How to Visit Epcot

Four Parts:General Steps for EpcotFuture World SectionWorld ShowcaseOther Extravaganzas to Look for

When you plan on taking an essential Walt Disney World trip, do you tend to overlook Epcot, just because it hasn't suited your (or your kids' taste before? But now that the kids are grown, would you now like to take a few hours out and explore this park? This article can explain to you how this park can be visited.

Part 1
General Steps for Epcot

  1. Image titled Moroccan Epcot
    Decide if you truly want to visit Epcot. Discuss some of your other options that exist for the other nearby Walt Disney World parks or local attractions in the area. With other major possibilities being the Magic Kingdom, the Disney (Hollywood/MGM) Studios, and Disney's Animal Kingdom and the 2 of Disney-owned water parks (and few other non-Disney operated water parks including Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach) and other activities that Disney sponsors, decide if Epcot is your best choice.
  2. Image titled Epcot entrance pano
    Realize that Epcot mostly tries to give people information they would not have known of otherwise. If you want thrill rides, the Magic Kingdom and the Disney Hollywood Studios have a handful of them, but not many thrill rides exist at Epcot. If you want to go for information with not much thrill, head to Epcot.
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    Drive and park at Walt Disney World. Alternatively, you could take the monorail from your hotel or the Ticket and Transportation Center (TTC) to the Epcot station. The address to Epcot is located at 1200 Epcot Resort Blvd, Lake Buena Vista, FL 32830 [1]. The cost to park your car at the Magic Kingdom will run you about $17 for cars and upwards from there (depending on complexity of vehicle)[2].Dependent on the row, you could be parked in one of 7 areas of the parking lot system at Epcot. These areas include the Journey , Discover, Amaze, Create, Imagine, Explore or Wonders lot[3]
    • You can alternatively take a Disney's Magical Express (Disney-operated bus that is free to guests staying on Disney property) from Orlando International Airport to this park.
    • If you are staying at one of the hotels that has the monorail stopping at their resort (including Disney's Contemporary Resort, Grand Floridian Resort or Polynesian resort), you can take the monorail to this area. There is no cost to ride the monorail at any time in your vacation.
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    Purchase your tickets and enter through the turnstiles.
  5. Image titled Moroccan Epcot
    Pick up a map and realize that Epcot is spread into two main "lands". At the entrance you'll find one of 2 racks holding an English version of the map, along with maps of other subsequent languages. The languages they have include Spanish, French, German, Chinese, Italian). It's two lands are essentially called Future World and World Showcase.
    • Future World is composed of several rides and attractions that are primarily an informational-only experience.
    • World Showcase features some informative information about the cultures of countries worldwide.

Part 2
Future World Section

  1. Image titled Test Track Epcot Center
    See what it's like to be a car design tester. Visit Test Track as the first thing you do when you arrive. Besides being the attraction the farthest back on the one side, this one gets very crowded well before noon on most weekdays and weekends. Ever wanted to experience what it's like to test a car during it's production? This attraction is where to try it out and see what it's like.
  2. Image titled Mission space
    Soar to outer space. Try out the Mission:Space exhibit if you have ever wanted to know how it feels to become an astronaut who journeys into space. It is located one pavilion to the north of Test Track, and much like Test Track, does tend to be crowded at times.
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    See the history of energy and where energy will make us soar to new heights in decades to come. Tour the Ellen's Energy Adventures building. Do this if you'd like to learn about the history of the energy sources you very commonly use in today's world.
  4. Image titled Spaceship Earth Before Park Opening
    Visit Spaceship Earth, which is the theme building for Epcot. If you can't seem to find the geodesic dome, ask one of the Disney's Cast Members for assistance, however finding it shouldn't be hard as it's the biggest (and iconic) theme building there is on the Epcot property. Unless you've been there before, most people don't know that the glass golf-ball shaped building actually has a ride inside it! This ride presents an informative view of the history of telecommunications.
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    Visit the The Seas with Nemo and Friends exhibit, if you'd like to learn about the interesting stuff that goes on with the ocean floor. Although this exhibit changed from being informative to a more comical take on the ocean floor, it has actually gotten an upgrade with its 2006 upgrade. It now contains a very fun attraction that kids love to come back and try time and time again to ride. Whether it's the Turtle Talk with Crush exhibit or the Nemo (from Finding Nemo movie) ride, they will both take you on a journey to see aquatic wildlife to see and explain those viewpoints of the marine wildlife here.
  6. Image titled The Land pavilion Epcot Center
    Visit The Land building. Although it is one of this pavilion's most-often visited attraction in the park (Soarin), it also has some information booths and another ride (called Living with the Land). There are a few tours that step through this pavilion(which might be rather cheap but worth the money tour called Behind the Seeds), and you can even eat some of the crops that are forested here, inside this pavilion's one restaurant.
  7. Image titled EPCOT Wonders_of_Life
    Don't plan on visiting the former attraction called "Wonders of Life" unless an annual seasonal exhibit has come to the park that exists within this building. However, everything that this building was once known for, has been removed (including the DNA helix that once stood in front of the building). If you end up walking into a building that has no people inside it and it has a yellow domed roof, chances are that you've arrived into the former Wonders of Life pavilion.[4]
  8. Image titled Walking up to the Imagination Pavilion
    Visit Journey into the Imagination with Figment if you would like to learn about the way our sense of sight is communicated to our minds. It's actually rather comical and definitely a relief in the hot and humid Florida heat to ride this ride.
    • Look for the Upside-Down House here. This will keep your kids' minds from going blank and keep asking you "How did they do that" no matter how many times you'll ride it. Your mind will be amazed at what your eyes are turning around and showing you what it in-turn interprets.
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  9. Image titled Innoventions Center Epcot Disney World
    Interact in the Innoventions area found inside the center of all the Future World attractions. And what's really interesting about this exhibit/attraction, is that they have two entrances from both the East and West sides of Future World.

