Sunday, January 6, 2008

Disney World After Dark: The American Adventure

We now leave Italy and continue our walk around the World Showcase. Next stop, the host pavilion, The American Adventure!

"The uncharacteristically gigantic Georgian brick building that houses The American Adventure, presented by Coca-Cola and American Express, is a far cry from the original plan for the United States pavilion. The question of how to present the spirit of America daunted the Imagineers. The United States was not one of the original World Showcase pavilion concepts; it was to be a sleek two-level structure on stilts in a transitional area near Future World. As the host country, the United States was to have a walk-under facility, with an attraction above - a gateway to World Showcase. There was concern that placing the United States in the Showcase itself might appear arrogant, but that setting it apart might appear aloof. Finally,the Imagineers decided to celebrate the very spirit that could produce a project like EPCOT Center. The United States pavilion with its spectacular show, The American Adventure, would become the central focus of World Showcase."

from Since the World Began by Jeff Kurtti, pg. 110

The American Adventure, or U.S.A. as it was known in some earlier guide maps, is one of my favorite pavilions on the promenade. It is not so much the building, but what is inside it that makes it special. My heart begins to swell as I ascend the Corridor of Flags and enter the theater, and I mentioned in an earlier post that I get rather emotional when "Two Brothers" is played. I tend to do the same during the finale with "Golden Dream".

I lived in Europe for a time during the 1990's, visited several European countries and have been in and out of Africa on a few occasions. During that time I learned how to miss America. I learned how to appreciate this great country and what was endured, and is yet to be endured, to make it so.

I never felt this more than when standing in front of The American Adventure on a particular Friday in September 2001. At 12:00 noon that day the whole country paused for a moment of silence in reverence to those who fell in the attacks of 9/11. I looked up and noticed that the flag on top of the building was flying at half staff. I shall never forget that image or that day. This American Adventure that we are a part of became so much more important in that moment.

Enjoy your visit and your memories here at The American Adventure.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Not a more a humbled assertion can be made about seeing our flag flying at half-mast in remembrance of those whose lives were lost on that Tuesday morning in September. As I am sure you might know, along with other Disneyholics, flags from the Revolutionary & Colonial time periods distinguish the “Hall Of Flags”. It is in seeing these flags that make me most proud to be an American and a veteran of this great country. Imagine the stories those flags could tell and what we could still learn from them.