Blog 8-Epcot’s World Showcase

The cultural representations displayed in Epcot’s World Showcase are mostly based off of stereotypes. Some of them are able to show a small portion of the culture, but most just show the typical depictions of the country. Most things are based off of the stereotypes of the country and you can choose one from every pavillion you go to, minus Norway because that has been taken over by Frozen and should just be called “Frozen Pavilion”.

There are some things that can be extremely offensive to those that live in certain countries such as hennas from Morocco and maple leaves from Canada, leaving those to be the only representation of the people of those countries. The smarter thing for Disney to do would be to listen to the employees of the designated countries they are hired from and take their advice on how to design the different pavilions. Most of the pavilions in Epcot’s World Showcase can be fixed and removed from their typical stereotypes, but these stereotypes are how America defines them. If the stereotypes are taken away, Americans would not know what to do or eat because they are expecting to go from place to place. The satisfaction would come from Americans knowing about the culture before they even go to the pavilion, and creating the correct cultural representations in the World Showcase would make the Americans that visit Epcot extremely confused. Also, the places displayed in the World Showcase have many cultures embedded into the countries, so trying to pick out one specific trait to display within the pavilion would be extremely difficult.

One example that really pops into my mind of wrongful cultural representations of pavilions is the removal of “Maelstrom”, the Viking ride displaying most Norwegian heritage through log flume. This ride was a great representation of Norwegians and was removed in 2014 to make room for “Frozen Ever After”, which is in no way Norwegian other than the fact that the characters were inspired by a type of Norwegian group called the Saami Pite. There have been many people that have began to notice the lack of Norwegian cultural representations, but they have shown a liking for Frozen more than the Norwegian apparel. If Disney stays on the same track as they have for Frozen, Epcot’s World Showcase could be in danger of losing their stereotypical cultural representations and it can turn into another Magic Kingdom, taking away all of it’s authenticity.

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