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Epcot, the second of four theme parks in the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando and the third most visited theme park in the USA, is a sprawling 300 acre site dedicated to technological innovation and international culture.
Epcot, which opened on October 1st 1982, is an acronym of Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, a utopian vision of the future as envisioned by Walt Disney.
Epcot is divided into two areas – Future World and World Showcase, and has Spaceship Earth, which looks rather like a giant golfball, as its mascot.
In Future World, ‘ideas become reality’. Future World, which includes one of the fastest attractions to be found in any Disney theme park, is a number of pavillions featuring inspiring entertainment, sensational attractions and shows. Everything in Future World is focused on innovation and technological advancements.
Wrapping around the World Showcase Lagoon is World Showcase, a group of Pavilions dedicated to countries around the world, featuring restaurants, shops and attractions representing the culture of each country. The eleven countries featured are:
- United Kingdom
- United States
Whilst Epcot is always busy, some times are more popular with visitors than others. Peak periods include:
- Summertime: Late May through to early September.
- Weekends: Weekends are obviously more popular than weekdays. Monday through to Thursday is generally a quieter time to visit.
- Easter: The week either side of Easter can be busy.
- Thanksgiving Weekend: Thanksgiving is celebrated each year on the 4th Thursday in November.
- Washington’s Birthday Weekend: Celebrated each year on February 21st.
- Independence Day Weekend: July 4th.
- Christmas Holidays: Includes the whole of the Christmas period, right through to the New Year.
Special Celebrations at World Showcase Pavillions
- China Pavillion: January 26th – Chinese New Year
- Japan Pavillion: May 5th – Childrens Day
- Mexico Pavillion: May 5th – Cinco de Maya
- Norway Pavillion: May 17th – Constitution Day
- Germany Pavillion: October 3rd – German Reunification Day
- UK Pavillion: November 5th – Guy Fawkes Day
- Morocco Pavillion: November 18th – Morocco Independence Day
Planning is Everything!
- Decide before you go which attractions you’d like to see and if you can, get there early. You’ll see the direction that most people take when they enter, but instead of joining them, go against the flow and work your way back to the beginning. This should help you to avoid much of the crowd.
- Contrary to popular belief, it’s not always sunny in Florida; there are often rainshowers in the afternoons. Make the most of the outdoor attractions when you can and save the indoor/undercover attractions and indoor shows for last, or for when rain threatens.
- If possible, eat before you arrive because apart from the extra expense, eating at theme parks can take up time that is better spent having fun.
- If you want to dine at one of the many excellent eateries in the park, then try to take your main meals outside of ‘normal’ times to help avoid queues.
- Don’t forget to take sunscreen and bug spray and most importantly, wear comfortable, loose clothing and well-worn-in footwear. You’ll be doing lots of walking!
The two areas at Epcot, Future World and World Showcase, open at different times. Future World generally opens at 9.00am and World Showcase at 11.00am. Closing times vary depending on the season.
Complementary all-day parking is available for Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests with (proper resort identification).
If you are not staying at the resort however, there is a paid parking area for Epcot guests. You can either walk from the car park or, where available, board a tram to the park entrance.
- Car, taxi, motorcycle or limo parking is $14 per day
- Camper, RV or trailer parking is $15 per day
- Tractor trailer and bus parking is $18 per day
- Parking is free for Walt Disney World Resort guests
Write your row and lot number on something that won't run if it gets wet.
If you do forget where you’ve parked however, let a car park tram driver know the approximate time that you arrived and based on that information, they should be able to direct you to the right area.
Walt Disney World Resort is located southwest of Orlando, off Interstate 4, west of the Florida Turnpike. Take exit 67 from the Interstate to go directly to Epcot.
Highlights of the Park
Future World offers a number of pavillions each featuring inspiring entertainment, sensational attractions and shows.
World Showcase is a vast area at Epcot which contains pavillions representing eleven countries from around the world. These are:
Dining at Epcot
At Epcot, there are plenty of eateries offering every kind of cuisine imaginable, so there’ll be something to suit every palate and pocket. In the Future World area, these include:
The Garden Grill Restaurant: The Land Pavillion
Traditional American all-you-can-eat meals served in a Chip ‘n’ Dale & friends themed revolving restaurant.
Coral Reef Restaurant: The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion
Enjoy seafood dishes whilst watching over 85 species of fish as they swim in the living coral reef surrounding the restaurant.
XElectric Umbrella Restaurant: Future World
Typical American food including veggie wraps, salads and various chicken dishes.
Fountain View Ice Cream: Future World
Edy's ice cream, ice cream cookie sandwiches and delicious thick milkshakes are the order of the day at the Fountain View.
Sunshine Season Food Fair: The Land Pavillion
A quick-service restaurant offering a variety of dishes from sandwiches on artisan breads to Asian noodle bowls.
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