EPCOT Center Orlando
Epcot was to be Walt Disney’s dream of the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow. In some ways, the forward thinking of Epcot’s Future World and the diversity of cultures at World Showcase keep a part of Walt’s dream alive. Disney in this case turned the idea of Epcot into a fantastic theme park and it could be argued, moved the spirit of Epcot to the Disney built town of Celebration, Florida, only miles from the Magic of Disney World. Epcot Center Orlando is just one of four theme parks that comprise Walt Disney World Resort in the sunny state of Florida.
EPCOT, the second oldest of Disney’s Floridian theme parks was opened in 1982, and will probably need two days if you want to see and do everything within the park, (One day in Future World, and one day around the World Showcase, however many may find it less interesting than Magic Kingdom or the Disney MGM Studios.
EPCOT, or the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow was Walt Disney’s visionary idea comprising a huge transparent dome containing an entire city of harmony and progress, however with Walt’s death in 1966, many of the original ideas for EPCOT were lost, and the resulting EPCOT Centre built by the Disney imagineers is a compromise between the parts of the dream laid out by Walt, and what could be achieved in practice. It is subdivided into two main sections, Future World, and The World Showcase.
What does EPCOT stand for? Answer – Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
Visit our Epcot Map page for a printable PDF map of the park.
Epcot Center Orlando Attractions
Epcot theme park is spread out throughout three hundred acres which is double the size of the Magic Kingdom theme park and is divided into the Future World and the World Showcase.
Future World is definitely where it’s at and is filled with remarkable attractions, fabulous entertainment and shows which all center on advancement in technology, innovation and wonder for the young as well as for the young at heart.
Future World which opens (and closes) earlier than the World Showcase, pretty much covers the area between the main entrance to EPCOT, and the large lagoon. It is themed into distinct pavilions, and is dominated by Spaceship Earth, a large 180ft geodesic sphere made from white aluminum. As well as providing a focus for the park, Spaceship Earth contains a slow ride, which winds its way along a track through the dome itself, tracing the history of human communication from cave drawings through satellite and television.
Behind Spaceship Earth is the Showcase Plaza with the EPCOT fountain, and flanked on either side by a curved “Innoventions” building, containing examples of “technology from tomorrow”, though in reality almost everything on display has been with us for a few years in one form or another. Buckle up and take the ride of your life up bumpy terrain, through hair-pin turns, into freezing cold chambers, and on to 50-degree banked curves at 60 miles an hour
Buckle up and take the ride of your life up bumpy terrain, through hair-pin turns, into freezing cold chambers, and on to 50-degree banked curves at 60 miles an hour. It’s all the hair-raising challenges of an automotive proving ground and this time, you’re the test driver.
The Wonders of Life contains “Body Wars”, a turbulent simulator ride through the human body. Other attraction include the Wondercycles, where you cycle through the EPCOT park which is presented in front of you on a television display, along with distance traveled and energy expended etc.
The recently refurbished Universe of Energy, features “Ellen’s Energy Adventure”, presented by Ellen DeGeneres.
In The Living Seas, you can explore a large man-made coral reef, teeming with tropical fish, or view sharks and manatees
The Land features The Circle of Life, and environmental fable with the characters from The Lion King, whilst Living with The Land is a sedate boat ride and walk with an agricultural theme, demonstrating examples of soil-free gardening, plant biotechnology, fish farming, and pest management.
The Journey into Imagination pavilion houses the Honey I Shrunk the Audience 3-D theatre presentation, located in the Imagination Institute.
World Showcase Pavilions
Upon entering the main gate at Epcot theme park you will find the World Showcase. Once inside you will discover a group of pavilions that house attractions, restaurants and shops.
You will not be at a loss for a very large variety of food to choose from at these restaurants as they represent the culture of eleven countries including Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, United Kingdom and of course the United States.
Each individual pavilion houses various attractions, including restaurants, rides, cinema presentations, live shows, and shops selling articles from the country concerned. The Rose & Crown Pub in the United Kingdom for example sells a range of typical British Beers (Bass, Guinness, Harp) in a traditional British Pub environment at very untraditionally high prices (“Innit Guvnor, Cor Blimey Mate!”), whilst in The American Adventure an audio-animatronics show depicting America’s “incredible struggles and triumphs” can be seen.
With such a vast array of foods being showcased, there is bound to be something for everyone. The prices range on the low end from about $15.00 and under to about $60.00 at the high end and everything in between. It all depends if your taste buds are leaning more towards pizza and a salad or more along the lines of a juicy filet mignon.
The Rose & Crown pub is an excellent spot to watch the Illuminations Fireworks. Read more about Disney Fireworks and where to see them.
Attractions at Epcot Center
There are so many attractions to see and experience at Epcot center Orlando that I am almost at a loss for where to begin! Of course if you have been there before and have children, I am sure they already have your list of where to go and what to see all planned out before you even step foot out of your home!
There are so many “must sees” that it will be challenging to narrow it down to just a few exceptional ones to be sure not to miss.
The Circle of Life – where everyone can be taught about protecting our planet by watching this live, animated twenty minute film which features Pumbaa and Simba from “The Lion King.” The age range for this one is anywhere from pre-schoolers up through adults.
Ellen’s Energy Adventure – which stars comedian and television talk show star Ellen! This multi-media attraction embarks you on a journey from the dinosaurs up to the present day which explores what empowers the Universe and our individual lives today, while peeking into the future to see how we just may be living then. The age range for this is pre-schoolers to adults.
Journey into Imagination with Figment which was actually voted Best Epcot Attraction for Kids! There is a dragon named Figment who is on quite a journey through the laboratories within the Imagination Institute. Figment has a topsy-turvy outlook which proves that ones imaginative qualities work best when they are set completely free. The age range for this is from pre-schoolers to adults.
Mission: Space at Epcot – Where else but Epcot center Orlando can you travel eight thousand miles in five and a half minutes on an exciting journey which allows you to “become” an astronaut on a space flight to Mars, all from a theme park comfortable seat?
There is an interesting pre-amble to the ride showcasing many famous astronauts from history.
The main ride of Mission Space is a virtual reality space mission. There are two different rides – one is the full intensity, full G-force, centrifuge experience and the other is not.
The more intense ride is really like what NASA astronauts experience in flight training – if you have a weak stomach, high blood pressure, anxiety, back problems, heart condition or any condition that may be worsened by intense motion – you are advised NOT to risk this ride and go on the less intense version instead.
You will also be dodging meteors as you fulfil your aeronautical tasks at hand yet there is also a less intensive flight option available. The age range for this is from kids to adults so probably is not the best for pre-schoolers!
Minimum height to ride – 44″
Epcot Center Orlando – Is One Day Enough?
This is a wonderful place for a family summer vacation getaway and I would be completely surprised if anyone could see and do everything in one day or even two.
Even three days may be pushing it but anything is possible depending on how many people you are going with for the main thing, ages and energy levels of each, and what pace everyone wants to enjoy Epcot Center Orlando at. If you do go anytime soon have a great time!