Hello Ladies and Gentlemen and welcome back to my blog. After putting a poll up on our Facebook page our members voted for me to write about EPCOT today. I hope you all enjoy.
In this edition, I am going to talk a bit about EPCOT’s history, The World Showcase, Future World and EPCOT’s annual events.
The park’s name, EPCOT, is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, a utopian city of the future planned by Walt Disney. EPCOT opened its gates October 1st, 1982 a full 11 years after Magic Kingdom opened.
EPCOT is divided into two main themed areas: Future World and World Showcase. The World Showcase usually opens two hours after park opening and remains open later than the Future World section of the park. Most major attractions in Future World remain open until the park’s closing time. A secondary park gate is located between the France and United Kingdom pavilions of World Showcase and is known as the International Gateway. The International Gateway is directly accessible to guests arriving from the nearby EPCOT Area Resorts and Disney’s Hollywood Studio.
In The World Showcase there are 11 Pavilions each themed to the nation that it represents.
The 11 Pavilions are
• United Kingdom
Each pavilion contains themed architecture, landscapes, streetscapes, attractions, shops and restaurants representing the respective country’s culture and cuisine. To maintain the authenticity of the represented countries, the pavilions are primarily staffed by citizens of the respective countries as part of the Cultural Representative Program through Q1 visa agreements. Some pavilions also contain themed rides, shows, and live entertainment representative of the respective country.
Through the years there have been many proposed pavilions including Brazil, Russia, Switzerland, Spain, Costa Rica, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela but none of these received the planning permission needed to make it into Walt’s Park.
EPCOT’s night time Spectacular Illuminations takes part in the World Showcase Lagoon. The show features fireworks, lasers, fire, and water fountains timed to a musical score over The World Showcase Lagoon. A large rotating globe with curved LED screens is the centrepiece of the show and is used to display images of people and places. This is a truly spectacular show that shouldn’t be missed.
The 2nd part of this park is Future World. Future World consists of a variety of pavilions that explore innovative aspects and applications including technology and science, with each pavilion featuring self-contained attractions.
These attractions are
• Spaceship Earth
• Mission: Space
• Test Track: Presented by Chevrolet
• The Seas with Nemo & Friends (Turtle Talk with Crush)
• The Land (Soarin’ and Living with the Land)
• Imagination! (Journey into Imagination with Figment)
• Wonders of Life/Festival Center (Seasonal operation)
Future World also serves as the park’s main entrance and features the park’s iconic landmark, Spaceship Earth.
The Land Pavilion is my favourite part of Future World as it contains, in my opinion the 2 best attractions in the park; Soarin and Living with the Land. Soarin is a flight motion simulator attraction where you are paragliding around various parts of the world. Living with the Land is a boat ride through several greenhouse’s where Disney grow all their own produce for the parks and their resorts.
Every year at EPCOT there are a number of different festivals.
EPCOT’s International Flower and Garden Festival started in 1994 and uses specially made floral displays around the park including topiaries of different Disney Characters. Guests can meet gardening experts and learn new ideas they can use in their own home gardens. Each yearly event takes more than a year to plan and thousand of cast members hours to get ready.
The EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, started in 1995, this festival gives a chance for park goers to sample foods from all over The World Showcase and from nations that currently do not have a pavilion at the park.
The EPCOT International Festival of the Arts has just finished its 2nd yearly event. Both years this has been held there have been different Disney master artists signing autographs, selling their art and sometimes drawing new pieces.
Holidays Around the World is EPCOT’s annual holiday celebration. The World Showcase pavilions feature storytellers describing their nation’s holiday traditions, and three nightly performances of the “Candlelight Processional” featuring an auditioned mass choir and a celebrity guest narrating the story of Christmas. During “Holidays Around the World”, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth features a special extended ending.
I have never experienced any of these festivals, but I will make sure I get to one in the future. Food and Wine seems to be the most popular among Disney fans with The Flower and Garden Festival at a close 2nd.
EPCOT isn’t my favourite park at Walt Disney World, but it does have some amazing attractions and the atmosphere at The World Showcase is brilliant. I haven’t experienced all of the festivals and everything that the park has to offer but I definitely will do one day and maybe this will change my opinion.
I hope you have had fun reading the 3rd edition of my blog. If you have any questions or want to know more about EPCOT, then give me a message and I’ll be more than happy to chat about it.
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