My Top 5 Epcot Rookie Questions

I’ve been to Epcot once… in 2013… by myself… for about 3 hours. Needless to say, my knowledge is limited.

I’ll be there again, this time with my family (DW, DD19, DS14) for one full day of touring, on January 9. Crowd forecast is a 4. Hours, 9-9 w/ EMH til 11pm. We’re staying at CBR on a SPD package. I’ve read the Unofficial Guide. I’m a touring plans disciple. And we’re DLR pros.

Here’s what I think I need to know as of today:

  1. Living With The Land - My optimized (multiple times) plan is putting me at LWTL at 10pm. Never been on it. Is the attraction better seen in daylight? Or does it matter? Oh, and what else is better in the daylight than at night?
  2. Snacking Around the World - It seems to me that a great use of our (excessive, I think) snack credits is to snack around the world. We’ll share one snack per pavilion, where snacks are available and unique to the country. But our ADR is at Chefs de France - which means, if we eat all the amazing pastries in France, we won’t be hungry for our fancy meal. So the question is, will the pastries keep? In other words, do they package them to-go, making it possible to carry them with us easily into Future World where we can snack on them later in the… future?
  3. Closed During Extra Magic Hours - Are there any attractions that usually close during evening EMH which might not be reflected in our TP? I’d hate to follow the plan to a T and then show up at an attraction at 10pm only to find out that it’s not open. Or do the TPs usually account for those?
  4. Soarin’… yawn - There are a couple attractions at Epcot which are E-tickets, but we’ve seen enough times at DLR to not need to see again. But I’d hate to miss the fun and surprising differences. So are there enough differences between the west and east versions of the following attractions/queues/theming to make them worth the use of valuable time? Soarin’, Captain EO, Turtle Talk, & Innoventions. Bonus: Regarding The Seas with Nemo, I’ve seen some of the promo on this, and it seems to be the same show as the Sub Voyage with Nemo at DLR. I’m sure we’ll see it, but would love to hear your input on the virtues of one over the other.
  5. Your Favorites - As a rookie, I won’t know what I’m missing when I miss it. So what are your favorite must-sees at Epcot? We’re packing a lifetime of Epcot visits into one day, so we need your eyes to see what we need to see.

Thanks peeps.

OK, here we go:

  1. Don’t know what it is like at night, but I would suspect that
    greenhouses are better during the day.
  2. The pastries should keep for later in the day, but I don’t know
    how good their packaging is. IMO, bag the sub-standard meal at CdF
    and just go with snacking around the world.
  3. The TP software should be accurately reflecting any attraction
    closures during EMH, but ALWAYS double-check the Times Guide when
    you enter a park as WDW has been known to change things on a
    day-to-day basis.
  4. If you have ridden Soarin’ enough times at DLR, then there is no
    reason to do it at WDW, unless you really want to see an older,
    inferior projection system in action. Also, don’t bother with Nemo -
    it is just a re-purposed onmimover attraction, and Sub Voyage is far
    superior.
  5. SoaT and LwtL stand out in my mind as often-ignored “must sees”.
    Dinner with Illuminations viewing at La Hacienda is also well worth
    it.
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Hmm… I will give this a shot.

  1. I have never been on it at night. During the day, the greenhouses are filled with lots of sunlight, so I would think that a nighttime experience would be very different.

  2. I am sure that they will package things to go, but I don’t know whether it will hold up in your bag while you are touring. You might want to head back there later in the evening for a late dessert, or to take the things back to your room for a lovely breakfast. This is a great link with snack ideas: http://www.disboards.com/showthread.php?t=3215018

  3. I don’t know whether the TP accounts for this, but some things definitely close early - Innoventions, for example. Check out this link for attractions that will be open - it looks like most of them: http://kennythepirate.com/2014/09/11/what-attractions-are-open-for-extra-magic-hours-at-walt-disney-world-emh-extramagichours/

  4. I don’t know, but I am looking forward to finding out since I am planning to visit DLR for the first time in the spring.

  5. Sum of All Thrills, located in Innoventions, is easy to overlook and is super cool. If you have a Disney Visa, take advantage of the meet and greet because it’s usually a short line and a free picture print that comes out great. Soak in World Showcase. Visiting it during the day and night is a great idea because the lighting at night gives it a whole different vibe. Club Cool is fun - sodas from several different countries being sampled for free. Not applicable for your group, but for others reading this - after Mission:Space is a play area that my kids love - definitely targeted for the 5-10 yo set, though.

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Totally agree with @brklinck on skipping the CdF meal and just eating all of the awesome food available as snacks or QS in World Showcase.

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Living With the Land is well-lightened enough that you can see the gardens well day or night.

