Off to Neverland!- The Kingdom of Lost Worlds (Part 1)

Updated on May 11, 2018
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Ben Drummond is a geek, nerd, and foodie. He lives in Central Florida and has a passion and love for all things Disney!

Welcome!

Welcome to Neverland! You have been chosen as one of the very select few who have been given access to a free VIP tour before public opening into the newest Disney Theme Park; Neverland! Now, Neverland is a very special place. You may recall that Neverland is a fictional place in the story and movie Peter Pan. It is the place where mermaids are real, pirates roam the seas, Peter Pan rules over the Lost Boys and you can even fly there! The impossible becomes possible making fiction into reality. Here, at Neverland, we take that philosophy of bringing the Impossible to life as this park is dedicated to showing you the Disney that could have been but never became to be; that is until now of course!

My name is Yensid Tlaw or as my friends call me Yen, and I will be your tour guide for this amazing and wonderful journey into Neverland! Now, before we begin, you need to know that Neverland is composed of mini-kingdoms. These Mini-Kingdoms are all different from each other, some being quite large and some rather small, but, as you are about to see, Neverland is a huge park and is unlike any other Disney park you have been to. With that said, buckle up, sit back, and as Peter Pan said, Off to Neverland!

The Kingdom of Lost Worlds (Israel)

We begin our tour today with The Kingdom of Lost Worlds. Here, we will explore countries the world has forgotten, the cultures of a people who need to be remembered, and ancient artifacts waiting to be rediscovered. This Kingdom is in Neverland as it contains all of the Forgotten Countries that were supposed to be in Epcot, but it just simply never came to be. The Kingdom of Lost Worlds is composed of several mini-lands as there are quite a few lost and forgotten countries that planned for Epcot. The first country we shall visit is Israel! Israel surprisingly almost made it into Epcot. That being said, many of the countries we will visit in The Kingdom of Lost Worlds almost made it inside of Epcot. In the year 1980, which was roughly 2 years before Epcot opened to the public, The State of Israel was in the process of negotiating a contract to become a sponsored country in the World Showcase. It, unfortunately, did not become a true World Showcase country as there arose some security issues and threatened boycotts in Israel which led Disney to cancel the agreement.

When Epcot opened to the public, there was a sign in the World Showcase that actually said where the future site of Israel was going to be but then later down the road as the problems with Israel surfaced as mentioned, it was then removed from the Showcase altogether. If it indeed made it off the concept art and plans, it would have featured a grand courtyard with a menorah and have artifacts from the Tel Aviv which is a Jewish Museum in Israel. Another very cool thing that was going to come alongside this was an open-air outdoor restaurant that would feature Jewish/Israeli foods. Even though Israel never came to be, it did, however, receive a small pavilion in the Millenium Celebration at Epcot which lasted from 1999-2001.

This was the planned layout of the entire Israel Pavilion which was drawn an sketched by famous Disney Artist Herb Ryman.
This was the planned layout of the entire Israel Pavilion which was drawn an sketched by famous Disney Artist Herb Ryman. | Source
The Lion's gate in Jerusalem, Israel that was going to be the entrance of the Israel Pavilion.
The Lion's gate in Jerusalem, Israel that was going to be the entrance of the Israel Pavilion. | Source
An image of the early concept art renderings created by none other Herb Ryman in which this depicts an Israeli street that would have been in the Pavilion
An image of the early concept art renderings created by none other Herb Ryman in which this depicts an Israeli street that would have been in the Pavilion | Source

Costa Rica

As we conclude our visit through the Holy lands of Israel, we will now move onto the next country of our tour which will be Costa Rica. Now, Costa Rica was in the very early planning stages of becoming a country in the World Showcase before it was then off the drawing board. In fact, it only got to the point of becoming a scale model. If you look at the picture down below, you will see a building that is in a similar design to the likes of the Crystal Palace restaurant at Magic Kingdom.

The Costa Rica pavilion would have been showcasing the beauty of the tropical paradise that Costa Rica was where there would have been waterfalls, exotic plants, animals, and even gardens that all represented the beautiful nation. The 'Costa Rican' Palace would have been the main centerpiece of the pavilion. The idea for this pavilion was proposed in 1979 and was actually going to be an opening-day pavilion for the World Showcase. Due to not being able to find a sponsor for the Costa Rica Pavilion, the project was then scrapped. In addition to the Palace, there would have been a restaurant that featured Costa Rican cuisine.

Planned model for the future Costa Rica Pavilion at Epcot
Planned model for the future Costa Rica Pavilion at Epcot | Source
Here in this photo you see the Imagineers busy at work creating the model for the Costa Rica Pavilion
Here in this photo you see the Imagineers busy at work creating the model for the Costa Rica Pavilion | Source

Soviet Union (Russia)

As we leave the tropical paradise of Costa Rica, we now are heading into the frozen tundra of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union is going to be the last stop of our tour before we stop and take a break for lunch. Now, the Soviet Union Pavilion is quite interesting. Here, you can explore a complete replica of the Kremlin in Moscow with St. Basil's Cathedral being the centerpiece of it.

In this pavilion we can also go on two unique rides; one that will take us on a fun sled ride through the winter landscapes of the Soviet Union and the other being a dark ride based on the famous Russian folktale The Fool and The Fish. The plans for this pavilion were unfortunately scrapped when the Soviet Union was dissolved in 1991.

Blue Sky Concept Art for the planned Soviet Union Pavilion
Blue Sky Concept Art for the planned Soviet Union Pavilion | Source
 More Blue Sky Concept Art for the planned Soviet Union Pavilion
More Blue Sky Concept Art for the planned Soviet Union Pavilion | Source

This concludes our tour for now of the Kingdom of Lost Worlds! We will be taking a small break so that you can enjoy yourselves a delicious lunch from any of the restaurants at the pavilions we have already been to! You can eat some tropical Costa Rican food, eat some ancient Israeli food, or maybe you would like to eat some Russian inspired cuisine under the St. Basil Cathedral! If you like this tour and enjoy all that Neverland has to offer, please share this experience with your friends to spread the word! We will be back on our tour very soon, so please rest, eat up, and get ready to go Off to Neverland!

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    © 2018 Ben Drummond

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