We were fortunate enough to get a second day at Disney World on our trip. We tried to make the most of it by doing a park hopper option which cost us a bit more but we got 2 parks in one day. We were lucky in that the day we went the Magic Kingdom was open late the day we went. It did cost us a bit of travel time but more on that later.
Above is a nice picture of the Monorail coming into view next to the Spaceship Earth icon.
Of course the first ride is the one from the parking lot. I have always considered the tram the first ride – and that’s before you buy any tickets.
Nowadays it would not be a fun park without security. Be prepared to wait in line and then open all bags for inspection. This process is agonizing for me. As you can see above the ticket counter awaits for us and then the entrance. I am like a kid with a Christmas present waiting to get in.
Once inside the park you reach what I will call the crossroads. This is where you must plan your visit within the park. EPCOT is essentially 2 parks in one.
There is a front section filled with rides, gift stores, and exhibits. This post will concentrate on the front section of EPCOT while I will separate the country pavilions into another post. The front is then divided into 2 halves. From the crossroads area you can go right towards Test Track, Mission to Space, and Ellen’s Energy Adventure (we skipped due to time) or left towards Soarin’ and several exhibits.
While the Magic Kingdom has a multitude of characters available, EPCOT has the Muppets. This was a great display that we ran across once in the park. I always loved Squeaker and the Professor and it was a pleasure to see them performing first hand.
Our first stop was the Test Track ride. I rode this years ago but now it is all different with one exception…
The Speed. This is a must ride at EPCOT.
Next up was Mission to Space. Test Track and Mission to Space are the 2 major rides in EPCOT and you should ride them early and often if you wish. My wife was a little leery of this one. There are now 2 levels of intensity to this ride. We rode the lessor intensity to satisfy my wife. From what I heard the higher intensity is just a bit faster and intense on the body. I would recommend doing what you feel comfortable with, but definitely ride it. It gives you a sense of what it is really like to launch into space and land on another planet.
While the ride is a must, the line is interesting in itself. There is a lot to learn even while waiting for the ride. The list of those that have actually gone into space is impressive to say the least. RIP John Glenn.
One of the downsides of the park hopper option was that we felt we HAD to go to the other park by a certain time in order to make good use of the high priced ticket and our available time. In looking back, I wish we could have stayed at EPCOT but we had to forego a few rides for the sake of making the Magic Kingdom. There were several rides and exhibits in this section of the park that we missed. We did make Soarin’ Around the World and the Spaceship Earth ride on the way out though.
Of course it would not be a Disney park without the gift/souvenir stores. This is from the Art of Disney store. I love the artwork. Even if you are not a buyer you can just stare and enjoy it for awhile.
And what would Disney be without some great food. We found this yummy snack near the end of our visit at the Promenade Refreshments. Unfortunately some of it was gone before I could get my camera pointed at it. It sounds expensive at $5 but once we ate it we wanted more. Since we had another park to visit, we kept moving.
OK, this one is cheating a bit since we are in the pavilion area but it gives you a sense of the park and how happy a time you too can have. Wonderful place for all.
One of the interesting features of Disney World in general is how large of a part the waterways play in transportation throughout the park. There are a large variety of boats & ferries that will take you many places around the property including some hotels.
Tip: I would suggest researching the various methods of moving around Disney World otherwise you will spend most of your day traveling instead of enjoying the park. This is a VERY large property. Going from one park to another can eat into your time during the day.
After visiting EPCOT I would suggest a full day at this park. If you have time it may take another half day to see it all. The rides and exhibits are great. You can just leave the rest of the world behind as you experience a wonderful time.
As I mentioned in the earlier Disney post plan a trip here by doing lots of homework. We were on a quick trip but if you are going to spend a lot of money visiting Disney World, make it count by knowing everything you can before go.
For more information to start: