Epcot, the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, is a Walt Disney World Theme Park dedicated to international culture and technological innovation. Since opening in 1982, the 300 acre Epcot Theme Park has provided guests a way to experience the world and the future in one amazing place.
The park consists of two themed areas – Future World and World Showcase – laid out in an hourglass shape. The sections, especially the World Showcase, are patterned after the type of exhibits one would find at world expositions.
FutureWorld features attractions that focus on the land and our environment, space exploration, imagination, energy, communication and transportation. It consists of a variety of pavilions that explore applications of technology and the imagination of those behind new aspects of technology and the wonderment of what the future holds.
FutureWorld consists of:
· Spaceship Earth
· The Land
· The Seas with Nemo & Friends
· Test Track
· Mission Space
· Universe of Energy
The Spaceship Earth Pavilion is the iconic, 18-story geodesic sphere that is home to both the Spaceship Earth Attraction and the Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future post-show exhibit. Resembling a giant golf ball, the Spaceship Earth Pavilion is home to the landmark attraction Spaceship Earth – a 16-minute omnimover ride through time and space. Project Tomorrow is an interactive area featuring state-of-the-art games and informative displays focusing on future of medicine, transportation and energy management.
The Land Pavilion celebrates the land we live on and features Epcot’s most popular ride, “Soarin’.” This attraction is a multi-sensory experience that simulates a peaceful hang-gliding flight over the Golden State of California. The Land is also home to “Living with the Land,” a boat ride that explores agricultural advances in the rain forest, Africa and beyond, and “Circle of Life,” an environmental film hosted by Timon, Pumba and Simba. The Garden Grill Restaurant & Sunshine Season Food Fair is also found at the Land Pavilion.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion is an underwater-themed experience featuring a massive 5.7 million gallon aquarium – named the Caribbean Coral Reef – which is home to 6,000 inhabitants including sharks, sea turtles and dolphins. Characters from Disney’s hit movie Finding Nemo are featured throughout the pavilion and take center stage on “The Seas with Nemo & Friends Ride” where guests climb aboard a “clamobile” for an undersea adventure. The famous sea turtle Crush is featured in “Turtle Talk with Crush,” a state-of-the-art, 3D style show where kids of all ages can participate in a question and answer session with the most tubular turtle around. The Coral Reef Restaurant is also located at this pavilion and offers diners a spectacular floor-to-ceiling view of the central aquarium.
The Imagination! Pavilion at the Future World Showcase is a place for guests of all ages to set their imagination free. This area is home to the “Honey, I Shrunk the Audience” attraction, which is an exciting 3D film featuring the zany antics of Professor Wayne Szalinski and family, from the hit Disney movies Honey, I Shrunk the Kids & Honey, I Blew Up the Kid. This interactive adventure features incredible special effects, including motion and smoke, and 3D animal experiences. “Journey into Imagination with Figment” is a fun-filled look at the five senses featuring a feisty dragon by the name of Figment. It is regularly voted the best Epcot attraction for kids. Park goers will also want to check out ImageWorks – The Kodak “What If” Labs which are home to interactive stations dubbed “the creative playground of the future.”
The Test Track Pavilion is home to the popular Test Track attraction, a high-octane 5 minute thrill ride where cars can reach up to 60 mph on 50-degree banked curves. This is also a great place to learn about aerospace design and purchase exclusive merchandise.
The Mission:SPACE Pavilion is home to the space flight simulator ride, Mission:Space Attraction, the interactive play space known as Mission:SPACE Advanced Training Lab, and the gift shop, Mission: SPACE Cargo Bay in the Future World area at Epcot theme park in Disney World. The Mission:Space attraction simulates a realistic launch into space as you and your crew pilot towards Mars.
The Innoventions Pavilion is a 2-building pavilion featuring interactive play space for kids of all ages where guests can imagine, invent and explore. The Innoventions pavilion is divided into two locations – East & West . The East location is home to The Sum of All Thrills, The Great Piggy Bank Adventure, Storm Struck and others, while the West location spotlights Rockin’ Robots, Smarter Planet, Videogame Playground and several other hands-on activities.
The Universe of Energy Pavilion is dedicated to the exploration of energy and alternative energy sources and features Ellen’s Energy Adventure.
World Showcase contains pavilions that wrap around the World Showcase Lagoon representing eleven countries.
