A self-proclaimed “World Traveler” recently visited Epcot’s World Showcase to explain to the country’s Cast Members what is authentic and what is inaccurate about the countries represented versus their real-world counterparts.
“I’m a very important businessman, so I am afforded the opportunity to visit many countries around the world,” said Clint Fleetman, World Traveler. “Whenever I get a chance, I head on over to Epcot to make sure each country’s Cast Members are operating in a way that is authentic to the region they represent.”
According to Fleetman, he works his way methodically from left-to-right across World Showcase, starting in Mexico and ending in Canada. He spends about an hour in each country, randomly striking up conversations with some Cast Members, instructing them on what they can do to improve to mimic the culture.
“I appreciate his attention to detail,” says Jorgé Bautista, waiter at San Angel Inn restaurant, located inside the Mexico pavilion. “However, I think one detail Mr. Fleetman overlooked was that most, if not all Cast Members working in World Showcase are actually from the country they represent. So I’d like to think we know more about our own cultures than a vinyl siding salesman from Tampa.”
Bautista went on to tell us that he often has to resist the urge to correct Fleetman, realizing that he is spending a tremendous amount of money visiting World Showcase at least once a week.
We spent part of the day with Fleetman to get a sense of his craft.
“No, no, no,” Fleetman said to Isabella Romano, a Cast Member serving wine at Via Napoli in the Italy pavilion. “You wouldn’t serve a red wine with the meal they’re having. And this place isn’t entirely authentic because this type of food would normally be served down by the banks of the canal, of which I do not see at all.”
Fleetman repeated sharing his expertise to each country we visited that day, including the American Adventure.
“We were just about to start playing when I caught a glimpse of Fleetman out of the corner of my eye,” said Thomas Jefferson Geronimo III, piccolo player for The Revolution, an outdoor period-accurate band that plays old Civil War favorites outside the American Adventure. “I thought, ‘Oh, shit. Here comes this jackass again.’”
Fleetman was quick to point out that the instrument Geronimo was using was actually a modification that wasn’t added until 40 years after the time period they are meant to be representing. Geronimo politely smiled before rolling his eyes and miming the “jerking off” motion when Fleetman’s attention was averted.
When asked if there were any details that Disney Imagineers did get correct, Fleetman paused for a moment before saying, “Canada. [The Cast Members] are incredibly polite just like the real Canadians. I do think they need to have more maple syrup kiosks but they are always quick to apologize when my expectations aren’t met.”