Welcome to the 2nd part of my four part series into the wonderful parks of the magical Walt Disney World!
In this post, I want to take a deep look into Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, or as most people know it as, Epcot.
Epcot was Walt Disney’s prototype of what he believed could be a city or community of the future. This park was eventually opened on October 1st, 1982 with the focal point being the great Epcot Ball, home to the attraction Spaceship Earth, a journey into the past that shows us the advances and discoveries in communication and technology that we know of today.
Epcot is broken up into two themed areas, Future World and World Showcase.
Test Track gives you the test ride of a lifetime where you can get into a test vehicle to check how well the vehicle breaks, turns and how fast it can really go.
Soarin’ is a beautiful simulation where you can hang glide over the world’s most amazing landmarks such as the Great Wall of China and even Cinderella’s castle. Soarin’ was recently shut down in January of 2016 for some refurbishments which will include a third theater, a 4K resolution experience and a new journey to fly in.
It is highly reccomended that you get fastpasses for Test Track and Soarin’ given that these attractions typically harness around a 2 hour wait time but are absolutely musts for your visit to Epcot.
Once you finish making you way through Future World, you will then find yourself in the awesome World Showcase, home to 11 pavilions inspired nations from all around the world that include:
- United States
- United Kingdom
Each nation represents beautiful architecture that is extremely representative of it’s respected country as well food and restaurants that are native to that homeland as well.
My top 5 restaurants I would recommend in the World Showcase would be:
- Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria (Italy)
- Tutto Italia Ristorante (Italy)
- Rose & Crown Dining Room (UK)
- Chefs de France (France)
- La Hacienda de San Angel (Mexico)
Of course, one thing you cannot miss whatsoever when visiting Epcot is the amazing firework show in the middle of Epcot that can be viewed from World Showcase, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth which tend to fire off every day at 9:00 PM.
The biggest question regarding where the best place is to watch the fireworks from is an ongoing debate, some say Japan, some say at the beginning of World Showcase. Personally, my favorite place to watch this show, and it is a little trick I picked up over the years, try to make dinner reservations at the Rose & Crown in the UK for around 8:00 PM, then you will be able to go to the waterside patio to watch an extremely unobstructed view of this wonderful firework display.
Another fun trick that not to many people are familiar with when it comes to Epcot, unlike any of the other parks, Epcot has a back entrance! If you are staying at Disney’s Boardwalk, Swan and Dolphin, Yacht Club or Beach Club Resorts, you are within walking distance of Epcot and you might not have ever known it! You can take a 10 minute walk and the rear entrance will get you somewhere between the United Kingdom and France.
I highly recommending checking out Disney’s Boardwalk Resort if you are going to use that entrance/exit, it to this day is my all time favorite Disney World Resort and features plenty of awesome restaurants and bakeries. It is also a good place to watch the fireworks from Epcot. Also, if you are feeling sport deprived on your vacation, it’s also where you can find the ESPN Club.
If the Magic Kingdom is your first stop on your Walt Disney World vacation, please make Epcot your second, it is an absolute beautiful park to visit with amazing and fun attractions and incredible food. It is also connected to the Magic Kingdom via the Monorail. Live in the now in this Community of Tomorrow.