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 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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
World Discovery is where you can experience the past and future of technological advancements.
World Nature is where you learn about the natural world and the careful balance it requires.
World Celebration is a reflection of the broader human family. World Celebration features the Park’s front (or main) 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.
Visit Attractions at EPCOT At-A-Glance for an overview of the attractions at the park.
Visit Shopping EPCOT At-A-Glance page for info on the various stores around the park.
Visit Dining at EPCOT At-A-Glance for an overview of the main dining options at the park.
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.
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.
EPCOT’s transformation continues, with new attractions, new dining offerings, and more.
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure opened on October 1, 2021.
- La Creperie de Paris opened on October 1, 2021.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind will open in Summer 2022.
- The PLAY! Pavilion will open (date unknown).
- Moana: Journey of Water will open (date unknown).
- Creations Shop opened September 2021.
- Club Cool reopened September 2021.
- Space 220 opened September 20, 2021.
- EPCOT’s Leave a Legacy plaques moved in 2020.