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Thursday Treasures

August 11, 2011 by Kayleigh Dafoe
O Canada (from an ultra Canadians point of view)!

For the past two years I've been extremely fortunate in having the opportunity to take part in the Walt Disney College Program for the summer. During the summer of 2010 I called Old Key West Resort my home, and this past summer I had the incredible chance of working on Main Street, USA in the Magic Kingdom. The Walt Disney College Program is unlike anything I had ever experienced before and I definitely consider my last two summers some of the best of my life. And although I had everything Disney and some of the most amazing friends you could imagine constantly surrounding me, it was nearly impossible to avoid the inevitable homesickness. But as luck would have it, the cure could be found right around the corner at the Canada pavilion in EPCOT!

The Canada pavilion has lots to offer every guest that comes through. As soon as you walk into the pavilion you become surrounded by totem poles, Canadian flags, architecture and even some real, live Canadians! The two most notable things in the pavilion are the green roofed hotel, modeled after the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, Ontario (Canada's capital!) and the Victoria Gardens, modeled after Butchart Gardens near Victoria, British Columbia. These two pieces of the pavilion are placed very well and draw attention to the beauty of Canadian architecture and landscape.

Once you get past the few outdoor carts, which feature Canadian themed merchandise ' hats, t-shirts, etc. ' you reach the two indoor stores Northwest Mercantile and The Trading Post. Inside these two stores you can find many Canadian souvenirs including t-shirts, pajamas, faux skin caps, stuffed animals, Canadian chocolate bars, maple sugar, and syrup that comes in all sizes (which is a lot of fun to drink on Canada Day)! Going through these stores and talking to the Canadian cast members who work there has come to be a huge comfort to me when I am missing home. Another great thing to do in the Canada pavilion stores is to search for the stuffed animals that are hidden throughout the two stores! It is really fun looking for them and once you find all of them you can bring them to the nearest lumberjack and get a magical moment certificate!

But the great merchandise locations are not all that the Canada pavilion has to offer! Attractions are another wonderful thing offered. O Canada has to be one of my all time favourite attractions at Walt Disney World due to the fact that it really reminds me of home. However, of all the provinces and territories, Ontario, Quebec as well as both the West and East coast are depicted very well and very thoroughly. But when it comes to the rest of the provinces, namely Manitoba and Saskatchewan, and all three of the territories, not one word is said. This has naturally irritated guests visiting from these parts of Canada and the film would not have the same effect on them as it would have on a guest from Toronto, Ontario. Apart from this very disappointing omission, the O Canada film is very well done and is put together very well! It is a very accurate portrayal of Canadian landscape, architecture and people and watching it is always a great way to see the true Canada.

The pavilion is definitely a good way to visit Canada while being away from there and will always hold a place in my heart. So the next time you are oot and aboot in EPCOT, stop in to pay the Canadians a visit and don't forget to see O Canada and say 'hi' to Marty for me, eh!


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