Our Guide to Epcot For Beginners is an essential guide for first-time visitors & experienced travelers to Walt Disney World. A lot is happening at Epcot with several closures, new attractions planned, renovations occurring throughout the park, and a reopening period following the Walt Disney World’s closure. Remember, even if you have visited Epcot before, there are many changes to how you plan your vacation in 2021. Our Guide to Epcot has been updated for 2021 with the latest reopening information.
For 2021 we have split our Guide to Epcot into 2 parts:-
- Part 1 Essential information if visiting Epcot during the reopening of Walt Disney World. This section of the guide contains all the latest tips & tricks, plus information on differences you will encounter during Epcot’s reopening. We will also look at the big new attractions coming to Epcot in 2021 & beyond.
- Part 2 Our regular Guide to Epcot. We have left for reference our full Guide to Epcot. This section of the guide includes information on all the attractions at Epcot. However, not all information is currently relevant, e.g., information on FastPass+. Unless you are familiar with Epoct, we recommend reading Part 1 of this guide first. When current restrictions end, we will merge both sections of this guide.
If you want to learn more about Walt Disney World in 2021, visit our 2021 Guide to Walt Disney World.
Essential Information when visiting Epcot during 2021
Like all the parks at Walt Disney World, you will find the Epcot experience different during the reopening opening period. However, this does not mean you can’t have a great time in Epcot. Some of the changes guests will encounter include:
- Epcot will be subject to limited capacity.
- Not all attractions will be available.
- You will need to reserve a place to visit the park through the Disney Park Pass reservation system. To access the park your first park each day, you must have a valid ticket and reservation.
- A more limited version of Park Hopping is available after your first park each day.
- FastPass+ is suspended.
- Extra Magic Hours isn’t returning in 2021. In its place, Early Theme Park Entry will be introduced later in 2021.
- All Guests ages two and up, and Cast Members, are required to wear face coverings.
- Temperature screening will occur. Any guest with a 100.4 F or above temperature, including their party, will not be allowed entry.
- Physical distancing and limited contact will be in place throughout the park.
- Playgrounds are closed.
- Cashless transactions will be encouraged, including mobile food ordering.
- The majority of experiences and tours have been canceled.
- There will be no character meet and greets.
- Entertainment offerings will have changed.
One thing that hasn’t changed is the need to plan your vacation. There are significant changes in how you plan your time at Epcot. We will explain the details of these changes further in this guide and how you can still have a fantastic vacation.
Transformation of Epcot
Before Walt Disney World’s closure, a multi-year Transformation of Epcot had started. Unfortunately, the ambitious plans have been delayed, and several projects were either postponed or downgraded. However, the transformation is continuing, and currently, there is construction happening throughout Epcot.
As part of the development, Future World will be transformed into three new neighborhoods: World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery. Currently, throughout Future World, there is considerable development happening to achieve this vision.
Several small new attractions opened during 2020 at Epcot, but some of the largest attractions were delayed. However, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will open in 2021, and so might the new nighttime spectacular “Harmonious.”
Follow the link to learn more about the Transformation of Epcot.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is opening in 2021
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure was planned to open in time for summer 2020 but was delayed due to the pandemic. Many of us hoped summer 2021 might be the delayed opening. However, the attraction has now been confirmed to open on October 1. This date is significant as it is Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure already exists at Walt Disney Studios Paris and is a guest favorite. We have ridden the attraction in Paris a couple of times, and it is great fun. The attraction is in 3D and uses a trackless ride system. During the ride, you shrink to the size of a rat and cause mayhem in Gustav’s kitchen. It is an attraction you will not want to miss.
Also opening in the French pavilion is La Crêperie de Paris, offering both table and quick service options. The menu will feature sweet crepes, savory buckwheat galettes (naturally gluten-friendly), and authentic French hard cider.
Depending on social distancing, “Harmonious” may also open in 2021, but we expect the new coaster, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, will not open until 2022.
Keeping Guests safe at Epcot in 2021
At the moment visiting any theme park is not without some degree of risk to your health. Disney has made clear that “By visiting Walt Disney World Resort you voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19.”