Part 3
World Showcase

  1. Image titled The lake at the centre of the World Showcase at Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort, Orlando, Florida
    Cross the pathway as you walk over to the area for World Showcase. Beside seen and viewed in the afternoon and evening, this place surely gets cultures worth of information out to those visitors wanting a little information about a few different countries.
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    Get a history of Mexico at the Mexico pavilion. Ride the Grand Fiesta Tour and take in a few of it's shopping possibilities here. What's even better is if you are able to get a seat inside the building which overlooks the entryway for the remainder of the shopping portion of the pavilion.
  3. Image titled Bustling Norway Epcot
    Ride the "Frozen Ever After" ride that is located inside the Norway pavilion at the former site of Maelstrom. However, be careful; the first several days the attraction was open they experienced several evacuations (as per several videos on YouTube already) and your ride could be a thud as well. It opened on June 22, 2016.
    • Maelstrom closed in 2014 and a complete rebuild is expected to take place sometime in 2016. What makes this experience even more fun, is that they also have other Norwegian-inspired things that show you the other side of this cold country called Norway.
  4. Image titled China Showcase, Epcot
    Be passionate when you watch the culturally-rich history/movie called Reflections of China in the China exhibit in Epcot. Eat Chinese food and drink green tea from a Chinese tea garden here.
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    Visit what would have been an East African village exhibit at The Outpost. Although The Outpost was never fully finished [5], a portion of that land still exists inside Epcot. You'll find The Outpost situated conveniently between the China and Germany pavilions in the World Showcase side of the park.
  6. Image titled Germany, World Showcase, Epcot
    Have an Oktoberfest right at the Germany pavilion. Visit the Germany pavilions, if you'd like to learn a little more about the food and culture of Germany.
  7. Image titled Italy Showcase, Epcot
    Spice up some information about Italy inside the Italy pavilion. Learn a little something about Italy and their rich culture in the Italian exhibit with their food and shopping options.
  8. Image titled The American Pavilion
    Learn about our own heritage and culture in the American Adventure pavilion. If you want, there's a cool stage act (that goes by the same name as the pavilion itself) which can surely take the heat off tired feed on a hot summer day.
    • If the Voices of Liberty sing at the time you visit the pavilion, listen to them. They sound beautiful too.
  9. Image titled Japan Showcase, Epcot
    Learn a little more about Japanese culture when you visit the Japan pavilion. They have some interesting shopping and culture options, along with other Japan-inspired pieces to look at there.
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    Learn about Morocco's culturally rich history through shopping and some dining in the Morocco pavilion. Let Morocco rule out when you need to learn a little about African culture. There are a few shopping opportunities here that present the Moroccan culture to the everyday person.
  11. Image titled Les Chefs de France
    Get your French passion on to learn a little of the history at the France pavilion. Try out France's 3D movie available (Impressions de France, interpreted into English as Impressions of France) and you can even shop in some of the shopping places in this exhibit.
  12. Image titled Epcot United Kingdom 3D Stereogram
    Learn about the English heritage in the United Kingdom pavillion. Visit an English bar and/or pub. Shop around this area to get a rich feel for the culture of England, now that the music group around the corner is gone.
  13. Image titled Oh Canada
    Watch the really enticing 3D movie called Oh Canada in the Canada pavilion of the Epcot park. It may be one of the last places you'd think to be able to keep yourself cool, but it surely will.
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    Take a trip on the boats that can take you around the World Showcase. With a few stops inside World Showcase along with the few stops outside the park at a few of their resorts, the boats are actually becoming a valuable option to choose to use when coming to the park.

