Walt Disney had a vision of building a planned model community showcasing American industry, research development, schools, cultural development, & educational opportunities. He wanted to build a city of the future.
Walt Disney said "this new planned community would take new ideas and new technologies from American industry. It will be a community of tomorrow that would never be completed. It would always be introducing, testing, and demonstrating new materials and ideas. The planned community would always be showcasing to the world the ingenuity and imagination of American Free Enterprise."
The name of the new city would become Epcot. (Disney enthusiasts better know this one) Epcot stands for – Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
Walt Disney never got to see his vision realized due to his death on December 15th, 1966. His vision for Epcot was to build a self-contained city including rental homes, commercial buildings, schools, and transportation with Monorails and PeopleMovers.
After his death, the Walt Disney Company decided it did not want to be in the business of running a city.
The Disney Imagineers took some of Walt’s vision of showcasing the newest technology & incorporating it with international cultures and customs from around the world.
Epcot was the 2nd theme park built at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida. It took around 3 years to build and at one time was considered the largest construction project on Earth. Epcot opened on October 1st, 1982 with the official dedication on October 24th, 1982.
In recent years, the Disney Company had added what they call Kidcot Fun Stops as well as more Character Meet & Greets at Epcot. (In the past, Epcot has been known as more of an adult theme park.) The Kidcot Fun Stops are located throughout Epcot and they allow the little ones to draw, write, stamp, and create their own free Epcot souvenir to cherish forever. Yes, we said FREE.
Epcot has a resort area for those who want to stay close to the action. They share water transportation and a walking path with Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s BoardWalk, and most of the Epcot Resorts. Epcot shares the waterways with Disney’s Beach Club Resort, Disney’s Yacht Club Resort, Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s Beach Club Villas, Disney’s BoardWalk Villas, Walt Disney World Swan, and the Walt Disney World Dolphin. Disney’s BoardWalk Villas and Disney’s Beach Club Villas are part of the Disney Vacation Club and if you would like our opinion of the Disney Vacation Club (DVC) click here. If you are going to visit Epcot and would like to stay within a short boat ride or an enjoyable walk, the Epcot Resort area is a great place to stay. For more information and reservations call 407-WDISNEY (934-7639).
EPCOT RESORT AREA
Disney’s Beach Club Resort
Disney’s Beach Club Villas
Disney’s Yacht Club Resort
Disney’s BoardWalk Inn
Disney’s BoardWalk Villas
Walt Disney World Dolphin
Walt Disney World Swan
Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Park hours for Epcot varies from day to day. Print a copy of toddsorlando.com’s Disney Calendar and take it with you on your Disney Vacation. It will provide all the Disney Parks hours along with which Parks will be having the Extra Magic Hours for Disney Resorts Guests only. The Walt Disney World Resorts offer a wide variety of ticket options for its guests. It would be impossible for someone to be able to suggest the best option to buy tickets because of all the variables involved in planning your vacation. For tickets call 407-939-1289. Walt Disney World Resorts will accept Visa, MasterCard, Discover, Diners Club Card, and American Express credit cards. For your convenience, there are ATMs located throughout Walt Disney World.
Epcot covers approximately 260 acres, which is more than double the size of the Magic Kingdom. The layout of the park is simple. The front of Epcot is Future World with 8 themed pavilions introducing new technology & innovations and the back of the park is World Showcase, which consists of 11 pavilions showcasing 11 different nations on this planet. It almost seems like the Disney Imagineers took 2 different theme parks and pushed them together. There are 2 entrances into Epcot. The main entrance is in the front of Future World and that is where the Monorail, buses, and taxis drop you off. It is also where the parking lot is for Epcot. The other entrance to Epcot is located between the United Kingdom Pavilion and the France Pavilion known as the International Gateway. It is for the Epcot Resort Guests so they can walk or take a short boat ride to Epcot. It also allows an easy way for Walt Disney Resort Guests to park hop from Epcot over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios by boat.
Once you have entered Epcot get your Times Guide & New Information brochure along with a Guidemap of the park. The Times Guide changes weekly so make sure you have the correct date on the top of the brochure. To get the most out of your visit to Epcot it is essential to follow your Times Guide because of all the activities and shows going on at Epcot.
Spaceship Earth Pavilion – This attraction is the focal point to Epcot. It is a 180’ tall geosphere that has a slow moving ride that takes you across time and space. After your journey, visit the interactive learning area Project Tomorrow: Inventing the World of Tomorrow. Spaceship Earth has 11,324 individual triangles on the geosphere and it weighs around 16 million pounds. You can see this object from miles away. It is located at the entrance to Epcot making the line long in the morning. We highly suggest avoiding this ride until late afternoon or evening.
Universe of Energy – Here you will enter a theatre for a show, then your group of theatre seats become a slow moving ride. Watch the multimedia journey starring Ellen DeGeneres as she takes you from the dinosaurs to the future world with fusion power. Guests must transfer from their ECV to an available wheelchair.
Mission: SPACE Pavilion – This attraction is home to one of Disney’s most thrilling rides they have ever created. It is as close as you can get to blasting off into space without leaving the ground. They say it may cause motion sickness and they are not kidding. You can select the most intense version or opt for the less intense experience. Guest can stay in their wheelchairs or ECVs for the less intense experience. After you get back from your trip to Mars, spend some time in the Mission: SPACE Advanced Training Lab with interactive galactic fun. There is an area for the little astronauts while the bigger kids ride Mission: SPACE. This attraction has FASTPASS.
