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Epcot® – Walt Disney World®

Walt Disney’s original vision for Epcot®, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, was that of an ideal utopian community. However, because he passed away, the project was passed to his brother Roy. Roy did his best to keep Walt’s vision, but transformed his vision into the second theme park as we know it. Epcot®, (formally known as Epcot Center®), opened October 1, 1982, 11 years after Magic Kingdom®. Attendance for this park started to dwindle, however, new rides are coming soon that will make Epcot®, a great place to go for your Disney vacation.

Epcot® consists of essentially two parks in one. Future World offers attractions that are located in separate buildings dedicated to space, fantasy, and life in the water. World Showcase offers 11 “pavilions” with views of the surrounding area and its restaurants, entertainment, and attractions along the beautiful coastal lagoon.

If you have the park hopper ticket, you can travel from the Magic Kingdom® to Epcot® hopping on the monorail! Make the most of your Orlando vacation by heading over to the Disney packages page that includes accommodation in Orlando Hotels or Orlando vacation rentals and Walt Disney World® tickets.

Epcot® Typical Schedule

Guests should be aware that Future World and World Showcase have different operating hours. Epcot® World Showcase opens several places early in the morning, usually at 9:00 am, in the morning, and opens fully at 11:00 am. Before traveling, check the Disney time at Epcot®, operating hours may from day-to-day. Download the My Disney Experience® app for the latest park operating hours.

Guests staying at Walt Disney World® hotels can take advantage of the extra magic hours for up to two additional hours per day at Walt Disney World® Park. Some Orlando hotels at Walt Disney World® also offer promotions for magical schedules. We offer hotels inside Walt Disney World® as well as Good Neighbor Hotels who have these benefits available to guests even bookings through our company at a lower rate than booking directly with the hotels.

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Epcot® Things To See

Future World

The Turtle Talk with Crush: Talk to Crush and find Nemo in this interactive experience is a show where an animated Crush interacts with the audience answering questions.

World Showcase

Mexico: Visit the land of our neighbors down south in Mexico. “Bienvenidos!” (Welcome)! Here you’ll find a grand Mayan pyramid and ride in a boat in the Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballeros inside. Inside you’ll find a beautifully recreated Spanish-style villa with a pyramid within view.

Norway: Next you’ll find yourself in the land of Norway. “Velkommen!” (Welcome)! Here you get a chance to meet Anna and Elsa at the Royal Sommerhus. You will also sail through Arendelle aboard an ancient Norwegian vessel in the Frozen Ever After ride.

China: Our next stop is in the land of China. “歡迎歡迎 請坐” or “欢迎欢迎 请坐” (Welcome, welcome!) A beautifully immersive experience walking throughout the streets surrounded by the amazing architecture, white carved and stylized lions, and a picturesque pond. Be sure to also visit and explore the Reflections of China exhibit.

The Outpost: Also known as the African Outpost, this section though not technically part of the official pavilions, is themed to represent the countries of the African continent. Here you can find souvenirs, play some instruments and get refreshments.

Germany: “Willkommen in Deutschland!” (Welcome to Germany!) In the land of Germany where you’ll find artistically themed architecture, great restaurants, and a statue of Saint George on a horse defeating a dragon.

Italy: “Benvenuto in Italia!” (Welcome to Italy!) Here you’ll find the guarding the entrance into Italy are columns topped with statues, amazing Roman-themed architecture, a tall bell tower, beautiful replications of statues by the famed Michelangelo. Lovely to visit during the evening as well.

The American Adventure: “Welcome to America!” Originally this land was meant to be its own theme park near Washington D.C., however, it finds its home here at Epcot®. Independence Hall is recreated and stands as the highlight of the World Showcase. American Adventure is also a show featuring 35 Audio-Animatronics figures, digital rear-projection images on a 72-foot screen, and moving patriotic songs. Watch firsthand as America’s history is told and see figures such as Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain.

Japan: “日本へようこそ” (Welcome to Japan!) Japan is our next stop where you can be surrounded by elegant architecture, view the peaceful and serene garden, and behold a bronze statue of a warrior. Head upstairs to catch a view of the second floor.

