8 Things No One Tells You About Visiting Epcot

Epcot Monorail

Only at Walt Disney World can you ride a grand and miraculous spaceship, live with the land, and go around the world in one day! Epcot has so many attractions and destinations to offer for guests to this theme park that has so much of Walt Disney ingrained into its history. Whenever you go to Epcot, be sure to keep the following things in mind:

8. There’s so much more to Epcot than the World Showcase: When people typically think of Epcot, the first things that come to mind are the World Showcase and the iconic Spaceship Earth. While the World Showcase is a wonderful celebration of various cultures and places, and while Spaceship Earth is a classic that is a must-ride at Epcot, there’s much more to explore! The Land offers dining as well as a ride through where Disney grows their food and the famous Soarin’! Next to The Land is The Seas, where you can take a dive into the big blue world with Nemo and Friends, and people who are scuba certified can dive in the fish tanks! There’s also Test Track and various other attractions, so don’t let people fool you into thinking that the only thing to do is to eat or drink around the world!

7. Magical Moments happen at the International Gateway: Sometimes, random or rare characters will come out to visit guests by the International Gateway, which is located right by the France and England Pavilions in the World Showcase. There is no posted schedule and their arrival can be entirely random, which is what makes the moment so magical. Characters like Prince Eric, Maleficent, and Jane Porter have been known to make surprise appearances here!

6. You can get free soda: Well, not a full bottle of it, but you can try as many samples as you’d like at Club Cool! Club Cool offers free soda samplings of sodas from around the world. While you can’t fill up an empty water bottle with your favorite, it’s perfect if you just need a quick drink to help cool you down or give you a boost of hydration. Plus, the Beverly soda has gained quite a bit of fame – or should we say infamy? See for yourself!

5. Disney Visa Card holders have a special meet and greet: Disney Visa Card holders, there’s a special meet and greet just for you! If you have a Disney Visa credit card, don’t waste your time in lines at the main Epcot Character Spot where Mickey and pals meet – there’s one exclusively for Disney Visa Card holders where you can meet a random member or two of Mickey and friends! You also get a voucher for a free print of your picture that you can redeem at the photo shop by Spaceship Earth. The meet and greet is located inside of Innoventions near the firetruck activity.

4. Hollywood Studios is within walking distance: That’s right, you can literally walk to Hollywood Studios from Epcot! If you go through Disney’s Boardwalk, you can walk or catch a boat ride to Hollywood Studios. This is especially convenient for guests that are staying at Disney’s Boardwalk resorts, but you don’t have to be staying there to cut through to get from one park to another!

3. You can meet princesses: Princess meet and greets aren’t reserved for Magic Kingdom! Many princesses and other characters meet in the countries where they’re from or a similar country in the World Showcase, such as Aurora and Belle in France, Snow White in Germany, Aladdin and Jasmine in Morocco, Mulan in China, and Alice and Mary Poppins in the United Kingdom. You can also meet Winnie the Pooh and Tigger, Marie from The Aristocats, and more throughout the World Showcase. You can also meet princesses at the character dining experience Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavilion.

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2. Epcot was originally planned to be a city: EPCOT originally stood for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow and was Walt Disney’s plan for a futuristic and model city. Walt would have gotten around to building the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, but the state of Florida forced him to build Magic Kingdom first, and he unfortunately passed away before Magic Kingdom was completed. Since the company didn’t want to move forward with the original vision of EPCOT with Walt gone, the town of EPCOT never happened but instead became a theme park dedicated to Walt’s original ideas. The original plan for EPCOT can be seen while riding the People Mover at the Magic Kingdom.

1. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is an award winning show – IllumiNations is the nightly fireworks show at Epcot, and don’t snub it off since it’s not the Magic Kingdom – IllumiNations is an incredible show and has won awards for ten years in a row! IllumiNations features laser lights, LEDs, pyrotechnics, and fireworks all in one, and is a beautiful celebration and reflection of Earth! IllumiNations happens at the lake in the center of the World Showcase at the end of the night (usually around 9:00 p.m. when the park closes), so be sure to include it in your Epcot trip.

Epcot is a Disney fan favorite, so be sure to experience it as much as you can before you leave. And as E. Cardon Walker said in the park’s dedication, “May Epcot Center entertain, inform and inspire. And, above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man’s ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere.”

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About Jessica S.

Jessica is a multimedia journalist and lover of all things Disney, including Marvel and Star Wars. Jessica is an Annual Passholder at Walt Disney World and visits approximately once a month. She loves any excuse to Disney Bound or cosplay at the parks and you can probably find her on The Haunted Mansion.

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