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How to Get the Most out of Your Trip to the Epcot Center in Orlando

By David Roberts, eHow Contributor
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Epcot opened on October 1, 1982. It was the second Disney park in Orlando and promised to bring the future to the present. For families with no game plan on how to visit Epcot, Epcot can be a bit of a chore because it is the largest Disney World park in Orlando and is not exactly geared toward kids. If you are a parent traveling with younger children to Epcot, careful planning will help you and the kids get a lot out of your trip. There is simply too much to do at Epcot in one day, unless you limit yourself to one of the two main areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Epcot map
  • Energy snacks
  • Bottles of frozen water

Instructions

  • 1. Arrive early and plan ahead. Epcot is laid out like a giant figure eight. At the entrance is what Disney calls Future World and at the rear is the World Showcase. Without planning, you could spend an entire day exhausting all the activities that are in Future World alone.

  • 2. Use the fast passes. Fast passes are tickets dispensed at the beginning of the more popular rides. You get one pass per Epcot ticket you possess. Passes allow you to skip the bulk of the line an hour or more after you get it. You can only have one fast pass per ticket at a time. The two busiest rides in Future World are Mission Space and Test Track. Get fast passes with your tickets to one of the two. Ride the other one and come back without a wait in line for the next. If both lines are more than an hour's wait, take in the Universe of Energy. This is a continuous ride/show beginning within the first 20 minutes of the park's opening. This is a 45-minute-long ride so if you miss the first show, it will be a 45-minute wait for the next one.

  • 3. Plan for the age range of your children. If your children are under 12, plan on staying in Future World for the bulk of your trip. The Seas, with Nemo and Friends, is a large undersea adventure with a viewing aquarium. The Land features the new Soarin' ride, which is a motion ride. The Imagination Station is where your kids can experience the ride into imagination. Epcot has also brought back the 3-D "Captain EO" movie, featuring the late Michael Jackson.

  • 4. Mark off the "Kidcot" areas in the World Showcase map. World Showcase is a display of the buildings, food, and culture of 11 different countries. Some "countries" have rides, and others have IMAX movies, which may keep the kids entertained. The KimPossible-themed interactive game allows kids to search the World Showcase for clues to stop a villain from accomplishing nefarious goals. They are equipped with a Kimmunicator (mobile phone) which has the characters from the KimPossible television show, giving them clues as they make their way through the park. There are seven different missions with seven different endings. Each takes about 45 minutes to complete.

  • 5. Stay for the evening Illuminations show. Illuminations combines lasers, fireworks and music. At night, the fiber optics in the Epcot sidewalks are visible and create an unusual sight. The multicolored lights move along the sidewalks in elaborate patterns.

  • 6. Take advantage of the "rest rides" if you find yourself getting too tired before dark. These are rides that allow for long periods of sitting down in nicely air conditioned spaces. Such rides include the Universe of Energy, a 45-minute-long ride/movie, and Spaceship Earth, which is quiet enough and dark enough for a 10-minute nap.

Tips & Warnings

  • Attempting to do both Future World and World Showcase in the same day will be frustrating, as there is simply too much to do in both areas to fully enjoy it all in one day. You will spend most of the day speeding from one exhibit to another without the time to fully enjoy the interactive features located at the exits to the rides.

  • Look for the Coca Cola pavilion in Future World next to the fountain, where you can try Coke products from around the world for free.

  • Keep your empty water bottle to refill at the water fountains. Bottled water is expensive at Epcot.

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David Roberts

David Roberts has been writing since 1985. He has published for various websites including online business news publications. He has over 11 years experience in tax preparation and small business consultation. He is also a Certified Fraud Examiner. He received a Master of Business Administration from Florida Metropolitan University in 2005.

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Original source: eHow.com

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