Epcot is the perfect juxtaposition of the future and the past. This colossal theme park spans double the size of the Magic Kingdom. Make sure that you do these top 15 things to fully experience what Epcot has to offer!
1. American Adventures & Voices of Liberty
One of my favorite presentations is at the American pavilion. This thirty-minute show gives us a glimpse of our American history while still being entertaining and epically presented. Most people manage to make it just as the doors are opening, but try to get there early enough to hear the melodic Acapella group, Voices of Liberty perform. They are truly a phenomenal act that shouldn’t be missed!
2. French Dining
The French pavilion is my all-time favorite place to get pastries, gelato, or sit down for a Parisian inspired dinner! Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie is the perfect place to sample macaroons or to devour a crème brûlée! If you want a more luxurious meal, reserve in advance to claim a table at Monsieur Paul. The atmosphere is glamorous without being too stuffy and quality of the meals are truly incomparable.
3. Spaceship Earth
This is the classic symbol of the Epcot theme park. Be sure to take the time to go on the slow moving journey through world history. It may even teach younger riders a thing or two about world history and how we have evolved. This ride is simply a classic and shouldn’t be missed.
This attraction was opened in 2005 at Walt Disney’s Epcot to long lines and amazing thrills. The attraction is known to be one of the most popular in the theme park and will be getting a new video projection and a third theatre by no later than Spring 2016. Fastpasses are definitely recommended for this attraction as the lines can get extremely long.
5. Mission Space
Mission Space is a ride that provides the thrills and sensations of a real life excursion to outer space. The sensations on this classic attraction can feel intense at times, so those prone to motion sickness should avoid it. The ride offers a high intensity version called the “Orange Team” and a less intensity version for those who may not be in the right health called the “Green Team”. There is something for everyone!
6. Pick a Pearl at the Japan Pavilion
The Japan Pavilion at Epcot gives guests the choice of paying to randomly select an oyster from the tank and take home the pearl inside of it. This is a great memory and keepsake item to remember your vacation by, and it can one day become a stunning piece of jewelry.
7. Living with the Land
My friends and family jokingly call this the “Vegetable Ride”, but in reality, the ride is a boat tour of the greenhouses and research facilities that provide produce for some of the food in Epcot. The attraction is definitely interesting and has beautifully designed scenery of natural settings such as a desert or a rainforest.
Epcot is known for its lavish Food and Wine festival (held in the Fall) and its Flower and Garden festival (held in the Spring). Intricately designed flower arraignments, an abundance of alcoholic beverages, and everything from cooking demonstrations to tastings can be found during these festivals. They definitely represent a different side of Epcot.
9. Sunshine Seasons Dining
Located conveniently next to Soarin’ and Living with the Land, Seasons has got to be one of my favorite quick service places in Epcot. The variety of meal options is so extensive, that you may find yourself getting more than you can consume (guilty!). My personal favorite is the Oak-Grilled Vegetable Flatbread sandwich. It is the perfect combination of healthy and delicious. Plus, a lot of the produce used in the foods are grown at Epcot!
10. Illuminations: Reflections of Earth
The fireworks show at Epcot is definitely a sight to see. The show is centered around the Showcase pavilion, and the beauty of it all comes from the central earth sphere that is the focus of the fireworks show. The projections and music and enchanting, and it is definitely the best way to end a day at Epcot. Try to snag a seat by the Rose and Crown Pub for a prime view.
11. Shopping for International Goods
The exotic and cultural feel of the international pavilions is further specified by the different foreign products you can purchase while visiting the different pavilions. From belly dancing costumes at Morocco to Japanese candies and Kimonos, there is something for everyone to splurge on! FYI, you can even by real handmade Venetian masks in the Italy pavilion!
12. Test Track
Another staple to the typical Epcot day, Test Track is another classic example of a must do. This ride encompasses a vehicle test and ends with a 60 mph spin around a track that will certainly pump your adrenaline! It would be useful to have a Fastpass for this one, as the lines tend to bulk up around midday.
13. Taking Photos at Every Pavilion
The detail and design of all of the pavilions is intricate and realistic. Why not take photos at every single pavilion? There are so many backdrops to choose from at every pavilion, so you will always have a place to take a picture! Start by trying on a sombrero in Mexico and work your way to totem poles in Canada. Explore all the pavilions for unique locations.
14. Ellen’s Energy Adventure
Many people choose to opt out of this attraction because of its 45-minute time commitment. But to me, this attraction is a staple event at the Future World. Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye host the attraction which encompasses both a preshow, screen projections, and a slow moving ride through a prehistoric time. The attraction is informative and still entertaining.
Epcot is culinary dream. Enjoy the access you have to the variety of cultural options and test out a little bit of everything. Try sushi in Japan, Chinese dumplings, pizza at Via Napoli Ristorante, gyros at Morocco, and tacos in Mexico! There are endless possibilities to dine like royalty for any budget.
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Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper