Living with the Land- This is a classic Epcot attraction that is great for guests of all ages. This is one of those attractions that has some educational aspects to it (yup, it’s the teacher in me). When you first climb aboard your boat you get a brief history of the land and how humans have used it over time. Next you’ll move onto the “living laboratory.” The five areas of the “living laboratory” are: Tropics Greenhouse, Aquacell, Production Greenhouse, String Greenhouse, and Creative Greenhouse. The ride is a little under 15 minutes and there is a fastpass option. I suggest checking wait times on MDE and saving a fastpass. If your really interested in the greenhouses you can pay for an additional tour called Behind The Seeds, I have heard great things about this tour and want to experience it myself.
Mission: Space- Mission Space is an attraction that is where the Horizons attraction used to be. It opened August 15, 2003 and was originally sponsored by Compaq but when Hewlett Packard took over the company they became the sponsor. The narrator for the attraction is actor Gary Sinise. This attraction has two different line choices: green and orange, green was added when some riders complained that the ride was too intense. The main difference is if you choose the orange line/group then your spacecraft will spin. Both groups enter an inclosed space craft (when you first enter it’s not too bad but once they start the ride it can get tight in there). If your not ok with inclosed spaces you can bypass the ride and visit the Training Lab where you can still experience what it’s like to be an astronaut. Fastpasses are available for this attraction.
The Seas With Nemo and Friends and Turtle Talk with Crush- Climb aboard a seashell and help Marlon find Nemo. During this attraction you will see real sea creature and the character from Finding Nemo will be added to the tanks using special effects. This is a great attraction for all ages since the shells are slow moving. After the attraction you can look closer at some sea animals. Fastpasses are available for this attraction but I suggest saving them since most times you can easily walk on this attraction. If time allows stick around for Turtle Talk with Crush, this is an interactive show that guests can interact with Crush from Finding Nemo. He is shown on the wall much like Marlon, Nemo, Dory, and other characters are shown during The Seas With Nemo. Guests can ask questions and Crush will answer them. This attraction is lots of fun for all ages, check MDE or pick up a times guide when you enter the park to make sure you can get in on this attraction.
Spaceship Earth- Spaceship Earth is an original Epcot attraction and is inside the park’s symbol. Climb aboard a slow moving vehicle for a 15 minute travel to see how the human race has changed over time. Originally the ride was sponsored by Bell System and that lasted until 1984 when AT&T took over. Siemens has been the current sponsor since 2005. The attraction has also gone through a few narrators. Lawrence Dobbin was the original narrator until 1986, followed by Walter Cronkite who narrated until 1994, Jeremy Irons was the narrator until 2007, and the current narrator is Judi Dench. Some guests are not a fan of the ride but it is very popular, I suggest either riding it when the park first opens or stop by later in the day to avoid long lines. Fastpasses are available for this attraction, I would only suggest using one if you are planning on spending a few hours at Epcot.
Test Track- Test Track is very popular car testing ride. The attraction first opened on March 17, 1999, it was originally supposed to open May 1997 but there was problems with the ride design. The attraction was originally sponsored by General Motors but in 2012 it changed sponsorship to General Motors’ Chevrolet and the ride went through a refurbishment. Originally you would ride a GM “test vehicle” through a testing facility. The ride’s highlight is a speed trial going at 65 miles per hour on the track on the buildings exterior. Since the refurbishment guests can now design their own car in a test lab and then you board a “Sim-Car” a small screen aboard the car tells you how your design holds up to the road tests. After the ride you can see how your car did overall, you can film a commercial, and race your design in the lab. Chevrolet cars are also on display in the lab. This is one of the fastest attractions on Disney World property. Fastpass and single rider options are available for this attraction, I would suggest using a fastpass or going in the single rider line unless this is your first stop when the park opens or your sticking around for late Extra Magic Hours.
Performers in World Showcase- This is something that guests can easily overlook. I highly suggest grabbing a times guide to see when performers are out in each country. My personal favorite are the Chinese acrobats, I have seen them many times and they are amazing. The first time I saw them it was by chance while waiting to see Reflections of China, the acrobats were performing inside the pavilion then. Currently they are performing outside towards in front of the pavilion. They are popular so arrive early to get a good spot. Mexico offered a Mariachi Band called Mariachi Cobre who will quickly draw a crowd. Japan has drummers who perform on the steps on their pavilion. Those are just a few, next time your walking around World Showcase defiantly stick around to see a show.
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth- IllumiNations is one of my all time favorite night time attractions at Disney World. IllumiNations was first shown October 23, 1982. In 1999 the current version was created to celebrate the new millennium and since it was so popular it has remained. General Electric was a sponsor from 1999-2003 and Siemens has been the sponsor since 2005. If your walking around World Showcase when IllumiNations is set to start be warned all of the lights are dimmed as are the lights on Spaceship Earth. Torches around the lagoon are lit when the show begins. During the show The Earth Globe is used as well as an Inferno Barge, Fireworks, Lasers, Moving Lights, Fountain Barges, and Torches. The show can be viewed around World Showcase, people line up early and there are designated fastpass areas. There is also a Dessert Party that is sometimes offered.
Soarin’- Soarin’ is a simulated skying experience that was brought to Epcot in 2005 as part of the Disney Parks exchanging rides. In January 2016 it will close for several months to be updated to feature areas all over the world, not just California like that original attraction. During this time a third studio will be added to this very popular attraction. In my opinion Soarin’ is the most popular attraction at Epcot so you need to visit first thing or get a fastpass. When you enter the attraction there are interactive games that are projected onto the wall. Guests can play them but with lines being over 2 hours most people loose interest unless your with a competitive group. Once you make it into the theater you’ll be seated in a glider and you’ll strap yourself in. If your wearing flip flops or slide on shoes you’ll need to slide your feet out and leave them on the ground. The glider will move you up, if your seated in the first row you’ll be the highest (this is my favorite spot). Currently you’ll fly over California landmarks smelling orange trees and pine trees as you go. I love when you fly over Disneyland. This is really the must see attraction in Epcot because it is amazing. I’m very excited for the updated ride which will arrive in summer of 2016!
Kerrie is the owner of Mouse At Heart. She has a been a major Disney fan most of her life. In 2013 she bought a Disney Vacation Club Membership at Animal Kingdom Kidani Village. Kerrie lives outside of Boston.