Continuing our journey around the world in our Epcot’s Best Kept Secrets Series, or World Showcase that is, we make our next stop the United Kingdom. Most famously known for the Rose and Crown Pub and Dining Room, there are quite few little things here that I bet you didn’t know.
- We’ll start with one my favorite places, the Illuminations (if you can get in), did you know that it was designed after 3 different styles of pubs? When the Imagineers visited the UK they discovered there are 3 styles of pubs and instead of choosing one, they chose all three. The first facade is the entrance itself, the Canadian side (or water side) has another representation and the Fish and Chips window is the last style.. Not only is the food really good, the seats awesome for
They chose Rose and Crown as the name of the pub, because “Rose” and “Crown” were the two most popular names of pubs in 4 different countries.
- The Fish and Chips became so popular they actually made a fast food version of it.
- The Imagineers used the shops to represents the UK throughout the centuries as well. Starting with the tea shop, they show what buildings looked like in the 1600’s with thatched roofs. Inside they represent the time period from the floor to the ceiling with everything in between. The huge low ceilings and dark lighting, the large hearth and even the style of the floor. The next shop, Est. 1702 (as the signs says) shows how the ceilings got higher and they changed to wrought iron light fixtures. It also shows how shop owners in the 1700’s used the buildings as a legal form of tax evasion. The crown taxed on the square footage of the downstairs of the building, so subjects (citizens) of the crown would use a cantilever build to get out of paying higher taxes.
The cantilever build also served another purpose, since a lot of things were thrown out the upstairs window in the drains below this helped protect the people walking below. Which was a main reason the gentleman wore wide brimmed hats and walked between the ladies and the streets.
We move into the 1800’s with a neoclassical look. You can tell by the style of the windows, the ornateness of the window coverings and lighting. The ceilings are even painted in the style of the 1800’s.
As you exit the shop there is a whole other building in the same style to your right. It is kept in the 1800’s time frame to continue the flow. See the chimneys? Anyone wanna “Step In Time” with Bert and Mary Poppins?
- The HRC (Historic Research Section) lets you look up your family name and get any information about it. Once you look up your name in the book a cast member will be able to pull up a picture of your family crest and family name history. You can then have the crest printed on a variety of different things. This makes for a really cool souvenir that you can take home or give to someone.
- There is a garden area that represents Hyde Park, including a typical shrubbery maze. Don’t worry, the hedges are kept short so the little ones won’t get lost while traveling through it. Some people may remember the group The British Invasion, they used to play right in the middle in the gazebo.
- Using the path instead of the road you will see Not-A-Garden. Yes, Not-A-Garden, well more correctly Knot-a-Garden. The hedges are grown about a foot in height in the shape of the knot, and each “section” of the has a different herb planted in it. It’s supposed to represent the local apothecary.
- Heading back toward the main thorough fair, you will see another garden, this one is a butterfly garden with plants that they are naturally attracted to. I have seen this done in many places (we even have one in our yard), but what I have not seen before are the butterfly boxes. Disney constructed special boxes to move the cocoons to after the butterflies have spun them. They have 4 sides and a roof, but no bottom. The cocoons stay protected until they hatch and they are able to fly out the bottom. Most of the butterflies tend to stick around since everything they need is right there in the British Butterfly Garden.
Did you ever get to see the British Invasion while they performed in the gazebo? Seen the cocoons in the butterfly garden or catch Illuminations from the porch of The Rose and Crown? Let us know what you thought of the UK in the World Showcase. Join us next time as we continue our tour around the World (Showcase) looking for little known facts and hidden gems.
- Epcot’s World Showcase Best Kept Secrets – Canada (chipandco.com)
- Top 5 Nap Spots for Little Ones in Epcot (chipandco.com)
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