Can someone explain Epcot to me, please?

I visited Epcot twice last year — once for Future World and once for World Showcase — so I’m not a total newbie, but I’m struggling to figure out what my plans for this year should be.

I’ve allocated about four hours for FW and about two hours for WS, though these are on different days.

I loved Soarin’ (B1 — thanks Liners!) and plan to FPP it on both visits (I plan on doing a quick Soarin’ before I head off to WS on my second visit to Epcot).

I’m doing the FEA dessert party, so my FEA ride needs will be taken care of during that.

I also really enjoyed Spaceship Earth, so I’ll FPP that.

But beyond this I’m a little stuck as to what to do. I guess I could do Mission Space (Green — don’t want to risk Orange), and single-rider Test Track.

I didn’t do the Seas pavilion last time. Is that just for kids?

And then WS — how do you “do” WS? Last time I wandered round, looking at shops, buying nothing. (Oh, I bought a fan in Japan, that I didn’t use and didn’t really like. I left it behind as a gift to my hosts when I left Orlando.) I did the boat ride in Mexico and felt slightly embarrassed for Disney. I did some of the “shows” — loved Impressions de France and the American Adventure was pretty cool (literally and figuratively!).

Oh, and I need a QS early lunch somewhere in FW, or maybe not too deep into WS.

How do you plan Epcot?

Personally I’d swap those timings around. All we do in FW are Soarin, TT, MS Orange and SSE. Oh and get some coke from around the world in Club Cool!

In WS some of the pavilions have exhibits, there are lots of pretty gardens. But we do mainly look round the shops, snack and drink. If you only spend 2 hours there you’re barely going to see anything. We don’t do the films because I find them dull and they also give me motion sickness. And there is lots of entertainment. If the Chinese acrobats are still there, they are brilliant. I’m not keen on most of the others but the band in the gardens at the back of the U.K. are really good.


Aside from Soarin’, Test Track, and Mission Space, the rest of FutureWorld is really more about the feel. The Universe of Energy was entertaining (may it rest in peace), and the Living Seas does feel more for kids. It is a glorified aquarium, but actually with the addition of Nemo, it distracts from the actual zoological aspect of it. (It would be really cool if, instead, they somehow gave us a view of what an underwater colony might look like, etc., like something from the old Horizons.)

There is a really great post about how Epcot failed on Screamscape. I agree with that. It lost it’s way. Hopefully it will find itself again.

Anyhow, I do find Living with the the Land boat ride actually quite interesting. Actually, I like it better than Spaceship Earth, although there is something about the idea of riding inside a giant buckyball that just automatically makes that ride cool (not to mention the numerous hidden Mickey’s I’ve found there!).

As far as World Showcase, I haven’t ever fully finished it. We dedicated an entire day JUST to WS our last trip, and we didn’t make it all the way around (mostly due to the Food and Wine Festival overwhelming the place), but I found the China circle vision presentation REALLY cool. Not the EXPERIENCE of it, but just the presentation of the uniqueness of China.

Mexico is cool inside, but the little ride inside is, well, cheesy.

Overall, I think it is kind of like going to Universal and experiencing the Harry Potter world…it isn’t really about what there is to DO, but instead, what there is to SEE.

Epcot used to be better than it is today. But once Disney is done spending millions on Pandora and Star Wars and Toy Story, Epcot is next in line for a major overhaul. Until then, it is a bit of an enigma, but with a really cool giant golf ball encircled with a Monorail.


I live Tangierine Cafe- great flavors. I remember the first time getting the chicken/lamb combo and wishing it was all lamb- so good!

I love to explore the countries. Impress de France is a nice, cool, comfortable film. I too love to look around Mexico.

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We usually plan for part of the day in FW. The Seas, SE, TT, Soarin, and Figment. We then just kind of leave the rest of the day to wonder around the WS. We do see characters and we plan on doing the Agent P missions next trip. We did one day at Epcot last trip and felt like we needed more time, so this trip we are doing 2. Oh and Voices of Liberty is also worth stopping for.

We ate at Sunshine Seasons last trip. Lots of options and food was pretty good.

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If you want lunch in FW, then Sunshine Seasons is your best bet. We’ve eaten there a couple of times and there are always lots of good options.

Les Halles Boulangerie is pretty deep into WS, but we had the best lunch there on our last trip.

As far as rides go, we enjoy Soarin’ and Living with the Land, The Seas with Nemo, and Test Track. There are some neat aquariums in the Seas pavilion as well. Absolutely hated Mission Space (we did Orange but I don’t feel like Green would have been more fun, just less nausea-inducing).

