Epcot 101: Your Complete Guide

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EPCOT, or the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, is the theme park known for the iconic “Epcot Ball” at the front of the park. This is your complete guide to Epcot – a theme park celebrating the future and cultures around the world.

There are two distinct areas in EPCOT. It looks a bit like an hourglass. When you go through the main entrance, you are in Future World. As you walk further into the park, you will find the World Showcase. Around the World Showcase Lagoon, there are 11 different pavilions, each one celebrating a country from around the world.

Future World

Future World is an area of the park designed to get guests thinking about – you guessed it – the future! There are several different attractions and rides focused on new technology, forward-thinking, and the journey from the past into the future. Currently, this area of the park is being re-imagined, with many exciting things coming. You will find several favorites in this area of the park though and it is divided into a few different pavilions.

Attractions and Shows

Soarin' EPCOT

  • Awesome Planet
  • Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission: SPACE
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic  Rewind (Opening in Summer 2022)

In addition to the attractions and rides listed above, there are a few hidden gems in this area of the park. This is especially the case if you are visiting Epcot with kids. The Seas Pavilion is the place to go to check out the sea life and extensive aquariums available in the park. You may catch a glimpse of dolphins, manatees, and more!

After you journey with Figment, little ones will love stopping to explore ImageWorks – the “What If” Labs in the Imagination pavilion. There is also a water play fountain area near Test Track.

Dining

Epcot Dining - Garden Grill

There are some dining options in Future World that you will not want to miss. This includes the popular character dining experience at the Garden Grill in the Land Pavilion.

  • Coral Reef (Table Service)
  • Garden Grill (Table Service/Characters)
  • Space 220 (Table Service)
  • Cool Wash (Quick Service)
  • The Land Cart (Quick Service)
  • Sunshine Seasons (Quick Service)

Shopping

  • Gateway Gifts
  • ImageWorks
  • Mission: SPACE Cargo Bay
  • Mouse Gear
  • PIn Traders – Camera Center
  • SeaBase Gift Shop
  • Test Track SIMporium

World Showcase

The World Showcase is the second part of EPCOT. This area is where guests often come to eat and drink around the world! While there are not as many rides in this part of the park, you will find a few, along with different shows, live entertainment, and more. There are 11 different countries (or pavilions) and each one offers shops, restaurants, and more to be explored.

Attractions and Rides

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • The American Adventure
  • American Heritage Gallery
  • Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along
  • Bijutsu-kan Gallery
  • Gallery of Arts and History
  • House of Whispering Willows
  • Impressions de France
  • Mexico Folk Art Gallery
  • Palais du Cinema
  • Reflections of China
  • Stave Church Gallery

In addition, kids will love exploring the World Showcase and visiting the Kidcot Fun Stops in each country. At each location, they can collect a postcard to color and stamp from each country, as if they traveled around the world!

Dining

Epcot Dining

There is definitely no shortage of great dining options at Epcot. It’s the reason this park is known for guests coming to eat and drink around the world! Check out this extensive list of dining options currently available in the World Showcase.

  • Biergarten Restaurant (Table Service)
  • Block & Hans (Quick Service)
  • Chefs de France (Table Service)
  • Choza de Margarita (Quick Service)
  • Crepes des Chefs de France (Quick Service)
  • Fife & Drum Tavern (Quick Service)
  • Funnel Cake (Quick Service)
  • Gelateria Toscana (Quick Service)
  • Joy of Tea (Quick Service)
  • Kabuki Cafe (Quick Service)
  • Katsura Grill (Quick Service)
  • Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe (Quick Service)
  • La Cantina de San Angel (Table Service)
  • L’Artisan des Glaces (Quick Service)
  • Le Cellier Steakhouse (Table Service)
  • Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie (Quick Service)
  • Les Vins des Chefs de France (Quick Service)
  • Lotus Blossom Cafe (Quick Service)
  • Oasis Sweets & Sips (Quick Service)
  • Popcorn in Canada (Quick Service)
  • Refreshment Outpost (Quick Service)
  • Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue (Quick Service)
  • Rose & Crown (Table Service)
  • San Angel Inn Restaurante (Table Service)
  • Sommerfest (Quick Service)
  • Spice Road Table (Quick Service)
  • Tangierine Cafe: Flavors of the Medina (Quick Service)
  • Teppan Edo (Table Service)
  • Traveler’s Cafe (Quick Service)
  • Tutto Italia Ristorante (Table Service)
  • UK Beer Cart (Quick Service)
  • Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria (Table Service)
  • Yorkshire County Fish Shop (Quick Service)

In addition to all of these great food options, the festivals available throughout the year at Epcot offer many additional food choices.

Shopping

**Please note, this list includes the shops that are currently available in the World Showcase, as the Walt Disney World Resort continues a phased reopening

  • Art of Disney
  • Die Weihnachts Ecke
  • Disney Traders
  • The Fjording
  • Glaskunst
  • Stein Haus
  • La Princesa de Cristal – Mexico
  • Good Fortune Gifts
  • House of Good Fortune
  • Il Bel Cristallo
  • Karamell-Kuche
  • Kunstarbeit in Kristall
  • La Bottega Italiana
  • Plaza de los Amigos
  • Souk-al-Magreb
  • La Gemma Elegante
  • La Signature
  • L’Esprit de la Provence
  • Les Vins de France
  • Lords and Ladies
  • Mitsukoshi Department Store
  • Northwest Mercantile
  • Plume et Palette
  • Port of Entry
  • The Queen’s Table
  • Ring Carvers
  • The Tea Caddy
  • Village Traders
  • Weinkeller
  • World Traveler

Festivals, Fireworks, and More

One thing that makes EPCOT a unique park is the yearly festivals. There are four different ones throughout the year – Festival of the Arts, Flower & Garden, Food & Wine, and Festival of the Holidays. Each one offers different entertainment, food options, merchandise, and things to see and do.

The fireworks at EPCOT take place nightly on the World Showcase Lagoon. On October 1, a new nighttime show, “Harmonius” lit up the skies at EPCOT. It did not disappoint! This exciting new show features music and visuals from classic Disney favorites, reinterpreted from artists around the world. The show celebrates diverse cultures from around the World Showcase coming together as fireworks fill the skies above the World Showcase Lagoon.

During the phased reopening of the Walt Disney World Resort, entertainment options are looking a little different. However, there is always entertainment available! Characters are popping up throughout EPCOT for socially distanced interactions. These are fun opportunities to see all your favorites, get some photos, and share some smiles!

In addition, live music has returned to the stage at the American Garden Theatre. During each festival at EPCOT, live performances take place. Whether it’s local bands, the Candlelight Processional, or DISNEY ON BROADWAY, you won’t want to miss these performances! During the day, be on the lookout for beloved favorites such as the Voices of Liberty and Mariachi Cobre.

The Future of EPCOT

Since the park opened in 1982, EPCOT has celebrated our past, present, and future. You may notice there are currently construction walls throughout the park. With the current re-imagining taking place, EPCOT has great things coming in the future! This park will continue to be the place to come to explore all aspects of our past, present, and future.

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