35 To Epcot 35: Day 22 – The American Adventure

Epcot Center 35th Anniversary on October 1, 2017

When you exit Future World and look across the World Showcase Lagoon, directly in the center, is the American Adventure.  Fashioned after America’s colonial period, this pavilion is considered the “host” pavilion to the other featured countries, hence it’s location.

The building design utilizes “forced perspective,” making the five story building appear to be about two and a half stories tall.  The structure is based on Independence Hall and even 110,000 of the bricks are handmade.

The main building is home to the feature attraction, The American Adventure.  When you enter through the main doors there is a large room with a rotunda ceiling.   If you look around the walls you will see quotes from “great” Americans like Walt Disney, Thomas Wolfe, and Chief Joseph.

There are also paintings representing “America” placed around the walls.

A Lesson For the Future

Promise of America

Reaching for the Stars

There are other paintings around the room:

  • Building a Future Together – Construction workers building up a skyscraper
  • Compassion Knows No Boundary – A doctor and nurse treating the sick in another country
  • Defending Freedom – Factory creating WWII battle planes
  • Election Day – Towns people gathering to hear polling results
  • Giving Thanks – A family sitting down for a Thanksgiving meal
  • Seeds of Hope – Native Americans teaching Pilgrims how to plant corn
  • Staying the Course – 2 sailing ships on the sea
  • Westward Ho -wagons crossing a river

In the center of the room, under the dome, The Voices of Liberty perform American songs and medleys.  They are an 8 member a cappella group.

Here’s a video from last year.

In this area to the right of the main doors (near the entrance to the American Adventure attraction) is a small museum type area called The American Heritage Gallery.   Currently, the gallery is hosting a look at 400 years in African-American achievements.  40 pieces at a time will be exhibited and rotated through the gallery.

“Re-Discovering America: Family Treasures from the Kinsey Collection” draws from an extensive collection of rare art, documents, books and artifacts amassed by philanthropists Bernard and Shirley Kinsey. Their private collection has been displayed throughout the United States, including in the Smithsonian National Museum of American History. “

Right now they have an amazing interactive exhibit showcasing “lanterns” that tell stories.  Each lantern is marked with a theme: Hope, Believe, Courage, Imagination and Heritage.  With each is a narrated story.

Highlights of each themed gallery include:

  • Hope Gallery: Features Phillis Wheatley’s first book—which was the first book of poetry published by an African-American
  • Courage Gallery: Features Harriet Jacobs’ influential book Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl
  • Belief Gallery: Features the cabinet card photograph of Hiram Rhodes Revels—the first African-American to represent Mississippi in the U.S. Senate
  • Imagination Gallery: Features The Negro in Art by Alain Locke, who became the first African-American Rhodes scholar in 1907
  • Heritage Gallery: Features historic artifacts including a timeworn letter from Carrie Kinsey to President Roosevelt

When it’s time for the show to begin, guests are ushered to a doorway that leads to the Hall of Flags.  Various flag from United States history are displayed as you progress up the stairs to the theater.

(Photo by Mark Eades, Orange County Register/SCNG)

The American Adventure

Located at the top of the stairs, the American Adventure Theater can seat 1,024 people.

Upon entering the theater, guests will notice the beautiful statues alone the outside edges of the theater.   Each one represents the personification of a “spirit of America.”

  • Spirit of Adventure -Seaman
  • Spirit of Compassion- Doctor
  • Spirit of Discovery- Mountain Man
  • Spirit of Freedom- Pilgrim
  • Spirit of Heritage – Native American Woman
  • Spirit of Independence- American Revolutionary Soldier
  • Spirit of Individualism- Cowboy
  • Spirit of Innovation- African-American Scientist
  • Spirit of Knowledge- School Teacher
  • Spirit of Pioneering – Aviator
  • Spirit of Self-Reliance -Farmer
  • Spirit of Tomorrow -Mother and Child

(pay special attention to them at the end of the show!)

After you take your seat, there’s a brief introduction and then Ben Franklin and Mark Twain take you on a journey through the history of America. From the pilgrims, to the Revolutionary War, to the Civil War, the Centennial International Exhibition of 1878, to the Great Depression and into today.  I remember when I was a kid there was a lot of excitement about the new animatronics for this show. Ben Franklin was going to walk!

There are 10 stages, and about 26 animatronics,  that move up and down during the show to make the scenes.

In 1993 new animatronics were added and in 2007 a new ending montage for Golden Dreams was added.  The new version included more images of American innovators and the 2001 attack on the World Trade Center.  If you haven’t seen this yet, bring tissues.  Trust me on this one.

Here are two videos from youtube.  The first one has it in it’s entirety.  The second one has amazing quality, but they edited the Golden Dreams segment.

(ResortTV1 youtube)

(BigFatPanda on youtube)

Across from the American Adventure, along the water is the American Garden’s Theater.

This theater has been the home to a couple of different shows over the years. It’s also home to various acts during the Food and Wine Festival Eat to the Beat shows.  During the holidays this theater hosts the Candlelight Processional.

The American Adventure is also home to a counter service restaurant called the Liberty Inn.  Here guest can try “traditional American food” from Clam Chowder, to BBQ to burgers.

If you would like to shop stop in at Heritage Manor Gifts.

What’s your favorite part of The American Adventure?  Comment and let us know.

Sources: Disney Parks, Wikipedia, Disney Parks Blog,

Image Sources: Disney-palDisney Food Blog, DisneyDining,  Electronic Babble, A Pinch of Pixie Dust, OC Register