Of the four busy Disney theme parks in Florida, a day at Epcot is a big breath of fresh air from from the huge crowds and the shuffling from attraction to attraction you can expect at the other three parks. As advocates of travel, probably our favorite park.
Although it’s a great place for children to visit, Epcot and a walk through the international pavilions for adults is a respite from waiting in long lines to enjoying fine international food and drink.
For those of you without an official passport you can pick up a pretend Epcot World Passport and connect the countries by stamping them as you travel the World’s Showcase. A dozen countries are featured including Italy, Germany, Canada, and China.
Today the real treat is the Fall Food and Wine Festival where many more countries like Ireland, Greece, and the Caribbean share their small plate menus with the rest of the world. Stop by the Greek market “the agora” for a slice of baklava or Ireland for a pint of Guinness.
Some choose to drink around the world using their passport as a coaster. With the exception of Morocco, every other country offers adult beverages. You can get a shot of tequila in Mexico, a fine wine in France, or a British beer.
The cultural menus offer the gamut: fish and chips in Britain, sushi in Japan, all-you-WISH-to-eat at Germany’s Oktoberfest Biergarten. Today, we chose a relatively inexpensive plate from Morocco: lamb shawarma with tzatziki, tabouli salad, a spiced bulgur side dish, and hummus with pita.
There are attractions worth a wait and many more where there is no wait at all. Spaces are wide and open, even with big crowds. It’s easy to find a place along the waterfront to enjoy a picnic with the many offerings. We chose to share our spot with a native Florida water bird along the Grand Canal in Venice.
The attraction that one cannot miss is Soarin’ Around the World. A thrilling hang glider ride from one world wonder to another. A ride for all senses as the scent of jasmine engulfs as you approach the Taj Mahal or the smell of fresh grass as you hover over an herd elephants in the African Savannah. The Great Wall of China was AMAZING! Can’t ever imagine something built like that in our lifetime. Our wait in line was less than an hour and well worth it. Not only for the thrill of the ride but for the interactive world trivia race. A race of knowledge of world geography, social and cultural life in far away places.
For the Frozen fan, pick up a FastPass after entering the park for this attraction. This newly opened Viking ship ride in the Norway pavilion attracts the big crowds with queue waits over 90 minutes. The cleverly crafted boat whisks you away to the frozen fjiords as you sing along with Olaf and Let it Go with Elsa.
And if you’re lucky enough to spot Cinderella wondering the world, chat her up. Ask her about Gus and Perla. This princess was on her way to the ball to meet Prince Charming.
As midnight approaches and for you night owls, there is the fantastic firework show that lights up the sky of the world with Epcot’s centerpiece spherical dome, Spaceship Earth, in the background.
Epcot, now that the baseball season is over, a great way to “get away” from hot dogs, apple pie, and Disney America to celebrate with the rest of the world.