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In Defense of EPCOT: Walt Disney World’s Best Park

A colorful nighttime view of EPCOT's Spaceship Earth illuminated with purple, blue, and orange lights. Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse are on the left, playfully leaning towards the center, and Figment, the purple dragon, is on the right.
Credit: Disney Fanatic

As Disney fans, we need to come to a simple understanding: Magic Kingdom is in its own unique category. It was the last park Walt Disney had a hand in designing, and as a result, it holds a special place in our hearts. So, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, we can start talking about the other three parks at Walt Disney World.

This also isn’t to say that the other parks are bad. A terrible day at Disney Parks is better than a good day anywhere else. It doesn’t matter what park you’re in. It’s still Disney.

epcot monorail

Credit: Brian McGowan, Unsplash

It’s just that EPCOT has more to offer than Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom. It has more options for food, shows, and types of rides, and it has something that neither of the other two has: festivals.

EPCOT has gotten a lot of heat lately. Originally, it was just the“educational” park, but now it has evolved into so much more. The educational rides are gone; at least most are (Spaceship Earth) and replaced by more exciting thrill rides. I still miss the World of Motion, but that’s for a different article.

So, here’s my argument for the greatness of EPCOT:

Festivals

lady and the tramp, international flower and garden festival

Credit: Brian McGowan, Unsplash

This might be the biggest draw for EPCOT. At every point of the year, a festival takes place at the World Showcase in EPCOT.

If you have ever been to EPCOT during the Christmas season, you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s worth taking a day to walk around and see how the countries are decorated for the Holiday season. And I haven’t even talked about the pageantry and beauty of the Candlelight Processional.

And let’s talk about EPCOT’s International Flower and Garden Festival. The topiaries are amazing. Again, this is a half day just walking around to check out all the flowers and character designs. You also get the Garden Rocks series. Sure, they’re not the greatest bands in rock history, but for 20 minutes, they can keep you entertained with those four songs you remember.

You also get Food and Wine and the Festival of the Arts. These are unlike anything that you get at any of the other parks. And I haven’t even gotten into the festival food (more on that in a minute).

EPCOT Rides

guests in front of guardians of the galaxy cosmic rewind, epcot

Credit: Disney

There is a good mix of EPCOT rides you can’t find anywhere else. There are old-school, educational rides like Journey Into Imagination and Spaceship Earth. I don’t care what anyone says; Spaceship Earth is still great.

It’s like “it’s a small world” at Magic Kingdom. I know it’s not the best ride in the world, but it isn’t a Disney World vacation if I haven’t ridden Spaceship Earth four or five times.

You have thrill rides like Test Track, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, and Mission: SPACE. But what EPCOT has is my favorite ride in all of Walt Disney World: Soarin’ Around the World.

In defense of EPCOT

Credit: Disney

No one can change my mind. It’s the most innovative ride I have ever been on. In that opening moment when you take off into the clouds, it gets me every time.

I haven’t even gotten into the movie-themed rides like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Frozen Ever After, and the Seas with Nemo & Friends. And the theme park’s newest addition, Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana.

And let’s not forget about the shows. I love the American Adventure. It doesn’t even bother me that it’s not historically accurate. I still go and feel good for 30 minutes.

Food and Drink at EPCOT

Connections Cafe 2023 EPCOT Food & Wine Festival

Credit: Disney

This is where EPCOT truly dominates the competition. EPCOT has more sit-down restaurants than all the other Parks combined. Every country in the World Showcase has at least one sit-down restaurant, if not more.

And now we get to the festival food. Whenever I’m in Walt Disney World during a festival, I spend at least two nights walking around the countries and snacking at the kiosks set up for the festivals. Some days, we start in Mexico and work our way up to America; the next, we begin in Canada and work our way to America. After all, you can only eat so much in one night, even with all that walking.

The food is legitimately good at most of the restaurants in World Showcase. I’ve never had a bad meal at EPCOT. The service at some of the restaurants is a different story.

Of course, there is also the drinking. EPCOT lets you drink the world if you don’t get out of control.

EPCOT’s Iconic Mascot

guests taking selfie, family, figment meet and greet

Credit: Disney

EPCOT is the only park that has its mascot. Figment is the only character who doesn’t appear in any other park, so I’m saying he’s EPCOT’s mascot. And now, guests are able to experience a meet and greet with him!

Mickey Mouse is the mascot of Walt Disney World, but the Figment only belongs to EPCOT. And he’s awesome.

Having said all that, EPCOT is easily the best Disney park. It has more to offer than Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom. It’s the best of all worlds. You can spend a whole day there, which is more than I can say for the other two. Your morning is spent on the rides, and your afternoon roaming around the World Showcase.

So, leave EPCOT alone. Or don’t go and let me have the place to myself. It’s the best for me.

Disclaimer: The opinions addressed in this article are the writer’s and may not reflect the sentiments of Disney Fanatic as a whole.

About Rick

Rick is an avid Disney fan. He first went to Disney World in 1986 with his parents and has been hooked ever since. Rick is married to another Disney fan and is in the process of turning his two children into fans as well. When he is not creating new Disney adventures, he loves to watch the New York Yankees and hang out with his dog, Buster. In the fall, you will catch him cheering for his beloved NY Giants.

One comment

  1. Cool

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