As with other Pavilions around Epcot’s World Showcase, the United Kingdom stop pulls inspiration from many different real-life structures in the British Isles. Not only does it feature a variety of buildings, but it also carries Guests through different time periods as well. And when they work together, visitors experience a sweeping vision of living history.
Epcot’s United Kingdom Pavilion compresses time and style into a brilliant rural/town/city progression and tour, sampling settings from the 1500s to the 1800s. Stroll down cobbled streets, wind through a knee-high hedge maze, laugh with the comedic improv troupe, or kick back, relax, and enjoy some Beatles rock-n-roll in this picturesque Pavilion.
Entering from the France Pavilion or the International Gateway (the Park’s rear entrance), Guests experience the
- 1500s – The thatched-roofed Tea Caddy is modeled after the home of William Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway.
- 1600s – The Queen’s Table, a two-story structure with an overhanging upper story, represents an era in which British citizens were taxed on the ground floor footage of their homes. Thus, they built the second level larger.
- 1700s – The Queen Anne Room, rendered in plaster.
- 1800s – The stone and columned façade of Lords and Ladies.
- 1500s – The Pavilion wraps back around to this era to tie it all together with the Toy Soldier, The Crown & Crest, and The Sportsman’s Shoppe.
On the waterfront, the exterior and interior designs of the Rose & Crown Pub represent four distinct eras and styles: Victorian, Elizabethan, provincial, and waterfront. This table service restaurant is tasty, and its patio dining is also a prime viewing location for the nightly IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks spectacular.
The crests seen on the windows of the Sportsman’s Shoppe represent the four regions of the United Kingdom: England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, and Wales. Overlaying the first three creates the Union Jack flag of the United Kingdom. (Via Imagineering Field Guide to Epcot.)
Today, research to see if your family has its own crest. If not, or if you cannot find one, create a crest of your very own. All Family Crests is a great place to start your search. While I did not find my married name there, I did see my maiden surname of Gilbert (which, btw IS of British descent). According to All Family Crests, “The Gilbert coat of arms came into existence centuries ago. The process of creating coats of arms (also often called family crests) began in the eighth and ninth centuries. The new art of Heraldry made it possible for families and even individual family members to have their very own coat of arms.”
Fleur-de-lis Designs is another helpful site. According to it, the colors in my Gilbert crest represent generosity (gold), warrior/martyr/military strength (red), and strength/loyalty (blue). The helmet denotes wisdom and security in defense; strength, protection, invulnerability. The heraldic lion represents bravery, strength, ferocity, and valor. The spear means dexterity and nimble wit; readiness for battle, and the castle tower safety and grandeur. What does your family coat of arms say about you?
Have your kids cut out and arrange pieces of felt to create your family crest. Then, frame and proudly display it in the entry to your home.
SCHOOL SUBJECT: History, art
SKILL LEVEL: Elementary, Middle Grades
*To increase difficulty level, assign students to do further research into their family history.
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