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Spaceship Earth.jpg
Spaceship Earth, the icon of Epcot.
Theme Technology, The Future, Internationality
Website Epcot Homepage
Opened October 1, 1982
Icon Spaceship Earth

Epcot is a theme park located in Walt Disney World.


Walt Disney's Experimental Community of Tomorrow

The genesis for what would one day be known as Epcot began in the early 1960s with Walt Disney himself. After having many grandchildren, Walt began to worry about the world that they would grow up in [1]. As he looked around at the cities of America, he saw places that were full of crime, disorganization, dirt and chaos. Disneyland on the other hand, was the opposite of these things, and Walt decided that he could take the Disneyland philosophy and apply it to the real world. To go along with this, Disneyland had also proved that Walt and his company were very efficient in the art of constructing and designing buildings. With this information in mind, he began to read about how to start a city.

Walt Disney EPCOT plan
Walt explaining his vision for EPCOT

Walt’s plan for a Utopian city got its name in 1966, when Disney narrated a video in which he described his dream [2]. The city would be a part of Walt's secret Florida Project in central Florida, and would be called the Experimental Community of Tomorrow, or EPCOT[2]. Walt called EPCOT, “the most exciting, by far the most important,” and the heart of what he planned to do in Florida. The city would take its cues from the new ideas and technologies of American industry and would be a “community of tomorrow”[2]. Walt wanted to plan and design every detail of the city, in order to meet the public's needs [1]. Industry was also expected to partner with Disney to solve the problems of the society[1]. Walt said that EPCOT would never be finished, it would always be improving and he hoped that when it was built, it would house about 20,000 people [1].

EPCOT was laid out to be the perfect city. It took its design from Disneyland, in that there would be a central hub that roads and monorails would connect to the other parts of the city. The center “hub” of EPCOT would have been a large business area [2]. The area would have been under a dome that would control the temperature and weather. The business area would also have included office buildings, shopping, and the “crown jewel” of EPCOT, the Cosmopolitan Hotel, which would be located at the center of EPCOT and would be 30 stories tall[2]. The hotel would also house (in the basement) the transportation lobby of the city[2]. Underground, People Movers would transport passengers to the various parts of town, and cars and trucks would also have underground highways that they would be able to use (although no gas vehicles would travel above land)[2]. The hub would also feature offices, theaters, nightlife, restaurants, and a shopping center that would sell items from around the world[2].

Outside of the business area was to be the high density apartment housing[2]. Citizens who lived here would have the luxury of being close to the business area. Outside of the apartment housing was to be the recreation area, which would have consisted of things such as pools, parks, churches and schools[2]. Beyond the recreation area would have been the residential neighborhood, where a large number of families would have lived. This area would have consisted of housing and small recreation areas such as playgrounds[2].

The final part of EPCOT would have been the industrial center[2]. This is where companies from around the world would work on various projects[2]. Walt wanted guests to be able to visit these companies, and hopefully take some inspiration for industry home with them [1]. Citizens of EPCOT would take a monorail to the rest of Walt Disney World and the EPCOT industrial center. The monorail and the People Mover were expected to be the main methods of transportation in EPCOT thus eliminating traffic[2].

From City to Theme Park

When Walt Disney died in 1966, the future of EPCOT was forever changed. In 1967 the Reedy Creek Improvement District was signed into law giving Disney more liberties when it came to construction [3]. Furthermore, the state of Florida created the cities of Bay Lake and Reedy Creek, which were essentially governed by the Walt Disney Company [4]. Although this seemed like the first step towards the construction of EPCOT, Disney’s board of the directors decided that they did not want to build the city. Despite Roy O. Disney’s desire to see EPCOT built, when Walt Disney World opened in 1971 it consisted of only the Magic Kingdom, the Contemporary, the Polynesian and the Fort Wilderness Campgrounds.

 EPCOT Concept Art
EPCOT Center concept art.

By 1975, Disney had determined that EPCOT as a day to day community was not a feasible idea. Instead, Disney announced that they would be taking the ideals and goals of EPCOT and building it in the form of a theme park. In July of 1975 Disney announced that their plans for EPCOT would have three main components [1]. The first component would be the EPCOT Institute, which would have helped facilitate the flow of research and information from EPCOT’s other components to the park's sponsors and the general public[1]. The second component of EPCOT would be various “satellites” where research and development of future products and new systems in fields such as: energy, communication, agriculture, and education would take place[1]. The EPCOT satellites would be located both on Walt Disney World property and off[1]. The third, and most perhaps most prominent component of the 1975 EPCOT plan, was the Future World Theme Center[1]. Here, guests would be able to visit various pavilions that showed the research that was being done at EPCOT. Fields including communication, science and technology would all be showcased in the Future World Theme Center[1].

To go along with the scientific and futuristic components of EPCOT, Disney also announced related plans for World Showcase and International Village [5]. World Showcase was to be an area that allowed guests to experience the different cultures of the world. Each country would have its own exhibits space, in a vein similar to a World’s Fair[5]. Furthermore, the showcase would show how technology and communication could promote the betterment of all nations. The International Village on the other hand, would be a place where the international cast members that worked in World Showcase would live [6] The World Showcase area was to be built separately from the Future World Theme Center; however the two locations would be connected by monorail [7]. This new version of Walt’s original EPCOT idea was described in the 1975 annual report:

EPCOT will be to respond to the needs of people by providing a Disney-designed and Disney-managed forum where creative men and women of science, industry, universities, government and the arts - from around the world - can develop, demonstrate and communicate prototype concepts and new technologies, which can help mankind to achieve better ways of living. [8]

Development and Construction

 Future World Under Construction
The World of Motion (front), Universe of Energy (middle) and Spaceship Earth (back) under construction.

Following Disney’s announcement of EPCOT, plans for their newest theme park remained in flux. By 1976, the scope of the project had been narrowed, with one section of the park being the Future World Theme Center, and the other section being World Showcase. Imagineers Marty Sklar and John Hench literally had pushed models of the two areas together, creating the unified EPCOT that would eventually be built [9]. During the ongoing development, the name of the park was changed to EPCOT Center, and the parameters of what the park would include were more clearly defined. The Future World portion of EPCOT Center would contain various pavilions including: Spaceship Earth, CommuniCore, the Life and Health Pavilion, the Transportation pavilion, The Seas, The Land, the Space pavilion, and the Energy pavilion [10]. Like Future World, World Showcase had also changed dramatically since its initial incarnation. By 1977, World Showcase was designed so that all of the countries’ exhibits were now surrounding a central lagoon. Another change in the area had to do with the exterior architecture. Initially, Disney (and CEO Card Walker) had wanted the exterior facades of each country’s pavilion to be identical and interconnected [11]. Imagineer Harper Goff on the other hand, felt that the pavilions should be highly themed and unique, with landmarks from each country drawing guests towards the pavilion [11]. Although Goff’s idea was initially rejected, the Imagineer continued to press the issue. One day, when various international sponsors were touring the plans for World Showcase, Goff left paintings of the highly themed and aesthetically pleasing pavilions on display[11]. Due to the enthusiastic response of the investors, Goff won out, and the World Showcase pavilions were given unique exteriors[11].

Initially planned as a six year project, construction on EPCOT Center began in October 1979, with a projected opening date of October 1, 1982 [12]. At this time, EPCOT Center was considered the largest construction project in the world[12].


Despite the massive amount of construction that was necessary, EPCOT Center was ready in time for its targeted opening day- October 1, 1982 [13]. When the park opened it featured nine pavilions in World Showcase and seven pavilions in Future World [13]. On October 1, the International Ceremony of the Waters took place, where containers of water from 25 bodies of water, representing 29 countries were poured into The Fountain of Nations [14]. A Grand Opening Week was then held from October 17-October 27, during which many of the park's individual pavilions were dedicated. On hand for the festivities were VIP Cast Members including Walt’s widow Lillian, key members of the press, celebrities (including Drew Barrymore and Marie Osmond) and top executives from sponsor companies [15]. On October 24, Disney CEO Card Walker officially dedicated the new park:

To all who come to this place of joy, hope and friendship—welcome.

EPCOT is inspired by Walt Disney's creative vision. Here, human achievements are celebrated through imagination, wonders of enterprise and concepts of a future that promises new and exciting benefits for all. May EPCOT Center entertain, inform and inspire and above all, may it instill a new sense of belief and pride in man's ability to shape a world that offers hope to people everywhere.

