Check out jimhillmedia.co for the full story on this one (Im way to lazy to look it up myself, sorry) but basicly, Germany was designed to have a "Rhine River Cruise." However, due to the lack of sponser the ride was never built, but the building was. In the German Pavillion, you will notice a set of large wooden doors, sealed shut near the Biergarden enterance, that was to be the enterance to the queue. Today the building is a major off stage storage area (I believe for costumes) and is vital to day to day operations. Even if a sponser could be found, a new building would need to be built to house the warehouse, meaning more cost, which makes this ride nearly destined to sit on the Imagineering shelf for all eternity aside the Western River Cruise.
It's too bad they never built it. I really feel like World Showcase needs more rides. The shops are ok to browse through and the shows are fun to see once but I always find myself spending way more time in Future World and mainly going to World Showcase for the rides in Mexico and Norway.
The same thing with the Japan pavilion. There is a large show building built there behind the Japanese fortress that was to house an American version of the Tokyo Disneyland attraction, Meet the World. The attraction was never installed and now the building is used as another backstage warehouse. In the late 1980s, the Meet the World attraction idea was scrapped entirely in favor of a coaster attraction through Mt. Fuji (similar to Disneyland's Matterhorn), where inside, riders would travel through neon lit Tokyo, that was reportedly to also have traveled pass a life size Godzilla! As luck would have it, this coaster wasn't built either, but, helped to inspire both Rock n Roller Coaster at Disney/MGM and Expedition Everest at Animal Kingdom.
A recreation of the Matterhorn, complete with bobsled coaster, was also on the drawing boards for a proposed Switzerland pavilion that never got built either.
Other countries proposed for World Showcase that were never built included:
Equitorial Africa (with an Alex Haley narrated film), Israel, Spain, Poland, Russia (with elaborate dark ride), and Denmark (with a small scale reproduction of Tivoli Gardens, including a carousel, Ferris wheel, and gondola boat ride).
Perhaps, one day, we may see one or more of these attractions if we're lucky!
If you look at EPCOT, most of the countries around the back of World Showcase all have something to offer, or at least were supposed to. Also, there is very little room to build another country anywhere back in the world showcase area, so the thoughts of adding something new are highly unlikely. Also, each of those countries pays royalty fees to Disney to have a spot in EPCOT. They do have a very small mock up of a Spanish area that they do bring out durring the food and wine festival, and if they could find the space, I'd bet that would be the next country to show up
If you look at an overhead satellite image of Epcot, there's room for about 5-6 more countries, as was intended by Disney's original designers for the park. *** Edited 1/3/2007 3:13:46 AM UTC by Brother Dave***
I also wish they would add more countries, I love Epcot, and thats mostly due to World Showcase. Future World has its pluses, but at what other park do you look at shops, eat really good food (especially the French Pastry Shop,) see some shows, ride some boat rides capped off with an amazing fireworks show. Its just so unique, and a really helps recharge your batteries at WDW between MK/MGM marathon days.
Equitorial Africa WAS the first expansion 'country' proposed back in 1982. (Actually, Africa is a continent, not one single country.) But, now that Animal Kingdom has created an African section much larger and more detailed than what could fit in Epcot, I doubt that we'll see an African pavilion anytime soon in Epcot. *** Edited 1/3/2007 4:10:02 AM UTC by Brother Dave***