However, there are 3 guiding principles Disney have introduced to keep guests safe at Epcot:
- Enhanced Cleaning Cleaning procedures are enhanced throughout Walt Disney World Resort.
- Physical Distancing Temporary adjustments are in place to promote physical distancing.
- Reduced Contact Experiences may be modified in order to reduce physical contact.
Currently not available at Epcot
Several changes have been introduced during Epcot’s reopening and have continued into 2021. During the reopening period, the following have been suspended:
- Single Rider Lines
- Extra Magic Hours(it has been confirmed that this will not be returning)
- Disney Dining Plan
- Character meet and greets
- Fireworks and parades
- The majority of tours and special experiences
It is possible over the course of 2021 some of these experiences will restart.
New Entry Requirements
Face coverings are now required by all guests aged 2 and over at Epcot. The only exception is when actively eating or drinking. You should note that eating and drinking are only allowed when you are not moving, and you are not allowed to either while you are waiting in line.
All face coverings should:
- Be made with at least 2 layers of breathable material
- Fully cover the nose and mouth and secure under the chin
- Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face
- Be secured with ties or ear loops and allow the Guest to remain hands-free
- Neck gaiters and open-chin triangle bandanas are not acceptable face coverings. Costume masks are also not considered appropriate and are prohibited from being worn
Temperature screening will be required to enter. Guests who record a temperature of 100.4 F or above will not be allowed entry to Epcot; those in their party will not be permitted entry either.
Disney Park Pass and Park Hopping
Just turning up at the Epcot is no longer possible. There is now a new park reservation system to access the park.
Disney Park Pass was introduced during the reopening of Walt Disney World. Park Pass allowed Disney to strictly control the number of guests entering a park each day. Since the reopening period, the number of guests has gradually increased, but Disney Park Pass remains.
To access a park at Walt Disney World, you need to prebook a reservation through the new Disney Park Pass System. To access any park, guests have to present both their park reservation and a valid park ticket. Guests who do not have either of these will be refused entry.
To learn more about the Disney Park Pass System visit our dedicated guide.
A limited Park Hopping option has now been introduced. However, your first park entry each day must be confirmed through a Disney Park Pass Reservation. Guests will be able to enter a second park during Park Hopper Hours. Park Hopping Hours are subject to change, but initially, they will be between 2 pm to close at all parks. Park Hopping will be subject to park capacity, and Disney advises you to check My Disney Experience for the latest information.
Visit our Guide to Park Hopping to learn more.
Epcot Park Hours during 2021
Park hours usually get released around 6 months in advance. However, they often change as you come closer to the actual date! Unfortunately, hours are currently reduced at Epcot but have slowly been increasing. Click the link to get all the latest Walt Disney World Park Hours.
We strongly recommend arriving at the park early, before the scheduled park opening. In addition to a mid-afternoon break, we recommend staying until park closure.
Open Attractions at Epcot
Epcot is continuously changing, and it is almost inevitable there will be some attraction refurbishments & closures whenever you visit. During the initial reopening of Walt Disney World, you may find more attractions than usual are not open. We expect during 2021, the number of operating attractions will increase. We recommend checking My Disney Experience for the latest information.
Current entertainment options at Epcot
To maintain physical distancing, there has been a significant reduction in entertainment offerings at Epcot. Any entertainment that causes the gathering of crowds has currently been postponed, including character meets and the majority of shows.
We expect the entertainment options will increase during 2021, but at the time of writing, the following options are available:
- Mickey and Friends World Tour
- Princess Promenade
- JAMMIN’ Gardeners or Chefs
- Voices of Liberty
- Epcot Pianist
- Mariachi Cobre
- Bands at the American Gardens Theatre
Dining at Epcot during 2021
If you are a foodie, you will love Epcot. Epcot is possibly the center of Walt Disney World dining. However, not all restaurants are currently open, and capacity is reduced at many locations. Many guests are struggling to obtain Dining Reservations, and we recommend booking early. Also, we recommend making use of mobile ordering at quick-service locations. The restaurants open do change, and you should check My Disney Experience for the latest information.
Remember, during 2021, Epcot will still be holding its regular festivals. These festivals feature unique food experiences served from outside kitchens. In 2021 these festivals will be running for more dates than ever before.