E Cardon Walker
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Walt Disney Productions
October 24, 1982

Walker's dedication was followed by speeches from Florida Governor Bob Graham and AT&T president William Ellinghouse [15]. Also on hand for the opening were marching bands and dancers who performed, “We've Only Just Begun To Dream” and a new Sherman Brother’s song, “World Showcase March” [16]. Various musical acts from different countries also performed in World Showcase, and the festivities concluded with 1,000 doves and 15,00 balloons being released in celebration [16]. Also of note, CBS aired a television special, EPCOT Center: The Opening Celebration, which was hosted by Danny Kaye and actually aired the day before the official dedication, October 23 [16]. The opening day EPCOT Center pavilions were:

Future World (Sponsor) World Showcase
CommuniCore East (Sponsor by attraction) Canada
CommuniCore West (Sponsor by attraction) China
Journey Into Imagination (Kodak) France
The Land (Kraft) Italy
Spaceship Earth/Earth Station (Bell System) Japan
Universe of Energy(Exxon) Germany
World of Motion (General Motors) Mexico
The United Kingdom
American Adventure

History Since Opening Day

EPCOT Center (1982-1994)

In 1983 Horizons became the first pavilion added to EPCOT Center

After the Grand Opening in October of 1982, EPCOT Center continued to expand rapidly. The first expansion, known as Phase II, began on October 1, 1983 with the addition the Horizons pavilion [17]. Horizons, which was sponsored by General Electric [17], was a dark ride attraction that took guests into the 21st century, to see what the future might be like. The attraction would be one of EPCOT Center's most popular rides in the 1980s. One year after the addition of Horizons, the Morocco pavilion opened in World Showcase [18]. Although the pavilion didn't feature any new attractions, the popular Restaurant Marrakesh opened at this time. Future World saw even more expansion in 1986 when The Living Seas opened on January 15th [19]. Although a Seas pavilion had always been planned for EPCOT Center, changes in design and budget constraints delayed the pavilion’s construction. Sponsored by United Technologies, The Living Seas focused on oceanic study, and housed the world’s largest aquarium (at the time of its construction) [19].

World Showcase was the next area to expand, when in 1988 the Norway pavilion was completed [20]. Although not ready for the pavilion’s opening, the popular Maelstrom attraction opened later in 1988 [21]. In 1989 the final pavilion was added to Epcot, The Wonders of Life. The pavilion was sponsored by MetLife and featured the popular motion simulator Body Wars, as well as Cranium Command and the Making of Me [22]. The addition of the Wonders of Life signaled the end of EPCOT Center’s expansion.

Beginning in the 1990s, EPCOT Center (specifically Future World) went through a series of refurbishments and change. From 1993 through 1994 The Land pavilion was altered through a sequence of refurbishments. At this time, Kraft assumed sponsorship of the pavilion and Food Rocks, Living with the Land, and Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable replaced the pavilion's original attractions [23].

Epcot (1994-2017)

In 1994 the name of the park itself also changed to "EPCOT '94" as an illusion to the World’s Fair atmosphere that now defined EPCOT [24]. Also in 1994, CommuniCore closed its doors for a lengthy renovation [25]. In order to revive the dated CommuniCore’s popularity, new interactive exhibits featuring hands-on activities were added. On July 1, 1994, the pavilion reopened as Innoventions [25]. Besides changing exhibits, Innoventions also featured darker and metallic looking aesthetics[25]. Another change hit Epcot in 1994 was General Electric ending its sponsorship of Horizons [17]. Although the pavilion initially closed, it later reopened in 1995 due to the renovations taking place in The World of Motion and Universe of Energy pavilions[17]. Also in 1995, the name EPCOT '94 was updated to EPCOT '95, before Disney finally settled on simply “Epcot” in 1996 [24]. Of note, is the fact that the new name was not capitalized as it had been in the past; which meant that the name was no longer an acronym. In January of 1996, The Universe of Energy closed for a major refurbishment [26]. The pavilion reopened in September of that year, as Ellen's Energy Adventure [26]. Although the main focus and some of the attraction’s scenes remained intact, with the addition of Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye the Science Guy, the pavilion took on a more comedic tone [26].

