Walt Disney World Secrets and Facts: Epcot Edition
Disney’s Epcot opened on a beautiful day in October of 1982. That magical day has sparked millions of enchanted memories from the young all the way to the old.
What you may not know is that while we think we see all Epcot has to offer, there are quite a few secrets you should look out for on your next Walt Disney World vacation!
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Epcot is divided into two sections:
- Future World
- World Showcase
Future World highlights the technological advances of yesterday, today, and tomorrow while World Showcase goal is to highlight learning and living with people of other cultures.
But before we dive in, don’t forget to grab your FREE Walt Disney World itinerary here.
Future World Secrets and Facts
1 – E.P.C.O.T
Epcot stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
2 – It’s Magic!
Spaceship Earth (the big golf ball) is designed with a runoff system that prevents water from reaching the ground when it rains.
3- The Original Mailing System
When riding through Spaceship Earth, pay attention to the Egyptian scene. The scrolls are duplicates of a real document sent from a pharaoh.
4– What’s with the Computer Guy in Spaceship Earth???
A lot of people think it’s Bill Gates or Steven Jobs asleep at the computer on Spaceship Earth, but it’s actually a nod to all the dreamers and builders out there who have made the computer technology we love today.
5 – Landing on the Moon
On the Mission to Mars ride you’ll notice gold spheres scattered across the moon in the Planetary Plaza. They represent the 29 moon-landing missions of the United States and the Soviet Union from 1959 through 1976.
6 – Horizons is Still Here
In the queue line for Mission to Mars, look for the Horizons logo in the center of the rotating gravity wheel. Horizons was one of my favorite rides and was such a Disney classic because it focused on the possible ways we could live in the future, including living in space.
7 – Listen to Trash Bin Conversations
In Future World near the Electric Umbrella Restaurant, you can find a trash bin marked “waste please” next to the toppings area of the bar. Get close to it to hear some cool sounds from kids arguing over who gets the last of the fries.
8 – Beautiful Land Mosaic
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As you approach the Land Pavilion, you’ll notice a stunning mosaic right outside the pavilion. The mosaic shows a variety of layers that represent the layers of the earth after a volcano eruption.
9 – Balloons and More!
On the ceiling inside the Land Pavilion are balloons that represent earth’s seasons. The green balloon represent spring, the yellow balloon is for summer, the orange balloon is for fall, and the blue balloon is for winter.
10 – Live with the Land
On my favorite ride, Living with the Land, lookout for the little farmhouse that will be on your left. You should be able to notice the house number on the mailbox that says number 82. This is an homage to 1982, the year Epcot Center opened.
11 – Eat the Land
Many of the restaurants inside Epcot such as, Sunshine Season Food Fair and the Garden Grill, serve food that was grown inside of the Living with the Land attraction.
12 – Secret of Soarin Around the World
On the ride, Soarin, you’ll notice a preflight video with the flight number of 5505. This number is in honor of Soarin’s official opening at Epcot on May 5, 2005.
13 – Nemo’s Past
The Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion was formally known as Living with the Seas Pavilion and is the only place in Epcot with live animals.
14 – The First Manatee
Chester was the first manatee born in captivity at Epcot in 1991.
15 – The Largest Saltwater Aquarium
Believe it or not, the saltwater aquarium inside The Seas with Nemo and Friends pavilion was once the largest in the world until Georgia opened up the aquarium in Atlanta in 2005.
16 – Beware of the Beach Signs
When boarding the Nemo and Friends attraction, look for the beach signs. You will notice the advertiser is called Nautical Exploration and Marine Observation, or N.E.M.O.
17 – It’s Just Your Imagination
There is a water fountain outside the Journey through Your Imagination attraction that shoots water upwards!
18 – Is it Upside Down or Right Side Up???
On the Journey Through Your Imagination with Figment, you’ll notice in the upside-down room red and yellow paint spots. They are Figment Pigments.
Epcot World Showcase Lagoon Secrets and Facts
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19 – Tower of Terror at Epcot???
