Epcot - Planning Tips and more

Some exciting news - we are planning a trip to WDW in 2018!

I am currently writing a (personal) Notebook for WDW that summarises my tips and notes for our upcoming WDW trip. I thought it might be nice to share it with you all online - the tips that I have found at the planning stage. When planning a holiday, I read from numerous sources- from travel guide books, amazon e-books, TripAdvisor and other internet sources. I have found different tips in different books and below I have summarised what I have found. These difference sources of tips were also the reason for the beginning of this website!  Its a work in progress, feel free to share in comments if you think something is wrong or want to add something. The tips are untested at this stage - but I will let you know how they go in practice during 2018.

Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow)

I have read that this park is also called 'Every Person comes out Tired'. This makes me laugh. This is reportedly the biggest of the parks and we plan to go here 2 days. It is twice the size of MK.
  • Good park to go if it rains.
  • Kids can get special Passports ($10 USD) which they can get stamped from the 11 Countries.
  • Spend mornings on rides, afternoons at theatre shows. Ride Soarin First. FP run out midday.  Test Track and Mission Space next most popular attractions.
  • Save Spaceship Earth for later in the day (when lines thin out).
  • Save World Showcase for evenings
  • There are 2 tiers Fastpass. Living with the Land is never busy, so is a waste of a FP.
  • Friendship water taxi's save tired feet and is a way to get across the World Showcase lagoon. This will not save you time though.
  • Long Queues for Security to get into this park. East Security Checkpoint quicker. 
  • Epcot is a food park. So much choice! (won't have troubles finding food options here!)
  • Shopping  'Mouse Gear' enormous Disney Shop. You'll see things in Epcot that aren't available anywhere else in WDW.
  • Innovations - Pin Central! Pin Trading Headquarters. 
  • If the sphere was a golf ball, you'd need a golfer 1.9 Km tall (1.2 miles) high to hit it
Spaceship Earth - If lines are long, try again after 4pm. Not to be missed. 16 minute ride. Ride coils towards top of 17 story geosphere. Traces development in communication from cave drawings to computers. See own future complete with own face. Check out the Post Show. Mickey has his own star at the beginning of this ride.

The Seas with Nemo - You board Clamobiles (like doom  buggies ) and travel through a coral reef looking for Nemo. Home to Sharks, Fish, Puffer fish. Holds Turtle Talk with Crush.

Living with the Land -A 13.5 minute boat ride past scenes of giant vegetables etc..

Soarin - Lifted 40 feet off the ground inside a giant IMAX type dome. Madly popular. FP might be gone by midday. Most popular ride in WDW. Don't do if scared of heights. Flight simulated 5 minute ride. Normally 50-90 minute wait if no FP.

Future Worlds Cool Club -  Free Coca Cola tasting at the complimentary International tasting station. Apparently Smart Watermelon (China) is the best!

Journey into Imagination with Figment (Purple Dragon) - 6 minutes. 

Captain EO - replaced by Disney and Pixar movie shorts

Test Track - May create a 15 second commercial and send out via email. Breaks down a lot. Can ask a Cast Member if ride breaks down for a free FP. You  begin the ride inside, checking out how your vehicle responds to heat, cold, sharp turns etc. FP gone by early afternoon. Singles line. Check out Post show area.

Mission Space - This ride equipt with Motion sickness bags (which may indicate that this might make you sick!)
  • Do the less intense 'Green line' experience if subject to motion sickness
  • Simulated Space adventure from the excitement of lift off to the wonder of flight.
  • Disney Imagineeers worked with 25 space experts from NASA. 
  • Completely immersive and interactive.
  • Very tight space/claustrophobic
  • You are grouped into teams of 4, each person given a crew position - Commander, Navigator, Pilot, Engineer and assigned tasks that go along with that role.
  • There is a spinning and non spinning ride (Green). G forces are not on the Green (non spinning ride). Same pre and post show - just no G forces during the lift off portion of the ride. Not all guests can tolerate the G forces.
  • Fair amount bouncing around in capsule regardless which line you are in.
  • Check out the advanced training lab near the exit - its got activities that are out of this world.

World Showcase
  • Has Kidcot Fun Stops. Adult version is 'Drinking around the world'.
  • Eleven countries showcased: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France, U.K, and Canada.
  • It is a 1.2 mile trek around.
  • The workers here are actually from these countries on a cultural exchange program!
Germany - Karamelt-Kuche (Caremel Kitchen), the fudge is divine. Shops very tempting.

China - Has the 'Reflections of China' 360 degree film. Also a version of the 'Temple of Heaven' that is found in Beijing. This temple is acoustically perfect - if you say something in the middle of the room, you can hear your own voice echo . No seats. 

The China Pavilion
Norway - Get FP for this indoor boat ride through Arendale (Frozen) (4.5 minutes)
Kringla Bakeryi Og Kafe is one of the best places in the World Showcase for a quick snack/lunch. Main building is a castle. The Stave Church in the Norway Pavilion was built in the style popular in the middle ages.

American Adventure - 30 minute film with audio -animatronic figures of Mark Twain. Rated as one of the best attractions at Epcot.

Mexico - Gran Fiesta Tour indoor boat ride (7 minutes). The pyramids contain many authentic and valuable artifacts. Boat ride is relaxing (similar to Its a Small World).

Morocco - Buildings are copies of Moroccan Cities including, Casablanca, Fez and Marrakesh. Great resting place behind red doors on left when enter. The King of Moroxxo sent his royal craftsmen to do all the tiling, carving and painting.

Morocco Pavilion
Canada - Entertainment is the Canadian Lumberjacks. 
'O'Canada' is a 20 minute 360 degree film starring actor Martin Short. You will wish there were seats. Must stand during duration. Rocky Mountains, streams, gardens and a totem pole.

France - Impressions de France (18 minute film). Exceedingly well done - and with seats. Rarely a wait to get in. Bakery delicious. The Eiffel Tower is 1/10th the size of the original.
Japan - lots of souvenirs here. Sago Trees - monkey puzzle trees (monkey's can't climb them!). Taiko Drums play 5 times per day by a group called the Matsuriza.

Japanese Pagoda in the Japan Pavilion
Italy - no film or ride. The 83 foot tall belltower in Italy is modeled on the original in St Marks Square in Venice. The angel at the top of the bell tower is covered in real gold leaf!

Illuminations Fireworks show - Highlight of Epcot. 
  • Takes place in the sky. Note don't sit under a tree as the view will be blocked! 
  • Entire history of our planet in 13 minutes with lasers and fireworks. 
  • Very popular, very crowded. Takes place over World Showcase Lagoon.
  • If you watch from Mexico, Canada pavilions, you will beat the crowds at the exit
  • Produces a lot of smoke.
  • Get a spot 30 minutes in advance if off season.

I hope you enjoyed reading my planning tips on these parks. If you would like to comment on any of these tips, please do so in Comments. Next week I will share what I have found out about Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios.

Until next week,
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