The American Adventure
COUNTRY UPON ENTERING (Half
way point around the lagoon)
A showcase of
America celebrating the spirit of America's history and diversity
featuring a 29-minute audio-animatronics combination of film and special
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American Adventure, the flagship pavilion of Epcot World Showcase, celebrates
the spirit of Americas history and diversity.
The pavilion, presented by American Express, is home to the American
Adventure show, housed inside a 108,000-square-foot Georgian-style mansion.
In the dramatic 29-minute presentation, one of the most elaborate ever
created using Audio-Animatronics® figures, hosts Benjamin Franklin
and Mark Twain take guests on a journey into the birth of a new nation
and the resulting spirit of its creation.
Through the magic of Audio-Animatronics and an innovative combination
of film and special effects, the show features such "performers"
as Thomas Jefferson, Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, Alexander
Graham Bell, Teddy Roosevelt, Charles Lindbergh, John F. Kennedy and
Martin Luther King Jr.
Disney "stage directors" have drawn reactions and movements
from the Audio-Animatronics actors never before accomplished. "With
live acting, the essence of a message may be caught in a moment; two
actors making eye contact, or a subtle move of the body," said
figure animator Dave Feiten. "In the Valley Forge scene, for instance,
two Audio-Animatronics figures are hunched over against a chilling wind.
As they converse, one of the soldiers takes just a split second to raise
his head and look at his fellow compatriot. These are things that arent
in the script but they give the figure that extra feeling of life."
Research for the American Adventure began almost three years prior to
its 1982 premiere. Careful attention was given to ensure that the presentation
is historically accurate, according to researcher Melissa Rhone.
For instance, in a scene depicting the Great Depression, pages of quotes
from Will Rogers were gathered by Walt Disney Imagineers to incorporate
into the scene. In order to duplicate the advertisements of the Depression
era, architectural magazines were scanned. Music logs were searched
to find an appropriate song for the banjo player on the porch -- "Brother
Can You Spare a Dime?" In addition to obtaining Franklin D. Roosevelts
1933 inaugural speech, Imagineers wrote to the Library of Congress for
a copy of his unusual presidential seal to duplicate for his podium.
The show is held in a 1,024-seat theater complete with rich, Corinthian-style
details: chandeliers, archways, columns, elegant fabrics and paneling.
The theater includes the Spirits of America, twelve "marble"
statues lining both sides of the theater, representing such American
qualities as heritage, innovation, knowledge, pioneering, discovery
In 1993, the show was updated to include a new generation of Audio-Animatronics
figures, re-recorded audio tracks and a dramatic new ending sequence.
The new "Golden Dreams" ending sequence encompasses events
from 1945 through the present. Notable new additions include Ryan White,
the young hemophiliac who succumbed to AIDS after a courageous battle
with the disease, Muppet creator Jim Henson and basketball star Earvin
Other American Adventure pavilion entertainment highlights: The Voices
of Liberty a cappella singers, and the America Gardens Theatre, an expanded
1,800-seat outdoor theater used as a venue for special shows, guest
performances and music series.
As the host country, The American Adventure pavilion is constructed
on higher ground and located in the center of World Showcase. This
pavilion is by far the most formal, with its soldier-like rows of magnolias
and the holly in front of the America Gardens Theatre, Darden
Designed after the old colonial-style architecture and landscapes, this
pavilion features a predominant color scheme of red, white and blue
flowers. The sycamore trees in the America Gardens Theatre are pleached
-- that is, their branches interlace, creating a living ceiling over
the area. Four large oak trees in front of the building have an interesting
history. They were originally planted on Hotel Plaza Boulevard near
Downtown Disney in the late 1960s, but later were relocated here to
grace The American Adventure when Epcot opened in 1982.
The American Adventure is the host pavilion of World Showcase.
Standing on the opposite side of the World Showcase lagoon facing Future
World, the pavilion is completely contained within one large building.
The facade is colonial Georgian, and forced perspective is used to make
it appear only three stories tall. The heart of the pavilion is
the American Adventure show; there really isn't anything else to see
save the requisite fast food facility. There is a shop, of course, and
several merchandise carts outside. Characters often appear here
for photo ops, and the American Gardens theatre has become EPCOT's most
prominent venue for live entertainment and shows.
The American Adventure
This 26-minute multimedia show is the focus of the American
pavilion and a highlight of EPCOT Center. The show features film, music,
and audio-animatronic figures, all combining to tell the story of America's
history from colonial days up to the 20th century.
The show is massive, as is the technical achievement involved.
