I don't know about you, but I ate far too much over the holidays and I really need a little exercise; OK maybe I need more than a "little" exercise. -:) So, come join me as we take a walk through the beautiful China pavilion and hopefully burn a few calories along the way.
Growing up I often dreamed about traveling to China. The rich history of the country, the customs of the Chinese people and the colorful architecture of buildings and ancient structures combine to create a mystique and allure of that far off land. Unfortunately, I never made it to China. However, thankfully Disney brought a tiny bit of China to me to enjoy over and over again.
Today we're going to explore that little bit of China. The pavilion is filled with color, beauty and smells that surely will please our senses. Also, there's a lot to learn about Chinese history, which is so rich, and we'll learn a little about modern day China as well. However, as we walk pay careful attention to the level of detail that you'll find here. The carving, sculptures and paintings are so intricate and abundant. We'll see dragons and animals all around us. So, let's begin our walk!
The first thing we see is "The Gate of the Golden Sun". This is modeled after the main gate at the summer palace of Beijing.
As you'll see, many of the buildings, structures and streets have plaques with names and information. Here's the one that's on the right hand side column of The Gate of the Golden Sun.
The three-tiered, Temple of Heaven (which symbolizes the Chinese universe) is one half scale reproduction of its counterpart near Beijing.
As we walk towards the temple we see the sign for Reflections of China. A Circle-Vision 360 film on China. To see the film we will first pass through the temple.
Here's a little closer look at the temple.
As we walk towards the temple there is a very peaceful and beautiful garden and pond. It's a great place to just stop and meditate.
As we walk up the steps we see a giant slab with a carving of a dragon in front of the temple.
There is a handicap ramp to the left of the stairs.
Let's go inside the temple.
Inside is the spectacular Hall of Prayer for Good Harvest. "Many of its architectural details, both inside and out, have important significance to the Chinese people. Inside the hall, there are 12 outer columns supporting the roof. They represent the 12 months of the year and the 12-year cycle of the Chinese calendar. Closer to the center of the room are 4 columns representing the four seasons. These columns support a beam, representing Earth, which is topped by a round beam, signifying Heaven." China
Looking up at the ceiling. What a sight! I understand that this room is acoustically perfect so if you stand in the center of the room and speak you will hear yourself talk; pretty cool, huh?
Just beyond the Hall of Prayer is a large room where you can sit and relax while waiting to see the Reflections of China film. It's a beautiful Circle-Vision 360 film where a guide takes us back in history with spectacular views of the Great Wall of China, breathtaking scenic views of mountains and rivers and into the very modern cities of Hong Kong and Shanghai. It's definitely not to be missed.
There are no seats inside the theater, so plan on standing for the entire movie.
There is an entrance into the Tomb Warriors in the large movie seating area. Note: there is another entrance just to the left of the temple which we'll pass by later. However, today we're going to enter from the movie seating area.
Here's a picture of the Tomb Warriors plaque that you'll see on the entrance.
The Tomb Warriors exhibit is one of the most incredible in all of Walt Disney World. I consider it a hidden gem. There is just so much history on display. It's amazing to read how the terracotta army was discovered and the unbelievable effort the Chinese government is taking to piece it all together. Truly something that you shouldn't miss!
As you walk around the room and view the various exhibits you'll see that they give a good history of the terracotta army. This plaque reads as follows:
"Tomb Warriors - Qin Dynasty (221 - 210 B.C.). These tomb warriors were intented to be the protectors of the emperor beyond the grave. Because nearly all the faces of the tome warriors are unique, some archeologist believe that the figures were modeled after real solders. Many other emperors followed Qin's example and created their own special armies. One tomb even provided a mess hall for the convenience of the terracotta statues."
Here's a few more pictures of the exhibit. I encourage you to walk around the room as there's lots more to see.
Here's the other entrance to the Tomb Warriors.
The Street of Good Fortune is the area between the temple and the Yong Feng Shangdian Department store. Please take the time to look around. It's just beautiful!
Fortunately for you shoppers, we've saved some time to browse through the Yong Feng Shangdian Department Store and maybe pick up an item or two.
The Yong Feng Shangdian Department Store - Bountiful Harvest sign
I'm not a big shopper, however, I do love to look around this store. They have so many beautiful and fascinating items. The workmanship and quality of what they sell is really outstanding. So, go ahead and browse and we'll meet back a little later.
Another store entrance with the Bountiful Harvest sign
The Kidcot station is located inside the store.
Are you getting hungry? Well there's a really good counter-service restaurant here called the Lotus Blossom Cafe. The cafe is very popular; maybe that's because the food is so good!
There are a number of tables where you can sit and enjoy your meal.
The Nine Dragons restaurant is the full service restaurant in the pavilion. I've eaten here many times and really enjoy the food. Very, very good. And on most days you can walk into this restaurant and be seated.
Also, there is the Joy of Tea kiosk out on the main sidewalk. Here you can get a drink and snack to take along as you walk.
And, if you want to do some last minute shopping this kiosk has some pretty neat stuff.
Here's the sign that's in front of the pavilion that shows the entertainment and the schedule.
The very beautiful Mulan posing for a picture.
Si Xian is folk music played by very talented musicians on traditional Chinese instruments. You can watch these performances inside the temple while waiting to see the movie.
After her performance she was ready to answer any questions.
The Dragon Legend Acrobats are not to be missed. They are a very talented group of young men and women who have balance and agility beyond belief. Hopefully you've stopped and watched them perform before. Note: if it's raining out they will perform inside the temple. Otherwise you can see them just inside the Gate of the Golden Sun.
There are three rock formations on the walkway in front of the pavilion. Are they serpents? What do you think? Do you know? Here's pictures of two of them.
OK, did you look up and see all those dragons and animals? Well, in case you didn't here's a few pictures to give you an idea of what you missed.
One last look before we move on.
It's on to Italy, our next stop.
Well, I hope you enjoyed this walk as much as I did and that you learned a little something about this beautiful country. As usual it was great having you walk with me. We're going to Italy next, so rest up and get yourself ready.
Please leave me a comment and tell me what you like about the China pavilion or what your memories are of previous visits. I love to get comments.
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Well, that’s all for now. As my good friend says “see ya real soon”….DizneyMike
The previous post in this blog was Holiday Storytelling Around The World Showcase in Epcot.
The next post in this blog is Napoli Pizzeria Coming to Italy in Epcot.