Epcot is a well thought out park, full of overlooked details and attractions that most guests will never experience. Here are just a few of the hidden magic, off-the-beaten-path attractions and secrets you’ll find in Epcot.
Tower of Morocco
If you’ve looked out across the water at the World Showcase, you’ve probably looked right at the Tower of Terror and never even noticed it!
When they were building Hollywood Studios, the imagineers knew the Tower of Terror would be visible from Epcot, there was no way around it. So they designed the tower to blend into the color and style of the Morocco Pavilion.
From the above secret you can tell that Hollywood Studios and Epcot are kind of close to each other. In fact, you can walk to Hollywood Studios from Epcot if you go out the rear entrance.
The rear entrance is located between France and United Kingdom. From there beautiful walkways take you to the Beach Club, Boardwalk and Swan and Dolphin resorts and then onto Hollywood Studios.
If the walk is too long, there’s also a boat that will take you to Hollywood Studios and the resorts. Free of charge, of course.
The Boardwalk and Yacht Club have shopping, restaurants and beautiful views that can be a nice break from a crowded park.
Talking Trashcans and Water Fountains
Do something simple like throw your trash away or take a drink of water in Epcot and you may be met with a sarcastic quip or silly response.
The talking trashcan is inside the Electric Umbrella restaurant. Look for the one that is plugged in. Did you notice that in the photo above?
There are a few different drinking fountains in Epcot that will talk to you if you stop for a drink. We were going to list their exact locations, but c’mon do we have to give everything away? Well, fine here’s a hint, they’re all in Future World. Happy hunting.
Here are several, off-the-beaten-path attractions that don’t get nearly the attention they should…
How about instead of another ride or show, you just get to try different flavors of pop from around the world. Ok, how about its free too ? You won’t find Club Cool on the official park map of Epcot. Its tucked into the back of Innovation West, behind the Starbucks. Look for the people with amused, yet refreshed, smiles on their faces.
Sum of All Thrills
If you need a break from drinking free pop, head into the Innovations West building and check out Sum of All Thrills…
Here you will use futuristic technology, as well as a little math and science, to design your own thrill ride. This in and of itself is fun, but what makes this a truly overlooked attraction is the robotic arm that turns and twists you in the air as you experience your creation through a 3-D, virtual reality simulator.
When World Showcase was built, space was left for 10 additional countries. Since then, Norway and Morroco have been added, leaving room for 8 more.
On Soarin’ you’ll board flight number 5505. Soarin’ debuted in Epcot on May 5, 2005. Most numbers in Disney World have some sort of hidden meaning.
A sharp eye will notice the address “#82” on the mailbox outside the farmhouse on the Living With The Land boat ride. Epcot opened in 1982.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends is one of the largest saltwater Aquariums in the world. It would be a major stand alone attraction in any major U.S. city. In fact, the aquarium is so large, the water could more then fill Spaceship Earth (the giant golf ball, for those not familiar with it). For an extra fee, guests can even scuba dive in the massive aquarium.
Forced perspective, making buildings and settings appear larger or smaller than they actually are, is used throughout Disney World. Epcot is no exception.
The main building of the American Pavilion appears to just be 2-3 stories, typical for the Colonial era. However, a closer look shows the building is at least 5 stories tall.
Notice the huge windows and doors as well as all the space between floors. This allows the building to be easily viewed from across the pond while still holding true to the way the building would have looked 200+ years ago.
The opposite effect is at work in the Canadian Pavilion. There windows start out small and get even smaller as they go up. The effect makes the landmark building appear much taller than it actually is.
Over in France, Disney has to use several different methods to keep birds off the Eiffel Tower. A bird perched atop would ruin the forced perspective, and expose just how small the Eiffel Tower actually is.
While it was built using the original blueprints from the real Eiffel Tower, Disney had to make its version significantly smaller than the real one.
The France Pavilion is adjacent to the United Kingdom Pavilion. Guests cross over a bridge to walk from one to the other. The waterway under the bridge is meant to symbolize the English Channel that divides the two countries.
In the space between France and Morocco, look for the curvy, dark stretch of pavement. Its there to symbolize the Straits of Gibraltar, as you cross over from Europe into Africa.
There are hundreds of hidden mickeys throughout Epcot. Here are a couple easy ones…
And a couple harder ones…
If you want help looking for hidden mickeys in the park, bring the Hidden Mickeys Field Guide. Its a heck of a lot easier than finding them on your own.
The World Showcase is a great place to learn about other cultures, past and present. There are two museums, hidden in plain sight, that most guests pass right by.
The first is a Viking museum, complete with an authentic Viking sword that is over 1,000 years old. The exhibit is in the Stave Church, the large, sloped, wooden building in the front of Norway. The entrance is easy to miss, with only a red Vikings sign hanging over two imposing, wooden doors.
The museum in Morocco is even easier to miss – many guests don’t realize its there at all. Look for the doors in the photo above. Inside you will find a small, ornate museum called the Gallery of Arts and History. The rooms that display the exhibits are a work of art in and of themselves.
Pick a Pearl in Japan
At the Japan Pavilion guests can select an oyster, have it opened up in front of them, and then get to keep the pearl that is inside. Pearls will range in color and size, and if the oyster you select contains no pearl, you can select another one. The cost is less then $20 and there is usually a line.
Guests can also pay to have the pearl(s) set in a necklace or earrings, making for a one of a kind souvenir.
United Kingdom Pavilion
Most guests will just stroll by the United Kingdom Pavilion, or maybe just poke into a few shops. But take the time to explore the back part. Behind the shops and the restaurants, you’ll find a wonderful little park, complete with a real hedge maze. Few people notice it, but its fun for kids and adults alike.
In the middle of the hedge maze is a small stage. There, several times a day, a rock band named British Revolution puts on a 30 minute show covering all genres of British rock. This is an excellent spot to rest your feet and enjoy a Bass Ale.
Some magic just doesn’t last. For whatever reason, some Epcot secrets get retired, often with little fanfare. Oh well.
Remi from Ratatouille
Diners in Chefs de France used to be treated to an unexpected visit from the little Chef. A small, audioanimatronic Remi would visit with guests, interact with them and respond to their questions and comments. Remi was removed from 2013, probably due to an untimely visit from the health inspector.
Ringing the Phone Booths
There are three iconic phone booths in the U.K. pavilion, plus one in the Canadian pavilion, that had real working phone numbers. Anyone could call and talk to whatever guest answered. Then at some point in 2013, dialing the numbers would only result in a busy signal or a ‘this call can not be completed as dialed’ message. As always, there is no official word on why this magic has been retired, but a good guess is that while most calls were likely kindhearted and fun, probably one too many was mean spirited and rude. Oh well.
Center Booth: (407) 827-9863
Left Booth: (407) 827-9862
Canada Booth: (407) 827-9884
You can still give the numbers a try though. If you discover they’re switched back on, let us know.
Miss the Music?
No doubt part of the magic of Disney is the music of the parks. Some songs you can’t get out of your head, like Its a Small World, others could be listened to everyday, like the track to Soarin’. Luckily Disney has released about 3 dozen songs from the parks. On days you’re really missing Disney World, they can make it feel like you’re still there.