Part 4
Other Extravaganzas to Look for

  1. Image titled Illuminations World Showcase EPCOT
    Watch Epcot's nighttime illuminated show called Illuminations:Reflections of Earth. Their show better known just as Illuminations" is grandiose in action and features many synchronously-timed fireworks and laser beams that shoot high into the sky. It's shown on most nights at around 9 PM, and is rarely cancelled due to rain or other inclement weather. They even have some seasonal variations including a Christmas and New Years Eve and Independence Day special Illuminations.


  • Epcot opened for the first time on October 1, 1982[6]. At the time of its grand opening, its name used to be completely capitalized (EPCOT). When Walt Disney thought about this park, he was envisioning EPCOT being the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (and thereby the name EPCOT was born). However, thoughts changed and the acronym was dropped for a full proper name.
  • Epcot, like many of the other Disney Parks, has several unnoticed cooling stations placed sporadically around the park. You won't see them because they are camouflaged so well, but there are cooling stations in the park (dressed as rocks and other weird things that you'd never thought would be a cooling station).
  • Taste-test a free-soda at "Club Cool" Restaurant in the Innoventions Plaza. [7]
    Image titled Club Cool Entrance Coke a Cola Epcot Center
    Although these free sodas are only sample sizes, they are something neat and interesting that one can't commonly get in the outside world. These free sodas exist from Coca Cola sodas in some international environments overseas such as from Italy, Greece, Thailand, Japan, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Peru and Brazil.[8] Though their names may sound odd to an American, realize that they are all sold overseas.
  • Epcot is rarely closed[9]. However, the only times it will close is when bad weather strikes. However, it does close to all guests late at night so those cleaning the park and other attractions can get ready for the next day's schedule.
  • When your kids get antsy in Epcot and it seems like your day is lagging behind, give them some options. Even though Epcot has a few areas where kids can explore and run out all of their excitement, these types of attractions may sometimes not be enough. If you haul around a double-seat stroller, and warnings just don't work, give them time in the stroller (kids up to age 8 should still fit [10]). They will thank you for helping them "take a load off their feet". These youngsters tend to draw energy out more quickly, and become cranky quicker. If they don't work, you'll need to find some other way to draw out their energy.
  • Food and beverage options are available throughout the park. Between some food stands at certain areas of the park to the standalone ice-cream stands throughout the park, you'll never run dry of food options.
  • Some of the food establishments inside the Garden Grill at The Land pavilion inside Future World tries to sell park-grown organic products.[11] Look at the price boards and you'll see the proof. [12]
  • When you arrive at Epcot, look for the restrooms to avoid unnecessary embarrassments. Restrooms might not be readily available, but restrooms are available in almost every building in some way, shape or form. And if you have babies or infants, you can even change their diapers (if they wear them) in one of them there .
  • Plan on spending at least four to five (depending on just how much your party would like to enjoy) hours just taking in Future World by itself and a few more hours spending time in World Showcase. The nighttime spectacular show is a "must see". It overlooks Bay Lake near any country around World Showcase, so do these two lands in this same order.
  • The Transportation and Ticket Center(TTC, as what the locals and old-timers know) to Epcot monorail gets to ride right through the park. Take a look on both sides of the monorail car to see parts of the park as it zooms past. The monorail ride can be especially useful at night with all the bright colors and spectacular lights. Be wary of it when you see the tall pillar. Monorail tracks generally signify that there is a monorail that will zoom past, and because monorail pillars are in abundance here, it's something you should check out when you have the chance to. Monorail cars aren't very loud at all but can frighten a person who's not used to seeing them at first, as they whiz by the person at higher speeds.
    Image titled Flat Stanley Visits Epcot
  • If you decided to watch Illuminations and have been driven out of the park afterwards, don't go directly back to your car. Instead, take at least one full loop back and forth loop (between the park and the TTC trip on the monorail. Let others zoom out and that way you won't crash into them with your car. Plus, it's an extra safety blanket location to rest weary feet.
  • Pin trading stations in this park are definitely plentiful. Collect those pins and if you have someone else in the park who's willing to trade with you, trade some of your pins for those you deem to be more collectible.
  • Stop in at the Odyssey Center, which is located just after you cross the bridge from Future World into World Showcase. It is located on the right on the one side. Although it's attraction has been closed since 1994[13], it is still be a handy restroom to use in case of an emergency meltdown or cooling station.(This is the only area of the park that features a breastfeeding area for mothers to help breastfeed their children.)
    Image titled The old Odyssey
  • Check out the jumping water fountains outside of Journey Into Imagination with Figment. It's color-sprayer fountains can definitely provide some inspiration for young kids.[14].
    Image titled EpcotImaginationFountain.JPG
    • For an extra burst of energy, there is a geyser near Spaceship Earth and Innoventions that provides several shows set to musical pieces, that at times can provide a aquatic-filled (sprayed) breeze.
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  • If you have a smartphone with you (that is either an iOS device or Android or an Amazon Kindle tablet), you should really download and use the MyDisneyExperience app. Not only can you find the ride wait-times on this app, but it also helps you determine information about all the other attractions in the park that you might have never known about or might have been forgotten over time.
  • Some of the staff in the World Showcase area are really from the country they represent from their building.[15]Disney has legally hired employees that know their culture best and can assure others they can explain their country to the world better than those other cast members onsite.
  • Keep kids (under age 5) on "child leashes/leads" at all times. Don't allow your kids to remove them at any time. It's hard to see your kids leashed up like dogs, but with the 50,000+ guests in the park at any one time, security is of utmost importance, and their leashes will help immensely. Don't even remove them when your kids are in their stroller, as it can take only a few seconds for your children to get out and become missing (the leashes only would allow the child to go so far as you'd allow them to go).
  • Each of the buildings in Epcot have a separate address on one single looped road. If you are looking up information about Epcot and squander upon " Avenue of the Stars" in Lake Buena Vista, you'll be able to note that this address corresponds to a place in Epcot. The addresses start with the lowest number at the Main Entrance and run clockwise around the park.[16]
  • Various other countries have asked to have a pavilion located inside of World Showcase at Epcot. These countries include Turkey, Spain, Israel, Denmark, Russia, India, and South Korea. All of these ideas for country areas have been turned away or started and never finished.[17]
  • If Illuminations is running the night you visit, at one point you'll see the drawbridge near Morocco/Mexico raise at about 6 or 6:30pm - the approximate time in the summer months. The reason for this is because the boats that bring in the Earth Globe is bigger than the bridge can handle, so the drawbridge is raised allowing for more room for this boat to move more freely.
  • Epcot no longer has parades. There used to be two parades on the World Showcase side(Tapestry of Nations and Tapestry of Dreams), but they were both discontinued between 2001 and 2003[18][19][20]
    Image titled 2000 Florida 038
  • Epcot was once supposed to be a residential complex where citizens would gather, according to Walt Disney himself. However, when his brother took over following Walt's death, things turned into this creation that exists to this day. [21]


