Greetings from the United Kingdom! Can you believe we’ve already toured Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, and France? We’ve almost seen the entire World Showcase, with only two stops left on our world tour. If you recall when we left off in France we were crossing a long bridge. At the end of this bridge you have two choices. You can head towards your right into the United Kingdom, which will look like the below photo.
If you turn left, you’ll head towards the International Gateway, which exits the park towards the Beach Club, Yacht Club, Swan, Dolphin, and BoardWalk resorts. This makes it an easy walk to Beaches & Cream, which is one of the most fun restaurants on all of Disney property. (Seriously – if you don’t know what I’m talking about, click that link. You don’t want to miss this place! Okay – now back to our regularly scheduled world tour.)
If you resisted the siren’s call of Beaches & Cream and headed towards the United Kingdom, the first thing you’d come across is a beautiful garden on your left. You can often find Alice in Wonderland greeting in this area. The arch below and the lush garden inside always make me think of The Secret Garden, though there’s nothing stating that the two are related.
Just past this arch is an official Nikon Photo spot! I hadn’t noticed these were cropping up in the parks. I’m glad that the old photo spots won’t be going away and that they’ll get new branding. (Hopefully it will mean new photos on the signs, too, as this one was really faded!) You can see another view into the garden from here. There are lovely, winding paths tucked behind the building. It’s a tranquil spot to explore, especially before the shops open.
Here’s what you’ll see once you’ve wondered back into the garden. Every season of the year it’s lush and beautiful. The view below is just behind the Tea Shop that I’ll show you in a bit. I can’t imagine how much work goes into maintaining these plants.
I would say this area is quiet, but The British Revolution takes the stage several times a day, filling the area with lively music. You can often see couples dancing in front of this stage to the music while children run through the hedge maze. This was also the location of a pretty awesome New Year’s Eve party, which you can check out here.
Heading back out to the main walkway by World Showcase Lagoon, the next thing you’ll come to is this amazing view of several different architecture styles of the United Kingdom. Down this road are the five shops found in the pavilion and another entrance to the bandstand.
Let’s start walking on the left side of the road. The first shop you’ll see is the Twinings Tea Shop. The building, itself, is a thatched roof cottage inspired by one owned by William Shakespeare’s wife.
Here’s a look inside the shop. Not surprisingly, you can find just about any flavor of tea. It also carries tons of tea accessories, including some pretty and high end teacups.
Attached to the tea shop and carrying similar merchandise is The Queen’s Table. To be honest, from inside I couldn’t really tell where one shop ended and another began. Again, there is tea for sale but also some cookies and other British fare.
One highlight is the awesome British chocolate available for purchase! Judging from the sign, I would also bet that you can use dining credit for these bad boys. I know when I was on the dining plan I had gobs of credits left over at the end – there was just more food than we could eat! I wish I would have known I could have cashed those in for candy.
Just next door is Lords and Ladies, which – as the sign claims – carries fancy goods. Notice the differences between the signs. The United Kingdom is a land with clearly marked shops and very different signage. I would also like to mention that the items in these shops seem to get shuffled around quite a bit. Your mileage may vary on where you find items or if they even still carry them!
Here’s a look at several proud British flags on display in the shop. On the left you can see just a little into the next tiny area that carries sterling jewelry. I didn’t include close ups because I wasn’t very impressed with the selection. It was largely generic and overpriced.
Here is the last little section of this side of the street before heading back towards the bandstand. This looks lovely, but I was surprised to see clothes and accessories on display. Does anyone else remember when this was a perfume shop? I picked up the nicest lavender perfume here. This isn’t a section of the park I frequent, so I have no idea when it changed. Anyone out there know when they made the switch?
Now let’s head back out to the World Showcase Lagoon and start down the other side of the street looking at shops. The first one you will see is the Sportsman’s Shoppe. This is a great shot to point out how they just shove different styles together in this land and it somehow works. This building looks nothing like the two attached to it, but somehow they all look like they belong together.
Just inside the doors on the right you’ll see what the shop is named after, tons of sports gear and jerseys. Also tucked away under the archway is a part of Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure. (Has everyone played this before? Anyone interested in seeing a blog on it?)
The other side of this shop is literally stacked to the ceiling with Dr. Who merchandise. Ironically, this was the one section in all of the shops that I just couldn’t catch without getting people into the frame! I stood there for quite awhile, and people just kept coming. Obviously there were more sci-fi fans than soccer fans! (Or should I say football?)
Next up is the Crown & Crest store. There are several signs up around this store, but the below on is my favorite. Take a look at the detail on the building in the bottom right of the photo!
Take a look at this! While the shop mostly just carries Guinness swag, the building, itself, is impressive! The detail and woodwork are just beautiful! This would a great spot to stop for family photos. I bet most people wouldn’t believe something like this exists at Disney World.
Next door be sure to look up and take in all the decor added on the ceiling.
A little closer to the ground you can find crests on all sorts of merchandise. There is also s station to get your own family crest put on a plaque. Very cool and unique souvenirs in here.
Lastly, The Toy Soldier is tucked at the back of the street.
Since this is the shop set the furthest back, it carries all the merchandise to go along with the The British Revolution.
Other than that, this store is mostly generic toys you’d find anywhere else in the parks. In this case, there is Winnie the Pooh merchandise because he has a meet and greet nearby. I love getting photos of the plush toys first thing in the morning when they are still neatly arranged. At the end of the day, the shelves have been ravaged. It makes me think of all the work Cast Members do each and every night to put the shelves back in order.
Since that was our last shop, we’ll head out to the World Showcase Lagoon again. On the water side is the very popular Rose & Crown Pub. Out front you can see the World Showcase Players putting on a show. Gosh, these guys are funny! If you haven’t stopped by to watch this act, then you’re due for a show. It’s always a good time.
Here is one of the many signs marking the restaurant. The Latin on the sign translates to “Leisure with Dignity.” That seems like a fitting description of this restaurant, which has excellent food, even better drinks, and a laid back atmosphere.
Here is a look inside the dining room. While the decor is fun, the chairs here are some of the least comfortable in the World Showcase. Does anyone else remember the trifle they used to have here? I’m wondering if it was as epic as I remember, or if I was just a kid. Boy, it seems like it was as big as my head (but somehow we always managed to eat it…).
Here’s a look at the bar up front. I also snuck the barmaid into frame. Isn’t that a great outfit? I would love to wear that to work! Also worth noting is that there’s an outdoor bar out front that isn’t pictured here. When the restaurant gets busy in the evenings, it can be a lot faster to grab a drink out front and maybe mosey over to Canada for some Off Kilter.
Next to the Rose & Crown you’ll find Yorkshire County Fish Shop. The menu is limited to just fish, chips, and ale. This isn’t a bad thing, though. The little but they do, they do well! This is an easy place to stop for a quick bite.
Just beside the restaurant is one of the best views of IllumiNations in the entire park! If you can catch this spot on a night when it isn’t rented out, then take advantage and enjoy.
Finally, this regal looking building is modeled after the Hampton Court Palace. I wish I had something more impressive to report, but you’re looking at the entrance to a bathroom. It still looks pretty good to me! During the Flower & Garden Festival last year, the garden in front featured Captain Hook and Tick-Tock the Crocodile, while Peter Pan was perched high atop the building. I hope they appear again this year!
Lastly, one of the most photographed features of the entire World Showcase. You didn’t think I’d forget the phone booths, did you? Even at 10am I had to wait to get a shot of this spot without people in it!
And with that we’ve completed our tour of the United Kingdom. There’s only one stop left! I hope you’ll join me next time for our grand finale. a tour of Canada. As always, thanks for reading and commenting!