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February 14, 2012

Epcot's China Pavilion - Part Two

Yesterday I discussed the promenade, gardens, and the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests of the China Pavilion. Today I'll discuss the Circle-Vision 360 movie, museum, shops, and restaurants that make up this interesting World Showcase nation.

Venturing past the rotunda of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests you come to the waiting room for the "Reflections of China" 360 film. A clock above the stage indicates how long until the next show begins. If the wait is longer than 10 minutes, venture through the nearby door and enjoy the current exhibit, "Tomb Warriors: Guardian Spirits of Ancient China." I'll discuss this display in more detail later.


Waiting Room

Countdown Clock

Door to Museum


Before I talk about the "Reflections of China" movie, I would like to discuss the film's predecessor, "Wonders of China: Land of Beauty, Land of Time."


Wonders of China Sign


Planning for World Showcase begin in the mid to late '70's, only a few years after Nixon's famous trip to China in 1972. Although relations with China were improving, the country was still shrouded in mystery and many areas of this vast land were off limits to foreigners. When Disney requested permission to film the country for a travelogue-type movie, the Chinese were interested, but leery. They insisted that all filming be strictly supervised and aerial shots of the Great Wall and Tibet were out of bounds.

Knowing that the limitations set by the Chinese government would greatly limit the Imagineers ability to create a compelling movie, negotiations for more freedom ensued, but little progress was achieved. In a last ditch effort, Disney sent a final contingent to meet with officials to see if they could loosen up some of the restrictions placed upon them. They concluded the negotiations with a special showing of the movie Fantasia. This Disney classic seemed to do the trick and arrangements agreeable to both parties were worked out.


Fantasia Poster


The film would be shot in Circle-Vision, a technique pioneered and refined by the Disney Company for Disneyland in the 1950's. This method requires nine cameras be mounted on a platform facing outwards in a circle to capture 360 degrees of scenery. This apparatus is then positioned atop some sort of a moving vehicle or suspended from a plane or helicopter.


Circle-Vision Camera


The Disney film crew scoured China for two months, scouting locations to be included in the movie. Actual filming began in autumn, 1981 and the crew returned in the winter of 1982 to capture the seasonal changes. The Disney crew was the first Western film group to shoot in many areas of the country. When aerial shots of sensitive areas were required, the Disney director relayed his desires to his Chinese counterpart. Then, only the Chinese film crew would go aloft and film the sequence. Once back on the ground, the footage was reviewed by the American crew who would decide if the task had been achieved or if a second or third take was needed.

When filming the Huangshan Mountain sequence, over three dozen locals were hired to haul the 300-pound camera apparatus up 16,700 stone steps. After the editing was completed, this labor intensive scene only lasted a few seconds on screen.

Filming wrapped up in spring of 1982.

To make the movie more interesting and less like a travelogue one might see on TV, an ancient poet, Li Bai was added into the mix. Li Bai acted as narrator and educator, but his dialogue was limited. It was felt the visual wonders depicted in the film could better tell the story. The axiom "less is more" was employed.

Known in the West as Li Po, this poet wrote during the Tang period, which is often called China's "Golden Age" of poetry. Around a thousand of Li Bai's poems still exist today.

After all editing on the movie had been completed, the film was 19 minutes in length and presented a breathtaking view of a country most westerners had never seen. "Wonders of China" was also shown at Disneyland in Tomorrowland from 1984 to 1996.

For twenty years, "Wonders of China" had been a mainstay of the World Showcase list of attractions, but the film was beginning to show its age. During this time, Shanghai had become a world-class city with skyscrapers reaching to the heavens and China had taken back possession of Hong Kong and Macau. None of this was depicted in the film. In addition, China's tourist industry had moved into high gear. When the film debuted, few Americans had ever seen this ancient land. With the turn of the new millennium, this was no longer true. China had become a popular vacation destination. It was time for the movie to be updated. "Wonders of China" was shown for the last time on March 25, 2003.

On May 23 of that same year, a new film incorporating segments from the original movie and new footage recently shot premiered. The new version of the movie was shortened to twelve and a half minutes and contains glimpses of Hong Kong and Macau. All of the scenes of Shanghai were completely replaced. Updated shots of the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, Beijing, Harbin, and Urumqi were added. In addition, Li Bai's dialog was rewritten. Since the actor's beard covers his mouth in many scenes, the Imagineers were able to rewrite much of his dialogue without having to film a new actor.