We run through all the essential information in our 2021 Guide to Disney World Dining.
My Disney Experience is a free online guide to Walt Disney World that allows guests to plan their day at Epcot Through this free service you can:
- Keep track of your plans & reservations, including those of your family & friends.
- Make Dining & Ticket Reservations
- Order in advance your food at select Quick Service Locations
- Access maps, wait times, showtimes, park hours, and much more essential information via the app.
Walt Disney World encourages all guests to have downloaded the latest version of My Disney Experience on their mobile device before entering Epcot. Also, they recommend having location services, and notifications enabled.
During the reopening of Epcot, My Disney Experience will be providing several new enhancements to promote social distancing and reduced contact.
Our Guide to My Disney Experience provides more information including how to get the App.
Early Theme Park Entry
It has been confirmed that Extra Magic Hours will not be returning to Epcot. In its place, Early Theme Park Entry will be introduced later in 2021. Disney Resort hotel guests and guests of other select hotels will be able to gain 30-minute early entry to any theme park every day. Unlike Extra Magic Hours, this will be at all 4 theme parks. We suspect this might provide the best chance of riding Hollywood Studios’ most popular attractions.
To gain access to a park, you will still need a Disney Park Pass. Visit our Guide to Early Theme Park Entry to learn more.
2021 Epcot Tips & Tricks
Planning your visit to Epcot is an essential activity, although it can initially feel overwhelming for the first-time visitor. We have created numerous guides here on Modern Life is Good, which provides tips on how to plan the perfect Walt Disney World Vacation.
If you are visiting in 2021 you might find the following guides particularly useful:
- 2021 Guide to Walt Disney World
- Our Top 10 Walt Disney World Tips for 2021 & A Few New Ones
- All-New Walt Disney World Mistakes to Avoid in 2021
- Disney World Park Bag What You Really Need
- Guide to Planning a 2021 Vacation
- Our Number One 2021 Walt Disney World Tip
- 2021 Epcot Hacks
- Why you must arrive at parks early in 2021
Free Vacation Planning Sheets
After your initial research, you will want to start putting down your vacation plans in writing. Our Free Walt Disney World Planners are a great resource that can help create a perfect day in Epcot. We have recently redesigned these planners for 2021, and they include:-
- A vacation overview
- A Disney World budgeting planning sheet
- A weekly Walt Disney World planning sheet
- Park Pass Reservation planner
- A dining planner
- Daily planners
Make sure you download this free resource.
- To learn more about Epcot, visit Part 2 of this guide.
- To learn more about Walt Disney World in 2021, visit our Guide to Walt Disney World
Jump Right Into Our Guide to Epcot
The following section is our traditional Guide to Epcot. This section includes details on the attractions at Epcot. As the picture at Walt Disney World is starting to become more apparent, we have removed elements that will no be relevant in the future. Eventually, we will merge the two sections of this guide. However, you should note that not all experiences mentioned in this section are currently available, e.g., FastPass+ and the majority of shows. When experiences are presently not available, we have indicated this. Make sure you always check My Disney Experience for the latest availability.
- Epcot The Basics including the history of the park. Plus just why is it called Epcot?
- Planning Your Visit to Epcot All the essential knowledge including FastPass+ & Rider Switch.
- Useful Information when visiting Epcot If you have a question about Epcot you will probably find the answer here.
- Epcot Tips to Have a Great Vacation Our very best Epcot Tips & Tricks.
- Future World everything you need to know about the Epcot pavilions celebrating technical and scientific achievements
- World Showcase all the details on the Epcot permanent world fair
- Dining at Epcot Epcot is the
centerof Walt Disney World dining…find out why. Please also read part 1 of this guide for the latest information.
- Seasonal Festivals at Epcot all about the yearly Epcot Festivals. We have included what we know about 2021 festivals
- Epcot News & Rumors Find out the latest information about Epcot.
Epcot The Basics
To all who come to this place of joy, hope and friendship, welcome.
Epcot is inspired by Walt Disney’s creative vision. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, wonders of enterprise and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all.
May EPCOT Center entertain, inform and inspire and above all, may itE. Wardon Walker, October 24, 1982
instilla new sense of belief and pride in man’s ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere.
