The World is a Theme Park: Part 1

The Italy pavilion at Epcot
An Imagineer's rendering

During my year abroad I had the opportunity to visit all sorts of awesome places only to realize that I had been visiting the theme parkified versions of them for years. Case in point with Venice, Italy.

The clock tower and the Doge's palace in Epcot
Me in Venice
The palace in Venice
The palace in Epcot

When I was a kid, (maybe even up until a few years ago) if I was offered the chance to visit the real Venice OR the Italy pavilion in Epcot's world showcase, I would have chosen Epcot. I think I was somehow more intrigued by the Disneyfied fabrication of reality than the reality itself. Does that make sense?

A new pizzaria in the Italy Pavillion
A rendering of the pizzaria
A similar looking building in Monza, Itlay

Anyway, having the chance to visit all of these places for real changed everything. I know that the Imagineers, when they are designing an experience do as much research as they can. This often means that they get to visit exotic locales to study the architecture and design up close in order to faithfully re-create it in their theme parks. I am sure that they got to go on a tour of Italy before they designed the Italy pavillion.



They have the opportunity to fabricate a reality for enjoyment by the masses based on their experiences within that actual reality. Sounds like the best of both worlds to me. Visiting the cool places then building their own versions of them!

One of the only other pics I have of me in Venice. Too bad my eyes are closed.

Have a good day!



  1. I've personally always admired Disney and Epcot for how "real" they make each country seam, especially since I've visited several of the real countries. In fact, I've said it before and I'll say it again now: I think I like Epcot's version of Paris more than I enjoy visiting the real thing.


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