Morocco: “رحبا بك في المغرب” (Welcome to Morocco!) Morocco is known for being the home of the Sahara Desert. The architecture when walking through is recreated so well. There are also a recreated towers that represent the many mosque towers. The mosaic work is amazing and beautifully crafted.

France: “Bienvenue en France!” (Welcome to France!) Here you will find your elegant French restaurant, trimmed and designed hedge garden, and you can even see the Eiffel Tower. This is the land is where the anticipated Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will make its home. You can also enjoy an 18-minute film showcasing the grandeur, charm of one of Europe’s most romantic countries.

United Kingdom: “Welcome!” Here you’ll get to see the sights and sounds of the old country. You’ll find English architecture, be surrounded by trimmed hedges, and the classic Red Telephone phone booths. ​

Canada: “Welcome!” or “Bienvenue!” Here you’ll be greeted by totem poles at the trading post. You will see a towering castle that will lead the way to Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vison 360 attraction. Here you can explore Canada in a 12-minute Circle-Vision presentation. ​

After this 1.3 mile (2.1 kilometers) trip around the world, you finally return to the Showcase Plaza from right where you started.

Epcot® Rides

World Showcase

Mexico: Step inside the grand Mayan pyramid and find a small village inside where you can take a boat ride in the Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballeros inside. Inside you’ll find a beautifully recreated Spanish-style villa with a pyramid within view.

Height: Any height
Ages: All ages
Thrill Level & Type: Mild & Boat Ride

Norway: Meet Anna and Elsa at their majestic Royal Sommerhus. You can also sail through Arendelle aboard an ancient Norwegian vessel in the Frozen Ever After ride.

Height: Any height
Ages: All ages
Thrill Level & Type: Mild & Slow Dark Ride with Small Drops

Future World

Spaceship Earth: Upon first walking into the park, you’ll see the classic giant geodesic dome of Epcot® called Spaceship of the Earth. Inside you’ll find a ride that takes you through the monumental moments of history. This classic ride with amazing animatronics is definitely worth riding.

Height: Any height
Ages: All ages
Thrill Level & Type: Mild & Slow Dark Ride

The Seas with Nemo & Friends: A pleasant and relaxing trip for the whole family. Disney does a good job incorporating visual effects and blending them in with the crafted underwater environment. This journey recounts the events of the movie in a visually appealing and dynamic way.

Height: Any height
Ages: All ages
Thrill Level & Type: Mild & Slow Ride

The Land (building)

Living with the Land: Take a trip on a boat through the greenhouses of The Land Pavilion. See how the unique and innovative ways crops are grown. It showcases a variety of edible food and crops from around the world.

Height: Any height
Ages: All ages
Thrill Level & Type: Mild & Slow Ride

Soarin’ Around the World: Take the opportunity to discover the sights and sounds of the world as you fly through Soarin. You will feel like you are actually flying when you reach 40 feet in the air. Using a 180-degree IMAX projection dome and with the help of Disney’s “smellitzer,” Soarin’ is truly an immersive experience.

Height: 40 inches or taller
Ages: Kids to Adults
Thrill Level & Type: Mild & Slow Ride with Small Drops ​

Journey Into Imagination with Figment: Take a ride through your imagination with Figment, the flying dragon and mascot of Epcot®. He will lead and teach you about the 5 senses, this impish dragon will also turn the lab upside down and cause quite a stink in the Smell Lab. ​

Height: Any height
Ages: All ages
Thrill Level & Type: Mild & Slow Dark Ride

Mission: SPACE: If you have ever dreamed of flying into space, this trip is for you. There are 2 missions where you can choose to fly and land on the red planet, Mars. You could also choose to orbit the Earth for a less intense ride through space. Each pod has four crew members who must interact with the trip to complete the mission. ​

Height: 40 inches or taller
Ages: Kids to Adults
Thrill Level & Type: Medium & Spinning Dark Ride (Mars)
Thrill Level & Type: Mild & Spinning Dark Ride (Earth)