Epcot opened on October 1st, 1982 and was the 2nd park to open at Walt Disney World. The park covers 300 acres and is more than twice the size of Magic Kingdom.
Epcot was known as EPCOT Center until 1994 but is now commonly known as just Epcot. The park is represented by Spaceship Earth, a giant sphere that also serves as an attraction of the same name.
Epcot is dedicated to the celebration of human achievement and is currently split into two sections: Future World & World Showcase. Future World features pavilions celebrating technical and scientific achievements. The World Showcase is a permanent world fair containing 11 pavilions, each representing a country.
Why is it called Epcot?
Epcot is an acronym for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow. It was intended to be a utopian city of the future planned by Walt Disney to be built in Florida.
Following Walt’s death, his vision for Epcot was not developed, but it became the name of the 2nd theme park. A model of Walt’s original vision can be seen by riding the Tomorrowland Transit Authority attraction in the Magic Kingdom.
Like all the Disney Theme Parks Epcot has many interesting facts & statistics, e.g. did you know that more than 30 tons of fruits and vegetables are grown at The Land Pavilion each year & are served in Walt Disney World restaurants?
We have created a selection of our favorite Epcot Facts which you can use to impress your friends.
Planning Your Visit to Epcot
Please read part one of this guide for the latest planning information.
To experience Epcot, you should spend time planning your visit. While there have been some attraction closures in Epcot in recent times, it remains a massive park. The majority of guests will still need two days to experience the full park.
As a minimum, you should plan a day for each of Future World & World Showcase. If you have less time, you should consider carefully what are your must-do attractions.
There are key booking windows to secure dining reservations and make ride reservations at Epcot. In this section, we will guide you through all the Essential Epcot knowledge you require to enjoy your vacation.
Epcot Park Hours
Park hours usually get published about 6 months in advance. Unlike the other parks, Epcot opening time rarely alters after initial announcements. Click the link to get all the latest Walt Disney World Park Hours.
Refurbishments & Closures at Epcot
Walt Disney World is constantly changing, and it almost inevitable there will be some refurbishments & closures whenever you visit. This handy guide has all the current renovations and closures. Remember to check the My Disney Experience App for all the latest information.
FastPass+ at Epcot
FastPass+ is currently suspended
FastPass+ is Disney’s attraction reservation system & allows you to book attractions in advance of your visit. It is essential you learn about the basics of FastPass+ before your visit. Failing to make FastPass+ reservations will mean longer lines and completing fewer attractions.
Before you arrive at Epcot, you can book 3 FastPass+ reservations. Epcot attractions are tiered when booking FastPass. You can book 1 attraction from Group A ride & 2 from Group B.
In Epcot Soarin, Test Track, Epcot Forever & Frozen Ever After are all in group A. All other attractions are in Group B. Expect Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure to be added to Group A.
We think Epcot is one park where you need to consider your FastPass Strategy carefully. We have created an Epcot Fastpass Strategy which has tips & hints to help plan your day.
Single Rider Line at Epcot
The single rider line is currently not operating
Struggling to get a Fastpass for all your top attractions?
Test Track has a single rider line that can cut your wait if you are happy to ride on your own. Read our Guide to the Single Rider Line to find out more.
Are you big enough to ride?
Don’t create a strategy that includes all family members riding to realize too late; not all of you can. Many of the Walt Disney World attractions do carry restrictions & are enforced rigidly. At Epcot these are:
- Mission Space Orange at least 44 inches tall to ride
- Mission Space Green at least 40 inches to ride
- Test Track at least 40 inches tall to ride
- Soarin at least 40 inches tall to ride
However, if the kids are too small to ride, it does not mean adults and older siblings can’t. Rider Switch allows guests with small children to take turns riding while another adult stays with the child. To find out more visit our Guide to Rider Switch.
What about the crowds at Epcot?
Due to restricted capacity this information is currently not correct.
At the weekend during festivals, Epcot can attract large crowds of locals. However, no matter how busy Epcot is you can still have fantastic fun & even find the odd quiet spot.
We have created a Guide to Avoiding Crowds at Walt Disney World which will help you beat the crowds at Epcot.