Test Track Pavilion – The line to this ride goes through a high-tech car test facility. After that, strap yourself into one of the test cars and experience one of the longest and fastest rides in Disney’s history. Watch the radar detector as you reach 60 miles an hour. After your Test Track ride, check out General Motors newest models as you are leaving the Pavilion. This attraction has FASTPASS.
Innoventions: The Road to Tomorrow – At this attraction you can put your hands on tomorrow’s technologies today. Touch, feel, and play with the toys of the future. Guests may remain in their wheelchairs or ECVs to experience this attraction. The Electric Umbrella Restaurant is located in this area.
Imagination! Pavilion – This pyramid-shaped pavilion’s main attraction is “Honey, I Shrunk The Audience”. Professor Wayne Szalinski does it again. It is a 3-D special effects movie where you are the one that feels small. This attraction has FASTPASS. The other attraction in this pavilion is Journey Into Imagination With Figment. Ride through the Imagination Institute with the little purple dragon, Figment. After your Journey Into Imagination With Figment visit ImageWorks – The Kodak “What If” Labs. It is an interactive playground the kids are sure to love. Guests can stay in their wheelchairs or ECVs to experience all 3 of these attractions.
The Land Pavilion – This 6 acre pavilion is home to Soarin’, which is one of the most popular rides in the world (Walt Disney World). Climb on your ski lift chair and soar over some of California’s most beautiful natural wonders along with the Disneyland Park. This attraction has FASTPASS. Don’t miss the fascinating boat ride Living with the Land. Float through a tropical rain forest, African desert, American plains and into an experimental greenhouse. Look for our favorite friends, the alligators in an aqua environment. Did you know that each year over 30 tons of fruits & vegetables that are grown in The Land Pavilion are served in Walt Disney World restaurants? The Living with the Land also has FASTPASS. Guests must transfer from their ECVs to an available wheelchair to ride this attraction. Before you leave The Land Pavilion, try to catch the Circle of Life. It is a short film combining animation, live action, and your favorite Lion King characters. The Garden Grill Restaurant and the Sunshine Season Food Fair are located in this area.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion – View dolphins, sea turtles, sharks, manatees, and thousands of tropical fish in The Living Seas. Descend to the under-sea research facility, Sea Base Alpha. For regular scheduled marine research presentations check the duty roster outside the observation deck for times and topics. Don’t let the young & the young at heart miss riding in the clamobile in The Seas with Nemo & Friends. Here you will see Nemo and his pals swim with live marine life in the huge aquarium. Guests must transfer from their ECVs to an available wheelchair to experience this attraction. After the ride check out Turtle Talk with Crush. Crush is located in the aquarium and he actually interacts with the audience. More of the Disney Magic. The Coral Reef Restaurant is located in this area.
The back section of Epcot is World Showcase. It usually opens 2 hours after the Future World section opens and it circles the World Showcase Lagoon. The World Showcase Lagoon has a perimeter of 1.2 miles. This is where IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is held nightly at 9:00 P.M. World Showcase features 11 countries from all around the globe. Each of them demonstrates entertainment, dining, and shopping unique to their culture. Many of the stores and restaurants in World Showcase do serve or sell alcoholic beverages from their respective countries. Most of the pavilions are staffed by citizens from the countries they represent. Many of the Cast Members are college students living in Walt Disney World College Program housing. The Walt Disney World International Program recruits participants 18 years and older from the represented countries for a yearlong cultural exchange. Take time to visit with these Cast Members. They all seem to love to talk about their homeland.
Canada Pavilion – This pavilion is home to our neighbor to the north. The country of Canada occupies most of northern America and is the world’s 2nd largest country by total area. Come and experience the grandeur from coast to coast in the Circle-Vision 360 degree film, O Canada. This 18-minute motion picture will surround you with Canada’s abundant wildlife, natural beauty, and it’s sparkling metropolises. Guest may remain in their wheelchair or ECVs to experience this film. Visit the Northwest Mercantile and the La Boutique des Provinces for authentic gifts and attire brought to you from Canada. The Le Cellier Steakhouse is located here and Off Kilter performs their Celtic style Rock ‘n’ Roll facing the waterfront of World Showcase Lagoon.
United Kingdom Pavilion – When you step into the United Kingdom area of Epcot you are reminded of Disney’s attention to detail. There is no ride or film in this area, but it does have many authentic looking buildings and shops representing the four constituent countries that make up the United Kingdom: England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. The shops include The Toy Soldier, Sportsman Shoppe, The Queen’s Table for perfumes & soap, and The Tea Caddy. For all you tea connoisseurs ask the Cast Members at The Tea Caddy when the Tea demonstrations are for the day and make a reservation. The Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room and the Yorkshire County Fish Shop are located in this area. Try to catch the one-and-only Pam Brody tickling the ivories in the Pub. Check your Times Guide for The British Invasion playing at the Hyde Park bandstand and the comical World Showcase Players clowning in ye olde streets of The United Kingdom.
