican tunes. Most of the year, the group performs five days a week, five shows a day, but as always, check My Disney Experience to confirm their hours. The shows are about 25 minutes long. If it’s the birthday of someone in the crowd, they will almost always play Happy birthday in both Spanish and English!

Mariachi Cobre Times

Mariachi Cobre


So there you have it, a trip around World Showcase! I hope everyone learned something new, or at least was reminded to revisit a favorite they haven’t thought about in a while. It’s so easy to get caught up in all the big things going on at Walt Disney World. Sometimes it’s really nice to take a day to explore the things that may have less “pizzazz” but are still quite fun and interesting.



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