Greece is launching a campaign to be included as one of eight nations taking part in Epcot Center’s Nations of the World Showcase at Disney World in Orlando, Florida.
Volunteers behind this effort think it’s high time that Greece, with its incredible natural beauty, rich history, great food and entertainment has not yet been featured in the Showcase, which is a bit like a World’s Fair pavilion, highlighting the best things about each nation that is featured.
Greece now may be placed alongside France, Italy, Mexico, the United Kingdom, Morocco, Japan, Germany, Norway and other countries which have had a pavilion at Epcot, one of the theme parks that are part of Walt Disney World outside Orlando.
Greece Epcot Pavilion a natural choice
Now, another eight openings have been created at the World Showcase, creating a great opportunity for Greece to show off some of its unique culture.
Volunteers from the Hellenic Electronics Center (HEC) have pooled their efforts and set up an online petition to round up support for a Greek pavilion — which they think is long overdue. “How is it that a country with Greece’s beauty, rich history and innovation is not in the World Showcase?” the volunteers behind the Greek effort ask in their petition.
More than 3,600 people have signed the petition as of Wednesday morning.
Currently, Brazil and South Korea are also in the race for the eight new spots.
“If you can dream it, you can do it”
As the organizers note in their petition, Walt Disney once said “If you can dream it, you can do it!“ They go on to give five overarching reasons why Greece should have a pavilion in the World Showcase, among them history, cuisine, the atmosphere of Greece, Greek entertainment and gifts.
They state that Greece is the cradle of civilization, contributing foundational ideas in the spheres of government, science, philosophy, and commerce and that “the ancient Greeks changed the world in about 1,000 years flat.
“From the southernmost islands of the Aegean in the Mediterranean to the northernmost mountains of Macedonia. Across the mysteries of time, a picture emerges,” they state, saying that the food, dances and music of the country would be the perfect fit for the World Showcase, as it has a first-rate reputation for pavilions that “truly look and even sound like the countries they represent.”
The organizers add that “A Greece pavilion could have areas that look like everything from buildings along the Santorini cliffside to ancient Greek architecture with traditional Greek music playing in the background; it would be absolutely amazing!”
Entertainment is also front and center at Disney, of course, and it created the movie “Hercules” in 1997, so it is possible that they “could have regular meet and greets with the characters from that film,” the organizers say.
Since gifts showing the best products from a nation are another important part of the experience, Greek Orthodox iconography, Greek eye jewelry, Greek wines, Kalamata olives, olive oil, traditional Greek spices, and even feta cheese, could be offered in the shops at the pavilion.
EPCOT, or the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, is one of four parks in Disney World in Lake Buena Vista, Florida. Walt Disney World opened on October 1, 1971, with the property now covering nearly 25,000 acres.
The four parks are the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom; there are also two water parks, a total of 27 themed resort hotels, nine non-Disney hotels, several golf courses, a camping resort, and other entertainment venues.
Epcot drew more than 12.4 million visitors in 2019. All those interested may sign the petition, here.