France Pavilion – Touch up on your French before you get to the France Pavilion. You are bound to here phrases like “Bonjour” (Hello), “Au revoir” (Goodbye), “Merci” (Thank you), and “Parlez-vous francais” (Do you speak French?). Walking the pathway at night reminds one of a romantic stroll along the River Seine with the street artists, bustling café, and the Eiffel Tower looming overhead. It is no wonder why France is ranked as the #1 tourist destination in the world. Be sure to see the 18-minute film, Impressions de France. It will take you through out the country of France in a stunning panoramic film. Guest may remain in their wheelchairs or ECVs for this film. Visit the quaint village shops including Les vins de France, the local wine shop. Follow the aroma and the crowd to Boulangerie Patisserie then check your Times Guide for Serveur Amusant the hilarious street performers. This area of Epcot is where two outstanding restaurants are, the Bistro de Paris and Les Chefs de France. Bon appétit.
Morocco Pavilion – Moroccan artisans came to Epcot to install the nine tons of handmade and hand cut tile in this World Showcase Pavilion. This mosaic art has been part of their heritage for thousands of years. Present day Morocco has been inhabited since Neolithic times, which is thought to be around 8,000 BC. Morocco is a little larger than the state of California and the largest city in the country is Casablanca. The Morocco Pavilion is divided into 2 sections. The Ville Nouvelle is the new city and the Medina is the old city. Check with the information center at the Morocco Pavilion about the Morocco Tour. It is a guided tour of the pavilion describing the culture, history, and architecture of Morocco. See many artifacts of the old country at the Gallery of Arts and History. There are a few shops in the pavilion but don’t miss Mo’Rockin in the courtyard. The Restaurant Marrakesh and the Tangierine Café are located in the Morocco Pavilion. Check your Times Guide to see when the Restaurant Marrakesh Belly Dancer will be performing in the restaurant.
Japan Pavilion – This pavilion was designed with artistic and traditional symbolic values of many centuries. The country of Japan is comprised of over 3,000 islands located in the Pacific Ocean. The greater Tokyo area is the largest metropolitan area in the world with over 30 million people. The Japan Pavilion at Epcot is a serene place with rock gardens, koi pools & streams, and evergreens. At the front of the pavilion next to the Epcot Pathway is a five story Japanese pagoda. The five stories symbolize earth, wind, water, fire, and sky. The bright red tori gate, located on the shores of World Showcase Lagoon is similar to the one in Hiroshima Bay. Shop the Mitsukoshi Merchandise Store for the latest in authentic Japanese apparel and toys. Check your Times Guide for appearances by Miyuki the candy artist and the Taiko Drummers, Matsuriza. The Teppan Edo, Tokyo Dining, and the Yakitori House are located in the Japan Pavilion.
The American Adventure Pavilion – The imposing Colonial-style structure houses The American Adventure. It is a 26-minute presentation using lifelike Audio-Animatronic historical figures celebrating the American Spirit from our nation’s birth to the present. This show should not be missed by anyone. It is a compelling compilation of how are Country has evolved. Guests may remain in their wheelchairs or ECVs to experience this show. Shop at the Heritage Manor Gifts for a little red-white-and-blue Americana that you can take home. Don’t miss the new National Treasure exhibit in The American Adventure Pavilion. Did you know Abraham Lincoln often stored important papers inside his top hat? Come and see this ever-changing display of American History. Check your Times Guide for the Voices of Liberty in the acoustically pure rotunda and the Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps in front of The American Adventure Pavilion. The Liberty Inn is located in this area.
America Gardens Theatre – This is the location in Epcot where national acts or well-known music groups perform. It is an outside venue located in front of The American Adventure Pavilion along the shores of World Showcase Lagoon. There is no reserved seating so they suggest arriving early to get a seat. Guests may remain in their wheelchairs or ECVs to see the concert. This is the venue where the concert series are held for the “Flower Power” (Flower & Garden Festival) and the “Eat to the Beat” (Food & Wine Festival). It is also where the Holidays Around the World Candlelight Processional is held.
Italy Pavilion – This quaint pavilion is one of the smaller areas in World Showcase. There is not a show or ride in this pavilion but the architecture and the attention to detail is stunning. Look for the replica of the Campanile of Mark’s Square. Opera was born in Italy and you can almost envision Luciano Pavarotti performing on the piazza. Shop at Il Bel Cristallo for all the fine leather goods. At the edge of the piazza is Enoteca Castello. It is a shop where you will find a selection of red & white Italian wines along with items such as chocolate, espresso, and Italian cookbooks. Check your Times Guide for performances by the World Showcase Players. The Tutto Italia Ristorante & The New Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria is located in this area.
Germany Pavilion – The overall charm of this pavilion is almost worth the price of admission. The pavilion was inspired by various villages in the Rhine region and Bavaria but relied mainly to the romantic fairy-tale architecture of Germany. There are no villages in Germany quite like this because some of the building styles represent different time periods and locations. There are several shops in this pavilion and they all deserve a visit. Der Bucherwurm is the shop where you will find the hand-painted eggs & beer steins and Der Teddybar is the local toyshop. Kunstarbeit in Kristall features crystal jewelry and it is next to Weinkeller, which is the pavilion’s wine shop. Ask the Cast Members at Weinkeller about their daily wine tasting. They offer about 50 different German wines to sell by the bottle. Don’t leave the area until you visit Sussigkeiten. It is the shop where you get your German baked goods and you can stock up on your Gummibaeren (Gummy Bears). If you dine in the Biergarten Restaurant, you should see Oktoberfest Musikanten on stage in the restaurant. Check your Times Guide to be sure before you dine. Sommerfest is also located in this area.
