This is the first "park" you enter at Epcot. You can't miss the big "ball" as you walk through the gates. That "ball" is actually the polyhedral Epcot icon known as Spaceship Earth. This is one cool ride and learning center. Yes, we actually learn something while being entertained! This ride takes you through the ages of communication from early cave dwelling man to futuristic man. It is a blast and one of my favorite rides. Once you get off the ride, there is a huge area of play that has stations you stop at to do all sorts of things like put a virtual body back together and diagnose problems. There are lots of things to keep you busy while learning about advancements in technology.
The Living Seas with Nemo and Friends is a GIANT aquarium. Here you can see all kinds of underwater creatures including sharks, dolphins, turtles, fish and manatees. There are programs that allow you to swim with the fish or to scuba dive with them. AWESOME! There are also lots of things for the littles to do here. Turtle Talk With Crush is HILARIOUS! Crush from Finding Nemo talks to the kids through a video screen. They can ask him questions and he answers them and vice versa. There is also a place where you can talk to one of the divers as he comes back from taking care of the fish.
|My granddaughter and my son in front of the MANY windows for fish viewing|
|My daughter and granddaughter watching a dolphin|
One of the coolest aspects of this attraction is that you can eat at the Coral Reef restaurant in which one whole wall is nothing but windows to the aquarium. You can sit right next to the windows and see the divers as they go about taking care of the tank and you can watch the fish. There is little that is as relaxing as watching the fish swim lazily by. Ahhhh....
One of our favorite attractions in Future World in Ellen's Universe of Energy. Ellen DeGeneres stars in this attraction along with Bill Nye the Science guy, Alex Trebeck (Ellen is on Jeopardy!) and Jamie Lee Curtis. It is a great ride teaching you all about energy, where it comes from, how much is left. I warn you, though, that they start off with the Big Bang Theory. My kids know that God created the world and everything in it and that "science people" sometimes don't get it right so I am okay with them going on this ride.
Another of our favorites is Test Track. It is being refurbished and changed now so we won't be able to ride it while we are there but I am looking forward to how they change it. Previously, you take a car through the same type of testing that it goes through in development. The highlight is at the end of the ride when your car goes out onto the open track and you speed around at almost 70 miles an hour. Oh, did I mention that the car has no roof??? Can you say BAD HAIR DAY?! But the ride is so much fun that I will live with the hair that looks like it was styled with a weed whacker.
There are 2 sections called Innoventions and they house all things technological. I love to walk through the "house of tomorrow" and see what we may have in the future. There is also an interactive game that teaches you about saving and investing. We had a bunch of fun with that one. Innoventions is kind of hard to describe because it is always changing. It is something you have to see for yourself.
I am going to mention Mission: Space here not because I love to go on it but because my kids love it and it really is an awesome ride even I was nauseous for 2 hours after riding it the first (and only) time. You take a mission to space and everyone has a job that they must perform during the trip. If you are claustrophobic or prone to motion sickness DO NOT RIDE THIS RIDE!!!! You are in a very closed in capsule with limited space. They do, however, provide plenty of barf bags for your vomiting pleasure! They now offer a less intense version of the ride but I am steering clear of it all together. While the kids go on it over and over again, hubby and I play the games that are offered while waiting. There is a big screen and everyone works together to perform space tasks. It is a lot of fun and many, many people can play each time.
There many other attractions here but I only highlighted a few.
You have to make time to take in the laser light show right before the park closes. It is outstanding and worth waiting around for even when your tired and just want to leave. You won't be sorry you stayed for it.
Let's be honest, most of us will never travel to far off lands and experience many different countries in our lifetimes. Now you don't have to feel that you are missing anything. World Showcase is a collection of pavillions representing 11 countries. There are shops, attractions and restaurants that show you the culture of each of those countries. Even better is that Disney staffs those pavillions with people from those countries. Most of them are college students with internships at Disney. Go to the China pavillion and you can talk to actual residents of China. Some of the countries have little movies that show you the highlights of their country. I LOVE the one on Canada. It is done in a 360 degree theater and is breathtakingly beautiful. My husband is part French Canadian so I may be a little biased on this one! The France pavillion has a little bakery with french pastries that will make your palate sing!!!! Oh yum! The Italy pavillion has the best Italian food restaurant, Tutto Italia. Oh my! The Norway pavillion has a bakery, too, along with chocolates and candies. Oh help me!!! When the kids and I went on the boat ride at the Mexican pavillion, we could smell the food from their restaurant and we had to eat there as soon as the ride was over! The smell was THAT enticing! My goal this year is to eat my way around the countries! If you ever time your visit to coincide with the Food and Wine Festival you will not be dissappointed! There are kiosks with native food from even more countries than what is already there! One year, we were there just at the right time and I had, among other things, polish sausage and pierogi. Heavens, it was good! It is a foodie paradise! Yes, I love World Showcase for the food. I will admit it!
Well, that my friends is the briefest of overviews of Epcot. For more info check out this site.