EPCOT was the 2nd park that was opened in Disney World. It was part of Walt’s vision as well. It stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Walt envisioned and wanted to create a community that people would actually live in, where it used all up-to-date technology. He also had a passion for the different countries around the world & participating in the New York Worlds Fair. He always wanted to create his own worlds fair. The Disney Imagineers simply put the two concepts together when they planned out EPCOT. It consists of two sections: Future World & World Showcase.
It is also a common misconception that EPCOT is boring or not for kids. They have made many updates and additions over the years to make it fun for all ages.
One of the most famous attractions isn’t even famous for the ride – it’s for the giant “golfball” that houses it. Many people don’t even realize what’s in it- a ride called Spaceship Earth, that tells the story of how communication has evolved over the years. It is very interesting, and they now have an interactive portion that keeps it up to date and fun for all ages.
There are a couple other very popular attractions in Future World – Test Track & Soarin’. There are bunch of other attractions that you can see there including Mission: Space & Universe of Energy: Ellen’s Energy Adventure. There are also different pavilions with attractions inside them:
- Journey Into Imagination With Figment
- Captain EO (featuring Michael Jackson)
- Living With The Land
- Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable
- (Soarin’ is also in this pavilion)
The Seas With Nemo & Friends
- The Seas With Nemo & Friends
- Turtle Talk With Crush
Innoventions (East & West)
- Both of these building house interactive & hands-on exhibits that feature different technology
World Showcase is the section of EPCOT where you can visit eleven countries – in one day.
From the cast members that are actually natives of the country they work in – to the structures, decor and art that were virtually all designed & built by artists and architects from those countries – you really feel like you are totally immersed in their cultures. Each country is separated into sections so that when you walk over each “boarder”, you have just stepped into “a whole new world” (cue the Aladdin music).
Each country has it’s own shops, exhibits, entertainment & of course, FOOD! There are many people who have made it their mission in life to “eat their way around the world”. There are Table Service Restaurants at every country, plus a Quick Service Restaurant and/or food kiosks. Each of those eateries feature foods that come from the country. So, you can eat an egg roll in China, a churro in Mexico, sushi in Japan, and a bratwurst in Germany.
There is more to World Showcase than just beauty & education – there’s also fun! Kids can go to each country & visit their Kidcot Fun Stops. The first one they go to, they can get a cardboard puppet bear (named Duffy) on a stick that they could decorate with the markers at each station. They can also hand their puppet to the cast member that is working at the Kidcot Fun Stop, and they will put a stamp on the stick that has their country’s name on it – and if they have a different alphabet than ours, they will write your child’s name on the back in their language. These stations help keep the attention of the smaller kids, who may not otherwise be as amazed by the wonder of World Showcase.
For the older kids/teens/adults, there is Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure. You check in before you start your walk around the world, where you are given a cell phone-like device and follow the instructions to help with the mission. It will lead you to different clues in each of the countries. This is a new adaptation of the former Kim Possible Mission.
There are also some attractions at the different countries, which range from exhibits, informational movies, rides & shows. One of our family’s favorite attractions is in Norway – called Maelstrom. It is a viking ship ride through Norway, explaining the history and folklore that make up their culture.
The countries that are represented in World Showcase (starting in Mexico, going clockwise) are:
*Outpost (this is a small section that has an African/safari theme)
All of these countries surround The World Showcase Lagoon. Every night on these waters, there is an amazing lights/fireworks show called Illuminations – it is a must see!