[Disney Vacation Planner]
|At A Glance
||EPCOT received 11.2 Million
visitors in 1996.
Futuristic Disney theme park, divided into two main areas,
with much to see and do. Some thrill rides, but nothing too
white-knuckle. Car parking charged ($6 USD) for non on-site
residents, Entrance fee includes all rides and attractions.
Food/Refreshments extra. Some rides carry min/max height restrictions.
Time required - 2 Days (1 day each at FutureWorld and The
World Showcase) Evening firework display (IllumiNations) is
well worth seeing.
EPCOT, the second oldest of Disney's Floridian theme parks was
opened in 1982, and will probably need two days if you want to
see and do everything within the park, (One day in Future World,
and one day around the World Showcase, however many may find it
less interesting than The
Magic Kingdom or the Disney
EPCOT, or the Experimental Protoytpe Community
Of Tomorrow was Walt Disney's visionary idea comprising
a huge transparent dome containing an entire city of harmony and
progress, however with Walt's death in 1966, many of the original
ideas for EPCOT were lost, and the resulting EPCOT Centre built
by the Disney imagineers is a compromise between the parts of
the dream laid out by Walt, and what could be achieved in practice.
It is subdivided into two main sections, Future World, and The
Future World which opens (and closes) earlier than the World
Showcase, pretty much covers the area between the main entrance
to EPCOT, and the large lagoon. It is themed into distinct pavillions,
and is dominated by Spaceship Earth, a large 180ft geodesic sphere
made from white aluminium. As well as providing a focus for the
park, Spaceship Earth contains a slow ride, which winds its way
along a track through the dome itself, tracing the history of
human communication from cave drawings through satellite and television.
Behind Spaceship Earth is the Showcase Plaza with the EPCOT fountain,
and flanked on either side by a curved "Innoventions"
building, containing examples of "technology from tomorrow",
though in reality almost everything on display has been with us
for a few years in one form or another.
The Wonders of Life contains "Body Wars", a turbulent
simulator ride through the human body. Other attraction include
the Wondercycles, where you cycle through the EPCOT park which
is presented in front of you on a television display, along with
distance travelled and energy expended etc.
The recently refurbished Universe of Energy, features "Ellen's
Energy Adventure", presented by Ellen DeGeneres.
In The Living Seas, you can explore a large man-made coral reef,
teeming with tropical fish, or view sharks and manatees
The Land features The Ciricle of Life, and environmental fable
with the characters from The Lion King, whilst Living with The
Land is a sedate boat ride and walk with an agricultural theme,
demonstrating examples of soil-free gardening, plant biotechnology,
fish farming, and pest management.
The Journey into Imagination pavillion houses the Honey I Shrunk
the Audience 3-D theatre presentation, located in the Imagination
The World Showcase
The World Showcase covers the area around the lagoon at EPCOT,
and it provides a view of the cultural heritage of 11 varied nations
including Mexico, Norway,
United Kingdom and Canada,
though each should be taken with a large pinch of salt!
Each individual pavillion houses various attractions, including
restaurants, rides, cinema presentations, live shows, and shops
selling articles from the country concerned. The Rose & Crown
Pub in the United Kingdom for example sells a range of typical
British Beers (Bass, Guinness, Harp) in a traditional British
Pub environment at very untraditionally high prices ("Innit
Guvnor, Cor Blimey Mate!"), whilst in The American Adventure
an audio-animatronic show depicting America's "incredible
struggles and triumphs" can be seen.
Overall there is much less of a focus on the classic Disney characters
within EPCOT, with character appearances very rare, although character
dining with Mickey and other characters is available at the Garden
Drill restaurant in the Land pavillion.
Diving at The Living Seas
For anyone who is a certified diver, it is possible to make arrangements
to perform a dive in the Living Seas exhibit at Epcot at a cost
of around $140 which includes a video tape taken of the dive.
How to see the EPCOT Fireworks without a ticket
The EPCOT IllumiNations firework display is held around the World
Showcase Lagoon usually starting at 21:00. This is the same point
that the park normally closes, with the fireworks display marking
the close of the park. At this time, the main turnstiles are usually
wide open so that people can enter and leave at will, so it is
often possible to enter EPCOT at exactly 21:00 in order to see
the IllumiNations firework display, without having to use a day
on a pass.
Having said that though, it's quite a long drag from the main
turnstiles to the World Showcase Lagoon, so unless you're seriously
fit it is usually better to try and get into the park at the International
Gateway instead, which is much closer to the World Showcase Lagoon.
For those with a consience that won't permit them to attempt
entry without a pass the closest place to see the fireworks without
actually entering EPCOT at all is standing on the bridge between
the BoardWalk and the Yacht & Beach Club Resorts.