Germany - Photo Tour
Photos by Brian Bennett and Karl Buiter
Welcome to Epcot's Germany Pavilion! The pictures of this photo tour came from my own most recent visit to Epcot, but I've also tossed in some pictures by fellow MousePlaneteer Karl Buiter.
The Germany pavilion does not have a ride, movie, or show. It's unfortunate, too, because I think this land, which was only unified into a single country in the last 150 years or so, has a rich history and lovely vistas that could be very enjoyable. A riverboat trip down the Rhine, views of Germany's majestic castles, a tour of Berlin, Munich, and other ancient cities...those would be a great addition to this pavilion.
For now, we have to content ourselves with a recreation of a German town's central plaza with a biergarten restaurant, shops, and a great model train setup.
As an aside, MousePlanet reader Karl Steinhoff (firstname.lastname@example.org) made these comments to me in a recent email:
So, now I have two assignments... to watch the clock display and to see if I can find the show entrance. I'll see what I can do. :)
The picture below is one that Karl Buiter took of a portion of the model railroad. If you're into this hobby, you'll definitely want to check out this layout! It's all outdoors, and the attention to details is just fantastic. It makes me want to get out those ideas I've had in the past of turning part of my basement into a railroad. Alas, a lack of time for such a hobby has prohibited that for now. Maybe when I retire...
If you walk all the way back to the back of St. George's Platz (the central plaza), you'll find a couple of large arched openings on either side of the clocktower. If you walk through those archways, you'll find the Biergarten Restaurant and the Summerfest counter service restaurant.
The Biergarten is dressed up as the central part of a small town during Oktoberfest. The stage, in the first picture below, is the location of many live performances throughout the day. It's more likely to find a band performing during the dinner time in the evening, but you'll occasionally find some performers doing their stuff at lunch time too.
There are several serving lines with identical selections. You'll find German bratwurst, spaetzle, potato and cucumber salads, sauerkraut with sausage, breads, and more. It's a great feast, although I must admit -- I wish the dishes were provided with better labels. Of course, for those of you that like your brew dark and strong, Beck's is available on request.
Sommerfest is a small counter service eatery located just inside those two archways under the clock tower in St. George's Platz. In fact, you can see the two archways in the picture below, the one in the foreground on the far left, and the other just beyond the Sommerfest counter. The counter itself is actually located right in the base of that clock tower
Sandwiches, pretzels, German beer, and deserts are available.
In the second Sommerfest picture above you can see the first come, first served seating area and the same two-lane counter (this time, on the right).
If you'd like more information on the restaurants in this area, check out MousePlanet's Walt Disney World Restaurant Resource page on the Germany Pavilion!
The rest of the pavilion is dedicated to shopping. I can't for the life of me remember the order of the shops as you work your way around the plaza, so I'll just cover them here in alphabetical order. It's a cop-out, I know, but it works for now.
Das Kaufhaus is where stein collectors should go. The selection is fantastic! Some of the larger steins are two feet tall or more! I can't even imagine the hangover you'd get from drinking two feet of Beck's on tap. Especially since the birch beer at Wilderness Lodge is the strongest stuff I put down myself.
Der Teddybar sells dolls, plush toys, and other toys. Actually, to say that doesn't do this store justice. The selection is really great.
Die Weihnachts Ecke is the pavilion's Christmas shop. I almost wish it would start snowing when I walk into this place. Almost.
Ornaments, nutcrackers, and other yuletide decorations are available, including a bunch of pricey ones imported from Germany, of course.
The Glas Und Porzellan shop sells glass and porcelain stuff. Oh, all right, Hummel figurines, produced by the Goebel company, are the main attraction. In fact, it's not unlikely to find a Goebel artist in the shop showing how the job of decorating the figurines is done.
The Kunstarbeit in Kristall shop displays more beer mugs but mainly focuses on crystal items produced in Germany and Austria.
The Sussigkeiten is the shop that used to sell the best mocha candybars in the world. They don't sell them here anymore, but plenty of other confections are available. I have to go to Italy's La Bottega Italiana to get my mocha candy fix now.
And what self-respecting Germany pavilion would be without a shop that sells cuckoo clocks? Volkskunst takes care of that issue for Epcot. Of course, other timepieces are available too, if you don't like the idea of a little bird telling you what time it is.
And last, but not least, the Weinkeller offers hundreds of varieties of German wine. Most of the options are white wines, and tastings are held at various times of the day, too.
Someday, perhaps, the Walt Disney Company will provide a Soarin' over Germany. In the meantime, you'll have to settle for bratwurst, chocolate, and white wine...oh, and Beck's beer.
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