When the Walt Disney Company opened Epcot in 1982, its foundation was built around innovation, international culture, and community. Those principles still hold true today in every square inch of the park that is twice the size of the Magic Kingdom! Epcot has rides that will satisfy the biggest of thrill seekers as well as attractions for the casual Disney fan who prefer a more ‘laid-back’ experience packed with history and nostalgia. Whether you want to virtually hang glide over the Golden State, watch the King of Pop moonwalk his way to saving the planet, or indulge in a brick oven pizza steps away from the Trevi Fountain, you’ll find something to make your trip to Epcot a memorable one filled with Disney magic from start to finish. Here are some of the rides and moments you’ll want to be sure not to miss.
8) Turtle Talk with Crush – Ever wish you could have an open forum with the ‘coolest dude’ this side of the EAC? This fifteen minute show is located right when guests come down the elevator from the Nemo and Friends ride. Not only is this an interactive attraction for children and adults, it gives everyone a chance to rest and recharge before taking on the rest of the park.
7) Living with the Land – While riding through Living with the Land, guests get a firsthand lesson in farming, gardening, and agriculture. You’ll see how all of the food that is served in Disney restaurants is grown, farmed, and nurtured by Disney professionals. Guests also get a chance to see specific fruits, vegetables, and herbs grown in a climate controlled environment. You’ll be shocked when you find out where some of your favorite fruits and vegetables are naturally grow and come from!
6) The Three Caballeros – This is the only real ‘ride’ left over in the World Showcase, as Maelstrom has officially begun renovations for a Frozen themed attraction. Located in the back left hand corner inside of Mexico, this short musical boat ride takes you through the Mexican landscape being serenaded by the Three Caballeros. From the beaches of Cancun to the Mayan ruins, follow Donald Duck as he does his best to stay out of trouble.
5) Spaceship Earth – People have referred to this attraction as ‘the big golf ball’ for years. It is formally referred to as a geosphere. Spaceship Earth takes guests on a journey through time from the prehistoric days until well into the future. Judy Dench does a great job narrating this iconic attraction while you get a chance to transport yourself into the future! Be sure to check out some of the sensory enhancements Disney added throughout this attraction.
4) Captain EO – The King of Pop may be gone, but his music lives in this 3-D musical adventure into space. Michael Jackson produced Captain EO with George Lucas and Francis Coppola close to three decades ago and it still light years ahead of its time. Filled with some Disney special effects, strobe lights, and music that still makes people want to dance, this timeless masterpiece is fun for the whole family.
3) The Seas with Nemo and Friends – Nemo decides to venture off into the ocean again, but this time he is with off having fun with some of his old pals. Guests ride seashells in this slow moving but fun loving adventure through the seas. Whether it is the ride through the EAC with Crush, a close encounter with Bruno the Shark, or coming face to face with a singing Nemo and his entire family, the attention to detail the Imagineers took with this attraction is second to none.
2) Soarin – Some will argue that this should be number one on the list, but guests can’t go wrong with either. Soarin is a virtual ride that will put your senses on overload from start to finish. Have you ever envisioned hitting the links of Pebble Beach, hang gliding over the Pacific Ocean, or even visiting our friends in Disneyland in Anaheim? Guests get a chance to see, feel, and even smell some of the most beautiful scenery on the west coast. Be sure to check out this action packed fan favorite at Epcot.
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1) Test Track – Have you ever wished you could speed around Epcot at over sixty miles an hour? We’ve come a long way from the ‘Model T’ assembly line here in the United States. Guests get a chance to add rocket boosters, massive tires, and gaudy looking paint jobs on their virtually designed cars in the lab before taking them out for a spin around Epcot. Test Track brings your ideas to live as you test drive your newly designed vehicles for safety, weather, and finally speed!
As you can see, Epcot has rides and attractions for anyone young and old. That is part of why Walt Disney had the original dream of his theme parks. It was so that all guests can submerge themselves in the experience and enjoy it with no worries, regardless of their age. There is no right or wrong way to do Epcot or any other Disney park. It comes down to what types of attractions or vacation you prefer to have. If you have that mindset, your expectations will always be exceeded. The one thing that Epcot will never fall short of is imagination and ideas that are forward thinking, and you’ll see that the second you walk through the gates.
Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper