Pavilion Explorations: The United Kingdom

Educational and entertaining, Epcot can provide you with the opportunity to tour the world without a passport. The United Kingdom pavilion in Epcot is best known for its Fish and Chips, Pub, and British rock covers from British Revolution. As in every Mouse University Online exploration, we have to look for the hidden details and appreciate research done by the Imagineers. Let’s walk the cobble-stoned streets in our trip through time “across the pond.”IMG_2343

IMG_1899The pavilion can be divided into distinct time periods with specific themes and representations in the four main streets; Tudor Lane, High Street, Upper Regency and Lower Regency. We’re going to look at a few of the buildings individually.

Starting with the quant english cottage, The Tea Caddy, we start out in the 1500’s. It was based on Stratford-upon-Avon, the childhood home of Anne Hathaway (William Shakespeare’s wife). Notice the thatched roof? Well it’s actually plastic due to fire and weather proofing regulations.

The Queen’s Table moves on to the 1600s with its forced perspective two-story building. Being historically correct with cantilever architecture, the higher up you look, the wider the building gets. This is because in the 1600’s, people were taxed on the square footage on the ground level. Inside, the four column center among other things, represent Buckingham Palace. The exterior building design elements include diamond shapes, trefoils, clovers, and chevrons. In this area, you might notice roses for the royal family, the Tudors. This was a very common feature of the time. On the window of The Queen’s Table, look out for the crests of the four major schools of the UK (Oxford, Cambridge, Eton, and Edinburgh). Across the street is the Crown & Crest shop, which also reflects the same up and out 1600’s architecture. We’ll get back to that shop later.

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IMG_1908Next door to The Crown & Crest, you’ll find the Sportsman Shoppe. It represents one of King Henry VII’s homes, Hampton Court Palace, located in Greater London’s Richmond upon Thames. The brick building is a Tudor design with the final phase of medieval architecture. They sell Beatles, Doctor Who, and British sports merchandise in the Elizabethan themed interior.

In the back of the pavilion is the Lords and Ladies shop. The 1800’s stately plastered house has flower boxes, and portray the wealth of the family inside. It’s much more refined and formal than some of the other buildings.

IMG_1889Belgrave Square exemplifies Hyde Park, Yorkshire, and the Regency. This section contains row houses from the late 17th century’s Late Georgian era. The Upper Regency street houses face the scaled replica of Hyde Park. A group named British Revolution plays many times a day with hits from Led Zeppelin, The Rolling Stones, Sting, The Who, and the Beatles.

Have some mail to send? Well there’s a Postbox near the Toy Soldier, from historical area of Yorkshire. Mail is picked up from the postboxes every day except for Christmas and Boxing Day.

Remember the Crown and Crest shop we mentioned before? It isn’t just one building. The shop spills into a model of the Scots Baronial designed, Abbotsford Manor. It was owned by Sir Walter Scott, and is a part of the Gothic Revival. Quite a beautiful building.

IMG_1893When walking through the pavilion, look at all the different windows. Notice how they differ in types of glass between the different themes.

One of the coolest little details, is up on top of the buildings. On the chimneys, theres soot painted on top. Why did the Imagineers do that? This actually is to make the buildings look like typical homes that are actually in use and like those from time of Marry Poppins. Think you might spot Burt up there? 😉

What is your favorite thing about the United Kingdom pavilion? Let me know in the comments below, or on Facebook and Twitter!

~Abigail

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