Walt Disney World, EPCOT Center
Walt Disney World in Orlando FL is an amazing place, with several theme parks and water parks for you to enjoy, including the one of a kind EPCOT… When it first opened back in October of 1982, it was called EPCOT Center, but today I believe they have shortened the name to just EPCOT… The other 3 theme parks at Walt Disney World are the Hollywood Studios, the Magic Kingdom, and the Animal Kingdom… There are two themed lands inside of Epcot, including Future World which houses the latest and greatest technology of the world and some amazing rides and attractions, but also the World Showcase which is sort of like a world’s fair with 11 official countries and their associated pavilions available for you to walk through and go from country to country having lunch, dinner watching shows specific to them, or have some fun shopping for those very unique gifts at Disney Epcot!
There are many incredible attractions in Disney Epcot, including the main focal point that can be seen for a long distance away, Spaceship Earth… This is the big golf ball shaped building situated directly in the center of Future World as you walk into the park, and there is an amazing ride that takes you to the very top inside the ball! It takes you through the journey of man for the last 40,000 years of history, and is lots of fun! From Spaceship Earth, the rest of Future World radiates out like spokes on a wheel to the other themed lands…
Take your time and see everything, because it’s all fantastic and you will be sorry if you miss anything… The Living Seas is an incredible aquarium with tropical fish of all kinds in one of the largest tanks anywhere in the world! You can watch scuba divers swim through as they feed the fish and explain to the guests what they are doing and why. If you are SCUBA certified, they even offer a “dive with the fishes” program that is very popular for an extra fee. They also have dolphins and manatees in this exhibit, depending on rehabilitation release availability, as they do help with research and caring for these mammals when in need. The Living Seas at Disney Epcot is one of my favorite attractions!
Right next to that is “The Land” pavilion, where you can learn about how modern man is learning to grow more fruits and vegetables with higher nutrient percentages, and what the plans are for the future in that area. It’s very exciting to see the possibilities that exist for growing crops in space and down here on Earth to help feed the billions of people around the world.
Other pavilions include the Universe of Energy and the Journey to Imagination. Both are great educational learning experiences, in addition to a load of fun! Entertainment is the Disney goal first of all, but if you don’t watch out you also just may learn a thing or too… The Universe of Energy is pretty interesting, as the ride takes you on a pre-historic journey through the age of the dinosaurs where the oil and natural gas of today was first formed. It can get exciting seeing a tyrannosaurus rex up close and personal!
The World Showcase is a totally different themed environment by itself, and you will be able to walk more than a mile around the World Showcase Lagoon and visit 11 countries all in one day! You can visit Mexico, Norway, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada and actually wine and dine to your hearts delight! There are many amazing first class restaurants in the different countries, so it doesn’t matter if you have a hankering for French, German, or Italian; they have you covered at Disney Epcot! Dinner reservations book very quickly though, so plan ahead with those. You can actually book online several months in advance of your visit, and it is highly recommended! Even if you don’t have reservations though, there are several restaurants where you can grab a bite to eat without them.
Try drinking a pint of Guinness at the English Rose and Crown pub, served the way it is served over there, warm! Or enjoy a wonderful Oktoberfest celebration along with your sausage and schnitzel at the German pavilion… The French and Italian are probably the fanciest restaurants as far as fine dining, but I really like Germany and Mexico for the atmosphere. I believe that Canada has done something pretty nice with their restaurant also, and turned it into a fine dining place from the buffet style that it used to be. Make sure to head to the very back of the Canadian pavilion and watch the waterfall… There’s nothing like watching water fall off a cliff to calm you down after a long day of endless shows and attractions…
Don’t forget the awesome laser light show that Disney Epcot shows every night with fireworks, you will absolutely love it! Every one of the parks has their own fireworks and shows, but at Epcot they bring out fireworks barges into the center of the lagoon in the World Showcase at night and present a spectacle of lasers and lights that you will never forget! Because it is in such a tightly enclosed area, the fireworks are really better than anywhere else, I think. Especially if you get the chance to come out for a 4th of July or a New Years Eve celebration! They bring out a special “WWIII” barge for that. It will take your breath away!
If you get a chance, try to stay at one of the hotels or resorts on the Disney property since there are many choices and price ranges for everyone’s budget… You can stay at the Grand Floridian, Polynesian Resort, Contemporary Resort, Wilderness Lodge, Swan and Dolphin Hotels, or a number of other great places! Check with Disney before you go to find one that suits you perfect. You also may want to check out the two water parks at Disney, called Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach. They are both fantastic! Have fun at Disney Epcot!
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