Activities & Resources
Epcot050in Orlando, FL 32830
Actually, it means Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow and it was Walt Disney's grand vision. Today you'll find a mix of thrill rides, some aging favorites, and plenty of culture disguised as entertainment (think of it as subliminal education).
The park is divided into two different sections, Future World and World Showcase.
You're probably already familiar with the giant golf ball that greets you at the park entrance. It's called Spaceship Earth, and there's actually a ride inside the sphere that takes you through the history of man. Because it is so close to the front of the park, this ride gets packed mid-day, so ride early or late to avoid the crowds.
For the thrill seekers, try Soarin', a simulator ride copied from Disneyland in California that takes you over that state's landmarks and natural wonders. Or visit Test Track or Mission:SPACE for high action. You'll see more than a few people exiting Mission:SPACE looking a little green. If you're prone to motion sickness at all, you may prefer the waiting area at the end of the ride instead.
Other popular attractions for kids include Imagination!, where families can hang out with a lovable purple dragon named Figment, and Turtle Talk with Crush, a fantastic, interactive program with one of the stars from Finding Nemo. Take the Nemo Ride first (riding in your own Clamobile) and then hop in line for Turtle Talk. Little kids can sit up front on the ground and ask questions to the "Dude!" loving sea turtle, who responds in real time to their inquiries.
There really is too much to do to mention everything here! The attractions, street performers, characters... even the water fountains perform.
Don't forget to stop by Club Cool, hosted by Coke. The somewhat hidden attraction features free - that's right, free - samples of sodas from around the world, as well as a selection of Coke-branded merchandise and a small selection of cool treats for purchase.
Perhaps not as exciting for kids, the World Showcase does have plenty to offer, though you'll have to hoof it around the 1.3 mile lagoon walkway to see everything. Attractions of note include the Maelstrom boat ride in Norway, an audio animatronic adventure through US history at the American Adventure, and a Circle-Vision 360 film through some of Canada's most picturesque regions.
Families with kids also won't want to miss the park's newest interactive attraction, Disney's Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure.
The World Showcase is also home to one of the coolest fireworks spectaculars around, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. This nighttime event is set to a beautifully composed soundtrack which coordinates with powerful lasers and timed fireworks. Viewing is available all around the lagoon, but try the bridge connecting France and England for the best vantage point.
Kids' Stations: In between all of the fun in the lands, young kids are encouraged to create their own Epcot souvenirs at the park's Kidcot Funstops. Craftsmen teach budding artists how to create a one-of-a-kind mask or a musical instrument.
Character Greetings: Pick up a park map and schedule for character greeting times and areas. The most popular location is at the entrance to the World Showcase, where the whole gang of popular characters arrives on a double-decker bus.
For character dining, children can participate in Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in Norway. Disney princesses like Belle, Snow White, and more make their way through these meals, hugging and posing with little fans.
Dining: Eating at Epcot is a fantastic adventure, especially if you're in the mood to experiment with new ethnic foods. Most restaurants, especially those in the World Showcase, require reservations, so inquire at Guest Relations or call 407.WDW.DINE for more information.
As you'd expect, the park is family friendly. Strollers are available to rent, and all restrooms are equipped with an area for changing diapers. Designated smoking areas mean the park is, for the most part, smoke free.