To Main Map

Epcot, Walt Disney World

Orlando, FL
Print   Leave a comment
Epcot, Walt Disney World, Orlando FL

Description

Epcot is super fun for the whole family, as long as the kids are 4 and up. Kids younger than four won't have much fun because there are very few rides or shows that aren't dark inside or scary in some way. Kids 4 and up will be able to ride everything except Mission Space, which isn't a fun ride anyway. Most important: Be first at the park (half an hour before opening) in order to ride the rides without long lines!
We had a blast at this park because it was one of those rare moments when everyone in the family is happy! The rides and shows appeal across the board, and the two sides of the park add variety. The World Showcase side is wonderful for people who are artistic and love different cultures and foods. The Futureworld side is great for more scientifically-minded people.
I was in bliss at World Showcase. You walk through Canada past the flowers of Butchart Gardens and a roaring river between jutting rocks, and you can watch a film (with screens all around and behind you) about Canada that's interesting. There's no seating so it's not much of a rest. Next, you stroll through England past a maze and country gardens, and it looks like you're in the little hamlets of rural England. The shops here have some adorable architecture inside and out, and the pub has a fantastic waterfront patio.
Then you're in France, with its Haussman buildings. Here, acrobats perform stunts with chairs. We watched the film about France called Impressions de France, and I was very impressed! There are five screens that wrap around you so that you see the scene from all angles. It really feels like you are in Belle France! This theater has seating, which makes it a nice place to take a break.
Next, you walk through Morocco where the alleyways with intricate architecture are glorious. Tangerine Cafe is DELICIOUS! And the seating out by the fountain where you're surrounded by ornate lampposts, orange trees in pots, and colorful tiles is lovely! In each country the employees are really from that country, and it says on their nametag what city they are from. So you can practice your French with native speakers! Pop into the stores and small museums in Morocco- they are filled with magical things. Girls will like the genie bottles! Kids can fill out a Kidcot card- in each land they will get a stamp, and best of all, someone from that country will write their name. It was amazing to see my daughter's name written in Arabic!
Next you walk through Japan, with more beautiful buildings. A cool store has Japanese candies- try the litchi gummy candies- now you're in heaven! At a little stand near the front of Japan, you can buy shave ice- the Melon flavored one is delicious. We had dinner at Katsura Grill and the atmosphere was charming with the lanterns strung over the tables, and waterfalls and trees everywhere. The food is so so.
Next there is America with its proud building and film. Musicians perform throughout World Showcase, and the harmony group in the America building was especially good.
A performance of men waving colorful flags was going on when we arrived in Italy. Here, you can see the tower from St Mark's square in Venice. Germany is next with its beer garden.
Then there's China, where we saw incredible acrobats performing stunts on the street. It's fun to talk to the Chinese students at the Kidcot station inside the store. You can also watch a film about China with screens all around and even behind you, though there are no seats inside so it doesn't give you a rest. Photography of Guilin, the area of China with the amazing pointy mountains, inspires you to travel.
Norway has gorgeous buildings. Finally, there's Mexico with its romantic Spanish indoor square where it's always evening. You walk inside the Chichen Itza pyramid to reach the square- it is impressive when lit up at night. Here you can enjoy a fairly tame ride called Gran Fiesta, with Daffy Duck leading you through Mexico.
Boy have you walked a lot by now! Make sure you wear really good shoes, and rent or bring a stroller. Even teenagers wish they could be in a stroller!! There isn't much shade at Epcot when you're walking around, so wear a hat and sunscreen. Epcot improves vastly in the evening when the hot weather cools a little. Here, at day's end, you can enjoy a spectacular fireworks show with fireworks situated in the middle of the lake, reflecting on the water. Make sure you have an unobstructed view of the lake- the area around Mexico is a good spot.
Future World offers some memorable rides. It is where you arrive first so you can do all the rides in the morning when the lines are short, and then head over to World Showcase for lunch. The best ride is Soarin' which you should get to first when you enter the park. Don't bother to go straight to Spaceship Earth because it is busy early and then empty later in the day. Most of the busy rides have Fast Pass systems so you don't have to wait long in line. You just put your ticket in the machine and then come back at the time they give you. Soarin' has you seated upright and takes you flying over California. It's not really scary like they say, but it is exhilarating! We all loved it and wanted to ride over and over again. Another big hit was Test Track, where you're in a race car that goes very fast. If you go as a single rider (in other words, you opt not to sit with your loved ones), you don't have to wait long at all! Mission Space (Mars) is a terrible ride. It made my son and husband feel so ill that they were unhappy for over an hour afterwards- not recommended! Figment is another bad one- boring and with some scary bits that kids hate. Living with the Land is a nice one. It shows futuristic cultivation of real plants.
Spaceship Earth is inside the huge ball. It is a classic Disney ride that is very enjoyable. It takes you past animatronic figures in ancient Greece and Rome and rides all the way to the future, where a photo of you appears! It is very fun and highly recommended. Nemo and Friends is a tame ride where you sit in a clam shell and ride past aquariums where Nemo is projected inside. The aquariums you can walk around at the end are lovely. There are eels and coral reefs with fish. Turtle Talk with Crush was boring to me and I was mad I waited so long for it! The kids were pretty ansy in there too. But it is interesting how the animated turtle interacts with the audience. Innoventions is fun for science dudes with its interactive exhibits made by companies like IBM. One part that was fun was making a video game of ourselves. You jump, run, and do a victory dance. It films you and then puts you in a video game that you can play. You can make this with your child and they LOVE it!
It makes sense to leave the park for a nap around 2pm when it gets crowded and hot, and return for dinner and the fireworks, if your hotel is nearby.
If you come between March and May, there are special gardens and topiaries set up throughout the park, that add to the beauty. A butterfly garden is lovely to walk around, the gardens in England and Canada are just gorgeous, and there are flowers and surprises everywhere!
There are two things that make Epcot more fun than Magic Kingdom- it is far less crowded and on top of that, far more spacious. Secondly, the food is so much better that it's not even comparable. 
Check out the other Disney parks: Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios. When in Orlando, stay at a resort with waterfalls and beauty all around- this is a good way to relax the day before or after you visit one of the Disney parks: try Hyatt Grand Cypress or Marriott World Center. If you stay at a Disney resort, it's super fun to take the ferryboat to Disney Springs waterfront restaurants or Boardwalk in the evening, depending on the hotel, plus you get free parking at the Disney parks, which saves you $17.

