Epcot is one of the most iconic Disney World parks. With the famous Spaceship Earth golf ball, and the lakeside World Showcase, I was super excited to visit this one.
We started in Future World, which is decided to innovation and technology. We both really enjoyed the relaunched Mission Space, but beware if you have trouble with enclosed spaces. This is a very tight space as you sit in simulator designed to look like a shuttle’s control panel. The Green mission is more gentle, or if you’re brave you can pick the more extreme Orange, which spins you round a lot. Spaceship Earth is really interesting, and is narrated by Judi Dench, so is clearly a must do. I think our favourite though was Test Track. The fastest ride across the Disney parks, this ride allows to design and test a concept vehicle. The ‘car’ you ride in revs through rough terrain and obstacles, before you slam through the doors to the outside, where the car blasts round a mile long track at 65mph, with curves banked at 50 degree angles and hills up to 3 storeys high.
Adrenalin topped out, we hit the World Showcase. Eleven countries are represented around the lake, each with unique attractions, food and merchandise to buy. I decided it would be fun to indulge my food blogger side and try and eat or drink something different from each country. We started with Canada, where I was hoping for some Poutine. Unfortunately, this is when we found that the majority of the snack huts were shut, reading for an incoming food festival. Instead, we hit the gift shop, where I found these Maple Syrup Candy Lollipops. My friend lived in Canada for a while and she sometimes sent home these maple candies and they’re delicious, so I was happy, even without my Poutine.
Next, we reached Britian. Epcot’s Britian is so cute; all red phone boxes and thatched roofs. It even has a pub! While we were, we spotted Mary Poppins and Alice, but we were too busy hunting for food to meet them. Highly amused by the Yorkshire Country Fish Shop, we couldn’t resist and ordered fish and chips. The portion is huge, so we got one to split. The fish was perfection. Buttery soft and flakey in a light, crisp batter. The chips were good too, fat and fluffy, but not terribly authentic, I don’t think.
Epcot’s version of France is all Paris. It even has it’s own Eiffel Tower. It was incredibly hot at this point, so ice-cream was the only choice. I had a Strawberries and Cream Macaron which was sandwiched with ice-cream. I think this was my favourite thing I ate all day. Beautiful ice-cream, and the macaron was the perfect combo of gooey middle and crisp shell.
Dave went for the above ice-cream…something. There’s Cinnamon Apple and Salted Caramel ice-cream in a waffle bowl, topped with cream and raspberry sauce. Both ice-creams were gorgeous, with great flavour.
In Morocco, we waved at Princess Jasmine, and we were very sad at the lack of snack options. All the restaurants seemed to be of the sit-down dining variety, which we didn’t want, so instead I went in search of a cold drink. I opted for (inauthentic, I’m sure) Moroccarita, which is a frozen blend of vodka, triple sec, lemon juice and lime juice. It was sharp, and tasty, and very refreshing. Morocco is gorgeous too, with winding paths leading between the shops.
Next stop, Japan! Don’t miss the Bijutsu-kan Gallery which explores the origins and evolution of “cute” culture, or kawaii. It was really interesting, and we spent quite a while in the gallery, learning about what has become of Japan’s biggest cultural exports. Inspired by all the ‘cute’ food we saw, we decided to grab a treat for later and bought an adorable pack of hard candy shaped like sushi. Adorable.
America is like colonial Boston, and very pretty. It took me a while to decide what to eat, while I debated if I had room for one of the iconic Disney Turkey Legs. The legs look like they maybe full of a dinosaur, not a turkey, they’re so huge, so instead I went for a different classic snack. I tried a Mickey Pretzel with hot cheese dip. The pretzel was gorgeous. It was still warm, well salted and so soft in the middle. The cheese dip was confusing. The lid claimed it was Cheddar, and while it was very tasty and went well with the pretzel, it was like no Cheddar I have ever eaten before. I’d say it was more like a liquid version of the plasticy cheese you sometimes get on cheap nachos?