Banned at Epcot
Epcot has various rules you must follow. Click the link to find out more about what is Banned at Epcot.
Meeting Characters at Epcot
Character meet and greets are currently not operating at Walt Disney World. There is a modified character meal at the land pavilion.
Epcot is one of the best parks at Walt Disney World for meeting characters. Character meals are available in the Land(Chip & Dale, Mickey) and Norway(Princesses), but there are also plenty of characters throughout the park.
Epcot is also used as a training ground for new actors, and you will occasionally spot some rare characters at Epcot making unscheduled visits.
Characters that can only be met at Epcot include Mulan, Anna & Elsa. Our Guide To Finding Characters at Walt Disney World has plenty of helpful hints.
Epcot character locations have regularly been moving during the park expansions, and the popular Character Spot is no longer open. Make sure you have access to the My Disney Experience App to find where all the characters are.
Useful Information when visiting Epcot
Sometimes it is difficult to find the answers to all your questions before your visit to Epcot. We have grouped together a collection of the most common questions for Epcot in a new section on Modern Life is Good.
If you have a specific Epcot question the links will take you straight to the advice:
- Disabilities at Epcot
- Guest Relations at Epcot
- Available to hire at Epcot
- Accessing the Internet
- Lost & found at Epcot
- Smoking at Epcot
- Charging mobile phones at Epcot
- Payment for good at Epcot
- Epcot Baby Care Centers
- Visiting Epcot when pregnant
- Locker hire
- Epcot tours
- Translation services at Epcot
In addition, you might find our Walt Disney World Useful Information Guide has the answer if it isn’t here. This guide has just been updated for 2021.
However, please note that Epcot is undergoing massive changes, and the location of services may be subject to change. Always check the My Disney Experience App for the latest information.
Epcot Tips to Have a Great Vacation
Please see part 1 of this guide for the latest planning tips.
Anybody who has ever visited Epcot will have a list of tips for a future visit. Here is a selection of ours which we have learned from previous visits.
- Here are our Epcot Top Tips & Tricks
- If time is tight these are attractions at Epcot we would consider skipping.
- Here is a list of mistakes we have made when visiting Epcot.
- We recently considered what We Love & what We Hate at Epcot
Future World features pavilions celebrating technical and scientific achievements. There is currently significant construction work happening at Future World as part of the redevelopment of Epcot. Eventually, Future World will be split into 3 new neighborhoods.
To facilitate the construction, there have been closures of several attractions, and temporary relocations of other services. However, there is still plenty to do in Future World, and most guests will still require a full day to fully explore the area.
During the reopening of Walt Disney World, playgrounds at Epcot are currently closed.
Visit our Guide to Coming Soon at Epcot to learn more about the changes.
The current pavilions in Future World are:
Spaceship Earth is one of the most recognizable structures in any theme park. Inside is a 15-minute ride that shows the advancement of human communication. There is a post-ride exhibit called Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future.
Spaceship Earth was to undergo a transformation, but following the resort closure, this transformation has been postponed.
Guests get to design their own car and then test it on a simulated test track. This is the fastest ride in Walt Disney World reaching speeds of almost 65 miles per hour.
Test Track is great fun and one of the most popular in the park. The ride is one of the few in Disney World that has a Single Rider Line which you should consider using to save time. After the ride, there is an interactive area for guests to enjoy including making an advertisement for your new vehicle.
Test Track does close whenever there is inclement weather. In our opinion, you should try and book your FastPass for the morning to avoid afternoon storms.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Riding Clamobiles guests take an underwater trip in The Seas with Nemo & Friends. The ride includes views of a massive aquarium which you can explore further after the ride.
Turtle Talk with Crush is an interactive animated show where guests can ask questions to Crush from Finding Nemo. I find the animation of Turtle Talk very impressive and the entire family seems to enjoy the show. Turtle Talk is currently not operating
There are 3 attractions inside The Land :
Soarin’ Around the World is a hand gliding motion simulator that takes guests over various regions of the world. The video for Soarin was recently updated and an extra cinema was added due to the historical lengthy waits.
A new film recently opened at Epcot’s Harvest Theater in The Land Pavilion. The theater was previously home to the Circle of Life. The new film is called Awesome Planet and was partly created by Industrial Light & Magic. The film explores the spectacular beauty, diversity and dynamic story of Earth.
