Epcot is a wonderfully themed and beautifully designed park and one of my favorites. There are many exciting attractions, unique sights and sounds, and delicious places to eat and drink. There are also a bountiful amount of hidden gems throughout the park.
8 Hidden Gems in Epcot
Here are my top 8 in no particular order.
8. Living with the land boat ride
This amazing boat ride in The Land pavilion is a great relaxing ride that begins with a tour of a rainforest, a desert prairie and a small farm house. The opening scenes of this attraction are pure Disney at its’ best. The attention to detail is superb . Look for the number on the mailbox outside the farmhouse, it has significance! The rest of the ride
takes you through the greenhouses where all the food is grown and raised. The food grown here is also used at Sunshine Seasons and The Garden Grill restaurant. Also, be sure to inquire about the “Behind the Seeds” tour that takes guests through the greenhouses for a firsthand look of what horticulturalists are working on.
7. The fountains outside of Imagination
All of the water features in Epcot are very unique and exciting. The fountains outside the Imagination Pavilion are the most interactive and fun. In particular, the jumping water pods. Grab yourself a seat and watch all the little kids attempt to alter the path of the stream of water being projected from pod to pod. Unbeknownst to them, the water cannot be stopped! I figured this out when I was younger, when one of the streams splashed me in the face. Fortunately, it was a hot summer Orlando day so I dried off quickly. The upside down waterfall and the water spouts combined with the jumping water pods make for real quality fun and it’s relaxing as well. Go back at night if you can. The lighting in and around combined with the fountains is very beautiful and amazing.
6. The International Gateway entrance
Epcot is the only park in Walt Disney World that has 2 entrances. There is an entrance in World Showcase between England and France referred to as The International Gateway entrance. It is often forgotten as a second way to enter and exit Epcot. There are a couple of ways to get there. You can catch the ferry from Hollywood Studios or Boardwalk. You can also catch it from the Yacht and Beach club or simply walk the path.
5. Street performers of France
Stop by France while meandering around World Showcase and look for what appears to be a waiter setting up a table for dinner service. The street performing act, known as Serveur Amusant, puts on a magnificent show throughout the day. Check the schedule for specific show times. This is a thrilling and interactive performance, for all ages, that is not to be missed.
4. Germany pavilion courtyard
During the winter months, Orlando occasionally has some chillier evenings. These are perfect times to put on a light jacket and head over to the Germany pavilion in World Showcase. Take a seat in the courtyard with a view of the clock tower. Each hour on the hour the clock strikes the bell and two Hummel figurines come out. The authentic German food here is outstanding and for adults they serve some wonderful German beir and Gluwein (heated spiced wine). There is a very festive feeling here each and every night, but it is especially felt during the holidays.
3. Katsura Grill in Japan pavilion
I love all of the counter service restaurants throughout WDW, but Katsura Grill in World Showcase Japan pavilion is one of favorites. Not only is the food very good and reasonably priced, the ambiance is one of the best in WDW. The seating area is so beautifully arranged and designed. The paper lanterns, classic red bridge and waterfall combine so elegantly and naturally. Just like most everything else at WDW it’s a different experience at night that is a must see.
2. Mexico Pavilion Plaza de Los Amigos
The inside of the Mexican pavilion is so perfectly themed. You truly feel like you’re walking around the streets of a small Mexican town at twilight with a volcano erupting behind a Mayan pyramid. There are many colorful carts through the Plaza and shops offering Mexican jewelry, pottery, and some leather goods. At different times throughout the day a mariachi band plays some authentic Mexican music. It is always a festive atmosphere inside. Do a little shopping and then head on over to the Grand fiesta tour. A relaxing boat ride that takes you on a tour of Mexico’s past and present with the Three Caballeros as your guide. Olè!!
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1. The area music of Epcot
As soon as you enter Epcot you are taken on a journey of beautifully themed area music coming from hundreds of hidden speakers throughout the park. As you proceed through each pavilion in Future World and all the different countries in World Showcase you are immersed by music that is unique and special to that particular area. I love that they still play classics in future world from attractions that are no longer there such as Making Memories (written by the Sherman brothers) from World of Motion and the Horizons theme. It always takes me back to my memorable family trips from the 80’s and 90’s in WDW. There are so many hidden gems throughout all of Walt Disney World. Be sure to always take time to “stop and smell the roses”. You never know what hidden gems of your own that you will find!
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Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper