Epcot Tips and Secrets
Our Epcot Tips page starts with a few great facts about this park just to get clued up on the important facts and trivia surrounding the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
Epcot Facts and Trivia
Epcot, which was originally called EPCOT center, opened on October 1st, 1982 and is more than twice the size of the Magic Kingdom. Epcot, which stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, is dedicated to the celebration of human achievement, namely technological innovation and international cuisine. Epcot has 2 distinct realms: Future World, which features technological innovations, and World Showcase, which shares with Guests the culture and cuisine of 11 countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada
It took nearly 3,000 designers and 4,000 construction workers to build the first phase of Epcot and 54 million cubic feet of dirt were dug up to build the park.
Sure Epcot looks big to the naked eye. But just how big is it? While the Magic Kingdom clocks in at 107 acres in area, Epcot is close to triple that size at almost 300 acres. The Land pavilion is the largest pavilion in all of Epcot, covering 6 acres. This one pavilion is as big as all of Tomorrowland in the Magic Kingdom.
Fancy some exercise? Take a walk around World Showcase and you will covered 1.2 miles and burned over 100 calories at the same time. The World Showcase Lagoon itself spans a massive 40 acres. You can also ride the ferry boats that run across the World Showcase Lagoon to go from country to country, this will provide a rest from all the walking.
The torches were installed as part of the IllumiNations 2000: Reflections of Earth fireworks show celebrating the coming of the new millennium. 19 torches were placed around the lagoon representing the first 19 centuries of the last two millenniums. The torch representing the 20th Century rises up out of the globe during the IllumiNations finale.
Spaceship Earth, the visual and thematic centerpiece of Epcot, weighs 16 million pounds, measures 165 feet in diameter and encompasses 2.2 million cubic feet of space. The outer “skin” of Spaceship Earth is made up of 11,324 aluminum and plastic-alloy triangles.
Hidden behind the 11,324 silver triangular shaped tiles lies a unique drainage system, two gutters that surround the geosphere, one at the sphere’s equator and another below that. The surface tiles are spaced an inch apart, so rainwater can flow through and into the submerged gutters. Both gutters collect the rainwater and channel it through Spaceship Earth’s support legs down below Future World, where it flows out and fills World Showcase Lagoon.
The fountain at Epcot Innoventions Plaza can shoot water 150 feet in the air — within 30 feet of the top of Spaceship Earth. If all of the shooters were fired at once, there would be 2,000 gallons of water in the air. The fountain pumps 30,000 gallons of water per minute, holds a total of 115,000 gallons, and is an enclosed system—meaning it uses the same water over and over again.
It took more than 650 Walt Disney Imagineers more than 350,000 hours (the equivalent of 40 years of time) to develop Mission: SPACE.
The body of water at The Seas with Nemo & Friends provides a home to 3,000 fish and other sea creatures and contains 5.7 million gallons of water, one of the largest man-made ocean environments in the world.
Some 2,800 firework shells are used during each “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth” show. Ever wondered how much all these fireworks cost? It is estimated that the Epcot show cost around $35,000 each and every night, that’s almost $13 Million ever year, for just one park!
If you happen to be in Innoventions Plaza at night, be sure to look DOWN! The walkway is laced with fiberoptic night lights that light up and slowly fade away, enchanting children and adults.
The beautiful fountain outside the Imagination pavilion is actually a reverse waterfall, with the water flowing up! Check it out!
Near the fountain of Nations there is a place where kids can walk and get wet by jets of water pulsating from the ground like a geyser, fun kids fountain!
Don’t put your face right above those fountains with the jumping streams of water, no matter how sure you are that you’ve got amazing reflexes, it will hurt!
Between France and Morocco, you’ll notice that there is a section of pavement that looks different. This is supposed to symbolize the Straits of Gibralter.
Face the “Fountain of Nations” with Spaceship Earth behind you. The first talking water fountain is outside Mouse Gear, on your left. There’s another to the right of the magic/play fountain between World Showcase and Future World.The third is behind Innoventions West, near the restroom.
When you reach the African Outpost open the lids of the crates and see what happens.
In the American Pavilion you can view the American Flag that was taken from the rubble of 9/11/2001. It will put a lump in your throat and a tear in your eye.
On Mission Space, if you start flipping all of the switches and turning the dials and stuff “Lt. Dan” comes over your speaker and tells you not to touch them. Mission:SPACE may be too intense for younger kids. Choose the “GREEN” option for a milder experience
The name Rose and Crown was chosen because after their study of the four countries, they found that the word “Rose” and the word “Crown” were the two most popular words contained in the naming of Pubs in the UK.