Living with the Land is a narrated boat ride in which you will visit various greenhouses and learn about future agriculture innovations. Unfortunately, many of these future innovations in agriculture have been getting highlighted for over 20 years. Presumably, the future should be here by now or it just isn’t happening. Perhaps many of these innovations are the agriculture equivalent of the Sinclair C5? Living with the Land will not appeal to many children and is rumored for a long overdue update.
This is a simulator ride that is meant to replicate what an astronaut might feel in space. The ride has recently been updated.
I don’t get Mission Space…It just feels a bit odd and not very enjoyable. A ride I am happy to give a miss if time is tight. I have not found the new version any more enjoyable.
A new Space Themed restaurant, Space 220, is getting built adjacent to the attraction. The restaurant was due to open in late 2019 but has now been pushed back several times. Hopefully, it will be better than the ride! It is still uncertain when Space 220 will open.
Figment the mischievous cartoon dragon stars in Journey into Imagination with Figment. This is a fun dark ride experience. However; my children have both found Figment to be a little scary when younger.
ImageWorks: The What-If Labs is an interactive area you can explore after the ride. The labs are an area most adults will happily skip but kids do enjoy. Ralph and Vanellope meet in this area, and Joy has recently joined them. Characters are currently not meeting guests.
The Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival is held in the former Captain EO & Honey I Shrunk the Audience Theatre. While these 3D films are pretty good they can be seen elsewhere. Is this a really
The Epcot Experience has recently opened in the Odyssey Pavilion. The Epcot Experience allows guests to preview all the upcoming attractions at Epcot.
World Showcase is a permanent world fair containing 11 pavilions each representing a country. The pavilions surround the World Showcase Lagoon where the new nightly Epcot Forever takes place.
The pavilions contain architecture, attractions, shops, and restaurants you would typically find in that country. Cast Members are usually citizens of the respective countries.
Theoretically, there is space for a further nine pavilions at World Showcase. There are rumors that new pavilions might be added as part of the Epcot Renovations. The most heavily rumored new pavilion is Brazil, but no announcements were made at D23.
Epcot’s International Gateway, between the United Kingdom & France, provides a less hectic additional entrance and exit for the park. It can be reached from the Epcot Resorts, by boat, and the Disney Skyliner. It is likely once Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure opens this will become a more popular route to enter the park.
Currently not all shops and restaurants are operating at World Showcase.
Epcot Forever is currently not operating, and we assume it will not reopen. We expect “HarmonioUS” may still open in 2021
The long-running Illuminations: Reflections of Earth ended in September 2019. Epcot Forever is the replacement show for IllumiNations and opened on October 1, 2019. Epcot Forever features classic Epcot tunes with fireworks, music, lighting, lasers, and special effects kites.
However, Epcot Forever is only an interim show before the opening of “HarmonioUS” in 2020. No opening date has been announced for the new show.
The Mexico pavilion includes the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros which is a “Small World type ride” featuring Donald Duck. There are rumors that this attraction might be updated with a new Coco theme.
The majority of the pavilion is located inside the impressive pyramid. The central indoor area of the pyramid is themed as an outdoor twilight-lit Mexican village and marketplace.
The Norway Pavilion is the most recent nation to be added to World Showcase in 1988. The outside of the pavilion is a reproduction of Oslo’s Akershus Fortress.
Norway includes the new Frozen Ever After dark ride. This ride is exceptionally popular, make sure you order a Fastpass prior to arrival or expect long waits.
Norway is also the only place at Walt Disney World where you can meet Anna & Elsa.
You enter this pavilion through a large triple-arched gate. An impressive replication of the Temple of Heaven is the dominant feature. China includes “Reflections of China” a Circle-Vision 360° movie exploring China’s history.
A new film has been announced for the pavilion. “Wondrous China” will take guests on a spectacular journey across the country, filmed and presented in a completely seamless 360-degree digital format. We expect the new film to open during 2020.
The Outpost isn’t an official Epcot pavilion but has been around since 1983. The original Epcot plans highlighted a future Equatorial Africa Pavilion in this area, but it was never developed.
