4 reasons why Epcot should add Brazil to World Showcase
It’s no surprise Brazil is one of the most popular countries for readers who responded to an OBJ survey asking which country they’d like to see added to Epcot’s World Showcase.
Brazil so far is getting the most votes, with Russia and Spain closely behind. Each country could make a good case for itself as to why — if Disney ever asked — it would be an ideal Epcot country, but since Brazil is such a major player in Orlando, let’s take a closer look at that country.
In recent years Brazil and Orlando have become so close, it has resulted in several different business ventures emerging that showcase how the City Beautiful is sort of a Little Brazil.
Here are some examples of Brazil’s impact on Orlando:
Brazil is Orlando’s top overseas travel market. The country reportedly brought more than 770,000 tourists to the area last year, overtaking the United Kingdom’s 759,000 travelers.
Brazilian investment is growing in Orlando. Most notably, International Drive will welcome the first Banco do Brasil in Orlando opening later this year. That bank puts Orlando on the map for not only Brazilian-based tourists needing access to accounts, but it also opens up Central Florida to any Brazilian investors that deal with the large bank.
How could I forget sports? Well, I didn’t because Brazil also has a heavy involvement in Orlando’s sports industry. Orlando City Soccer Club’s owner and chairman, Flavio Augusto da Silva, is a Brazilian-based businessman who has helped turn the team into a Major League Soccer franchise and attract and sign players from all over the world, including Brazilian soccer superstar Kaka, who is Major League Soccer’s highest-paid player.
Orlando also is home to a booming tourism corridor catering to Brazilian tourists. Most notable is Perfumeland, a mega retail store owned and operated by AMP Group, that welcomes more than 150,000 tourists — mainly Brazilian — each year. Businesses like Perfumeland market to Brazilian-based travel groups that bring hordes of tourists to Central Florida who stay at local hotels, eat and shop at restaurants and stores, visit attractions and use regular tourism corridor services each visit.
So if the discussion ever arose, should Disney seriously consider Brazil as a new country at Epcot? Why not, as there aren’t many other countries that have invested themselves financially or culturally as much in Orlando as Brazil. And wouldn’t an annual Brazilian Carnival event at that pavilion be a blast? Seriously, how can anyone turn down a good party?