Disney World’s Epcot is arguably the most unique of the four theme parks. Unlike the others it’s divided into two main areas, Future World and World Showcase, each of which is, in turn, divided into pavilions. And it’s fair to say that Epcot puts the ‘theme’ into theme park. After all, it was built specifically to celebrate human accomplishment, spanning everything from technological advancement to discovery and global culture.
Future World, as you may have already guessed, explores the world in all its layers – the ocean, the earth and the great galactic beyond. The clue is also in the name for World Showcase – it celebrates specific countries each through 11 dedicated pavilions, all far more authentic than you could possibly imagine. In this article we’re going to give you a whistle-stop overview of both Future World and World Showcase - just think of it as your very own Epcot 101!
Future World offers innovative, thrilling simulators like Mission: SPACE or Soarin’ Around the World (pictured above - Photo credit Disney). Or, if you don’t wish to take to such heights, down where it’s wetter you might find it better with the likes of the highly interactive Turtle Talk With Crush or The Seas with Nemo & Friends, one of the largest aquariums on earth. These attractions barely scratch the surface, though. All-new roller coaster ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is even set to arrive in 2021.
World Showcase also has plenty of attractions to its name, and there’s easily much more in the way of variety here. For starters, enjoy an enchanted boat ride with Frozen Ever After in the Norway Pavilion. Or “you can sing, you can dance” with Beauty and the Beast in France. Upcoming attractions include Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at the France Pavilion, the as-yet-titled Mary Poppins ride at the United Kingdom Pavilion, and even a DuckTales adventure-of-sorts (DuckTales, woo-ooh!).
Enjoy the insightful Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival at Future World, as well as some live street entertainment such as the JAMMitors, near Spaceship Earth. There’s also the interactive Advanced Training Lab, an ideal spot for the little ones, just like Awesome Planet and Bruce’s Shark World (don’t worry – he might not be as friendly as Crush, but he definitely doesn’t bite).
Meanwhile, World Showcase has some of the most magical shows and events in the whole of Disney World. There’s the “illuminating” fireworks event Epcot Forever, the annual International Flower & Garden Festival during the spring and many more. During the Holiday season there’s also the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays – Candlelight Processional, which is narrated by celebrities!