The Outpost contains some African themed shopping and refreshment stops.
Germany is designed to look like a German town but with architecture from various regions. When the pavilion was initially designed Unification of Germany seemed a remote possibility.
Many small shops sell traditional German goods. There is an impressive Model Village on the exit of the pavilion towards Italy.
Italy features a plaza surrounded by a collection of buildings inspired by hallmarks of Italian architecture. The centerpiece is the superb reproduction of St Mark’s Campanile which is the bell tower of St Mark’s Basilica in Venice.
The pavilion includes several shops that sell costly gifts including Armani products, fine crystal, wines & porcelain.
The American Adventure
The United States pavilion is actually called The American Adventure. The highlight is an audio-animatronic show detailing American history. Overall there is little to see in this pavilion but the show is rather good, although perhaps a bit too patriotic!
Japan is made up of buildings surrounding a courtyard. The entrance to the courtyard features a 5-story Japanese Pagoda. Several Japanese gardens and pools decorate the pavilion. In many of the pools, you will find colorful Koi Fish.
It is home to the only remaining Mitsukoshi Department Store in the United States.
You can’t haggle in Morocco, or at least I don’t think you can. Otherwise, this pavilion is laid out to look like a traditional Moroccan market. It is one of my favorite pavilions in the World Showcase.
There are six shops in the pavilion, which you access through the various alleyways, selling gifts including leather, carpet & pottery.
France is themed to look like a Parisienne neighborhood pre World War 1. A replica of the Eiffel Tower is the highlight of the pavilion. The Eiffel Tower was reconstructed at 1/10 scale of the original and stretches 103 feet into the air. Imagineers used forced perspective to make it look bigger than it is. There are plenty of shopping and dining opportunities in this pavilion.
A panoramic film titled Impressions de France can be viewed in the pavilion which has been recently upgraded to 4k. Running in tandem in the same theater is a new Beauty & the Beast Sing-Along.
There are going to be further big changes at the France Pavilion during 2021:
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure will open on October 1st
- La Crêperie de Paris is a new restaurant also scheduled to open on the same date.
The United Kingdom is designed to look like a traditional English village, which probably never really ever existed. There are some interesting gardens and several shops in the pavilion. In addition, there is usually some live bands entertaining guests. However, there is little to do in this pavilion apart from
A future Mary Poppins attraction had been confirmed to be opening in the United Kingdom, but now appears to have been canceled.
The Canada pavilion is designed to remind guests of the Canadian outdoors. The landscaping is outstanding and includes a canyon, a waterfall, gardens and totem poles.
Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 is a new film that debuted in January 2020. The film features narration by Catherine O’Hara and Eugene Levy.
Dining & Drinking at Epcot
Please see part 1 of this guide for the latest Epcot dining information.
If you are a foodie then Epcot is probably the park for you!
Epcot has the most extensive selection of dining options at Walt Disney World. From snack carts to signature dining, there is a unique dining experience that will suit any budget
There are multiple Quick Service Locations & Food Carts throughout Epcot. Those located in World Showcase serve traditional food from the country you are at. During the various Epcot Festivals, there are additional counters serving different specialty treats.
Unlike the Magic Kingdom, where alcohol is still limited, Epcot has many locations serving specialty drinks. Drinking Around the World is a popular way many adults enjoy World Showcase.
The following are the current table service restaurants in Epcot:
- Akershus Royal Banquet Hall Norway Dining with various Princesses read our review
- Biergarten Restaurant German buffet and dinner show. Watch our video review.
- Chefs de France Good quality French cuisine read our review
- Coral Reef Restaurant Located at the Seas in Future World. Guests dine whilst watching a large aquarium. We have found Coral Reef a mixed experience in the past.
- La Hacienda de San Angel Mexican Read our review.
- Le Cellier Steakhouse Canadian Signature Steakhouse which we visited for a birthday celebration.
- Monsieur Paul Upmarket French Dining
- Nine Dragons Restaurant Chinese food.
- Restaurant Marrakesh Moroccan
- Rose & Crown Dining Room British with a very odd sounding menu. read our review.
- San Angel Inn Restaurante Mexican
- Spice Road Table Mediterranean. Read our review.
