Epcot is one of my family’s favorite parks, mainly because of all the great food choices. However, I really think the Imagineers missed out on creating some incredible and dramatic views by not incorporating more overlooks of the lagoon at World Showcase. Consider Magic Kingdom, Seven Seas Lagoon and the 3 resorts built around there. All 3 of the resorts offer full service restaurants with a view of the water as well as the Magic Kingdom, although, it’s a bit restricted from Narcoossee’s at the Grand Floridian because of it’s elevation and closer proximity to the Magic Kingdom. But, California Grill atop the Contemporary resort provides the best view in all of WDW, and Ohana at the Polynesian offers a good view as well, and when night-time sets in, and the fireworks are shooting off, either of these provide a unique experience that is quite memorable.
Back to Epcot though. Think about it, most of the restaurants at Epcot are located at the back of their respective pavilions, and in most cases offer no view of the lagoon. Was this on purpose? Did they do it to help preserve or create the illusion that you are actually in that country? There are a few exceptions, like Rose and Crown in the UK, Les Chefs de France in France, Tokyo Dining in Japan?, and the Cantina in Mexico probably has one of the best, and soon to be even better spots for water-side dining. However, Norway, China, Italy, Germany, US, Morocco, Canada don’t really take advantage of the great location that hosts these restaurants. Perhaps in the future, if/when some of these pavilions and restaurants get remodeled they could somehow take better advantage of the lagoon view. Of course, I might have to give Le Cellier a pass on this as it would certainly ruin that restaurants’ theme. However, I would love to see several of the pavilions take on a similar approach as Japan and have their restaurants on the second floor so as to offer an even better view. Sure, many of the structures probably weren’t built with this in mind, but this is Disney Imagineering, the same people who built an entire theme park, the Magic Kingdom, on the second floor and transformed swamp land into a resort, I’m pretty sure they could handle a restaurant or two.
Another thought along these lines, would be to remodel Odyssey, you know, that seemingly unused building between Test Track and the Mexico Pavilion. BTW, in case you weren’t aware, Odyssey was at one time a working restaurant that hosted a character meal at Epcot. Why not raise the restaurant high enough so it offers a big window or windows over-looking the lagoon? Even better, build a round restaurant that is elevated and rotates offering diners a changing view of some of Epcot’s great entertainment options. Epcot has a lot of great restaurants, and quite possibly having another might be too many, regardless, this is still a great spot for something that could be truly unique, if they were so inclined.
Perhaps sometime in the future should they ever build a new pavilion or even re-design or remodel an existing one, they will take the water in to consideration and incorporate more of it into their design, at least I would like to hope so. Anybody else?