What Is EPCOT Known For? | Iconic Attractions & Things To Do
EPCOT is one of the most popular theme parks in the world, but despite its popularity the park has had a bit of an identity crisis over the last decade.
With seemingly endless construction, numerous changing attractions, dozens of restaurants, and four themed festivals, figuring out precisely what EPCOT is best known for is undoubtedly a challenge.
In this EPCOT Guide, we'll dive into what EPCOT is most iconically (and even infamously) best known for!
What Is EPCOT Best Known For?
- International Food & Wine Festival
- Drinking Around The World
- World Showcase
- Spaceship Earth
- Flower & Garden Festival
- Mission Space
International Food & Wine Festival
The International Food & Wine Festival is EPCOT's most iconic event and one of the many things EPCOT is best known for.
The Food and Wine Festival takes place each year from late July through mid-November and is one of the most popular times to visit EPCOT and has been a fan favorite activity for over a decade!
During the Food and Wine Festival, dozens of pop-up-style restaurant booths are placed throughout EPCOT's World Showcase, serving dishes inspired by countries from around the world.
You'll find food and drink available from India, Kenya, New Zealand, Brazil, Belgium, Canada, Ireland, and Greece, to name a few!
You'll also find booths not themed to specific countries but specific cooking styles and flavors, such as Flavors From Fire, Coastal Eats, and an entire booth dedicated to different types of french fries!
The International Food & Wine Festival is certainly EPCOT's marquee event each year. If you're a foodie looking to try dishes and beverages from around the world, then it's worth planning your trip around this iconic event!
Drinking Around The World
EPCOT is often the first theme park the more adult-oriented Disney crowd will choose, typically because of one major activity... Drinking Around The World!
Drinking Around The World has become an unofficial "challenge" over the last few years where guests attempt to have at least one drink from each country at EPCOT's World Showcase.
The World Showcase is composed of eleven different countries, so this means you'll need to have eleven different drinks in order to complete the Drinking Around The World challenge!
While Drinking Around The World isn't officially endorsed by Disney, it's a fun challenge/activity that has become a fan favorite activity by the 21 and older crowd when visiting EPCOT!
Please remember to drink responsibly!
You don't need to Drink Around The World in order to experience EPCOT's World Showcase, which is undoubtedly the biggest thing on everyone's to-do list when visiting the park!
EPCOT's World Showcase comprises 11 different countries, or "pavilions" as they are formally known, which feature rides, shows, restaurants, and shops!
In just a few hours you can experience food, drinks and entertainment from different countries around the world in an immersive way only Disney can bring to life.
Each of the 11 World Showcase Pavilions are intricately designed and themed just as if you were walking through some of the most iconic cities in the world.
Within each of these pavilions you'll find food, drink, and merchandise you may not be able to find anywhere else unless you actually jump on a plane and visit one of these countries.
There isn't anywere in the world quite like EPCOT's World Showcase and it's easily the most iconic area and experience in the park.
Spaceship Earth (informally known as the "EPCOT Ball") is a giant geodesic sphere that doubles as the iconic symbol of EPCOT and a ride!
When most people think of EPCOT, the first thing they think of is likely Spaceship Earth, whether or not it actually has to do with the ride - that giant golf ball-like structure is unforgettable!
If you're a first time visitor to EPCOT then we'd say experiencing Spaceship Earth (the ride) needs to be towards the top of your must do list. The ride is certainly beginning to show its age and is in need of an update, but it's an iconic experience unlike anything else in the world.
Spaceship Earth is a slow-moving dark ride attraction that transports you through various periods of human innovation, specifically around advances in human communication.
The ride is approximately 15 minutes long and begins in the prehistoric era before traveling through show scenes set in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Rome, the European Renaissance, and 1969 just as Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon, amongst many other scenes.
Spaceship Earth features dozens of animatronics and another dozen uniquely themed environments set in different time periods and locations.
You genuinely feel like you're traveling through time on Spaceship Earth as you slowly move into the present day where you're also given a sneak preview of what your future might look like thanks to human ingenuity and innovation.
Even if you don't like the ride itself, at least you can tell all of your friends and family that you've been inside the EPCOT ball!
Flower & Garden Festival
While not as iconic as the International Food & Wine Festival, the Flower & Garden Festival is quickly growing in popularity and one of the most beautiful times to visit EPCOT.
Thousands of colorful flowers and plants are placed all around EPCOT bringing the park to life in a way you won't see at any other time of year. Whether you have a green thumb or just enjoy the beauty of nature, the Flower & Garden Festival is a unique and beautiful time to visit EPCOT.
There's much more to the Flower & Garden Festival than just the plant life however... it's also a scaled down version of the Food & Wine Festival!
While not nearly to the same extent as Food & Wine Festival, there will be just over a dozen themed food and beverage pop-ups for you to experience. These pop-ups have unique themes each year and aren't themed to any specific countries which some argue is actually even more fun than Food & Wine because the food offerings are even more diverse.
Beyond food and flowers, you'll also find some pop-up merchandise stores selling everything from gardening supplies to artwork and limited time collectibles, so there really is a little something for everyone at the Flower & Garden Festival.
We find the Flower & Garden Festival to be a little bit less crazy than the Food & Wine Festival each year when it comes to crowd levels, and, honestly, Flower & Garden has become our new favorite festival in the last year!
If you're debating between visiting EPCOT from Food & Wine or Flower & Garden, we'd nudge you towards Flower & Garden, but there really isn't a wrong choice here!
Last, but certainly not least, is one of EPCOT's most infamous and innovative attractions.
When Mission Space first opened in 2003 the attraction was hearlded for it's innovative use of technology which simulated space flight using the same methods as NASA.
However, the ride quickly gained a notorious reputation for causing intense motion sickness and even death among guests with preexisting medical conditions.
Shortly after these incidents occured, Disney scaled back the intensity of Mission Space and even included two different options with varying level intensities.
You can now ride Mission Space with minimal intensity, or a version of the ride that is still intense, but much more tame than the original Mission Space.
For better or for worse, Mission Space is one attraction EPCOT is most well-known for - whether it be through it's innovative use of technology or unfortunate history.
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