Thursday, October 30, 2014

Top 10 Must Do's at Epcot

On October 1, 1982, Epcot opened as the second park in Walt Disney World.  The park spans over 300 acres and has two distinct areas: Future World and World Showcase.  Future World features attractions that embrace technological innovations and World Showcase is home to pavilions representing 11 countries: Canada, United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Japan, the United States, Italy, Germany, China, Norway and Mexico.

Epcot is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.  Although Walt Disney's original concept for Epcot didn't come to life, the park embraces his idea of ingenuity and imagination.  The park offers a unique experience of being educational and entertaining.  It's a hard task to accomplish but I think Disney does it well!  Here's my list of the top ten Must Do's at Epcot.

10. Turtle Talk with Crush
This attraction is totally sweet dude! (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) If you love Finding Nemo and that awesome sea turtle, Crush, you aren't going to want to miss this attraction.  Located inside The Seas with Nemo and Friends pavilion, this 15 minute attraction is your chance to have a conversation with Crush.  Little dudes and dudettes get a front row seat inside the human tank and with the technology of the hydrophone, are able to ask Crush a question.  Crush interacts with the guests in his usual humorous way and even refers to guests by name!  Each show is unique and really fun.  Your children may leave the show saying "dude" or "totally" the rest of the day but it's worth it!  Trust me dude!

9. World Showcase Entertainment
The countries around World Showcase are filled with various entertainment acts.  From acrobats to musical acts, even lumberjacks, World Showcase really has a wide range of acts to entertain everyone in the family.  Check the Times Guide or the My Disney Experience app to see the performance times during your visit.  Watching the entertainment around World Showcase is a great way to take a break from all the walking and waiting in line.  Grab a snack, sit back, relax, and enjoy the show!

8. Frozen Ever After
I would have to be living under a rock if I didn't mention the new Frozen Ever After attraction in this Must-Do list!  The attraction in the Norway pavilion of World Showcase celebrates the magic of Frozen complete with all of your favorite characters and songs.  This attraction begins on the docks of Arendelle and ends with a "Summer Snow Day" celebration.  Get ready to have all of the songs of Frozen stuck in your head but it's worth it to do at least once on your next trip!

7. World Showcase Restaurants
There are so many outstanding restaurants located around World Showcase that I could do an entire Must Do list solely on them.  Whatever cuisine you are craving, World Showcase has you covered.  One of the most popular restaurants in World Showcase is Le Cellier in the Canada pavilion.  If you’ve never been there before, it’s definitely worth a visit!  I suggest getting a lunch reservation, as the Canada pavilion is beautiful during the day.  If you love Mexican food, make sure to visit La Hacienda de San Angel in the Mexico pavilion for some great food and great views of IllumiNations.  If you’re looking for a unique dining experience, try Biergarten Restaurant in the Germany pavilion.  You’ll dine with other guests at communal tables while celebrating Oktoberfest with live entertainment during your meal.  Next time you find yourself in World Showcase, try out a new restaurant.  You never know when you might find your new Must Do!

6. The American Adventure
World Showcase is filled with films from each of the countries represented but my favorite is The American Adventure.  The American Adventure pavilion is designed after the Georgian style of the late 1700s, Colonial Williamsburg, Independence Hall, Thomas Jefferson's Monticello and the Old State House in Boston.  Talk about a historic looking building!  The theater inside the pavilion can hold over 1000 guests.  Animatronic Benjamin Franklin and Mark Twain are your guides on this 30 minute journey through American history complete with 35 Audio-Animatronic figures, patriotic songs and film footage.  If the song "Golden Dream" and footage doesn't have you tearing up a little, I'm not sure what will.  It's truly a wonderful film celebrating American ingenuity and its people.

5. Explore World Showcase
I’ve already mentioned entertainment and dining, but another Must Do is to take some time to explore the different pavilions.  Really slow down and just enjoy the atmosphere that the Imagineers worked so hard to create.  There are so many amazing details in each pavilion that you would think you are actually in that country.  It’s a great way to take a quick break during your busy day in the parks.  Take a stroll through one of the shops or grab a seat and just enjoy some people watching.


4. Test Track
Do you like to go fast?  Really, fast?  How about 65 mph in an open air vehicle?  Well, you're in luck!  Test Track allows you to design your very own vehicle and then put your SIM car to the test.  That means going really fast.  The simulation car seats 6 passengers and will test your design on capability, responsiveness, efficiency and speed.  Riders must be 40 inches tall to ride so get out those tape measurers and make sure your kids meet the height requirement.  It's a really thrilling ride and the new design studio adds another element of fun to this attraction.

3. Spaceship Earth
Spaceship Earth is an attraction located inside the iconic geosphere that is Epcot's park icon.  Narrated by Dame Judi Dench, this attraction takes you back to the beginnings of civilization and explores the history of communications throughout the ages.  It's a slow moving, dark ride filled with audio-animatronic characters.  As you make your descent back to Earth at the end of the attraction, there’s also a fun, interactive questionnaire on the touch screens that will help you design your future.  

2. Soarin
Hands down one of the most popular attractions at Epcot is Soarin and it’s so popular for a very good reason.  It’s amazing!  On the newly reimagined Soarin, you feel like you are flying over some of the world's most wondrous destinations.  Some of the destinations you fly over are the Great Wall of China, Iguazu Falls in South America, andAustralia's famous Sydney Opera House.  One of the really cool things about this attraction is that you actually smell what you’re flying over.  It’s a Must Do and it’s a must to get a FastPass+ for this attraction if you want to ride with minimal waits.

1. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
There is no better way to end a night at Epcot than to watch IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth around the World Showcase Lagoon.  The show has fireworks, lasers, dancing water and fire.  It’s a glorious display of the story of Earth.   There are a ton of great locations to view IllumiNations all around World Showcase, including some spots at various restaurants, but be prepared to stake out those spots early. 

Epcot has a range of attractions and entertainment that are not to be missed.  The attractions are educational and entertaining.  The park may be feel more like a park for adults but it truly has something that everyone in the family can enjoy.  What are your Must Do’s at Epcot?

Ashley

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