IF TRAVELING CLOCKWISE UPON ENTERING
A showcase of
Germany featuring a clock shop, biergarten, German toys, a Christmas shop,
German confections, and the architecture is southern Germany Bavarian...
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charter member of World Showcase, the German pavilion is situated far
enough from the French pavilion to keep them from being nervous.
So, welcome to Germany - land of clocks and beer! To be painfully
accurate, the German pavilion is better described as Bavarian; the
focus is strongly on the decor of southern Germany and the overall effect
is very oompah-liederhosen.
Unfortunately, the German pavilion is also one of World Showcase's
pavilions without attractions. Whether this is because of some obscure
clause in the Marshall Plan or because of cheap Disney executives,
it leaves aspiring Germans with little to do but shop and eat. While
the pavilion at least has more going for it than its neighbor, the Italy
pavilion, it's still very disappointing that the intended Rhine River
Cruise ride was never built. The ride building still exists, with
its entrance to the right of the Biergarten's, but it is used only for
"Do not chase me! I am full of chocolate!" Now
you too can stuff your face like a chubby kid named Günter in this
buffet-style German restaurant. In fact, you might say it's the
BEST WURST you'll ever have! HAHAHAHAHA!!! Oh, I slay myself. Anyway,
you can gorge yourself on various sausages, cabbage, and potatoes in this
pseudo-outdoor Biergarten. There's usually entertainment of some
sort, whether it be alpenhorns (you know, those RICOLA! guys) or Oompah
bands. And there's beer. Lotsa beer. At the later seatings
it's almost guaranteed that people will wind up swinging steins back and
forth to some old German drinking song. The tables are large, so
needless to say this restaurant is best experienced when you're part of
a big group.
This establishment is an outdoor cafe situated in the rear
of the German pavilion. Seating is available at outdoor tables for
diners. The fare is German food served in fast food form;
Becks beer and various Rhine wines are also available.
This store, to the far right as you enter the pavilion, stocks
steins and other German glassware. Basically anything to do with
beer. Film and other items are available as well.
Attached to the Kaufhaus is this small store, which features
various German crafts. Chief among those featured here are cuckoo clocks.
Lots of cuckoo clocks. Big ones. Little ones. Lots and
lots of flippin' cuckoo clocks. Arrive on the hour so you can be
treated to a gigantic eruption of cuckoo madness.
Sandwiched between Volksunst and the Biergarten, Der Teddybar
features various types of German toys. Dolls, Steiff stuffed animals,
and various Lego-derivatives comprise the selection.
Kunstarbeit in Kristall
To the left of the Biergarten, this store stocks crystal
and various high-end glasswares as well as jewelry, wine and liquor glasses,
steins, and other trinkets.
An unsuspecting and modest building, the Sussigkeiten draws
you in with little promise of the trap inside. German confections, chocolate,
butter cookies, almond biscuits, chocolate covered pretzels... it's like
sweet sweet crack. Beware the Sussigkeiten! Beware!
If you escape the lurid temptation of the sweet shop, you
serve only to find yourself in a parlour of alcoholic indulgence.
The Weinkeller, styled as an actual wine cellar, features bottles of various
German wines. The predominant brand is Schmitt-Söhne, and there
are about 250 varieties available. The wines range from everyday
vintages to high-end bottles, and tastings are available daily.
Die Weihnachts Ecke
After the candy and booze, what else is there left to do
but celebrate Christmas? The Weinachts Ecke (Christmas Corner) serves
up Christmas 365 days a year. The shop stocks various holiday ornaments
and decorations of German manufacture, as well as the mandatory Nutcrackers.
Glas und Porzellan
This shop, on the far left end of the German pavilion, features
various glass and porcelain (how did you guess?) items from the Goebel
firm. Most famous of these are the highly collectable (don't ask
me why) porcelain Hummel figures. There are many of these here,
as well as other examples of the art. Often an artist from Goebel
is present to demonstrate the art and techniques that go into creating
Biergarten, an indoor German "courtyard" featuring a German
Oktoberfest buffet. At lunch and dinner time, yodelers, dancers and other
lederhosen-clad musicians perform an Oktoberfest dinner show.
Several specialty shops featuring steins, cuckoo clocks, toys, wine, Christmas
ornaments and German confections.
Inspired by the buildings of Bavaria and the Rhine region of Germany.
Other details come from communities of the German north. Statue in the
center of the plaza is of St. George, the patron saint of soldiers. A
glockenspiel chimes to a melody specially composed for Epcot.
Geraniums are the general feature here. Youll find them by the hundreds
throughout the pavilion, including over-stuffed flower boxes.
Atmosphere entertainment ranges from strolling accordionists to a German
Pavilion staffed by cast members from throughout Germany.
Lining the front of the Germany pavilion is a row of
sycamore trees, carefully pruned during the winter months. This style
of pruning or pollarding originates in Europe and is used
to control the size of the trees in urban areas. Closer to the water are
flower beds filled with several varieties of Old World roses. Over the
past 120 years, the evolution of the rose has concentrated on the importance
of the flowers looks, rather than the strength of the scent. But
Old World roses, like the ones found in the Germany pavilion, maintain
a beautiful fragrance, are prolific bloomers and have a stronger resistance
In order to fill this pavilion with color, many container flowers and
hanging baskets enhance and decorate shop areas. Ivy-geraniums, a flowering
plant often used in window boxes in Germany, do not thrive in Florida
heat. To create a similar look, Epcot gardeners combine two plants: English
ivy and common geraniums. Few Epcot guests notice the difference.
Chef Christine Weissman recently unveiled an up-to-date buffet concept
with "modern German" cuisine. It's a home-cooked dining experience,
with guests served from skillets and crock pots surrounded by a lively
Octoberfest celebration. Chef Weissman offers seasonal vegetables such
as snow peas and green beans "to change the perception that Germany
is only about sauerkraut." Fresh salmon and trout in light, flavorful
sauces often are on the menu.