On October 1, 1979 ground broke for the second Theme Park at Walt Disney World. Three years and $1.4 billion later, on October 1, 1982, Epcot opened at Walt Disney World. The Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow is connected via monorail to the familiar Magic Kingdom theme park. Epcot is dedicated to international culture and technological innovations.
Epcot stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. It was once an idea of Walt Disney’s to build a model community that was home to twenty thousand residents. The community was to be built in the shape of a circle, with businesses and commercial areas in the center, schools and recreation complexes around it, and residential neighborhoods along the perimeter. Transportation was provided by monorails and automobile traffic would be kept underground leaving pedestrian to move safely above ground. Instead, the vision was not realized and the idea was turned into a theme park.
Epcot is twice the size of Magic Kingdom or Disneys Hollywood Studios, so be prepared to do a lot of walking. Good walking shoes are a must at this park. It is hard to take in all the sites in one day; however this theme park was built to allow guests to customize their day depending on personal interests.
Epcot is made up of Future World and World Showcase. Future World is the first themed area as you enter the park. Here you can experience the past and future of technology advancements in the larger-than-life buildings. World Showcase highlights the history, architecture, culture and dining of the eleven countries that surround the 40 acres World Showcase Lagoon. Each individual pavilion is displayed around a two kilometer promenade. The pavilions replicate familiar landmarks such as the Eiffel Tower and the Canadian Rockies.
Attractions at Future World:
The longest and fastest Walt Disney World attraction provides you a sneak peek inside the world of automobile testing. Passengers in each "test" vehicle experience how GM cars and trucks are tested before being brought to market.
Get inside a 12 year old boy’s brain. Buzzy, the ‘brain pilot’ will try to take command of body parts played by some of your favorite comedy stars. This is a humorous look at adolescence.
The Making of Me
The comic hero of this movie, looks back as his parents meet, fall in love, and conceive him. See the birth process which will answer questions like: Where did I come from? What’s it like being born?
Enter a body probe for a ride through an artery, but expect the unexpected. It is a motion simulator ride that miniaturizes you for your journey through the human body.
Ellen’s Energy Adventure
Enjoy the energy filled ride starring Ellen DeGeneres. This ride will take you through the creation of the universe, between and under dinosaurs and along to experience the Big Bang.
Learn about the history of communications from cavemen to future centuries. The voice of actor Jeremy Irons guides you through this gentle 16-minute ride. As you journey though the Audio-Animatronic scenes, your seats eventually rotate to reveal a glorious star-filled night sky. You continue your trip backwards passing through the future.
The Living Seas
This takes you below the sea where there is a magical world of water-filled wonder in the largest man-made ocean environments. Here you will find Nemo and all of his friends among the fish and other sea creatures. Interactive stations will provide fun and learning for everyone. Turtle Talk with Crush is one of the newest Living Seas attractions.
Circle of Life
A film that combines animation, live action and Lion King Characters. Pumbaa and Simba realize how important the different kinds of plants and animals are to the health of the planet. This will allow you to enjoy the wonders of nature.
Living with the Land
This is a 14-minute boat ride through very unique indoor plant growing areas. An introduction shows tropic, desert and prairie biomes that existed before humans arrived. Your guide will explain all about the four greenhouses and the aquaculture facility.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Hop in the clamobile and meet all your Nemo pals as they swim among the live marine life in a gigantic aquarium. Delve into the deepest parts of the ocean as part of this fun-filled story. Afterwards, chill out and spend some time with Turtle Talk with Crush. This is a first of its kind live animated show.
“Honey, I Shrunk the Audience”
It is one of the most creative 3D movies of the late 1990s. This is a 20-minute misadventure with Professor Wayne Szalinski. Professor Szalinski is about to accept the Inventor of the Year Award, however, he had a little mishap with the remote for his hoverpod and he's flying out of control around the Institute. As part of the award ceremony, Professor Szalinski will demonstrate his Dimensional Duplicator and Incredible Shrinking Machine. You too will be shrunk as part of the misdirected laser beam. There are some super special effects, including feeling the wind from the hoverpod when the Professor flies into the theatre.
Journey Into the Imagination with Figment
Take a ride thought the imagination institute, where a purple dragon named Figment will follow along and put you to the test using your senses.
Ice Station Cool
Club Cool is the place to go to cool down and sip a free beverage or two. Sponsored by Coca-Cola, this exhibit situated near Innoventions West, offers free samples of soft drinks from around the world, as well as the opportunity to purchase Coca-Cola merchandise.