More closures hit Epcot in 1996 when the World of Motion closed [27]. After a series of delays, the pavilion reopened in 1999 as Test Track [27]. Still sponsored by General Motors, Test Track took guests through the rigors of automobile testing procedures, including a speed test where guests reached a maximum speed of 65 mph[27].

Test Track replaced the World of Motion pavilion. Photo by HarshLight

Change continued to be a constant at Epcot, as the park got ready for its Millennium Celebration. In 1998, the popular Journey Into Imagination pavilion closed for refurbishment [28]. During the renovation, the Journey Into Imagination attraction was replaced by the unpopular Journey Into Your Imagination, and the upstairs ImageWorks was closed off to guests (a smaller ImageWorks reopened in the pavilion's first floor) [28]. Following the renovation, the pavilion was renamed simply Imagination! [28].

The following year, in January of 1999, Horizons closed for good [17]. The pavilion had remained unsponsored since GE ended its sponsorship in 1994, and it was beginning to look dated[17]. As opposed to repurposing the pavilion, Disney instead chose to demolish it, to create room for the previously announced Mission: Space pavilion[17]. In 2000, Disney also decided to add a large mickey arm holding a wand to the top of Spaceship Earth [29]. The large dedication “2000” was also added at the end of the wand, although this was subsequently changed to “Epcot” starting in 2001 [29].

Following the addition of the wand, Epcot stayed relativity stagnant until 2003 when Mission: Space finally opened [30]. The new attraction was a motion simulator thrill ride which was themed as an astronaut training program for the first flight to Mars [30]. In 2005, another simulator was added to the park, this time to the Land pavilion, in the form of the new attraction Soarin' Over California [31]. Initially created for Disney’s California Adventure, this motion simulator gave guests the feeling they were hang gliding over California [31].

In 2006, The Living Seas was rethemed to tie in with the Disney-Pixar movie Finding Nemo and subsequently renamed The Seas with Nemo & Friends [19]. The pavilion now housed a dark ride attraction (also called the Seas with Nemo & Friends), as well as Turtle Talk with Crush, and the interactive exhibits in Sea Base[19]. Overall, the pavilion took on more of a fantasy tone, as opposed to the previous scientific tone of the pavilion.

The next major change to Epcot came in 2007, when the Wonders of Life Pavilion closed [32]. The pavilion had not been sponsored since 2001 when MetLife dropped its sponsorship, and had seen a decrease in popularity [33]. The Wonders of Life pavilion remains closed to guests, except during special events like the Flower and Wine Festival.

In March of 2015, Disney announced that all of the Innoventions West exhibits would be closing [34]. Despite these closures, the Chase Character Meet & Greet remained open [35].

A Remimagined Epcot (2017-Present)

Concept Art showing the "neighborhoods" of Epcot.

At the 2017 D23 Expo, Disney announced that a series of major changes would be coming to Epcot [36]. As a part of the park-wide refurbishment, the company stated that the Universe of Energy would close for the addition of a new Guardians of the Galaxy attraction[36]. Furthermore, Epcot President Tom Fitzgerald announced that a new space themed restaurant would open next to Mission: Space, which would also be receiving a new "Green Team" mission. At this time, Disney further revealed concept art for a redesigned entrance area for Epcot[36].

Like Future World, as part of the Epcot overhaul, a number of changes were also announced for World Showcase. Most significantly, Disney announced that the Ratatouille attraction from Disneyland Paris would be added to an expanded France pavilion[36]. Additionally, Fitzgerald stated that the China pavilion would be receiving a new seamless CircleVision film.

True to previous announcement, on August 13, 2017, the Universe of Energy pavilion closed. [37].

On February 21, 2019, Disney announced that a new "PLAY! pavilion" would be coming to the former Wonders of Life building [38]. Imagineer Zach Riddley noted that the pavilion would be "Built on the power of play, (and) it introduces an immersive and interactive ‘city’ where you can explore, create, and interact with some of your favorite Disney characters. This is an experience worthy of our bold vision for Epcot – and another signature element of our transformation.[38]" Although an official opening date was not given, the pavilion was expected to open in time for Walt Disney World's 50th anniversary in 2021.