China Pavilion – This pavilion conveys a sense of serenity with its gardens and tranquil traditional Chinese music playing through out the pavilion. China is one of the world’s oldest continuous civilizations dating back more than six millennia. The China Pavilion demonstrates much of the rich traditional history of the Chinese people. The Temple of Heaven, which symbolizes the Chinese Universe, dominates the pavilion and that is where you enter into the Reflections of China. The Reflections of China is a Circle-Vision 360 degree film showcasing the majesty of this ancient country and how it has changed to the modern society it is today. Guests may remain in their wheelchairs or ECVs to experience this film. Please note there are no seats in this theater but they do provide leaning rails. There are a few shops in this area and they do provide authentic Chinese goods. Check your Times Guide for Si Xian for classical Chinese music and Dragon Legend Acrobats the incredible Chinese children performers. The Nine Dragons Restaurant and the Lotus Blossom Café are located in this area.
Norway Pavilion – This pavilion celebrates the history, folklore, and culture of one of the world’s oldest countries. According to tradition, Norway was united in 872 AD after the Battle of Hafrsfjord in Stavanger. Discover the cobblestone streets and visit the authentic Stave Church where the Norse artifacts are displayed. Of the 1,000 Stave Churches built in the Middle Ages, only 26 remain today. Don’t miss the age of the Vikings when you climb on board the dragon-headed longboats and ride Maelstrom. Maelstrom is the action-packed boat ride that whisks you by polar beers, menacing trolls, then plummets you backwards into the North Sea. A 5-minute film on Norway immediately follows the boat ride. You will see that Norway is rich in resources including gas fields, hydropower, fishing, forests, & minerals. It is one of the largest exporters of seafood in the world behind China. There are a few shops that sell Norwegian products in this pavilion but follow the aroma to the Kringia Baken Og Kafe for fresh coffee and baked goods. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is also located in this area. Stop at the Norway Tourism desk and ask them about a free-guided tour of the pavilion. Visit with some of the Cast Members in the Norway Pavilion and you will see why Norway is known as one of the most peaceful countries on the planet.
Mexico Pavilion – This is one of the most popular pavilions in World Showcase. As you enter World Showcase from the left side the first stop is the Mexico Pavilion. The pyramid exterior was inspired by the Meso-American structures dating back to the third century AD. The country of Mexico is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The most notable tourists draws are the ancient Meso-American ruins and of coarse, the popular beach resorts. Enter into the Mexico Pavilion and you are thrown into a bustling marketplace at the Plaza De Los Amigos. Even on a bright and sunny day in Florida, it is always nighttime with the stars twinkling above in the Mexico Pavilion. Take a boat ride on the Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballeros (Donald Duck, Jose Carioca, & Panchito). The boat tour features the people, culture, arts, and history of the Mexico. Guests must transfer from their ECVs to an available wheelchair to ride this attraction. Check your Times Guide for the Mariachi Cobre music group. The San Angel Inn and the La Cantina De San Angel are located in this area.
Epcot does not have the daily parades like the other three theme parks. They do have the nighttime spectacular, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth which starts at 9:00 P.M. You can set your watch to the time the show starts. If you want to exit the park right after Illuminations, we suggest watching the show close to the exits. The Monorail and buses will be packed as soon as the show is over. If you have the time, it is much better to let the bulk of the crowd get out of the park, then mosey to your transporter or walk back to your Epcot Resort.
For your convenience we are providing an easy to follow list of the live entertainment at Future World and World Showcase. We hope to help you plan your day at Epcot. When you get your Times Guide the day you are at Epcot, you will notice it would be tough to see all the live entertainment in one day. We hope to help you decide on which ones you cannot miss. The Epcot Live Entertainment is subject to change without notice so study your Times Guide the day you are at Epcot for the daily schedule.
EPCOT LIVE ENTERTAINMENT
JAMMitors @ Future World East – This is no ordinary clean up crew. They are exceptional percussionists using trashcans, dustpans, hardhats, flyswatters and more as their instruments.
Off Kilter @ Canada Pavilion – This is a Celtic Rock ‘n’ Roll Band with a wacky Canadian sense of humor. These hosers know how to Rock, “eh?”
World Showcase Players @ United Kingdom Pavilion – They are master improvisational artists pulling innocent tourists into their troupe. You never know what will happen in this version of Arthur’s Quest for the Holy Grail.
The British Invasion @ United Kingdom Pavilion – The Fab Four entertain guests of all ages at the Hyde Park Bandstand. Sing along with all your favorites from the Beatles. Is there a barber in the house?
Pam Brody @ United Kingdom Pavilion – Sing along with the one-and-only storyteller, piano player, and singer from London. Join her in the Rose & Crown pub.
Serveur Amusant @ France Pavilion – Watch these amazing performers turn an ordinary table setting into a teetering tower threatening to fall on the streets of Paris.
MO’ROCKIN @ Morocco Pavilion – Rock ‘n’ Roll with a mix of modern and traditional Middle Eastern instruments.