If you’re ever gazing across the World Showcase Lagoon, look at the structures of the Morocco Pavilion and check out Disney’s Hollywood Studios in the distance. Tower of Terror blends in with the Moroccan colors and themes, mixing them perfectly so that you still feel like you’re in the African country.
20 – Mexico’s History
As you approach Mexico, you’ll see the famous pyramid that represents three Mexican cultures:
- Architecture is Mayan
- Decor is Aztec
- Artwork Toltec
21 – Don’t Climb the Pyramid
Ever notice that a beautiful piece of art with the pop of blue in the front of the Mexican pavilion pyramid?
When the Mexico Pavilion was created, it was common to see people trying to climb it. Disney Cast Members constructed a piece of artwork to prevent further climbing of the pyramid. However, people still try to climb it today.
22 – Twilight All Day
The Mexican pavilion is always twilight.
Twilight is the time of day where friends and family gather in the plaza for socializing in Mexican culture.
23 – The Mexican Wooden Figures
Animales Fantasticos are the colorful wooden figures that you can see being created inside the marketplace of the Mexican Pavilion. They area an ancestral Zapotec art form in Oaxaca, Mexico.
24 – Norway Architecture
As you leave the Mexico Pavilion, you’ll see the Norway pavilion in the distance. This area of the World Showcase diplays architecture found in Oslo, Alesund, Bergen and the Setesdal Valley.
25 – Christianity and Nordic Gods
The famous Norway stave church with the Viking in the front represents a Christian church, but it honors Nordic gods.
26 – Chinese Culture
In the Chinese pavilion at Epcot, you will notice themes showing the phoenix and the dragon, which signifies the Empress and the Emperor.
27 – Perfect Acoustics in China
The building inside China Pavilion’s Temple of Heaven (a representation of the Beijing temple), is acoustically perfect. This allows your voice to vibrate directly back to your ears.
28 – China’s Twelve Pillars
Also, the China Pavilion has columns inside the temple that represent the four seasons. There are squares beans that represent earth, and round beams that represent the heavens.
The 12 pillars are symbolic for the 12 months of the Chinese year.
29 – Move Water with Your Fingers
The Young Feng Shangdian shop has a copper bowl on a pedestal towards the back. Put your finger in the water and rub it in a circle. The vibrations from your finger will cause the water to ripple and make a splash.
30 – Coat of Arms
In Germany there are 16 painted coats of arms outside Summerfest and the Biergarten Restaurant that represent Germany’s 16 regions.
31 – Miniature German Town
In Germany the train set up is a small replication of a Germany-style town.
32 – God of the Sea
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In the Italy pavilion there is a statue towards the back that is a replica of the statue of Neptune, god of the sea.
33 – Colonial Times in America
At the clock on the top of the American Pavilion are numbers from the colonial period such as, 4 represented as IIII rather than IV.
34 – Stay True to the Times in America
Also, in America there is a hidden elevator. It’s behind the store near the main front doors of the pavilion. This is hidden because there were no elevators in colonial America.
While you are watching the American Adventure show, notice the cinematic changes such as the paintings displayed to represent post-Civil War, then the paintings transitioning to photographs, ending at the 20th century with moving pictures.
Just a nice little touch of Disney magic.
35 – Japanese Architecture
When you arrive to the Japanese pavilion inside Epcot, you’ll see a temple that’s similar to Yakushiji Temple. This is one of the Seven Great Temples in Nara.
36 – A Roller Coaster in Japan
There were plans to have a Mount Fuji roller coaster ride, but Disney was not able to secure Kodak as a sponsor for the attraction since the name “Fiji” would have been in alignment with their competitor, Fiji Film.
37 – Shop and Learn Inside Japan’s Mitsukoshi Store
The Mitsukoshi Store is based off the original and oldest Japanese department store (300+ years old).
38 – Sacred Grounds in Japan
Have you ever noticed the bright red gate in Japan on the World Showcase Lagoon? It is based off the Shinto Itsukushima Shrine and indicates holy ground.
