Learning Is Fun At Epcot
One of my favorite features of visiting Walt Disney World as a mom is that my kids are surrounded by educational content. And they don’t even realize it. Even though the first thought on my mind when I make a Walt Disney World reservation isn’t, “how much will my kids learn on vacation,” it’s comforting to know that opportunities are all around for us to have meaningful and engaging discussions while enjoying our time at the most magical place on earth.
Future World is full of educational opportunities around every corner. I remember visiting as a kid and being in awe of the futuristic technology available for viewing. Though Innoventions, which was the heartbeat of innovation, has dwindled, there’s still plenty to learn and enjoy in Future World.
The Circle of Life, located in The Land Pavilion, is a 20-minute film about conservation. The film features incredible footage of animals in the wild all over the world, as you listen to the song “Circle of Life.” This segues into animation featuring characters from The Lion King. This is a great way to introduce younger kids to the idea of the environmental impact that humans have on the planet.
Ellen’s Energy Adventure is a 45-minute slow movie ride that takes you back to the time of the dinosaurs. Ellen Degeneres and Bill Nye the Science Guy explain the past and future of energy production (the creation of fire, fossil fuels, and harnessing wind energy) through comedy, film, and Audio-animatronics. Although this is a lengthy attraction, it’s a nice relaxing way to learn about energy.
Innoventions used to be the go-to spot for education in Future World at Epcot. It once featured science and technology of the future and was really an exciting exhibit to take a glimpse into the world of tomorrow. Innoventions has now decreased down into one main
attraction, Colortopia Presented by Glidden. This attraction is pretty cool, even if it’s your only option. You get to explore three interactive areas to see how color affects the world around us. The technology is really amazing, and it’s fun for the entire family. I was a little hesitant at first but my ten-year-old thought it was “the coolest!” An overhaul of Epcot was recently announced at the D23: Destination D event at the Contemporary Resort. While all of the specifics weren’t revealed, it only makes sense for Innoventions to be part of the renovations.
Living with the Land, located in The Land Pavilion, is a smooth boat ride through working greenhouses. However, these aren’t just any greenhouses, they are windows into the future. You can see innovative techniques being used to grow a variety of fruits and vegetables, some of which you can even try at the nearby Sunshine Seasons and Garden Grill Restaurant.
As you exit Spaceship Earth, you arrive at Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future. Hands-on activities allow you to explore things like a 3-D simulator for performing remote surgeries and a driving simulator with innovative accident avoidance systems. A lot of people skip out on this exhibit but it really is a fun area to explore.
If you or your children like sea life, you don’t want to miss Sea Base. You can spy on thousands of aquatic creatures such as sea turtles, dolphins, and stingray. Several times a day, you can watch a Cast Member feed the fish and learn about some of the inhabitants.
Soarin’ is the perfect way to introduce your child to the wonders of the world. From flying over the Great Wall of China to sailing into Sydney Harbour, Soarin’ is a great way to open the
conversation with your child about all there is to see in the world. Plus, the queue even has an interactive quiz where you can test your worldly knowledge.
Spaceship Earth is my absolute favorite attraction in Future World. In the centerpiece of Epcot, you get to journey back to the beginning of communication. From the alphabet created by the Phoenicians to the invention of the modern computer, you will never again look at how we communicate the same. As the ride ends, you get to preview a video of yourself in the future. It’s a future where anything is possible.
The best part about a visit to World Showcase is that EVERYTHING is educational! The Cast Members are natives to the countries that they represent. Most of them enjoy talking about their culture and country, so feel free to have your kids ask them questions. Each pavilion also features art, architecture, accessories, and cuisine that is indigenous, or inspired by, the country represented. You can literally “taste” a piece of each country!
The American Adventure show in the American Adventure Pavilion features Audio-animatronics and film to take you on a journey through the history of America. The 30-minute show features the likes of Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain, Thomas Jefferson, Martin Luther King Jr., Will Rogers, and many others. As you proceed through vignettes, you hear actual sound from famous Americans intertwined with vintage film footage. Between the music and the content, you are sure to feel extremely patriotic after your inspirational U.S. history lesson.
The Gallery of Arts and History in the Morocco Pavilion features textiles, jewelry, and art that is representative of the Moroccan culture. It’s a beautiful way to introduce the entire family to the tradition of this African country.
Impressions de France is an 18-minute film in the France Pavilion that highlights the wonderful aspects of a visit to France. Your journey takes you to the Cheverny Forest, Versailles, Normandy, Cannes, and more. You can virtually visit the beautiful country of France!
Kidcot Fun Stops are a great way for your children to talk to native Cast Members from different countries. Not only will they be able to make a craft, but kids can also find out everything that they want to know about their favorite country.
Travel north to explore the exquisite country of Canada in the film O’canada! Become knowledgeable in the architecture, residents, and land of this stunning country.
Circle-vision 360 will help you feel like you’re in China when you experience the beauty of Reflections of China. This incredible film takes you to the Huangshan mountain range, a market in Xinjiang Province, and Beijing’s Forbidden City.
Tours are an excellent way to get a behind the scenes look at some of the amazing features that bring Epcot to life. Unless noted, all tours require an additional fee.
Behind the Seeds: Go behind the scenes of Living with the Land in this pretty neat one-hour tour. You get the chance to see the fish farm, and learn about the different techniques used to grow plants. It’s a great tour for the entire family, and is one of the least expensive tours on property.
Epcot Seas Adventures—aqua Tour: You don’t have to be Scuba-certified in order to snorkel amongst thousands of colorful fish and sea-life. You get the wonderful opportunity to learn about the inhabitants of the Caribbean Coral Reef.
Epcot Seas Adventures—DiveQuest: Scuba-certified divers can enter the Caribbean Coral Reef aquarium at Sea Base and swim with the thousands of sea creatures for a little over two hours.
Epcot Seas Adventures—dolphins in Depth: One of the most incredible experiences at Epcot puts you face to face with dolphins at The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion. Guests get to see a training session and learn about the care that the dolphins receive. This is a perfect experience for teens and adults.
The UnDISCOVERed Future World: This 4-hour walking tour of Epcot takes you back to Walt’s original vision. You will walk through Future World, learn about the history, and even go behind the scenes for visit to a few VIP areas. This tour is best for older teens and adults.
World Showcase: DestiNations Discovered: This 5-hour walking tour takes you on an amazing journey to visit eleven countries in one day! Guests get to go behind the scenes to take a look at the architecture and food that are representative of the different nations.
Even though you may not visit Epcot specifically for the educational aspect, you are certainly surrounded by it if you wish to make it part of your trip. My kids look forward to visiting Epcot and always pick one new thing about which they want to learn. Actually, Epcot is the perfect park to use as an “educational excuse” to take your kids out of school for a trip to WDW!