If you are spending time in the Florida area, Epcot is likely to be on your list of places to spend some of your days. It is a packed theme park, and there is a lot to see and do so be sure to give yourself enough time, because as they say on the website, the longer you stay and play the less you pay. To take full advantage of your entrance ticket price, here are five recommendations, of course, there is plenty more that we cannot cram into one article, but this will get you going!
In the iconic words of Mary Poppins, ‘Let’s go fly a kite’ or in this case, let’s be the kite. Soarin’ is a 4D ride that is out of this world, you sit on a large ‘hang-glider’ and get lifted up to the screen where the magic happens. This virtual reality simulator takes you on a journey all over the world with special effects, noises, air, even scents being emitted to give you a totally immersive experience as you fly over the Eiffel Tower, the Pyramids and more. As you fly, there is a soundtrack that plays, and the whole experience is totally unique, and you might well want to go again. It is suitable for all ages provided you are taller than 102cm and is a nice sedate ride with no sudden drops and plunges.
2) Test Track
This is an excellent experience for the petrol heads, but even if you don’t enjoy cars and design if fast rides are your thing you will love it. The concept is that you become a car designer and at the Chevrolet Design Cente, where you have the opportunity to create your very own concept car. The trick is developing something that shines on the track, and how will you know if you have done well? Head to the track of course and test it in the SIM car. With six passengers the car can hit speeds of 65 mph, and there is a variety of terrain to really put your ideas through their paces. At the end of the ride, your car will be scored, and you can see whether you are good enough to open a car dealership or whether you really need to head back to the drawing board and make some changes. Although the car moves fast in the test track environment the ride is suitable for all ages as long as you are over 104cm tall for the harness restraints, there are some drops and bumps so it may be a bit scary for little ones.
3) Guardians of the Galaxy
There is not much known about this ride yet as it is in development, but if you are planning the trip of a lifetime, you might want to consider checking the dates of new attractions and making sure you are there when they are good to go. This is set to open in Autumn 2021, and it looks set to be a really awesome new attraction. Once open it will be the biggest rollercoaster at the site and has replaced the Universe of Energy ride that closed after a good stint. Disney likes to keep things fresh, and Guardians of the Galaxy is massively popular, so the ride will feature all your favourite characters and more. What we do know is that this is the first backwards launching rollercoaster meaning you will be facing the wrong way, but don’t worry Groot and Rocket will be there to hold your paws. It will be found in Future World, and you will definitely be on a journey into space, after that we can’t say, but we know it will be well worth a visit.
4) World Showcase Lagoon
Once you are in the park, you will notice a large lagoon, and this is an iconic body of water that is visible from space. At night the lake plays host to the much love pyrotechnics and lights show which can be seen from many viewing areas in the park, but nothing beats a front-row seat at the end of the water. As we head into 2020, the show is called Forever Epcot, but they have announced that something new and exciting is launching soon, which is great news for firework lovers. One of the significant features of the park is the World Showcase, and many of these lands are set around the lagoon with the water incorporated into the experience. There are eleven countries to visit, Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada. Characters in each land will be dressed in national dress, and you will also find much-loved Disney characters in the country they came from, for example, Anna and Elsa in Norway; Alice in the United Kingdom; Snow White in Germany; Mulan in China; Aurora in France. There are plenty of events to coincide with the national festivals, so check out the timetable if there is something, in particular, you would like to see.
5) Places to Eat
Food plays a big part in the World Showcase, so you will find each country has plenty of local cuisine options on offer at various restaurants and cafes. If you fancy a meal with the cast there are two character dining options at Epcot, Micky and his friends can be found at the Garden Grill Restaurant, and there are princesses galore at the Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. Character breakfasts are events that need to be booked in advance but don’t worry; there are plenty of endless dining options on offer where you can just walk in and be seated. Monsieur Paul and Tutto Italia Ristorante make lovely grown-up venues for an evening meal, and there are tables at the lakeside. Located next to the Gran Fiesta Tour ride you will find the popular San Angel Inn Restaurante, kids love this as the food is cooked at your table. Many of the locations are part of the Disney Dining Plan if you are staying onsite.