Touring Plans should have a good list of what is closed during Evening EMH, but if you want to share part of your plan, then folks here can probably verify everything you want to see will be open.

Soarin’ is currently the same in DLR and WDW, except for the queue. There are some interactive games in the standby line in WDW, but nothing worth waiting for. The “flight” is the same in both parks (at least, it is for now, we’ll see what happens whenever the new film is completed, but that won’t be for awhile).

Some of the other attractions you mention are the same in both parks. Turtle Talk works the same way, though shows can differ depending on the performer and the audience, but the premise is the same. Captain EO should also be the same, though I don’t recall if the effects in the theater work these days (I’ve only seen it once since it returned, so does anyone remember if the theater still shakes in sync with the film?). Innoventions, on the other hand, is bigger and offers much more in Disney World. You may want to pick a few exhibits that look interesting and visit them in the mid-afternoon when the headliner attractions are busiest. If your family enjoys roller coasters, then make time for Sum of All Thrills, a simulator that allows you to design your own coaster.

You also mention the Nemo ride, which is different from the submarines in Disneyland. It’s a short ride, which seldom has a long wait, that leads into the aquarium area. If you’re going to visit the Seas, then it’s worth seeing at least once. The submarine ride is better, but seeing Nemo and friends swimming with real fish is cute.

For favorites, you’ll probably visit the headliner attractions in Future World, but Spaceship Earth and Living with the Land are probably the closest reminders to what EPCOT Center was when it opened, so I have a soft spot for them. Most people enjoy Test Track, as well, and you should see Journey into Imagination so you know who Figment is. Mission Space is unique, so it is worth trying once unless you’re prone to motion sickness. It’s not my favorite attraction, but I’ve also not seen a similar experience elsewhere.

In World Showcase, the movies in China and France are impressive, though I’m not sure how much the kids will like them. You have to stand for the CircleVision movie in China and you have seats for the movie in France, if that makes a difference. If you have time to take a look inside each of the pavilions, then try to do so. The inside the the pyramid in Mexico in impressive. The Garden railway next to the German pavilion is attractive, the back of the Japan pavilion (near the Katsura Grill quick service restaurant) is one of the most tranquil places in the park, and there is also a lot to see in the back of the Morocco pavilion. Many of the pavilions offer short shows tied into the different countries, though Disney has just replaced several of those acts, so keep an eye out for reviews/videos to see what your family may enjoy.

Sorry, not much of a snacker, so can’t offer advice there, but others will chime in. There are some tasty drinks to simple, however, but that won’t help you use your snack credits.

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Have seen more than once- including a TP I made for MK today- plans sending me to attractions not open for EMH. Def suggest you double check the plan

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  1. LwtL: I like the warmth of the greenhouses in the day, but beautiful at night too. If that’s what the plan says, I would follow it.
  2. Carrying anything around and then home is a no-go in my book. If you are snacking you wont be hungry. Also, you’ll be in other locations and still snacking. We tend to embrace a good TS plan or a snack plan and we don’t mix the two. My favorite plan is legit breakfast, future world, then world showcase and snacking.
  3. Yes, plans account for early closings.
  4. There is so little to do at Epcot. I skip EO because it’s terrible. Soarin is the same. Do nemo because there is nothing else to do.
  5. Favorites: We do Epcot for World Showcase. Morocco is our fav’ country, We always get henna tattoos, and explore the gift shops. We get calamari at Spice Road table or we eat at Tangierine cafe (the BEST counter service food in WDW in my opinion). the back alleys of this country are a real escape.

We like Figment - our favorite of Future World. And we budget time, plan for it and slow down to enjoy the after show activities at Spaceship Earth and Figment.

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  1. I have never done Living with the Land at night, but I imagine it would be cool. It is one of my favorites. However, it rarely has a long wait so you might want to take advantage of it during the day (if you want to mess with your touring plan).

  2. I think it would probably be hard to carry the snacks. I have always made an ADR at Epcot - I was considering snacking on my next trip. It so hard not to make reservations for dinner there.

  3. I would make sure to see the American Experience and the Voices of Liberty. I always really enjoy both!

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As a bi-coastal Liner (with as much or more time in DLR than in WDW), I’ll tackle Question 4.

Soarin’ is the exact same film, however, unlike DCA’s digital version it’s on older projection system. Lots of dirt on print is distracting. I still love the ride, but it’s definately “better” at DCA.

EO is equally horrid on both coasts; no differences that my post-show shattered brain can remember.

Turtle Talk is essentially identical.