As part of the ongoing transformation of Epcot, in July 2019, Disney gave updated information about the future of Innoventions [39] . At this time, Disney announced that Innoventions East and the nearby Fountain of Nations would be permanently closing on September 8, 2019 [40]. Furthermore, it was announced that the Electric Umbrella and Club Cool would be closing in the Winter of 2019. Also closing at this time is Innovention's other dining option, the FountainView and the Mouse Gear store, which subsequently reopened in a temporary location [40].

On August 25, 2019, Disney announced that as part of Epcot's overhaul, "Epcot will be unified with four neighborhoods that each speak to important aspects of the world and its people: World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature and World Discovery. These neighborhoods will be filled with new experiences rooted in authenticity and innovation that take you to new destinations, where the real is made fantastic in a celebration of curiosity, hands-on wonder and the magic of possibility. [41]"

At this time, Disney stated that Epcot's new World Celebration neighborhood would incorporate an updated Spaceship Earth, a new three story festival center, the park's redesigned entrance plaza, and a new view of World Showcase from Dreamers Point [41]. This neighborhood was also expected to feature a statue of Walt Disney. Although not mentioned by Disney, the Imagination! was incorporated into World Celebration [41]. Furthermore, as part of the construction of World Celebration a version of EPCOT Center's original entrance fountain was re-installed in front of Spaceship Earth. The new fountain debuted on December 22, 2020 [42].

World Nature, the park's second new neighborhood, was inititialy made up of The Land and The Seas with Nemo & Friends pavilions. As part of the new neighborhood announcement, Disney stated their plants to bring a brand new interactive experience titled Journey of Water, inspired by Disney's Moana[41] to the area. On this lush exploration trail, guests will get to meet and play with magical water, while also learning about the importance of the natural water cycle.

The final new neighborhood to come to Epcot was World Discovery. This area is composed of Test Track, Mission: Space, Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind and the new Space 220 Restaurant[41]. Due to these changes, the Future World label that had been a staple of Epcot since it opened was phased out of use.

On September 30, 2019, ImmuniNations: Reflections of Earth was performed for the final time [43]. The following night, October 1, 2019, Epcot Forever made its debut. This new nighttime spectacular allowed guests to "celebrate the past, present and future of Epcot through this dazzling fireworks and special-effects spectacular". Epcot Forever was initallly concived as a temporary show, which would be performed until Harmonious debuted on October 1, 2012.

Also on October 1, 2019, the EPCOT Experience opened in the former Odyssey Restaurant location [44]. Inside the EPCOT Experience, guests could see a stylized model of Epcot's future, as well as a 12 minute 360 degree film that celebrated the park's past, and gave guests a glimpse at its future. In addition to this look ahead, the Preview Center also featured artifacts from Epcot's history and merchandise locations.

In July 2020, Disney gave an update on the future of World Celebration. At this time, the company revealed that the multi-tier festival center that it had originally envisioned. Following this announcment, the upcoming Dreams Point area was described by Disney as a place to "explore lush gardens, listen to stirring musical performances and delight in festival fun at Dreamers Point. Here, you’ll also discover a statue of Walt Disney—a reminder for us all to dream big." [45].

On October 1, 2021, EPCOT officially dropped the Future World name. Instead, the park was officially re-zoned into the four neighborhoods- World Celebration, World Discovery, World Nature and World Showcase [46].

On March 14, 2022, the EPCOT Experience closed in the Odyssey pavilion. At this time, the Odyssey returned to its former function as the park's festival center [47].'

The next major change to EPCOT came on May 27, 2022 when the Wonders of Xandar pavilion opened in World Discovery. EPCOT's first "other world" pavilion, Wonders of Xandar holds Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and the Treasures of Xandar shop [48].

Current Pavilions

To see the current Epcot map Click Here.

The 2021 Epcot map (click to enlarge).

World Nature

Formally known as Future World West, World Nature is made up of The Land, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Imagination! and the future Journey of Water attraction.


Main Article: Imagination!

