There are a lot of reasons to love Epcot. One of our very favorite things about this amazing park? The educational aspect it brings to the table. There are dozens of amazing ways to go about learning in Epcot, meaning you and your family can have a great time while gaining some new knowledge.
Wondering what sorts of things you might learn while visiting Epcot? Honestly, you can’t help but experience at least a few of the awesome learning opportunities scattered throughout the theme park. That said, they are so fun you might not even notice you’re learning anything at all!
Lucky for you, this article will help you pinpoint the sneaky ways Epcot slips some education into your vacation, so you can make the most of these awesome chances to learn something new about the world.
Learn about the History of Communication
The first thing you see upon entering Epcot is the iconic “giant golf ball” that houses the Spaceship Earth ride. This is a classic dark ride that takes you through various scenes, and the story it tells is about communication through the ages. It’s totally fun to check out the amazing animatronics throughout the attraction, and the ride is definitely engaging, but the story it tells is also an educational and important one.
Use this super cool educational opportunity to introduce your young Disney-goers to a bit of important history and inspire them to make their mark on the future.
Go on a Mission into Space
Have you ever wanted to blast off into outer space? In Epcot you can do just that. Mission Space gives riders a chance to take a rocket around the Earth (on the relatively beginner and kid-friendly “Green” side) or all the way to Mars (on the much more intense “Orange” side).
This ride is an excellent opportunity to introduce your kids to G-forces, discuss what it actually takes to send a man into space, and talk about reasons the human race might want to go on such missions.
Design and Test a Car
The amount of thought that goes into the design of a vehicle is astounding. Learn about all the things the folks behind vehicle design have to consider as you design a car of your own when you experience one of our favorite Epcot rides, Test Track.
After you’ve finished your design, give it a drive on the test track. Compare your custom vehicle to the designs of fellow riders and consider what you might change or do better next time.
This is a great lesson in physics, design, and problem solving.
Educate Yourself on Ecosystems and Farming Practices
What do you know about the world’s many ecosystems? Do your kids know where our food comes from? Do you even have a solid understanding of what goes behind the growing of our food? Believe it or not, you can learn all of this in a Disney park.
“Living with the Land” will help you get a good grasp on these things and more. This slow-moving boat ride starts by taking you on a field trip through a few different scenes of various ecosystems, pointing out some of the key elements in each. After these scenes, riders are carried through Epcot’s own greenhouses, where they study and experiment with modern farming techniques.
Soar by Famous Landmarks
The “Soarin’ Around the World” ride-located right across from Living with the Land-is in The Land pavilion is a great opportunity to see some of the world’s most famous landmarks. Be sure to watch the preshow video in the queue so you know where you’re headed and make the ride an even more educational experience. Then buckle up for an amazing hang-gliding adventure to some seriously beautiful places!
This ride is an excellent introduction to world landmarks and a great way to start conversations within your family about other cultures. Be sure to take full advantage of the experience by discussing what you saw with your kids after the ride has ended.
Dive into the Ocean
Are you an ocean lover? Do you have a future marine biologist on your hands? If so, you simply must make a stop at The Seas with Nemo & Friends. This super fun building houses a dark ride and tons of aquariums filled with all kinds of marine life. See dolphins, tropical fish, sharks, and rays and learn all about the living sea.
If you’re lucky, you might even get to see these creatures being fed, and a Disney Cast Member is often standing by to provide interesting information.
Chat with a Turtle
Also within The Seas with Nemo & Friends building is “Turtle Talk With Crush”. This is a really exciting show that allows guests to chat with Crush from Finding Nemo. You can ask him anything you like about being a sea turtle and living under the sea, but just be ready, because he might ask you some questions in return!
We’ve found that this attraction is a great way to spark discussions with a young child about how we can help keep our oceans clean, as well as conversations about sea turtles and other ocean animals.
Walk Around the World
Finally, there is the Epcot’s World Showcase. This is the entire back half of the park, and is basically a gigantic social studies lesson all wrapped up in an immersive and fun package.
Wander through pavilions that represent various countries. Try foods from the countries represented, and see performers present art forms from these countries. You can even shop for products imported from around the world.
Some of our favorite pavilions include the Norway pavilion where the Frozen Ever After ride is located as well as the France pavilion where you can find the new Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
We especially love visiting the World Showcase during events such as the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival and and the Food and Wine Festival when even more educational opportunities are available.
Visiting the World Showcase is a great way to experience a small taste of a lot of different cultures so you can decide which ones you might want to learn more about.
Clearly, there is a lot to learn at Disney’s Epcot, and every single one of these experiences is incredibly fun. What are you waiting for? Start planning your visit to Epcot now so you can start enjoying some edutainment as soon as possible!