… that aren’t food related!
Yes, really. There is more to Epcot than just food and booze! A lot of people seem to dismiss Epcot as the “adults only” park, but it isn’t. Don’t get me wrong, I love the food and the booze, but there is so much more to Epcot. I promise!
1. Educational fun (or would that be fun education?) – I know that sounds kind of silly when talking about a theme park, but Epcot really does throw in a lot of learning. The iconic Spaceship Earth takes us through history (sure, its not perfect but man, condensing the whole course of human history into like 7 minutes can’t be easy), there is Turtle Talk with Crush, and the whole Land Pavilion is just amazing. Have you gone through Living With the Land? In the World Showcase, the countries have shows to talk about their histories and culture. There was Ellen’s Energy Adventure, and of course Test Track & Mission: Space cover technology. Of course you can go to Epcot and not care about learning, but I think it is one of the coolest aspects of the park.
2. Scavenger hunts in the World Showcase – When we first learned about this fun game, it was the Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure, but in 2012 it shifted to the Agent P World Showcase Adventure. That’s okay, I love both Kim Possible and Phineas & Ferb (the show Agent P is from), so the change was cool with me… except I sure did love saying “Let’s check the Kimmunicator!” (Disnerd alert: my text tone on my actual real phone is the Kimmunicator alert) Anyway, so this game is super awesome, and super simple. You sign in at the park or online, and receive your assignment to help thwart Dr. Doofenshmirtz. You’ll be assigned a country and use the clues to complete your mission. There are seven countries with missions so you can actually do this multiple times!
3. Figment – ’nuff said. Ha! In general I wouldn’t list out individual rides in this kind of list, but I adore Figment and his ride. The Imagination song is one of my favorites, and I sing it at home frequently (even though Little J absolutely despises it – so of course Big J uses it to torment his little brother). Then, once the ride is over, the interactive play area before the gift shop is just awesome. You can create your own symphonies or design your own Figment of the imagination. There’s a dance music floor – where you step creates different notes! There is just something about Figment that makes it pretty much my favorite.
4. Topiary – I’m fairly certain Michael was being a smart aleck when he went bananas over Disney topiary the first time, but hey, we rolled with it. He should have known better! There is always some topiary around the park, but in the spring for the Epcot Flower & Garden Festival they go all out. I’m talking elaborate and amazing. So now it is a thing that we take topiary pictures and tag Michael in them when we post online. There have been princes and princesses dancing, and Sorcerer Mickey, and Cars… at some point or another we have found almost everything you can think of.
5. Character meet & greets – Epcot is crazy full of characters! There are the Fab 5 (Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy, Pluto), Chip & Dale, characters from current movies (like Inside Out and Big Hero 6), and princesses galore. I’ve seen Daisy Duck, Stitch, Rafiki, Aladdin and Genie! If you’re looking for a place to meet a wide variety of classic and newer characters, Epcot is definitely the place to go. Especially since in many cases the lines just aren’t that bad. Sure, you’ll have to wait like 5-10 minutes but compared to 60+ minutes elsewhere that’s a pretty sweet deal. And hey, when you go to meet the different characters, don’t forget to think about what you’re going to talk about! Aurora and I talked about our princes and about picnics, Anna talked with us about chocolates, Donald got an attitude because I had on mouse ears and gave him a Mickey Mouse pen to sign an autograph with. Keep in mind what the characters are known for and have fun with it!
It is really hard to pick a favorite WDW park, because they are all awesome and have so much going on, but I think Epcot really does win out as my favorite, because it just has everything. It has the fun and the rides, it has the shows and the fireworks, it has the characters and photo opportunities out the wazoo, it has games and pin trading and shopping… and yes, it has the best food and the best booze! When Michael & I went down in July for a book signing, he didn’t buy any park tickets so we spent our time doing other things (yes, you can go to Disney and not hit up the parks and still have fun), but I still ran into Epcot just to say I did go to one of the parks. Epcot is the coolest, for real.