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EPCOT at Disney World (Florida)

Be prepared to walk.

A lot.

This is the advice I would give anyone thinking of a visit to Epcot Center in Orlando, FL.

We visited three out of four parks at DisneyWorld on our last visit to Orlando. Read about our experiences at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom.

Note: For tips on hotels, theme park tickets, Genie +, renting a car, Disney Springs etc., review the Magic Kingdom post.

For EPCOT, read along.

EPCOT is one of DisneyWorld's largest park, double the size of Magic Kingdom. Everything is so spread out so wearing proper shoes is essential. Of course, Disney Parks are magical during the holidays - everything is lit up, cast members are singing and Christmas songs are blasting! And the globe looks gorgeous.

The Basics

Get a map. Know what is where. Plan the Genie + pass w/ rides the night before. Carry an extra pair of socks. Charge your phone, carry chargers and / or battery pack. Make dine-in restaurant reservations in advance. Put sunscreen, carry water and food (yep, food at Disney sucks for vegetarians, and most things are not particularly healthy). Carry a layer if you are visiting in winter months and want to stay late.

Top Experiences

These are my top experiences at Epcot, with the best one at #1. Plan to get them on your Genie + pass. Or stand in line, they are the best in this theme park.

  1. Soarin' around the world (Not a ride, but an exhilarating journey around the world!)

  2. Test Track (Build your own car, then drive it on a high-speed track)

  3. Ratatouille (One of the newer rides in 3D. Slightly spinny. Very clever!)

  4. Frozen Ever After (Get little wet, cute with the roller coaster going front and then back)

  5. Grand Fiesta (Beautiful celebration of Mexico, sweet!)

Truth be told, Epcot isn't all about rides. The park has different areas, some that celebrate the earth and nature, others culture and space exploration.

In my opinion, the real attraction is its world showcase! A 30-minute stroll will take you through different countries such as Italy, Mexico, China, Japan, Morocco, Canada, USA, Germany, Norway, UK, and France.

Some of the rides are located in specific countries. For e.g. Ratatouille is in France, Frozen Ever After is in Norway, the Grand Fiesta is in Mexico, so on and so forth.

Each country can be recognized by familiar structures, food, cultural symbols and language. This below is Mexico. Once you go into that building, you see a beautiful Mexican market, and access to the boat ride. You can even dine there.

This pretty gateway is the entrance to China. You can find a tea stall, a beautiful shop selling Chinese clothes and artifact and a dedicated space about DisneyWorld in China.

This below is Norway. In this area is an interesting cafe selling sweet treats - Kringla, School Bread and Lefse. The Frozen ride is here and riders would exit out of an expensive Norwegian store selling tees and jackets. Kids can meet Elsa and Anna here.

Germany is exactly how you imagine it to be - Beer gardens and pretzels! And of course the typical German food - Schnitzel and Currywurst. Uh Oh. NICHT VEGETARISCH.

And, so you get the point. A walk through different countries, live music in Canada, a Mitsukoshi store and a Kawaii museum in Japan, festival markets with African drums along the way, live mime performance, wine cellars and pizzeria in Italy, BBQ in 'America', Fish and Chips in London... the list goes on. Just a really fun cultural experience, if you are into this stuff.

Given dietary restrictions, the only one place that we truly enjoyed the food experience was Morocco. Three tiny dips with a warm pita bread for $5 and a fig cocktail. I packed peanut butter sandwiches and cereal bars so we had some other food for fuel. In each country, there were things we could eat but none so healthy.

In general, we had a good time at Epcot. A ton of things to discover, countries and cultures to appreciate, Mexico through the eyes of Donald Duck and pretzels as big as your face!

I mean, what's there not to enjoy?


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