Walt Disney had a dream - a place where people could experience cutting edge technology, a place which celebrated human achievement and a place that was a showcase for innovation. That dream became Epcot - a 300-acre park containing attractions, shows, rides and interactive presentations, all of them immersing guests in a celebration of both technological accomplishments and international cultural achievements.
Epcot is comprised of two unique worlds - Future World where guests get a glimpse into the future and the World Showcase that introduces guests to the diverse culture and history of the eleven nations gathered round the World Showcase Lagoon.
As you enter Epcot you pass under Future World's landmark adventure and Epcot's most recognizable feature - the huge Spaceship Earth globe - a ride narrated by Jeremy Irons that takes you on a journey through time, letting you see the progress in communications from cro-Magnon cave paintings to the latest high-tech electronic space-based communications systems.
For the adventurous traveler, Mission Space awaits. Strap yourself in tight and prepare for launch in the ultimate astronaut experience, from heart-pounding lift off to the weightlessness of outer space. But watch out: this ride MAY cause motion sickness.
Soarin' Epcot's newest attraction brings the dream of free flight to guests as they fly over the natural wonders of California - above towering redwoods, snow-capped mountains, sun-kissed deserts and rocky shorelines. Among the many sights on view during the exhilarating fly-over are: the Golden Gate Bridge, Napa Valley, Palm Springs, Yosemite National Park, San Diego and more. Throughout the flight, guests share the sky with a variety of other aircraft, such as hang gliders, hot air balloons, helicopters and Navy jets. This multi-sensory experience is enhanced by the fragrance of orange blossoms, pine trees and costal spray that floats on the prevailing winds.
Test Track lets guests put a new car through its paces in a series of controlled tests before taking it out onto the track for some exhilarating high-speed laps.
Future World's environmental legacy includes the Living Seas, which explains our dependence on and relationship with the sea as well as the need to protect it for the future. Universe of Energy is a 45 minute show taking you back to the dinosaurs to explain the source of our 'fossil fuels'. The Land gives guests an insight into food production, highlighting the experimental advances that hopefully someday will help by banishing hunger and feeding the planet. The Wonders of Life guides you through the human body from birth to the workings of the brain.
One show not to be missed is Honey, I Shrunk The Audience - Disney's interactive 3-D adventure where you get to see life from a smaller perspective.
The World Showcase that circles the World Showcase Lagoon introduces you to eleven different cultures and experiences from around the world, hosted by ambassadors from each of the different countries.
Enter the great pyramid in Mexico, shop in the authentic marketplace, enjoy lively Mariachi bands or cruise the 'Rio del Tiempo' (River of Time) through the many sights and sounds of Mexico past and present.
In Norway, guests get to experience the history, folklore and culture of one of Western Europe's oldest countries. Take a trip back in time with Maelstrom, joining other guests in a longboat inspired by those used by the Vikings thousands of years ago, as you prepare to head out into the open sea.
China is one of the more peaceful stops on the World Showcase tour, with its mature gardens and three tier replica of Beijing's Temple of Heaven. 'Reflections of China' takes guests on a tour of seven cities as they enjoy the Circle Vision 360 film.
Germany is more of a shopping and dining experience, although they do have a recreation of a Bavarian Biergarten with its lively Octoberfest shows.
The accurate recreations of Venice's Piazza San Marco and Doge's Palace signal your arrival in Italy. It is another area that is better known for its shopping and dining rather than attractions.
The American Adventure is the inspirational story of America and its people, narrated by Ben Franklin and Mark Twain, and shows Disney's animatronics at its best. America is also home to the America Garden Theatre that plays host to a number of concerts and shows throughout the year.
Japan, with its traditional buildings and gardens is another of the World Showcase's more tranquil places. It is also home to one of the most entertaining dining experiences - the Teppanyaki Dining Rooms with its knife-juggling chefs who cook dinner for guests at their table.
The ancient markets of Marrakesh beckon as you enter Morocco with its replica prayer tower. Disney employed 19 Moroccan artisans who spent months recreating the intricate tiled masterpiece of this North African Country.
The change is striking as you leave behind the colorful clutter of Morocco and enter the stylish and ordered France, or more particularly the cultured Paris with its replica of the Eiffel Tower. Fresh bakeries, beautiful shops and the enchanting film tour, 'Impressions de France', make this one of the Showcase highlights.
Just across the English Channel you come to London and the United Kingdom, with its famous brands of Pringle and Royal Doulton, and its institutions such as Shakespeare and the Rose and Crown Pub.
The highlight of Canada must be the stunning CircleVision film that captures some of Canada's most picturesque areas.
Epcot's nightly firework show, IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth - a laser, pyrotechnic, fire and audiovisual extravaganza where Planet Earth literally comes to life as we sit round the fire, as mankind has done since the dawn of time. The 13-minute show uses 2,800 firework shells fired from 34 separate locations to create one of the biggest displays staged at Epcot. For a good view of the IllumiNations travel to Mexico to the Cantina de San Angel or stand on the International Gateway Bridge near the United Kingdom.