I remember coming to Disney World as a kid and my parents not taking me to Epcot. I think they thought it was not going to be kid-friendly or have anything of interest to me, but that is wrong! Epcot gets this reputation because of events like the International Food and Wine Festival (running from mid-September to early-November every year) and the drinks that World Showcase has to offer. But, there is plenty of fun for the little ones (and for mom and dad, too)! People will rave about the thrill rides like Test Track or Soarin’ or the fantastic fireworks show, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. Those are great, but here is a list of my favorite hidden gems
9. Oh Canada! – this is a great 360-degree film narrated by and starring Martin Short about our neighbor to the north. You have to make your way to the theatre by going behind the waterfall. The theatre is air-conditioned, offering a nice respite from the hot Florida sun! There are rails for you to lean against to rest and recoup before touring the rest of the countries of World Showcase.
8. Club Cool – soda fanatics will love this refreshing stop in the Future World area of Epcot. This experience is sponsored by Coca-Cola and features a variety of their beverages from around the world. Ever wonder what Coke tastes like in Mexico? This is where you can find out! The best thing about Club Cool is that you get unlimited FREE samples! That is a rarity at Disney, so take advantage of it! Everyone will find a favorite (and least-favorite) for everyone to try!
7. Voices of Liberty – this singing troupe is featured in the American Adventure. Songs are performed a capella and generally feature old-time songs like “She’ll Be Coming Around the Mountain.” However, they’ve been known to fit in more popular Disney songs like “Let It Go” from Frozen! Their performances take place throughout the day and are a pre-show for the American Adventure show featuring Disney’s Audio Animatronics. This is another great place to take a rest and cool off!
6. Refreshment Outpost – while not technically a country, the continent of Africa is featured here between China and Germany in World Showcase. You’ll know you’re close when you hear the beat of the drums! Here you can enjoy some delicious pineapple or coconut soft-serve, or if you can’t decide, you can try a swirl of both flavors.
5. The Shops of Germany – when you approach Germany, you’ll see Karamell- Küche. This delicious shop sells anything you can think of served with a healthy sampling of caramel. Your sweet tooth will be glad you stopped by. If you keep walking back through the shop, you’ll discover an ornament shop. They have amazing ornaments to browse. You can buy one as a wonderful memento of your Disney trip.
4. Garden Grill – this restaurant is located in the Land Pavilion in Future World. What makes this restaurant enjoyable is the fact that it rotates! The restaurant has amazing artwork with some hidden Mickeys for the family to find while enjoying an all-you-care-to-enjoy family-style meal featuring turkey, chargrilled filet of beef, and a daily selection of Disney’s sustainable fish. The meal also features food grown on-site at Disney (you can see some of the food being grown on the Living with the Land boat tour), as well as visits from Mickey, Pluto, Chip, and Dale! Dessert is included and changes based on the season.
3. L’Artisan des Glaces – don’t let the name throw you off! This little shop buried in the back of France serves a wonderful selection of ice cream and sorbets. Everyone is sure to find something to enjoy here. After grabbing your favorite, you can head into Impressions de France, a movie about the French countryside.
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2. Refreshment Port – with a name as bland as this, you wouldn’t expect to find something so delectable here! Refreshment Port is home to the cronut! This doughnut is made with croissant-like bread and covered in cinnamon-sugar. Be sure to ask if they are fresh. You can wait for some fresh ones to come out and enjoy them when they are the most delicious!
1. Germany Beer and Pretzel Cart – this is a must do! Nestled outside of Germany, this cart serves pretzels (not the famous Mickey pretzels), but more traditional pretzels with mustard and a selection of beer. Parents will definitely want to try the Schofferhoffer Grapefruit beer. It may sound strange, but once tasted, you’ll put it on your must-have list! Our family always stops by this cart on every trip to Epcot and raves about the drink to others while waiting in line. While mom and dad enjoy their drink, the kids can enjoy a character interaction with Snow White nearby.
Whether it be a ride, food, or just enjoying a look at the countries of the world, everyone will find something to enjoy in Epcot. Take some time to explore the countries of the World Showcase and you’ll be guaranteed to find your own favorite hidden gem, too!