EPCOT Overview

Ultimate Guide to Epcot at Walt Disney World | AllEars.net
Ultimate Guide to Epcot at Walt Disney World | AllEars.net

EPCOT is Walt Disney World’s second-oldest Park. Open to guests in 1982, it sought to celebrate humanity’s achievements with an eye toward the future.

Epcot

EPCOT Hours

EPCOT hours can vary, with World Celebration, World Discovery, and World of Nature often opening earlier than World Showcase, opening hours are typically 10 or 11AM.

Harmonious is typically shown
at 9PM

To be sure you don’t miss out on any of the action, check Park hours before your EPCOT day, and plan accordingly.

Also worth noting: when the front of EPCOT opens earlier than World Showcase,  Frozen Ever After in the Norway pavilion and Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie may open earlier than the rest of World Showcase.

EPCOT offers Early Theme Park Entry. Learn more about Early Theme Park Entry here.

EPCOT also offers Extended Evening Hours for guests of Deluxe and Deluxe Villa Resorts. Learn more about Extended Evening Hours here.

Brief EPCOT History

On October 1, 1979, Disney broke ground on the second theme park at Walt Disney World. Three years and $1.4 billion later, on October 1, 1982, Epcot Center opened. The new Experimental Prototype City (Community) of Tomorrow was connected via Monorail to the World’s centerpiece, Magic Kingdom, which had been open for eleven years already.

Spaceship Earth is seen under construction at Epcot Center. [The Walt Disney Company]
It was Walt Disney’s dream to have a self-contained city here, but he passed away before his vision could be realized, and for many reasons, the Walt Disney Company instead created a theme park that incorporated Walt’s love for World’s Fairs and the promise of the future and lost his concept of a self-contained city.

Click here to take a look at Walt’s utopia and how EPCOT came to be.

EPCOT OVERVIEW

Welcome to EPCOT, a theme park designed both to entertain and to educate. EPCOT is twice the size of Magic Kingdom, so guests should be prepared to walk. It’s difficult to see explore and experience all of EPCOT in a single day, so if that’s all the time you have, you’ll need to plan carefully.

Spaceship Earth

The 9,000-space parking lot rarely fills. Trams take you to the main entrance of EPCOT where you enter the tapstiles, cross the recently-reimagined entrance, and find yourself right in front of Spaceship Earth.

EPCOT Trams

Beginning in late-September 2019, Disney’s Skyliner gondola system began carrying guests to EPCOT’s International Gateway entrance. Skyliner joins five stations (at EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, Riviera Resort, Caribbean Beach Resort, and Art of Animation and Pop Century Resorts) and has made International Gateway — the Park’s “back” or “second” gate — a significantly more accessible way of entering the park.

Skyliner Station at International Gateway

EPCOT is made up of four neighborhoods: World Nature, World Discovery, World Celebration, and World Showcase. These newly-named neighborhoods were officially recognized on October 1, 2021.

New EPCOT park map with the new neighborhoods!

World Discovery is where you can experience the past and future of technological advancements.

Test Track Showroom

World Nature is where you learn about the natural world and the careful balance it requires.

Living with the Land

World Celebration is a reflection of the broader human family. World Celebration features the Park’s front (or main) entrance.

EPCOT Entrance

World Showcase highlights the art, architecture, and culture of eleven countries that have dedicated pavilions surrounding World Showcase Lagoon. World Showcase features the International Gateway, EPCOT’s so-called back entrance.

World Showcase’s Norway Pavilion

ATTRACTIONS

Visit Attractions at EPCOT At-A-Glance for an overview of the attractions at the park.

SHOPPING

Visit Shopping EPCOT At-A-Glance page for info on the various stores around the park.

DINING

Visit Dining at EPCOT At-A-Glance for an overview of the main dining options at the park.

KIDS AND CHARACTERS

EPCOT has several opportunities for children to meet and greet their favorite characters.

Visit Characters at EPCOT at a Glance for a full list of character meet-and-greets.

Mickey in Epcot!

EPCOT TRANSFORMATION

Beginning in 2019, EPCOT entered a period of dramatic transformation, with the two original Park halves — Future World and World Showcase — being divided further into a Park with four neighborhoods: World Showcase remains, with World Celebration, World Discovery, and World Nature being recognized on October 1, 2021.

Find out what’s happening and when during EPCOT’s transformation here

New EPCOT Map ©Disney

EPCOT’s transformation continues, with new attractions, new dining offerings, and more.