39 – Moroccan Secrets
As you enter the Moroccan Pavilion, look for the Arabic writing near the Tangerine Café. It states, “Tourist Information.”
40 – Moroccan Courtyard and Home
The fez house in the Morocco Pavilion is located in a small courtyard and is decorated entirely in tiles. The upper story of this area is where Moroccan home owners living quarters are.
41 – Moroccan Conversations
Near the small fountain to the right of the Marrakesh Restaurant entrance, is where you may hear a conversation from a merchant and one of his patrons discussing some of the shop items.
42 – The Beauty of France
In the France Pavilion, you may notice how the color of the pathway changes to show the dark pigment representing the Strait of Gibraltar.
43 – The Eiffel Tower
France’s Eiffel Tower was created using forced perspective which gives you the illusion of a 1000-foot tower instead of the 1/10 in scale model you seen at Epcot.
44 – France in Your Eyes
In France, you will also notice the fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower has a row of plants that are wider at the front. Each plant after the first one, gets more narrower, giving the illusion of a much longer walk way.
45 – A Delightful Tea Shop
In the UK Pavilion, there’s a small cottage with a Tea Caddy Shop inside reminiscent of the Stratford-upon-Avon cottage owned by William Shakespeare’s wife, Anne Hathaway.
46 – Palace Inspirations in the United Kingdom
While you’re touring the lovely UK Pavilion, check out the back area where you will see the Hampton Court-inspired building that has a Toy Soldier Shop inside.
47 – Finding Mr. Banks
Inside the Toy Soldier Shop of the UK Pavilion is a large coat and umbrella rack bundle up and addressed to Mr. Banks, 17 Cherry Tree Ln., London.
A nod to admirers of the popular Mary Poppins series.
48 – Totem Poles in Canada
In Canada you’ll notice only one of the totem poles is real. Walt Disney Imagineering realized they didn’t make a true authentic totem pole, so they brought on Canadian artist David Boxey to create one authentic to the country.
49 – The Gardens of Canada
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🇨🇦 The Victoria Gardens, which are adjacent to Le Cellier, are inspired by the Butchart Gardens near Victoria, British Columbia. The gardens are the largest of all the national pavilions in Epcot.⠀ 🌺⠀ Next time you’re walking through the Canada pavilion take time to explore the majestic gardens.⠀ 🌼⠀ What’s your favorite thing to do in the Canadian Pavilion at Epcot?⠀ 🌸⠀ #epcot #epcotflowers #epcotcanada #disneysolo #disneysmmc #disneytips #themeparkhipster #ohcanada #solothemeparktraveler #solodisneytrip
Across the Le Cellier Restaurant is a sunken garden inspired by the beautiful one in Vancouver, Canada.
50 – Canada’s National Symbol
Canada’s national symbol is the maple leaf.
As you can see, Epcot theme park has so many hidden gems ready for you to discover. On your next solo Disney trip, make it a fun game to discover each little secret.
If you’d like to read more Walt Disney World secrets, then purchase this amazing book The Hidden Magic of Walt Disney World: Over 600 Secrets of the Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom by Susan Veness.
Let me know which Epcot secret was your favorite in the comment section below!
Want more theme park tips? Check out the theme park tips page. If you’re thinking about going to Disney alone, then read the top 18 tips. Are you planning a Disney vacation soon? Read the Disney Vacation Planning Guide for your next dream trip!
Get more of your Disney questions answered below:
- How to do Magic Kingdom as an Adult
- Are Disney pools heated?
- Walt Disney World Free Dining
- Tips for Doing Walt Disney World on a Budget
- Magic Kingdom Secrets
- Epcot for Adults
- Must Try Drinks at Epcot
- Tips for Epcot International Food and Wine Festival
Don’t forget to discover the new magical and mysterious Disney adventure of Pandora – The World of Avatar at Animal Kingdom® Theme Park.
Now go out and have fun!
Until next time, Happy Park Hopping Hipsters!