Walt Disney's original dream for Epcot (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) was for it to be a model community of about 20,000 inhabitants and a living showcase of American technology.
Part of that dream has been fulfilled and of course Disney subsequently built the town of Celebration, though it is not the sort of community originally envisaged.
Of all the Disney parks, Epcot is the most "grown up" and many of the attractions have an educational element to them
Instead Epcot has developed into a combination of attractions/pavilions in the Future World and a series of country sponsored exhibits in the World Showcase, a celebration of human achievement and discovery.
Disney Epcot was the second park at the Walt Disney World Resort and opened in 1982. It is twice the size of the Magic Kingdom and covers some 260 acres so it tends not to get as crowded as some of the other parks.
You really need to allow two days to see everything but you can do it in a day if you skip some of the lesser attractions.
The first thing you see as you approach Epcot is the landmark 180ft high geosphere, Spaceship Earth which forms the centre part of Future World. It is a highly visible landmark and can be seen from just about everywhere inside of Epcot.
Beyond Future World is the World Showcase Lagoon surrounded by a number of country sponsored exhibits. The World Showcase does not usually open at the same time as the rest of the park but generally stays open later into the evening culminating in the magnificent IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth fireworks and laser show set to music.
Epcot is unusual in that there are two entrances:
- the main entrance where you can arrive by car or by monorail from the Magic Kingdom Transportation and Ticket Center
- the International Gateway (which is situated between the United Kingdom and France in the World Showcase) where you can enter from one of the Epcot Resort, either on foot, by tram or by boat from Disney-MGM Studios
Lockers are located to the right of Spaceship Earth.
Strollers, wheelchairs and electric convenience vehicles (ECV) can be rented, either just inside the main entrance on the left or by the International Gateway.
Epcot is also host to two major annual festivals - the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival which typically runs from mid April to mid June and the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival which runs from the end of September to mid November.