Epcot park in Walt Disney World

The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow (EPCOT) was a concept developed by Walt Disney near the end of his lifetime.

Epcot is a theme park at the Walt Disney World Resort, located near Orlando, Florida. The park is dedicated to international culture and technological innovation.


World Showcase Lagoon is a man-made lake located in the center of World Showcase. "FriendShip" boats transport guests from Future World to the opposite end of World Showcase. The World Showcase Lagoon has a circumference of roughly a mile. To make a long trip short, there are FriendShip ferries that traverse the lagoon.

Epcot might be the easiest of the parks to get around, because it is "open" and spacious. The spaciousness has a drawback, though; because the pavilions are spread out, it can be a long walk from one side of the park to the other. Spaceship Earth is visible from anywhere in the park and provides a convenient orientation landmark. Epcot is considerably less crowded than Magic Kingdom.

The International Gateway, Epcot's "back entrance", is between France and the United Kingdom; exit here to get to the BoardWalk, or to Disney's Hollywood Studios.

World Showcase

World Showcase contains pavilions representing 11 countries (and opens at 11 AM). In clockwise order, the pavilions are:

- Mexico
- Norway
- China
- Germany
- Italy
- The American Adventure
- Japan
- Morocco
- France
- United Kingdom
- Canada

Epcot is sometimes likened to a "permanent world's fair". Epcot is also described an "educational park" and is perhaps the most cerebral of the four theme parks. Just outside Epcot's International Gateway is Disney's BoardWalk, a nightlife and shopping area themed as a mid-Atlantic beach community.

Norway and Morocco were not present at the park's opening, and were added later. These two are now the first areas that are encountered on the left of the port of entry.

Pavilions for Australia, Russia, Spain, Venezuela, United Arab Emirates, and Israel never made it past the planning phase.

World Showcase features 11 different countries, focusing on authentic food and merchandise, each one hosted by citizens of that country.

Unlike the Magic Kingdom, which does not serve alcohol, many stores and restaurants in the World Showcase do serve or sell alcoholic beverages from their respective countries, and beer is sold at refreshment stands throughout the park. Some Epcot visitors enjoy an unofficial adventure known as "Drinking Around the World": sampling a local libation in each of the eleven pavilions.

Every pavilion is full of authentic merchandise imported from the host countries. For example, German cuckoo clocks, British toys, Canadian maple syrup, Japanese kimonos, Chinese furniture, Mexican leathers, Italian and French wines, etc.

The racks are full of products normally available only overseas, including many handcrafted by native artisans. There are few places in the world that you could find goods from so many countries in such close proximity.

World Showcase is the back area of the park, with pavilions representing eleven countries from around the world, all themed with architecture, food, drink and culture to match. Most of the pavilions have a ride or a film (or both) designed to highlight the nation's attractions, but the real attractions are sampling the authentic food, conversing with the cast members who come from each nation, and browsing the imported goods.

Related reading:

What’s Your Favorite Dish? Trying All 29 Marketplaces in One Day at the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival http://bit.ly/VSQpf3
AllEars.Net - The Unofficial Disney Vacation Planning Guide http://bit.ly/XyyLJk
A Guide To Drinking Around The World at Disney's Epcot http://buff.ly/1RlE4ZH

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