Today our walking tour of World Showcase pavilions brings us to the American Adventure. My favorite pavilion for so many wonderful reasons! I know, other pavilions have better eating choices, better shopping opportunities and more interesting architecture than what you'll find here. But what the Disney Imagineers did with this pavilion was create a beautifully told history of the United States of America aptly called the "American Adventure".
No other pavilion in Epcot keeps bringing me back time and time again like this pavilion does. It's not only the Voices of Liberty, the Spirit of America Fife and Drum or the American Adventure show but also all the Flower Power concerts, Eat to the Beat concerts, Sounds Like Summer concerts and the Candlelight Processional that are held at the America Garden Theater. These concerts and shows are part of the rich history of this country.
Now I do wish that the food choices were better. I understand the need for a large quick service food location in the World Showcase area, but the addition of a higher end, sit down, American style restaurant would be great. Maybe a seafood restaurant of some kind; what do you think?
Anyway, let me point out some interesting facts about this pavilion. The building has architectural elements of such historic buildings as Independence Hall, Boston's Old State House, Monticello, and Colonial Williamsburg. It was made with 110,000 handmade, Georgian clay bricks. The bricks were colored and aged to look authentic. It has a slate roof with a widows walk, clock and bell tower. Inside you will find a beautiful rotunda, with marble floors and a dome ceiling.
What do you say we start the walk and we'll talk some more along the way.
We'll begin our walk as we leave the beautiful Italy pavilion.
If you look to the right you'll notice a ship docked in back of the America Gardens Theater. I can't find any information about that vessel. Do you know what is it or represents? In my mind I believed it to be a replica of the Mayflower. Since Ben Franklin, in the American Adventure show, states that the American Adventure actually started with the Pilgrims and the Mayflower it all made sense in my mind; but that just my guess.
Here we are actually entering the pavilion.
The American Adventure sign, with a golden eagle that's in the center of the pavilion.
Here is a great look at front of the pavilion. Did you know that this building is actually five stories? I understand that traditional buildings of that era were three stories but that size building was too small to be seen across the World Showcase Lagoon. So, using forced perspective they made the building bigger but still look appropriate for it period.
Close up look at the main entrance to the pavilion.
In front of the pavilion, on both side of the main entrance, are these signs with the show times.
As you look up you can see the clock and bell tower and the widows walk. Also, notice that the for four o'clock the Roman Numeral IIII is used instead of IV. I guess the Imagineers figured that the IV might create too much confusion when viewed from a distance.
Here's a view with our backs to the pavilion looking out towards the lagoon.
As you walk into the pavilion have you ever noticed the beautiful entryway that you pass through? Again, another example of the level of detail put into these pavilions.
I just love the look and feel of this rotunda! The marble and gold floor, the tall columns, the domed ceiling and the beautiful art and famous quotes on the walls make this room very special.
Here's looking up at the acoustically perfect ceiling. When listening to the Voices of Liberty you want to make sure you are under this ceiling.
If you have listened to the Voices of Liberty before you will know they come from a room in the back. Here's a look at where they come from. Notice the beautiful brass wall panels. You'll see them throughout this pavilion.
All around this room are beautiful paintings depicting various historic events in our countries growth. What I find fascinating about this art is that each and every one of these beautiful pieces of art were painted by Disney Imagineers. The names of each artist can be seen on the plaque that's attached to the painting. So, take a few minutes and enjoy.
Also on the walls are quotes from some very famous Americans. My favorite? Walt's quote, of course!
On the right hand side of the rotunda is the American Heritage Gallery and that's where you will find the National Treasures exhibit. This exhibit contains over 40 historic items on loan to Disney. History buff or not, you should make a point of viewing this exhibit. Very worthwhile!
Here you see a large painting showing the credits for the American Adventure show.
This is the entrance to the American Adventure show.
As we enter, look right. There's another of those brass wall panels.