My EPCOT day usually includes (and takes most of the day) Test Track at RD, Test Track again, if the line’s not too long. Soarin’, Living with the Land (my personal favorite), Nemo (because why not?), Figment, because I love that little purple dragon. It used to include Captain Io, which is no more, I think. Then there’s FEA, Mexico, because I love Donald Duck, and Canada, because we are Canadian and just feel that emotional tug when we see the video, not to mention the mini-Buchart Gardens.

We also did Universe of Energy (may it rest in peace - or pieces?) and if there’s time, Mission Space Green. We round off the day with Spaceship Earth.

Now, when I had time, I would also go to the American show, the French show (followed by dinner at one of their restaurants), and the Chinese show. I also think a lunch of Fish and Chips at the British pavilion might be nice for this Canadian, complete with vinegar for my chips (one would hope!) I would also enjoy the outdoor show and the shops at the Italian pavilion and maybe buy one of those “pick your own pearls” in the Japanese pavilion (if they still have that).

Of course, with the kids (who am I kidding, with DH who gets bored easily) I would focus mostly on the rides and skip the pavilions, if I had to.

Oh, and yes, the aquarium does seem a little “me too”, if you’ve been to SeaWorld, but it’s a nice relaxing area to look at the animals of the sea. Well, didn’t we all used to watch Bill Gates’ fish cross our screens (back in the 90s) when we forgot to move the mouse for 10 minutes? Then you’d spend another 10 zoned out, hoping that yellow fish would come back. This is better than that. Much better. :wink:

Oh, I forgot… if I were there alone, I’d do the back stage at Living with the Land. That’s actually a bucket list item I’ve had for years and never had a chance to do it. I may just take a page from ProffMatt’s book and do a WDW trip on my own just so I can do all the things no one else wants to do.


In FW, I truly enjoy Living with the Land, but agree that Soarin’ is the best attraction in FW. Though I never skip Test Track, or the Nemo ride. I don’t do Mission Space due to the motion sickness I experience. I didn’t do Spaceship Earth this last time, and I missed it, but it certainly didn’t ruin my experience.

WS, is one of my favorite places in WDW, because I enjoy exploring all of the pavilions and getting drinks/snacks in all of them as well. Last trip, I did Drinking Around the World over the week, while my brother in law did eating around the world. Some of the live shows are cool, I’ve never done the theater shows though.

And definitely make sure to watch the girls open the oysters in the Japan pavilion, its always a great time, even if you’re not the one getting an oyster!

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I think Soarin’ WAS the best. It dropped a bit for me, though, when they redid it recently. Now it is flying over computer-generated imagery of places we’ve seen a million times over. The ride experience is still fun, but I wish they’d go back to Soarin’ over California.

Personally, I find Mission: Space is creeping up on Soarin’ for favorite ride in FW in the meantime. Yes, I was that disappointed with the changes in Soarin’.

I love living with the land!

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And honestly the Nemo ride is really cute

Just throwing out a suggestion to do the Behind the Seeds tour. It sounds great! I’m trying to work it into our plans for this fall.

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In all honestly, I don’t spend a lot of time in FW. I remember EPCOT back when it was great; and what’s left of FW is mostly a sad reminder of what used to be. SE, Living withe the Land Soarin’, and MS are really the only things on my “to do” list. If I have time I’ll go into the Seas as I was a Marine Bio major back in college, and although the once cool ride has become a cheesy kids’ ride, the aquarium is still pretty neat to look at for a bit. It’s rare that I’m in FW past noon; I typically have both lunch and dinner in WS

I don’t do much QS, but if I do it will be at Yorkshire Fish and Chips, Tangerine Cafe, or Katsura Cafe. Of the the three, I’d probably recommend Tangerine; it’s quite good, and unlike anything I can regularly find locally. DO NOT eat at the Cantina in Mexico or Lotus Blossom in China.



While I was in the World in January, my DSis did the SCUBA dive into the aquarium - and they were able to interact with observers in the center bubble (they gave us a time to be there). It was super fun to interact with her while she was diving - now I want to go get certified so I can dive The Living Seas.

Interesting. One of the few places we ate was Lotus Blossum. For QS, the food was delicious! My wife and I absolutely plan to eat there again on our Anniversary trip.

I thought @bswan’s recommendation of Yorkshire Fish and Chips was interesting because most Brits think it’s terrible! But we can’t all like the same things.

I have 5 kids. Trust me. This, I know! :wink:


That is why I said that it’s one of my favorites, but for this very reason I recommended Tangerine over it… :slight_smile:


No criticism of you intended! It just seems like most Americans enjoy it but most Brits don’t, which I find interesting.