Walt Disney World - Epcot, Orlando
Must Sees at Epcot
Lifting off at Epcot, Mission: SPACE lets you push the envelope. From the thrilling takeoff, it's an experience that is unrivaled in this galaxy!
Category: Big Thrills
Test Track »
Become a daring driver and put yourself and your vehicle through challenges that will test your mettle!
Category: Big Thrills
"Honey, I Shrunk The Audience" »
Wherever Professor Wayne Szalinski goes, laughs follow in the 3-D adventure that will have you jumping, ducking, shrieking and - of course - shrinking.
Category: Mild But Wild Thrills
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth »
Gather around the World Showcase Lagoon for this nighttime spectacular, filled with fireworks, a stunning soundtrack, and images to cherish forever.
Category: Nighttime Entertainment
Journey Into Imagination With Figment »
Board a vehicle at the Imagination Institute for a ride that tickles your senses! Travel through laugh-filled labs testing sight, sound and smell - with that free-spirited dragon Figment leading the way.
Category: Fun For Little Ones
Spaceship Earth »
Travel through time and space within Epcot®'s iconic geosphere to witness 40,000 years of milestones in communications vital to humankind's survival.
Category: Fun For Little Ones
Some years ago built future centre shows what people were thinking how the future may be... and of cource there are more and more futuristic theme halls there :) including World Show - great place to collect souvenirs from all over the world :)
This park has an eclectic mix of things to do, from the space mission area to themes for global countries, like Germany, NOrway, China, etc. There is also water sports to participate and many more unique hidden ventures.
When to get there:
Arrive before the park opens at 9:00, because you get to join in the big countdown led by Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Donald, Chip and Dale. At the end of the countdown, the ropes are released and the Disney characters lead you in a procession into the park. It's very festive.
What to do first:
The park gets really busy around 11:00, so take the first two hours to hit the big rides. I recommend going first to Soarin'. When you come off Soarin' you can grab a Fast Pass to ride again later. Then head over to Fast Track and Mission Space. Then I recommend going to the character greeting spot to meet the Mickey and friends and then go to the Living Seas area to ride the new Nemo ride and attend Crush, the Turtle's, show. It's funny.
By now the World Showcase should be open. It opens at 11:00, the rides are busy by now, so you can wander over to the World Showcase area and tour the countries and find a place for a nice sit down lunch.
If you want to ride Mission Space again without a long wait in line, go back to it after 7:30 in the evening. There is no wait.
Happening from September 28-November 11. This is fun if you enjoy trying different foods and wines from around the world. They feature 25 countries. Celebrity chefs come and give cooking demonstrations, live concerts by known artists. EPCOT park admission is the same, but you do pay extra money when purchasing the food samples to try at the different booths. It's worth it though.
Do NOT even attempt to walk this park! Bring your scooter or rent one. Also, bring a fan (don't buy one in the park...they are WAY too expensive) or umbrella to shield from the heat because inside the attractions, there is hardly any relief from the heat.
Test Track - enter through the exit past the FastPass machines. Drive up the yellow ramp to the stop sign.
Mission Space - You go through the normal queue line The allow you to drive your scooter up to the ride itself and you enter it. It is a small ride but comfortable. Very close quarters.
Journey to Energy with Ellen (something like that) - unshaded queue line!
Epcot Ball ride (whatever it is) - enter through the door on the right hand side past the entrance of the queue line. You get right up to the exit and a ride attendant will let you on. Hot inside! So..again..avoid if wanting relief from the heat.
Living Seas - I love aquariums, but this is NOT handicapped friendly. They fill it with so many people that it is impossible to get around and see everything.
Soarin' - A LONG WAIT - but you can do it in your scooter. You park your scooter right next to the seats. A very nice ride. Fastpass recommended.
Journey into the Imagination with Figment - You go through the standard queue line and then park your scooter. I liked it when I was young, but now, not so much.
Now, the World Showcase is very handicapped friendly, however to go shopping, some of them,especially the small shops, you must walk into. Otherwise, ride around and enjoy the sites and rides. I must suggest England to eat at their restaurant (fish and chips were excellent!)
Shopping? Bring plenty of money, because there is so many things to buy!
All in all, very nice park for everyone!
Epcot is the second theme park built at the Walt Disney World Resort. It was dedicated to international culture and technological innovation. The park opened on October 1, 1982, and was named EPCOT Center from 1982 to 1993. It was the largest Disney theme park in the world by area until 1998, when Disney's Animal Kingdom opened.
It's amazing the World Showcase. It contains pavilions representing eleven countries:
Norway (added in 1988)
United States of America
Morocco (added in 1984)
Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) is one of the 4 major themepark of Disneyworld. The Huge Golf Ball defines the trademark of the park.
The whole area is divided into 2 parts. First, is the World Showcase while the second one is the Future of the World. The World Showcase is a representation of different countries in the world which includes their local product, crafts and food. It is like travelling around the globe in one day by seeing these countries and its famous landmarks ~ China , Japan, Norway, France, Morocco, U.S.A, Mexico, South Africa, Germany, Italy and Canada. The other part of the park which is the Future of the World has something to do with the earth, the planets and other things that make up our universe. This includes the 3D show "Honey I Shrunk the Audience" which is really fun! The Space ship earth, innovations, imaginations etc are all very informative. Souvenir shops, kiosks and restaurants can be found within the park.
Sometime during the creation of these parks, an Imagineer got the idea to start hiding that familiar mouse silhouette around the parks-- including in restaurants, hotels, rides, and even on the manhole covers in EPCOT! They're literally everywhere, and it's a lot of fun to run around and try to find as many as possible. We were actually given a list of clues at Disney's Wilderness Resort of all the mickeys hidden there, and we kept an eye out for them for our entire week there (we never did find all of them).
