The Golf Ball
The name Epcot comes from the acronym EPCOT – Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow. The park was the second Disney World park to open its gates and did so in October 1982. Until 1994 it was known as Epcot Center. Each Disney park has its own recognisable icon and in Epcot, the icon is the large golf ball looking building. The ‘golf ball’ is completely made up of straight lines and it is home to the Spaceship Earth ride.
Epcot is a park inspired by technological innovation – Future World and the cultures of the worlds continents – World Showcase. The park doesn’t have as many rides as other Disney World parks so it is more of a ‘seeing’ rather than a ‘doing’ theme park. Epcot is becoming the least visited park in Disney World due to the new improvements to some of the other parks.
Remember! To get brilliant Disney Apps and get lots of Disney theme park tips, read my Walt Disney World Resort page. If you skipped ahead in the guide and just came straight to this Epcot section, try to read every page in Mr Brit’s Orlando Guide. There are hundreds of tips throughout Mr Brit’s Guide To Orlando.
Great for a rainy day
Epcot is ideal for a rainy day due to the amount of rides and shows that are based indoors. If you check the weather forecast on the local TV channel each day and it looks like its going to be a wet one, change your plans and head for Epcot. Universal Studios is another great theme park for a rainy day.
Once you enter the park you will be greeted by something that looks like a building site for Superman’s house. The area front of the “Golf Ball” is the Leave A Legacy area which is no longer open for business. Past visitors could purchase a couple of square inches on one of the many futuristic stones. Personalised messages or images were engraved into the metal panels covering the stones.
There are lots of areas still unused so I don’t know why Disney brought the Leave A Legacy to a close. Magic Kingdom also has a block paved path leading to the gates that is a similar feature. Family names and dates adorn each brick but this opportunity has also closed for business.
Epcot Future World
Future World is the main theme park area of the park. This area is full of very original rides and shows. The Little Brit’s in your family will love some of the attractions targeted at toddlers. The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Turtle Talk With Crush and Frozen Ever After will all be hits with the young ones. Turtle talk With Crush is great for all ages so don’t miss that one.
Soarin, Mission: Space, Frozen Ever After and Test Track are the busiest rides in Epcot. FastPass+ some of these if you can.
Epcot World Showcase
Travelling clockwise around World Showcase you will visit the following countries – Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France, good ol’ UK and Canada. There are a few small shows and a couple of rides around World Showcase. As I stated above, Epcot is more of a ‘seeing’ theme park and less of a ‘doing’ theme park. There are a lot of restaurants in Epcot so if eating is your thing, you may love this area.
Years ago when I was queuing for the Test Track ride, a large American lady heard my English accent and said
“hey, you are from England, I love your accent, have you had a good day in Epcot today”
so I replied
“yes, it’s been a great day so far, how about you”
and she replied,
“we’ve had a great day today, we have eaten in a different restaurant in each country of the World Showcase area and it’s been great”.
I was relieved to be placed into a different car to this lady because I didn’t want to risk meeting the 11 meals she had eaten earlier. Epcot is a great place to get a bite to eat……or 11.
Meet the Characters in Epcot
A great place to meet Disney characters is at the Epcot Character Spot. You can find this place just past the golf ball and then over to the right as you enter Epcot.
The Rides Of Disney’s Epcot
If you like speed and don’t mind feeling the G’s on a fast ride, this one is for you. You board a motion simulator that replicates a rocket/shuttle launch…and replicate it does!!!
This ride is very realistic and the extreme ride can get very intensive. When countdown completes, your rocket blasts into space (not really) and you are pushed down into your seat. If you don’t like real physical rides maybe give it a miss but I loved this one.
I know how they reproduce the high stress feeling of a launch but I won’t spoil it for you. The first time I rode Mission: Space I came off the ride buzzing. I told Mrs Brit that she must ride this one because it is so realistic. Mrs Brit came off the ride feeling a bit sick and I was in the ‘dog-house’ for a while. You do need a strong stomach.
Take the easy option
There is an option to ride the ride without the extreme G-force pressure so if you are unsure as to how your body might handle it, take the “Green” card when you get in the queue. Take the orange card if you are feeling brave.
WARNING: On one visit, I rode this ride and it made my vision blur for around 10 seconds. It was quite scary and I was in two minds whether I would ever go on it again. I have ridden since and everything was fine so hopefully it was a ‘one off’. Mission: Space is probably the most physically intensive ride in all of Orlando.
Mission: Space is located in the Future World and off to the left of the golf ball. There is a height requirement of 40″ or 102cm.
Frozen Ever After
If you have visited Epcot before then you may already be familiar with this ride but under another name. Frozen Ever After is a slow boat ride and it replaced Maelstrom in the Norway area of World Showcase. The track is the same and even the boats are the same but the characters are very different.