Mission : SPACE
The earth will rumble, white clouds of exhaust stir as the ascent toward the sky starts and you are rocketed into space. Guests hear from CapCom and are asked to perform vital tasks that will land their spacecraft safely on Mars. Each guest will assume the role of Commander, Pilot, Navigator or Engineer. But there is no mission without surprise as guests encounter unexpected twists, turns and other challenges that test every astronaut. Quick thinking and fast reactions are needed by each guest to successfully complete the mission. Depending on what type of ride you want to experience, you can opt to join the Green Team or the Orange Team. Both adventures are out of this world.
Mission: SPACE Advanced Training Lab
Play the Mission: Space Race where two teams compete against each other to see who can rocket back to the space station first. Dock at the Space Base and explore the interactive crawl space. Don’t forget to check out Expedition Mars where all you need is a joy stick and a jet pack to discover the surface of Mars.
This ride sends you on a flight above the Golden State Bridge for a birds-eye view from 40 feet into the air of the rich landscape and topography. Soarin' is the newest addition to The Land pavilion at Epcot, complementing the popular pavilion's agriculture and ecology theme. Feel the wind rush buy you as you go where you may only dreamed about.
ImageWorks – The Kodak “What If” Labs
Let your imagination free in this interactive playground. Create music by waving your arms, videotape your image and play it back in super slow motion. Other experiments include stepping stones that create sounds and a special mirror that distorts your body. Play with some of the experiments. Children enjoy this interactive section. You can also send email postcards home from here.
Innoventions: The Road to Tomorrow
Disney has partnered with a variety of vendors to present the latest in cutting edge technology at Innoventions. The area is divided into Innoventions West, which is designated with blue signs, and Innoventions East, signed in green. Designed to create the effect of traveling along a highway, each area is numbered with a sign similar to those seen along U.S. Interstates. The miniature robot Tom Morrow 2.0 is your technoguide to the future.
Children will get a chance to travel the world discovering activity-filled crafts such as drawing, writing and stamping. Found over fourteen pavilions, their visions will come to life.
World Showcase Pavilions:
Travel the world in a day. Sail to distant shores and nations and experience all the possibilities on the planet and in the future. Lands that you will travel to and learn about culture include: Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Morocco, Norway, United Kingdom and the USA.
Go inside the Stave Church to explore the Norse artifacts, dine inside a castle, or explore the age of the Vikings. Here you can ride Maelstrom where Trolls are out to get you as you explore the heritage of Norway on this adventure filled boat ride. Watch for polar bears and pirates as you hold on tight as you plummet backwards into the stormy North Sea.
Visit this festive pavilion with an active marketplace, music and dining. Enjoy the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros boat ride which follows the adventures of Donald Duck, Jose Carioca and Panchito from the Disney film “The Three Caballeros.” Experience the sights and sounds of Mexico’s people, history and culture.
Walk through the amazing architecture reminiscent of Venice, including a version of the Campanile of St. Mark’s Square, bridges and gondolas. Eat sweets or enjoy an Italian full course meal.
This pavilion is divided into two sections, the Ville Nouvelle (new city) and the Medina (old city). Discover the shops featuring remarkable Rabat carpets, woven belts, beautiful brass pots and planters, and leather sandals. Watch the bellydancers at Restaurant Marrakesh and enjoy the music of Mo’Rockin’.
Centered on a cobblestone plaza, this fairy-tale inspired village is very charming. Visit the shops which houses an amazing toy store and crystal jewelry. Experience the one-and-only Oktoberfest Musikanten at the Biergarten, or catch a quick bite of schnitzel at the Sommerfest. Don’t miss the daily wine tastings.
Ever wanted to go to Paris? Now is your chance. Travel the streets through France and enjoy the stunning shops and dine at the exquisite bakeries and restaurants. Impressions de France panoramic film will allow you to experience France’s magnificent country. Ride boats on the Seine, ski over rocky peaks, race cars in Cannes, or clime the Eiffel Tower.
Canada waits for you to explore a canyon, watch the rushing waterfall, and be thrilled by the gardens and architecture. Have a meal at Le Cellier Steakhouse, shop for folk art and pewter, and enjoy Off Kilter, celtic style. O Canada! Gives you the chance to discover this great land during a Circle-Vision 360° filmed presentation. You will be in the centre to watch all the glory of this country. See the wide open spaces, abundant wildlife, amazing cities, and magnificent Mountains and coastlines.
