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  • Writer's pictureBrenda

Epcot - Getting your Bearings

Updated: Jan 30

Get the lay of the land in this virtual tour of Epcot. We'll give a quick overview of each of the areas around the park and point out some highlights to keep an eye out for.

There are two entrances to Epcot, the first is the main entrance at the front of the park. Most guests will be entering this way so we will start our overview there. The second is at the International Gateway, which we will cover a little later.

When you first enter Epcot, a giant golf ball looking structure will fill your view. This is Epcot’s park icon, and the home of the iconic ride Spaceship Earth. As you proceed forward you will have a couple different choices on which way to go. The front of the park is split into three sections, called neighborhoods: World Celebration, World Discovery, and World Nature. Then as you make your way past those in back of the park you will come to the fourth neighborhood: World Showcase.


World Celebration

As you enter the park you will find yourself in World Celebration. This neighborhood is

situated between World Discovery and World Nature, and extends from the main entrance to Spaceship Earth and back around to the Imagination Pavilion. This area of the park is largely under construction at the moment, but once complete will also be home to a hub for all the festivals that take place in Epcot around the year.

World Discovery

If you veer left after passing under the Spaceship Earth ball you will find yourself in World Discovery. This is an area themed around humanity's scientific and technological pursuits. There are three attractions in this area: Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Mission: SPACE, and Test Track. These are the major thrill rides for this park and so many people will head this way first thing in the morning. Though, since Guardians is a new ride, it is currently virtual queue or Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) only. This is also where the Space 220 restaurant is located, which is a bit of an attraction all on its own. At Space 220 you will get to board an “elevator” and “travel” up into space to dine at the space station located 220 miles above earth. The setting here is really immersive and cool, but it is a signature meal and so on the pricier side.

World Nature

On the opposite side of the front area from World Discovery, you will find World Nature. This area is home to both the Seas and the Land Pavilion, where you can engage with and learn about the living world around us. The conservation work that is a major part of Animal Kingdom started over here with oceanic and farming research being done at the Seas and Land Pavilions, respectively.

At the Seas Pavilion you will find the attractions The Seas with Nemo and Friends and Turtle Talk with Crush. Also, housed here is one of the world’s largest aquariums with sea life ranging from dolphins to turtles, fish to sharks and more. Our favorites are the manatees located on level two. It’s a fun place to wander around and explore.

Next door at the Land Pavilion is where Soarin’ Around the World is located (head around one of the sides, go down a level, and head to the right). The Land Pavilion is also where you can hop on Living with the Land and enjoy a ride around Disney’s greenhouses to learn about innovative new farming techniques that Disney is engaging with in real life, or take in a quick show over at Awesome planet. And if you are looking for a bite to eat Sunshine Seasons and Garden Grill are also found here.

World Nature will also be where the new Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, walk through attraction is located. This lush trail is full of fun ways to interact with the water elements that surround you, and a plethora of delightful details from the Moana film. The attraction opened on October 16 and there are plans for a virtual queue on busy days. Check your MDE app during your visit for more details.

World Showcase

The entire back of the park is where you will find the World Showcase, filled with 11 different pavilions representing different countries from around the world. While there are only a few actual rides scattered throughout this area there is so much to see and explore in the World Showcase. Why not stop in Germany and grab yourself a bratwurst and beer, or head to Japan and enjoy the Matsuriza playing traditional Japanese drums, or stop off in China and immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of China with the Reflections of China Circle-Vision 360º film. There is also an array of dining choices in the World Showcase, from snacking at the festival booths, the many different quick service options, and some exceptional table service restaurants.

International Gateway

Near the back of the park, situated between the France Pavilion and the UK Pavilion, you will find the International Gateway. This is the second entrance/exit to Epcot. Beyond this entrance/exit you will find the skyliner (which can take you to Disney’s Hollywood Studios, Disney’s Riviera, Caribbean Beach, Pop Century and Art of Animation Resorts) and then boats and walking paths to the Epcot area Resorts (Disney’s Beach, Yacht, and Boardwalk Inn Resorts). Sometimes out near the International Gateway you can find a Daisy meet and greet.

Park Overview -

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