Epcot hasn’t always been associated with rides. Great food and education was the name of the game for years. In recent years, Walt Disney World has spent millions, if not billions, or dollars to upgrade the park and install state of the art rides. Here are our top 10 rides in Epcot:
#10: The Seas with Nemo and Friends - Located in what used to be the Living Seas pavilion, it has now been turned into a Nemo themed pavilion. The Seas with Nemo and Friends takes you underwater with Mr. Ray in search of his class. Great special effects, you get to go through the giant aquarium that is the center piece of the pavilion. Fun for everyone.
#9: Maelstrom – Located in the Norway pavilion, Maelstrom takes you on a Norwegian adventure through the history of Norway. Complete with a visit through a historic town, evil trolls and a big water fall, Maelstrom isn’t to the level of most Disney rides, but it is fun, and usually easy to get on. There is also a beautiful movie after you get off the ride that presents the wonderful areas of Norway. You can bypass the movie if you wish, but you must wait for the doors to open, which is every 10 minutes or so.
#8: Living with the Land – My long time favorite in Epcot, I would have listed it higher but many find it boring. Take a gentle boat ride through a Jungle, desert and prairie before entering Epcots greenhouses. Check out the innovative ways Disney grows food for many of their restaurants, including growing food without soil. Very informative, and relaxing. Little kids and teens may find some of the ride boring, while other parts hold their interest pretty well.
#7: The American Adventure – Located in the American Pavilion in the World Showcase, the American Pavilion was long the center piece of Epcot. Fantastic animatronics, wonderful historic footage and unique technology are used to tell 200+ years of American history in 30 minutes.
#6: Turtle Talk with Crush – Located in The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Turtle Talk was a unique attraction for Disney that has now been reproduced at Disneyland (California Adventure) and more recently the Monsters Inc.Laugh Floor in the Magic Kingdom. Crush, while completely animated on screen, interacts with audience guests, including answering questions and poking fun of adults. Great attraction for kids, and different every time, so you can easily see it several times during your trip.
#5: Honey I Shrunk the Audience - The original 4-D Disney Movie (if you don’t count Captain EO), it has kicked off a few other versions including It’s Tough to be a Bug and Mickey’s Philharmagic. Watch as Professor Szalinski, the star of the Honey I shrunk the “blank” movies receives an award for the inventor of the year, and accidentally shrinks the audience. Fun, action packed “movie”, with a few scary parts. Some little kids may be scared, but you an always leave if needed.
#4: Mission: Space – Located in Future World, Mission: Space is a great ride, taking you to Mars, complete with full G-Forces and troubles galore. Great ride, including guest interaction required to get you to Mars. Mission: Space isn’t for everyone, and several people have actually died after riding it. Disney now offers a non-spinning side, which isn’t quite as fun, but if you suffer from nausea, you might want to consider that side.
#3: SpaceShip Earth – The original attraction of Epcot, SpaceShip Earth takes you on a history of the world, specifically, a history of communication. Great animatronics , complete with sound and smells to match the scene, SpaceShip Earth is entertaining and educational at the same time. A recent update has added to many of the scenes. If there is a line, come back later in the day, usually by late afternoon, you can walk right on.
#2: Test Track: Located in Future World, Test Track was Epcot’s original thrill ride. Replicating a car testing grounds, Test Track takes you through the testing of a new car, including the high speed banked turns. The single rider line is a great way to bypass the line if it is long, but be warned, your party will be separated.
#1: Soarin’ - Located in The Land pavilion, Soarin’ is basically a duplicate of Soarin’ Over California that opened in California Adventure. Soarin’ replicated a hang glider ride over California, including a visit to Disneyland. Fun for kids and adults, the sights, sounds and smells are amazing, just a fantastic family ride.
Epcot features some great rides, and really shouldn’t be missed on your Disney World vacation. Give it a try, you will be amazed how fun and beautiful the park is. Oh, and lines for Soarin’ and Test Track are often very long, so make good use of the Fast Pass system early in the day.