I love Epcot. While I don’t want to pick favorites amongst the Disney parks, I can tell you that when in WDW alone, this is the park to which I most frequently gravitate. That said, there’s always room for improvement.
World Showcase is a wonderful place for dining, shopping, and just wandering around. It is, however, rather lacking in top tier attractions. I can’t imagine anyone over the age of four considering Norway’s Maelstrom or Mexico’s Gran Fiesta Tour to be E-ticket attractions. And as for the films around World Showcase; well, I always thought as a kid that I would appreciate these more as an adult. I’m still waiting for my tastes to mature to that level.
Not one to point out a problem without providing a solution, I’ve planned out an entire pavilion as an addition to World Showcase. Several countries have been proposed by many people over the years; Brazil, Australia, Peru, and Spain have been top contenders. I propose Russia. Here’s why:
1. Architecture – A replica of Saint Basil’s Cathedral would be absolutely stunning. The Catherine Palace and Menshikov Tower would be rather striking, as well. As most U.S. citizens will never be able to visit Russia, I believe the exotic look of this pavilion would be an immediate crowd pleaser.
2. Thrill Ride – The origin of the roller coaster dates back to the Russian Ice Slides built in the 17th century throughout Russia. Hello, E-ticket attraction!
3. Dining – At first my entire menu focused around one phrase: Vodka Ice Bar. While I’m not abandoning that notion, I decided I should come up with some actual food options, as well. Considering the absolute debacle that is The Liberty Inn in the America pavilion, I thought it may be best to create an entire menu for Disney. Here it goes:
Blini with sour cream and caviar or mushrooms
Pelmeni – Meat or chicken dumplings pan-seared and served with a sour cream and chive dipping sauce
Roasted Red Peppers stuffed with feta, cream cheese, and walnuts
Draniki – Fried potato pancakes with onion and garlic
Borscht – Because you’d have to serve Borscht
Cheboureki – Small fried pies with meat filling
Beef Stroganoff—Tender beef in a sour cream sauce served over noodles
Chicken Kiev -- Boneless chicken breast rolled around garlic butter with herbs, then breaded and either fried or baked
Fried Trout with Lemon
Potato Pirozhki -- Baked or fried buns stuffed with tender meat filling and sour cream (I am loving all of this sour cream!)
Midnight Chicken -- Chunks of chicken breasts stewed with carrots, onions, spices, raisins and fresh garlic in a sour cream sauce and served over noodles
Zharkoe Pork -- Pieces of pork sautéed with onions, mushrooms, potatoes and herbs
Golubtzy -- Cabbage leaves stuffed with rice and beef, and roasted in tomato sauce
Pavlova – A baked meringue topped with Chantilly or whipped cream and fresh berries
Syrniki – A fried quark cheese (similar to cream cheese or ricotta) pancake, garnished with sour cream, jam, honey, or applesauce
Sambouk – Plum mousse
Charlotte Malakoff – A lining of ladyfingers and a center filling of a soufflé mixture of cream, liqueur, chopped almonds, and whipped cream and decorated with strawberries
4. Shopping – Kholui and Palekh lacquered boxes make attractive souvenirs. Traditional and satirical Matryoshka dolls (Russian nesting dolls) should be available, as well as perhaps some toy bears. Another unique souvenir would be Khokhloma -- wooden cups, saucers and spoons painted gold, red and black. Dymkovskaya Igrushka are pottery figurines based on popular folklore characters. Engraved amber, Gzhel porcelain, Vologda lace and Fabergé eggs and jewelry would be highly sought after.
What do you think?