/ Monday, September 17th, 2007
  • Believe it or not, but one of the most elaborate and complicated productions in the entire Walt Disney World Resort may not be what you think. The American Adventure uses some of the Disney Imagineer’s most advanced designs and effects in this moving tribute to the United States .
  • There are 35 lifelike Audio-Animatronic figures used in a variety of historical scenes such as Plymouth Rock, Valley Forge , the Civil War and more. In fact, the Benjamin Franklin figure was one of the most sophisticated and detailed ever created. His groundbreaking ability to "walk" up stairs, coupled with the subtle twists of his body, hand and mouth movements, raised the bar in this technology.
  • Though no longer the most advanced Audio-Animatronics in Walt Disney World, some of the details are still amazing – look for Mark Twain blowing smoke from his pipe, and another famous American twirling a lasso!
  • As guests proceed into the theater, they pass through the "Hall of Flags." In here is a collection of the flags that have flown over the United States in all of its forms, including flags from the Revolutionary War, Colonial period, as well as foreign flags that once had claim to the land. There are a total of 44 flags in all.
  • Representing the "Spirits of America" are 12 life-sized statues on either sides of the theater. On the left side, the statues from front to back, are: Individualism, Innovation, Tomorrow, Independence , Compassion, and Discovery . On the right hand side, from front to back, are: Freedom, Heritage, Pioneering, Knowledge, Self-Reliance, and Adventure. The cowboy, representing the "Spirit of Individualism," is the first statue closest to the stage, on the left side of the theater.
  • Demonstrating the incredible advancements and realism of Disney’s Audio-Animatronics technology, Will Rogers is able to actually twirl a rope lasso.
  • The American Adventure, located in the center of the promenade surrounding the World Showcase lagoon, was originally presented by two companies. Both American Express and Coca-Cola sponsored the host nation’s pavilion from 1982 until January, 1998, when Coca-Cola dropped its corporate support. In 2002, Disney severed its 30 year relationship with American Express, replacing the "Official Card of Walt Disney World" with VISA.
  • The departure of these two sponsors now put the American Adventure into very select company. It is one of the few pavilions in Epcot to be without a corporate sponsor, joining the Living Seas and the Wonders of Life. AT&T also reportedly was going to drop its sponsorship of Spaceship Earth in January 2003, but had not done so at time of publication.
  • The flag which adorns the top of the American Adventure pavilion only has 15 stars on it. This is because when the United States was first formed, flags had the same number of stars and stripes as there were states in the nation. As the number of states which joined the union grew, it became impossible to continue to add stripes for each. This is why the current United States flag has 50 stars for every state, but just 13 stripes representing the original 13 colonies.
  • On the shores of the World Showcase Lagoon is the outdoor stage and amphitheater known as the "America Gardens Theatre." Here, free live entertainment, such as the Candlelight Processional during the Christmas season, as well as popular acts including the Temptations, Michael Flatley’s Lord of the Dance, and a variety of concerts during Epcot’s yearly festivals are performed.
America Gardens Theater 1986
America Gardens Theater circa 1986 – note no cover for stage area 

The 12 SPIRITS located inside the American Adventure Theatre:

Adventure (Seaman)
Compassion (Doctor)
Discovery (Mountain Man)
Freedom (Pilgrim)
Heritage (American Indian)
Independence (Colonial Soldier)
Individualism (Cowboy)
Innovation (Scientist)
Knowledge (Teacher)
Pioneering (Aviator)
Self-reliance (Farmer)
Tomorrow (Woman and Child)