Visit to Epcot-Walt Disney World
Written by Staff Writer - 02/08/08
EPCOT is an acronym for “Experimental Prototype
Community of Tomorrow” and was Walt Disney’s
intention to make it a futuristic planned
residential community. However, it instead became
the second of Disney World’s four main theme parks
in Orlando. EPCOT is by far Disney World’s most
educational park, but it’s lots of fun too.
The first thing you need to know about EPCOT is that
it’s split into two main areas and each area has
different hours of operation (see reference section
below). Upon entering EPCOT, you first encounter
Future World. Future World is made up of several
sub-areas, all focusing on science, technology and
innovation. The second major area is called World
Showcase. It too is made up of sub-areas, each
representing a different country.
Generally speaking, children will prefer Future
World, so families will want to focus the majority
of their time here. That’s not to say children won’t
benefit from the educational experience of World
Showcase -- just don’t expect them to last for hours
Future World is separated into several distinct
areas. Here we’ll take a brief look at each area.
Imagination - The main attraction of the
Imagination section is the 3-D Honey I Shrunk the
Audience presentation. This 3-D movie features the
original cast from Honey I Shrunk the Kids and, of
course, when one of the Professor’s experiments goes
awry, the audience, including you, will be shrunk.
Also at Imagination, the little ones will enjoy the
Journey into Your Imagination, where a tour tests
your senses, led by Figment the Dragon. Imagination
also features a neat water fountain.
Innoventions - Innoventions East includes a
“smart” house with unique technologies; Innoventions
West features video games of tomorrow. The kids will
love this part!
Land - Probably the best attraction at EPCOT is
Soarin’, a ride on which you’ll experience the
beautiful scenery of California. You’ll actually
feel as though you’re soaring high above the ground
in a hang glider. You’ll believe you’re about to dip
your toes in the ocean and you’ll smell the
Californian orange groves. Though this isn’t a
thrill ride, you will feel the motion and there is a
40” minimum height requirement. Don’t miss it!!
Land area also features the Living with The Land
boat ride - we recommend this attraction. You’ll
learn about new technologies for growing food and
protecting the environment. Also within The Land
area, the Circle of Life film, featuring the cast of
the Lion King, will teach you about the environment.
Living Seas - The main attraction of this
section is the 5.7 million gallon aquarium and the
Coral Reef Restaurant.
Mission Space - On this ride, Epcot’s most
intense, you’ll ride through space like an astronaut
via simulator technology developed by NASA. There is
a 44” minimum height requirement for this ride.
Spaceship Earth - This attraction is located in
Epcot’s trademark geosphere (the gigantic silver
“golf ball”). Inside you’ll take a journey through
the history of communications.
Test Track - At the Test Track, you can drive
a six-passenger convertible on a realistic track.
There is a 40” minimum height requirement for this
Universe of Energy - This area features
Ellen’s Energy Adventure, starring Ellen DeGeneres.
It’s one of the longer attractions at 32 minutes and
the subject matter isn’t the most exciting (fossil
fuels), but Ellen is very funny, making this a
Wonders of Life - This area includes The
Making of Me, a film about reproduction starring
Martin Short; Body Wars, where you’ll discover the
immune system; and Cranium Command, where you’ll
learn about the brain in a humorous way.
World Showcase is a huge circle comprised of 11
different pavilions, each representing a different
country of the world. The circle surrounds a large
lake, making the experience less congested than you
may think, and more beautiful. Within each section,
you’ll practically feel as though you’re visiting
that country. The architecture, landscaping, shops,
attractions and restaurants portray each country’s
unique charms. Many of the pavilions feature live
entertainment as well.
Mexico - In the Mexico area you’ll enter a
pavilion that houses a Mexican marketplace, a
restaurant overlooking an indoor lagoon and a
somewhat silly boat ride attraction featuring the
Three Caballeros cartoon characters.
Norway - The main attraction at the Norway
pavilion is Maelstrom, a Viking ship ride. You’ll
find a Norwegian restaurant as well as a bakery.
China - The China pavilion features the 360
film, “Reflections of China”, which is a beautiful
representation of China’s landscape and history.
Outside the pavilion, you may catch the Dragon
Germany - There isn’t a large-scale
attraction at the Germany pavilion, but you will
find a variety of German architecture, both
buffet-style and quick-service restaurants and a
model train miniature German village.
Italy - As with Germany, the Italy pavilion
does not host a large-scale attraction. This
pavilion features a bell tower, Venetian bridges and
an Italian restaurant.
United States - The U.S. pavilion is a large
colonial style building. In the lobby area, a
costumed singing group entertains with patriotic
songs while you wait for the next seating for the
American Adventure attraction. This feature is a
'lesson' in American history using wax-type figures,
including Ben Franklin, Mark Twain and others. We
felt that the show was too long, the figures a bit
creepy and, considering the available technology, a
bit amateur. In addition, the historical content
placed too much, very-biased, emphasis on America's
various war efforts. The treatment of what would be
rather sensitive topics to some non-US visitors, was
handled in a very biased and callous way.
Japan - The entrance to this pavilion is an
authentic Japanese pagoda. The main attraction here
is the Matsuriza drummers.
Morocco - This pavilion features a shopping
plaza, the Restaurant Marrakesh and the Mo'Rockin
France - At the France pavilion you’ll enjoy
a panoramic film representing the cities of France,
two restaurants and street performers. However, the
best part of this pavilion would have to be the
wonderful aromas coming from the French bakery,
United Kingdom - The highlight at the United
Kingdom pavilion is the Beatles tribute band that
plays most days. The Rose & Crown pub has both
indoor and outdoor dining, and is a top spot for
viewing EPCOT’s evening fireworks.
Canada - This pavilion is our top pick for
World Showcase due to the fabulous 360 film,
narrated by Martin Short, representing the varied
Canadian cities and landscapes. Canada also features
one of the top restaurants, the Le Cellier
Within World Showcase, each country’s pavilion
typically features at least one main restaurant and
one quick-service option offering cuisine
representative of that country. Other EPCOT dining
options are as follows:
Coral Reef Restaurant (The Living Seas) - At
the Coral Reef Restaurant, every table has a view of
the huge aquarium. They serve primarily seafood, but
meat and vegetarian options are also available. This
restaurant is located at The Living Seas section of
Quick-Service Dining - Future World offers a
couple choices for quick-service dining. The
Electric Umbrella Restaurant, located at Innovations
East, serves hamburgers, salads, wraps, chicken
tenders and some side items and desserts. The
Sunshine Season Food Fair, located in The Land
section, is a food court consisting of a grill
section, an Asian noodle section, soups & salads
section and a variety of side items and desserts.
Character Dining - A princess’s dream is
found at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the
Norway pavilion. In The Land section of Future
World, you may find Mickey Mouse and friends at the
rotating Garden Grill Restaurant.
Within World Showcase, each country’s pavilion
includes shopping opportunities representative of
that country. Additionally, each of the major
sections of Future World has shopping sections.
Located at Innovations East, there is a huge store,
named Mouse Gear, which sells a wide variety of
Disney gifts and souvenirs.
Web Attraction Info:
Official Web Site
Pricing: The current standard price for a
one-day ticket is $71 for anyone over 9 years of age
and $60 for children 3-9 years. Multi-day passes
reduce the per-day rate. Check Disney’s website for
promotional discounts, multi-day and multi-park
discounts, and Florida resident pricing.
Hours: Future World is typically open from
9am until 7pm and World Showcase is typically open
from 11am until 9pm. On certain days, EPCOT
participates in the Extra Magic Hours program for
those staying at a Disney resort.
Phone: (407) 939-6244