Family Travel: Epcot’s Diversity, Flickr: leateds

Get Your Education on at Epcot!


Although Orlando’s Epcot boasts a variety of rides, shows, and attractions, it stands apart from other Disney parks as it features a dominant focus on education.  Epcot is essentially a highly interactive and entertaining museum focused on two aspects: the future and world cultures.  Although most people think of the large Spaceship Earth dome when they think of Epcot, the park is actually quite massive: three times larger than California’s Disneyland.  With over 31 attractions, there is definitely something for everyone.

World Showcase is a permanent, interactive world’s fair.  At the World Showcase, guests visit pavilions focusing on 11 different countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States.  Each country is represented by Disney staff from the country of interest, so feel free to ask questions, chat, and explore the cultural nuisances and diversity of our world.  Interactive exhibits, cultural artifacts, rides, and educational information can be browsed or poured over depending on your family’s interest level as you walk through these villages representing various cultures.  If you are looking to try Japanese or Norwegian food, you are in luck; each of the eleven represented countries boasts at least one restaurant focusing on regional fare.

Start your journey at the World Showcase by visiting any Kidcot Fun Stop.  Located in all 11 country pavilions, the Kidcot Fun Stops are the perfect place to orient young children to the fun and diversity of the park.  They’ll love collecting stamps from each country, coloring, and creating free souvenirs to take home.

Don’t be tempted to gloss over the United States portion out of familiarity, historic artifacts like Lincoln’s stovepipe hat, Edison’s Kinetoscope, an actual moon rock, and early manuscripts of Uncle Tom’s Cabin are just a few of the artifacts you will find in the American Heritage Gallery, reopening March 1, 2013.  Visit the American Adventure to watch an interactive stage show that will have your kids loving history by the end.  The major ride at World Showcase is Maelstrom, a Norwegian themed boat ride.  Although it has a 28-foot drop, kids of any age and size can ride.

Future World also boasts numerous exhibits and educationally focused material.  Families can learn about everything from space travel to planet sustainability, all showcased through highly interactive spaces and Disney magic.  There also happens to be a lot of rides in Future World.  At the Advanced Training Lab, you can ride Mission: SPACE, where you compete with other park guests to see who can send a rocket from Mars to Earth.  Little ones can run, jump, and climb at the Space Base playground.  Other major rides attractions include Soarin’, the park’s most visited attraction, Captain EO, a nostalgic throwback to the original Disneyland California production starring Michael Jackson, Innovations, and the wildly popular (and newly refurbished) Test Track.

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photo: leateds

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