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5 Reasons to Visit Epcot For the Savvy Traveler

Updated: Mar 12

The NYC Traveler:

5 Reasons to Visit Epcot at Disney World

Not too long ago, Epcot was the educational but slightly boring park in Disney World family, appealing to tech geeks. That all changed in the late 1990's when attractions and festivals were introduced to bring in the crowds (and dollars).

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. Today's Epcot is not your parents' Epcot that opened in 1982. There are 4 areas: World Nature, World Discovery, World Celebration and World Showcase. Each area has edutainment, attractions, food and more.

So, to start, here are 5 reasons a savvy traveler would 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 an salute to the young pioneers of Silicon Valley. After the ride, you get to play with technology yourself.

Spaceship Earth, Epcot
Spaceship Earth, Epcot, Disney World, Florida

2. You'll be under the sea in a huge aquarium after riding Finding Nemo. The Living Seas will introduce you to sea life complete with fish, sharks, 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 without going through the ride. Look for special add-ons, such as deep sea exploring.

Epcot Aquarium
The Aquarium, Epcot, Disney World

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, entertainment, rides, food and drinks along with authentic personnel on short-term contracts. For a milisecond, you will feel like you have stepped into a foreign land. If you have been there, you will appreciate the effort Disney does to bring you overseas. 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.

World Showcase Epcot
The World Showcase, Epcot, Disney World, Florida

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; try out a prototype car on Test Track; see a kitchen from a mouse's point of view on Remy's Ratatouille Adventure; and more.

Soarin' Epcot
Soarin' Around the World, Epcot, Disney World

5. Check out the very popular 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, special events and merchandise throughout both Future World and the World Showcase. Extra countries are often added to create a virtual cornucopia for the senses. You will need more than one day to experience it all.

Extra Bonus Information About Epcot:

Epcot opened in Disney World in 1982 combining education and entertainment: edutainment (scroll all the way down for a brief history and World Showcase, a World's Fair type presentation that features 11 countries in permanent pavilions showcasing culture, entertainment, food, merchandise, rides and attractions.

Epcot was initially successful when it opened but within 10 years, attendance and earnings starting declining. Along with closing and adding attractions, Disney added four international festivals: the Flower and Garden (started in 1994) March-June; Food and Wine (added in 1995), late August-mid November; Festival of the Holidays, formerly called Holidays Around the World (begun in 1996) Thanksgiving week - December 30 or so and the Festival of the Arts (recently begun in 2017), which goes from January - February. Disney fans jokingly note that the reason there are so many festivals is so that the kiosks can remain up almost all year long. Ready to Book?

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