There’s nothing like spending a few days in warm weather to escape the slushy, snowy Toronto winter. Orlando did the trick for me this year, and the highlight was a fun evening spent at Epcot.
But first, a little history!
Epcot – or the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow – was founded on Walt Disney’s vision of a futuristic city. He imagined Epcot to be a real-life, forward-thinking model community based on incorporating new technologies into everyday life. He had imagined that individuals would live and work in Epcot, showing the world what an ideal community could look like. But after Disney’s death in 1966, the park’s mission changed and it was later transformed into the theme park we know today.
There are rides at Epcot, but for me, within the context of Orlando and its myriad theme parks, the singularity of Epcot is in its recreation of various world cultures. Several pavilions are installed around a large body of water and you can stroll through Canada, England, Japan, France, Mexico and many other nations.
Each pavilion serves up its regional cuisine (with quite authentic renditions!) and features many little stores offering traditional knick-knacks for purchase. I found traditional French pastries in France, snacked on edamame and miso soup in Japan, found a good selection of traditional teas in the United Kingdom and looked at some traditional pillows in Morocco.
We then headed for a blissful Italian dinner at Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria. With milky imported mozzarella and Neapolitan wood-fired pizza served by an all-Italian staff, it felt like we had taken a trip overseas for the night. Here are a few photos of the delicious dinner.
Have you been to Epcot before?
Photography by Jennifer Bartoli.