Epcot is an incredible place. There is so much to see and do that many guests will take two days of their vacations so that they will miss as little as possible. The park is divided up into two main sections; Future World and World Showcase. Most days Future World opens at 9:00am, and World Showcase opens two hours later. Epcot Forever closes the park each night, usually at 9:00pm. Here are ten experiences that you might not have tried at Walt Disney World’s second theme park.
10. Live Entertainment
One of the nice things about Epcot is that there is always something to see or do, even on days when the park is packed. Live entertainment is held throughout the daylight hours. Most, but not all, of the acts take place in World Showcase. You’ll enjoy juggling, balancing, music, and more. Check your Times Guide or use the My Disney Experience App to see who is performing, and also where and when.
9. International Ice Cream
If you are hot at Epcot, you have no excuse to not cool down. There is ice cream everywhere! If you would like something a little bit different than the chocolate or vanilla that you are used to back home, just head to World Showcase. There you can enjoy gelato in Italy, sorbet in France, kakigori in Japan, and more. Of course if you’re looking for chocolate or vanilla, you can find those as well.
Several of the World Showcase pavilions have incredible gardens. Most guests barely give them a glance and just hurry by. If you want to relax for a little while, take the time to explore the gardens. There is something peaceful about observing koi fish, or standing and watching a waterfall. The World Showcase gardens are so relaxing that you might lose track of time. You might also not care that you did.
7. Frozen Ever After Sparkling Dessert Party
Frozen takes center stage of this party! Still serving desserts, alcohol and non-alcohol beverages, and offering a reserved viewing area for Epcot Forever, everything has shifted to a Frozen-inspired theme. The treats even feature favorite Frozen characters! Plus, a new addition – guests will be escorted to the very popular Frozen Ever After attraction for an included ride. Reserve your spot well in advance and expect to pay around $79 per adult and $47 per child.
6. Extras at the Festivals
Four special events take place at Epcot each year. Over the Christmas holidays, Epcot offers International Festival of Holidays. In the spring, the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is held. Fall has the popular Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. In late winter into the new year, Festival of the Arts is underway! These festivals include special food, concerts, and merchandise that you won’t normally find in the parks. The festivals are popular, and they are included with park admission. There are some extras that have an up charge, but they are worth it. Sign up for a demonstration, a seminar, or a special meal. The extras make the festivals even more magical.
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If you are looking for small and intimate in one of the world’s most popular theme parks, you will need to stop by the Italy Pavilion. There you will find Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar, if you look for it. This quaint space features over 200 bottles of wine. Small plates (mostly for two) are also served. Even though Tutto Gusto is a wine cellar, all ages are allowed.
4. Sea Base
After you’ve finished riding The Seas With Nemo & Friends you might be tempted to hurry out of the building to hit the next attraction. Instead, stay in the air conditioning for a little while and enjoy the artificial Coral Reef at Sea Base. It is stunning, relaxing, and fascinating. It features 65 species and over 5.7 million gallons of saltwater. For a special dining experience, make a reservation at Coral Reef Restaurant, and ask for a table near the aquarium.
Epcot offers some great opportunities to go behind the scenes. You can learn more about the animals in the coral reef and get up close with three different opportunities. If you prefer land, you can learn about the food that is grown in Epcot’s greenhouses. There are also tours that will take you behind the scenes in either Future World or World Showcase. For more information on tours, call 407-WDW-TOUR (407-939-8687).
2. Signature Dining
When you think of dining at other theme parks, you probably picture burgers, pizza, and chicken nuggets. At Epcot, you instead have choices from around the world. World Showcase is filled with delicious options. If you want the best of the best, there are also two signature dining experiences. Le Cellier Steakhouse is located in the Canada Pavilion, and features steak and seafood. Over in France, you’ll find Monsieur Paul. It is named after celebrity chef Paul Bocuse. Both signature restaurants require two table service credits on the Disney Dining Plan, and reservations go quickly.
1. The Holidays
If you have never visited Epcot during the holidays, you have been missing out! Holidays Around the World is now called Epcot International Festival of Holidays and traditionally starts mid to late November and runs daily through the end of the year. There are decorations everywhere, but that is only a small part of the magic. Each World Showcase pavilion features a storyteller, who will explain holiday traditions from the host country. There are special treats for sale, and merchandise as well. The highlight of Festival of Holidays for many is the Candlelight Processional. Held in the America Gardens Theater, a celebrity narrator tells the Biblical Christmas story. He or she is backed by a mass choir and a 50 piece orchestra. The Candlelight Processional can get even Scrooge into the mood for Christmas.