Stand before the China Pavilion to take in the wonders. Relax in the serene garden and temple, visit shops for authentic Chinese goods, and enough the excellent cuisine. Watch for the incredible Dragon Legend Acrobats and the performances on the Chinese harp, SI XIAN. Reflections of China allow you to discover China like never before in a Circle-Vision 360° film. Go from Beijing to Shanghai, from inner Mongolia to the Forbidden City. Take this opportunity to see the Great Wall and discover this amazing Country.
Shop here for authentic Japanese apparel, toys and Bonsai trees. Walk through and view the serene rock gardens, koi-filled pools and streams, and an amazing torii gate. There plenty of action that takes place here as well with the Taiko drummers, Matsuriza; the incredible candy artistry of Miyuki and lively restaurants.
Walk inside the Colonial-style structure that celebrates America. Walk through the Hall of Flags and enjoy the entertainment of the Spirit of America Fife & Drums Corp. The American Adventure is a theatrical event with authentic historical characters, magnificent music and effects on stage and the screen. Take this opportunity to meet inspiring American heroes.
United Kingdom Pavilion
Travel to England where you can walk through the area featuring a 1500s-style thatched-roof cottage and canal or listen to the music of British Invasion. Discover the shops filled with British toys, clothing, perfumes and soaps. Enjoy the popular fish and chips at the Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room.
IllumiNations: Reflections of the Earth
This is an amazing spectacle of fireworks that last approximately 13 minutes above the World Showcase Lagoon. 1,105 shells are used for each show and there are 34 firing positions. Four Fountain barges are used each pumping 4,000 gallons of water per minute. A 150,000 pound inferno barge uses 37 nozzles to shoot propane flames towards the sky. There are lasers and flames used to make this one of the most unforgettable fireworks and light shows. It will be a show you won't soon forget!
IllumiNations Fireworks Cruises
Rent Breathless, a 24 foot long pontoon boat to view the fireworks at an up close adventure.
Watch a few simple elements such as light, water and sound to create one of the most beautiful attractions. The elaborate display is based on a 180x120 foot oval. Pumps send 30,000 gallons of water cascading down its tiered walls per minute. Over 108,000 gallons of water swirl throughout the fountain.
Live entertainment can show up at any time during your visit. Jammitors with their comedic and percussive artistry are a favorite. Be sure to check the Kristos who are a modern dance troupe performing strength ballet by the Fountains Showcase in the Future World. The cry of the pipes is the signature sound of high-energy Celtic rock band Off Kilter, which has been wowing guests with its unique blend of traditional and modern music forms for nearly four years.
Don’t forget to check out the following entertainment:
America Gardens Theatre (The American Adventure) – This theatre plays a variety of live concerts throughout the year. Popular concert series such as “Flower Power” and “Eat to the Beat” as well as Holidays Around the World Candlelight Processional are all held here.
Dragon Legend Acrobats (China) – These young Chinese acrobats are crowd pleasers flying through the air, diving through hoops, forming human pyramids and much more.
JAMMitors (Future World, Mission: Space, Test Track) – This is the clean up crew that bangs, claps, clips and clomps. These performers create percussion out of trash cans, dust pans, hard hats, fly swatters and more.
Mariachi Cobre (Mexico) – Join the best Mariachi band outside the Mexico Pavilion or inside the festive market. The Cobre play with emotions of joy and love in true spirit of their heritage.
Matsuriza (Japan) – Listen to the penetrating sounds of Taiko echoes throughout the Japan Pavilion. This group beat on their hand-made drums ranging in height from six inches to six feet.
Miyuki (Japan) – Watch this Japanese tradition. Miuko will take ribbons of soft rice dough, and create dragons, horses and flowers right before your eyes.
MO’ROCKIN (Morocco) – This band plays a unique mix of traditional and modern instruments playing Middle Eastern, African, Spanish and American sounds.
Off Kilter (Canada) – This kilt-wearing, high-energy band can rock and put a smile on your face. Playing a lot of hit music with Celtic instruments this band will keep you entertained with a crazy Canadian sense of humor.
Oktoberfest Musikanten (World Showcase) – Celebrate Oktoberfest with authentic German music and songs. Enjoy the oom-pah sound of the band. Bring your yodeling skills and sing along with the group.
OrisiRisi (African Outpost) – Beat the djembe drum in a drum circle lead by an exuberant duo. Play percussion instruments as you take part in this experience.
Pam Brody (United Kingdom Pub) – Enjoy the storyteller , singer and piano player from London. She is warm, funny and will make you feel right at home.
Restaurant Marrakesh (Morocco) – Watch the restaurant come alive with music of Morocco and exotic belly dancing.
