Happy Friday! I’m excited to talk all things Epcot today! While I didn’t really love this park as a kid, I have a whole new appreciation for it since my last trip as an adult, and let’s be honest, it’s mostly because of the amazing food and drinks you can find in World Showcase.
Let’s dive in!
Show of hands, who knew that EPCOT is actually an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Pretty cool, right?
Opening in 1982, Epcot was Walt Disney World’s second park. It was designed as a utopian city of the future and is divided into two main areas – Future World and World Showcase. It is also the second largest park, falling behind Disney’s Animal Kingdom.
You might know Epcot because of it’s iconic ball, Spaceship Earth, a beloved attraction of many Disneygoers. It is also located on the monorail and is in close proximity to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Epcot is home to all of the major Disney festivals that occur throughout the year – International Festival of the Arts, International Flower and Garden Festival, International Food and Wine Festival, and Holidays Around the World.
World Showcase Lagoon provides an amazing home to Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, one of the most iconic fireworks shows across WDW. Sadly, Illuminations will be closing this fall to make way for a new fireworks show, so catch it while you can!
As you make your way through the main park gates, Future World makes up the entire area in front of you until you get to World Showcase Lagoon. It is made up of several pavilions, which are all home to different themed attractions and exhibits.
Spaceship Earth is housed inside of the iconic ball as you walk in. This attraction takes you on a ride throughout the ages, showcasing how humans have used technology and innovation to get to where we are today.
As you walk under Spaceship Earth toward the fountain, you’re faced with whether to go right or left. Toward the left, you’ll find Mission: SPACE and Test Track, two amazing thrill rides. Toward the right, you’ll find Soarin’ Around the World and The Seas with Nemo and Friends.
Ride Highlights: Living with the Land, Mission: SPACE, Soarin’ Around the World, Spaceship Earth, Test Track, The Seas with Nemo and Friends
Dining Highlights: Coral Reef Restaurant ($$), Electric Umbrella ($), Garden Grill Restaurant ($$$ – character meal), Sunshine Seasons ($), Taste Track ($)
Character Meet and Greets: Baymax, Chip, Dale, Goofy, Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto
As you make your way past Future World, World Showcase stretches in both directions for 1.2 miles around the World Showcase Lagoon.
This area of the park was modeled as a permanent world’s fair and is comprised of 11 country pavilions. Each pavilion maintains the architecture, landscape, streetscape, shops, and restaurants of the actual country, representing their culture and cuisine. These pavilions are primarily staffed by citizens of the respective countries as part of the Cultural Representative Program.
While most guests navigate through the countries starting with Mexico first, you can feel free to choose to start with Mexico or Canada on either side of the lagoon. I’ll start with Mexico, as that is usually how I navigate the park.
Mexico Attractions: Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, Mariachi Cobre, Mexico Folk Art Gallery
Mexico Dining: Choza de Margarita ($), La Cantina de San Angel ($), La Cava del Tequila ($), La Hacienda de San Angel ($$), San Angel Inn Restaurante ($$)
Mexico Character Meet and Greet: Donald Duck
Norway Attractions: Frozen Ever After, Stave Church Gallery
Norway Dining: Akershus Royal Banquet Hall ($$$$ – character meal), Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe ($)
China Attractions: House of the Whispering Willows, Jeweled Dragon Acrobats, Reflections of China
China Dining: Joy of Tea ($), Lotus Blossom Cafe ($), Nine Dragons Restaurant ($$)
China Character Meet and Greet: Mulan
Germany Attractions: Das Kaufhaus, Die Weihnachts Ecke, Der Teddybar, Karamell-Küche, Kunstarbeit in Kristall, Stein Haus, Volkskunst, Weinkeller
Germany Dining: Biergarten Restaurant ($$$), Sommerfest ($)
Germany Character Meet and Greet: Snow White
Italy Attractions: Il Bel Cristallo, La Bottega Italiana, La Gemma Elegante
Italy Dining: Gelati ($), Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar ($), Tutto Italia Ristorante ($$), Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria ($$)
America Attractions: America Gardens Theatre, American Heritage Gallery, Voices of Liberty
America Dining: Block & Hans ($), Fife & Drum Tavern ($), Funnel Cake ($), Liberty Inn ($)
Japan Attractions: Bijutsu-kan Gallery, Matsuriza
Japan Dining: Kabuki Cafe ($), Katsura Grill ($), Teppan Edo ($$), Tokyo Dining ($$)
Morocco Attraction: Gallery of Arts and History
Morocco Dining: Restaurant Marrakesh ($$), Spice Road Table ($$), Tangierine Cafe ($)
Morocco Character Meet and Greet: Princess Jasmine
France Attraction: Impressions de France
France Dining: Chefs de France ($$), Crepes des Chefs de France ($), Monsieur Paul ($$$), L’Artisan des Glaces ($), Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie ($), Les Vins des Chefs de France ($)
France Character Meet and Greet: Princess Belle
United Kingdom Attraction: British Revolution
United Kingdom Dining: Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room ($$), UK Beer Cart ($), Yorkshire County Fish Shop ($)
United Kingdom Character Meet and Greet: Alice in Wonderland
Canada Attractions: Entertainment at Canada Mill Stage, O Canada!
Canada Dining: Le Cellier Steakhouse ($$$), Popcorn in Canada ($)
With so much to see, do, eat, and drink in Epcot, you can easily spend multiple days here. During my most recent trip, on our Epcot day we walked nearly fifteen miles!
What are your Epcot favorites? Let me know in the comments!
As always, if you want help planning your trip, I specialize in creating a completely custom dream Disney vacation just for you! Whether you’re about to book or just starting the planning process, send me an email or check out my services here.