Iconic Spaceship Earth at Epcot Center, Walt Disney World (Gene duncan)

Topiaries in front of Epcot's iconic Spaceship Earth, Walt Disney World (User-submitted)

Future World and monorail at Epcot Center, Walt Disney World (User-submitted)

Future World at Walt Disney World's Epcot Center (User-submitted)

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What to do in Epcot Center

With its focus on technology and world cultures, Epcot sets itself apart from the other Disney theme parks. At 300 acres, it's twice as large as the Magic Kingdom, and it's divided into two areas: Future World (featuring Epcot's iconic Spaceship Earth, the big silver "golf ball" looming over the park) and the World Showcase, which includes pavilions representing the food and culture of 11 different nations.

Epcot was inspired by Walt Disney's vision for a utopian planned city celebrating innovation and technology, community, and shared work. Though the Epcot of today is probably not quite what Disney had in mind, it has grown into a unique destination, part theme park and part World's Fair.

Epcot's educational attractions and shows encourage families to think and dream, but there is not much in the way of thrill rides, which may not go over so well with older kids. Though it's not the fastest-paced theme park, Epcot has a lot to offer families who are interested in science, culture, and ethnic foods. The dining in the 11 pavilions includes French, Moroccan, Chinese, Norwegian, and German cuisine, among other nationalities. The food is authentic, prepared by experienced chefs, and surprisingly healthy for theme park fare. Many visitors consider the array of food options the best thing about Epcot, so pick a genre you think your kids will like and dig in.

Through the years, favorite attractions have included Mission: SPACE, Imagination! and Honey, I Shrunk the Audience. The international pavilions offer live entertainment, and you'll find kid-oriented activity booths sprinkled throughout the park. Stick around until after dark, if you can, for the spectacular fireworks and light show IllumiNations, which lights up the World Showcase Lagoon for 12 minutes with pyrotechnics, lasers, and water. It's a great way to cap off your Epcot experience.

  • Epcot Center Travel Q&A