It is the second-oldest in the cluster of theme parks Disney built in Central Florida. The fifth most-visited park in the world, it spans over 300 acres and sees upwards of eleven million guests a year. Something of a permanent World's Fair, it is dedicated to the celebration of human achievement in the realms of technology and culture. Its very existence is a monument to these concepts.
The countries that made the cut into EPCOT's world showcase, and their position in the park itself, raises some interesting questions.
Our guess: Maybe.
Russia and its allies (the Warsaw Pact nations) were ideologically opposed to the U.S. and its allies (NATO and the Western Bloc). One major sticking point was question of Communism, which Russia promoted.
Surely, the whole Communism thing would be enough to make one say: "A-ha!" and cut Russia right out of EPCOT, but remember - China was one of EPCOT's original nine, and China has been Communist since Chairman Mao founded the People's Republic in 1949. China, like Russia and the U.S., is a member of the U.N. security council.
So why might Russia be left out? Our theory: Because people might boycott the park if Russia were to be added.
Let's set Communism aside for a moment. During EPCOT's construction, the world was in the midst of the Cold War (roughly 1947 to 1991). The mightiest nations on the planet, the United States and Soviet Russia, were on the brink of starting World War III. These two, and their allies, possessed enough nuclear weapons to decimate all life on the planet. It should go without saying that these were frightening times. Maybe, just maybe, some planning executive thought it would be a bad idea to open a theme park showcasing a country that we thought wanted to bomb us flat - but that's just a guess.
Germany and Italy, both Axis powers in the Second World War, are side by side at EPCOT, despite that they share no borders on the globe. The other major Axis state, Japan, is separated from its allies by the U.S. This may allude to how the war first ended in European theater, leaving only the U.S. to contend with Japan in the Pacific, but again, that's just a guess.
Other than the aforementioned, there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason as to why Mexico and Canada are the park's capstones. It works out just fine the way it is, but in a sense we're a bit dismayed they weren't placed closer together - or better yet, right next to each other.
Now we'll never know what a maple syrup margarita tastes like.