The Disneyphiles are getting restless! You can hear their chants throughout the Disney universe. “More countries, more countries, we want more countries!” With every new announcement we sit on the edge of our seats, waiting, hoping, to hear Bob Chapek say “We’re excited to announce we’re adding more countries to Epcot’s World Showcase!” The rumors around new World Showcase countries have been swirling since the mid 80’s. Over the past year plus they’ve intensified to near hurricane force to the point where many thought Walt Disney World would announce new World Showcase countries at the last D23 (the bi-annual Disney conference). Which countries are the frontrunners? Let’s discuss.
Look over there! Do you see it!? If you take a gander over towards the Germany and Italy pavillions you see a giant green pole. Trick is, that’s no pole, it’s a beanstalk! One of the big rumors ahead of the last D23 conference was a new World Showcase pavilion built around Spain. Majority of the rumors were driven by the upcoming Disney animated movie Gigantic (an adaptation of Jack and the Beanstalk). The animated tale would be set in the Spanish countryside.
With Walt Disney World recently shifting gears and adding different Intellectual Property (IP) to the World Showcase, Spain would make sense. Disney could create an attraction based on the movie to anchor the pavilion. Unfortunately, Walt Disney Animation Studios has decided to pull the plug on the movie and thus it may have also slowed the moment around the Spain pavilion. We never know though with Disney, they always have a few magical tricks up their sleeves!
Jump in your timerover (Serena’s probably already there, afterall Dinosaur is her favorite ride)! We have to go way back. Not to the cretaceous period, but pretty close. Let’s find that rumor! Ever since the opening of the World Showcase 35+ years ago, there have been rumors flying around Brazil being added as one of World Showcase countries. At one point it was said that Disney even had created mock-ups and drawings of what the pavilion would look like.
Fast forward to today and we may be seeing some traction. Over the summer there have been rumblings that Walt Disney World may have found a couple of big Brazilian companies to sponsor the new World Showcase pavilion. It is said the design of the pavilion would include Christ the Redeemer (the Statue overlooking Rio de Janeiro), shopping, and a Brazilian steakhouse. We will have to wait and see if these rumors make it back with the timerover!
Could Baloo and Mowgli be floating down the river away from the Animal Kingdom? Where could they be going? Would Epcot’s World Showcase have the “bear necessities” to call it home? Similar to Brazil the rumors around India as one of the new World Showcase countries have been floated around for years. The last rumor is around India moving in between China and Germany and would include a large e-ticket type attraction.
With the success of the live action Jungle book movie and a sequel on the horizon it could easily become the IP associated with the build of an India pavilion. Additionally, you can find aspects of Indian culture sprinkled throughout Walt Disney World, from Saana at the Kidani Village, to the always popular India booth at Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival or “soaring” over the Taj Mahal in the new Soarin Around the World. Will Baloo guide Mowgli to Epcot’s World Showcase? We’ll have to wait and see.
We’re only 10 months away from the next D23 conference. In Disney terms, that’s tomorrow! With nothing yet confirmed, we will continue to speculate with hopes that Disney is listening. For now, we’ll cross our Magic Bands and hope we get multiple new World Showcase countries!