[continued...]

Photo Gallery

Click on photo to see large version
Living with the Land ride, inside a real greenhouse.
Living with the Land ride, inside a real greenhouse.
The boat that goes through Living with the Land.
The boat that goes through Living with the Land.
Dwarf peppers growing in Living with the Land.
Dwarf peppers growing in Living with the Land.
I love these strawberries, growing in the Living in the Land ride.
I love these strawberries, growing in the Living in the Land ride.
Cuban Oregano, Chives, Cilantro, and Rosemary, growing in the Living with the Land ride.
Cuban Oregano, Chives, Cilantro, and Rosemary, growing in the Living with the Land ride.
Flowers, pool, and the Spaceship Earth geosphere in the distance.
Flowers, pool, and the Spaceship Earth geosphere in the distance.
Glass pyramids of Imagination, and fountain, at Epcot.
Glass pyramids of Imagination, and fountain, at Epcot.
Now things start to get very European...
Now things start to get very European...
Japan, across the water.
Japan, across the water.
England, at Epcot in Disney World!
England, at Epcot in Disney World!
Oh how lovely to be in England...haha.
Oh how lovely to be in England...haha.
English village.
English village.
English countryside cottage.
English countryside cottage.
Tangerine Cafe and its gorgeous stained glass window and lanterns.
Tangerine Cafe and its gorgeous stained glass window and lanterns.
Outdoor seating in a delightful courtyard at Tangerine Cafe.
Outdoor seating in a delightful courtyard at Tangerine Cafe.
Morocco, at Epcot!
Morocco, at Epcot!
Archway in Morocco.
Archway in Morocco.
Morocco, at Epcot.
Morocco, at Epcot.
Pink castle in Morocco.
Pink castle in Morocco.
Amazing tilework.
Amazing tilework.
The shops in Morocco are gorgeous.
The shops in Morocco are gorgeous.
Beautiful details everywhere in Morocco at Epcot.
Beautiful details everywhere in Morocco at Epcot.
Lovely architecture and tilework.
Lovely architecture and tilework.
Looking up at the sky in Morocco.
Looking up at the sky in Morocco.
Lettuce garden in Morocco.
Lettuce garden in Morocco.
Lamppost in Morocco at Epcot.
Lamppost in Morocco at Epcot.
Impressions de France film, on 5 curved screens. My son keeps asking to see this again.
Impressions de France film, on 5 curved screens. My son keeps asking to see this again.
A little spot in France, minus the airfare.
A little spot in France, minus the airfare.
French street in Epcot.
French street in Epcot.
There are plenty of quiet places to take a break at Epcot.
There are plenty of quiet places to take a break at Epcot.
Used book seller along the Seine River, at Epcot.
Used book seller along the Seine River, at Epcot.
France, in Epcot.
France, in Epcot.
Looking across the water to Asia.
Looking across the water to Asia.
Multi-colored flowers and the Spaceship Earth geosphere.
Multi-colored flowers and the Spaceship Earth geosphere.
Looking across the water at Italy.
Looking across the water at Italy.
China, at Epcot.
China, at Epcot.
Isn't this beautiful? Umbrellas in China, at Epcot.
Isn't this beautiful? Umbrellas in China, at Epcot.
Female acrobats in China, at Epcot.
