EPCOT is really a 2 day visit to see everything - if you know what you want to see and what you don't mind missing then a full 1 day is needed - stay late for the Illuminations show.
First stop - you need to get a FastPass for either Soarin' or Test Track or Mission: Space - once you have one then go and stand in the queue for the one that you didn't get, if that makes sense. It is virtually impossible to do the three big rides without missing out the rest of what EPCOT has to offer. Currently WDW is trialling FastPass+ and Magicbands.
Future World - the original concept was exploring the history and researching the future of agriculture, transport, energy and communications. There are eight main pavilions, each corporate sponsored and have their own rides, films and interactive exhibits. It is split in to two halves. Future World East (on the left hand side of the park as you enter, obviously back to front but east as you look at it on the map ....confused yet ?) has 4 big attractions - Spaceship Earth, Ellen's Energy Adventure, TestTrack amd Mission:Space.
#1 Spaceship Earth has recently been revamped inside with a slow moving buggy ride through the past, present and looking in to the future. It is narrated by Dame Judy Dench. Touch screens in the buggies allow you to choose your own future vision before you ascend in to the star filled core of the geosphere. The soundtrack features a 63 piece orchestra accompanied by a 24 member choir. When you exit the ride, you will enter "Project Tomorrow: Inventing the World of Tomorrow" with interactive games and activities provided by Siemens.
#2 Ellen's Energy Adventure is a 45 minute multimedia romp / buggy ride back through time to the Dinosaurs - educational if you want to learn and have the time to spare. The shows starts every 17 minutes, with an 8 minute show in the lobby and then the main show "travels" for 37 minutes, once started you can't leave the ride. The ride is exactly the same as it was back in the 1982 when it opened just with the addition of Ellen DeGeneres. This is one long ride - best to do on a hot day when you need some shade or during an afternoon thunderstorm or for tired feet.
#3 TestTrack is the only roller coaster style ride in the park which lets you put various cars through their paces with a 30 second speed test at the end. Renovated and reopened in December 2012 you can design your own concept vehicle at an interactive design kiosk. Fastpass users will skip this process and will use a custom car designed for you. The soundtrack features not only music, but special sound effects and four show scenes. In Capability, your car is tested for rough road and weather conditions. Efficiency tests what effect your car will have on the earth. Responsiveness tests the car's maneuverability. The last section and everyone's favorite (and the reason you queued for so long) - Speed! Feel the wind in your hair as you zip around the outside mile long track for a full 30 seconds at speeds up to 65 mph. In the post-show, your car will be scored against cars from the rest of the day. Note - height restrictions apply. Also to speed it up choose single rider, you will get split up from your group but if your pushed for time this is the option
#4 Mission: Space lets you blast off into space either in the Orange team (intense voyage) or Green team (gentle voyage). Opened in 2013, this is a 5 1/2 minute ride to experience the feeling of weightlessness. Warning - to avoid motion sickness (and ruin the rest of your day) you must keep looking forward and eyes focused on the screen at all times. You can however cloose a less intense experience if you bypass the centrifuge (spinning action) of Mission SPACE - just ask a Cast Member when directed to a queue.
On to Future World West now -
#1 The Seas with Nemo & Friends The Seas with Nemo and Friends offers a great photo op as you approach the building with an oversized "reef". This attraction is around one of the largest saltwater aquariums in the world, developed by Walt Disney Imagineering. Based on the "Finding Nemo" movie, there's a ride and brilliant displays and interactive activities to enjoy. This aquarium contains over two hundred species of sea life including dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, gliding rays and a 500 lb. Grouper along with multi-colored tropical fish. Climb into a "clam mobile" and take a fishing trip in pursuit of Nemo. The musical finale features Nemo being reunited with his Dad and friends. This attraction is not to be missed and is "totally awesome dude!"
#2 Turtle Talk with Crush is amazing with fantastic use of technology allowing an animated Crush the ability to have real-time conversations with the audience. Held in a small theatre, the adults are encouraged to sit at the back to allow the younger guests to sit on the carpeted floor close to the screen. Hosted by a Cast Member, it begins with everyone calling for Crush to appear. When he appears he can see the audience and he makes comments about the "dude with the orange shell" ie the child with the ornage t-shirt - delights the children everytime. They can ask Crush a question and play "hide-go-seek" and "dude-speak." Guaranteed to make everyone leavewith a smile !
#3 Soarin' opened in 2001 and is not a typical motion simulator ride. Insidethe theatre you rare loaded in to one of three large ride vehicles, eah with three rows of seating. The front rows end up being raise above the other two rows, top row is the best so you don't get dangling feet from the other rows. Safety is simply a lap belt ! After the rows stack you are in front of a massice screen and you begin a fly through of scenes over the Californian landscape before you swoop up Main Street USA and the firework display. Should be renamed "Awesome". Wait times can be deceptive and I suggest a Fastpass for this one. **** BREAKING NEWS - The ride will close on January 4th 2016 and reopen in late summer. No specific date given.The upgrades will include a 3rd theater to be built and upgrades to existing theaters. New projection systems and a new film will added. The new film is called Soarin Around The World ****
The upgrades will include a 3rd theater to be built and upgrades to existing theaters. New projection systems and a new film will added. The new film is called Soarin Around The World.
#4 Living with the Land is a 13 minute relaxing boat ride which takes you on an informative journey through a tropical rain forest, African desert with sandstorm, and the windswept plains of a small family farm. Experience the struggles of the past and plans for farming in the future including Hydroponics, Aeroponics and Aquaculture. Ever wonder where those Mickey shaped cucumbers in your salad came from ...this is where they're grown. Educational content of this ride is geared mainly towards adults but the younger guests will love the boat ride - play spotting the different fruits and vegetables.
#5 The Circle of Life is a cute lesson in environmental responsibility, in the Harvest Theatre which can take 428 guest. It is a 20 minute film which stars the Lion King's Simba, Timon and Pumbaa and combines live footage with animation - suitable for all ages. A great attraction for when you are in need of a break.
#6 Journey Into Imagination With Figment is one of those often overlooked gems. Once you board a car you are on your way through a journey of sight, sound and smell, hosted by the lovable Figment and he likes to break all of the rules. Full of zany special effects and the smell sequence which is quite a surprise. The finale highlight is the song "One Little Spark". There is rarely a queue which makes it a perfect choice when you're looking for something that's quick and easy to do.
#7 Captain EO with Michael Jackson re-opened in 2009 following his death. Based on his 1986 film, Michael Jackson stars as Captain EO, who is on a mission to deliver a musical gift to an evil alien queen. With dazzaling 3D graphics and special effects you become part of this 17 minute show. You either like it or hate it, often there is no queue to see it. ****Breaking news - this attraction is closing shortly to allow “Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival” to debut in early December.
#8 EPCOT Character spots is the place to meet your Disney pals inside the clubhouse close to the massive fountain - you can't miss it.