Innoventions is very different. In DL it’s the converted Carousel of Progress building. In EP, it’s spread out in two large wings. If you like thrills, I highly recommend “Sum of All Thrills” in Innoventions. You design a roller coaster on a computer, and then “ride” it in am arm-based simulator capsule (with full 360 degree motion). The rest is a diversion for kids, but not much for your family composition.

The Seas uses similar technology as the DL submarine voyage, but on a MUCH smaller scale. The ride is a “cute” way to get into the pavilion (which should NOT be missed), but if there’s much of a line skip it and go in the exit doors.

I’ve never ridden LwtL after dark, so I cannot comment

I don’t use the dining plan, so I’m not much help when it comes to “credits” - but I’ll say I’ve never had a snack at EP that I didn’t like. The cronut (near Canada) and anything from Karamel Kuche (Germany) top my list.

All of WS will be open during PM EMH. Several of the FW attractions close early; Ellen’s Energy Adventure is one of them, but I don’t remember off hand which others.

There is no real reason to go to the Imagination pavilion. When EPCOT opened, the ride there was my favorite in the park; after 2 “reimagineerings” it’s barely worth the time it takes to ride it.

Favorites:

  • Although some people call it nap time, I LOVE the American Adventure. It is hands down the best “theater” show that Disney has ever created, with great film, AAs, and music.
  • “Impressions of France” is the most beautiful of the WS films, set to a wonderful classical music soundtrack.
  • Guys aren’t “supposed” to like shopping, but I can spend hours browsing through the shops in WS. I especially like Germany, Creat Britain, Japan, and Mexico.
  • Test Track uses the same ride system as RSR in DCA, but to me RSR is an order of magnitude better as a ride experience. The only thing TT has over RSR is speed - the outside loop gets up to 65 MPH (vice 40 on RSR). Certainly worth doing once (the interactive car design pre-show is kind of fun), but especially after having ridden RSR, TT just doesn’t live up to the hype.
  • Not a ride, but if you like margaritas DO NOT MISS going to La Cava de Tequila inside of the Mexican pyramid. Pricy, but some of the best I have had anywhere (and I have spent a LOT of time in San Diego and LA). The blood orange is my personal favorite.
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Gee whiz, it’s not like we get to go 65 mph in a car everyday, is it? :wink:

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My underlying point exactly. Heck; I was going 85 in a convertible on the highway driving TO WDW…

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All I had to say has been covered, except that yes you can get pastries to go. We used to stop by before leaving the park to take things back to the room for snacks/breakfast.

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It seems like there is widespread agreement about Sum of All Thrills!! Glad to know that others liked as much as I did.

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This idea would definitely solve our problem! Breakfast in bed!! Thanks @PianoMinnie & @Iheartepcot.

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You say CdF is sub-standard. Here’s my problem and why I need your wisdom, @brklinck & @Iheartepcot. My wife and I are celebrating our 20th anniversary this year and the original plan was to go to Europe together. Along the way, we got to thinking that our anniversary is just as much a celebration of our family as it is our marriage so we decided to go to WDW with the kids. Her one consolation was to eat an authentic French meal at WS. We have ADRs at CdF because… I guess we don’t really know better. Is there a better option in the France pavilion?

So happy you get to come visit the original this spring, @Iheartepcot. Do yourself a favor and immerse yourself in Walt & park history before you arrive. You’ll want to avoid to the Floridian doldrums that many of my friends have experienced on their first visit. Granted, it truly is smaller, busier, compacter (a word?), and sometimes less impressive. But if you love the man and the dream, you’re socks should be knocked clean off.

Here’s the best part. You really don’t have to plan that much. Nobody I know has EVER made a reservation for dinner anywhere on property more than a week prior to arrival.

I hope you love it as much as I do.

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We used to live in England and have made many trips over to France, so we found CdF to be very disappointing when compared to the actual experience. Coming in without those expectations it might not be so bad, but even still I think that there are better meals to be had in WS. La Hacienda was excellent the last time we went, but that wouldn’t meet your wife’s requirement of a French meal.

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You mention Mission Space, @FlyerFan1973. DD19 has complained about motion sickness in the past. I’d hate to start the day with that and ruin her day. So I was thinking of saving it for the last ride so that, if it hits her funny, we’ll be at the resort and laying down without any plans to mess up. Does it make a good grande finale for a day at Epcot?

Wow! @bswan26 & @MagicMN, y’all have no love for Captain EO. Duly noted.

Incidentally, I think Captain EO is closed at DLR now (“temporarily” replaced with a Big Hero 6 4D preview), so I guess if I want to see it one last time, I’ll have to see it at Epcot.

“Yer just anotha part a me! Eee Hee!”

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AE and VoL was the highlight of my 3 hour tour last year, @plenty_of_hay. I couldn’t agree with you more. My history-buff family is going to love it!