View Full Version : Lots of ??? about Epcot
08-04-2003, 12:54 PM
I have been so busy planning for our trip for hotel and airfare etc. I haven't really even started to learn much about any of the parks. I've decided to start with Epcot. Since I've never been.. I could use some help. I just started reading about it under the theme park area here on Intercot.
:confused: 1: Where do you begin? Future World or World Showcase?
By the looks of the park map, Future World is first as you walk in. But, does it make sense to go to the end and start backwards? (less crowds etc?) Isn't one area open longer? Does that make a difference?
:confused: 2: This may be a wierd one but, generally what do you do at each Country? It looks like there are shops and food at each one. Do all have rides? or just some? Do they really tell you things about the country itself? or is it just more fun than learning? I'm not sure what to expect and how to prepare my 2 children. (ages 5 & 9)
:confused: 3: What is your favorite place to eat lunch? I have LeCellier down for dinner. (heard great stuff about its beer and steak on the boards here)
Thanks in advance. Hope these questions aren't too much. graemlins/mickey.gif
[ August 04, 2003, 01:00 PM: Message edited by: BettyG ]
08-04-2003, 01:14 PM
It depends upon what time you plan to get to the park because Future World usually opens at 9am with World Showcase following at 11am. (Future World will close earlier than World Showcase as well.) There's lots to see and do in both areas, but if it's busy I would get a Fastpass for Test Track as early as possible since those tend to run out at times. You can also see about riding Mission Space while you are in that area.
As for the different countries in World Showcase, only two have rides. Mexico has a slow boat ride which is fun and Norway has the Maelstrom, a short flume ride. China and Canada have 360 degree films and at other times places have acrobatic shows, music, dance, etc. The rest are mostly shops and restaurants. The food is quite good and available as counter service and sit-down in most countries. We had a nice meal in Mexico when we were there a couple of weeks ago. Great atmosphere and great food as well.
Don't forget to stay until closing and watch the Illuminatons show. It's excellent. You'll want to find a place looking out over the lagoon that is free from overhead branches etc, so you have a great view.
Have a great time.
[ August 04, 2003, 01:17 PM: Message edited by: jefmblrd ]
08-04-2003, 01:32 PM
I agree with all that has been said so far. In addition to the rides in Norway and Mexico, I would reccommend some of the movies. China just got a new movie. The one in Canada isn't too bad either. I also like to try the food in the countries, particularly the pastries in France.
Another great place to eat the foodcourt in The Land pavilion. It is fast food, but the variety is incredible and the quality is great. They have everything from Italian to Teriaki Baked Potatoes! It is a good place to go if you have (or are!) a finicky eater. Lots of variety.
08-04-2003, 02:12 PM
I agree that the Land pavilion is a great place to have lunch if you're over on the Future World side.
I forgot to mention that the American Adventure in The American Pavilion is a good show as well.
It is a look at America through the years and is hosted by some great animatronic figures of Ben Franklin and Mark Twain. Right across from there is an outdoor theatre that often has concerts-check your listings before you go to see if anything is going on there. I saw the Turtles there one night and had an incredible time.
08-04-2003, 02:25 PM
At the World Showcase, bside the incredible attention to the architecture and the FOOD, there are street performers. My favorites are the "Living Statues" and the "Masquerades" (I am not sure these are the correct names. Besides Chinese acrobats, bands, etc.
08-04-2003, 02:43 PM
1: Where do you begin? Future World or World Showcase? By the looks of the park map, Future World is first as you walk in. But, does it make sense to go to the end and start backwards? (less crowds etc?) Isn't one area open longer? Does that make a difference?
Yes it makes sense to start in the back, and work forward. Unfortunately, you can no longer do this do to the staggered opening times. We used to walk straight through Future World and hit World Showcase in the morning. However, now World Showcase opens at 11:00. There are hardly ever any lines in World Showcase. There are only two rides, in Mexico and Norway. The Rio sel Tiempo in Mexico never has a line, and you can get a FP for Maelstrom. The rest of the pavilions that have movies or shows, so you just have to hit them at the right times.
I would recommend starting in Future World right at 9:00, and getting in line right away for Test Track, or Mission:Space. Then get a FP for the other one. Then hit a couple of rides that do not have lines. Then head on over to World Showcase at 11:00. If you head back to Future World in the early evening, you can ride just about everything without a wait, Spaceship Earth, The Land, JIYI, Ellen's Energy Adventure, etc.
2: This may be a wierd one but, generally what do you do at each Country? It looks like there are shops and food at each one. Do all have rides? or just some? Do they really tell you things about the country itself? or is it just more fun than learning? I'm not sure what to expect and how to prepare my 2 children. (ages 5 & 9)
Canada - 360 Film - O Canada, great movie, the theme song is also on the official album.
United Kingdom - Shops, pub, and street performers
France - Nice movie with some great classical music
Morroco - Shops and restaraunts.
Japan - Shops and performers.
United States - The American Adventure show, a must see.
Italy - Shops and restaraunts.
Germany - Shops and restaraunts.
China - 360 Film (new) shops and restaraunts.
Norway - Boat ride Maelstrom, shops and restaraunts
Mexico - Boat ride Rio del Tiempo, shops and restaraunts.
3: What is your favorite place to eat lunch? I have LeCellier down for dinner. (heard great stuff about its beer and steak on the boards here)
The Land is good for lunch, something besides hot dogs and hamburgers.
08-04-2003, 02:45 PM
Epcot is really all about the wonder of life and the wonder of the world -- especially its people and cultures. Just tell your kids they're going on a trip around the world, back in time, under the water, across the country, and into space! Not bad for one day at a theme park, right? smile.gif What you do in each country varies depending on your personal tastes and your mood. Be sure to take notice of the details that make each pavilion unique and authentic, and catch the live entertainment whenever possible. Kids get excited about the Kidcot Fun Stops in each country, too! Enjoy your trip!! graemlins/clappy.gif
True Disney Fan
08-04-2003, 02:56 PM
:cool: With your children being 5 and 9, they will enjoy the Vegetables (Food Rocks) at the Lands (Epcot). smile.gif This is entertainment even for the grown-ups.The Universe of Energy is a must see. The ride takes one thru the period of the dinasaurs and how our world receives the energy products we need to live. Traveling through the countries is rewarding in one gathers knowledge of the different cultures. Food in the Germany pavilion is very good. There is the restaurant and the quick order place. Just enjoy and have a Magical Time...
08-04-2003, 03:07 PM
One thing I would definitely suggest for your first trip is to take the monorail to EPCOT. You can pick it up at the TTC. The monorail will actually take you on a quick tour of Future World inside of EPCOT before it docks to let you off...we always arrive by monorail...we love to get a sneak peek from the sky of the fun to come!
If you want a break during your EPCOT visit, but don't want to go back to your resort...you can exit through the International Gateway (the secondary entrance/exit located between UK and France). You can take a boat over to the Swan/Dolphin and walk to Fantasia Gardens for some mini golf and then return to EPCOT for Illumninations. Having said that, however, EPCOT offers so many things to see and do it will probably take you at least one full day to see everything once and you'll probably want to return for more!
Have a wonderful trip!! And remember to take your time and notice all of the details! graemlins/clappy.gif
08-04-2003, 03:08 PM
We almost always begin in Future World since it opens earlier and then end with World Showcase because its open later and you can get better seats for Illuminations. But I'd say if youíre going to be there all day itís more of a personal preference as to where to start. Plus you can always go back and forth especially if you use Fast Pass for some of the attractions.
The countries are all really neat and have a lot to offer. Most of the cast members that we have talked to are actually from the country that they are working in so it's pretty neat to talk to them. As mentioned earlier, only Mexico and Norway have rides but every country has cool shops and places to eat. Several of the countries have performers that put on "shows" such as Japan (drums), China (acrobats), and Italy (music). Also Canada, Norway and China have some really neat movies to offer. The countries are definitely an educational experience.
As for lunch, for fast food I agree with the Land Pavilion. There is a large selection and itís reasonably priced. However, we usually try to have sit down lunch at EPCOT and we prefer the Coral Reef (in the Living Seas pavilion) or San Angel in the Mexico pavilion. graemlins/tasty.gif
Hope this helps and feel free to ask more questions! graemlins/mickey.gif
08-04-2003, 03:16 PM
1. You will start your Epcot day in Future World. That side of the park opens at 9:00, while the World Showcase doesn't open until 11:00. It makes sense, because people generally start migrating over to the countries as their lunch arrangements draw closer. On the other hand, World Showcase closes at 9:00, while Future World closes at 6:00, with the exception of Test Track, Mission: SPACE, Spaceship Earth, Garden Grill, and a few other things. My advice would be to get to Epcot at 9:00, and spend your first few hours in Future World.
