Our recent visit to EPCOT was the first time we had been there in 15 years. It’s a big park, so we were prepared for lots of walking, and being so big, it gives the impression that the crowds aren’t as large. Make sure that you check your map while you visit, because it’s easy to miss things because many of the attractions are spread out. We didn’t realise that there was a Soarin’ ride until after we left 😦
Here is a little something I tracked down while preparing this post. It’s a great video of a TV special that aired in 1982 to celebrate the opening of EPCOT. It’s very dated, but retro is ‘in’ so therefore it’s perfect to include. The show starts at about the 2 minute mark (anything before that is just opening credits etc). You may just want to skim through it, but be sure to keep an eye out for a real surprise a little past the 10 minute mark. If you do, tell me in the comments below who you see.
The World Showcase is a trip around the world, where you get to see the sights, hear the sounds, and taste the foods of countries from all over the world. Each of the eleven countries is a zone, all of which surround a huge central lake. It’s a great way to travel the world without the airport lines or luggage problems. We didn’t stay into the night, but there is a wonderful IllumiNations light and fireworks spectacular above the lake each night.
The detail in the buildings is brilliant (as expected from Disney), but personally I’d prefer each country to have a central ‘fun’ attraction above and beyond the food and setting. Some do, some don’t. I guess it’s just personal preference as to what you are expecting from this park. I think kids would be less interested in this section of the park than parents.
The Sum of All Thrills ™
This was an unexpected find in one of the showcase pavilions. It’s a motion-simulator ride where you get to design your very own roller-coaster and then get to experience it with virtual reality. The level of thrill is based completely on your own design and the mathematics behind it. So if you like tame coasters it’s tame, but if you’re after high thrills then make sure you cram as many twists and turns into your design as possible.
Riders are strapped into seats and then a canopy is lowered over them. The only thing left visible to spectators are the dangling feet of the rider (see our video above). So, you’re sitting on the end of a robotic arm and being tipped, twisted, turned upside down and swooping from side to side. That’s what this one is all about. It’s great fun as you virtually ride the coaster that you personally designed in 3D.
You also get a link to relive your coaster online when you get home. Click the link here and then input the code 3R93UHZ if you want to see what we designed and rode.
EPCOT is a great park to spend a day that’s a bit different to the other Disney theme parks. It’s more exhibition, less fun, but worth the visit. I think that kids (and me) would love the thrill rides, while adults are more likely to drool over the details of the World Showcase.
Families need to balance the experiences to keep everyone happy (or split up for the day and meet up with each other later on).
Click here if you missed part 1 of our EPCOT visit.
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