Wednesday, May 13, 2015

A First Timers Guide to Epcot's World Showcase

Welcome to this month's Magical Blogorail Blue loop. Today we are sharing the must-dos on your first Disney vacation.

You've heard the rumors before. "Epcot is boring." "My kids hated the World Showcase." "Do the rides in Future World and hop to another park."

I'm here to dispel those rumors. In my opinion, Epcot's World Showcase is one of the only experiences truly unique to Walt Disney World. I'll admit it, when I was a child I would run through the World Showcase with my parents and never truly take in how magnificent this part of the park was. It wasn't until I spent the time enjoying each pavilion that I understood how beautiful and amazing this area is.

What is the World Showcase?

Epcot is divided into two areas: Future World and the World Showcase. Future World is where you'll find the majority of the attractions and focuses on technology and science. World Showcase is divided into different pavilions, each dedicated to a different country. It reminds many guests of a "World's Fair" of sorts, something that Walt Disney was inspired by.

The countries are laid out in a semicircle around the World Showcase Lagoon.

What Countries are Included? 

  • Mexico
  • Norway
  • China 
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • United States 
  • Japan
  • Morocco
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada

What is There to Do in the World Showcase?

There is so much to do! If you have kids, I highly recommend taking part in the "Kidcot" program. Each pavilion has a station where kids can color and do arts and crafts. They can also get their "passport" stamped and learn about each country. I've seen parents dragging their kids away from these stations. They truly enjoy this nontraditional theme park experience.

The best part? Activities at the Kidcot stations are included in your price of admission. Kids love bringing these designs home as souvenirs. 

Adult only trip? Even better! There is so much to eat and drink around the World Showcase. I've truly enjoyed sampling the delicacies in each pavilion. Additionally, there are also a lot of roaming entertainment in each pavilion to keep you busy.

What are Some World Showcase Must-Dos?

Snacking & Drinking: 

I love to grab snacks in each country! Some of my favorites include pretzels and beer in Germany, pastries in Norway, sushi in Japan, cannoli in Italy and margaritas in Mexico.

Several of the countries have a wine tasting flight where you can sample wines from several countries. In Italy's Tutto Gusto, you can have antipasto and drinks.

The Voices of Liberty at the United States Pavilion

The Voices of Liberty is a singing group at the American Pavilion. They sing patriotic songs a capella and preview the American Adventure stage show. It's a must-do!

Shows and Movies

There are several shows and movies in different pavilions that give you a taste of the cultures.

Some of my favorites are:
- O Canada!
- Reflections of China
- Impressions de France

 Dinner in the World Showcase

There are many places to eat in the World Showcase. Some pavilions even have more than one restaurant.

The Dis has a full list of current restaurants. As a reminder you should book these at 180 days out, if possible by calling 407-WDW-DINE or using the My Disney Experience app. The restaurants with Illuminations viewing usually book up first, so call early!

Finally, and most importantly, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth happens each night over the lagoon. My favorite part about this fireworks spectacular is that you can view it from anywhere in the World Showcase.

It is a compelling show, and as much as I love Wishes, this is my favorite fireworks show at Walt Disney World.

My best tip for Illuminations: feel the direction of the wind. If the wind is on your back, you're set. If the wind is on your face, move until you can feel it on your back. The smoke from the show will blow towards you if it's on your face.

I hope you enjoyed my beginner's guide to Epcot's World Showcase. Tell me your experiences in the comments below.

Here is the map of our Magical Blogorail Blue | First Timer Must-Dos Loop:


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