Ultimate Guide To Epcot Disney World

Epcot was first named Experimental. Prototype. Community. Of. Tomorrow. in 1966. Today Epcot is known as a fantastic park where you’re able to immerse yourself in different countries and cultures from around the globe. Use this ultimate guide to Epcot for inspiration to one of the most magical places on earth.

The Lighted Epcot Ball at Epcot Disney World Florida

Whether exploring the World Showcase, sampling delicious global cuisine or drinking around the world, Epcot is sure to be a great time.

Epcot also holds some epic festivals throughout the year including the Epcot International Festival Of Arts and the Epcot International Food And Wine Festival. Let’s talk about the best way to plan your trip to Epcot…

Getting To Epcot

Epcot is by far the easiest park to access within the Walt Disney World theme parks. If you’re staying on property every single mode of transportation will take you to Epcot. You can easily take the monorail, skyliner, bus, boat or even walk to the park. Take your pick! Most off-site hotels and resorts will have shuttle services to take you to Epcot.

If you’re driving to Epcot, you won’t have to pay for parking if you are staying on property or are a Disney passholder. However, parking for everyone staying off property is $25 per day.

sign to board Skyliner to Epcot at Disney world Florida
Sign to board Skyliner at Disney World to go to Epcot

Getting Around Epcot

Epcot is a massive park that encompasses 300 acres (about half the area of Central Park in New York City) and inside the park there are several transportation options. These include the Friendship Boats that can ferry you in the World Showcase. The boats travel between Canada and Morocco, as well as Mexico and Germany. The Friendship Boats are accessible to people using ECV's and their families.

Epcot Rides and Attractions

The focus of Epcot is both technologically and educationally based. There are only 10 true rides in all of Epcot, but they are some of the best in all of Disney World. The main sections of the park include

  • World Discovery
  • World Celebration
  • World Nature
  • World Showcase

World Discovery

Recently the main section of the park was split into 3 different sections and World Discovery is one of them. You’ll find that World Discovery is focused on science and technology.

  • Test Track

Test Track has a very creative concept for a thrill ride. You’ll hop into a convertible and experience what it’s like to be put through the rigors of vehicle testing. The highlight of Test Track is a 65-mph zip around the outside of the building in a vehicle of your design.

• Mission: Space

Mission: Space is the forgotten thrill ride of Epcot. There are 2 different versions of the ride, orange and green. Orange is the standard version, which is a simulated trip to Mars. Green is similar but has less intense motion and a modified storyline. Both versions will give a thrill ride, but I have witnessed people choose the wrong version of Mission:Space and they looked quite green while exiting the ride.

World Celebration

Disney's Moana-inspired attraction named Play! It is fun with all water interactive.

• Pavillion and Journey of Water.

  • Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth is a dark ride that is located inside the iconic Epcot geodesic dome. The 15-minute ride that chronicles the development of communication. You’ll love the chance to get inside the famous Epcot dome and Spaceship Earth is often rated among the top rides at Walt Disney World.

World Nature

World Nature focuses on the natural world and holds most of Epcot’s rides. The main focus is The Seas Pavilion, The Land Pavilion, and The Imagination Pavilion.

The Sea Aquarium

  • The Sea With Nemo And Friends (in aquarium)
  • Turtle Talk With Crush (in aquarium)

Turtle Talk with Crush is a great interactive show that allows audience members to have improvised dialogue with the beloved, Crush. In case you are unaware, Crush is the surfer dude turtle from Finding Nemo.

The Land Pavilion

  • Soaring Around The World (Land Pavilion)
  • Living With Land (Land Pavilion)

Soaring Around the World is a thrilling experience of simulated hang gliding. You’ll depart the ride with a real sense of awe.

The Imagination Pavilion

  • Journey Into The Imagination With Figment (Imagination Pavilion)
  • Images: Works: The What If Labs (Imagination Pavilion)
  • Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival (Imagination Pavilion )

World Showcase

The most famous part of Epcot is hands down the World Showcase. It’s located around World Showcase Lagoon and is chock full of restaurants, shops and cultural experiences from around the world.

11 Countries Of Epcot’s World Showcase

  • Canada
  • United Kingdom
  • France
  • Morocco
  • Japan
  • USA
  • Italy
  • Germany
  • China
  • Norway
  • Mexico

Most of these countries do not have rides except for France, Norway and Mexico. Some of the best and fan favorites include…

  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure – France
  • Frozen Ever After – Norway
  • Gran Fiesta Tour – Mexico

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is located in France and is one of the favorite rides in the park. This is a trackless dark ride that uses 3D screens and physical sets to shrink the riders to the size of Remy. Kids and Ratatouille fans will love this ride.