Sign


Here is a list of all of the scenes seen in "Reflections of China" in order of appearance:

1. The Great Wall at Jinshanling
2. Shanghai from the Bund with a view of Pudong
3. Shanghai montage
4. Nanjing Road, Shanghai
5. Shanghai from the riverfront park
6. Huangpu waterfront
7. Morning exercises in Hangzhou
8. Huangshan mountain
9. Li Bai's study
10. Yangtze River
11. Suzhou canals and garden
12. Heavenly Lake in wilderness of Xinjiang Province
13. Urumqi night market
14. Gobi Desert, Gansu Province
15. Inner Mongolia
16. Yunnan Province
17. Shilin Stone Forest, Yunnan Province
18. Harbin Ice Festival, Heilongjiang Province
19. Macau
20. Hong Kong
21. Hong Kong skyline
22. Dragon Wall in Behai Park, Beijing
23. Terracotta Soldiers
24. Ming Tomb Statues
25. Giant Buddah of Leshan
26. Peking Opera performing "Havoc in Heaven"
27. Forbidden City in Beijing
28. Tien An Men Square in Beijing
29. Behai Park, Beijing
30. Reed Flute Cave at Guilin
31. Limestone formations at Guilin
32. Li River
33. The Great Wall at Jinshanling

There are no seats in the theater. Guests stand during the entire presentation. Although there are no bad areas, I would suggest finding a spot in the middle or toward the rear of the theater. (When you enter the theater, you will notice a podium to your right. This is considered the "front" of the auditorium.) Although the movie is presented in Circle-Vision and you will be in a constant state of movement trying to take it all in, the film definitely has a focal point which can be found on the screen directly above the podium. The theater can easily accommodate wheelchairs and ECVs. And remember, the lean rails were not designed to support your weight or that of your children. They were named "lean" rails because you're supposed to lean against them. If Disney had wanted you to sit on them, they would have named them "sit" rails.


Lean Rails


In 1974, local farmers in Xi'an, China were digging a water well about one mile away from the Qin Emperor's tomb mound. For centuries, roofing tiles, bricks, and other bits of masonry were found in this area, but the farmers unearthed something remarkable, a figure of a soldier. This find prompted Chinese archaeologist to investigate further and the famous Terracotta Army was eventually unearthed.

The terracotta figures are life-sized and vary in height, uniform, and hairstyle in accordance with rank. Their purpose was to guard Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, in the afterlife. It is believed that in the three pits containing the Terracotta Army there are over 8,000 soldiers, 130 chariots, 520 chariot horses, and 150 cavalry horses, the majority of which are still buried in the pits


Terracotta Army at Xi'an


On October 1, 2006, a new exhibit came to the House of the Whispering Willows gallery, a scaled down model of this famous terracotta army and excavation. Entitled "Tomb Warriors: Guardian Spirits of Ancient China," this remarkable reproduction is impressive and makes you ponder the enormous scale of the original in China.

It is believed that when the ancient Chinese were constructing the life-sized soldiers, six basic face molds were used. Then, artists would use additional clay to ensure that every statue had a unique countenance. This painstaking attention to detail can be seen on this scaled-down model. If you look closely, each man is an individual.


House of the Whispering Willows

Terracotta Army

Terracotta Army

Terracotta Army

Terracotta Army


Here is a representation of what these figures might have looked like when new and before their paint had chipped and faded.


Terracotta Soldier


Authentic artifacts can also be enjoyed in this gallery. Mingqi pieces from the collection of Lillian and Ezekiel Schloss have been secured with additional objects in storage to be used for occasional updates to the exhibit.


Museum Pieces

Museum Pieces


While in the gallery, be sure to look up and admire the ceiling. It is yet another work of art. If you look closely, you'll see the dragons have five claws. Noticing ceilings is something you should get into the habit of doing while visiting any Disney venue.


Museum Ceiling


The main thoroughfare of the China Pavilion is called Street of Good Fortune. This street was inspired by roadways found in both Beijing and Shanghai. The Imagineers intentionally designed this area to be narrower than crowd control would demand. This was done to help guests experience the crowded conditions the Chinese experience every day.


Street of Good Fortune Sign

Street of Good Fortune


The Street of Good Fortune is filled with details. I could spend an hour here just enjoying the rich architecture.


