Epcot, opened in 1982. It was built to focus on international culture and innovation, almost like a permanent world fair.

It was the second of the four Walt Disney World Parks to be built in Orlando and boasts a mixture of rides and the World Showcase, featuring 11 country pavilions. Each pavilion features architecture, shops, and restaurants from that culture. 

Epcot entry

We had already spent a day at each of the other Disney World Parks. More than 12 million people visited Epcot in 2018 so we naturally wanted to see what all the fuss was about.

When we arrived at Epcot it started to rain – thankfully my wife had packed ponchos! After picking up some coffee we headed toward Epcot’s World Showcase and straight to Norway.


This is one of my favorite pavilions, maybe because it’s different to what I’ve seen anywhere else or maybe it’s my Viking heritage. Little village houses and stores with beautiful green gardens on their roof tops. We grabbed a pastry from Kringla, a Norwegian bakery and walked through a door into a cottage with writing about Thor and Nordic legends.

We found a Norwegian baker and tried some Almond pastry then got in line for the Frozen ride. 

Frozen Ever After

Thankfully because of the rain the wait time was really quick! Less than 20 minutes!

The town of Arendelle from Frozen

Before the ride you walk through Arendelle, and pass through Wandering Oaken’s Trading Post. Be careful not to interrupt Oaken’s soaking in the Sauna.

Olaf on the Frozen ride at Epcot

Finally we reach the boat and journey past Olaf into Elsa’s ice castle. Being a newer ride, the visual effects are incredible. For any child or fan of Frozen this is a ride not to be missed!

Anna from Frozen

We headed back to Future World to catch some of the rides…

Mission: Space

At first we went to try Test Track, but it wasn’t running because of the rain so we headed to Mission: Space instead.

Mission: Space

This ride is a space simulation. They warn before you start the ride that you shouldn’t go on it if you don’t like dark, small spaces or simulators – and that’s exactly what this ride is. It will certainly weed out the budding Astronauts who have the right stuff and those who don’t.

When I caught this ride on our last trip to Epcot I felt like I was going to leave my breaky (Aussie word for breakfast) all over the ground. Thankfully they have two different levels of extreme on Mission: Space – green and orange. The orange mission takes you to Mars and is more intense, while the green mission takes you in an orbit around the Earth (a more gentle ride). Needless to say, we did the green mission this time which was much easier on my stomach! I don’t think I’ll be a candidate for any upcoming SpaceX missions in the near future.

Test Track

As we stumbled out of Mission: Space (still seeing stars), the weather had cleared up and a line was building over at Test Track. With much anticipation, we zoomed over (maybe cutting some people off along the way-sorry bearded guy with Starbucks) to the line and in less time waiting for the drive through at Maccas (McDonalds), the ride was open. We were on a winning ticket when it came to wait-times that day!

Test Track

In Test Track you enter the first part of the Chevrolet lab (I wonder how Chevy made-out in that deal) where you design your vehicle. You’ll need your magic band or entry ticket for this one. We may have kept the line waiting as I rummaged through my wallet searching for the tickets! The vehicle you create is saved to your magic band. Danielle (HOT wife) designed our burnt-orange beast! You then get into a car (the one you just designed) and get to test it around the track. Unfortunately our car didn’t do so well but it was fun all the same.

our test track vehicle

This is the most intense ride at Epcot. It combines speed, quick corners and that final outdoor sprint ending in the curve around the building.


After the intensity of Test Track, it was time for something a little more slow paced. We headed over to Soarin’ where you can glide over some of the incredible wonders of the world from the comfort of your chair. The views aren’t only spectacular but the smells will make you feel like you’re really there. Try to get a seat toward the center of the theatre as that will give you the best view. After we rode Soarin’ twice, we raced across to Spaceship Earth.

Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth entry

Spaceship Earth is the ride inside the giant golf ball. This is an older ride that takes you on a journey through time, looking at the evolution of communication. This ride scores top points for educational value, but low points on thrill seeking. It is pretty cool when you get to the top and get a sweet view of the stars and Earth. The fact that the ride ends with computers and doesn’t make mention of smart phones dates it a bit.

Club Cool

On the way back to the international pavilions we stopped in at Club Cool to try out the different soft drinks from around the world. It’s free, and if you go there wearing a badge for your birthday, they’ll also give you a free slushy. I think my favourite was the melon flavoured drink from Thailand.


After all those rides, we had a hankering for lunch, so we ventured back to the pavilions. We journeyed to Japan for a quick bite of sushi from the Katsura Grill, and had food envy for the chicken curry!  The buildings in Japan were spectacular, and then started the drums!

