Epcot opened October 1, 1982. My first visit to what was then called Epcot Center was in the summer of 1983 when relatives came down from Massachusetts on vacation. Epcot is the Disney park that has morphed and changed the most over the years. Long gone are Horizons, World of Motion, Kitchen Kabaret and the Communicores. Funny how this park makes me the most nostalgic, I understand the need for progress and change, especially in Epcot-I just missed the old days.
Epcot is also home to the two largest festivals at Walt Disney World.In the spring we have the International Flower and Garden Festival and in the fall we have the International Food and Wine Festival. Each of the events are not to be missed. This post isn’t about park history or special events though, so let’s move forward.
10. Illuminations-Reflections of Earth
Illuminations is Epcot’s evening fireworks and laser show. For many people, this would top their must-do list but it just in’t a favorite of mine. This show opened in 1999 and in my opinion it is more than time for something new. The soundtrack to this show is amazing! It takes place just about every night around World Showcase lagoon. Make sure you find a spot early, with an unobstructed view of the middle of the lagoon.
9. Kidcot Fun Stops
If you are traveling with kids ages 3-8 make your you take advantage of the Kidcot Fun Stops around World Showcase. Stop at an Fun Stop to receive a complimentary cardboard Duffy bear for your child to decorate. As you travel throughout World Showcase visit the Fun Stops to meet cast members and learn about their native land!
8. Test Track
The original Test Track ride opened in 1999 and was a must-do for anyone 40″ or taller. The ride was closed and updated in 2012 re-opening in December of that year. I wrote about my thoughts on the updated ride in my post Test Track 2.0. While I am no longer a huge fan of the ride, you should ride it. It is interesting to design your car and then test it on the ride. You will probably love this ride, because if this is your first visit you don’t have the original to compare it to.
7. Living with the Land
Living with the Land is the new update to what was originally Listen to the Land. Living with the Land is a boat ride that takes you through several scenes and gardens while teaching you about where your food comes from. This leisurely ride is relaxing and informational. We enjoy seeing the creative gardening techniques used throughout the “living laboratory”.
6. The Seas with Nemo and Friends
I love this ride! The combination of dark ride, storytelling and live fish is genius! The whole family can board a “clamobile” and search for everyone’s famous clown fish. When the ride is over spend time checking out the fish in the aquarium, get a close-up look at some manatees and don’t miss Turtle Talk with Crush!
5. The American Adventure
Standing in the middle of World Showcase, The American Adventure is a 30 minute animatronic stage show chronicling our illustrious past and pointing toward our boundless future. This show is educational and entertaining, not to mention a great place to escape the Florida heat! Spend some time with Mark Twain and Ben Franklin as they weave through our nation’s past.
4. Spaceship Earth
Located inside Epcot’s iconic geosphere, Spaceship Earth is a dark ride that takes us from the Stone Age to the Computer Age in 16 minutes! Revisit the cave drawings of pre-historic man, the Egyptian who invented papyrus, the Dark Ages, Renaissance, right on up to modern times all while aboard a slow-moving omni-mover.
3. Voices of Liberty
A visit to Epcot isn’t complete without catching a performance by the Voices of Liberty. This a capella vocal group delights guests several times a day in the rotunda of the American Adventure Pavilion. Dressed in beautiful costumes reminiscent of the 1800s, the talented vocalists share some of America’s best loved music. Check your times guide for showtimes.
2. Frozen Ever After
If you have a Frozen fan in your family, I highly suggest that Frozen Ever After, the newest attraction in Epcot be your tier 1 Fastpass in this park. The line for this beautiful boat ride through Arendelle is often more than an hour long so a Fastpass is a must. This whimsical ride include some of your favorite music from Frozen and some new lyrics too.
1. Soarin’ Around the World
Recently updated, Soarin’ Around the World is my #1 must-do at Epcot. The music, the scenery, the sensation of flying is not-to-be missed! Thankfully they have added a 3rd concourse for this ride so the wait times have decreased. Riders must be 40″ or taller to fly and child swap is available for families who need to take advantage of that service.
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