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Day 8 - September 9, 2012

Prior to Epcot, Disney had a simple tool to create the different lands of Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom. The tool? Their imagination. Things like Tomorrowland and Adventureland could be based off of real things, but they didn't need to keep to something 100% for fear that guests may get upset that it's not completely authentic.

Epcot's World Showcase was a little bit different. 16 years later for Disney's Animal Kingdom a group of Imagineers would travel to Asia and Africa and do extensive research on the areas to make sure that the lands truly felt like the continents they represented. Before that, however, they had the resources, but not the experience. While walking through World Showcase guests can get a glimpse, and feeling, of what the represented country may actually feel like, but some of the ideas were never 100% identical due to the fact that they didn't have time to fully research 9 countries (Norway and Morocco would open in future years). So what did they do? Let's take a look at the following picture to get an idea:

This picture of Epcot (taken before World Showcase opened one morning) is a familiar sight to any guest that has circumnavigated World Showcase Lagoon. It's the United Kingdom pavilion, but the research for this pavilion wasn't as extensive as one may think by looking at it.

While the building straight ahead is based upon a real building, Imagineers came across a problem while creating the rooftops of the pavilion. What should they look like and how would they make it feel like their skyline was deeper than it actually was? The solution? Mary Poppins!

That's right, to get the look and feel of a London skyline, Imagineers actually went back to sketches done for Mary Poppins and used them to recreate the skyline (much like they did for the actual movie set). The result is a skyline that is practically perfect in every way!

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