2. Most of the pavilions don't have attractions. Norway and Mexico have boat rides, while Canada, France, China, and American Adventure have shows. However, all of the pavilions have tons of entertainment. You'll have to check your Times Guide for more information on that. An integral part of the World Showcase is shopping and eating, and each country allows for a lot of that. Every pavilion also has a place for children to make a mask from the country they're in, and to get a passport that you purchased stamped. World Showcase might not be your kids' most favorite part of the vacation, but they won't complain either.
3. I really like Restaurant Akershus in Norway. San Angel Inn Restaurante in Mexico gets great reviews as well.
08-04-2003, 03:31 PM
So many good responses already posted, I may be repeating a little, but here's my 2 cents.
First thing when you enter Epcot pick up a times guide. You'll find them wherever they have the maps. The times guide will clue you in on all the entertainments scheduled in the different lands and also skits put on by the World Showcase Players. These are fun and highly worth catching.
In FW, be sure to check out Innoventions. One side (I forget if its east or west) is mostly video games, but the other side has a ton of interactive games and hands on stuff that the kids will really enjoy. Also check out Wonders of Life. More hands on stuff dealing with perception that they'll get a kick out of. While you are there do not miss, I repeat, DO NOT MISS, Cranium Command. Very entertaining no matter what your age. There's actually a lot of stuff in FW, and its very easy to find you've spent the better part of the day there!
Others have already clued you in on some of the rids in WS. Now get out your times guide and plan your way around the lands via the entertainments, stopping ocassionally to treat yourself to some of the yummy food offerings. A few things I'd really stress seeing are Off Kilter in Canada and the drummers in Japan. Both are way cool. The entertainments generally last about 15-20 min, so you can enjoy them without missing much.
08-04-2003, 03:53 PM
There have been LOTS of great ideas so far ... one thing for kids for WS. They have the Epcot Passports you can buy that kids can take to each country .. get signatures and stamps from CM in each country, learn some neat facts about them ... visit the kidcot stations and make a mask (or at CHristmas time, make Christmas ornaments!)
There are really neat "living statues" that my kids enjoy ... a woman who blows bubbles near UK ...
They can play in the fountains near the WS bridge
Taste Coca Colas from around the world in "Ice Station Cool" near the Dancing Fountain
Play on the Viking SHip Playground in Norway
This is one of my kids favorite parks!
08-04-2003, 05:39 PM
If you go to LeCellier for dinner, don't forget to have their cheese soup. Oh my gosh....is it ever delicious!!!!! graemlins/clappy.gif graemlins/silly.gif graemlins/muscles.gif graemlins/notworthy.gif
08-05-2003, 07:31 AM
Glad to see you are eating at LeCellier! ;) It is our favorite Epcot eatery. Our favorite Lunch spot is the fish and chips at England. Try em.
I can only tell you about Epcot from our experience. Our son is 10 now and I am 49 going on 10. We spend most of our time in FW. My son and I find the WS BORING. My wife enjoys it. She is the cultured one, we are the children. My boss spends most of his time in the WS. He is an empty nester.
It will depend on your children, but I think they will enjoy FW better than the culture in WS. But you should make a pass through to to get a feel for the place.
NYC WDW Fan
08-05-2003, 01:26 PM
I second (third?) Jared and Barb. The World Showcase Passports for your children are a must. I went last year with my cousins and their 4 year-old, and she enjoyed the special attention given. Plus, the distraction is good for the parents to sit and take a breather! ;)
08-05-2003, 02:11 PM
My Favorite topic....EPCOT!!!
Well heres what you do....
1.)Start out with future world!
1st thing i usualy hit is spaceship earth then i go shopping or at least i look around and have fun @ Innoventions. Then after that we go test track and ride is a few million times graemlins/clappy.gif ! then we would hit universe of energy and wonders of life. Maybe we might go to the land for lunch at the garden grill! after that we go off to see the countries. we stop 1 by 1 and take our good ol' time.
2.)Mexico-Go inside and shop. Get on el rio de tiempo. Maybe get lunch (call ahead for prioity seatting).