At the time of the show's premiere in 1982, no one had ever seen anything
like the Ben Franklin figure that appears to walk or the Will Rogers
figure who actually spins a lasso. Other scenes such as the Philadelphia
Exposition of 1976, Valley Forge during the Revolutionary War, and a
Depression-era gas station are all made possible by a massive piece
of machinery dubbed the 'war wagon'. The result is an impressive
spectacle the likes of which Disney has never created since.
The finale of the show is a film montage which takes us
from World War II to the present day. Various events and celebrities
are shown to the accompaniment of the show's theme song.
Confirming the worst of international stereotypes, the
only American restaurant at the pavilion is a burger and fry joint.
For sit-down Americana you'll have to head to the Liberty Tree Tavern
in the Magic Kingdom, cause here it's strictly fast food. The
restaurant is tucked around the side of the pavilion, near the exit
for the show itself.
Heritage Manor Gifts
This shop features various bric-a-brac and whatnot all
relating to and redolent of Americana. Books, souvenirs, crafts
and home decorations are all available.
American Gardens Theatre
The covered amphitheatre which borders the World Showcase
lagoon features daily entertainment of different sorts. Acts change
from season to season, and usually week to week. Check your guide
map or the park tip board for information, or call EPCOT Guest Relations.
Voices of Liberty
This fantastic a capella group performs daily in the pavilion
rotunda and waiting area for the American Adventure show. Showtimes
are listed on the sign outside the pavilion.
This was by far the best pavilion at EPCOT in my opinion. This is not
just because I am from the US. I was really impressed by the quality
and technology of the main show. On the outside, the pavilion itself
is ok, nothing too spectacular. The only food place it has is a hot
dog and hamburger place(go figure, surprised its not a McDonalds yet).
Inside though is one of the best Disney shows I have ever scene. The
American Adventure combines audio-animatronics and film to present a
quick tour through US history. It is an engaging show for people of
all ages and a not to be missed attraction. LazyGeek totally agrees.
This definitely not a building you want to nap in. The show is well
worth the struggle to stay awake.
In front of the American adventure building is an amphitheater that
has a variety of performers and shows through the year. One of the best
shows is the annual Candlelight Processional (held at Christmas time
As you enter World Showcase from Future World, The American Adventure
is directly across the Lagoon. It is the center-most pavilion in the
World Showcase and is flanked by Italy on the east and Japan on the
west. It is actually the southern-most point of Epcot.
The pavilion includes an Audio-Animatronic stage show (also called American
Adventure), an outdoor stage and amphitheater (American Gardens Theatre),
a fast-food eatery (Liberty Inn), and a small shop (Heritage Manor Gifts),
all set among landscaped walkways and gardens.
The architecture of the building is done in classic English Georgian
style. Elements in the Disney building were inspired by Independence
Hall, Boston's Old State House, Monticello, and Colonial Williamsburg
. The structure's 110,000 bricks are hand-made from Georgian clay, which
were then colored and aged to make them look authentic. The roof is
made of slate, and the floor of marble and copper.
Paintings and quotations line the walls of the Main Hall, the West Hall,
and the Upper Lobby of the attraction's building. The quotes are from
Walt Disney, Samuel Walter Foss, Althea Gibson, Charles A. Lindbergh,
Archibald MacLeish, George Magar Markikian, Herman Melville, Ayn Rand,
Wendell Lewis Willkie, and Thomas Wolfe.
As you leave the main lobby and proceed into the theater, you must ride
escalators or hike a set of stairs through the Hall of Flags . Above
you is hung a collection of the flags that have flown over the United
States in all of its forms. It includes Revolutionary War flags, Colonial
flags, and foreign flags that once had claim to the land. There are
44 flags in all.
The American Adventure
Once it is time for you to move into the theatre, you will be directed
from the main hall to escalators and a stairway. Upstairs, just
follow everyone into the theatre. You sit for the entire show.
All seats are good seats. The screen is 72 feet wide!
As you sit down before the show, you will notice 12 statues, 6 on each
side of the theater. These are the "Spirits of America." On
the left side of the theater, from front to back, are Individualism,
Innovation, Tomorrow, Independence, Compassion, and Discovery . On the
right side of the theater, from front to back, are Freedom, Heritage,
Pioneering, Knowledge, Self-Reliance , and Adventure. They are all life-sized,
and are highlighted during the final sequence of the show.
The presentation is a showcase for Disney attractions featuring Audio-Animatronic
figures, filmed images, moving sets, and sound and lighting effects.
The 30 minute show highlights notable events and great personalities
in American History. It is in no way complete.
Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain are your hosts for the journey through
The American Adventure. Scenes include: the Pilgrims
and the Mayflower; the Boston Tea Party; the writing of the Declaration
of Independence; Valley Forge and the Revolutionary War; slavery and
the Civil War; the suffering of Native Americans; the Philadelphia Centennial
Exposition; the founding of Yosemite National Park; World Wars I and
II; and a series of images depicting the people and events of recent
The next to last segment in the presentation is a wonderful film montage
which has brought a tear to my eye more than once. Persons shown
in the film include: Neil Armstrong, Leonard Bernstein, Johnny
Carson, Walt Disney, Bob Dylan, Albert Einstein, Dwight D. Eisenhower,
Judy Garland, Chief Dan George, Alex Haley, Jim Henson, Bob Hope, "Magic"
Johnson, John F. Kennedy, Billie Jean King, Mary Martin, Marilyn Monroe,
Elvis Presley, Mary Lou Retton, Sally Ride, Jackie Robinson, Eleanor
Roosevelt, Frank Sinatra, Gloria Steinem, Ryan White, and Frank Lloyd
Wright, among others.
The American Adventure has been renovated once, in 1993. Several
changes, including the use of new audio-animatronic figures of Franklin
and Twain and an update to the film montage were installed.
The American Gardens Theatre
Directly across from the American Adventure Building this theatre hosts
live stage shows and concerts in Epcot.
Shockwave June 15 - August 24, 2002
Eat to the Beat Concert Series October 19 - November 17
Special events here include the Candlelight Processional (late November
- December) and Flower Power Concerts (during the Flower and Garden
Festival. The American Gardens Theatre Schedule.
Epcot Attractions At A Glance
Liberty Inn - This is a counter service restaurant that features
hot dogs and hamburgers. There is a large seating area inside
and also outside. The outside area has some umbrellas. This
is basic fast food fare with a couple lighter alternatives
such as a Veggie Wrap and Fruit Platter. As you face the building,
the Liberty Inn is on the left side.
Funnel Cakes - For those seeking a fried dough treat don't
miss the Funnel Cake kiosk to the right of the American Adventure Pavilion.
Epcot Restaurants At A Glance
Menus From Around the World
Vegetarian and Other Special Diets
The Voices of Liberty , an a cappella group, sing American patriotic
songs. Check your guide map for times. Voices of Liberty
sings in the atrium of the American Adventure Pavilion (usually about
15 minutes prior to the next showing of the American Adventure).
You can purchase their CD's in the gift shop.
The Spirit of America Fife and Drum Corps
American Vibe - An a cappella vocal group that combines a standup
bass player, singers and vocal percussionists.
For more information on Epcot Live Entertainment, Visit Steve Soares
WDW Entertainment Website. ******************************
Take a nice 15 minute break, sit on the cool floor just inside the main
doors and enjoy the Voices of Liberty or American Vibe! They sing at
specific times throughout the day.
The Last Showing of the American Adventure starts at 8:30. This
show is almost always empty as most people have gotten their spots for
Take a look at the Clock Face. You will see a numeral IIII, instead
of the IV. This was done to prevent confusion when viewing the
clock from a distance.
Hidden Mickey Sighting: Lobbypainting of wagon train heading westabove
the front leg of the foremost oxen
Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival Highlights - An incredible
bed of bright yellow sunflowers highlight the festivals exhibits at
the American Adventure. There are American Floral Flags accompanied
by some Disney characters. In addition, the topiaries feature
Mickey and Minnie and Pocahontas.
Holidays from Around the World features storytellers in each country.
At the American Adventure, Santa Claus and a Chanukah storyteller make
appearances throughout the afternoon.
Also during Holidays From Around the World, the American Adventure has
a Gingerbread House you'll want to see. It is made with real gingerbread,
candies and icing.
Wheelchair guests should check with the Cast Member upon entering the
main hall. There is an elevator that will take you and your party
up to the level where the theatre is located.
Seating is conventional theatre seating. Wheelchair areas in the
back of the theatre.
At the American Adventure, the "seating" for the ECVs was
extremely hazardous. We were in the back row of the theater. The CM
has us pull down to the last available inch and then "nose in"
to the seats in front of us so we could fit more ECVs. There is virtually
no room there to maneuver. We were all trapped and it took quite some
time to get us out. Several companions to those of us on wheels had
to come and lift the ECVs to turn them around. (Beth Christie, 12/01)
Assistive Listening Devices from Guest Services Can Be Used at the American
Adventure and the American Gardens Theatre.
Reflective Captioning Available for the American Adventure