The ride slowly takes you through various Frozen scenes where you will see your favourite Frozen characters and hear your favourite Frozen songs. The characters use the same facial technology as the brilliant dwarfs on the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train ride in Magic Kingdom. The queues can get quite long so probably FastPass+ this ride if you have young Princesses in your family.
Frozen Ever After is located in the Norway area of Epcot.
A brilliant experience for riders of all ages (and confidence). There is absolutely nothing scary about Soarin so as long as you meet the height requirement, I recommend you do it. This is a motion simulator ride which is very realistic, but not frightening at all.
You are safely strapped into a large hang-glider but you are in the seated position. Off you go, flying past famous worldwide landmarks with the wind blowing through your hair. Even if you are afraid of heights, jump on anyway as it might help you. Soarin is a great illusion and you are never far from the ground.
One criticism I have about the ride is you don’t fly over the UK. HOW DARE THEY!!!! Of all the countries you visit, the UK is nowhere to be seen 🙁
Soarin has a height requirement of 40” or 102cm. The ride can be found in Future World and to the left of the golf ball as you enter the park.
This ride is the first ride that you will come across when you enter the park. It is located inside the big golf ball at the front of the park. It can get very busy and then there could be just a 5 minute wait later on. I would keep my eye on the My Disney Experience App wait times and head over there when the line looks short.
It is a brilliant journey through the progress and achievements of humans throughout history. This ride is not a thrill ride in any sense of the word. The ride will probably be the slowest ride you will ever experience. It is more of an educational experience and is suitable for all ages. You will get to experience some brilliant animatronics and even though the ride is quite old there are some very realistic re-creations of human progress through the ages.
A tip from Mr Brit – towards the end of the ride while you are answering the quick questions on the touch screen, get your camera or smartphone ready. You become the star in your own cartoon and you must video it. There is a small TV screen in your car and this is where your performance is played out.
The first time I rode Test Track I thought it would be better. It didn’t need to be better, it’s great how it is. I was the problem! In those days I was a bit of a rollercoaster addict so I wanted everything to be faster and scarier. After ‘snapping out’ of that phase I have come to appreciate Test Track and I now class it as an excellent ride.
The queue area is quite interesting with car parts and crash test dummies scattered here and there. You then move on to a room where you design your own concept car on a large touch screen. During the ride, your concept car will be awarded points for safety, speed and environmental aspects. The Test Track car will hold 6 riders and your concept car design will be put to the test against your fellow riders cars throughout the ride.
The early part of the ride sees you complete safety tests and durability tests. You drive over bumps in the road and dodge hazards, this is just the build up. The real ride starts when you head through the exit doors. The ride picks up speed and you do really fly around the track.
There is a height requirement of 40″ or 102cm. The ride is probably the busiest ride in Epcot so make sure to FastPass+ it if you can. Test Track is located in the Future World area and off to the left of the golf ball as you enter the park.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Although this is a kids ride, it is ideal for any Nemo lover no matter what age. You climb aboard a slow moving clam shell and off you go into the underwater world of Nemo and his friends. The ride has been created to make you feel like you are actually at the bottom of the ocean and Disney have done quite a good job.
Many of your favourite characters from the movie will make an appearance during the ride as they all try to find the little star of the show. There are no fast movements or speedy drops during the ride so it is ideal for the even the minnows of your school.
Before you enter the Nemo ride there are a few good photo opportunities with some of the Nemo characters. They can be found hanging around the rocks and reefs close to the stroller parking area. It will make a nice little addition to your home movie if you have your camera to hand.
The ride is located in Future World and off to the right of the golf ball.
The Shows Of Disney’s Epcot
Turtle Talk with Crush
Crush is the ‘laid back’ turtle dude from the Finding Nemo movie. For this show you are lead into a small theatre that links to Crush’s world through one large aquarium style window. Crush will eventually swim by and spot the audience of “turtles” that have congregated.
Crush will interact with you, the audience and try to learn you a new language – Turtle Talk. This show is brilliant and it is great fun to see the excitement on your little ones face when Crush starts to talk to the “little turtles” in the audience. It is amazing how Disney have created this show and I still haven’t worked out how they have created a LIVE cartoon.
The show is a must for families with small children and is guaranteed to make “turtles” of all ages chuckle. There are some beautiful aquariums full of tropical fish to keep you occupied until the show opens. You can get FastPass+ but you shouldn’t need to use one on this. The queue area is much more interesting than your average queue area.
Remember Bruce from Finding Nemo? he is the great white shark who is trying his hardest to become a vegetarian. In this area there is a great photo opportunity with Bruce and you can climb into the back of him and pose as his latest victim.
Turtle Talk with Crush is located in the Future World area of the park. It is in the same building as The Seas with Nemo & Friends, to the right of the “Golf Ball” as you enter the park.
What To FastPass+ In Epcot
|Popular So FastPass+ If You Can||Good But Shouldn't Need To FastPass+|
|Test Track||Mission: Space|
|Frozen Ever after||Turtle Talk With Crush|
|Soarin||Journey Into Imagination With Figment|