Peter and I made sure to get to Epcot early on the day of our Hidden Treasures Tour of World Showcase (west), so much so that we had time to stop and catch the set the FC played this morning, little did I know at the time that they would be disbanded in less than a year. I was glad that we had time to catch their set.
Below: changed look for the Innoventions plaza (with the pin station and this netting that reminds me of a checkered flag) was also new this trip.
Our tour group gathered over by Guest relations and soon enough our tour guide, Heather, had us gathered together and headed towards World Showcase.
Above: Note that above the hedges to the right is an unlit Illuminations torch that will come into play later.
Above: Tour guide Heather, (no my memory isn't THAT good, in the large version you can see the name tag)
Canada was the first location in which we went backstage. Of course we were not allowed to take pictures backstage. most of the things I remember learning on this tour are things I've since had re-enforced by hearing them again for instance the reason there are so many white flowers in the gardens in this photo is bedcase at the time of the year when we took this tour there would be snow on the ground in Canada and so that is there way of making note of that, note that even the trees in the garden are deciduous ones that are ready to drop their leaves something that could easily have been avoided in Florida, but they went with those for the same reason the trees on the mountain are small varieties used to give the impression that they are much larger plants and farther away, although this isn't one of the best executed examples of the use of forced perspective, since most folks really are not focused on the "Mountain" I think it actually works fairly well.
Another thing I recall learning on this tour was that each face of the building in the photo above actually represents a DIFFERENT real English Castle, the oldest face is the side facing the bathrooms, the face in the photo below is the next oldest and the face seen from the side street is even a bit newer, and that progression continues on down the street into the little park, though the buildings other than that one don't so much represent castles as they do other buildings, and in the tour they told you WHICH castles and WHICH other buildings they represented so it would be a very cool tour to record as you took it to get those details. Another thing we learned about for the Great Britain pavilion was the fact that Disney does sometimes bring in outside authorities to look over their work see those soot stained chimneys towards the back of the photo? They didn't always look like that, one of the authorities they brought in to inspect their buildings for authenticity pointed out to them that their chimneys were way too clean.
Below: Since we started the tour before World Showcase was open this rope was still up when we got to France for folks coming in through the International Gateway directing them the shortest route to Future World, our group however went through the rope as France was our next stop on the tour.
Above: When I saw the torch was alight I mentioned it to the Tour
guide, asking if they tested them each morning,
she hadn't noticed it was lit and was a bit surprised.
Below: Took another shot to show that all of the torches were lit not just that near one.
In France I remember learning about the fact that after the resorts were built around Crescent Lake the back side of the pavilion had to be dressed up a little, there were things they told us about the front areas but most of those have long since evaporated from my memory. I think this may have been the other location in which we went backstage. Morocco had some interesting stories too; like the fact that the King of Morocco had sent over a lot of craftsmen from his country to build the pavilion, that for religious reasons no images of people were included in the art work, that also for religious reasons the artists leave intentional imperfections in their tile and artwork, there was a wooden structure in one part of the pavilion overhanging one of the alleyways that when built they didn't know the purpose of, but later learned it was a sundial like sort of way to tell time, unfortunately it faces the wrong way to function correctly.
|Peter Adds...I know we have been looking for imperfections to the symmetry of Morocco, and another man in the group explained how the praying ceremony worked.|
I don't recall much about Japan I'm afraid, in America I mostly remember about the Reverse forced perspective they used on this pavilion to make the building look smaller Peter took a photo of me standing by the doorway in the center of the building, standing next to it I look short (and I'm 6' 5" ). I can't recall any good stories in Italy but perhaps that is because I'm standing so far from the group as I took this photo and they are hearing the stories. By the time we got to Germany other guests were starting to roll in, really when I think about it I wonder why we even went past America since it was supposed to be a tour of just half of World Showcase, perhaps we had gone backstage fewer times than the tour normally does for some reason or some other aspect of the tour had been shortened and this was a way of making up for it.