Epcot at Walt Disney World Orlando is perhaps the least well-known of the theme parks, but that doesn’t mean you should skip it. Epcot is actually epic.
Epcot is known for the world showcase – a series of country-themed attractions around a central lake. The fun starts in Mexico, where families can munch on tacos and adults can drink margaritas. Head around to China and you will find a replica of the Temple of Heaven and dumplings to devour. France has the Eiffel Tower and Canada has Rocky Mountains. Little Frozen fans will love Norway where they can jump on the Frozen experience.
Here’s what to expect at each Epcot country:
- Mexico “Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros” musical animated boat voyage with Donald Duck and pals; also live entertainment, restaurants and shops.
- China “Reflections of China” Circle-Vision 360 film; live acrobatic performances, restaurants and shops. Tomb Warriors gallery features replicas of terra-cotta soldiers unearthed in Xi’an, China.
- The American Adventure The American Adventure show featuring film and Audio-Animatronics narrators; restaurants and shops. Live performances at outdoor America Gardens Theatre.
- Germany Oktoberfest at Biergarten Restaurant with live entertainment; shops.
- Italy Italian specialities at several authentic eateries; live entertainment; shops.
- Japan Sushi and other Japanese dishes at three restaurants; live Taiko drumming performances; shops.
- France “Impressions de France” film features a trip through the French countryside; live performances, restaurants, bakery, ice cream shop and boutiques.
- Canada “O Canada!” Circle-Vision 360 film narrated by Martin Short; live musical performances, restaurant and shops.
- United Kingdom Live entertainment including street actors, British Revolution band; restaurants and shops.
- Morocco Live entertainment including Mo’Rockin band; restaurants and shops.
- Norway Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (breakfast, lunch, dinner); shops.
We also highly recommend heading into the shops. Each one features food from around the world. The kids will love the selection of world softdrinks – available free for taste testing.
For most Australian families, the biggest attraction at Epcot is Future World. Epcot actually stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. It was a vision of Walt Disney showcase innovation, to celebrate human achievement and allow people to experience the cutting edge of technology. Of course, the future catches up with the present. Most of the attractions were built in the 1980s. They are what 1980’s humans envisioned as the future. But that is going to change soon with the introduction of the Guardians of the Galaxy.
These are the current Epcot Future World rides:
- Spaceship Earth (1982) A re-imagined journey exploring the history of communications beginning centuries ago and continuing into the future with interactive guest experience.
- The Land (1982) A simulated hang-gliding adventure over the state of California on the Soarin’ attraction; a voyage past working greenhouses and a fish farm at Living with the Land; characters from “The Lion King” in the Circle of Life film.
- Imagination! (1982) A Journey Into Imagination ride with Figment.
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends (1986 – originally called The Living Seas) A “clamobile” ride on The Seas with Nemo & Friends with technology that shows animated Pixar characters swimming with live fish in a 5.7 million gallon aquarium; Turtle Talk with Crush interactive show.
- Innoventions East and West (1994) Two interactive showcases that tell stories as guests employ hands-on technology for fun and thrills.
- Test Track (1999) Re-imagined in 2012, a thrill attraction where guests design a “SimCar,” then hop in for a wild ride on the Test Track circuit.
- Mission: SPACE (2003) An intense training launch to Mars — a milder journey is offered to the less adventurous; Advanced Training Lab post-show games.
The future is still space for Epcot.
This year Epcot introduced the Guardians of the Galaxy show. In the show, Star-Lord and Gamora take guests on a musical journey through the cosmos. Australians will particularly love the Chris Hemsworth character.
More thrills are coming to Epcot. In 2021 this theme park will be home to the Guardians of the Galaxy rollercoaster. Rumour has it, this will be the world’s longest enclosed coaster.