EPCOT was the vision of Walt Disney himself. His intent was to build a utopian world that was an experimental planned community. The name EPCOT is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
After Disney’s death in 1966, the EPCOT concept was redesigned to become a second theme park. Some Imagineers wanted the park to represent new technology, while others wanted it to showcase international customs, architecture, and cultures. The newly designed park consists of two sections- F
The park is more than twice the size of the Magic Kingdom, and when construction was happening it was the largest construction project in the world. To date, the parking lot is the largest in the world. The lot can hold 11, 211 vehicles with room for another 500 if the grassy areas are utilized.
EPCOT opened on October 1, 1982, the 11th anniversary of the Magic Kingdom.
Upon entering EPCOT at the main entrance, you are greeted with the iconic Spaceship Earth, a geodesic sphere that also has a themed attraction inside.
The iconic globe of EPCOT houses a ride that takes you through the humanity’s past, present and future. During your ride, the interactive program predicts your future based on your likes. It is a fun and educational ride that our family really enjoys.
Create your own test vehicle in the lab and then compare its capabilities to everyone else’s vehicles.
Launch a rocket ship into an adventure. Work together as a team to guide the ship where you need to go. Hopefully, you will land safely! This ride has a green and orange queue. The orange queue is for G-force motion, while the green queue provides a tamer experience. Either way a word of warning- if you are claustrophobic in any way sit this one out. (OK so I sit this one out!)
Other popular attractions in Future World include:
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Living with the Land
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- The Jumping Water F
Cross over the bridge from Future World to enter World Showcase. Eleven themed pavilions surround the World Showcase Lagoon. Each pavilion is dedicated to a country’s culture and cuisine. They contain landscapes, entertainment, attractions, shops, restaurants, and architecture that represent its respective country.
The countries represented: Mexico, Norway, Germany, Italy, France, England, Canada, China, Japan, Morocco, and The United States.
Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is an award-winning firework and laser show (it also has water fountains and fire!) that takes place in the World Showcase Lagoon every night at the park’s closing time.
The World Showcase is home to many annual events that are held in the park.
The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is a flower-themed event that takes place in the spring since 1994. It is a popular event and takes more than 20,000 cast member hours to put on. Gardening experts hold workshops throughout the event for ideas for you to use at home.
The Epcot International Food & Wine Festival (which began in 1995) is held each fall. additional country kiosks pop up in the world Showcase and you can experience each country’s cuisine. The Festival Center in Future World opens and hosts many world-famous chef appearances, seminars, a chocolate sculpture exhibit and a mimosa bar.
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is a new event that began in 2017. It is held late January and February of each year. It is a festival showcasing visual, culinary, and performing arts.
Holidays Around the World is Epcot’s annual holiday celebration. This celebration features storytellers describing the traditions of their nation for the holidays. Additionally, a celebrity guest, accompanied by a choir, narrates the story of Christmas.
On New Year’s Eve, the park offers a variety of musical entertainment and a New Year’s Eve Dinner. There is a special countdown to the new year with Illuminations: Reflections of Earth.
Our first trip as a family to EPCOT was in 2009. It soon became our family’s favorite. We like to arrive early and get in a ride on Test Track or Soarin’ before heading over to the World Showcase for lunch. We generally begin with Mexico and have lunch at San Angel Restaurant. We then will stop in each country to shop, look at the exhibits or watch a show. In the evenings on our way out of the park, we always conclude our day with a trip on Spaceship Earth.
Left: Having lunch at a Mayan Temple in EPCOT’s Mexico. Upper Right: Deciding on Dessert in France. Bottom Right: a stop in England to shop for some tea and Dr. Who memorabilia is a must do.