For a lot of people Epcot doesn’t appeal as much as the other Disney parks because they think it’s too educational. I think it’s a shame for anyone to judge a park by its name before having a look for yourself. During our first trip to Walt Disney World, Epcot was the last park we visited over a week into our stay mainly because some of the party weren’t too keen on going. I really wish we had gone earlier in the trip as we were only able to visit once in 2014. For me Epcot ranks very high in my list of favourites and I could spend days wandering around taking it all in. I’ve talked about visiting Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom for the first time, but what can you expect when visiting Epcot for the first time?
Epcot is twice as big as Magic Kingdom and it would be foolish to think you could see all of it in one day if you were to REALLY look at everything. The park is split into two sections, Future World containing the pavilions that explore technology and science which include attractions such as Test Track, a high speed car ride competing against fellow members in your car after designing your vehicle yourself. Living with the Land where you take a slow boat ride through the greenhouses of produce that are grown to be served in the restaurants. Soarin’ an amazing attraction that takes you over different attractions in the world in a motion simulator ride. Mission Space is a simulator attraction focusing on what an astronaut might experience aboard a spaceship. Whilst there are educational elements to these rides, they are all so much fun that you honestly don’t realise you’re learning anything.
Beyond Future World is the World Showcase which is home to eleven pavilions, each one dedicated to a different country. In clockwise order from the entrance beyond Future World is Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada.
The World Showcase is centred around a large lagoon which is home to the nighttime fireworks display Illuminations, Reflections of the Earth.
Each pavilion is host to history, culture, amazing sights, restaurants, shops, attractions and plenty more, spanning the one mile around the World Showcase. On our second visit in 2016, I tried to delve deeper into the pavilions to learn more about the countries but I soon realised that I wasn’t going to have time to see it all on my second trip, so it’ll be back for more visits next year.
Epcot is the host to two different festivals each year. The Flower and Garden festival happens in the spring during April and May, and the Food and Wine festival happens in the autumn during September and October. We were lucky enough to visit during the Flower and Garden Festival this year and it made the day even more fun. There were topiaries everywhere of the characters, food stalls which allowed me to try some amazing foods from different countries. The Flower and Garden Festival also caters very well for children with playgrounds, a butterfly house which was brilliant and plenty to spot along the way.
Epcot is the home to some fun character meals such as meeting Chip and Dale in the Garden Grill, a restaurant that rotates very slowly. You can also meet the princesses in Akershus restaurant in Norway, the pavilion you can now go to meet Anna and Elsa.
There is also plenty of opportunity to meet characters in Epcot such as Mickey and Minnie in their traditional outfits in the character spot located in Future World. You can also spot different character out in their countries around the World Showcase such as Belle in France, Mary Poppins in United Kingdom, Snow White in Germany and many more. It’s a good idea to check out the character times as you enter the park, or check out My Disney Experience app to make sure you don’t miss out on your favourite characters. We find that the lines are never too long either around the World Showcase so you’re never waiting too long.
On a hot day Epcot can be quite unforgiving as there isn’t a lot of shade as you walk around the World Showcase. It’s a good idea to take the respite in the shops within each pavilion and check out the attractions on offer otherwise your leisurely stroll around the lagoon may not feel so leisurely. If you do become tired there is a boat service that runs across the lagoon to save your legs.
What’s your favourite part about Epcot?
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