EPCOT is one of the most unusual theme parks in the world, including the exciting new ideas of Futureworld and the amazing representations of different countries and cultures in World Showcase. I can spend days exploring this amazing park, but if you only have a little time, here are the highlights that you must try!
1. Dine in World Showcase
One of the highlights of the World Showcase section of EPCOT is the huge variety of restaurants! You can try a taste of any of the 11 countries represented. With options ranging from quick service sushi to signature dining steak, there’s something for everyone. Now is a great time to break out of your comfort zone and give a new type of cuisine a try.
2. Try an International Treat
Another fun way to sample the offerings of the world showcase is with a yummy snack. Gelato in Italy, ice cream in France, a cream puff from Norway or an American funnel cake are all delicious ways to experience the World Showcase! If you’re looking for something a bit stronger, try some of the signature adult drinks featured at the World Showcase pavilions. You’ll find plenty from which to choose!
3. Ride Spaceship Earth
The huge geodesic sphere that is the iconic symbol of EPCOT houses a ride called “Spaceship Earth.” While low on thrills, this is an EPCOT classic and definitely worth a ride or two. Explore the history of communication via your “time machine” and get a glimpse of what our lives might be like in the future. It’s a fun and interactive experience like no other! My family often makes it our first and last experience on an EPCOT day.
4. Play in the Fountains
EPCOT has some fantastic fountains for playing! Two along the walkways in Futureworld invite kids big and small to get wet and cool off by splashing around. While you can’t climb into the fountains at the Imagination Pavilion, you can watch water leap over your head or try to catch the “bouncing” water balls. My kids insist we visit these fountains every time we go to EPCOT.
5. Illuminations: Reflections of Earth
In keeping with Walt Disney World tradition, EPCOT has a fantastic nighttime show, complete with fireworks, water effects, and incredible music. The show celebrates the past, present, and future of our planet. The best place to view Illuminations is around the World Showcase lagoon, so stake out a spot early. You can also book a reservation at one of the restaurants overlooking the lagoon, or attend the Illuminations Dessert Party for some tasty treats and incredible views.
6. Soar Around the World
Soarin’ is one of the most popular rides in EPCOT for good reason! This attraction takes you on a journey around the world to some of the most amazing sites on planet Earth. You’ll experience the sensation of flying as you swoop and glide over the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, and the African savannah. Because Soarin’ is so popular, it’s a good idea to get a FastPass+ reservation or get there first thing in the morning, as wait times often exceed 60 minutes.
7. Club Cool
Feeling hot and thirsty? Make a visit to Club Cool in Futureworld. In addition to checking out some fun Coca-Cola merchandise, you can also taste Coke products from around the world. There’s no limit on free samples! It’s fun and interesting to taste what’s popular in other countries, and you might find a new favorite – I’ve become a huge fan of Pineapple Fanta. But beware the Beverly!
8. Meet a World Showcase Cast Member
Cast members come from all over the world to work at the World Showcase. It’s fun to chat with someone and learn where they are from, what their part of their country is known for, and something they are missing while living away from home. They’ll even teach you a few words in their native language! This is especially fun for kids, and there is always a cast member available at the KidCot stops.
9. Talk with a Turtle
Everyone’s favorite sea turtle, crush, is dropping by “The Seas with Nemo and Friends” to answer all of your questions about turtles and to learn about the human world. This amazing experience is truly interactive, with crush talking directly with members of the audience. While especially fun for kids (who get front-row floor seating), it’s a great time for adults, too. While you’re at “The Seas with Nemo and Friends” be sure to check out the live animals in the incredible aquarium!
10. Check Out Some Interactives
Futureworld is full of areas to play with cool interactive displays with games and activities to try. In Test Track you can take the car you designed for the ride on a race, get a photo with it, and even create the perfect TV commercial. Advanced Training Lab, attached to Mission: Space, features a kids’ play area as well as a chance to train as mission control ground crew. Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future is attached to Spaceship Earth and features interactives related to future technology. Innoventions is a pavilion unto itself and has a fantastic group of activities related to color and another about extreme weather. Play around with music and create your own Figment in ImageWorks, part of the Imagination! pavilion.
EPCOT is such a unique place with so much to offer. Use these must-dos as a starting point for your first trip, then come back again and again to explore all that this amazing park has to offer.
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