Street of Good Fortune

Street of Good Fortune

Street of Good Fortune

Street of Good Fortune

Street of Good Fortune

Street of Good Fortune


As we know, the West occupied a number of cities in China during the colonial period of the 18th and 19th centuries. This foreign influence can be seen on one building in particular. This "telephone company" structure has a distinctly European flavor with Asian accents. It's interesting to note, a pay telephone can be found in this building.


Telephone Building

Telephone Building

Telephone Building


At the far end of the Street of Good Fortune is a biān zhōng bell. This instrument would be part of a set of bells (always in an odd number) and played during rituals and ceremonies. These bells did not have clappers, but were played by striking them with a mallet. Biān zhōng bells date back 2,000 to 3,500 years.


Biān Zhōng Bell

Biān Zhōng Bell


While on the Street of Good Fortune, take a look at the magnificent tile roofs. The craftsmanship here is mindboggling. Of special interest are the figures perched on the corner tiles. Here you can see 3rd-century ruler Prince Min sitting atop a hen. Because of the cruelty he imposed upon his subjects, he was eventually hanged. It is now customary to install an effigy to him on buildings throughout China as a warning to other tyrants. The various animals behind him are there to thwart any escape attempts. The first picture below was taken in Beijing, the second in Epcot.


Beijing Roof Tiles

Epcot Roof Tiles


The main shopping spot at the China Pavilion is the House of Good Fortune. This enormous shop carries everything from simple souvenirs to expensive works of art. This is one of my favorite World Showcase stores to browse and wander. I find the merchandise here fascinating.


House of Good Fortune


It would be impossible to describe all of the goods available at the House of Good Fortune, so I'll showcase just a few of the items I hope you will find of interest.

If you're interested in palmistry, numerology, feng shui, and a host of other curious sciences, guides are available.


Chinese Pamphlets


For home décor, beautiful vases, lanterns, and jade plants are just a few of the categories to choose from.


Vases

Lanterns

Jade Plants


If you're looking for a beverage, a large selection of Chinese teas is for sale. And for you wine aficionados, Dragon's Hollow wine is available. This is the first premium wine to be produced in China.


Tea

Chinese Wine


For the ladies, jewelry from the inexpensive to the luxurious will tempt your pocket book.


Jewelry


The China Pavilion Kidcot station is also located in the House of Good Fortune. Those having their passport stamped here are in for an extra treat. The cast member will ask in what year were you born. Then he will stamp your passport with the appropriate "year" symbol. For example, I was born in 1952. So my passport would be stamped with a dragon as that is the Chinese sign I was born under.


Kidcot Station


Outside the House of Good Fortune are two lions. In China, the lion is regarded as a special creature as it was believed to be the king of all animals. The lion represented prestige and power and was often associated with an individual's rank. Lions like these are often placed in front of gates or doorways as they were believed to have mystic and protective powers.


Lions


Although the two lions look like they're both male due to their bushy manes, in fact, one is female. Look closely at their paws. The male has a ball underneath his right paw and the female has a lion cub under her left paw. The ball represents unity of the empire and the cub symbolizes prospering offspring.


Male Lion

Female Lion


The China Pavilion counter service restaurant is named Lotus Blossom Café. In the early years, this eatery was designed with a more traditional Chinese motif. The chairs and tables appeared to be made out of bamboo and the ordering station had a rural feel about it. A couple of years ago, the restaurant went through a transformation. It was decided to give this spot a cosmopolitan look that might be encountered on a busy street in Beijing or Shanghai. I like this spot for lunch. It's nice to grab a table next to the railing and watch people pass by as you enjoy your meal. To see the complete menu, click here.


Lotus Blossom Café

Lotus Blossom Café

Lotus Blossom Café


Next to Lotus Blossom Café is the pavilion's table service eatery, Nine Dragons Restaurant.


Nine Dragons Restaurant

Nine Dragons Restaurant


Like its counter service counterpart, this establishment also underwent a transformation a few years back and its interior given a more sophisticated styling. When entering the lobby, be sure to look at the dragon relief overhead. It's amazing.


Nine Dragons Lobby

Nine Dragons Lobby

Nine Dragons Ceiling

Nine Dragons Restaurant

Nine Dragons Restaurant

Nine Dragons Restaurant


Nine Dragons Restaurant serves Cantonese, Mongolian, Szechuan, Hunan and Kiangche-style specialties. The service here is good and the atmosphere lovely. This is also one of the last World Showcase restaurants to fill its reservation quotas. I think part of this has to do with the fact that many people associate this establishment with their corner, home-delivery Chinese restaurant. I admit, the prices here are considerably more than you'll pay at your local Chinese eatery, but the experience is far superior. If you haven't already done so, I suggest giving this spot a try on your next trip to World Showcase. I suspect you'll be pleasantly surprised.

