Monday, November 18, 2013

Random Unexpected Awesome: Village Traders at Epcot...

   When it comes to the African Outpost in Epcot's World Showcase, I side with the majority of fanboys.  This is the definition of a waste of space.  Originally the pavilion was to be over the top stylized grandeur of equatorial Africa, featuring two films and fantastical cultural immersion.  In its place now sits the outpost.  A snack bar. A small store. A few drums.
   But wait!  After a sudden downpour at Epcot, Adam and I were left with soggy shoes…and several hours of touring left.  Out of desperation we went into Village Traders to see if they had flip flops.  As it turns out the small store we had been walking past all these years is actually kind of cool, and relatively well themed.  Who knew right?!

Exterior signage, with lanterns. :)

   Now I'm not putting the Village Traders exterior on the same level as our beloved Harambe…but for such an insignificant overlooked shop it is fairly well done.  The exterior is faux plaster, similar to what you would find around the Kusafiri Bakery at Animal Kingdom.  The surface is bumpy and weathered as it should be.  The thatched roof is reminiscent of the thatch found throughout Animal Kingdom Lodge though the quality and material are clearly subpar.  The effort is there though, and thats why this shop grabbed our attention.

   The outside is decorated with whimsical (and horribly inaccurate) fake African masks.  The silliness of these makes me incredibly happy.  These little details make terrific photo ops, and represent one of the oldest most storied Disney tropes.

   The inside of the store is equally and liberally themed.  In addition to the bad/awesome masks there are a few beaded sword sheaths and thornwood carvings! These items are high up, and behind the register to keep drunk people from molesting them…but you can still appreciate them from afar.
   As it turns out the wares at this store are pretty blah.  Yes, they did have the flip flops that we needed so desperately, as well as tee shirts, and standard souvenirs.  The biggest find here was the large discounted section where you may stumble upon a cheap treasure!

   Have you ever been inside Village Traders at Epcot? Or do you walk right past it like we used to?  What's your favorite store in World Showcase?  Let us know over on Twitter!


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