Raging thirst from all the salt, I knew I wanted a drink in Italy, not more food. I was hoping for iced coffee, but didn’t spot anything that looked interesting, so I ordered a Limoncello Cocktail and drank it in the rain storm that suddenly arrived. The cocktail was a bit syrupy for me, but it was cold, which quickly becomes your beverage requirement in the summer in Florida.
We braved the rain and carried onto Germany, where the downpour let up. Epcot’s Germany is really Bavarian, with beers and Dirndl dresses aplenty. We headed into the Karamell-Küche, which smelt like amazing caramel. The shop was full of all the caramel treats you could imagine, with popcorn, caramel apples, whole caramels, bagged sweets, cakes, caramel covered fruits…
I chose a Milk Chocolate Salted Caramel and bloody good it was too. Gooey, gorgeous caramel with the perfect hint of salt.
Drying off, it was time for China. The pagoda in the middle here is stunning, and well worth a visit. We wandered into the House of the Whispering Willows which is a gallery showcasing Disney Shanghai. Completed in 2016, this park is quite different to the all the others, with elements of Chinese culture woven into the overall design. It was incredibly interesting to learn about how Disney’s imagineers go about designing each experience, and we left certain we wanted to visit this park!
We ordered a Curry Pocket and the Egg Rolls. You get two in each order, so we ordered one of each, and switched so we had an egg roll and a curry pocket each. The curry pocket was delicious, with a well-spiced katsu like filling and flakey pastry. I had the pork egg roll which I found way too stodgy. I ate half and had to give up. Dave fared better with the vegetable version, but I’d say don’t bother and order the pockets!
Next stop, Norway. It was blazing hot, and we were pretty full by now, so we cheated and just bought water. Voss is actually a Norwegian brand though so it totally counted. It was very needed by this point too.
Norway is very cute, but get there early if you wan any hope of getting on the Frozen ride. We didn’t even attempt the queue, and instead went into the Stave Church Gallery which is home to an interesting exhibition on the research into and inspiration from Norwegian history and culture that was used to create Frozen.
The last stop was Mexico where the plan went a bit wrong. Despite having ordered alcohol elsewhere on the lake with no bother, Mexico refused to accept my ID as valid. By this point, I was too hot and stroppy, so I just decided not to bother ordering anything. There is a huge list of Margaritas though, and some gorgeous stalls, so do check it out.
I will admit to being a bit underwhelmed by Epcot’s night show. IllumiNations is pretty, with lights and fireworks over the lake, but it just didn’t compare to Happily Ever After or Fantasmic for me. The golf ball, however, is beautiful by night.
Watch my vlog of the day here:
top tips for epcot
- With all the walking, Epcot might not be the best park for littles. However, if you had little ones to amuse, check out KidCot. There are KidCot stations at every stop on the World Showcase, where kids can take part in free craft activities.
- Try out the classic Epcot challenge and Drink Around the World! Buy a different boozy beverage at each country. There’s a great guide here.
- Epcot is a good way to meet a lot of characters without the mega queues. Most of the Princesses can be found around Epcot. We even saw Belle out and about, with a very short queue, whereas you can wait for hours for her in the Magic Kingdom. In Epcot, you can currently find Anna and Elsa (that one did have a bigger queue), Alice, Baymax, Belle, Minnie and Mickey Mouse, a selection of ‘Disney pals’ (which seems to mean classic characters like Mickey and Donald and Daisy Duck), Donald Duck, Joy and Sadness, Mary Poppins, Princess Jasmine (sometimes with Aladdin), Snow White and Sleeping Beauty.
- Don’t get caught out like I did! Disney’s ID requirements are strict if you don’t have an American ID. For other countries, you can use either your passport, or you can use your home ID with a photocopy of your passport. Your regular ID will not be accepted alone. I bought alcohol in other parks and at Epcot with no bother, and was only ID’d at all in Mexico. Better to be prepared for it though.