Canada

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Canada
Canadapavilionghotel.jpg
The Hotel Du Canada at twilight.
Epcot
Land World Showcase
Opening date October 1, 1982
Number of Attractions 1
Number of Restaurants 1

Canada is a pavilion located within World Showcase in Epcot. It is located between the United Kingdom and the World Showcase entrance.

History

While the Canada pavilion eventually opened as one of World Showcase’s opening day pavilions, the pavilion that finally opened was drastically different from the one that had originally been designed. Disney had initially approached the Canadian government about sponsoring a Canada pavilion for World Showcase, however when the government refused (due to fears that stereotypes such as lumberjacks would be used) Disney decided to create the pavilion without a sponsor [1]. This lack of sponsorship gave Imagineers the freedom to create the pavilion from an outsider’s perspective [2].

Original plans for the Canada pavilion called the pavilion to be divided into two halves, French Canada and English Canada [2]. The barrier between the two would have been the pavilions main street, where restaurants and shops would be located. When designing this version of Canada however, Imagineers faced a problem. Due to the similarities between the two cultures it became hard to differentiate the Canada pavilion from America. To solve this issue, Imagineers decided to base the pavilion on Canada’s wilderness, focusing specifically on the eastern seaboard.

When construction began on the Canada pavilion, Imagineers wanted to use artificial trees to further immerse guests into the Canadian wilderness [3]. When the trees were installed however, it became clear that they would disrupt the forced perspective used by the rest of the pavilion’s structures. Eventually, Dick Nunis (the pavilion’s project manager) called for the trees to be removed, and the idea was scrapped [3]. A treeless Canada pavilion opened with the rest of EPCOT Center on October 1, 1982.

Concept art for the Canada pavilion.

Since opening day the Canada pavilion has seen a few changes. The first real change to come to the pavilion came in 1986 when La Boutique des Provinces opened on the second floor of the Hotel du Canada [4] the pavilion came in 1997 when the pavilion’s table service restaurant “Le Cellier” had its menu updated [5]. At this time, the establishment was renamed Le Cellier Steakhouse [5]. Subsequently, in 2005 La Boutique des Provinces, which was located above Le Cellier Steakhouse closed to guests [4]. Perhaps the most significant change to the Canada pavilion came in 2007, when the pavilion’s only attraction O' Canada closed for renovations. The renovations were done after numerous Canadians began to complain that the film was dated [4] During the closure, the attractions film was updated and given a new narration by comedian Martin Short. O’ Canada’s theme song "Canada (You're a Lifetime Journey)" was also rerecorded by Eva Avila at this time. The updated version of O’ Canada opened to guests on August 31, 2007 [6].

Layout

The first sight that guests see after entering the Canada pavilion is the Victoria Gardens. Inspired by the Butchart Gardens near British Columbia, the Victoria Gardens is a beautiful landscape of various floral arrangements. To the right of the gardens, guess can find Canadian maple trees.

Moving on into the pavilion, guests enter a Northwest Indian Village. Here totem poles give one an example of the kind of objects sculpted by the Northwest Coast native population. Nearby, guests can find the Trading Post, a shop housed within a log cabin structure.

Continuing forward, guests come upon the Northwest Mercantile. Originally created as a representation of Canada's early frontiersmen, it is in this area that guests begin to see both French and English influence.

Up ahead, guests cross over a stream and continue their journey along the Rue de St. Louis. On the right hand side, guests can visit the Hotel du Canada. This Victorian building was based on the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa. Representing the type of hotels that sprang up along Canada’s early railroads, the Hotel du Canada has a French Gothic Design. Located at the base of the Hotel du Canada, is Le Cellier, Canada's table service restaurant.

Leaving behind the Rue de St. Louis, guests find themselves following a path along a steep mountainside. As the path continues along a river bank, guests come to an area made to represent the Salmon Islands. Here, a 30 ft. waterfall feeds a whitewater steam that encircles the island. As guests continue down the path, they come upon Maple Leaf Mine home to the Circle Vision 360 film O' Canada.

Attractions

O' Canada- This CircleVision 360 film takes guests on a tour of Canada. The film was updated in 2007, and the attraction is now hosted by comedian Martin Short.

Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P's World Showcase Adventure- On this interactive adventure, guests use a "F.O.N.E." (Field Operative Notification Equipment) to help Agent P. stop Dr. Doofenshmirtz, by looking for clues throughout World Showcase. The adventure is based on the Disney cartoon Phineas and Ferb.

Dining

A large waterfall in the Canada pavilion. Photo Michael Gray

Le Cellier Steakhouse- The table service restaurant is themed to look like a wine cellar. Located inside the pavilion's Hotel du Canada, Le Cellier Steakhouse offers a traditional steak meal.

Popcorn Cart- Located on the pavilion's promenade, this stand sells popcorn, sodas and beer.

Shopping

Northwest Mercantile- This large store sells all kinds of authentic Canadian merchandise. Among the items available here are Christmas ornaments, maple syrup, NHL hockey jerseys, and even Canadian wines. The shop is themed as a frontier trading post which was often used by trappers.

The Trading Post- This store sells authentic Canadian merchandise as well as Disney souvenirs. This store is themed to look like a Native Canadian longhouse, and three totem poles can be found directly across from it. The Trading Post is connected to Northwest Mercantile.

The Wood Cart- This stand sells wine accessories, plush merchandise, and other authentic Canadian souvenirs.

Live Entertainment

Les Parfaits- This circus troupe/rock band combination performs comedy, acrobatics, and music for guest's entertainment.

Former Live Entertainment

Off Kilter- This Celtic rock band can be found throughout the week at Canada's Mill Stage. The band was formed in 1997, replacing the previous Canada band, the Caledonian Bagpipe Band. In 2014 it was announced that Off Kilter would end their performances in the pavilion.

The Canadian Lumberjack Show- This show showcased skilled lumberjacks who competed in a series of events. Each show lasted between approximately 10-13 minutes.

TradNation- This five piece band celebrated the musical heritage of Quebec by performing traditional songs and step dance. TradNation's shows usually lasted for 20 minutes. The band made their debut on January 15, 2016.

Alberta Bound-This five piece band played traditional Canadian music of varying genres. The band made their debut on May 5, 2016 [7] and were replaced by Les Parfaits in June 2016.

Fun Facts and Trivia

  • The mine that guests enter to see O'Canada was originally named Moosehead Mine. This name was quickly changed however when Canada pavilion sponsor Lebatt Brewing Co. told Imagineers that Moosehead Beer was their chief competitor. The mine's name was changed to Maple Leaf Mine [4].
  • Original ideas for the Canada pavilion included a larger canyon with projected views of Salmon Island, Quebec, Victoria Gardens, and the Northwest Coast [2].
  • Canada and Mexico were placed in their respective places because they border America. Thus, no matter which way you enter World Showcase, you go through one of America’s neighbors [8].
  • The traditional homes found the pavilion were originally going to house the Canadian Tourism Information Center, but this never came to fruition [8].
  • If guests look closely at the picket fence along the pavilions promenade; they will notice that every other post has a Maple leave carved into it [8].
  • The totem poles that are located in the pavilion were originally made of fiberglass. In 1998, artist David Baxley carved a real totem pole which replaced the pole located across from the shops [9].
  • Although the Hotel du Canada looks 7 stories tall, it's actually only 3 [9].

References

  1. http://www.wdwfacts.com/2014/09/01/the-canadian-pavilion-at-world-showcase/
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 http://www.martinsvids.net/?s=Canada
  3. 3.0 3.1 http://progresscityusa.com/2011/02/01/the-lost-forests-of-epcot-center/
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 4.3 The EPCOT explorer's encyclopedia: R. Pedersen - Epcyclopedia Press - 2011
  5. 5.0 5.1 http://www.intercot.com/edc/wsfoodshop.html
  6. http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2012/04/canada_pavilion_part_two_1.html
  7. http://www.wdwmagic.com/attractions/alberta-bound/news/06may2016-video---alberta-bound-debuts-at-epcots-canada-pavilion.htm
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/2012/04/canada_pavilion_part_one.html
  9. 9.0 9.1 http://land.allears.net/blogs/jackspence/walt_disney_world/theme_parks/epcot/canada/