- Takumi-Tei is a new signature dining location in the Japan pavilion.
- Teppan Edo Japanese Hibachi watch chefs perform tricks as they prepare your food. Read our review.
- The Garden Grill All you can eat with Chip & Dale in the Land pavilion. Read our Guide to Walt Disney World Character Meals.
- Tokyo Dining Sushi
- Tutto Italia Ristorante Italian serving pasta & meat. I really liked Tutto Italia, but Mrs. Modernlifeisgood did not!
- Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria Italian Pizza. Unbelievably does not serve gluten-free pizza.
In addition, the delayed Space 220 is to open in 2020. (opening date still to be confirmed)
Epcot’s restaurants do fill up and standby lines, if they exist, can be very long. Obtaining an Advanced Dining Reservation is highly recommended. The Disney Dining Plan is widely accepted in Epcot and all venues cater to food allergies.
Our Guide to Dining at Walt Disney World has further information.
Seasonal Festivals at Epcot
Perhaps, one of the very best things about visiting Epcot is the annual festivals. No visit to Epcot is the same, and throughout the year, the park develops a temporary new look for the yearly festivals. Increasingly there are very few weeks that do not hold a festival at Epcot.
There are currently 4 annual festivals and each offers unique entertainment, food & drink.
During the reopening of Epcot a more abbreviated version of each festival has been held. The “Taste of” festivals have been great fun, but starting from the 2021 Food & Wine Festival the former name will be returning.
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
Visit our recent post to learn more about the 2021 Epcot International Food & Wine Festival.
Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival is an annual celebration of food and drinks from around the world. In 2019 the festival was held between August 29 – November 23.
The Food & Wine Festival is one of the annual highlights at Walt Disney World and draws increasingly big crowds, especially at the weekend.
Located throughout the World Showcase there are over 30 Global Marketplaces serving specialty Drink and Food. Guests with the Disney Dining Plan can taste many of the dishes by using snack credits.
There are also appearances by celebrity chefs, seminars and culinary demonstrations. Some of these experiences carry an additional fee.
Eat to the Beat is a series of free concerts held nightly throughout the Food & Wine Festival. Acts who appeared in 2020 included Billy Ocean, Sheena Easton, and Starship.
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
2021 details have not yet been released
The final celebration of the Epcot year features the holiday traditions of the 11 World Showcase nations. Live musical productions plus seasonal food & drink make this a not to miss event. The 2019 festival was held between November 29 – December 30.
Each night, a celebrity narrator tells the biblical tale of Christmas in the Candlelight Processional. The narrator is accompanied by a 50-piece orchestra and massed choir.
Epcot International Festival of the Arts
An abbreviated Taste of Epcot International Festival of the Arts was held in 2021
The Epcot International Festival of the Arts starts the Epcot year celebrating food, art & entertainment. The festival is the newest of the Epcot Festivals, and 2020 was its 4th year. The festival returned in 2020 and was held between January 17 – February 24.
Festival highlights in 2020 included:
- Food studios celebrating the culinary arts.
- The popular Disney on Broadway Concert Series.
- International musical and variety acts.
- Performing artists including acrobats.
- Workshops led by professionals will teach different artistic techniques.
Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
An abbreviated, but extended until July, Taste of Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival is getting held in 2021
Held annually between March & May is the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. Dates for 2020 are March 04 – June 01 and highlights will include:
- Outdoor kitchens encircling World Showcase offering exciting food choices plus accompanying drinks.
- The popular Garden Rocks Concert Series
- Themed gardens and wildlife habitats including a butterfly house.
- Disney themed topiaries throughout the park. Annual highlights include Belle in France along with Beast, Snow White in Germany with the Seven Dwarfs, and Anna and Elsa in Norway.
You can read more about the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival in our review.
Epcot News & Rumors
A lot is happening at Epcot over the next few years. We will be updating this guide regularly with all the latest information. However, to make sure you have the newest information keep checking our Walt Disney World News & Rumors section.
To learn more about Walt Disney World visit our 2021 Guide to Walt Disney World.
This Guide is part of our “Road to 2021 at Walt Disney World” series. Check out the rest of the guides for the latest information.