We’ve spoken at length – some might say disturbing length – about the fabled “Lost Danish Potties” of World Showcase. Essentially, what are now the bathrooms for EPCOT’s Norway pavilion (opened in 1988) were originally constructed as a stand-alone building in 1982. They were intended for a never-built Denmark pavilion, and even though the facilities were later annexed by the Norse, we’ve looked at how Disney repeatedly tried to bring Denmark into World Showcase afterward.
Before the Imagineers slotted Denmark into the site currently occupied by Norway, they considered other possible locations in World Showcase. One potential site was between the French and United Kingdom pavilions; another, show below from a 1979 rendering, was the area currently occupied by the China pavilion.
After the park opened, plans for a Denmark pavilion faded in favor of building a “Scandinavia” pavilion which would represent several nations in the region. This was, naturally, an issue of money; if a single nation couldn’t underwrite a pavilion, perhaps several could.
In the end, only Norwegian corporations (and the Norwegian government) came through with sponsorship cash, so “Scandinavia” became simply “Norway: Gateway to Scandinavia”. By billing the pavilion as such, it left the door open for future participation by other nations yet let Norway have the spotlight to themselves.
But what of this mystery “Scandinavia” pavilion, sandwiched (Handwiched?) historically between the Denmark and Norway pavilion concepts? Take a look…
These undated pieces of art show a pavilion much more similar to today’s Norway than to the original Denmark concepts. They also appear to depict a somewhat larger pavilion, which would make sense considering that it was to represent multiple nations.
In the end, only Norway came to pass, but we live in hope that someday the eleven nations of World Showcase will get some new company.