Millennium Village First Hand Report
This article appeared in the October 27, 1999, Issue #7 of ALL EARS® (ISSN: 1533-0753)
First Hand Report
Epcot's New Millennium Village
As a subscriber to ALL EARS® you are receiving this special report on the Millennium Village before it goes live on WDWIG. To see all the photos with the report go to: http://allears.net/tp/ep/mil_mv.htm
The centerpiece of Disney's Millennium Celebration is the new Millennium Pavilion located in Epcot's World Showcase . It is a 65,000 square-foot building housing over 50 nations from around the world.
Upon entering the building, you find yourself in a huge circular room with ambassadors from 8 countries, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Namibia, New Zealand, India and South Africa.
Each ambassador welcomes you to the Pavilion and explains the Gifts to the World their country offers. This sets the tone for the rest of your journey.
First stop -- The Carnival -- where there are interactive games and exhibits for the whole family! As you experience Brazil you can participate in a game to learn all about soccer! Kids especially enjoy this area.
Scotland has a unique miniature golf course which will share with you their gifts of science and technology. At the Spirit of Saudi Arabia the Ambassador will help you plot a magic carpet ride! In the Journey to Makkah , view a family scrapbook that shows how life is similar and different between the 2 families located across the globe from each other.
Take the time to visit the country of Eritrea, an ancient nation in East Africa that achieved its independence in 1993. The coffee ceremony has a long and fascinating history.
The Four Seasons of Sweden are inside those huge 30 foot eggs and were brought to Epcot from the Expo 98 in Lisbon Portugal. This is a fun walk through with a great photo-op for snow angels at the last stop.
Chile shows an ingenious way to harvest the fog through a system of nets that converts fog condensation into water for life-sustaining uses. The ambassadors here are dressed as huasos or Chilean cowboys, in traditional costume.
As you turn the corner you enter the Israel exhibit where the main attraction is the Journey to Jerusalem motion ride. There are a number of waiting areas inside the queue, a standing pre-show and then the motion simulator movie. There is a non-motion section that wheelchairs or other guests can sit in to enjoy the movie, but not experience the rocking.
At the Village Green you can play a game which begins with a seed and grows to harvest, mulching and fertilization; teaching you about renewable resources and recycling.
A not to be missed cultural experience is the World ShowPlace, a 200 seat theatre. Gifts of Song, Music and Dance are performed several times a day. During the following my visit the shows I saw were Denmark's Tivoli Garden's puppets and The Royal Thailand Ballet. Groups from South Africa, Bulgaria, Argentina, and Korea are already scheduled to appear.
The Yurt -- a tent-like structure which provides a warm home in Central Asia. The Yurt is from the Kyrgrz Republic. Inside the Yurt is is a marketplace where you find artisans from 7 countries: Lebanon, Peru, Thailand, Egypt, Greece, Korea and Venezuela. The masters are creating their artwork and are happy to talk to you about their homeland and their art. You are also able to purchase the handmade crafts.
A pavilion would not be complete without a special eatery! In the Millennium Village Cafe there are 8 regional kitchens offering tastes from all over the world. The food is served in small portions at reasonable prices so that you can experiment and taste a wide variety of foods.
The last stop is another interactive game called the Gifts to the World Game. This was a fun game and can be played by groups as well as individuals.
As you leave the Millennium Pavilion you are asked What is Your Gift to the World?
The Millennium Pavilion is a wonderful interactive exposition where you can learn about countries from all over the world. The ambassadors love to talk about their homelands. Take the time to play with the interactive exhibits. Ask questions of the ambassadors to learn about different countries and cultures in the world.
I have read very mixed reviews about the Millennium Pavilion from wonderful to yawn. I recently read in a trip report You Get What You Put Into It! and I couldn't agree more! If you breeze through this building and expect to be passively entertained, it won't happen. But if you take the time to talk, listen and learn what the Ambassadors have to offer, you will leave a richer person than when you walked in.
One of the things I thought was so great was the number of interactive exhibits for children and their families to participate in.
During one of my visits (and I went 4 times in 3 days), I met Zingisa from Sun City South Africa. She is an amazing woman with many stories to tell about her homeland. This is her first time outside of South Africa and she beamed from ear to ear talking about her experiences. To me, this is what the Millennium Village is all about!
If you would like to submit your Millennium Village experiences for possible inclusion on WDWIG or in ALL EARS®, please email it to Deb at firstname.lastname@example.org
I am also re-doing the Hoop-de-Doo Comments section on WDWIG. If you've experience the show in 1999 and would like to submit your experiences for possible inclusion on WDWIG or in ALL EARS®, please email it to Deb at email@example.com
Editor's Note: This story/information was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all current rates, information and other details before planning your trip.