This is Part 2 of the Walt Disney World Overview Series.
Epcot is one of four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort located near Orlando, FL. It was the second park built at the resort, and opened on Oct. 1, 1982. It was initially named EPCOT Center. In 1994, the “Center” was dropped from the park’s name, and by 1996, the park was simply named Epcot. EPCOT is an acronym of Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. In 2011, Epcot hosted approximately 10.83 million guests, ranking it the third most visited theme park in the United States, and sixth most visited theme park in the world. The park consists of two sections—Future World and World Showcase—laid out in an hourglass shape. Here is a quick overview of the Park, including the rides, shows, dining and attractions.
Future World consists of a variety of pavilions that explore innovative aspects and applications of technology. Interestingly, most of the pavilions are sponsored by outside corporations.
Attractions: Spaceship Earth, Ellen’s Universe of Energy, Epcot Character Spot, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush, Soarin’, Living with the Land, The Circle of Life, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Captain EO, Mission: SPACE, Advanced Training Lab, Test Track, Innoventions East and West (including The Sum of All Thrills)
Dining: Fountain View Ice Cream, Coral Reef Restaurant, Sunshine Seasons, The Garden Grill, Electric Umbrella
Shops: Club Cool, Gateway Gifts, Gift Stop, Epcot Camera Center, Imageworks, Inside Track, Mission Space Cargo Bay, Mouse Gear, Pin Central, Port of Entry, The Seas—Sea Base Alpha Gift Shop, Soarin’ Gift Shop
Other: Epcot Baby Care Center, Epcot Stroller/Wheelchair Rental, JAMMitors
The World Showcase contains pavilions representing eleven countries, which surround the World Showcase Lagoon – a man-made lake located in the center of World Showcase. “FriendShip” boats cross the waters of the lagoon, transporting guests from Future World to the opposite end of World Showcase. Each night at 9:00 pm Illuminations takes place. The show fireworks, lasers, fire, and water fountains timed to a musical score over the World Showcase Lagoon. Great viewing spots can be found all around the World Showcase. There are also plenty of opportunities to meet and greet Disney Characters.
Countries/Attractions: Showcase Plaza, Mexico (Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros), Norway (Maelstrom), China (Reflections of China), Germany, Italy, The United States of America (The American Adventure, American Heritage Gallery), Japan, Morocco, France (Impressions de France), United Kingdom, Canada (O Canada!), Disney Phineas & Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure
Dining: Refreshment Port, Promenade Refreshments, San Angel Inn Restaurante, La Hacienda de San Angel, La Cantina Restaurant, La Cava del Tequila, Princess Storybook Dining at Askerhus Royal Banquet Hall, Nine Dragons Restaurant, Lotus Blossom Café, Biergarten Restaurant, Sommerfest, Tutto Italia Ristorante, Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar, Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria, Liberty Inn, Fife & Drum Tavern, Teppan Edo, Tokyo Dining, Katsura Grill, Kabuki Café, Restaurant Marrakesh, Tangierine Café, Chefs de France, Bistro de Paris, Boulangerie Patisseie, Rose & Crown Pub & Dining Room, Yorkshire Fish Shop, Le Cellier Steakhouse
Shops: The Art of Henna, The Brass Bazaar, Casablanca Carpets, The Crown & Crest, Das Kaufhaus, Der Teddybar-Toyshop, Die Weihnachts Ecke, Disney Traders, El Ranchito del Norte, Enoteca Castello, Givenchy, Glaskunst, Good Fortune Gifts, Heritage Manor Gifts, House of Good Fortune, Il Bel Cristallo, Karamell Küche, Kunstarbeit in Kristall, La Bottega Italiana, La Gemma Elegante, La Princesa de Cristal, La Signature, La Tienda Encantada, L’Esprit De Provence, Les Vins De France, Lords and Ladies, Mitsukoshi Merchandise Store, Northwest Mercantile-Trading Post, Pin Station at The American Adventure, Pin Station at United Kingdom Pavilion, Plaza de Los Amigos, Plume Et Palette, Port of Entry, Puffin’s Roost, The Queen’s Table, Ring Carvers, Souk Al Magreb, Souvenirs De France, Sportsman’s Shoppe, Stein Haus, Tangier Traders, The Toy Soldier, Village Traders, Volkskunst Clocks & Crafts, Weinkeller, World Traveler
Entertainment: Off Kilter, British Revolution, World Showcase Players, The Hat Lady, Serveur Amusant, Mo’Rockin, Traditional Belly Dancer, Matsuriza, Miuki, Spirit of America, Voices of Liberty, Sergio, The Ziti Sisters, Oktoberfest Musikanten, The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats, Mariachi Cobre
Parking and Transportation
There is no shortage of ways to get to Epcot:
Monorails: to the Ticket and Transportation Center
Boat Launches: to Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resort and Disney’s BoardWalk
Buses: to all other Walt Disney World Resort hotels.
Parking: available at the front entrance