Epcot, Disney World

Disney World - Epcot - Spaceship Earth - at main entranceEpcot is the most unique theme park in the Disney World collection with rides, exhibits, and shows you can’t find in any other Disney property.

The park is a permanent World’s Fair with a Disney flair. As you enter, you are presented with Spaceship Earth, a huge sphere you walk into and ride through human history.

On either side of Spaceship Earth, you will come across Future World (East and West sections). The exhibits demonstrate the latest technologies and allow visitors to interact with hands-on experiments.

In the West section, the Land Pavillion is a showcase of human interaction with mother earth. Visitors here can enjoy the flight simulator ride Soarin over the World and a ride through innovations in agriculture. 

In the Eastern Future World, design your race car on a touch screen then test it on the “Test Track” ride.

The World Showcase starts after future world and surrounds a large lake. Eleven countries from around the globe represent their culture and sites – with most offering rides and shows. Most notable are “O Canada!” - a “Circle-Vision 360° movie, “Frozen Ever After” ride, and “Impressions de France”.

The United States pavilion, located in the middle, showcases American history with an animatronics show titled The American Adventure.

Future World

Disney World - Epcot - Future World - Soarin around the worldAt future world, experience the progress of innovation throughout history, get a glimpse of our future, learn about the land and the sea, and have fun while you are at it.

Future World starts with Spaceship Earth as you enter the park and splits into East and West sections – each with many exhibits and rides.

In the Eastside, go inside Spaceship Earth, try a space launch at “Mission Space” or go on a race at “Test Track”.

In the Westside, learn about the land and the sea, visit Nemo and Friends or go Soarin’ Over the World.

Future Plans: Disney is planning to replace future World with three “neighborhoods” - World Nature, World Discovery and World Celebration.

Spaceship Earth  

Disney World - Epcot - Future World - The LandThe iconic geodesic sphere dominating the park entrance is a time-machine ride through human innovation from the stone age to modern times.

The ride starts with the caveman’s first attempts at communication and takes through major events like the invention of the alphabet and the printing press and ends with today’s broadcasts and the Internet.

Riders can then use the touch-screens in their time machine to fill out a questionnaire to build a possible future, which uses the pictures taken at the beginning of the ride.

Mission Space  

A place for aspiring astronauts to train for their Disney World - Epcot - Mission Space - Wikimedia by UpstateNYermission to Mars. The centrifugal motion simulator ride simulates what an astronaut might experience aboard a spaceship.

Riders will train for the mission then go on a flight on the X-2 Deep Space Shuttle. You have to pick between a thrilling Orange Mission and a more subdued Green mission.

After your mission, visit the Advanced Training Lab, a high-tech play area featuring space-themed games and activities for all ages.

Test Trak 

Disney World - Epcot - Future World - Test TrackYou start your adventure by designing your race car. You learn about factors impacting performance and speed. Then you get to test your design on the tacks.

Your car undergoes four different tests: capability, efficiency, responsiveness, and power. At the end of the ride, you get to see how your design performed.

Fun idea: If the lines are not too long, go back and try a different design.

The Land

Disney World - Epcot - Future World - The LandThis indoor pavilion is a launchpad to two attractions and a place to grab a snack.

From here you can go on the flight simulator ride “Soarin’ Over the World” – with amazing views, sounds and smells of famous world landmarks. You get to see the Pyramids, The Great Wall of China, Iguaza Falls, and many more.

Living with the Land is a slow-moving ride through greenhouses and innovative experiments in agriculture.

The ride starts in a rain forest simulated environment and then meanders through 5 distinct biospheres. As you visit each area you learn how to live with the land and protect the environment.

The Sea

Disney World - Epcot - Future World - The Sea - Dory - Pexles by Magda EhlersAt “The Seas”, browse through an aquarium and ride a “Clamobile” under the sea.

The Sea Base is the main viewing area of the aquarium with several exhibits of manatees, dolphins, sharks, and jellyfish. It is not SeaWorld, but it is a good launching point to your journey under the sea.

The Seas with Nemo & Friends is an adventure to help Dori and her friends to find Nemo. After several misadventures, you are deposited into a large aquarium where Nemo is reunited once again with his friends.

World Showcase

Disney World - Epcot - World Showcase - Lake

Unless you live abroad, you probably haven’t seen a World Fair in recent times. The last one held in the USA was in New Orleans in 1984, unless you count Epcot with its permanent World fair with eleven countries with permanent exhibits.

The counties are arranged around a large lake – each country showcases its culture, architecture and goods. Some counties have attractions, rides or shows. There is a lot to see, so plan your visit ahead of time and hit your favorite countries before you run out of time.

Canada

Disney World - Epcot - World Showcase - CanadaThe Canada pavilion celebrates Canada’s outdoors with a canyon, a waterfall, gardens, a pool with fountains, and totem poles. The buildings within this natural wonder are reminiscent of old English castles.

If you venture indoors, you will find “O Canada!”, a Circle-Vision 360° movie of Canada's cities, scenery, and people.

To try a taste of Canada, visit “Le Cellier Steakhouse” – a sit-down service restaurant. Enjoy steak or seafood with Canadian wines and beers.

United Kingdom

Disney World - Epcot - World Showcase - United KingdomThe UK pavilion was designed to represent an old English village with garden and a hedge maze. The main attraction here is the “British Revolution” band that performs British rock music covers from acts such as the Police, the Rolling Stones, the Beatles, Blur, and Led Zeppelin.

If you are hungry, this is good place to stop and try some traditional British dishes in a Pub like setting. You can also enjoy your meal in the outdoor garden.

France

Visit a French suburb of Paris with a bakery, restaurants, and shops selling French goods. Disney World - Epcot - World Showcase - FranceIndoors enjoy a panoramic film about France entitled "Impressions de France." 