To see the complete Nine Dragons lunch menu, click here. To see the dinner menu, click here.


That's it for the China Pavilion. I hope you have learned a few new things and your next visit to World Showcase will be a little more interesting because of this blog.

As always, I have created a video showcasing the China Pavilion. In this case, the video is a little longer than usual running at just shy of 16 minutes. Part of this extra length has to do with The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats. I condensed their 20 minute show down to 5 minutes and added it to the end of the presentation. Enjoy.




February 13, 2012

Epcot's China Pavilion - Part One

When the idea for a World Showcase of nations was beginning to gel, Disney sent feelers out to a number of countries to see how much interest could be generated and how much financial support could be secured. Among those solicited were two communist countries, China and the Soviet Union. Both liked the idea and were willing to commit, but the Soviet Union stipulated that communist ideals must be presented at its pavilion. The Imagineers said this was unacceptable and the Soviets backed out. However, China made no such demand. They were more than happy to present a representation of their architecture, heritage, and culture and leave politics out of the mix.

The beauty of the China Pavilion begins on the shores of World Showcase Lagoon. Three large rocks (one now hidden behind Good Fortune Gifts) and several stone benches have been placed at water's edge. Centuries ago, the Chinese believed that contemplation of unusual rock forms brought inner peace and serenity. So profound was this practice that ancient rulers would spend considerable amounts of money and engage hundreds of men to search for and transport a particularly interesting rock back to the palace. Some of these expeditions could last up to three years. The rocks at the China Pavilion offer good examples of thought-provoking boulders. Like looking at clouds, one's imagination can easily see many images when studying these monoliths. Maybe on your next trip to Epcot, when you're emotional energy is running on empty, you should try sitting for a moment to contemplate these rocks' beauty and recharge your spirit.


Chinese Rocks

Chinese Rocks


Also at the water's edge is the "Joy of Tea" stand. This small counter service eatery offers more than you might think. Besides the obvious hot and cold tea drinks, slushies, ice cream, BBQ pork buns, curry chicken pockets, egg rolls, and an interesting selection of alcoholic beverages can be purchased. This is a good spot to stave off thirst or hunger until more substantial offerings can be obtained.


Joy of Tea


Tea was discovered in China. According to popular legend, in 2737 BCE, Emperor Shennong was boiling water when a leaf from a nearby shrub fell into his pot and the hot liquid extracted its delicious flavor. Tea plays an integral part in Chinese culture and history and the beverage is considered one of the seven necessities of life, along with firewood, rice, oil, salt, soy sauce, and vinegar.

Next to the "Joy of Tea" stand is a little detail that is of monumental importance in China, a bicycle. This two-wheeled vehicle is inconspicuous and an easily missed detail at the China Pavilion, however, its importance cannot be downplayed. Anyone who has visited China knows that most people use this form of transportation for commuting. It's not uncommon to see bikers in the middle of a busy street filled with automobiles. The second picture below was taken on a Beijing avenue and the third was taken in Shanghai of a bicycle parking lot.


Bicycle

Bicycles in Beijing

Bicycles in Shanghai


Near the "Joy of Tea" stand is a shop named "Good Fortune Gifts." This spot offers a nice selection of typical Chinese souvenirs. The puppets are especially appealing and guests can't resist the temptation to give them a try.


Good Fortune Gifts

Chinese Puppets

Chinese Puppets

Chinese Puppets


At the south boundary of the China Pavilion, a stone and tile wall separates the gardens from the promenade. Have you ever noticed its wavelike appearance? This wall represents the back of a dragon, a creature important in Chinese lore.


Dragon Wall


Guests enter the China Pavilion by walking beneath Zhao Yan Men or Gate of the Golden Sun. This gate is a reproduction of one found at the Summer Palace located nine miles north of central Beijing. Construction of the Summer Palace began in 1750 and covers an area of approximately 1.8 square miles. The Summer Palace contains a lake, hills, gardens, pavilions, halls, and temples. The purpose of the Summer Palace was to provide an escape for royalty so they could rest and entertain in lavish style. Today the Summer Palace is open to the public and is a popular tourist destination. The first picture is of the original gate, the second at Epcot. (I have better luck taking people-less pictures at Epcot than I do in China. LOL)


Gate at the Summer Palace

Gate of the Golden Sun


Once passed the Gate of the Golden Sun, you cross a bridge which traverses a lovely lotus pool surrounded by a typical Chinese garden. These gardens were inspired by those in Suzhou, a large city located adjacent to Shanghai.


