Walt Disney World for Grown-Ups: Epcot’s World Showcase

Possibly the best place for adults to visit at Walt Disney World is Epcot’s World Showcase, a series of eleven gorgeously themed pavilions representing countries from around the world.

I usually stress the importance of planning when it comes to visiting the parks, but the great thing about World Showcase is you can just take time to explore. Allot an afternoon to wandering the pavilions, taking in the details, and browsing the shops.

Speaking of shops, if you’re looking for unique souvenirs, this is the place to find something a little more out of the box. We always love trying some Japanese candy we’ve never heard of. Another favorite souvenir of ours is at the African Outpost – hand-rolled beaded jewelry made out of recycled Disney park maps and other paper products.

World Showcase has many great table-service restaurants, but one of our favorite ways to tour the pavilions is to snack our way through them. Try a dessert at the Boulangerie & Patisserie in the France Pavilion, some green tea ice cream at the Japan Pavilion, or the Schoolbread in the Norway Pavilion. Or, try some of the adult beverages World Showcase has to offer – the Grand Marnier orange slush at the France Pavilion, some plum wine in the China Pavilion, or maybe stop at La Cava del Tequila in the Mexico Pavilion. Be sure to pace yourself – and if you’re like me and don’t drink regularly, don’t try to conquer all eleven pavilions.

If you do decide to visit a table-service restaurant, I recommend advance dining reservations, especially if you want to grab a table with a view of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. La Hacienda de San Angel, Spice Road Table, and Rose & Crown (patio only) have views of Epcot’s nighttime spectacular, but you need to arrive early to your reservation and request a table with a view of the show – Cast Members will do their best to honor requests, but it’s not guaranteed.

As you’re strolling, you should also take time to watch some street performers. Check a Times Guide for show times. Some of our favorites include the amazing Jeweled Dragon Acrobats in the China Pavilion, traditional Taiko drumming in the Japan Pavilion, and the hilarious and acrobatic Serveur Amusant in the France Pavilion.

World Showcase is absolutely a must-do for adults and is one of the most unique parts of all of Walt Disney World – be sure to make some time to wander around the world.

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Elizabeth lives in Kansas City with her wonderful family. Elizabeth first visited Disney as a child, and when she prepared to visit Walt Disney World as an adult, she foolishly thought she may have ‘outgrown’ Disney. Happily, Elizabeth was proven wrong – but she also realized how good planning can make such a difference for having a fun, relaxing vacation! Elizabeth became her family’s go-to resource for Disney planning. Now she is dedicating her planning skills to helping other families create vacation memories as a travel agent specializing in Disney destinations. She will plan your trip as if it were her own. Her blog, planningformagic.com, has tons of advice on how to plan your next Disney trip, including trip planning instructions, sample itineraries, dining tips, and more. Visit her on Facebook or Twitter for more planning tips and theme park news. Contact Elizabeth at elizabeth@theaffordablemouse.com.

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