Outdoors you can always find street performers most notable is the comedy chair climbing and balancing show "Serveur Amusant."

For authentic French Cuisine, visit “Les Chefs De France” for a sit-down meal or grab a pastry at the Boulangerie Pâtisserie des Halles.

Morocco

Disney World - Epcot - World Showcase - MorrocoThe Morocco exhibit was designed to simulate a real Moroccan city with realistic houses, minaret, and restaurant. It is the only exhibit at Epcot that is managed by the host government. This allowed for a real non-commercialized representation of the country.

The Fez House shows guests the traditional Moroccan dwelling with exquisite mosaic tiles, carvings, and artifacts from daily life. A large open courtyard in the middle with benches allows visitors to sit, relax and enjoy the beautiful art.Disney World - Epcot - World Showcase - Morocco - Marrakesh Restaurant

To complete the Moroccan experience, make sure to visit Marrakesh, an authentic local cuisine restaurant.

The best way to enjoy this place is to order the “Taste of Morocco” -  a three-Course Meal with choices of Lamb, Beef or chicken with Couscous and Seven Vegetables.  End your feast with Assorted Baklavas.  

Depending on the time of day, you may be entertained with traditional Arabic music and/or belly dancers.

Japan

Disney World - Epcot - World Showcase - JapanAt the Japanese pavilion you can admire the unique Architecture, arts, and entertainment styles. Don’t miss the Matsuriza playing and dancing to the traditional drums at the Pagoda.

The drummers are the highlight of the visit to Japan, but you can also spend some time browsing through an art gallery and the shops.

For a delicious Japanese meal, stop at Tokyo Dining, which offers traditional sushi, tempura, and some grilled items.

You can’t go wrong with the specialty rolls, but if you are not sure what to order, try the Chef’s Bento box. It comes with Shrimp and Vegetable Tempura, New York Sirloin Steak with Wafu Sauce, Chicken Teriyaki, Garden Salad with Dressing, Tuna, Salmon, Shrimp Nigiri, and Vegetable Roll. 

The American Adventure

Disney World - Epcot - World Showcase - The American AdventureYou are now mid-way through the World Showcase, and it is time to take a break before continuing your world tour. 

At the American pavilion, you can attend a galactic rock concert with the Guardians of the Galaxy or step back in time and learn about American history.

The concert is held in an outdoor theater overlooking the lake. The music is loud, but the guardians make it fun to watch.

The large colonial building presents the American story on a large stage with animatronics of figures of Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain. 

Before the show, you can browse through photos of famous Americans posted around the square lobby with an oval dome. While you wait, a chorus entertains the audience with stories about America.

ItalyDisney World - Epcot - World Showcase - Italy

Visitors to the Italian Plaza can admire the Venetian, Florentine, and Roman architecture – or dine at an Italian restaurant. There are no major attractions here, but you can catch a show by Sergio, the comedic juggler or the flag throwing troop.

 

Disney World - Epcot - World Showcase - GermanyGermany

The German Plaza resembles an old Bavarian village with unique colorful buildings and many shops. At the center you admire a fountain with a statue of St. George slaying a dragon. The clock tower sings a different song every hour and a miniature German village with model trains delights all guests.

If you are hungry, join the Oktober Fest at Biergarten Restaurant. This dining hall offers a buffet-style feast with long communal tables. While eating, enjoy a band playing German Folk songs.

China

Disney World - Epcot - World Showcase - ChinaEnter China through the large gate and into a replica of the Temple of Heaven. The plaza showcases Chinese architecture and culture with a museum, a circle vision movie and lots of shops.

The circle vision movie "Reflections of China" explores China's history and scenery. Outdoors you can catch a team of young acrobats performing their feats.

If you love Chinese cuisine, try the Nine Dragons Restaurant, a full-service gourmet Chinese restaurant featuring traditional Chinese cuisine with a twist.

Norway

Disney World - Epcot - World Showcase - Norway - by Jared from FlickrBuilt to resemble a Norwegian village, the plaza includes reproductions of famous buildings and churches in Oslo and the countryside. A lot of interconnected shops sell Norwegian clothing and trinkets.

The main attraction in this pavilion is the Frozen Ever After ride. The ride features scenes inspired by Disney's 2013 animated film Frozen.

For lunch or dinner, visit Akershus Royal Banquet Hall which offers buffet-style dining with Disney Princess Characters.

For a light meal or a snack go to Kringla “Bakeri og Kafe” for Norwegian pastries.

Mexico

Disney World - Epcot - World Showcase - MexicoThe tall Mesoamerican pyramid dominates the Mexican pavilion and leads into an indoor plaza resembling a Mexican village at twilight.

Inside you will find a large lagoon, with shops and restaurants and the entry point to the Gran Fiesta Tour. The boat ride starts on the lagoon inside the pyramid and continues into a dark tunnel. The ride is based on The Three Caballeros, an old Disney cartoon.

You have many dining choices at the Mexican pavilion. You can enjoy a sit-down meal on the indoor lake at “San Angel Inn Restaurante” or “La Hacienda de San Ángel” – or you can have a light meal at “Cantina de San Ángel“.

Finally, you can’t visit a Mexican village with listening to some authentic Mexican music. The “Mariachi Cobr” band entertains visitors throughout the day.

Other Attractions

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth

IllumiNations is a spectacular laser-pyrotechnics nighttime show to complete a thrilling day at Epcot. The show utilizes fireworks, pyrotechnics, water fountains, fire effects, lasers, and searchlights to create a compelling story about our planet.

The show is ending on September 30, 2019 and will be replaced by a new show: Epcot Forever.

https://youtu.be/1eZireHqahQ

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