Formally known as Journey Into Imagination, the Imagination! pavilion opened in 1982 and is located in World Nature. Inside Imagination! guests can visit the dark ride Journey Into Imagination With Figment, and the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival. Also located within the pavilion is the interactive ImageWorks, which houses individual exhibits that allow guests to explore their imagination.

The Land

Main Article: The Land

Perhaps the most popular pavilion in Epcot, The Land opened with the park in 1982 and is located in World Nature. Inside the pavilion guests will find Soarin' Around the World, a motion simulator attraction that takes them hang gliding over various world landmarks, as well as the boat ride Living with the Land. The Land pavilion also houses a working greenhouse, which grows much of the food that is used in the pavilion's restaurants- the The Garden Grill Restaurant and the Sunshine Seasons.

The Seas With Nemo & Friends

Main Article: The Seas with Nemo & Friends

The Living Seas was renamed The Seas with Nemo and Friends in 2006. Photo by Josh Hallett

Formally known as the Living Seas, this pavilion opened in 1986 in World Nature. Initially known for its large Caribbean Coral Reef aquarium, The Seas With Nemo & Friends now features a dark ride (also named The Seas with Nemo and Friends) that takes guests through the story of the Disney-Pixar film Finding Nemo. Also located in the Seas pavilion is Turtle Talk With Crush, an interactive “digital puppetry” show that allows guests to interact with Crush the turtle from Finding Nemo. Finally, the Seas with Nemo & Friends also houses Sea Base, an underwater research facility with Finding Nemo themed exhibits. The only restaurant in the pavilion is the Coral Reef Restaurant which specializes in seafood.

World Celebration

The central neighborhood in Epcot, World Celebration is made up of Spaceship Earth, the Creations Shop, Connections Cafe and Eatery and Club Cool. World Celebration will also be the future home of CommuniCore Hall and CommuniCore Plaza, multipurpose indoor and outdoor event spaces.

Spaceship Earth

Main Article: Spaceship Earth

The icon of the park, Spaceship Earth opened in 1982 and is located in World Celebration. The attraction is a dark ride that takes guests through the history human communication. From 2005 until 2017 Spaceship Earth was sponsored by Siemens, who added and emphasis on new technology, and how it could impact the fuspaceture.

World Discovery

Formally known as Future World East, World Discovery is made up of the Test Track and Mission: Space, as well as the future Play Pavilion and Wonders of Xandar pavilion.

Mission Space

Main Article: Mission: Space

Mission: Space opened in 2003 in what was then Future World East (now World Discovery), in the location originally occupied by the Horizons pavilion. Mission: Space is a motion simulator attraction that allows guests to experience astronaut training for the first manned trip to Mars. After riding Mission Space guests can explore the Advanced Training Lab which features a competition game and interactive exhibits.

Test Track

Main Article: Test Track (Pavilion)

The fastest attraction in Disney World, Test Track opened on December 19, 1998 in what was then Future World East (now World Discovery). Test Track replaced the World of Motion attraction, which had been open from 1982 until 1996. The attraction allows guests to design their own cars and then test them on the "SimTrack". The apex of the attraction is a 65 MPH speed test that concludes the attraction. General Motors has sponsored the pavilion in both its World of Motion and Test Track forms.

Wonders of Xandar

Main Article: Wonders of Xandar

Opening in 2022, the Wonders of Xandar pavilion houses the Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction. Described as Epcot's first "other-world" showcase pavilion, Wonders of Xandar allows gusts to visit the Galaxarium, where the people of Xandar showcase their world, people, and advanced technologies. Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind, is a new innovative roller coaster that rotates 360 degrees to focus rider's attention on specific action.

World Showcase


Main Article: Mexico

The Mexico pavilion opened in 1982, and is the first pavilion guests reach if they go left at the entrance to World Showcase. The pavilion itself is shaped like a large Mesoamerican pyramid and it houses the boat ride attraction, The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros. Also located within the pavilion is the San Angel Inn (a Mexican restaurant) as well as a Mexican shopping area. Outside of the pavilion guests can eat at either the Cantina de San Ángel or the La Hacienda de San Angel which are counter service restaurants located on World Showcase Lagoon.


