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Opening Magic Kingdom

Opening Magic Kingdom

Monday, October 1, 2012

It's EPCOT's 30th Anniversary!

Happy 30th Birthday, EPCOT!  When the 2nd Walt Disney World theme park opened on October 1, 1982, it was known as EPCOT Center and is now referred to as EPCOT.  In honor of the occasion, special anniversary merchandise, featuring the EPCOT Center logo, can be purchased at the park or on-line at Disneystore.com.  Hurry, though, as this merchandise is only available through October.

In all of our many trips to Walt Disney World, EPCOT, has been one of our favorite parks.  On our last trip, we were there three times during a seven day trip—though some days just for the evening. 

We have heard some Disney fans say that they just don’t “get” EPCOT and we have heard guests inside the park deem it as “boring.”  Another comment I have heard is that EPCOT isn’t for kids.  While I don’t have the same feelings, I can understand why EPCOT might generate those reactions.

EPCOT is subtle.  If you don’t know what is there, you are going to find it “boring.”  Some of the amazing shows and attractions are hidden inside buildings or pavilions.  Yes, you might hear the roar of Test Track, but you must go inside a building to find or experience the attraction.  This committing by going inside when something is unfamiliar can be scary to guests; and guests may feel uncertain.  What will I find?  Where will I go?  How long will it take?  At other parks, the attraction is right there, in front of your eyes, for you to see the queue, and the expected wait.  I bring up the wait time issue, even though Disney does a great job at posting wait times for guests to see prior to committing to a queue.  We have even seen guests remove themselves from a queue after committing if they couldn’t “see” all the way to the end.

In addition to the wonderful pavilions in Future World—The Land Pavilion for example, there are eleven different nation pavilions located around World Showcase.  Each pavilion waiting to immerse guests in an international experience of sights, sounds, and tastes of the region.  Even with all of our visits, we have yet to dine in Italy, China, or Mexico.  All goals for another trip! 

Guests strolling around World Showcase might miss many of the delights offered within the pavilions themselves.  Again, committing to go where one hasn’t gone before can cause that uncomfortable feeling and is therefore avoided.   So, how can one avoid the uncertainty and get even more out of this amazing park?  One suggestion would be to do a bit of research; homework if you will, about all that EPCOT has to offer and where those offerings reside.  Another suggestion is to ask Cast Members about what you might find when entering a pavilion or something in particular to look for.  Lastly, go with an adventurer’s spirit, curiosity.  Remove time limits, open doors, and enjoy the sense of discovery.

EPCOT may not be the park where you are on a “ride” every minute, but it will be the park where you discover something every minute.

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