5 Never Built Countries from Epcot's World Showcase in Walt Disney World

Never Built Disney Attractions

Spaceship Earth Across the World Showcase Lagoon Epcot Walt Disney World

One of the main areas of Epcot at Walt Disney World is the World Showcase, allowing guests to visit 11 countries in one day. But many countries have been planned to be added to this section of the park over the years that have not been built for a variety of reasons.

Here are five of the countries that have been planned for Epcot over the years but never built.

1. Equatorial Africa

Equatorial Africa was one of the earliest plans for an expansion of Epcot's World Showcase. Planned to be located on the massive plot of land between the China and Germany Pavilions, this would have been based on a geographical region rather than a single country. It was primarily focused on the historic culture of the region, and Disney acquired a massive amount of cultural artifacts to display in the pavilion.

This pavilion would have mainly featured walkthrough museum style exhibits and shows as attractions. It is even thought that some films were actually created for the land before it was ultimately canceled, including one by the creator of the famous Roots miniseries Alex Haley, although none of these were ever released.

The land was canceled amid an inability to find a sponsor, and political tensions in the region the land was based on, with a small temporary style Africa area being built in its place. The artifacts initially intended to be showcased in Epcot would eventually be donated by Disney to the Smithsonian, where they currently reside. Many ideas for this pavilion would later be incorporated into Africa in Disney's Animal Kingdom.

2. Russia

Planned for the same plot of land initially left empty for the Equatorial Africa Pavilion, eventually Disney would develop a land based on Russia. Planned during the mid 1980s, in the later days of the Soviet Union, this land would be a tribute to both historic and then present day Russian culture.

The pavilion would feature two main sections, each with their own rides.

The biggest section would have been based on Moscow's Red Square and feature a recreation of St Basil's Cathedral. That recreation would hold one of the lands two main attractions, an elaborate stage show worked on by Imagineer Joe Rhode (the man behind attractions from Disney's Animal Kingdom to Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout). This show would tell the story of Russian history through to the present.

The other side of the land would have featured a look at rural, historic Russia, and featured an attraction based on Russian fairytales.

This land was not built due to both financial reasons as well as the collapse of the Soviet Union amid the planning stages of the land, leaving the expansion pad empty to this day.

3. Switzerland

At one point there was a plan developed to build two mountain themed roller coasters in Epcot's World Showcase, one on each side of the American Pavilion. One would have been built in the already existing Japan Pavilion as a Mt Fuji themed roller coaster, and the other would have been a Matterhorn themed roller coaster in an all new Switzerland themed pavilion.

This pavilion, based on the country of Switzerland would have promoted the tourism industry of the country and various sponsor companies. It was canceled when Disney scaled back budgets across the parks, leaving Epcot without a roller coaster until Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind was built replacing Universe of Energy.

4. Venezuela

Venezuela was set to be built as the first South American country in Epcot's World Showcase, adding an entirely new continent to the park. The proposed pavilion based on this land was designed to showcase both the land's colonial history and its modern successes. It would have promoted both the architecture of the country and it's natural wonders throughout the land.

This pavilion would also have been significant for featuring a suspended dark ride, although the exact content of what this ride would have included was never publicly revealed beyond featuring significant sites from the country past and present.

5. Israel

One of the initially announced countries planned for the first expansion of Epcot was set to be a pavilion based on the nation of Israel. Unlike most countries in the World Showcase, this would have actually been sponsored by the Israeli government and been meant to promote tourism to the country.

This land would have featured one major stage show showcasing Israeli culture, as well as museum exhibits, and a restaurant based on the culture.

This pavilion would have for the first time brought religion to Epcot in a major way, something that the park had avoided with all of its lands and attractions on opening day. No other pavilion at the time prominently featured the major current religion of its country, but this pavilion would have prominently featured Judaism had it been built as planned.

While an official reason for the cancelation is unknown, it is generally accepted that Disney would decide not to build this pavilion for two reasons. The first was to avoid adding religion to the park (although religious references would later be incorporated into Morocco and Norway on a much smaller scale). The second was wanting to avoid connecting a part of Walt Disney World to the constant regional political issues connected with the Middle East, and potentially making the park political.

Follow Theme Parks and Entertainment on Twitter