Friday, December 1, 2017

The NYC Traveler: 5 Reasons to Visit Epcot

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The NYC Traveler:
5 Reasons to Visit Epcot at Disney World

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Not too long ago, Epcot was the educational but slightly boring park in Disney World family, appealing tech geeks. That all changed in the late 1990's when attractions like Test Track, Mission: Space (now Relaunched, with a brand new adventure), Frozen, Finding Nemo and especially Soarin' were introduced to bring in the crowds (and dollars). Currently, two more attractions are waiting in the wings for their debut: Remy's Ratatouille Adventure and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

EPCOT means Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Walt Disney himself came up with the idea of building a residential community. After his death, it was decided to create a second theme park instead. The two sections of the part don't seem to match (futuristic, environmental and technology combined with the World's Fair theme), but Disney has been determined to make it work. Today's Epcot is not your parents' Epcot that opened in 1982. 

So, to start, here are 5 reasons to visit Epcot:

1. What's with the golf ball? It's the spherical ride/exhibition, Spaceship Earth, an informative yet entertaining ride through humankind's history of communication from pre-historic days to a salute to the young pioneers of Silicon Valley. After the ride, you get to play with technology yourself.

2. Pretend that you're under the sea in a huge aquarium after riding Nemo and Friends. The Seas will introduce you to sea life complete with fish, eels, coral reefs and the real-life inspirations for Nemo, Dory, Crush and the rest of the cast. You can also enter the aquarium area through the gift shop. 

La Piazza San Marco, Venice? No, it's the Italy pavilion in Epcot.

3. Take a trip around the world in a few hours in the World Showcase, a replica of the World's Fair. Each pavilion represents a country's culture with exhibits, attractions, food and drinks along with authentic personnel on short-term contracts. You will feel like you have stepped into a foreign land. Where's the continent of Africa and representations of sub-Asia? You'll have to pay for a park-hopper ticket and go over to Animal Kingdom. 

4. Get up and go: take trip by hang-gliding on Soarin Around the World (in The Land); save the planet in Relaunched! Mission: SPACE or try out a prototype car on Test Track. 

5. Check out a street fair, Disney-style with their 4 annual festivals: The International Flower and Garden Show, International Food and Wine Festival and International Festival of the Holidays (formerly the Holidays Around the World) and the International Festival of the Arts. Eat, drink and be merry with fine dining samplings, authentic cultural entertainment and merchandise throughout both Future World and the World Showcase. Extra kiosks are often added to create a virtual cornucopia for the senses. You will need more than one day to experience it all.

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