Restaurant Marrakesh Belly Dancer @ Morocco Pavilion – Watch the restaurant come alive with music from Morocco and the alluring belly dancer.
Matsuriza @ Japan Pavilion – Listen to the beat of the Japanese Taiko (Japanese drum). Enjoy the harmony of the Takio drums ranging in size from 6 inches to 6 feet.
Miyuki @ Japan Pavilion – Watch in amazement as Miyuki takes soft rice dough and creates detailed flowers, dragons, and more. She takes candy art to a new level.
Spirit of America Fife & Drum Corps @ The American Adventure Pavilion – Step back in time to the Colonial period and experience this patriotic performance in the courtyard of the American pavilion. Listen for a spirited rendition of “Yankee Doodle Dandy”, “God Bless America”, and more.
Voices of Liberty @ The American Adventure Pavilion – Enjoy the eight part a cappella group singing your favorite Americana, folk, and patriotic songs. Join them under the dome in the rotunda of the American Pavilion.
World Showcase Players @ Italy Pavilion – These improvisational artists entertain the crowds on the piazza of the Italy pavilion.
Oktoberfest Musikanten @ Germany Pavilion – Celebrate Oktoberfest every day with dancing and German music. Enjoy the oom-pah band on the Biergarten Restaurant stage.
Si Xian @ China Pavilion – Listen to the incredibly soothing sound of classical Chinese music on the zheng (Chinese harp).
Dragon Legend Acrobats @ China Pavilion – Watch in amazement as these young Chinese acrobats fly through the air in the China pavilion.
Mariachi Cobre @ Mexico Pavilion – Listen to the Mariachi music under the stars at the Plaza De Los Amigos or just outside the Mexico pavilion.
The Behind The Seeds Tour takes you backstage in The Land Pavilion. See how you can grow plants without soil hydroponically. Discover Disney’s secrets and more. A member of the Epcot Science team leads the tour and it lasts about 1 hour. Guests will have to transfer from their ECVs to an available wheelchair to experience this tour. Strollers are provided for small children. You are allowed to bring covered non-alcoholic drinks on the tour. The cost of the tour is $10 per guest ages 3-9 and $14 per guest 10 & over. At the end of the tour you will be given some seeds to take home and grow on your own. Theme park admission is required.
The UnDISCOVERed Future World Tour takes you into restricted backstage areas where guests are usually not permitted. See Walt Disney’s legacy and vision. Step behind the scenes and see the story of Epcot’s design and creation. Guests must be at least 16 years old to take this tour. It is an outdoor walking tour and last 4 to 4 ½ hours. The cost of the tour is $49 per guest. Theme park admission is required.
The Hidden Treasures of World Showcase Tour takes you to each of the World Showcase pavilions. Learn about the architecture, people, and cultures of each of these international communities. Guests must be at least 16 years old to take this tour. It is an indoor and outdoor walking tour and last 3 ½ hours. All guests are required to have a photo ID in their possession during this tour. The cost of the tour is $59 per guest. Theme park admission is required for this tour.
The Gardens of the World Tour lets you learn some of Disney’s secrets on how they take care of the lush gardens and landscapes around the Walt Disney Resort. You may be able to learn how to apply some of Disney’s design elements to your own garden and landscapes. Guests must be at least 16 years old to take this tour. It is an outdoor walking tour and last 3 hours. All guests are required to have a photo ID in their possession during this tour. The cost of the tour is $59 per guest. Theme park admission is required for this tour.
The Around the World at Epcot Tour takes you on an outdoor adventure around World Showcase on a Segway Personal Transporter. The tour includes riding lessons. Guests must be at least 16 years old and weigh 250 lbs or less. The signature of a parent or legal guardian is required for participants under 18 years of age. The cost of the tour is $95 per participant and it last about 2 hours. There are 4 tours daily starting at 7:45 AM, 8:30 AM, 9:00 AM, and 9:30 AM. Remember, World Showcase does not open until 11:00 AM so the pathways should be wide open. Theme park admission is required for this tour.
The Seas Aqua Tour is a behind-the-seas adventure exploring the Seas with Nemo & Friends aquarium. Bring your swimsuits. You do not need any special certifications to participate in this tour but all guests will wear provided wetsuits. All guests must be at least 8 years old and a parent or legal guardian must accompany participants between 8 & 11. Participants are not allowed to have cameras of any kind with them during the tour. The cost of the tour is $115 per guest and lasts 2 ½ hours with 30 minutes in the water. Admission includes all gear, refreshments, T-shirt, and a group photo. Theme park admission is NOT required or included in the cost of this tour.
The Dolphins in Depth Tour lets you get face-to-fin with these amazing creatures. Discover and learn about the dolphins in this up-close encounter in waist-deep water. Bring your swimsuits but no swimming or Scuba diving is required. You do not need any special certifications. All guests must be at least 13 years old. Participants under 18 years old must have a parent or legal guardian participating in the adventure with them. Participants are not allowed to have cameras of any kind with them during the tour. The cost of the tour is $150 per guest and lasts 3 hours. Admission includes a photo with the dolphin, refreshments, and a T-shirt. Theme park admission is NOT required or included in the cost of this tour. Remember, it is the dolphin’s choice to participate in the encounter as well as the interactions.