Illuminations taking place on World Showcase Lagoon. Photo by CL Photographs

Main Article: Norway

If guests continue to go around World Showcase clockwise, the next country they will find themselves in is Norway. Norway opened in 1988 and is themed to resemble a small Norwegian town. The Norway pavilion was formally home to Maelstrom- a boat ride that took guests through scenes depicting Norse and Viking mythology. Norway is also home to a detailed Stave church and a large shop, as well as two dining options- Kringla Bakeri og Kafe and Princess Storybook Dining at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. A new attraction, Frozen Ever After, opened in 2016.


Main Article: China

The China pavilion is located next to Norway, and opened with the park in 1982. The pavilion is themed to look like an ancient Chinese town, and features the Circle Vision 360 film Reflections of China. Also in China is the table service restaurant Nine Dragons which features gourmet, traditional Chinese food. A quick services restaurant, the Lotus Blossom Cafe also sells Chinese cuisine.


Main Article: Germany

As guests pass through China the next pavilion they will come across is Germany. The Germany pavilion opened with the rest of World Showcase in 1982, and is themed to look like a small German town. The pavilion was supposed to have a boat attraction like Norway and Mexico, however due to lack of funding the attraction was never built. The Germany pavilion is home to Biergarten (a buffet style German restaurant) and Sommerfest (a quick service restaurant).


Main Article: Italy

The Italy pavilion is located next to Germany and is the farthest point from the World Showcase entrance. The pavilion opened in 1982 and is adorned with architecture from Venice, Florence, and Rome, along with recreations of Italian landmarks such as St. Mark's Campanile and Dodge's Palace. Although Italy does not have an attraction (a planned boat ride was never built), it does feature two table service restaurants, Tutto Italia Ristorante and Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria.

The American Adventure

The American Adventure pavilion is the centerpiece of World Showcase

Main Article: The American Adventure

The next pavilion guests encounter after passing through Italy is The American Adventure. The American Adventure opened in 1982, and is themed to look like a colonial American town. The pavilion is located in the center of World Showcase due to the fact that America is the host pavilion of the showcase. Inside of the American Adventure pavilion, guests can see the Voices of Liberty perform before experiencing the American Adventure attraction, which uses film, images and Audio Animatronics to take guests through America’s history. The pavilion is also home to the Regal Eagle Smokehouse- a counter service restaurant that sells American cuisine, and the American Gardens Theater, which is an outdoor amphitheater.


Main Article: Japan

The Japan pavilion opened with the park in 1982, and is located next to the American Adventure. The Japan pavilion is themed with various Japanese buildings including tori gates and a Japanese castle. Although the pavilion does not have an attraction, it does have an exhibit called the Bijutsu-kan which displays Japanese art. The Japan pavilion is also home to three restaurants: Teppan Edo (a stir fry restaurant), Tokyo Dining (sushi), and finally the Katsura Grill (traditional counter service restaurant).


Main Article: Morocco

After guests pass through Japan, the next country they enter is Morocco. Morocco is the only pavilion in World Showcase to have been sponsored by a country, not a corporation. When it opened in 1984, Morocco was the first pavilion to be added to World Showcase, and it is themed to look like a realistic Moroccan town that even features a real minaret. Although the pavilion does not have an attraction, it does feature the Fes House, which shows guests what a typical Moroccan house looks like. The Morocco pavilion is also home to two restaurants, Restaurant Marrakesh and Tangierine Café, which are table service restaurants that serve typical Moroccan cuisine.


Main Article: France

The France pavilion is located next to Morocco and opened with the park in 1982. The pavilion is themed to look like a Paris neighborhood, and even features a model Eiffel Tower. In total the France pavilion houses three restaurants- the table service Monsieur Paul, the quick service Boulangerie Patisserie, and finally the bakery Les Chefs de France. The France pavilion is also home to one attraction, Impressions de France, which is a travelogue film set to classical music and shown on a 200 degree screen, as well as the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along.

The United Kingdom

Main Article: The United Kingdom

Neighboring France on the right is the United Kingdom pavilion. The United Kingdom opened with the park in 1982 and is themed to look like a typical English village. Although there is no attraction in the pavilion, there are two restaurants and six stores. The Rose & Crown is a table service restaurant that specializes in English food, while the Yorkshire County Fish Shop is a quick service restaurant that sells fish, chips and shortbread.