Musicians playing traditional drums of war with such skill, unceasingly thumping away. I could have watched them all day if it weren’t for the pull of France and it’s food.


We had passed through the French patisserie earlier and I had eyed a quiche and a pastry dessert with my name on it. It did not disappoint – definitely recommend the Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie if you’re ever in the area!


After a stroll through some French stores, we moved on to Morocco. I think if you’re looking to buy clothing, then you’ll want to come here. Such incredibly bright colors and jewels and trinkets – including mini lamps fit for a genie! The food in Morocco also smelled so good but I already had a full stomach! 

We passed back through Japan where the drummers were still thumping away, and then through the US, to Italy to wonder down a Tuscan laneway. We didn’t find too much there except for more food! 


By the time we reached Germany, even our full stomachs couldn’t refuse It’s sweet, chocolate offerings! Danielle got a Werthers Smore – like traditional Smores but with a layer of caramel added.


With our treats in hand, we moved on to The Reflections Of China – a short documentary in 360 degrees. Make sure you hold on, as it sometimes feels like you’re moving. Later in the day we returned here to see some Chinese acrobatics.

It was time to eat again. This time it was bubble tea and pork egg rolls from the Joy of Tea!

Mexico & The Gran Fiesta Tour

We escaped the heat and went inside into the old Mayan Temple for a boat ride on the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros. After all the walking it was relaxing to sit on a boat ride for a few moments and enjoy the fireworks.

Journey into Imagination

From Mexico, it was time for another ride. We crossed back to Future World and joined Figment on a Journey Into Imagination. I had never seen Figment before so this ride didn’t make a lot of sense to me. It was lighthearted but I think young kids would enjoy it more. My highlight though was meeting Wreck It Ralph as we came out from the ride!

Living With The Land

Back in the same building as Soarin’ we caught another boat ride, Living With The Land. This is an educational ride that takes you on a journey into some of the work Disney is doing to grow their own produce.

Living with the Land sunflowers

You’ll travel through their greenhouse and fishery and see some of the plants that will end up as food on your plate at one of Disney’s restaurants.

Living With The Land Flowers

Dinner at Chefs De France

Looking at all the food on the land ignited our appetite again, so it was off to France once more. Chefs De France was a great dine in service with a menu that made flared my FOMO. I eventually decided on the Cheeseboard, Danielle, the Lobster Bisque. 

 French dining at Chefs De France

The UK

We ate our fill and waddled back to the UK pavilion in search of some tea with scones and jam and cream. When that couldn’t be found we waved ta ta to Pan and went to Canada.

Peter Pan, Hooke and Danielle

Before we got there we were hit by a torrential downpour. Classic Florida. Soaked, we sheltered in a store to wait it out.

Nemo and the Aquarium

Since we were well and truly soaked we figured we might as well join the fishes. Our final ride for the day was with Nemo. Similar to the Haunted House ride at Magic Kingdom, you sit in a chair and help Dory and the gang try and find Nemo, but he’s there all along. 

The aquarium is pretty decent in size and is definitely worth devoting some time to. You’ll see dolphins, seahorses, manatees and even a shark or two. 

If you have younger ones, take them to the Turtle Talk with Crush. He’ll answer their questions and keep them laughing too. 

Epcot’s Illuminations Fireworks Show

Pretty exhausted by this stage, there was only a few things left to do. 

  1. Eat a Mickey shaped ice cream
  2. Watch the Illumination fireworks display.
Mickey Mouse Ice Cream

We almost didn’t make it to the latter for utter exhaustion, but we found a bench to rest on and wait it out.

Illumination fireworks

The Illumination show was spectacular, centered around a rotating globe of the Earth which eventually opens up into a lotus in the midst of the World Showcase. I’m glad we stayed. Disney is going to be changing up the Illumination show this year, so we won’t see it again.

Illumination fireworks finale

Certainly a grand finale to an exceptional day. We really enjoyed Epcot. We completely lucked out with the wait times on each of the rides – the longest was Test Track and that was just a few minutes waiting for the track to dry! 

In June you face the hot weather and some storms at Epcot. On the upside, we got to enjoy some of the colorful gardens still remaining from the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival.

If you are into extreme rides and rollercoasters, then Epcot is likely not for you. Each ride is pretty similar – a slow moving boat or cart ride. If you like slower paced and educational rides, then you’ll really enjoy Epcot. If you’re a connoisseur of world foods then you’ll love this park all the more! My biggest regret was not trying more of the foods for each of the regions.

When I go back I will definitely spend more time exploring each of the pavilions and hopefully ride the Guardians of the Galaxy when it comes out! Until then, happy world travels!