Frozen Ever After, located in Norway, is a standard boat ride that takes you through the story of Frozen. Fans of the movie will love the twists and surprises of the ride.

Gran Fiesta Tour in Mexico is located inside the pavilion and it stars The Three Cabelleros. This is a dark but fun boat ride all ages will enjoy.

Characters meet and greet At Epcot

Meeting characters at Epcot is unique because you’ll get to meet them in their home countries. You can see many of your favorite characters around the World Showcase including:

  • Goofy and Pluto at Spaceship Earth
  • Elsa and Anna in Norway
  • Joy (Inside Out) at Imagination Pavilion
  • Belle – France
  • Alice in wonderland – United Kingdom
  • Mulan – China
  • Mary Popping (U.K.)
  • Jasmine (Morocco)
  • Snow White (Germany)
  • Donald Duck (Mexico)

There are also several character meals offered at Epcot, where you can meet characters. They are offered at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and the Garden Grill. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is located in Norway and features a meal with the Disney Princesses. Characters you could dine with include Aerial, Belle and Snow White among other Princesses.

The Garden Grill is at the Land Pavilion and here you can have a meal with classic characters like Mickey, Pluto and Chip and Dale.

Epcot Dining

If you’re a foodie, then Epcot is going to be right up your alley. The sheer number of dining options in the World Showcase alone will make you giddy with excitement. Every country has specialty restaurant options, and the food options are seemingly endless.

While the options are endless, there are few highly recommended dining options for you to consider.

Table Service

  • Rose and Crown Dining Room (U.K.) – best fish and chips in the U.S.
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse (Canada) – don’t miss the poutine
  • Chefs de France (France) – make a reservation in advance 
  • Spice Road Table (Morocco) – legendary hummus fries with citrus chipotle
  • Teppan Edo Restaurant (Japan) – hibachi style dining with large portions
  • Tutto Italia Ristorante (Italy) – great Italian style menu
  • Biergarten Restaurant (Germany)
  • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Norway)
  • Nine Dragons Restaurant (China) – underrated and afforadable 
  • San Angel Restaurant (Mexico) – try the pollo a las rajas and stay for the great views
  • Garden Grill Restaurant (Land Pavilion) – great for families

Quick Service

  • Yorkshire County Fish and Chips (U.K.) – amazing fish and chips 
  • La Crêperie de Paris (France)
  • Tangierine Cafe (Morocco)
  • Sommerfest (Germany) – get the noodle gratin
  • Lotus Blossom Cafe (China)
  • La Cantina de San Ángel (México)

Snacks

  • L’Artisan des Glaces (France) – give the Roulé Lard and Fromage or the Croque Monsieur a try 
  • Gelateria Toscana (Italy)
  • Joy Of Tea (China)
  • The Refreshment Port – try the cronut and thank me later!

Can’t Miss Drink Carts

  • U.K. Beer Cart
  • Choz de Margarita (México)
  • La Cava del Tequila (México)

Epcot Festivals

Epcot holds many special festivals throughout the year. Many visitors plan their entire trip to Walt Disney World around these festivals. My favorite is the Flower and Garden Festival! The most popular include…

  • Festival Of Arts (Jan-Feb)
  • Flower And Garden (March-July)
  • Food And Wine (August-November)
  • Festival Of Holidays (November-December)

Epcot Tips

  • Use the My Disney Experience app for the character appearances schedule at World Showcase
  • The World Showcase does not open until 11 am. Other areas of Epcot open earlier but keep in mind that World Showcase opens later
  • Be prepared for a lot of walking! The park is 300 acres so make sure to wear comfortable shoes when you visit Epcot
  • Explore off the beaten path in the World Showcase. 
  • There is so much to see and do that many of the smaller details and galleries are completely skipped over. These are some of the true treasures and experiences at World Showcase.
  • You can rent a scooter ( ECV) or wheelchair once inside the park.

Epcot provides the unique experience of traveling around the world in one day! When compared to the other Walt Disney World theme parks this one truly stands out. Make sure to pack your comfy shoes and appetite for your day at the World Showcase. It’s an experience that you will never forget!

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