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Neverworlds – World Showcase’s Arab Nations Pavilion

Unbuilt Arab Nations Pavilion, World Showcase, 1976Artist’s concept for possible Arab nations pavilion, World Showcase

This rendering is for yet another unbuilt World Showcase pavilion, this time with the rather nebulous theme of “Arab nations.” This is not one of the well-known abandoned concepts for present day World Showcase, but rather an attraction intended for the original separately-gated iteration of the Showcase that would have been built near the Transportation & Ticket Center. The rendering dates to early 1976; later that year, the World Showcase concept would be combined with that for the Future World Theme Center and start to resemble the park that would eventually open in 1982.

The original design for World Showcase consisted of two large, multi-level semicircular buildings. Between ten and thirty nations would be represented in these structures, occupying wedge-shaped pavilions of various sizes. The buildings would be linked by WEDway PeopleMovers, which as you can see in the rendering would also pass through the show buildings.

This original World Showcase was supposed to begin construction near the Seven Seas Lagoon in 1977, with an anticipated opening date of 1979.

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8 comments to Neverworlds – World Showcase’s Arab Nations Pavilion

  • This is so awesome. I really wish they would’ve expanded the Peoplemover concept to all of the parks, but then again, I wish a lot of things…

    Thanks so much for the hi-res photo!

  • You’re welcome! I’m a firm believer in high resolution.

    Obviously I wish the Peoplemover was in more widespread use, both in the parks and around the resort. When in Disneyland the other week I kept thinking how useful a WEDway would be in the resort area there.

    I think that EPCOT as it is could really, really still use a WEDway. It’s so spread out and so scenic, both of which lend themselves to being Peoplemover-friendly. It would fit perfectly into Future World, and there’s enough grade along the Showcase waterfront that a track could be laid in without disturbing the theming. Maybe a glass enclosed, water-level track with show scenes along the way?

  • Wow, that’s a crazy idea – on the waterfront. Hadn’t even thought about that…
    That would obviously be cool, but I was thinking it’d be pretty interesting to have it just weave in and out of all the pavilions, so you could get a glimpse of everything and see some snippits of the rides/attractions to boot – like in MK, going inside of the rides. This obviously would be a huge undertaking, though.

  • That would be cool, and probably more along the lines of what they were thinking back in the day. It’s very Waltish – a transportation system that gives you a tease of what you’re about to see. The waterfront idea, which I’ve been tinkering with for a while, is more of a straight transportation system that would require less “hiding” of the track than if it was weaved through the buildings (the reason I suggested adding show scenes or dioramas of some sort – so people would have something to look at!).

    I think the best option would be to subtly weave the track through the pavilions like you suggest, but that would be more expensive and require more finesse… which is why I didn’t even think to mention it :)

    But a WEDway with stations at, say, Gateway, American Adventure, and Outpost? Sign me up!

  • Haha – right on, Michael, right on.

    There’s obviously no way in hell they’d put money like that into a transportation system anymore, especially since they want as much foot traffic as possible past all of POPs. I personally think the system in and of itself would be a huge draw to the park, but their attendance is already pretty good. Plus, It’d probably make more sense anyway to expand the monorail (between all of the parks) first… which won’t happen either.

    Still, like I’ve said before, the Peoplemover is probably my favorite ride in all of the parks.

  • Great scan! So, when are we going to have the tour of the Progress City archives?

  • The people mover is one of my favorite rides and I would’ve loved to see it show up at other parks.

  • […] Michael Crawford at Progress City, USA looks at some very rare World Showcase, sorta, concept art. […]

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