Norway-get on Maelstrom and go to the store that is there and buy as much candy as possible trust me theirs nothing better then their candy. ohh and don't forget to take a picture with the big troll.
italy-check out the black theater and try some of their wine (yes you can take some to your hotel and yes drink it there!)
u.s.a-check out the american adventure. shop
Japan-DINNER!!!! the best dinner in WDW!! It's just like dinner and a show. also check out their shop and see some of the most unique dresses around! (i'm getting 1 this year!)
united kingdom-stop for tea and check out shops **character hint**Pooh eeyore tigger and piglette are there most of the day usualy around noon!!!
Try their chocolate it's great!!! so is their tea!
Canada-check out their gardens and the waterfall
3.)U.S.A or Mexico or Garden Grill for lunch and Japan for dinner!
I hope that I helped out!! smile.gif
GOOD LUCK N HAVE FUN graemlins/muscles.gif
08-05-2003, 03:07 PM
Another 2 Cents--your kids might like the large garden railroad next to Germany. Living Seas doesn't have a ride anymore, from what I've seen on posts here, but your children may still have an interest in the sealife. I know that my 2 and 5 year old grandchildren love to go to the Ripley's aquarium near us.
Have fun. graemlins/thumbsup.gif
08-06-2003, 05:01 PM
I don't think you have to actually purchase the passports. They are nice but I think the CM's will also stamp and sign, in their native language, in your kids autograph books if you don't want to spend the money on the passports.
08-07-2003, 01:11 AM
It depends on where we come in at, if we are staying in the Epcot resort area and enter thru the International Gateway then we start in the WS, if not we start in Future World.
Norway, China, France and Canada have films which show and tell about the countries and American Adventure has a mix of animatronics and film to tell the history of the U.S, both entertaining and educational at the same time. It really depends on the child, my 8yo enjoys them and WS in general. Almost every country has some type of entertainment, some of our favorites are Off Kilter in Canada- a celtic rock band featuring the bagpipes, British Invasion- a band that plays Beatles and other 60's music and the World Showcase Players- a comedy troupe, both in the United Kingdom. There are also drummers in Japan, acrobats in China, bellydancer in Morocco, a mariachi band in Mexico and so much more. It always amazes me when people say they find WS boring, it's one of our favorite places to go and depending on what time of the year you are there there's almost always something special going on. We love the flower and garden festival and the flower power concerts, my older DD wanted to see Paul Revere and the Raiders for her 16th b-day last year and next year the little one wants to see Davy Jones for her b-day. Right now they are having the Epcot World Music Concert Series featuring musicians from around the globe. At Christmas there are holiday storytellers in the countries, like Father Christmas, Pere Noel and the Monkey King. My youngest loved hearing how other children around the world celebrate, she insisted we go back on our last day so she could see them all.
And to address your last question, as you are having a sit-down dinner I would just snack or do counter service for lunch, the food court in the Land is okay and the rest of my family can usually find something to eat there, but it just doesn't do anything for me. My vote would be the counter service in Mexico where I could get a mango margarita with lunch and my 16yo DD would most likely get a bratwurst in Germany.
And last but not least, don't miss Illuminations!!!!!
[ August 07, 2003, 01:15 AM: Message edited by: Disney24Seven ]
Disney fun seeker
08-07-2003, 02:17 AM
Well there is only a couple of things that i would reconmend is wait to go to WS for a couple of hours when it opens and then go. The other thing i would reconmend is sence you have two young children is a mid day brake at your resort so you can see the best night show i have ever seen in my life that night. If you want to see more of what ea. park has to offer prepare yourself for long days i reconmend taking long walks in a new pair of shoes before you go to WDW. Don't go to the park that is offering Extra Magical Hour all day long go but only when it first opens for a couple hours and then go to another park that day. Oh yea have your on vacation. last but least plan what you want to do and be flexible.
08-07-2003, 02:19 AM
Epcot is a great park and one I'm still exploring! Spaceship Earth should not be missed, it's a relaxing ride also and helps you cool off when you've been doing to much.
I enjoyed the English band that plays at certain times in the United Kingdom, there was also a street performer there when the band took a break.
The 2 rides that are mentioned are very tame short rides, I enjoyed Maelstrom the best of the 2.
One thing your children would enjoy on a hot day, is a fountain area where the water shoots up from the ground and children can play in it, plenty of benches around for parents to sit and watch (and wish they were playing in it also)
The Living Sea is a wonderful place with so much to offer, I would think both children would be entertained for a long time there.
Have a great time! smile.gif
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