World Showcase consists of:
· United States/American Adventure
· United Kingdom
The Mexico Pavilion features a towering pyramid modeled after an actual Aztec Temple of Quetzalcoatl at Teotohuacan, Mexico. Many guests like to take a boat ride on the Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballeros and there are delicious places to eat, like the San Angel Inn, La Cantina De San Angel and Taqueria Del Lago. La Cave del Tequila celebrates tequila making and guests 21 years of age or older can enjoy over 70 varieties of tequila. Art galleries and shops with authentic Mexican goods are also located at this pavilion.
The Norway Pavilion celebrates the age of the Vikings and is themed after a Scandinavian village with stone and wood elements of the Norwegian architectural style. Attractions include the Maelstrom Adventure Cruise and the exhibit “Vikings: Conquerors of the Seas.” Authentic Norwegian cuisine and shops are also located at this pavilion.
The China Pavilion features the art, architecture and tradition of China. Attractions include the Temple of Heaven, the “Reflections of China” CircleVision 360 film, the musical show “SI XIAN” and a replica of the famous excavation in Xi’an China featuring Tomb Warriors. Authentic Chinese cuisine can be found at Nine Dragons Restaurant & the Lotus Blossom Café, while there are several shops from where you can pick up genuine Chinese goods.
The Germany Pavilion is the place to experience the lively charm of a quaint German Village. The 16th-Century architecture and authentic German food at the Beirgarten Restaurant will transport you, as will the “Oktoberfest Musikanten Show,” a 6-person music group that performs traditional Bavarian music. Popular Disney characters Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs also make regular appearances at the Germany pavilion.
The Italy Pavilion is filled with the flavor of Italy and its architecture is an homage to the city of Venice. There are gondolas, an 83-foot version of the bell tower from Campanile of St. Mark’s Square and a replica of the Neptune fountain from the Plaza del Teatro. Delicious Italian cuisine can be savored at Tutto Italia Ristoranta and sweet tooth’s can be satisfied at Delizie Italiane & La Bottega Italiana. Entertainment options include musicians, clowns and dance troupes in the piazza as well as daily appearances by characters from the Disney movie Pinocchio.
The American Adventure Pavilion, dedicated to the United States, celebrates American history and tradition. It is created in colonial-style architecture and includes elements inspired by Independence Hall, Colonial Williamsburg, Monticello and Boston’s Old State House. The theatrical show “The American Adventure” is a favorite attraction, as are the “Voices of Liberty,” “ The Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps” and shopping at Heritage Manor Gifts. For tasty American fare, stop by the Liberty inn Restaurant.
At the Japan Pavilion, guests will find stunning Japanese landscape and a world filled with koi ponds, rock gardens and a blue-roofed pagoda. Entertainment options include “Visions of Beauty: World Heritage Sites of Japan,” and Japanese taiko drummers “Matsuriza.” Dine on delicious Japanese fare at Teppan Edo & Tokyo Dining.
At the Morocco Pavilion guests will find two interesting pavilions: the Ville Nouvelle (new city) and the Medina (old city). Entertainment at the Morocco pavilion includes belly dancers, the world music of “Mo’Rockin’” and the exhibit “Moroccan Style: The Art of Personal Adornment.” Plus, Aladdin, Princess Jasmine & the Genie make appearances daily. Typical Moroccan fare is served at Restaurant Marrakesh and authentic Moroccan goods can be found at the many shops available.
At the France Pavilion, visitors will be transported to the streets of Paris and the provinces of France themed from an era known as La Belle Epoque, or “the beautiful time.” A scaled down replica of the Eiffel Tower is a sight to see, as is the panoramic journey “Impressions de France” and “A Chair Act.” Food options include the Bistro de Paris and Les Chefs de France. Fine French goods are also available at the marketplace.
The United Kingdom Pavilion is filled with the charm of England. Cobble-stone streets, old-world British architecture and a classic British pub are located here, as is the Rose & Crown Pub and Dining room, which serves traditional British food. The British Invasion, a Beatles Tribute Band performs regularly at the pavilion and the World Showcase Players improv troupe are an amusing treat. There are several shops in this pavilion, all filled with a bevy of British goods.
At the Canada Pavilion the serene Canadian landscape takes center stage. A rushing waterfall, Canadian Rockies inspired canyon and carved totem poles are just a few of the elements guests will want to explore. The CircleVision 360 film “O Canada!” is a don’t miss visual journey as is the Celtic rock band “Off Kilter.” The Northwest Mercantile is the place to pick up Canadian goods and for authentic Canadian cuisine look no further than Le Cellier Steakhouse.
Epcot in Orlando is generally open from 9am-9pm. Each night they present the award-winning night time show IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth, which features fireworks, lasers, fire and water fountains timed to a musical score over the World Showcase Lagoon.
Epcot tickets are currently on sale.