The entrance to the American Adventure first leads us to the Hall of Flags. There are 44 flags here in the hall and they represent Revolutionary War flags, Colonial flags, and foreign flags that once had claim to the land. And the hall brings us up to the second floor of the pavilion. Note: the second floor is handicap accessible via an elevator.
The second floor has the same look and feel as the first floor. More painting and more quotes. And I should mention that all the furniture throughout the pavilion are antiques.
This is looking down into the first floor of the rotunda from the second floor.
And now looking up at the ceiling from this level.
The walkway leading into the theater.
The theater seats just over 1,000 guests and all the seats give a great view of the show. The show itself is about 28 minutes in length and includes a mix of audio-animatronic figures, film, and music. (Note: the length of this show may be a bit much if you are traveling with very little children. So, you may want to do a switch off is that's possible.) Benjamin Franklin along with Mark Twain are our guides as we travel through American history from the Pilgrims to present time. This show is NOT to be missed! In my opinion it's one of the best things Disney has done. The last segment "Golden Dream" gets me every time! I always walk out of the theater "proud to be an American". Just a fantastic show!
On each side of the theater are six (twelve in total) life sized statues that represent the "Spirit of America". This is a picture of the six on the right hand side and these six represent: Freedom, Heritage, Pioneering, Knowledge, Self-Reliance and Adventure
On the left hand side of the theater the six statues represent: Individualism, Innovation, Tomorrow, Independence, Compassion and Discovery.
The exit to the theater leads you back outside. On your way out, however, be sure to look up. You'll see the words from "Golden Dream" on the beams as you walk down; America, Spread Your Golden Wings, Sail on Freedom's Wind, Across The Sea". I just love it!
The Kidcot Fun Stop location is just to the right of the store.
Also, did you know that there is a beautiful garden just to the right of the building?
I mentioned before that this pavilion only has a quick service restaurant. At the Liberty Inn you can find hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken nuggets, and the like. It has a large indoor eating area and an outdoor eating area.
Out by the main sidewalk is the Fife & Drum Tavern. One of my favorite places because this is where I can purchase an ice cold Samuel Adams beer. In addition, they sell such things as Turkey Legs, soft serve ice cream and popcorn.
Also on the main sidewalk, as you head towards Italy, is an Espresso and Coffee kiosk.
And don't forget those ever tempting funnel cakes. The smell of them just draws you in!
Heritage Manor Gifts is located on the right hand side of the main building. It's quite small and the items are limited. Of all the World Showcase shopping opportunities this one gets the lowest rating in my book. But go ahead in and look around.
In addition to the shop this is a kiosk and a number of carts where you can purchase pins and other merchandise.
The entertainment at the American Adventure consists of the Voices of Liberty and The Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps.
I have to admit that I love the entertainment that's all around World Showcase. It's really very, very good. However, the best of them all, in my opinion, are the Voices of Liberty. What incredible voices! I've seen them bring adults to tears, overwhelmed by their voices. Never, ever miss an opportunity to listen to them perform.
The Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps perform outside on the sidewalk a various times throughout the day.
The America Gardens Theater By the Shore is located in front of this pavilion and is the place where all the Flower Power concerts, Eat to the Beat concerts, Sounds Like Summer concerts and where the Candlelight Processional concerts are performed. My only wish is that Disney would cover the entire seating area and remove the trees.
As we leave, let's take one last look at that mysterious (to me) ship.
I sure hope that you enjoyed this walk as much as I did! I hope you agree that the American Adventure is a fantastic pavilion filled with loads of history and great entertainment.
Well, that concludes the walking tours of the World Showcase pavilions. I hope you've had an opportunity to read them all and that they've either provided you with a little fix in between visits or helped you plan you trip to this wondrous land. Leave me a comment and let me know your thoughts.
Thanks for coming along with me!
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Well, that’s all for now. As my good friend says “see ya real soon”….DizneyMike
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The previous post in this blog was Flower Power Concert: Jose Feliciano.
The next post in this blog is Walking Tours of the World Showcase Pavilions.