Gardens

Gardens


Be sure to take a walk along the winding pathway found at the far side of the garden. The atmosphere in this remote section of the pavilion is serene and some fantastic photo opportunities will present themselves. You just might discover a babbling brook as you enjoy this area.


Remote Garden Pathway

Babbling Brook

China Pavilion

China Pavilion


Care was given when the Imagineers selected the plants for this garden. As always, they wanted to tell a story. For example, this Contorted Mulberry tree tells two stories. First, it was selected for its beauty. In China, this tree provides florists with a number of possibilities. Its foliage is large and turns golden in the autumn before the leaves fall. In the winter, its twisted branches add beauty to any garden or flower arrangement.


Contorted Mulberry


But this mulberry tree was also selected to represent China's silk industry. Silk moths lay their eggs on mulberry leaves and their offspring feed on the greens until entering the larvae stage. At that time, the caterpillar encloses itself in a cocoon made from one single strand of silk. This strand can range in length from 1,000 to 3,000 feet, which can be unraveled and turned into thread. The famous Silk Road came into being sometime between 206 BCE - 220 CE. Although many goods were traded along this route between Asia and the Mediterranean, its name came from the magnificent silk textiles produced in China.

The following pictures (taken in Shanghai) show silk cocoons soaking in warm water to loosen the natural binding agent. The machinery is used to unravel the cocoon into thread.


Processing Silk

Processing Silk


Another plant found in the China garden is the camellia. This beautiful bush with dark green leaves and an array of different colored blossoms is a native of eastern Asia. It was cultivated in China and Japan for centuries before being exported to Europe in the 16th and 17th centuries. In China, camellias are known as cháhuā (flowering tea) as many specimens are suitable for brewing.


Camellias

Camellias


How can we speak of Asia and not think of bamboo? This member of the grass family is widely used in China as a building material and as a food source. In Hong Kong, contractors use bamboo scaffolding (rather than metal piping) when building skyscrapers reaching 30 to 40 stories high.


Bamboo

Bamboo Scaffolding


For those of you looking for some one-on-one time with Mulan, you won't be disappointed. Currently, this Chinese heroine makes her first appearance promptly at 11am when World Showcase opens. If you're looking to avoid a line, be at the Norway Pavilion rope-drop a few minutes before 11 then scurry over to the garden area just past the Gate of the Golden Sun.


Mulan

Mulan


In 1997, Buena Vista International (a Disney owned company) distributed the movie "Kundun" a biography about the Dalai Lama. The Chinese government felt the movie was inflammatory and threatened to block Disney's access to Chinese markets if they continued with the project. A boycott of this nature would have a significant impact on Disney given that in 1994 "The Lion King" was China's highest grossing film. Yet, Disney did not back down.

Disney hoped the movie "Mulan" might help smooth over the soured relations the film "Kundun" had generated. However, China only allows ten Western movies per year to be shown within their borders and having a film selected is an arduous undertaking -- and Disney's current standing with China wasn't going to help in the selection process. Finally, after a year of negotiations and delays, the Chinese government allowed "Mulan" a limited release, but only after the Chinese New Year, so that local films could dominate the more lucrative holiday market

Perhaps the most popular street entertainment to be enjoyed at World Showcase can be found at the China Pavilion. To say The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats are amazing is a vast understatement. Their gymnastic performance is jaw-dropping. It's not possible for the human body to do what these gifted athletes accomplish - yet it's right there before your eyes to watch in disbelief.

The show is presented in the courtyard just beyond the Gate of the Golden Sun. If you want a good viewing spot, I suggest showing up twenty minutes before the show. Those guests lining the rope (and several layers back) will be asked to sit on the concrete to allow those standing behind to see. And just because you've enjoyed one performance doesn't mean you've seen it all. Different feats are staged at the various shows throughout the day. Currently, The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats perform five days a week and stage five shows per day. Check your Times Guide for more information.

This is a MUST SEE Epcot attraction! Plan your tour of World Showcase accordingly.


