EPCOT Center an Inspiration of Walt Disney

To all who come to this place of joy, hope and friendship, welcome.

Epcot Center is inspired by Walt Disney’s creative genius. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, the wonders of enterprise, and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all.

May Epcot Center entertain, inform and inspire. And, above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man’s ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere.

(Dedication Plaque)

The second of the four Walt Disney World Theme Parks to be built, EPCOT opened on October 1st 1982 as EPCOT Center or as children from the 80’s know it the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. Did you know you EPCOT is more than twice the size of The Magic Kingdom?

The park itself it dedicated to celebrating human achievement, international culture and technological innovation. Fun fact: Disney has only created three characters who have never appeared in film. One of these characters was created specially to be the official mascot of EPCOT. The answer? Figment! (The other two characters are Duffy the Bear and The Orange Bird). Figment is the little purple dragon that can be found on the Journey Into Imagination with Figment attraction.

EPCOT fuses together two very different ideas from the Imagineers in order to bring Walt’s vision to life. Some Imagineers wanted to represent the upcoming cutting edge technology side, while others wanted to showcase international cultures and customs. Two different models were made and the Imagineers couldn’t come to an agreement. That was until one of the Imagineers pushed both models together to have the park be not one or the other but, combine both ideas.

Future World has two very different sides to this part of the park. The right side of the park stands for the living world while the left side represents the world of innovation. Both sides feature wonderful attractions. The most popular attractions of Future world are Soarin, Test Track and Mission Space. Be sure to grab your fast passes early for one of these can’t miss attractions!

Currently there are eleven different countries to visit in World Showcase. Going clockwise the countries are;

Mexico

Norway

China

Germany

Italy

American Adventure

Japan

Morocco

France

United Kingdom

Canada

Note: Only Mexico, Norway and American Adventure currently have attractions. China, France and Canada have films.

Looking to meet characters? World Showcase is full of them! And I am not just talking about Disney characters. World showcase is a wonderful way to explore new countries and meet people who come from that country. Fun tip; If you are traveling with children (or not), visit each country with a notebook or one of Disney’s autograph books and have someone from each country write a message in their native language as well as in English! Another example of this is buying the pack of World Showcase Postcards and having each country write something on them (I had them write their seasonal greeting since it was the holidays).

Speaking of World Showcase and characters you can meet Donald Duck in Mexico, Snow White in Germany,  Mulan in China, Aladdin and Jasime in Morocco, Belle in France, Alice, Mary Poppins, as well as Pooh and friends in United Kingdom, and of course everyone’s favorite princess and queen Ana and Elsa from Frozen!

In Future World you can meet Daisy, Mickey, Minnie, Pluto, Goofy, Joy and Sadness (Inside Out), as well as Baymax (Big Hero 6). All characters are subject to change. Pro Tip: If you are a Disney Visa Card holder, you can get a free photo in Innovations (times vary) with some of your favorite Disney pals!

Throughout the year EPCOT hosts special events include Flower and Garden Festival (usually held from March-May) as well as Food and Wine festival (usually held from mid-September to mid-November).

For the holidays EPCOT features many wonderful additions to their World Showcase. Each country has their own story of how they celebrate the holidays and as such, each of these stories has their own storyteller. The American pavilion however gets not one but two story tellers! Also be sure to check out the Voices of Liberty in the American Pavilion’s rotunda where they will sing traditional Christmas Carol’s in Dickens period costumes (various show times daily). The crown jewel of the holidays at EPCOT however is the Candlelight Processional which is held 2-3 times nightly from end of November till the end of December. The show features the Voices of Liberty who are accompanied by various high school and college choirs from throughout the US. Every few nights a new celebrity narrator accompany the mass choir in the telling of the story of Christmas which includes between 10-12 songs from the choir.

Don’t want to wait in the line to secure a seat in the theater? No problem! Book a lunch or dinner through Disney reservations with the Candlelight dining package.

EPCOT a place where you can Soar over the World, explore the seas, go to Mars, enjoy a stroll around World Showcase and sample foods from each country and end the night with a spectacular fireworks and laser show via Illuminations. A day here is sure to entertain and educate. Just as Walt Disney would have wanted.