Main Article: Canada

The final pavilion located in World Showcase is the Canada pavilion. Canada is located between the United Kingdom and the entrance to World Showcase and opened with the park in 1982. The pavilion is themed to showcase the Canadian outdoors with features including a canyon, a waterfall, and fountain. The Canada pavilion also features the Circle Vision 360 Film, Canada Far and Wide as well as the Le Cellier Steakhouse.

Former Pavilions

Former Epcot pavilions: CommuniCore (top), Horizons (middle), and Wonders of Life (bottom)


Main Article: Horizons

Horizons was a dark ride attraction that opened in 1983 in Future World East. The attraction was considered to be a sequel to the Magic Kingdom attraction the Carousel of Progress, however instead of showing progress that had already happened, Horizons focused on what life could be like in the 21st century. Unlike other pavilions which had a singular theme, Horizons tied together all the other themes of Future World including: communication, community, energy, transportation, anatomy, physiology, along with man's relationship to the sea, land, air, and outer space. Sponsored by General Electric from 1983 until 1993, Horizons was finally closed in 1999 and eventually demolished to make room for Mission: Space [17].

Wonders of Life

Main Article: Wonders of Life

Originally sponsored by MetLife, The Wonders of Life Pavilion opened in 1989 in Future World East. The pavilion housed three main attractions: Body Wars (a motion simulator), Cranium Command (an Audio Animatronic show) and the Making of Me (a humorous educational video). Following the end of MetLife's sponsorship in 2001, the pavilion began to see a decline in popularity, which led to it only operating seasonally beginning in 2004. In 2007 Wonders of Life was permanently closed. The pavilion has since been used as the main center for the Epcot Flower and Garden Festival and the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival.


Main Article: CommuniCore

CommuniCore opened with the park in 1982 and housed exhibits that featured new technology. The pavilion was divided into two parts: CommuniCore East and CommuniCore West, which each offered unique experiences. In 1994 CommuniCore was closed and redesigned, eventually reopening as Innoventions. When the pavilion reopened it still featured technology exhibits, but they now tended to be more interactive.

Universe of Energy

Main Article: Universe of Energy

The Universe of Energy opened with the park in 1982 and was located in Future World East. The pavilion was home to the Universe of Energy attraction from 1982 until 1996, when the attraction was refurbished and renamed Ellen's Energy Adventure. The new attraction featured three films and a seven minute dark ride, which explored the history and future of energy and starred Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye the Science Guy. On August 13, 2017 Ellen's Energy Adventure closed to make way for a new attraction titled Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind. On September 30, 2021, Disney announced that the former Universe of Energy pavilion would be rechristened the "Wonders of Xandar" when Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind opens.


Main Article: Innoventions

Innoventions opened in 1994 and housed exhibits that feature new technological advancements. Located in the center of Future World, Innoventions took over the buildings that formally housed CommuniCore from 1982-1994. Initially divided into Innoventions East and Innoventions West, by 2016 all of the exhibits in Innoventions West had closed. In addition to these exhibits, Innoventions was also home to the Coca Cola sponsored Club Cool,Mouse Gears and the Epcot Character Spot. All of Innoventions East closed on September 8, 2019 as part of Epcot's ongoing transformation.

Disney Genie +

Lightning Lane

The two Lightning Lane exclusive attractions at Epcot are:

Fun Facts and Trivia

  • Epcot cost nearly 1.4 billion dollars to create [50].
  • Every fifteen minutes throughout the day, the Innoventions Plaza Fountain, which is located between Innoventions East and West, presents a spectacular water ballet set to music [51].
  • As part of the Millennium Celebration, Disney installed 35 granite and steel “Leave A Legacy” sculptures in front of Spaceship Earth. Digitally etched onto these works of art are photos of guests who had their pictures taken at one of Epcot’s “Capture Stations” [52].
  • The Fountain of Nations in Epcot can shoot water more than 150 feet into the air. If all of the water cannons were fired at the same time, 2,000 gallons of water would fill the air [51].
  • There is a marker in Epcot showing the exact center of the park. It is located just to the west of Innoventions West (on that path that leads straight to The Land) [51]. Around the center, guests can see the names and inventions of history's greatest inventors [53].


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