Test Track, Presented by Chevrolet: A popular ride is the Test Track presented by Chevrolet. It is the fastest trip in one of Disney’s parks, reaching a maximum speed of 65 mph. First, you get to design a car from scratch in the Design Center. Then you get in and test the car out by racing it through the track. ​

Height: 40 inches or taller
Ages: Kids to Adults
Thrill Level & Type: Medium & Thrill Ride with Small Drops


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Epcot® Fireworks

Disney Harmonious: Epcot® Forever was the largest fireworks display in human history, however, there is a new cat coming around soon. This new firework show will be one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever created by the company. Typically the fireworks start at 9 pm in the World Showcase as the park closes down for the night. It is planned that Harmonious will debut on October 1, 2021, in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World®.

Visiting Epcot® With Your Toddler

Coming to Epcot® with your children? Most of the rides will allow toddlers to ride along. Your little ones can meet and greet Epcot® characters at certain locations within the park.

Character Meet and Greets

Character Meet and Greets are one of our favorite pastimes with our children. Several different characters in Future World including Ralph and Vanellope, Joy and Sadness, Baymax, Pluto and Mickey, Minnie and Goofy can be seen in some locations. At the World Showcase, you will find several Disney princesses, including Anna and Elsa, Belle, Aurora, and Mulan.

Epcot® Tips

Don’t Miss the Smaller Attractions: Epcot® offers many fun and smart attractions for young people, including Turtle Talk with Crush and American Adventure.

Return to World Showcase for Dinner: if you only got to eat the cuisine of a country for lunch, you can try another dinner.

Save a Seat in the Fireworks Area: Come early to find a good place when the Fireworks start up again in October. Remember that spaces may be taken so if you really want to reserve a spot, you’ll have to save a spot early.

Stay Close: Choose an Orlando hotel that is closest to the park you want to focus on.

Wear Comfortable Shoes: Epcot® is twice as big as Magic Kingdom®. So be prepared for many increases. Consider renting a stroller, even if your preschooler is too big for you.

Arrive Early: As with all Disney parks, there are more and more people at Epcot®. Pay to get up early and arrive at opening hours.

Use FastPass + Wisely: Currently, the FassPass+ system is suspended, however, if the gets reintroduced, be sure to book those FastPasses as soon as possible. If you reserve 3 attractions before 3 pm (the limit of FastPass+ attractions) and use them up before then, other slots may become available and you may get to book more FastPass+ times.

Order Lunch and Dinner: Epcot® World Showcase offers some of the best Walt Disney World® restaurants for lunch and dinner.

Take a Midday Break: If you arrive early, you’ll be sure that your troops will start to lag around lunchtime. Sit down, take a break, and enjoy the scenery.

Coffee: On some of my excursions to the parks, I found myself drained and worn out. I grabbed a cup of coffee and found that it gave me the boost I needed to be brought out of that slump. Please note that coffee may not be for everyone and you will have to consider your medical situation.

Visiting Epcot® During Your Pregnancy

Epcot® rides and attractions that are appropriate during pregnancy:

  • Spaceship Earth
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Soarin’
  • Living with the Land
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival (film with seats)
  • Advanced Training Lab area of Mission Space
  • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Phineas & Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure
  • Reflections of China (Circle-Vision movie – standing)
  • The American Adventure
  • Impressions de France (Movie with seats)
  • Canada Far and Wide (Circle-Vision movie – standing)
  • World Showcase galleries and exhibits
Special Hints:
  • When fireworks resume again, the best place is right in front of the China Exhibit.
  • The Epcot® Food and Wine Festival is one of the top attractions at Epcot®. This festival takes place every October and Disney brings in some of the top Food and Wine critics in the World.
  • Out of the four major Walt Disney World® theme parks, Epcot® is the best park to enjoy a nice meal. Many of the restaurants, however, fill up very quickly so book those reservations soon. Here is an Epcot® dining guide to assist you in finding the perfect restaurant for your family.
  • Even though Epcot® was just built in 1982 it does have a lot of history and some of the Epcot® attractions have changed over the years to make them better for the guests. In order to truly appreciate Epcot® you might want to read about Epcot®’s history and these fun facts about the theme park before visiting.
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