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35 To Epcot 35: Day 9 – The Outpost

Epcot Center 35th Anniversary on October 1, 2017

The Outpost

The Outpost is a refreshment and shopping area made up of huts and located between China and Germany.

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Why is it there?

Currently there are 11 countries represented in the World Showcase are of Epcot.  What people don’t usually realize is that there is room enough for 9 more countries to be added.  As Disney expands some of the countries they currently have, the space available will most likely shrink.

Where The Outpost is located was once considered as a location for an Equatorial Africa pavilion.  This pavilion was going to be made up of several countries because Disney looked into the economics and since these counties were small and poorer and it would be easier for them to join together to fund a pavilion.   It was actually pretty far along in the planning process.  So much so, that at park opening it was on the map as a “future project” and they had signed letters of intent from Kenya, Senegal, and Ivory Coast.

And in the 1982 Epcot Celebration special, Danny Kaye interviewed project adviser (and Roots author) Alex Haley about it.  You can find the segment around the 36:17 mark.  It only lasts for about a minute.

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Entertainment Earth

(video from AllCentralFlorida on Youtube)

The plans for the pavilion included two films, a tree house, and live entertainment.

(Photos Disney)

There are different stories as to why this pavilion didn’t happen.  Political unrest in the nations, the cost of sponsorship, etc.   Then when Disney’s Animal Kingdom came along and Africa because a featured area of that park, it no longer made sense to build a pavilion in Epcot.

What did they do instead?

Instead of adding Equatorial Africa to the World Showcase, they instead put a small, easily removable area, known as The Outpost.  It was meant to be a place holder until the actual pavilion would be built, and now it remains as a small area between two larger pavilions.

When you enter The Outpost area you will notice some tables with umbrellas.  This makes a nice place to stop and take a break or grab a drink.

Which leads to the next part of The Outpost, the Refreshment “Coolpost” sponsored by Coke.   When you take a look around one thing you will notice are the Kola Bean bags.  Kola beans are what beverage makers like Coke use to add caffeine to their drinks.

(Image Disney)

If you look inside you can see a Chevy “Woody” packed full of bottles of Coke.  You can’t miss the sponsorship here. There are also several old “vending machines” and drums that guests can play with.

(Images Disney)

The African Coolpost is also a quick service / snack type food area that offers hot dogs, ice cream and drinks.  You can view the menu Here.

The Outpost area also offers some quick shopping options.  There are four “hut-like” buildings offering guests different services or items.

 Village Traders

The Village Traders is a mud house type structure with more permanent wooden aspects.  It offers African masks, African crafts, Disney souvenirs, and a penny pressing area.

Mdundo Kibanda

(Image Themego)

Here guests can observe craftsman work on wooden and soap stone sculptures.  These pieces are then available for purchase.

Face Painting

There is a hut-like structure where you can get your face painted.

Bead Outpost

(Photo Exploring WDW)

Beads made from colorful recycled Disney paper are then strung into bracelets and necklaces for purchase.

(Photo Exploring WDW)

Next time you are passing through The Outpost area, take a moment to stop and enjoy all the hidden beauty that is there.  I hear that it’s a semi-good spot to watch Illuminations as well, although the rocks can block some of the view.

What do you think of The African Outpost?  Comment and let us know.

 

Sources:  Disney Parks, Wikipedia, All Ears,

Image Sources: Disney Parks, Exploring WDW, ThemeGo, All Ears, Disney Parks


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