This seems like a no-brainer if you have ever visited WDW and seen those excited groups of brightly colored shirts led by an outstretched arm holding a matching flag.
With a population of 198.7 million people, Brazil is the fifth most populated country in the world, and I’m pretty sure most of them have made a journey to WDW at some point in their lives. Admittedly, I am not an expert on Brazil, nor have I ever visited, but I hope to one day and in this post I hope to make a case for its inclusion in the permanent world’s fair that is World Showcase. I apologize in advance for any inaccuracies or mistakes.
The style of the pavilion will be shaped by both the diverse architecture of the vibrant cities and the exotic Amazon basin environment. The Christ the Redeemer, while perhaps a polarizing symbol, is nevertheless as iconic to Brazil as the Eiffel Tower is to France, and so will have a prominent position overlooking the pavilion.
Sao Paulo, Brasilia, Porto Alegre, and of course, Rio de Janeiro all provide diverse and interesting offerings that would make for an exciting and show-stopping destination around the lagoon.
Table Service – Encanto (meaning “charm”)- In the united states, the Brazilian steakhouse has become a fixture in most major cities and is a popular dining experience. A rodizio style offering would enhance the fine dining offering in World Showcase in a different and crowd-pleasing way.
Counter Service – Salgadinhos (traditional salty snacks)-would be the counter service option, specializing in small savoury snacks, similar to Spanish tapas. In Brazil, these are mostly sold in corner shops and a staple at working class and lower middle-class familiar celebrations. There are many types of pastries:
- Pão de queijo (cheese bun, literally “cheese bread”), a typical Brazilian snack, is a small, soft roll made of manioc flour, eggs, milk, and minas cheese.
- Coxinha is a chicken croquette shaped like a chicken thigh.
- Kibe/Quibe: extremely popular, it corresponds to the Lebanese dish kibbeh and was brought to mainstream Brazilian culture by Syrian and Lebanese immigrants. It can be served baked, fried, or raw.
- Esfiha: pies/cakes with fillings like beef, mutton, cheese curd, or seasoned vegetables.
- Pastéis are pastries with a wide variety of fillings. Different shapes are used to tell apart the different flavours, the two most common shapes being half-moon (cheese) and square (meat). Size, flavour, and shape may vary greatly.
- Empadas are snacks that resemble pot pies in a small scale. Filled with a mix of palm hearts, peas, flour and chicken or shrimp.
At the heart of the Brazil pavilion will be a daily celebration of Carnivale, the yearly celebration of debauchery. Of course, Epcot’s version will be more family friendly, but an extravagant street party still. Funky and festive mini parade floats filled with costumed performers will transform the pavilion’s streets into a wild and expressive celebration.
Theatro Municipal – movie about Brazil is housed inside (there are actually 2 different theaters with this name in Brazil, either would be a beautiful addition)
While a movie might not be the best choice in World Showcase due to the majority of current attractions being similar, an interactive movie experience is perfect for this pavilion. Audience participation and on stage performers (from Carnivale) will put on a show/tour of the country to dazzle the viewers. A blend of music and comedy should delight those looking to sample the colorful flavors that the South American country has to offer.
The second option would be a boat ride through the Amazon basin. This is a bit similar to the Jungle Cruise, so there will have to be significant differences to make people feel as though that classic attraction is not simply duplicated here, but with the diverse landscapes the country has to offer and the huge waterfalls, a float through Brazil would be as much of a draw as the Maelstrom, if not more.
Perhaps the guest is floating along the famous river on a giant lily pad which the region is famous for. A message of ecology and conservation mixed with a showcase of the scenery the country has to offer could be a stunning boat ride that hearkens back to the original message of Epcot Center.
With animals like the capybara, poison dart frogs, jaguars, rheas, sloths, and the Amazon River dolphin, the wildlife of the area provides a chance for some fantastic audio animatronics along the ride path (not to mention plush sales).
The South American team led by Walt Disney himself spent time in Brazil and there is plenty of art and inspiration to be found in their work as well. While The Three Caballeros have their home in Mexico, Saludos Amigos could find its place here, especially with the Brazillian parrot Jose Carioca (cigar and all!) and his segment Aquarela do Brasil.
The architecture of this country, specifically Brasilia, the planned capital city, just scream opening day Epcot and would help bring back some of that futurism and optimism that have faded over the park’s life. You can’t looked at these images without some inkling of Epcot Center springing into the back of your mind. The same spirit dwells here as that place had from opening day.
This major player on the world’s stage and economy must have a corporate sponsor who would be willing to foot at least a portion of the bill. The tourism groups alone prove that Brazil loves travel, and it’s clear that people from the actual World Showcase countries love to visit their doppelgangers at the park. A stunning country with the potential for an exquisite pavilion.