Millennium Village

World Showcase, Epcot

Map of the Millennium Village

Map of the Millennium Village

10 years ago1 photo
Overview

The Millennium Village was built for the 2000 Millennium Celebration at Epcot, and brought in representatives of more than 50 nations. It was located inbetween the UK and Canada pavilions. Once the 15 month celebrationw as over, the pavilion was closed and became World Showplace, now used for conventions and special events.

Description

In the spirit of "a world without borders," Epcot World Showcase is celebrating the cultural achievements of more than 50 nations never before seen at Epcot in Millennium Village, a new pavilion between the United Kingdom and Canada.

Millennium Village is the cultural centerpiece of Walt Disney World Resort's 15-month Millennium Celebration. Cultural representatives, artisans and entertainers fill the 65,000-square-foot pavilion with the sights and sounds of global destinations.

"Millennium Village is designed as a way to experience an amazing array of world cultures and entertainment without being hindered by borders or limits," says George Kalogridis, vice president of Epcot. "Each exhibit tells a story, maybe even unlocks a mystery or two."

As guests enter Millennium Village, there are eight exhibits developed with Expo 2000 Hannover, the international exposition to take place in Hannover, Germany, from June 1-Oct. 31, 2000. The Millennium Village ambassadors from these eight countries -- Ethiopia, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Namibia, New Zealand, India and South Africa -- tell stories of special projects in their nations. In Ethiopia, for instance, it is the story of how a German agency fought hunger by helping local residents produce healthy crops. Kenya tells of a cooperative that raises money by selling weavings to support a health clinic. South Africa showcases a wind-up radio that brings weather and health information into rural South Africa and saves lives.


Immersive exhibits represent nations across the globe:

"Experience Brasil" offers a glimpse of the Amazon Rain Forest, where guests hear the sounds that are native to Brazil's interior. A participatory game helps visitors discover why Brazilians call soccer their national sport. And Carnaval a Brasilian shows off one of the largest and most colorful celebrations in the world.

Guests get a close-up look at a re-creation of the massive and mysterious stone carvings of Easter Island, called the Moai of Peace. Easter Island, one of the most isolated places on earth (in the South Pacific 2,300 miles from the coast of Chile and 2,500 miles from Tahiti), became a part of Chile in 1888, long after the creators of the moai vanished.

Next door, Chile shows an ingenious way to harvest the fog through a system of nets that converts fog condensation into water for life-sustaining uses. But this narrow land is also rich in crop vineyards, ranchland and forests. Guests will see ambassadors dressed as "huasos," or Chilean cowboys, in the distinctive sombrero de huaso -- the flat-brimmed cowboy hat of Chile.

A traditional coffee ceremony is the most hospitable way to introduce guests to Eritrea, an ancient nation in East Africa that achieved its independence in 1993. It is a premium location for coffee production, resting on the rich coast of the Red Sea, and the coffee ceremony has a long and fascinating history.

A narrow lane paved with real Jerusalem stones creates the entrance to the Israel exhibit, where guests can take a virtual "Journey to Jerusalem" through 3,000 years of history. Guests also can send a message to the Western Wall in Jerusalem by computer, and see a pen that translates Hebrew to English in seconds.

Saudi Arabia offers a virtual tour of this land of 20 million people, and ambassadors and storytellers tell tales of a kingdom that is both modern and traditional. Interactive games help guests learn in a fun way about this country that occupies most of the Arabian Peninsula between the Red Sea and the Gulf.

Through a clever layout of miniature golf holes, guests learn about Scottish inventions, from the development of anesthesia to breakthroughs in laser technologies. A virtual tour of Scotland is "hosted" by poet Robert Burns. Also, note the tartans (or plaids as the Americans refer to them) that the ambassadors are wearing; they were designed for the decommissioned Royal Yacht Britannia, which now makes its home in Scotland.

Unusual art objects -- four giant "eggs" -- create a striking centerpiece in Millennium Village, each representing a different season in Sweden. And though Swedes sometimes joke that this means "cold, colder and coldest," guests will discover the dramatic and beautiful changes in climate. The 27-foot-high eggs were a hit at the World's Fair in Lisbon in 1998. Surrounding the eggs are interactive displays about modern Sweden and great Swedish inventions -- the computer mouse and the pacemaker are just two.