Another fun thing to do while at the land pavillion is the “behind the seeds” tour. It takes you into the green houses and shows you different techniques for how they grow the food. It’s really interesting and fun. They do it several times a day. You can book it by the entrance of Soarin’.
Try tossing trash in the garbage can alongside the condiments station inside the Electric Umbrella restaurant. Each time you push in the swiveling lid, the can generates comical expressions and sound effects in the same vein as the water fountains. You might hear a bunch of voices arguing over who gets the trash you just tossed in (“It’s mine!” “It’s mine!” “It’s mine!”), or a sarcastic teen remarking “Hey dude, like your trash is totally awesome! Not!”
The pavilions of World Showcase abound with exact reproductions of their national landmarks, such as the Temple of Heaven in the China pavilion, a one-half size re-creation of the Beijing original.
The one-tenth size replica of the Eiffel Tower in the France pavilion was constructed using Gustave Eiffel’s original blueprints.
Test Track is the longest, fastest ride in all of Walt Disney World. The cars log almost a mile, reach a top speed of 65 miles per hour and hit a high-bank curve at an angle of 50 degrees. But what exactly lies under the hood of these amazing vehicles?
Each is designed to last one million miles (enough miles to make two round trips from the Earth to the moon). Each vehicle comes equipped with no less than six braking systems. And while there are four visible wheels on each car, they actually carry a total of 22 wheels. Each vehicle is controlled by three onboard computers, which together have more processing power than the entire Space Shuttle.
Feeling homesick? Or do you think the folks back home are missing *you*? You can let them know how you’re doing by emailing them a FREE video postcard of yourself from Mission: Space! As you exit the shop on your left you’ll see a curtained off area — pop in there to film your short, silly message (only video, no audio from you) and send it off to whoever you’d like to make jealous. You can even send an email to yourself, so you can reflect on your happy times once you’re back home! You can send a similar video greeting from Spaceship Earth — as you exit the ride, you’ll see several stands that will allow you to transmit the images captured while you were in your ride vehicle.
Take pictures trying on the different hats in each country in World Showcase…actually, try on the hats all over WDW for a super photo book spread!
Visit the gardens at the Japan pavilion after dark. The gardens are beautiful all the time but after dark is wonderful with just the lantern light. There’s little paths all over and you can hear the water running in the stream and the waterfall.
Kids may initially think World Showcase is going to be a big snooze for them, but you can encourage their active participation in learning about the various countries by getting them a World Showcase Passport. The passports are sold for around $10 at most stores and carts throughout Epcot, and include a set of country stamps and a big “I’m a World Showcase Traveler” button. As you visit the pavilions, your child can have Cast Members at the KIDCOT stations (see description below) stamp the passport and write something in his/her native language.
Did you ever see those brightly colored KIDCOT signs and wonder what they were for? Well, each pavilion in World Showcase (and a few in Future World now, too) features a KIDCOT station specially for the youngsters in your group. At these stations, which usually operate only in the afternoons, there is a small table manned by Cast Members from the various countries. They will talk with children about their native land, engage them in a craft, stamp their World Showcase Passports if they have one, and sign a personal message in the language of the country.
To really enjoy Epcot at its fullest, do your best to catch the little shows they give outside of every country’s pavilion. It totally enhances your experience and even kids love the shows! These shows can help kids get into the whole concept of the World Showcase and help them enjoy this park too.
Make sure you try the bakery in Epcot’s France pavilion. Sometimes the line is long but it is well worth the wait!
The most delightful tea shoppe exists in Britain (by Rose & Crown) at Epcot. Don’t miss the imported crackers & cookies, and candy! You’ll also find fun tea accessories (like cutting boards and aprons), and some really nice (and reasonable) jewelry… nice souvenirs that don’t scream WDW.
You have to stay for the fireworks — the Epcot show is outstanding. The viewing is good from anywhere around the world showcase, but many people think Italy is the best.
One of the most important of our Epcot Tips as regarding where to watch the fireworks from. Make sure you do not stand where the smoke blows towards you as you will not see the fireworks very well. Try to find out the wind direction and position yourself the closest to where the wind is coming from.
For the Wine and Food Festival in September and October, watch out for the weekends. Epcot can get VERY crowded on Friday evening and all day Saturday. For many locals and cast members this is the best event of the year, so the park can get pretty busy. If you are at Disney World for vacation, try a different park at those times and hit Epcot during the week – the crowds are much better then.
We hope you enjoyed our Epcot Tips and Tricks post and hope they help make your next Disney World adventure that little bit more informed and enjoyable.