  • Always ride the ride with safety in mind. Use all safety devices the ride operator instills on you and your family.
  • Take extreme caution, if and when you start to hear any rumbles of thunder. Generally the boats on World Showcase close down, any boats that are out, head to the closest port. However, although no attractions have part of their ride queue lines outside, for those who are out at the time, they want people to gather inside for safety reasons(even if that means having to walk to another attraction nearby that has the capacity needed to hold these few extra guests).
  • Be prepared in the event that a sudden rainstorm impacts the area. Rain is common, and your best bet is to run/walk into the nearest attraction and seek shelter.
  • Rides occasionally close and change at Epcot[22]. Don't be disappointed if your favorite ride has changed or has become defunct. Something will be there to replace it over time. Their replacements might be just as good as the ride you once loved. (In the last 25 years, the rides that did become defunct include the World of Motion(predecessor to Test Track)[23] and Horizon's (predecessor to Mission:Space)[24] along with various other name and feature changes along the course of most of the rides in Epcot.).
  • On those attractions that have rides, don't worry if your ride vehicle stalls with you in it. If the time is more than just a few minutes, someone will be around to help you and your belongings get off the ride. In turn, they will give you a FastPass due to the inconvenience it may have caused you so that you can come back later or visit it or another attraction instead.
    • Although Energy's ride systems have consistently broken down the most since Operations day 1[25], that's not to say that others won't break down as well.

Sources and Citations

  3. The Epcot Explorer's Encyclopedia:A Guide to Walt Disney World by R.A. Pederson, Kindle edition
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