The website I included in this tip has a list of all the Mickeys found so far, but I'm positive there are more than just what is included in the list-- those Imagineers are tricky! Some hidden mickeys are even found in the older movies-- like Sleeping Beauty. This is a great activity for anyone, not just kids, so grab a camera and start looking!
It's every kid's dream come true. Your kids will love you for it. If it's your first time to Disney World with your kids and let's say for whatever reason you could only visit one park, definitely go to the Magic Kingdom. It's the most classic Disney park. Of course it's best if you can go to all the parks. If you are not vacationing with kids or if you have already been to Magic Kingdom once, then probably you may want to go to Epcot first. We (adults) found that Magic Kingdom was very exciting the first time, but the second time it got a little boring because we've already been on most of the rides. But we went to Epcot three times now, and every time it was an exciting experience -- probably the world showcase was worth revisiting. Also the rides at Epcot are more educational and interesting for adults, but kids may like the more Disney-like rides at the other parks better.
Patty tells me that EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) is #3 in attendance of the 4 parks that comprise Disney World (Animal Kingdom comes in last) and I can see why. There are very few rides and even less that would appeal to teens and the whole focus of the place seems to be *gasp* educational.
We only went on three of the attractions, all located in Future World, while we were there, two of which were good-Soarin' and Mission Space-and Spaceship Earth which I'm pretty sure was designed to allow people to rest their feet and take a nap. Patty tells me several people have died on the Mission Space ride so heed those heart problem warnings!
Beyond the Future World section is the World Showcase with 11 different countries with food booths, attractions and replica buildings from those countries. The international focus of EPCOT means there is much better food here than the Magic Kingdom especially during the annual Food & Wine Festival (late Sept-mid November).
We didn't stay for the Illuminations fireworks but I'm told they are a highlight. And Patty tells me that the Liberty Singers at the American Adventure are excellent but we just missed their show.
I didn't do my homework before I left, a quick look at a map of the Orlando area would have shown me that Downtown Disney was not connected to the theme parks like it is at Disneyland in California nor was it connected by monorail. Kat and I had planned on going to Downtown Disney to see an art show and grab some lunch on Friday instead of eating at the Magic Kingdom but we realized that after our late start that we wouldn't be able to.
But we did stop by on Saturday with Patty after EPCOT to see the Festival of the Masters and check out what Downtown Disney has to offer.
For entertainment, Downtown Disney West Side is where you will find DisneyQuest, an indoor interactive theme park, Cirque du Soleil currently showing La Nouba (you'll probably want to get tickets in advance for this), and the House of Blues which has musical performances (general admission but you'd want tickets in advance for popular shows) and movie theaters.
Most of the dining was large chain restaurants, when I asked where to go, everyone said to avoid Bongo's, Gloria Estefan's restaurant, and most steered me towards Wolfgang Puck's or House of Blues or Earl of Sandwich for a quick meal. Fulton's for seafood is also supposed to be good but pricey. There's also a Planet Hollywood and Rain Forest Cafe (Downtown Disney Marketplace) if you're traveling with children.
In Downtown Disney's Pleasure Island you will find more grownup entertainment, several nightclubs and the Comedy Warehouse. We didn't go to this section, my guidebook says it's free to get into Pleasure Island during the day but there's a charge at night, included on Hopper Pases. No charge to get into the major restaurants.
Downtown Disney's Marketplace is where you'll find the shopping, we didn't go to this section either.
EPCOT hosts an International Food & Wine Festival every year and we happened to be visiting during the last weekend of the 2006 festival (September 29-November 12, 2006). Even though there are only 11 countries represented at EPCOT's permanent exhibits, there were 26 different booths from over 20 countries plus beer, wine and champagne booths.
Make sure you pace yourself or share with your friends, by the time we got about 3/4 of the way around we were stuffed and I had to pass up the tasty offerings at the Argentina and Florida Shrimp booths. But we did stop in Canada, France, Poland, Morocco and Scandanavia before calling it quits for the day.
You can check the menus online before you go or pick up one of the brochures when you arrive to help plot out the culinary offerings you want to indulge in. The portions are taster portions and there wasn't anything that I thought was a real "value" but most of what we tried was very good.
There's also a lot more to the Festival-concerts, cooking demonstrations, wine seminars and special five course dining experiences.
Food, glorius food! With over 25 countries and their foods represented, Disney's Epcot Center is a 2 month long week end destination for serious and not-so-serious epicurians to indulge in various foods from Canadian Cheddar Cheese soup to the Meatballs from Scandinavia.
It is a veritable "feast" of different foods and the culture from which they come from. It is an around the world tour in one spot. Some of the countries represented were Canada, Spain, Argentina, Greece, Turkey as well as Germany and France. You can taste foods and pair them with the wine that best complements the food served. There is a champagne booth as well as a beer tasting booth (the latter being a very busy booth.)
Admission to Epcot is $67.00 a day for adults and kids over the age of 10 and $56 for 9 and under and then the food and wine are available at additional cost running between $2.50 to $7.00 for each food item. Beer and wine run $2.50 to $10.00 a glass.
The festival runs on the week ends only during the months of September, October and November, so make sure you check the event planner at the Disney Resort web site.
Well, since we don't have children, we didn't want to do Disney World...so we decided to go to Epcot Center...a great choice. Celebrate the wonders of the world by visiting Disney's Epcot Center. Soar high over the natural wonders of California, prepare for launch aboard a thrilling ride into space, buckle up for a high-speed test car ride and then sample the cultures and creations from around the globe.