Walt Disney World 4 Parks in 2 Days: EPCOT Day 1

Filled with glee, I happily asked Justin "where do you want to eat?"

Despite the fact that it had taken us over an hour to get from one park to another via Disney transit (the buses), I was excited to be back at my favorite park for the first time in over 15 years. With the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival going on, I had no idea what to expect aside from good food. It's hard outside of, say NYC and the actual places (countries, cities within those countries) themselves, to get regional food. EPCOT is one of the few places (specifically in Orlando) that offers food specific to different regions throughout the world all in one place, and I was ready to share that delicious knowledge with my husband, a tried and true foodie.

But I'm jumping ahead of myself. Let's back up and talk a little bit about EPCOT and give you some background before I share what the husband and I did during the rest of our day one epic Disney adventure.

EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) is made up of two sections, the first of which is future world where the focus is on science, agriculture and sea-life. It's where you will find rides like Spaceship Earth (looking at technology, specifically communication, as it has evolved over time), Ellen's Energy Adventure (outdated movie about energy), Test Track (create your own "race car" and then test it on a track), Journey Into Imagination (another outdated ride geared toward children looking at the human imagination), Living with the Land take a look at how food is produced, where it comes from, and how Disney is working to change and improve the production of it), and The Sea with Nemo and Friends (learn about fish found underwater on another children's ride). If you are especially intrigued by any one type of thing studied in EPCOT (like the sea or agriculture, you can always take a behind the seas tour with Disney.)

Then there is World Showcase, the second section, which is where Justin and I focused most of our attention upon arrival to the park. This is where you can travel to multiple countries located around a lagoon tasting delicious food, checking out rides and movies that help to explain the culture a bit more, and giving you the chance to buy products that are typically found within those locales. (Being able to speak the language and/or talk to people that are actually from those countries is, of course, yet another perk!) The countries you can discover in World Showcase include: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America (of course), Japan, Morocco, France, the UK, and Canada. Originally, Walt Disney World creator Walt Disney had hopes and dreams of various countries renting out spots within the park and providing exhibits for their country; however, this never came to fruition. Instead, you have Disney (the company) doing the best they can to imitate and give you the closest cultural experience they know how to (or can) of the country … outside of the country. So, if you travel to the US from one of those other countries, no judgement! 😧 Americans can only do so well at imitating your country. If we even get somewhat close, we can call it good. 😀 (Plus, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, amiright?!?!)

Justin and I booked it to World Showcase when we arrived at EPCOT; the restaurants and entertainment had just opened at noon, and we were hopeful to beat the crowd. Of course we stopped at a beer stand located just as you get to the lagoon for a flight of beers before making our way from left to right around the lagoon hitting up Mexico, and Norway first. As we circled the lagoon, we sampled food from all over the world savering hard-to-find favorites and seeking out new foods of which to try

** Pro-tip: Purchase Disney gift cards from a gift shop within the park before shopping or dining anywhere. For one, during the Food and Wine fest, this will give you a band to wear around your wrist making check-out seamless; you don't even have to reach for your wallet! And two, having gift cards will make you more fully aware of how much money you've spent while exploring the theme parks. Once you get through your first $25 or $50 gift card after only a few "snacks" or purchasing just a few gifts, you will think twice before purchasing anymore.

Things to do within World Showcase:
• the Gran Fiesta Tour starring the three Caballeros in Mexico (a boat tour)
Viking Boat Voyage in Norway (a movie)
Reflections of China (movie)
• look for a miniature train in Germany
The American Adventure (theater performance)
Bijutsu-kan Gallery in Japan
Impressions de France (a movie)
• listen to buskers in the UK
O' Canada (a movie)
• visit with Disney characters (Belle in France, Elsa in Norway, etc…)

and most importantly EAT!! :)

During the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival, there are "pop-up" vendors featuring food and entertainment from countries not typically present at the World Showcase.

** Pro-tip: Chase offers a room in the American Adventure building where you can get free sodas and water if you have a Chase credit card. It is worth knowing, however, the lines are long and it may not be worth your time… even at the "free" cost.

German wine flight + cheese, meat, & pickles
** Try the Württemberg Lemberger wine! It was my favorite! 😀


This guy is actually about the size of someone's fist.

Greek baklava


pastries in "France"

At the end of the night, we watched Sister Hazel at the Eat to the Beat stage. There were several opportunities to see the band at various times throughout the night, and you could come and go as you pleased without having to pay any extra to see the band. Even with all of the extra expenses that go with visiting a Disney park, it was nice to feel like we were getting some form of unique entertainment (not unlike the rides) without having to pay for it just by going during the right time of year.

Of course, there were also fireworks held over the lagoon. I didn't get any shots of the fireworks, but seeing them was definitely a fun way to end the night!

** Pro-Tip: Find a spot around the lagoon to watch the fireworks early if you want a good view. Even the spots you can get via the fast pass system fill up quickly.

And just like that our first day at the Disney theme parks was over.

I think I was successful at introducing the magic of Walt Disney World to my husband, and I feel like we accomplished so much in the 14 hours we spent at the parks that day. :)

Given that I still have only divulged a very small amount of the tips I have for you regarding Walt Disney World, be sure to come back next week to learn even more about the Disney parks, see more suggestions, and admire my images, as I continue my series – Walt Disney World: 4 Parks in 2 Days. 😀

(See part 1 here.)


Would the EPCOT Food and Wine Festival entice you to visit the EPCOT park? Did you know that along with offering unique food choices and wine pairings during the festival, Disney also entertains with "free" concerts?

** Linking up to City Trippers Mummytravels.com and Wandermum.co.uk

* Wanderful Wednesday hosts: Lauren of Lauren on LocationVan of Snow in TromsoIsabel of The Sunny Side of This  and Marcella of What a Wonderful World

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