Here we are in the fourth of the series on how to work the parks and see and do all you can on a limited time schedule. As a reminder, these guides are not meant to have you go rushing around like a chicken with it's head cut off, trying to stuff everything into one day. It is not going to happen, especially if there are young children involved. WDW just offers too much to see and do in any of the four parks to be able to get everything in such a short time. But with proper planning and with these guides, you will be able to see and do all of your favorites with time to spare. Of course, if you go in the busy season or on a holiday, you may not get everything in despite this guide and smart planning.
Now EPCOT (Experimental prototype community of Tomorrow) was Walt Disney's baby. He was planning this futuristic city in a most covert way so to make sure no leaks of its plans would occur until he was ready to unveil it. It was to be an actual living, working city with all of Walt's plans and ideas of how the city of tomorrow would be, with all of (Or most of) the problems today's cities face eliminated. But due to his unfortunate and untimely death in 1966, the Disney Company made EPCOT into a large, living World's Fair like the one in New York in 1965. The park is split into two sections:
World Showcase on the southern end with ten foreign countries plus the United States in a horseshoe around World Showcase Lagoon and in the Northern end anchored by Spaceship Earth, the world's first geodesic sphere, is the" World's Fair" part of the park. Here are the major attractions, rides and all pavilions were ideas for the future could be seen. "Living with the land", the "Living Seas", innovations East and West where many futuristic exhibits can be see. EPCOT is a little more "cerebral" than Disney's other parks, but don't worry, there are many things for the small kids to do. They have "Kidcot" funstops all around the park where kids are entertained by cast members doing crafts and drawing.
So now that a little EPCOT history is behind us, lets explore! I will list the fastpass "Musts" and all the other "in-betweens" and attractions and a brief description so you can plan on what you want to see!
1- Soarin" in the "Land" pavilion.- A fantastic Hang Glider ride over California's greatest landmarks. We have been on dozens of times and is the first fastpass my wife and I get when we go. Reason: The attraction is so popular that many times the passes are gone by 1:00PM. I suggest get these passes first. Average standby time is 60 minutes or more!
2- "Living with the Land " boat ride.- Very educational and fascinating ride through greenhouses and scenes of the American landscape where you will learn modern growing and farming methods, even growing food for the space program. Average wait time: 30 Minutes.
1- "Honey, I Shrunk the Audience" – Very funny 3D film on the order of the Movie, "I Shrunk the Kids", but you, the audience are the victim! Very clever and entertaining. Presented every 20 minutes.
TEST TRACK: Here is Disney's longest and fastest attraction! Here you will experience taking a test car through it's paces in all sorts of driving conditions. Very popular and busy. Average wait time 60 to 90 minutes.
MISSION SPACE: Right next to Test Track, this High Tec trip to Mars is very realistic and you will actually believe your taking off! There are two flavors: The Orange Team, for a more intense experience or the Green Team, for less intense training without the spinning and G-forces. Green Team is usually about 15 minutes but the Orange can be as long as an hour.
MAELSTROM: In Norway. Take a boat trip through a haunted forest with Trolls and spirits and learn about Norway's great seafaring past. Ends with a 5 minute film. Average wait time: 20minutes.
So you see there are not that many fastpasses required in EPCOT. But after you do ride your fastpass favorites, there is so much to see and do here, one day will not be enough! Lets go over the attractions that do not offer fastpass.
SPACESHIP EARTH: That large "Golf Ball" that you pass when you enter! This is a personal favorite of mine because I came here the year EPCOT opened and it was the first attraction I rode. Here is a slow ride back through time to learn about the history of communication. Very rarely over a 10minute wait.
ELLEN'S ENERGY ADVENTURE: In the Universe of Energy. This is a very entertaining ride with Ellen Degeneres and Bill Nye the Science Guy as Ellen dreams she is on Jeopardy and must travel back through time to the Dinosaurs to learn about energy so as to compete on the show. 45minute showings all day.
INNOVATIONS EAST AND WEST: Here you and your kids can get hands on fun with testing procedures on many products and see many exhibits about the world around us. Just walk in!
THE LIVING SEAS:
1- The "Living Seas Attraction".- Beautiful to walk around and see live fish, manatees, all in huge "Tanks". Learn about our oceans and their inhabitants. This attraction is still under partial renovation, but there is still plenty to see and do.
2- "Turtle Talk with Crush"- Very popular attraction when you can interact live with Crush. Here he talks with the kids and jokes and he even picks out kids from the audience to talk to personally! Can be an hour or longer.
1- "Circle of Life"- Here on the upper floor, a cute short film with the characters from the Lion King, with Timon and Pumba giving a lesson on conservation and preserving our natural resources.
1- 'Journey into the Imagination with Figment"- Take a ride and explore all the imagination holds with "Figment". Great ride for the kids.
Now this covers all the major attractions and shows at EPCOT. And this is just in Future World. Now there are many things to see and do in all the countries. I will just mention a few of my favorites, but even with this guide, you will need a bare minimum of at least two days to see most. In Mexico, ride the "Rio del Tiempo", the river of time. In China, the Dragon Legend Acrobats and the 360deg circle-vision show, "Reflections of China". In our "American Adventure" pavilion, the American Adventure show and the Fife and Drum Corps. In Canada, the 360deg circle-vision show, "O Canada" is breath-taking. Also, in the "America Gardens Theatre" in front of the American Pavilion, EPCOT puts on many shows, plays and concerts during the year. When you book your vacation, just ask in Guest Relations if any upcoming events are scheduled during your vacation time! And of course, if you just want to relax and walk around, taking up the sights and sounds of World Showcase, that is almost like an attraction in itself. And lets not forget "IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth" laser light and fireworks show at the end of the day, with the most amazing piece of Imagineering you will ever see, the World Globe in the middle of World Showcase Lagoon, with moving pictures and lights depicting all the nations of the World.
EPCOT is large and has much to offer! In fact, most people I speak to say EPCOT is their favorite park, coming in second only to the Magic Kingdom! Plan your trip and enjoy this "Worlds Fair"!