Overview of Epcot from a Minnesota Perspective

I received tickets in exchange for this post, however all opinions are my own.
overviewofepcotfromaminnesotaperspective

This April my family made the trek to Florida for the traditional Disney World experience. My boys were the perfect age for this sort of adventure at 11, 8, and 6 years old. We had previously visited Disneyland a number of years ago, but this was our first time at the Florida half of the Disney phenomenon. 

First on our list of places to explore was Epcot. Ever since I was a kid I looked forward to visiting this destination that features countries from around the world. My love of geography and other cultures makes this park a bit more alluring to me. 

epcot_flowers

Visiting from Minnesota, during this time of the year, the first two things that grab your attention are the heat and how beautifully green everything is. Even with the mild winter we had this past season everything in Minnesota in April is gray and dull. It’s hard to remember during our bleak season that other areas continue to have color and growth. 

epcotrose

There are a few rides at Epcot, but the bulk of the park is not dedicated to this sort of fun. I’ll round up some of our favorite rides we did attend at Epcot later in the post, but the majority of this park is focused on experiences. For most of us it’s not feasible to be able to travel the world, but Epcot can give you a glimpse of a different country or culture. 

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We started our World Showcase journey by visiting Mexico. I found this country to be represented in a pleasing style. We slipped into a building to take the Gran Fiesta Tour. This area had a casual atmosphere with shopping and dining. 

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This tour/ride was a gentle float down a river while viewing Mexican-Disney themed robotics. It was silly, but an easy experience great for little ones. 

fiestaepcot

The major attractions within each new country are the food, drinks, music, shopping, and a small glimpse into the culture, typically with some replicas or actual historical artifacts. 

stavechurch

Next on our list was the country of Norway. I was especially looking forward to this area as I have visited Norway twice, have grown up with many Norwegian customs and traditions, and I even still have family living in the country. Unfortunately I was greatly dismayed by the Norway visit. A replica stave church had me hopeful, it’s outside was delicately carved with beautiful detail. But inside the wooden structure was Frozen character images. I guess I am at Disney World. I might take my affinity and connection with Norway too seriously for it to be properly represented at Disney. I’ll tag this under a Minnesota perspective as well. We have such a strong Norwegian culture in this area {A Prairie Home Companions: Norwegian bachelor farmers} it shouldn’t be surprising that Florida would have a different take on the ethnic group. 

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Next on the loop is China. With no previous Chinese culture experience I went into this area with wide eyes. I was immediately dazzled by the amazing architecture and all the beautiful replica or real historical items. 

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To put it quite simply we were dazzled by visiting this area, which was much larger than the previous countries we had visited. We even stopped and had lunch at the Lotus Blossom Cafe. Who doesn’t like Chinese food? 

epcotpond

chinesearmy

We definitely could have stayed in this area longer, but our next country beckoned~ Germany. While visiting this area my best friend and I were lured to start our beer sampling adventure. It’s a no-brainer to sample the beer while in at a German cultural event! 

bestfriends

Side note: Carrie has been my BFF since the 5th grade. We are both from a sleepy little town in North Dakota. She currently lives in the Tampa suburb area and joined my family for our Epcot adventure. 

Our adventure continued to Italy. I’ve never visited this country, though it’s high on my list of dream vacations. Once again I was amazed by the beautiful buildings. 

italianinfluenceatepcot

I can see how it is alluring to visit Disney more than once. At some point we started breezing through some countries- Morocco and Japan. It was overwhelming! There was so much to see. It’s best to come hungry and to experience each country in it’s entirety with food, drink, and sights. Obviously since we are visiting from distant Minnesota this wasn’t an option, so we ultimately had to select certain countries to spend a little bit more time visiting.

theamericaadventure

While in France we decided to take an ice cream break for the kids and Carrie and I selected another adult beverage. There is a reason France isn’t known for their beer. We should have selected the wine. Doh. 

epcotvillage

All was redeemed once we visited the area of Great Britain. Having visited London years ago, I definitely enjoyed the vibe this area produced. I need to take these kids to the real thing! 

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And the final country represented at the World Showcase is our friendly neighbor Canada. This majestic castle structure is a homage to the land of Quebec. By the time we arrived in this area we were starting to run out of time as the park was closing at 9pm. 

epcotquebec

Future World East & West hold many of the traditional rides and other attractions that one might expect at Disney. We didn’t have a chance to visit them all, but here are the ones we did get a chance to try out. 

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  1. Spaceship Earth: Love it!! This ride is the iconic Epcot dome. Very low key and small kid friendly this ride was lots of fun. We rode it twice!
  2.  Mission: SPACE: We also loved this ride! This simulator takes you on a mission into space, but what was especially distinct from other simulator rides is that everyone in your shuttle has a job. There is a pilot, commander, navigator, or engineer. Along the route each position is updated when it’s time to press their button of duty. We thought this level of interactive play was especially a hit. 
  3. Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival: After all that walking it was relaxing to take a few moments to enjoy short films. On an especially hot day this would also be a great way to dodge the heart for a bit. 

Our only true regret of the day was not being able to visit the Test Track ride. I recommend securing a FastPass to this very popular ride as we kept revisiting this attraction in the hopes the line would decrease, but it never really did. 

A few important things to remember about visiting Epcot. 

  • It’s hot. Is it ever cool in Florida? Maybe….but you better be prepared for the heat with lots of sunscreen and make sure to drink fluids. 
  • Kids will enjoy it! It doesn’t have the sheer number of rides as Magic Kingdom, but it has lots of interesting things for them to see and do. It’s still Disney. While I realize Magic Kingdom might be considered the Disney “prize”, don’t forget about Epcot🙂 
  • Take the day. I advise allotting yourself at least one full day to explore Epcot. It’s not feasible you’ll be able experience everything in a day, but at the very least you will have had a chance to check out your preferred items and be able to hone in on those things you want to visit the next day or next trip. 
  • Enjoy the Food & Drinks: An important part of being able to experience any of the countries rest with your eagerness to taste the food and drinks representative of each area. Make sure to come prepared to indulge a bit in the feasts of several places. 

Learn more about Epcot by visiting them online

 

 

 

Comments

  1. James Robert says:

    I guess this is about as close as I will ever get to being there but your pics are amazing. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Karen Glatt says:

    Epcot is gorgeous and what a great time to visit this spot! I like all the pretty colors and places to visit. I will have to go there someday when I am in Florida. Great Summer vacation!

  3. Janet W. says:

    Epcot is definitely amazing! I can’t wait to take my grandsons for the first time!

  4. Your photos are so crisp and amazing! It looks like such a fun place to visit.

  5. Great photos of Epcot. Looks like a fun place to visit!

  6. Hannah C says:

    Wow! Such beautiful photos! I would love to visit!

  7. Jeanna Massman says:

    Epcot is a fantastic place to take the family for the vacation they will never forget.

  8. Lisa Brown says:

    Looks like a fantastic place to visit, would love to go myself.

  9. Cynthia C says:

    I love visiting Epcot. I want to go back some day.

  10. Looks like a fun place to visit

  11. DeAnna Keller says:

    I’ve been to Epcot once, when I was in elementary school. I would love the chance to take my kids there one day! Thanks for the sharing your photos, brings back alot of fun memories!

  12. Laurajj says:

    Oh that all brings back such memories for me! I was there along time ago, cannot wait to go back! It is so educational!

  13. Richard Hicks says:

    What a wonderful vacation spot. I want to visit it very soon

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