Serveur Amusant (France) – These acrobats will amaze and dazzle you with their performances. Watch them turn an ordinary table setting into a teetering tower that looks like it will topple over at any minute.
SI XIAN (China) – Enjoy a timeless tradition with authentic interpretation from the sounds of the zheng, a Chinese harp.
SPELMANNS GEDJE (Norway) – Take a journey to Scandinavia with this unique mix of accordion, recorder-flute, bas, guitar and fiddle. Listen to the festive folk music and dance with this amazing group.
Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps (The American Adventure) – This Corps give a magnificent patriotic performance, preserving America’s musical heritage with renditions of “Yankee Doodle Dandy,” “God Bless America” and more.
The British Invasion (United Kingdom) – This British pop group will play hits from the ‘60s along with your favorites. Enjoy different songs each performance.
Voices of Liberty (The American Adventure) – This eight-part a cappella group sings Americana, folk and patriotic songs under the acoustically pure dome in the rotunda of the American Pavilion
World Showcase Players (Italy, United Kingdom) – These inspired performers conquer the crowd with their version of Arthur’s Quest for the Holy Grail. Improving as they go, the artists will pull audience members into the troupe and take their lead.
Flower and Garden Festival
Beginning April 21 and ending June 11 you will be able to see the wonderful landscape displays that were created for this festival. There are topiaries to see and hands-on seminars and planting demonstrations. It is a seven week festival that takes place in the Future World and World Showcase.
Food and Wine Festival
Discover wines with tasting portions from Epcot signature restaurants. Have a hands–on learning experience with a guest chef. Cakes, pastries and all things sweet take center stage while a celebrity pastry chef creates three dessert items for you to sample. Observe a celebrity chef prepare your three and five course meals. Eat, drink and celebrate at this truly magical evening of culinary excellence.
There are plenty of tours to take at Epcot as well. They will show you a look into the theme park as well as make your day adventurous and fun.
Around the world at Epcot
Zip around on a futuristic-looking upright transportation device on which sometimes you see the Disney cast members on. The first hour teaches you all the safety rules and allows you to practice riding. The second hour is a tour around World Showcase before it officially opens to the visitors.
Behind the Seeds at Epcot
Discover how Disney grows a garden. This is a backstage tour of The Land Pavilion. Go alligator gazing, release lay bugs, and explore the hydrophonic crops from around the world. Take seeds home with you the grow your own Disney magic.
Discover what Disney secrets you’ve always wondered about on this tour. Take a sneak peek at the magic and see the extraordinary artistry, scientific and technical operations that create special effects, and the entertainment and attractions that create the Disney World Resort. Your tour begins at Epcot and stops backstage at MGM Studios and Magic Kingdom.
The UnDISCOVERed Future World
Go backstage where park guests are usually not permitted. Discover Walt Disney’s vision and legacy, and see his vision to one day build a city of the future. Learn of the amazing story of the parks’ design and creation.
Dive in the water and go deep into the ocean at Epcot. You will swim through a coral formation, archway, an Igloo, and after that a shipwreck where you may be able to handle the canon balls. Then you will be able to do your own thing and watch the guests on the observation deck. It last approximately 40 minutes.
Dolphins in Depth
This is a behind the scenes experience for guests interested in learning about dolphins and research at the Living Seas. Wetsuits are provided, and you will be up to you waist in water for about 30 minutes. You will have your picture taken with the dolphins and receive a t-shirt. The tour last approximately 3 hours.
Seas Aqua Tour
Get geared up for a tour of the Seas with Nemo & Friends aquarium. Then plunge into the water for a close up look at the marine life. This is a two and a half hour experience from above and within the water.
Gardens of the World
The tour is offered except during the Flower and Garden Festival. You will learn about the basic design concepts, theming, and practices used in creating the beautiful landscapes. This is a 3 hour tour hosted by a horticulture expert.
Hidden Treasures of the World Showcase
Explore the art, architecture, costumes, customs, cultures and history of Epcot’s World Showcase Countries. You will be able to take a peak behind the scenes. Enjoy this in-depth exploration that lasts approximately 3 hours.
Undiscovered Future World
This outdoor tour will allow you to learn about the history and creation of Epcot and the legacy Walt set for Disney World. See how the pavilions in the Future World celebrate human accomplishment and presents the challenge of the future. You will get a backstage peek at cast services and the IllumiNations barges to see how the Epcot show is put together. This tour last approximately 4 hours.
VIP Tour Services
The VIP Tour Services team will customize your vacation so you can spend time playing instead of planning. Upon arrival your guide is there to take care of everything, from your itinerary to getting you the best seats in the house for live shows.