Here's What Else You'll See

Culinary creations from all the continents of the earth are found in the Millennium Village cafe, called The Gift of Cuisine, with eight regional kitchens featuring special recipes and dishes typical of many countries of the world, from the subtle tastes of the Orient to spicy Africa, from favorites of Latin America to Europe's continental cuisine.

Close by is The Village Green, where guests can take part in a game -- with the help of a conveyor belt, a basketball hoop and a bicycle -- to follow a product from seed to growth, harvest, use, mulching and fertilization to understand the cycle of "renewability," or making the products we use every day out of things we can grow, like crayons from soy and fabrics from corn. The exhibit is sponsored by the Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization Corp. (AARC).

For live entertainment, World ShowPlace offers fascinating performers from around the globe, including the famous puppets from Denmark's Tivoli Gardens. There will be eight to nine performances a day throughout the 15-month-long Millennium Celebration, with artists staying for one to two weeks. Sponsored by government ministries and private corporations, more than 50 nations will be represented. Already scheduled to appear are such diverse groups as the Tivoli Boys Guard marching/concert band, the Heshoo Beshoo dance/musicians from South Africa and folk groups from Bulgaria, Argentina, Korea and many more countries.

Artisans from seven countries -- Lebanon, Peru, Thailand, Egypt, Greece, Korea and Venezuela -- create their masterpieces while guests watch, share stories about their homelands and offer their work for sale.

The final stop in Millennium Village is the Gifts to the World Game that lets guests test their knowledge of the experiences in Millennium Village. As the game concludes, guests are left with the thought-provoking question: "What is your gift to the world?"


Millennium Village Fast Facts

Location: Between Canada and United Kingdom in Epcot World Showcase
Size: 65,000 square feet
Overview: Throughout the 15-month-long Millennium Celebration, more than 50 nations will be represented with experiences, ambassadors and entertainment in this "world without borders."

Immersive Exhibits:
Brazil -- Guests get a glimpse of the Amazon Rain Forest, a hands-on game that shows why Brazilians call soccer their national sport.

Chile -- Ambassadors dressed as huasos, or Chilean cowboys, welcome guests, and show an ingenious way to harvest the fog through a system of nets that converts fog condensation into water for life-sustaining uses. Next to Chile, re-creations of the mysterious stone carvings of Easter Island, called the Moai of
Peace, are on display.

Eritrea -- Guests are invited to an Eritrean coffee ceremony with ambassadors from this ancient East African nation.

Israel -- Guests can take a virtual "Journey to Jerusalem," send a message to the Western Wall by computer and see a pen that translates Hebrew to English in seconds.

Saudi Arabia -- A virtual tour of this land of 20 million people is offered, along with interactive games to help guests learn about this country that occupies most of the Arabian Peninsula between the Red Sea and the Gulf.

Scotland -- Through a clever layout of miniature golf holes, guests learn about Scottish inventions -- anesthesia and lasers are just two.

Sweden -- Four 27-foot-high "eggs" represent the four seasons in Sweden, where guests discover the dramatic and beautiful changes in climate.


Expo 2000 Projects: Eight exhibits -- Ethiopia, Indonesia, Israel, Kenya, Namibia, New Zealand, India and South Africa -- from Expo 2000 Hannover, the international exposition taking place in Hannover, Germany, from June 1-Oct. 31, 2000. The projects show how nations are helping one another improve the quality of their lives.

The Village Green: Sponsored by Alternative Agricultural Research and Commercialization Corp. (AARC), guests play a game to follow a produce from seed to growth, harvest, use, mulching and fertilization to understand "renewability," or making the products we use every day out of things we can grow, like fabrics from corn.

World ShowPlace: 200-seat theater showcases performers from around the globe, including the famous puppets from Denmark's Tivoli Gardens. There are eight to nine performances daily, with artists staying for one to two weeks.

Artisans: Lebanon, Peru, Thailand, Egypt, Greece, Korea and Venezuela are represented with working artisans.
The Gift of Cuisine: The Millennium Village quick-service café features eight regional kitchens featuring dishes typical of many countries of the world.