Overlooked Attractions at Epcot: Walt Disney World Attractions Reviewby Cheryl Pendry, PassPorter Featured Columnist
Last modified 12-13-2012
In the second part of this series of articles looking at the often overlooked attractions at Walt Disney World (view Part One here), we head over to Epcot, and my goodness, there is certainly plenty to be found there!
Epcot - Universe of Energy
The exterior of Universe of Energy.
Starting logically enough in Future World, I tend to find from reading other people's trip reports (check them out at the PassPorter message boards) that people gravitate first to Spaceship Earth, Soarin’, and Test Track, which is no surprise. These are, after all, what would’ve been called E-ticket rides in the days when you purchased books of tickets to go on individual rides. Yet, what if you headed towards the less-heralded attractions instead?
Something that's all too easy to miss, but always entertains us whenever we do it, is the Universe of Energy. You do have to have plenty of time to do this though, as it's perhaps one of Disney's longest attractions, at around 40 minutes, so if you've got a dining reservation coming up imminently, don't cut it too close. We just love going on this, as you can just get on the ride, and off you go. Despite the fact that the ride is so long, as it takes you through so many different scenes, you don't realize how much time you're spending, as there's always something new to see. It's also one of those wonderful Disney attractions that blends education and entertainment so well.
Innoventions is somewhere else that you need to allow plenty of time to explore. We find that, though you can walk right up to many of the exhibits, there are also those we need to wait for, such as riding a Segway at Segway Central. It's not somewhere you can walk into, and fully experience in just a few moments. It's somewhere to savor, and take your time with.
The Land is home to the extremely popular Soarin’, and Living with The Land. The Living with the Land boat ride doesn’t do too badly, although now lines are rarely seen for it. It’s still an enjoyable voyage through the greenhouses here, even if it is showing its age in some of the scenes. Please, Imagineers, can you update the final scene as we come back into the dock? I think it’s been the same since opening day!
Less prominent in this pavilion is the Circle of Life, a film featuring Timon and Pumbaa. Sadly it’s all too easy to walk past on your way to the attractions on offer downstairs, but if you do, you’re missing a real treat. Just like Universe of Energy, there’s a really serious message contained in this, this time about conservation, and the blend of education, and entertainment is just perfect. It’s really thought-provoking, and definitely worth taking the time to see.
I honestly wish I could say the same about the next attraction, and it’s one we often skip. Journey into Imagination with Figment has gone through a real identity crisis, having made several changes over the years. This version is the best in some time, but even so, again it’s rare to see it with a line. It’s fun, but somehow for me, it still isn’t clicking together in the way I’d like it to.
Moving into the World Showcase, I’m going to put Reflections of China, O Canada! and Impressions de France together, as they are all essentially the same thing. They’re all films about the countries they are located in, and I can honestly say, without exception, they are absolutely beautiful. They’ve all undergone improvements in the last few years, and that’s really helped to bring them all up to date. It’s all too easy to bypass them, especially as they do all tend to be a bit hidden away in their pavilions, but if you take the time to explore and find them, you’ll find it to be worthwhile. I will say that it does help if you’ve been lucky enough to visit the places you’re seeing, but even if you haven’t, it may spark an interest in seeing them. And to me, that’s what World Showcase is about, sparking off that interest.
I will say here that there’s also the movie at the end of Maelstrom in the Norway pavillion, although like many other guests, we usually duck straight through it—this just isn’t as up to date and relevant as the other movies, to me. It’s a shame, as Norway is a beautiful country; I just don’t feel this does it the justice it deserves.
The other World Showcase attraction on my list is the American Adventure, and again, it’s all too easy to pass this one by. We often do, but on our last visit we took the time to see it, and we were really impressed by this re-telling of American history, and its use of audio-animatronic figures. If you haven't seen it in some time, be sure to put it on your list for your next visit.
Outside of those attractions, there are plenty of other things to see and do in World Showcase. It's all too easy to miss the various performers found in each of the countries. We always try to catch at least a couple, and I think during the years, we've been lucky enough to see most of them. All of those we’ve seen are certainly worth your time. The countries themselves are also attractions that are also often overlooked, with hidden nooks and crannies, but that's another article all on its own!
In the next part of this series, we’ll be turning our attention to Disney's Hollywood Studios, and looking at some of their often overlooked attractions.
Epcot - Journey Into Imagination
Inside Figment's Open House, which turns everything on its head!
About the Author: Cheryl and husband Mark live in England and love to travel, particularly to Disney, and they have made numerous visits to destinations across America and Europe. They recently completed their tour of every Disney theme park around the world, which culminated in their visit to Japan, including the Tokyo Disney Resort. Click here to view more of Cheryl's articles!
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