Epcot – the Crown Jewel of the Disney Empire

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Of all the theme parks we were planning to hit on our Orlando trip, I was most excited about Epcot. Having a huge love for travel, I was really looking forward to checking out all the various stops on the World Showcase of countries. Although the Magic Kingdom turned out to be a lot of fun, I was pretty sure Epcot was going to be my kind of theme park.

 

Just like the other theme parks in Disney, Epcot has its share of pretty cool rides. Soarin’ was pretty amazing, as was more educational exhibits like Circle of Life, the Land Pavilion and Innoventions. But if you are looking for pure thrills and chills, you can’t beat Mission: SPACE.

 

We heard from family and friends how intense this ride was, and even though our daughter met the height requirement for the “advanced” mission, we were still a bit concerned she might freak-out. And leading up to taking our seats in our space capsule, the folks at Epcot do an excellent job of building the fear and tension with numerous opportunities to back out because of the intense nature of the ride. And with the darkness and random intercom announcements from NASA, it does get your heart pumping. But I’m happy to say our daughter passed the mission with flying colours! What a wild ride!

In my mind, what makes Epcot so spectacular is the World Showcase of countries. For anyone that likes to travel, this place is for you. The attention to detail and authenticity is astounding. Although we spent a full day there, I could easily see this being a two day attraction. You could spend hours at each stop checking out the shows, movies, rides and shops. And we loved the various themed restaurants too (stay tuned for my review of Bistro de Paris – now called Monsieur Paul – one of the best meals we’ve had in recent memory). Rather than blab on about how fantastic World Showcase is at Epcot, I will let the pictures do the talking. Some of our personal favorites to visit were France, Japan, China, Norway and of course – Canada!

As mentioned, Canada was one of our favorite stops on the World Showcase tour. And not just because my wife used to work there, and not just because we are proud Canadians. It is actually one of the nicer pavilions to visit. The cast members could use a uniform upgrade (burlap skirts, lumberjack shirts and hiking boots seems a bit dated and cliche) – but everyone is super friendly and the style and layout of the area does a great job of capturing the beauty that is the Great White North. By the way, the fireworks display at Epcot, while not as grand as the Magic Kingdom extravaganza, is still worth checking out if you are there in the evening. For now, back to the cage.