With Epcot being so large, it can be difficult to plan your day in the park if you are trying to see and do everything. With 1.2 miles of World Showcase to walk around, combined with Future World, Epcot may seem daunting at first, but there are lots of opportunities to experience all that the park has to offer. After your first visit, you may find that you’re looking to experience some of the hidden gems in the park and to help you find them, we have put a list together of 8 best kept gems at Epcot.
8. Behind The Seeds
To start our list, a behind the scenes tour might be just what you’re looking for. If you’re a fan of Living With The Land in the Land Pavilion, this tour is a relatively inexpensive way to experience a more in-depth tour of the greenhouses and what innovative practices Disney uses when it comes to sustainable farming. See the food being grown and then head to Sunshine Seasons to sample some of the produce used in the food offered there.
While there are tons of things to see and do in the Germany Pavilion, the Karamell-Küche Caramel bakery is an incredible place to stop if you haven’t already experienced it. Inside the display cases are incredible combinations of caramel, chocolate and other sweets to create some of the best excuses to use your snack credits. You really can’t go wrong with anything you choose. If you follow it up by walking around the World Showcase a few times to burn off the calories, make sure you stop in for another treat, because you’ve earned it.
6. The Seas
While many guests will hop into the clamshells to ride The Seas With Nemo & Friends, one of the largest saltwater tanks in the world is home to a host of other experiences. Once you exit the ride, the Seas pavilion is filled with displays and activities to try. There’s even Turtle Talk With Crush if you’ve looking to interact with a fan-favorite Pixar character. In the actual aquarium, there are turtles, angelfish, dolphins, rays and even sharks to see and learn about.
Throughout the World Showcase, there are performers in each country bringing some of the fun and whimsy of their cultures to Epcot for you to enjoy. For an exciting experience that is sometimes nail-biting, the Serveur Amusant in the France pavilion is a comedic waiter who will juggle and amaze you with his balancing act. Another incredible feat of strength and agility can be found in the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats in the China Pavilion. Their precision and style are breathtaking and can be a perfect stopping point in your journey around the World Showcase. For musical acts, the Matsuriza Taiko drummers in the Japan Pavilion send the beat of their thunderous drums flying out to the neighboring pavilions and into the World Showcase Lagoon. For a less intense musical performance, the Voices of Liberty singers in the American Adventure pavilion are an a Capella group who perform some of America’s best loved music.
4. Ride Secrets
The Imagineers at Disney spend a great amount of time on the details of each ride and attraction. Nothing gets overlooked. They are great at hiding the inner workings of each ride, while also putting extras into the rides as well. For example, you won’t immediately notice that the Orange level of Mission: Space achieves the feeling of blasting off into space by using centrifugal force, but one of the little extras the Imagineers have added is the fact that if you choose to hit all of the buttons in front of you instead of the ones you’ve been assigned, Gary Sinise will come over the intercom and tell you to cut it out.
Spaceship Earth offers you a glimpse into the future using your input. What many guests don’t know is that you can have your glimpse of the future e-mailed to you after you’re finished. Test Track allows you to design your own concept car and compete with other guests to achieve the highest score in a number of different areas. While strategies can change depending on what you’d like, the best options are to pick attributes that have high benefits with low drawbacks to compete for the daily high scores.
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3. Gran Fiesta Tour
While it’s not a secret, the Gran Fiesta Tour is hidden inside the pyramid of the Mexico Pavilion and often goes overlooked as an attraction. It’s easy to get caught up in the Mexican marketplace inside the pyramid, but the Gran Fiesta Tour is worth visiting since it almost never has a long wait. It’s a relaxing boat ride with Donald, José and Panchito. A new addition to the ride has been the audio animatronics of the Three Caballeros towards the end of your journey. If you’re ever looking for a fun way to rest your feet for a few minutes, this is definitely one of the best rides for it, fun, colorful and musical. Nothing is better than hearing Donald try to squawk his way through songs.
2. Eat/Drink Around The World
It’s not presented as an attraction or event, but eating/drinking around the world has been an unofficial guest experience in the World Showcase. You can start at one end and work your way around in one day, or spread it out over multiple visits to the park, but as a Disney bucket-list item, you should try one drink and/or one snack from each countries pavilion at Epcot – just make sure you don’t overdo it. There are so many wonderful things to try; it’s worth making it a regular on your must-do list to try something new in the World Showcase.
1. Teppan Edo
Again, it’s not a secret, but Teppan Edo in the Japan Pavilion can be missed by guests who don’t know all that it has to offer. It’s not merely a restaurant; it’s a performance and experience. Incredibly talented Teppan chefs work creative wonders on the grill right in front of you. They make your food into works of art and display their talent and precision for you as well. If you haven’t experienced this magical display, make sure to book a reservation (lunch or dinner) at Teppan Edo the next time you visit.
What are your best-kept secrets at Epcot? What do you recommend to guests visiting for the first time? Let us know in the comments!