The Epcot DiveQuest Tour is a unique diving experience. You will Scuba Dive in the 6 million gallon indoor aquarium with more than 65 species of marine life including sharks, sea turtles, eagle rays, and many tropical fish. The aquarium is 200 feet in diameter and 27 feet deep. All guests must be at least 10 years old and have a SCUBA certification. Guests between 10 and 12 years old must have a paying participating parent or legal guardian with them. All required equipment is provided but you may bring your own mask. Bring your own swimsuit. Participants are not allowed to have cameras of any kind with them during the tour. The cost of the tour is $150 per guest and lasts 3 hours with 40 minutes in the water. Admission includes all gear and a limited edition T-shirt. Theme park admission is NOT required or included in the cost of this tour.
The Backstage Magic Tour is the granddaddy of all the tours in world (Walt Disney World). You will get to discover some of the Disney secrets you always wondered about. You will go behind the scenes and see a glimpse of what it takes to operate Walt Disney World. Your adventure of a lifetime starts at Epcot and has backstage stops at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and the Magic Kingdom. The cost of the tour is $199 per guest and it last 7 hours. Guests must be at least 16 years old to attend this tour and due to the behind the scenes access, you must have a photo ID on your possession during the tour. Lunch at Whispering Canyon Café in the Wilderness Lodge is included with your tour cost. Theme park admission is NOT required for the tour and the tour cost does not include admission to Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, or the Magic Kingdom before or after the tour is over.
If you want to book any of these 9 Epcot Tours, we highly suggest calling and making reservations well in advance. Some of these tours only allow a certain number of guests and they do fill up. For all 9 of these Tours call 407-WDW-TOUR (407-939-8687). With prior notice, some of these Tours can accommodate guests with special needs. Call 407-WDW-TOUR for more information.
For the ultimate Disney Experience you can book a tour with VIP Tour Services. They can customize a tour for you and help you with show times and the FASTPASS system. They can help you get the best seats in the house for live shows, parades, and nighttime spectaculars. There is a 6-hour minimum at a cost of $125 to $150 per hour per party. They will allow up to 10 people in your party. Theme park admission is required. To schedule your VIP Tour call 407-560-4033 Monday through Friday 9:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. eastern time. You have to be within 90 days of the day you want to schedule your tour to make reservations.
Coral Reef Restaurant – Dine in the midst of the largest inland saltwater aquarium ever built. All of the tables have a view of the aquarium containing 85 different species of tropical fish. The cuisine is gourmet seafood along with New York Strip Steaks, grilled chicken, and vegetable strudel. Look for The Epcot DiveQuest Tour in the water. The Coral Reef Restaurant is located in The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion and they are open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
The Garden Grill Restaurant – This is a slow moving rotating restaurant overlooking part of the Living with the Land boat ride. Come and meet Mickey and his friends at this Character Dining. The cuisine is American family style including grilled steaks, rotisserie meats and county-style catfish. They also feature some food grown in The Land Pavilion greenhouse. The Garden Grill Restaurant is located in The Land Pavilion and they are open for dinner only. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Le Cellier Steakhouse – This is a meat-lovers restaurant with aged corn-fed Canadian Beef along with some seafood specialties. The atmosphere reminds you of an old castle wine cellar. Try the Canadian ales and beers that the country is known for. Ask for the Canadian wine list and sit back and relax in this cozy restaurant. Le Cellier Steakhouse is located in the Canada Pavilion and they are open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room – For those of you who have never been to a real English Pub, this is as close as it gets on this side of the pond. The sites and smells are just like the real thing. With the bar tenders English accent and the old English Pub motif, you may think you have been transported to bloody old England. The cuisine is British so enjoy the Pub Grub including fish & chips, scotch eggs, and shepherd’s pie. The Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room is located in the United Kingdom Pavilion and is open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan. They have indoor & outdoor seating. The outdoor seating is a great place to catch Illuminations: Reflections of Earth.
Les Chefs de France – This is the French restaurant on the first floor of the main building in the pavilion. It is the more economical of the two French restaurants (notice we did not say cheaper, because that would be too tacky). The atmosphere is very elegant and the French cuisine would satisfy any culinary snob. Ask for the extensive French wine list. They do sell wine by the bottle or the glass. The Les Chefs de France is located in the France Pavilion and they are open for Lunch & Dinner. They have indoor & outdoor seating and they do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Bistro de Paris – If you and your loved one have a special occasion to celebrate, this is one of the best places to go in the world (Walt Disney World). It is located on the second floor of the main building in the pavilion above Les Chefs de France. Take it from us; it is best to let the kids order room service back at the resort. The French cuisine includes pan-seared lobster, rack of lamb, and filet mignon. The romantic ambience makes any special occasion a night to remember. Ask for the extensive French wine list. The Bistro de Paris is located in the France Pavilion and they are open for dinner only.
Restaurant Marrakesh – This is one of the best-kept secrets in the World Showcase restaurant options. The food is exceptional with North African delicacies including roast lamb, chicken or veggie shish kebabs, couscous, and more Mediterranean fare. The Restaurant Marrakesh is located in the Morocco Pavilion and they are open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan. Come and see the Restaurant Marrakesh Belly Dancer performing as you dine.
