EPCOT is Walt Disney’s Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow and home to many of Disney World’s must-see attractions!
Within EPCOT, you have 2 distinct areas: Future World and the World Showcase.
The area around Spaceship Earth (a.k.a. The Giant Ball) is Future World.
The World Showcase has 11 countries around the lagoon, each with their own distinct architecture, landscapes, and theme – one minute you’re walking through a Japanese garden with a pagoda in the background, the next minute you’re crossing a French bridge over the River Seine.
Every country around the World Showcase has cast-members native to that country, authentic restaurants, crafts, and entertainment – it’s really an amazing walk worth taking. From Chinese acrobats to Italian Mimes to Moroccan belly dancers, each country has a story to tell, places to explore, and delicacies to sample!
Below are details of what each themed-area of EPCOT has to offer. I’ve marked our family favorites with a C
What to See & Do in Future World
- C Spaceship Earth: This is really a fun ride and takes you through the future! Note: Make sure you push the button that corresponds to your native language before your toddler beats you to it…15-minute ride in French – very entertaining?!
- Universe of Energy: Narrated by Ellen & Bill Nye (the Science Guy), this ride takes you from theater seating through the age of dinosaurs!
- Mission: Space: I would have listed this as a family favorite, half of our family loves it…and the other half gets dizzy for the rest of the day?! A few years ago, Disney solved this by having a mild and an extreme version. The ride is an actual centrifuge that puts the riders through some extreme G forces, as you and your team work together to save the Mission. It’s really a fun ride – choose the mild line if you’re prone to dizziness, though!
- C Test Track: This ride is really well done. GM makes the riders feel like crash-test dummies, as they get put through a series of tests with their prototype car. Exhilarating ride!
- Innoventions: Very fun hands-on labs for the kids to play with and explore!
- The Living Seas (w/ Nemo & friends): The Nemo ride is really cute and fun for the kids. We also liked Turtle Talk with Crush – Crush interacts with the crowd through the aquarium glass. Lots of laughs & fun.
- C The Land: This boat ride takes you through Disney’s green-houses and gardens and really makes imagination soar. From exposed-root irrigation to the fish farms, this boat tour was both educational and lots of fun.
- Imagination: Ride along with Figment in a world of his imagination! Cute ride.
What to See & Do around the World Showcase (walking clockwise):
- C Mexico: When you walk into Mexico, you’ll feel like you literally walked into another world! There’s a boat ride, Three Caballeros, that takes you on a musical Mexican tour. As you float by the volcano on your left, the San Angel Inn Restaurante is on your right – set on a lantern-lit patio along this serene setting – great place for a meal!
- C Norway: Embark on the Viking Maelstrom boat ride, ending with a fun 5-minute Norway movie.
- China: The children’s acrobat show is amazing! Check out the short movie, Reflections of China, shown in their 360-degree theater!
- Germany: Stop by for a bratwurst, shop for a hand-made cuckoo clock, or catch the Oktoberfest-style band!
- Italy: Enjoy a cappuccino, Sergio the Mime, walk by the leaning tower of Pisa, and more!
- The American Adventure: Catch the fife & drum show and stop in for the 30-minute American heritage show.
- C Japan: Get some authentic tempura, listen to the Taiko drummers, or walk through the oriental gardens next to the pagoda.
- Morocco: Try on a Fez (hat); walk through the streets of “Morroco”; watch the belly-dancer shake her stuff!
- France: Enjoy the 20-minute Impressions of France movie, have a glass of wine, a pastry, quiche, or coffee…relax along the River Seine!
- United Kingdom: Stay for some outrageously funny British humor – frequent street shows; stop by the Rose & Crown pub for a pint of Base Ale or Fish and Chips.
- Canada: Watch the O Canada movie in the 360-degree theater and enjoy one of the best steak dinners in Disney World at the Le Cellier Steakhouse!
C EPCOT Fireworks: Illuminations!
This EPCOT firework show is one of my favorites of all time. The gas lanterns around the World Showcase lagoon dim as a barge with a giant globe floats to the middle. The globe then lights up with images from all over the world and a neat narration. The globe then opens up to start a show of lasers, flames, and fireworks set to music…absolutely awesome!
One way to keep the kids attention around the World Showcase walk is the kid stops at each country where they complete an arts & crafts activity and get the country’s stamp. The kids loved this and it helped keep them going.
You can also play the scavenger hunt game around the World Showcase. It used to have a Kim Possible theme, but it is now Agent P (Phineas & Ferb). This was a lot of fun and it took us in and out of areas of the countries that we had not seen (or noticed) before!
Another idea for a brief excursion: Walk out the International Gateway exit/entrance between France and United Kingdom and take the 15-minute walk to the Beach Club Resort. This area is really amazing – you’ll think you’re at the Jersey shore!
EPCOT is a fun park that you’ll want to spend at least one full day and probably more. It’s a lot of walking, so plan accordingly with stroller rentals and rest stops!