Epcot. This is Walt Disney’s mastermind, what his vision was of a future world. At Epcot, you can make your way around the world in a matter of hours, and still have time to enjoy a meal with some of your favorite Disney characters. Our family allows one full day to explore Epcot, and we have seen it with our children at all ages. From the time they were very young, to their preteen years, Epcot is one of the Disney parks all of our children look forward to visiting. Besides the obvious attractions like Soarin’ and Test Track, there are quite a few “hidden gems” at Epcot. Today, I want to share What Our Family Loves about Epcot with you!
Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. This was our daughter’s first princess dining experience, and it holds a special place in our hearts. Practically, what I love about it, is that it serves all three meals during the day. So guests who want to dine here, have a lot of time slots available to book a meal. Also, it is very regal on the inside. It is an amazing alternative to Cinderella’s Royal Table, you see most all the same princesses, and the character interaction is great. To be fair, we have only had breakfast here. The menu for lunch and dinner look good, but not something that would appeal to my kids. So we played it safe with breakfast. We LOVED it. We saw Cinderella, Belle, Ariel, and Snow White during our dining experience here. As with all Disney character dining, it makes a great way to see several characters at once, so you can then get out and enjoy the parks later without standing in line to see princesses. Akershus is in the Norway Pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase.
Disney Visa Exclusive Meet and Greet. Do you have a Disney Visa? Then you are in for a super treat! In Future World, you can show your Disney Visa to get an exclusive meet and greet with some of the “Fab 5”. Our family did this on our last trip, and we walked out of Epcot with an exclusive photo opportunity, a FREE printed 5×7 of our trip, and all the photos they took were on our MemoryMaker. You can visit this once per day during your stay to take advantage of it. The characters do vary, and we saw Mickey and Goofy. You do need to have your Disney Visa in hand to gain access to this. The wait for this is usually really low, and it makes for a guaranteed character interaction with some of the classic Disney characters. We are going to hit this again in October, and see if we get someone different!
The Mexico Pavilion at World Showcase. Of all the pavilions, Mexico is my favorite. I think because it is SO authentic. Granted, all the pavilions are authentic. But there is something about stepping into the Mexico pavilion and feeling as if I am right in the middle of a Mexico marketplace. I LOVE the fountain when you walk in, as it makes for GREAT photo opportunities. There are so many neat things to look at in the “marketplace”, and my kids love this portion of the Agent P World Showcase Adventure. Plus, we always take a ride on the Three Caballeros.
Illuminations:Reflections of Earth. Illuminations:Reflections of Earth takes place nightly, typically at 9PM, around the World Showcase Lagoon. Our favorite spot to watch this is just at the cross over between Future World and World Showcase. When you enter, Canada is on your right, and we sit just around the bend from Canada. This is lasers, fireworks, and a fantastic soundtrack. You can even Fastpass this! That leads you to an exclusive viewing area. We like to grab a snack from a country…usually Norwegian Cinnamon Rolls, and get a spot to watch.
Behind the Seeds Tour. Did you know you can take a tour behind the scenes of the Land Pavilion? And, you can see how they grown fruits, veggies, and other goodies to use at the Disney Parks. In fact, most of the food served at Garden Grill is taken from the Land Pavilion. This is where you will find the “Living with the Land” attraction. Behind the Seeds takes you backstage and shows you how Disney uses unique, innovative growing techniques to grow plants inside. My kids LOVED this tour, and we really learned a lot! It is a great way to spend an afternoon, out of the heat, at Epcot. We sampled cucumbers, saw some fun Mickey shaped topiaries, and learned so much! It was great!
I hope you find these Epcot “hidden gems” on your next Disney trip!
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