Tokyo Dining – This is a modern Japanese restaurant in an attractive setting that pays homage to Japan’s Edo period. The cuisine is authentic Japanese and the menu includes fresh fish, vegetables, and quality meats. Visit the sushi bar next door with a view of World Showcase Lagoon. Tokyo Dining is located in the Japan Pavilion and it is open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Teppan Edo – Enjoy the Teppan-yaki style cooking at your table. Teppan-yaki translates to “broiled on a steel grill”. Watch your chef as he stir-fries fresh fish, meats, chicken, and vegetables at your table. The seating at this restaurant is in groups of 8 for a party like atmosphere. Teppan Edo is located in the Japan Pavilion and they are open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Tutto Italis Ristorante – This is one of the more popular restaurants in World Showcase. It seems like all kids like spaghetti. It is a casually elegant restaurant with an open dining room. The cuisine is authentic Italian with a menu that includes handmade mozzarella and pasta. The aroma of freshly baked breads and pasties fill the air. Tutto Italia Ristorante is located in the Italy Pavilion and it is open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Biergarten Restaurant - This restaurant is known as one of the best places in Walt Disney World to dine for families with kids. With the festive atmosphere and the all-you-care-to-eat German buffet it is sure to please everyone in your party. The buffet includes bratwurst, rotisserie chicken, roasted pork, homemade spaetzle with brown gravy, potato dumplings, and an assortment of German dishes and salads. Even the picky eaters in the family will be able to find something on this buffet that will satisfy their hunger. Come celebrate Oktoberfest every day with the Oktoberfest Musikanten on stage in the Biergarten Restaurant. The Biergarten Restaurant is located in the Germany Pavilion and it is open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan. Raise a glass of your favorite German beer and sing & dance along with the oom-pah band.
Nine Dragons Restaurant – Dine in the rich Asian interior among carved wood figures and traditional Chinese lanterns. The cuisine is Chinese with Cantonese, Mongolian, Szechuan, Hunan, and Kiangche specialties. They do offer Dim Sum style dining with some of China’s favorite appetizer recipes. The dinners are served family style so if you can’t make up your mind on what to order, you can order several dishes and share amongst your family and friends. The Nine Dragons Restaurant is located in the Japan Pavilion and is open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall – This is Character Dining with a gathering of Disney Princesses and Friends. The character appearance schedule varies but you may see Belle, Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Jasmine, or maybe Mary Poppins. Don’t forget your autograph books and cameras because they will mingle around all the tables while you dine. The Akershus Royal Banquet Hall is located in the Norway Pavilion. It was designed to look like the Norwegian castle of Akershus in Oslo’s Harbor. The original castle was built around 1300 and it is Norway’s most impressive medieval fortress. The restaurant is open for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner and they have Character Dining all day. In the morning they serve a good old American style Breakfast. For Lunch & Dinner it changes to a sovereign menu of Norwegian specialties a la carte and from an all-you-care-to-eat buffet. They do have a wide selection of normal American food on the kids menu and the do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
San Angel Inn – This is one of the more popular restaurants in World Showcase. This restaurante is modeled after the famous hotel and restaurante, San Angel Inn. The original location is in Mexico City dating back to the 17th century. Come and dine on the patio along the River of Time. Watch the boats go by from the Gran Fiesta Tour while you enjoy one of their signature margaritas. Even during the brightest part of a sunny day in Florida, it is always nighttime under the stars at the San Angel Inn. They do have the traditional Mexican food like tacos & burritos but look further on the menu and you will find specialties like grilled tenderloin of beef, fresh seafood, and Tacos Al Carbon. The San Angel Inn is located in the Mexico Pavilion and they are open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
For any of the RESERVATION DINING experiences, we highly recommend to call 407-WDW-DINE (407-939-3463) and make reservations as soon as you can. You cannot make reservations on line. You have to call 407-WDW-DINE. Create a vacation schedule and write your time & reservation # along with the Disney Dining # 407-WDW-DINE. They will allow you to make dining reservations up to 180 days prior to your visit. It is better to be safe than sorry. When you call, be sure to ask about the Disney Dining Plan. It can save you up to 30% on your dining at the Walt Disney World Resort.
