With all of the information out there about the Disney theme parks on-line, as well as what spreads through word of mouth, it is easy to get confused about what is actually true about a park and what isn’t. Epcot is a giant park in scope (and size) and with a park of this size, certain misunderstandings of what the park has to offer has spread, so we are here to tackle the top ten lies about Epcot!
1. There Aren’t Any Rides
When most people think about Epcot, the image of World Showcase usually comes to mind and guests immediately think there aren’t any rides. This can’t be further from the truth — in World Showcase itself, guests can ride the Gran Fiesta Tour in Mexico and Frozen Ever After in Norway. Soon guests will be able to ride Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure in France. Over in Future World, guests can find some amazing thrill rides aboard Test Track, Mission: Space, and Soarin’ Around the World. Guests wanting a ride with less thrills can find that aboard Living With the Land, Journey into Imagination, Spaceship Earth and the Seas with Nemo and Friends! Soon a Guardians of the Galaxy thrill ride will be opening where Ellen’s Energy Adventure used to be.
2. There Isn’t Anything for Kids to Do
Throughout the various festivals, Epcot offers kids of all ages the opportunity to participate in various scavenger hunts to find Easter eggs and other hidden characters throughout the park — after successfully completing the challenge, kids are rewarded with a souvenir to remember their trip by. In addition to these scavenger hunts, kids can learn more about the culture of the countries by visiting the Kidcot stations in each of the countries of World Showcase.
3. You Have to Sit Down for Meal
While World Showcase is home to some amazing dining choices, not all of the restaurants in Epcot require guests to step away from the fun for a full table service meal — one of the best quick-service restaurants at the resort can be found in the Land Pavilion at Sunshine Seasons — the menu is constantly changing so you won’t ever get the same meal twice. Some of the countries of World Showcase have a quick service location to grab some great cuisine and not miss out on the fun — we are particularly a fan of the Katsura Grill in Japan — you won’t mind having to take a break if you eat in the same outdoor dining area outside of the restaurant. You’ll swear that you aren’t even in a park from there.
4. Ugh, There Are So Many Festivals. It Is Always Busy!
Epcot plays host to four festivals throughout the year: Epcot Festival of the Arts, Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival, Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, and finally the Epcot Festival of the Holidays. The festivals are popular for a variety of reasons — there are great entertainment options, as well as interesting food and drink options for guests to enjoy. Since they are popular, guests will encounter some crowds, especially if you visit on the weekends — if your plans allow, we would recommend visiting during the day and during the week during your trip. You’ll have a totally different outlook on the festivals if you visit Wednesday afternoon compared to Saturday night.
5. It’s The Center of the Entire Resort
We ran into this Disney urban legend on one of the tours at the resort. Some claim that the geographic center of the resort can be found on the west side of Future World as you are walking towards the Land Pavilion. It is a neat story, but there is no truth to it.
6. It’s Boring
Many guests think that you are going to be forced to learn about science, nature, and world cultures when you visit Epcot. First off, you are on vacation, so it is your choice on whether you will view anything as “being forced.” Second, while the park chooses to focus on these areas of the natural world, they want they immerse guests in learning about these things is great. We love discovering the culture of foreign countries with fantastic films, as well as wonderful entertainers like those found in Canada, France, China, and Mexico. While one entertainment option may not be for you, but you’ll be sure that you will find something that will appeal to you.
7. You Can’t Find Characters
Many guests don’t consider Epcot the place to go to find characters, but guests can actually find a great number of characters throughout the park. In addition to classics like Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy, guests can find Donald Duck dressed to attend a fiesta over in Mexico. Norway is home to Anna and Elsa in their meeting location and guests can dine with princesses if they have a meal at Akershus in Norway. In China, guests will find Mulan. Snow White meets with guests outside of Germany. Over in Morocco, guests can find Aladdin and Princess Jasmine. Belle calls France home and over in the United Kingdom, guests can pose for photos with Mary Poppins, Alice, and Winnie the Pooh!
8. It Isn’t Guest Friendly
Guests complain that there is a lot of walking when visiting Epcot, but Disney has gone to lengths to make navigating the park a little easier. World Showcase Lagoon is home to two Friendship Boats that will ferry guests from the entrance to World Showcase from Future World over to either Morocco or Germany. Epcot also has two entrances: one at the front of the park and one at International Gateway between France and the United Kingdom. Finally, getting to the park is quite easy and guests can get to Epcot by bus, monorail, Friendship Boat, and Skyliner.
9. It Lacks Great Nighttime Entertainment
While the Magic Kingdom will likely always have the flagship nighttime fireworks show, Epcot has a new show set to debut soon, Harmonious. This show uses the entire World Showcase Lagoon as a backdrop for fireworks, music, and the magic of Disney artistry. It is also much easier to find a great place to watch the show without having to crowd together like you would at Magic Kingdom.
10. It’s So Hot!
This one is true! Disney World is in Florida – so absent about three weeks of the year when temperatures could charitably be called as temperate, it will be hot! Be sure to take breaks as you walk around World Showcase and go inside to enjoy a show or shop for a souvenir. Also keep the normal rules regarding the weather in mind — stay hydrated, wear sunscreen, and you may want to consider a hat!
Epcot is a great park to visit with the family. No matter the time of the year that you choose to visit, you will find plenty to make your trip memorable. Just take some time to make some pans in advance and you’ll find that none of these lies are true!
Tyler is a lawyer living in South Florida who visits Disney World at least once a month. He enjoys re-living classic Disney experiences and discovering new things about the parks when he visits. Friends and family always ask him to plan their trip for maximum Disney magic!