Female acrobats in China, at Epcot.
Norway, at Epcot.
Norway, at Epcot.
Norwegian house.
Norwegian house.
Intricate details in Italy, at Epcot.
Intricate details in Italy, at Epcot.
Venice, at Epcot.
Venice, at Epcot.
The magical atmosphere at Katsura Grill in Japan.
The magical atmosphere at Katsura Grill in Japan.
Japanese sculptures and water, as night descends at Epcot.
Japanese sculptures and water, as night descends at Epcot.
Japan looks enchanting lit up at night.
Japan looks enchanting lit up at night.
France at night.
France at night.
The Spaceship Earth geosphere lit at night.
The Spaceship Earth geosphere lit at night.
There are flowers everywhere from March to May at Epcot!
There are flowers everywhere from March to May at Epcot!
Colorful flower pots, like Easter eggs!
Colorful flower pots, like Easter eggs!
Fantasia topiary!
Fantasia topiary!
Butterfly garden.
Butterfly garden.
Flowers!
Flowers!
Garbage can drummers.
Garbage can drummers.
Living with the Land ride.
Living with the Land ride.
Playground and Monster University topiary, during the flower festival.
Playground and Monster University topiary, during the flower festival.
Flowers in Canada.
Flowers in Canada.
Canada!
Canada!
Flowers made to resemble the Butchart Gardens.
Flowers made to resemble the Butchart Gardens.
Rocky river in Canada.
Rocky river in Canada.
Gorgeous garden design in Canada.
Gorgeous garden design in Canada.
Looking towards the water, upstairs in Canada.
Looking towards the water, upstairs in Canada.
Pub in England.
Pub in England.
Cute shop in the UK.
Cute shop in the UK.
Pretty architecture in England.
Pretty architecture in England.
Ornate architecture in the UK.
Ornate architecture in the UK.
Morocco.
Morocco.
Small museum in the Morocco section.
Small museum in the Morocco section.
Sketches of genie bottles in another little museum in Morocco.
Sketches of genie bottles in another little museum in Morocco.
Miss Piggy topiary.
Miss Piggy topiary.
Lion King topiary during flower festival (March-May).
Lion King topiary during flower festival (March-May).
Ceiling of China pavilion.
Ceiling of China pavilion.
Flowers on water!
Flowers on water!
Frozen topiary of Elsa and Anna.
Frozen topiary of Elsa and Anna.
Katsura Grill has the loveliest lanterns.
Katsura Grill has the loveliest lanterns.
Inside the Mexico area, day or night.
Inside the Mexico area, day or night.

Directions

From Florida's Turnpike, take the exit for Osceola Pkwy and head west for 11 miles. Turn right on World Drive and follow the signs to Epcot.
Epcot opens at 9am and closes at 9pm. Some days it opens early or stays open late for Disney hotel guests.
Florida residents can find highly discounted passes on the park's website, for example $129 for any three days between Jan and early June. Other guests can save money by buying multi-day passes. Cost for just one day is over $100.
Parking costs $17, but is free for Disney resort guests.

This is an interactive map, you can zoom and move it.

Visitor Ratings

Overall Visitor Rating:


kristin
06/30/2012 08:53
be there in 3 days!!!

Last Updated Fri, 20 Nov 2015 18:50:19 GMT