While on vacation going to Disney World Epcot in Orlando is like taking a quick tour around the world. There are several rides that offer thrills and spills, but the best part of this park is enjoying all the international countries. Each is unique in showing off what the country is all about. The cast members are from the relevant country so they know the customs and culture of their home land. The food has the flavor of some of the fabulous mouth watering cuisines.
Epcot is the second of the four parks to have been built. It opened on October 1, 1982. Throughout the year Epcot has four seasonal themes within the park. Each one is a spectacular showing of the Disney pride and accomplishment. This year, 2019, the International Festival of the Arts will be from January 18 to February 25. The International Flower and Garden Show will be from March 6 to June 3. International Food and Wine, the longest running event, will be from late August to mid November. The beautiful ending is the International Festival of the Holidays, going from mid November and taking us through the holidays ending on December 31.
In the near future Epcot will take on a new look with more greenery and flowers adorning the entrance.
Departing from the monorail or boat you can’t help but notice the bigger than life ball, the gorgeous geosphere, the symbol of Epcot. As it is approached you soon realize it is a ride, Spaceship Earth. It is a slow moving ride that transports you through the history of technology and how we have progressed. If this ride was too timid for you, the tempo will increase as we continue. We’re off to a good start!
Future World East
Looking for more action, you will find it at the Mission: SPACE. This is a simulator ride taking you to Mars. There is a safety warning for this ride so you know it’s a ride for the adventurous, and sorry future moms, this ride is not for you.
Test Track is an exhilarating ride full of twists, hairpin turns, and curves. A great ride to get your adrenaline going. There is a 40″ height requirement to participate on this ride.
Mouse Gear is good for all your shopping needs. There are Disney characters, apparel and toys, and Pandora jewelry.
Future World West
The little ones will love checking out The Seas with Nemo and Friends. The entire family can hop aboard the “clamobile” to enjoy this attraction and watch some scenes from “Finding Nemo”.
As you leave the attraction there is an aquarium that is notably the largest in the world.
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Living in The Land is a calm boat ride taking you through a greenhouse with vegetation growing on either side of the boat. Many plants display climbing vines or just growing close to the ground. It is amazing to see such a variety of vegetables and some fruit trees, too. I imagine some of it is used at Disney’s dining facilities.
In the same pavilion you will find the very popular ride Soarin’. Soarin’ is a hang gliding simulator taking you through some beautiful scenery from around the world. This ride takes you up, up, and away in the sky. If you are wearing sandals or carrying any bags, be sure to hang on to them! If sandals slip off or your bags slip away, you will have to wait until the ride concludes and then try to find your lost articles.
Time to cool off with a soda? Club Cool has samples of soft drinks from around the world. You’ll need to acquire a taste for some of them, others are really good tasting.
Several other rides and attractions are within Future World East and West, but mentioned above are the more popular ones. Restaurants are also available in these areas.
Let’s travel to some countries around the world.
This tour will take us around the world and visit the countries here at Epcot.
Mexico has the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros while on a boat ride through Mexico. Donald Duck may be seen if the Caballeros can find him. A mariachi band performs a few times during the day playing traditional Mexican music.
Restaurants are full of Mexican fare and all of the selections are delicious! La Hacienda de San Angel serves dishes from different regions in Mexico and has lagoon views. If the timing is right, you can watch the fireworks from this restaurant.
A market place sells all sorts of things from Mexico including tequila!
The Norway village shows traditional houses with sod on the roofs just like those found in Norway. Within Norway pavilion is the unforgettable ride Frozen Ever After where you can ride a Viking ship and find some trouble making trolls.
At the Royal Sommerhus you will be able to get a glimpse of Anna, Elsa, and Olaf wandering around looking for little ones with autograph books and pens or pencil in hand wanting someone to sign them.
Wanting to please the little girls, dining with the Disney princesses will make it possible at the Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. Ariel, Belle, Cinderella or others will be walking around and interacting with the guests.
Our next stop is China showcasing the magnificent architecture of The Gate of the Golden Sun with a garden in front. An attraction named the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats show their talents for all to enjoy.
Keeping up with the dragon theme, a restaurant named Nine Dragons Restaurant serves Chinese food, wine and beer. Mulan, the young warrior, could show up here and she is always willing to sign autographs for you.