The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats

The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats

The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats

The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats

The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats

The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats

The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats

The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats

The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats


The centerpiece of the China Pavilion is a reproduction of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests which is part of the Temple of Heaven complex located southeast of central Beijing. The complex was built between 1406 and 1420 during the reign of the Yongle Emperor, who also oversaw the construction of the Forbidden City. The temple is constructed completely out of wood and was built without nails. It was here that the emperor would make sacrifices and pray to heaven and his ancestors at the winter solstice, asking for a good a harvest in the coming year. The circular blue roof represents the sky and heaven. Red is the color of royalty.


Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests - Beijing


The Disney version of the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests was built at ½ scale of the original (and does contain a few nails).


Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests - Epcot


Like everything the Imagineers do, the details here are stunning. In an effort to capture the authenticity of the original temple, the Imagineers silkscreened hundreds of elaborate patterns onto each and every tile of the structure. The next three sets of pictures showcase the details of the original and the Disney copy. The first picture in each pair was taken in Beijing, the second in Epcot.


Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests Detail - Beijing

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests Detail - Epcot

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests Detail - Beijing

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests Detail - Epcot

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests Detail - Beijing

Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests Detail - Epcot


You will notice two creatures are represented on the temple, the dragon and the phoenix. The dragon represents power, and if the dragon has five claws, it represents the power of the emperor. The phoenix symbolizes peace and prosperity. When paired, they signify marriage.


Phoenix and Dragon


Leading up to the Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests is a beautiful marble relief. If you'll notice, the dragons have five claws, indicating this was a temple used by the emperor. Once again, the first picture in each pair was taken in Beijing and the second in Epcot.


Beijing Relief

Epcot Relief

Beijing Relief

Epcot Relief


Inside the real Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests you would find an altar and other spiritual paraphernalia. At the China Pavilion, the interior rotunda acts as a lobby for the upcoming "Reflections of China" movie.


Rotunda


Within the rotunda, notice the twelve outer columns that support the roof. These represent the months of the year and the twelve-year cycle of the Chinese calendar. Another four columns can be found closer to the center of the room and represent the four seasons. These four columns support four beams which are arranged to create a square. This square represents the earth. Above the "earth" is a circular beam which symbolizes heaven.

The domed ceiling is a magnificent work of art. Although difficult to make out, the gold medallion in the center sports a dragon and phoenix.


Rotunda Ceiling

Rotunda Medallion


The importance of numerology continues to be seen on the rotunda floor. The center stone is surrounded by nine stones. Nine is a lucky number in China. So important is the significance of this number to some believers that a Hong Kong businessman paid $1.67 million for a license plate bearing the single numeral 9 in 1994.


Rotunda Floor Tiles


This center stone also allows guests to have some fun. Stand anywhere within the rotunda and utter a few words out loud. Nothing significant will happen. Then stand directly on the center stone and speak again. This time, your voice will bounce off of the ceiling and be directed back at you. You will literally hear yourself talk.

That's it for Part One of the China Pavilion. Check back tomorrow for Part Two.



October 22, 2008

China Pavilion Fun

There are three pairs of lions in the China Pavilion at Epcot. One pair stands guard in front of the House of Whispering Willows (the museum).


China%2001.jpg


The other two pairs can be found near the entrances to the Yong Feng Shangdian shop.


China%2002.jpg

China%2003.jpg


The lion is regarded as a special creature to the Chinese people as it was thought to be the king of all animals. The lion represented prestige and power and was often associated with an individual's rank. These lions are often placed in front of gates or doorways as they were believed to have mystic and protective powers.

Although the lions look like they're both male due to their bushy manes, but if fact, one is female. Look closely at their paws. The male has a ball underneath his right paw and the female has a lion cub under her left paw. The ball represents unity of the empire and the cub symbolizes prospering offspring.


China%2004.jpg

China%2005.jpg


On a different note"

To see the "Reflections of China" movie, guests walk through Disney's version of the Temple of Heaven.


China%2006.jpg


Most guests pause briefly and admire the magnificent ceiling before proceeding on to the waiting room.


China%2007.jpg


But in case you didn't already know, you can have a little fun in this room. Position yourself anywhere in the room EXCEPT the center stone.


China%2008.jpg


Now say something out loud. For example, you can say, "Allears.net is the best Disney web-site in the World."

Now, move to the center stone.


China%2009.jpg


Once again, say something out load. For instance, "And I read it faithfully everyday."

Your friends and family won't know what just happened, but you will.

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