How Well Do You Know Epcot at Walt Disney World?

There is so much to do, see and experience at Epcot that it would be impossible to know all there is to know about this theme park from just a couple visits. But here are a few bits of information, history and fun facts to add to your knowledge of this amazingly innovative park.

Epcot opened on October 1, 1982, and was the second of the four theme parks to open at Walt Disney World. EPCOT stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. It took three years to complete Epcot, and it cost Disney $1.4 billion dollars. It is twice the size of Magic Kingdom. Epcot celebrates the achievements of humankind, such as technological inventions and innovation, but it also celebrations different cultures, the land and seas. As the dedication plaque at the entrance states, Epcot strives to entertain, inform and inspire, and this park definitely does that through the sights, sounds and attractions of the World Showcase and Future World.

Spaceship Earth is the iconic image of the park. It took 26 months to build, and weighs 16 million pounds. In order to ensure that the sphere wouldn’t roll away, six giant legs had to be driven 160 feet into the ground to hold it in place. The sphere is made up of 11,324 triangle panels. But this geodesic sphere isn’t just a pretty golf ball, it’s also a wonderful ride attraction. The 15-minute dark ride housed inside the sphere takes guests on a journey through the advancement and development of communication over the years beginning with prehistoric man, and ending with a fun and interactive glimpse into the future. If any of the Audio-Animatronic figures look familiar, it might be because some of them are taken from the Audio-Animatronics molds used in the Hall of Presidents in Magic Kingdom. For example, the mold of Teddy Roosevelt was used to make the Roman senator Audio-Animatronic in Spaceship Earth.

If you’ve ever ventured over to The Land, perhaps on your way over to Soarin’, you’ve probably noticed the beautiful mosaic on the outside of the building. This mosaic was created by the same father and daughter-in-law duo who designed the murals in Cinderella Castle. The mural at The Land took three months to complete and contains 150,000 pieces of stone, gold and glass. Inside the pavilion is the wonderful, and often overlooked attraction, Living with the Land where guests can hop on a boat and sail through the greenhouses of The Land. Here guests can see some amazing hydroponic gardening, and maybe a Mickey shaped veggie or two! Much of the food grown in these greenhouses is used in the restaurants at the park, such as Sunshine Seasons.

The World Showcase celebrates the cultures of 11 countries. The promenade linking the pavilions is 1.3 miles, and stretches around the World Showcase Lagoon. At one time there were plans to build an Africa pavilion, right between China and Germany, but it never was fully realized. Russia, Switzerland, Spain and Israel are among some of the other countries that also had plans to be added to the World Showcase.

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If you’ve visited Epcot, you’ve likely experienced the nighttime spectacular Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. It is the 14-minute show at the end of the night that tells the story of earth through fireworks, lasers, pyrotechnics and music over the World Showcase Lagoon. There are more than 1,100 fireworks used in the show every night, and flames are shot 40-60 feet into the air from a barge on the lagoon. The beautiful globe that glides across the lagoon during the show is 28 feet wide and features 15,600 lights. Approximately 5 miles of lights are used to outline the buildings of the pavilions in the World Showcase during the show. Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is the best way to cap off your day at the park, unless of course you can sneak in another ride on Soarin’.

Epcot has two of the most fabulous and fun festivals that happen annually at Walt Disney World. The International Flower and Garden Festival takes over Epcot every spring. During the festival Epcot is decorated with over 100 beautiful topiaries of Disney characters from films new and old. There is the Flower Power concert series, and pop-up kitchens with amazing menu items and specialty drinks.

In the fall, Epcot hosts the Food and Wine Festival. For over a month Epcot celebrates the foods and cultures from around the world. There are demonstrations, famous chefs make appearances, and there are food stands and displays everywhere! If you’re a fan of food, this is the best time to visit Epcot!

We could go on and on about the amazing things there are to know and discover about Epcot, but it’s more fun for you to visit the park and experience it all for yourself!

About Lauren Repei

Lauren lives in Hamilton Ontario, but dreams of one day moving to Orlando to be closer to the Magic Kingdom. She loves the atmosphere, the history, the magic of the parks and Dole Whips, so she’s always in the midst of planning her next vacation. In the meantime, she spends her days working for the family business as a baker, and as a travel agent specializing in Disney with ClicktheMouse. Lauren’s most memorable Disney moment by far, is when she became engaged in front of Cinderella Castle making it her best Disney vacation to date.