Where to Find the Best Views in Walt Disney World - Part 2
Epcotby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 02-07-2013
In the second part of this series of articles looking at the best views in Walt Disney World (check out Part 1 on the Magic Kingdom), we head over to Epcot, and where better to start than at the entrance, or in fact above it?
Epcot - Flower and Garden Festival
Elements of the Flower and Garden Festival, as seen from the monorail.
I love the monorail, and I’d love to see it extended to all the other parks at Walt Disney World. Of course, it will never happen, but a girl can dream, can’t she?! Anyway, nowhere is my love for the monorail more evident than on the route that takes you from the Ticket and Transportation Center over to Epcot. There’s something truly magical about actually gliding through Future World, and seeing those iconic pavilions from above. I love looking down on the people in the park below us, scurrying around like ants, and seeing all the little details. If I could, I’d ride this time and time again, just to see this. Oh hang on – wait… that’s exactly what I do every time we visit!
That’s not the only wonderful view at the entrance to this park. There’s something very special about walking into Epcot, and seeing the familiar golf ball shape of Spaceship Earth looming up above you. I always have a moment where I just stop in wonder and admire it, remembering the first time I saw it as a teenager. Even today, it still has me spellbound, and I think I could look at it for hours and still not get bored.
Even better, the entrance plaza now often has topiaries, even outside the obligatory Flower and Garden Festival season. It’s wonderful to walk in and see those within the flowerbed in front of the turnstiles. I know some will say that the whole area has been spoiled by the Leave a Legacy tiles, with some saying that they look like gravestones, but if like us, you have your own tile, it’s something special to see.
As you walk through Future World, there’s so much to enjoy in terms of scenery, from the beautiful Fountain of Nation, to the fun entrance to the Seas with Nemo and Friends. Can anyone ever get sick of standing there, as the waves lap over the rocks, hearing the seagulls yelling, "Mine, mine, mine?!" Though not one of my favorite rides, Mission Space provides a lovely view, particularly at night. Walk past Test Track, and you’ll come across another of my favorites, with the lovely view opening up across the reflecting pool to World Showcase on the other side of the water. As you come down the main walkway connecting Future World and World Showcase, there’s another view I absolutely adore, across to the Imagination pavilion. Again, this is another vista that may look even more beautiful when it’s lit up at night, and watching the "waterfall" apparently running upwards is something I could do for hours.
Head across into World Showcase, which is packed with superb views, but perhaps the scenes that people are less likely to appreciate are those to the left and right across World Showcase Lagoon, to some of the nearby countries. I love being able to see the temple of China, alongside the castles of Norway, or the old buildings of the United Kingdom, with the Eiffel Tower nearby. Where else in the world (apart from Las Vegas!) can you do that?
Walk around each country, and you’ll see plenty of wonderful views, so I’ll just pick a few of mine, and perhaps the ones that aren’t as well known. In Canada, the Victoria Gardens are absolutely stunning year 'round, something anyone passing by can enjoy. Fewer walk through the pavilion towards the fun O Canada! film, to find mountain streams and waterfalls. It’s a truly relaxing area.
Head into the United Kingdom, and don’t just walk through, but head for the back of the pavilion, where you might hear strains of music during the day. Sit and enjoy a traditional British town square, before walking out through the gardens opposite the fish and chip shop. It always reminds me of home.
Epcot - Mission Space
Mission Space at night.
While it may not remind me of home, there’s another picture perfect view in France, and that’s seeing the fountains tinkling away in front of the main pavilion. There’s something about water that I find truly relaxing.
I’ll skip a couple of pavilions here, and move into Italy, where the best view to be found isn’t inside Italy at all, but on the banks of World Showcase Lagoon. It was many years before I found this one, and it was all thanks to a professional photographer, who took photos of us around the Venetian gondolas that bob up and down. I now love this area, and visit it every time we’re in Walt Disney World. There’s something very special about seeing those gondolas, with Spaceship Earth as a backdrop, and once again, it’s something you’ll never see anywhere else.
Head further around the lagoon, and another of my favorite views is at the entrance to China, looking towards the Temple of Heaven, with (once again!) the water in front of it makes for a beautiful sight and a lovely memory. Inside the Temple, there’s another superb view. Step inside, and look up at the roof. This is something I missed for many years, but now that I know, I can just stand there for ages and admire all the details in it.
The final view of Epcot that I want to share, and which I absolutely adore, is looking across the lagoon from China towards Norway, to see the circular tower of Restaurant Akerhaus. It’s one of those "been there" moments that brings back fond memories of our trip to Oslo many years ago. While World Showcase may introduce many to these sights from around the world, it’s sometimes only when you’ve been to the country itself that you can truly appreciate what you see in Epcot, and that’s definitely the case here.
In the next part of this series of articles, we’ll move over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios to scope out some of the best views to be found there.
Updated 02-07-2013 - Article #902
by PassPorter Travel Press, an imprint of MediaMarx, Inc.
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