Although its founder died in 1966, the Walt Disney Company brought Walt Disney’s dream of an experimental prototype community of tomorrow to reality in 1982, only in a much broader fashion. Epcot® is an atypical theme park dedicated to the resourcefulness and imagination of the American free enterprise system. Here you’ll find a continual showcase of imagination, instruction, research, and invention, aeducation in technology and innovation, other lands and cultures.
Comprising 260 acres (more than twice the size of the Magic Kingdom®), it takes a good pair of walking shoes to truly explore the park’s full scope. The park is unified by four “Neighborhoods” that each speak to important aspects of the world and its people: World Celebration, World Discovery, World Nature, and World Showcase,
The first Neighborhood you encounter on arrival is World Celebration featuring a shimmering new fountain surrounded by three towering pylons at the base of Spaceship Earth, the symbol of Epcot. Plans here include a new pavilion for live events, and the home base for Epcot’s signature festivals, providing an elevated view of the entire park and the perfect spot to watch the park’s new nighttime spectacular, “Harmonious.”
On the east side of Spaceship Earth is the Neighborhood of World Discovery where stories about science, technology, and intergalactic adventure come to life. Here you will find the tried and true attractions of Mission: Space and Test Track as well as the park’s newest restaurant, Space 220,a culinary experience featuring the celestial panorama of a space station, including daytime and nighttime views of Earth from 220 miles up. Soon to come in 2022 is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, the first “other-world” showcase pavilion at Epcot where you’ll find a storytelling coaster that rotates 360 degrees, including the first reverse launch on a Disney coaster.
The west side Neighborhood of World Nature is dedicated to understanding and preserving the beauty, awe, and balance of the natural world. Attractions here include: The Seas with Nemo & Friends; The Land pavilion featuring Soarin’ Around the World and Living with the Land; and the Imagination Pavilion with its Journey into the Imagination with Figment. Soon to come is “Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana”, an exploration trail where guests will play with magical, living water.
At World Showcase you’ll see authentic-looking replicas of famous landmarks and buildings, typical streets overflowing with marvelous architectural detail, shops presenting the best of the world’s merchandise, exotic food and wine, and captivating entertainment. Without leaving the country or the park for that matter, behold the Eiffel Tower, stroll a Japanese garden, witness Venice’s St. Mark’s Square, or visit a Mexican market. Definitely plan to spend an evening here when all the countries are lit with shimmering lights and the true romance of this beautiful area of the park shines through.
Strolling in a counterclockwise direction around the 1.3-mile World Showcase walkway you’ll encounter each country in this order: Canada, United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Japan, America, Italy, Germany, China, Norway, and finally Mexico. Those weary of walking can utilize the very slow Friendship water taxis that ply the World Showcase Lagoon.
While there are plenty of attractions and activities for the little ones, this park’s appeal is mainly to older children and adults. The draw: a vast variety of dining choices, loads of exciting entertainment, magnificent gardens, around-the-world shopping, and attractions that simultaneously entertain and educate. The grounds alone are worth the price of admission, a fact well known to horticulturists worldwide.
Epcot® looks a bit like a figure eight, with the Neighborhoods of World Celebration, World Discovery, and World Nature being the northern region (shown on the guide map at the bottom—think “upside down”) and World Showcase the southern region. Mission: SPACE®, and Test Track® is located on the east side of Spaceship Earth; and Imagination!, the Land, and The Seas with Nemo & Friends®on the west side. Walkways connect the northern Neighborhoods to World Showcase, made up of eleven pavilions fronted by a 1.3-mile promenade surrounding the forty-acre World Showcase Lagoon.