COUNTER SERVICE DINING
Electric Umbrella Restaurant – This is the closest restaurant to the front gate at Epcot. It is a counter service restaurant with a large indoor dining room. The menu includes cheeseburgers, chicken strips, deli sandwiches, and salads. Look for the fixn’s bar to doctor up those burgers and sandwiches. Beer is available. The Electric Umbrella Restaurant is located in the Innoventions area of Future World and they are open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Sunshine Season Food Fair – This is the place to dine for a family that can’t agree on where to eat. It is a food court with many types of food to choose from. You can get anything from pasta to BBQ to deli sandwiches to Chinese food to rotisserie chicken and soups & salads. They also have a bakery for the sweet tooth in the family. The Sunshine Season Food Fair is located on the bottom floor of The Land Pavilion and they are open for Breakfast, Lunch, & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Yorkshire County Fish Shop – Stop for a quick bite or an ice cold drink at this food stand next to the Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room. Here you can get an order of Fish & Chips or just an order of Chips. They also serve pints of Bass Ale and Harp Lager. The Yorkshire County Fish Shop is located in the United Kingdom Pavilion and they are open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Boulangerie Patisserie – This is a bakery and pastry shop operated by the owners of the 2 French restaurants in the France Pavilion. It has become a favorite of the Epcot faithful. It does get a little crowded during the day but the wait is worth it. The best time to visit the bakery is right when World Showcase opens at 11:00 A.M. They serve an assortment of sandwiches, flaky croissants, quiches, French pastries, and hot coffee. Boulangerie Patisserie is located in the France Pavilion and it is open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Tangierine Café – This spot is a well-kept secret for the hungry & thirsty travelers along the Epcot pathway. They are rarely crowded and even if you wanted to get a quick cold drink as you walk, it is a great place to stop. Their menu includes lentil salad, tabbouleh, couscous, hummus, as well as rotisserie lamb, beef, and chicken. The Tangierine Café is located in the Morocco Pavilion and they are open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Yakitori House – This restaurant is located in a replica of a 16th century Japanese summer palace. It does get crowded during lunch so avoid the peak lunch crowd. The secluded garden next to the restaurant is a great place to eat outside and take a break from the crowd. The menu includes beef & chicken skewers, sushi items, noodles, and more. The Yakitori House is located in the Japan Pavilion and it is open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Liberty Inn – This restaurant is as Americana as you can get. When guests from other countries think of American food they think of burgers, hot dogs, fries, chicken strips, and apple cobbler. That is what is on Liberty Inn’s menu. They also serve cold beer for those hot sunny days in Florida. The Liberty Inn is located on the left side of the The American Adventure Pavilion and they are open for Lunch & Dinner. It is a great place to take kids and the picky eater in your family. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Sommerfest – This counter service food stand is located at the entrance to the Biergarten Restaurant. They have covered outdoor seating only. It is a great place to get a quick bite and a cold German beer. Their menu includes bratwurst, large soft pretzels, apple strudel, and plenty German beer and wine. The outdoor seating is cozy and provides a good place to stop and rest. Sommerfest is located in the German Pavilion and they are open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Lotus Blossom Café – This counter service restaurant offers classic Chinese take out items. Their menu includes egg rolls, Shanghai grilled chicken, orange chicken, tofu stir-fry, pot stickers, soups, and more. There is covered outdoor seating nearby. The Lotus Blossom Café is located next to Yong Feng SHangdian shopping gallery in the China Pavilion. It is open for Lunch & Dinner and they participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe – This has become a popular quick stop for a snack and a drink. Many seasoned Epcot travelers will stop for their sweet tooth fix. Try the kringles, which are candied pretzels that are usually reserved for special occasions in Norway. They serve many Norwegian specialties including pastries, tarts, Norwegian school bread, apple Danish, and an open-faced sandwich with salmon, turkey, or ham and cheese. They also have wine and Carlsberg beer available. There is an outdoor eating area under the thatched roof structure. Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe is located in the Norway Pavilion and they are open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
La Cantina De San Angel – This counter service restaurant is located on the waterfront of World Showcase Lagoon. There is plenty of outdoor seating with great views of World Showcase. This is one of the more popular counter service restaurants in Epcot so try to avoid the lunch crowd. Their menu includes tacos, nachos, tortillas, burritos, churros, and more. Relax and enjoy one of their Mexican beers or a margarita along the water of World Showcase Lagoon. La Cantina De San Angel is located in the Mexico Pavilion and they are open for Lunch & Dinner. They do participate in the Disney Dining Plan.
Epcot is compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Call Guests Relations at 407-939-6244 to get your Guidebook for Guests with Disabilities before you take your Disney trip. It provides a detailed overview of services and facilities available for guests with disabilities. Most attractions, restaurants, shops, and shows are accessible to all guests. There may be some rides that a guest in a wheelchair may need help from a member of their party to transfer from the wheelchair onto the ride. Most of the restrooms in the Walt Disney World Resort have facilities to accommodate a guest in a wheelchair. There are designated handicap parking spaces throughout Walt Disney World, but you must have a valid disability-parking permit to use them.
Pet owners please take note that pets are not allowed at any of the Theme Parks or Resorts. For the 4-legged members of your family, there are Pet Care Kennels located adjacent to each of the Theme Park entrances and one by Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground. Pet Care Kennels at: Disney’s Animal Kingdom 407-938-2100 - Epcot 407-560-6229 – Disney’s Hollywood Studios 407-560-4282 – Magic Kingdom at the Transportation and Ticket Center 407-824-6568 – Disney’s Fort Wilderness Resort & Campground 407-824-2735. Reservations are not required but they do suggest calling and making reservations.
Epcot offers stroller rentals at the front entrance. The stroller rental fee is $15 per day for a single passenger stroller and $31 per day for a double passenger stroller. You can also rent wheelchairs for $10 a day and an Electric Convenience Vehicle (ECV) for $45 a day. The rented units must be returned to the original rental location for the deposit refund. All of the rental items are issued on a first come first served basis. If you want to be sure to have an ECV for the whole trip, you can call Buena Vista Scooter Rental at 407-938-0349.
Epcot is host to many special events throughout the year including the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival held in the spring, the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival in the fall, and the Holidays Around the World during the Christmas season. Keep your eye on toddsorlando.com’s Disney calendar for upcoming shows and events.