The Germany Pavilion is noted for its food and drinks. A cobblestone courtyard graces the center and a statue of St. George slaying the Dragon is in the center. A Clock Tower chimes every hour and of course two figures in costume pop out.
Biergarten Restaurant offers a buffet in traditional German cuisine with schnitzel, bratwurst, and other German delights. Oktoberfest is celebrated here year round.
Snow White can often be found at this location.
The architecture in the Italian Pavilion takes on the look of some of the cities in Italy. The Fontana Di Nettuno resembles the Trevi Fountain in Rome. This isn’t Rome, but pretend, throw a coin in the fountain and make a wish.
Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria cooks up some delicious plates of pastas and mighty tasty pizzas, too. Wanting to make a dish as good as is served, there is a shopping area here selling cook books and other Italian souvenirs, Il Bel Cristallo.
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United States Pavilion
As you would expect, this is the largest of all the pavilions here in the World Showcase. The American Adventure tells about our history, depicting many of the famous people who shaped our country and the American Heritage Gallery is an exhibit containing much of American history, too.
American Gardens Theatre has live entertainment year round. Concerts can be attended during the summer with popular bands.
Entertainment in the Japan pavilion is found at Matsuriza where you will witness a trio of drum playing and storytelling. The Mitsukoshi Store has all sorts of traditional items and a Sake Bar in the back of the store for you to sample.
Want to watch your dinner being cooked? Jot over to the Teppan Edo where the chefs grill your meal right there at your table. This is such a treat to watch the chefs perfect your meal. Don’t know how they do it. I would be so nervous. It’s like stage fright. Except I think it can be worse. You are right next to the flames! Careful there chef…
The Morocco Pavilion is unique in that it is the only pavilion that doesn’t light up during the fireworks.
Most vacationers don’t plan on getting a tattoo while on vacation, but if that sounds like something that interests you, the Henna Tattoo Artists will be happy to accommodate you. Very strange!
Restaurant Marrakesh serves the customary dishes of Morocco, and as a treat you can view belly dancers as you dine.
Princess Jasmine may be walking around here so be sure to look for her and say hi.
The Eiffel Tower is a much smaller version of the real thing displayed here in the France Pavilion.
Since France is a popular vacation spot in Europe, mostly Paris, Disney has a short film showing off the beauty and charm of the country, namely, Impressions de France.
France is noted for its food, wine, and the delicious pastries to die for and Monsieur Paul fills the bill if you are looking for a gourmet cuisine.
See if you can find Princesses Belle and Aurora strolling around the pavilion ready to sign autographs. Hurry and get your autograph book out for them.
United Kingdom Pavilion
This pavilion bears a resemblance of London with its cobble stone streets and thatch roofs.
Rose and Crown Pub serves traditional British foods like Shepherds Pie or Bangers and Mash along with popular beers. Just wanting something quick? Try Yorkshire County Fish and Chips where they serve…you guessed it, fish and chips.
Alice in Wonderland frequently appears to meet and greet the guests. I’m sure she will sign autographs, too. You might also see Mary Poppins walking around there with Alice or maybe just walking by herself waiting for someone to run her down with pen and autograph book in hand wanting her to sign it.
The Canadian pavilion has amazing gardens for your enjoyment as you walk through the pavilion. The beautiful scenes of Canada are shown in a short film at the O Canada attraction with the song O Canada being sung at the end of the film.
For your dining pleasure Le Crllier Steakhouse has seafood and specialties like poutines in addition to steak.
The Trading Post shows off its attractively carved totem pole.
Above is a short overview of the countries that are part of Epcot. I hope you enjoyed each of them.
There’s Still Some Daylight Left
So you’ve been on some rides and toured the countries, what’s next?
There is a walkway between the France Pavilion and the United Kingdom Pavilion named the International Gateway that will take you to Disney’s Hollywood Studios. You can walk there or catch a boat to take you there.
There is a store at the International Gateway, World Traveler, selling items and also you can pick up any packages from your shopping elsewhere instead of lugging them with you all day long.
In order to celebrate Disney’s 50th anniversary in 2021, Epcot’s Future World will have a new indoor roller coaster ride the Guardians of the Galaxy. The cars have a very impressive look to them.
Soon to arrive Nighttime Magic Epcot Forever will take place. Sounds enchanting!
Hope you enjoyed the day at Epcot. Be sure to watch the parade and fireworks later.
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