How I Visited 11 Countries In One Day

I have visited 11 different countries in a single day on multiple occasions. I also did this without ever presenting my passport. At this point, you're probably wanting to know my secret and it's really quite simple. I just went to Disney World's Epcot theme park.

Epcot is probably my favorite Disney park because I love to travel and here, you can get a sample of the culture and cuisine of eleven countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada. I have only been to six of these countries outside of Epcot, but exploring the World Showcase at Epcot has allowed me to see which ones I really want to visit next.

The World Showcase makes up the back half of Epcot, with the front being Future World. Most of the big-thrill rides are in Future World. This front half of the park does offer a few rides that wheelchair users can take part in, including The Seas with Nemo & Friends, but for this post I am going to focus specifically on the best parts of the World Showcase.

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This is Epcot’s landmark, Spaceship Earth. It’s located at the entrance of the park in Future World.


When I visit a foreign country, one of the things that I look forward to the most is trying the local cuisine. The food can be quite interesting sometimes and my mom usually manages to lose a few pounds when we're in a new country because she pretty much hates all foreign food. We were even at a Burger King in Germany once and I thought it tasted the same as American BK's, but she couldn't stomach it. I think she lost about 10 pounds during our time in Germany. Lucky her! Haha!

If you do like trying new foods like me, then Epcot is the place to do it. Each of the 11 countries in the World Showcase has restaurants devoted to their country's cuisine. I have eaten in nearly all of the 11 countries and two of my favorite restaurants are the San Angel Inn Restaurante and Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria.

The San Angel Inn is located in Mexico, which is the first country you will come to if you're entering from the left side of the World Showcase. I am a sucker for cheese and guacamole, so naturally the San Angel Inn is at the top of my list. From the tostadas to the margaritas, everything here is great.

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Quesadillas stuffed with mushrooms, corn, queso fresco and huitlacoche. Then topped with sour cream.

The food is not the only thing that sets San Angel Inn apart from the others though. From the moment that you enter the restaurant it is as if you are really in Mexico. At the rear of the restaurant there is a Mayan ruin towering above and you can also see the boats float by from the La Gran Fiesta attraction. Throughout your meal, you may even hear a rumbling volcano. The volcano has never erupted while I was there though so you should be safe... Hopefully!

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The last time that I went to Epcot, a little over a year ago, I wanted to try a new restaurant that I had never been to, so we opted for Via Napoli in Italy. And let me tell you, that was a very wise choice. I am somewhat of a pizzaholic and have had my fair share of pizzas, but the pizza here is some of the best. They are traditional thin-crust Neapolitan pizzas and are cooked in wood burning ovens. You can get the pizza with your choice of toppings including sausage, calamari and pepperoni. We chose to go with the pepperoni pizza and it was delicious! The pepperonis were packed on the pizza and were really small and thin, making them extra crispy amongst a generous amount of cheese. Via Napoli does offer pasta and other dishes as well, but trust me - you can't go wrong with the pizza. Delizioso!

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Attractions & Entertainment

Each country offers entertainment of some sort, giving visitors the chance to learn more about that country. There are only two rides in the World Showcase, the Gran Fiesta Tour in Mexico (it is wheelchair accessible) and Maelstrom in Norway (not accessible). I can't remark on Maelstrom because I have never ridden it, but Gran Fiesta is a fun little boat tour starring The Three Caballeros. During the indoor boat ride you will see live footage of places in Mexico and the boat will even take you through the San Angel Inn Restaurante, as I mentioned previously.

For the other 9 countries without rides, they offer shows and experiences instead. Some of my favorite shows include Reflections of China, Impressions de France, and The American Adventure. Reflections of China and Impressions de France are both movies lasting less than twenty minutes apiece, but they tell a lot about each country and are really fun and interesting to watch. I had no desire to visit China before seeing the film, but after seeing the immense beauty that is throughout China it is now one of my top dream destinations. The American Adventure however, is a stage show with audio-animatronics showcasing pivotal moments in American history. I usually don't spend much time in the America section because I live in America so it's no big deal to me, but this is a great show.

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France in Epcot’s World Showcase.


The biggest show at Epcot takes place when the sun goes down and is known as IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. This twelve minute fireworks extravaganza shows the Earth's past, present and future and is an inspiring tale of how far we have came as a planet. You'll need to choose a spot at the World Showcase lagoon to view the show from well in advance. I would recommend getting a spot at least an hour or two before it starts, as it gets packed quickly! It's definitely worth the wait though.

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When to Visit

With Florida having some of the best weather in the United States, any time is a good time to visit Epcot. However, visiting in the Spring is especially terrific because of the International Flower and Garden Festival. This year the festival will be running continuously from March 5th until May 18th, which means you have plenty of time to start planning your visit.

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The highlights of the festival are the many topiary displays throughout the park. You can find topiaries of all the famous Disney characters, with the World Showcase having plenty. Character topiaries are matched to the countries where they are from, including Beauty and the Beast in France, Snow White in Germany, and Toy Story in America. It's amazing how they can create such works of art with flowers and grass.

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Aside from the topiary displays, the Flower and Garden Festival also has outdoor kitchens with many new and delicious foods available, and exhibits such as a butterfly house. Hundreds of butterflies swarm around and they often will even land on you.

Here are Bambi and friends inside the butterfly house.

Here are Bambi and friends inside the butterfly house.

Epcot opened over thirty years ago, but continues to be a fun and educational experience. It also continues to be my favorite park and quenches my thirst for travel (a little bit at least). If you have never been to Epcot, start planning your trip now! It's truly a remarkable destination. And if you have been before, then start planning your next trip now. You can never visit "the happiest place on Earth" too much.



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