More so than the other theme parks in Walt Disney World, EPCOT is often overlooked or underestimated because of its emphasis on educational and cultural experiences. EPCOT is part of Walt’s original plan, and the Imagineers did him justice when they developed this park of the future and today. EPCOT does not disappoint when it comes to attractions, learning opportunities, and overall ways to have fun. Below are the top ten reasons to visit EPCOT.
10. The Land and The Seas
The Land pavilion is home to EPCOT’s most well-known attraction – Soarin’! This ride takes you on a hang gliding tour over California and is an experience that cannot be missed. The Land also houses one of my most favorite experiences – Living with the Land. Here, guests ride a boat through the history of American farming, as well as EPCOT’s very own working hydroponic farm. It is amazing to see what the cast members grow. P.S. Look out for a hidden Mickey!
The Seas is home to two new attractions aimed to teach children about the oceans – Turtle Talk with Crush and The Seas with Nemo and Friends. Turtle Talk with Crush is an interactive experience when the audience members can chat with Crush. Kids have the opportunity to ask Crush questions about living in the ocean, his age, and his family. The Seas with Nemo and Friends is a dark ride that tells the story of Finding Nemo. You start above the water and descend into the depths of the ocean to find Nemo and his friends. While in the Seas pavilion, don’t forget to visit the manatee and check out the large aquarium. It is said that this aquarium is so large Spaceship Earth can fit inside with room left over!
9. Cultural and Dining Opportunities of the World Showcase
Walking around EPCOT’s World Showcase is like taking a trip around the world. In each country, you can converse with the cultural representatives and learn about the country from which they traveled. The architecture presented in Florida is representative of that which is found in each country. Finally, the dining options of each country are representative of the food of the country, and aren’t Americanized (unless you’re in the American Adventure pavilion, of course).
8. Fountain of Nations
Another great aspect of the Future World section of EPCOT is the Fountain of Nations. The Fountain of Nations is a dancing water presentation that performs every 15 minutes. I am mesmerized each time I stand and watch the fountain water explode into the air to the beat of several classic Disney tunes.
7. All Things Frozen
Of course, the Frozen Ever After attraction located in Norway that has crowds flocking to it which is why we would highly recommend a FastPass for this family-friendly boat ride. There is also Royal Sommerhus where the popular sisters, Anna and Elsa are available for a meet and greet. Let’s not forget about the Frozen Ever After Sparkling Dessert Party which is available at an extra cost and offers desserts, alcohol and non-alcohol beverages, and a reserved viewing area for Illumnations. Plus, guests will be escorted to the very popular Frozen Ever After attraction for an included ride.
6. The Festivals
If you really want to see Epcot at its finest, visit during a festival. In late winter Epcot offers the Festival of Arts which hosts beautiful presentations of the arts through paintings to masterful food. The spring season offers the International Flower & Garden Festival. The park comes alive with color, and there are topiaries of your favorite Disney characters. Each fall the International Food & Wine Festival is held. It features dishes and beverages from around the world that you can’t usually find in the park. Epcot also has an early winter festival called the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. This is perfect time to take in all the holidays from around the world! These festivals include seminars, demonstrations, free concerts, and event merchandise. The festivals are included with park admission, although there is a fee for some of the extras.
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This late night spectacular on the World Showcase Lagoon celebrates the dawn of humanity and all the nations of the world. The exciting show features a glowing LED globe, lasers, and fireworks, and is a favorite among the three nighttime shows through Walt Disney World. The best spots from which to view Illuminations are the World Showcase Plaza (between Future World and the World Showcase), near the water in the Italy Pavilion, and the bridge between the France and United Kingdom pavilions. Be sure to arrive early to get the best spots!
Journey into the Imagination with Figment is another iconic EPCOT attraction. Though this experience has been altered from its original, and Dreamfinder is nowhere to be found, we can all still journey into our imaginations with everyone’s favorite purple dragon.
3. Spaceship Earth
One of the most recognizable theme park icons in the world, Spaceship Earth is the centerpiece of Walt’s vision of the future. Not only is Spaceship Earth one of the world’s largest geodesic spheres, it is also one of the original EPCOT attractions. Guests enter the dome and go on a journey of technology through the ages. The animatronics are some of the best on all of Walt Disney World property. In addition to this being a great and educational ride, at approximately 15 minutes long, a ride on Spaceship Earth in the cool air conditioning is also a nice way to beat the strong Florida heat!
2. Snacking Around the World
Walt Disney World is known the world over for its delicious food options, which is why snacking around the world is the second best thing about EPCOT. The variety of snack options available in the World Showcase will take you on a culinary tour around the globe. While everything offered everywhere is worth it, some can’t miss items include: churritos in the Mexico pavilion, something sweet from the Patisserie in the France pavilion, and some antipasto choices from the Italy pavilion.
1. Drinking Around the World
Finally, the best thing, and probably one of the most famous things, about EPCOT is the chance to drink around the world showcase. For those of you who might not know what this means exactly, “Drinking Around the World,” as it is more commonly known, is where adults sample at least one alcoholic beverage from each country represented in the World Showcase area of EPCOT in one, usually, day-long visit to the World Showcase. It is a ton of fun, and allows guests to sample a bit of each country represented in the World Showcase. Be sure to pace yourself, and you’ll have a wonderful day in EPCOT.