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DISNEY'S
EPCOT
RIDE REVIEWS

EPCOT has many street shows and they constantly change.  These shows take place in both Future World and the World Showcase.  Many of these shows are scheduled but some are not.  You may be walking along and suddenly bump into a group of performers doing just about anything.    All are themed to the area that they are in. 

Below are the reviews for the rides and attractions that you will find at EPCOT.

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French, British and Japanese pavilions

 

FUTURE WORLD  
1. Spaceship Earth (R)

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP: ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL: 3

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL: 8

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL: ****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED: YES

(6) SUMMARY: Spaceship Earth is the geodesic sphere at the entrance to Future World. This ride has just been updated and given a fresh look. Once inside the sphere you board a car which takes you on a trip back through time to the very dawn of the history of communication. You begin to travel forward in time and learn how one generation has influenced the next. At the end of the ride you get to see, through interactive touch screens, how you would live in the future. Very interesting and well worth the time in line to see.

(7) WAITING TIME: 45 MINUTES

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE: MID AFTERNOON AND ON

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2. The Living Seas With Nemo

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP: ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL: 3

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL: 6

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL: ****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED: YES

(6) SUMMARY: The Living Seas pavilion houses many exhibits including some that are hands on. The main part of the pavilion is a huge salt water tank which houses all kinds of sea life both large and small. Underwater corridors stretch out in several directions allowing visitors to view every part of the tank. This attraction has recently added sections that are kid friendly. Most notably is a show featuring Crush from "Finding Nemo". It's a fully interactive movie where the children can actually talk with the movie and the character will answer them back.

(7) WAITING TIME: NONE

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE: ANYTIME

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3. The Land (R)

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP: ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL: 3

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL: 6

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL: *****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED: YES

(6) SUMMARY: There are three different exhibits in this pavilion. The first is called Listen To The Land. Here you take a boat ride through a variety of scenes depicting how man works with the land. Near the end of the ride the boat takes you through a working experimental agricultural station where you see how crops may be grown in the future. This ride makes a good rest stop.

Next you have The Circle Of Life movie. Simba and other characters from the Lion King tell how man must care for and protect the land and the environment, and what could happen if we don't.

All three attractions at this pavilion are very good and worth seeing.

(7) WAITING TIME: 30 MINUTES FOR LISTEN TO THE LAND.

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE: MEAL TIMES FOR LISTEN TO THE LAND. ALL OTHERS ANYTIME.

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4. Journey To Imagination (R)

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP: ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL: 2 FOR IMAGINATION RIDE

(2) THRILL LEVEL: 4 FOR HONEY, I SHRUNK THE AUDIENCE

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL: 5 IMAGINATION RIDE

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL: 9 FOR "CAPTAIN EO"

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL: *** FOR IMAGINATION

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL: ***** FOR "CAPTAIN EO"

(5) AIR CONDITIONED: YES

(6) SUMMARY: Imagination reopened to mixed reviews after it's second rehab, mostly good.  So when I went to EPCOT I was looking forward to seeing the ride for myself.  You enter the ride through a long corridor which is supposed to be the Imagination Institute.  The scenes appeared rather boring to me.  Not a whole lot of interest to look at.  The ride is very short and not much of an improvement over the last rehab.  Figment, the mischievous dragon is now in several scenes but for the most part the ride was not improved.  Some of the original music was restored but it lacked punch due to the shortness of each scene.  This is a ride that should be scene if you have extra time on your hands but don't sacrifice other attractions just to see it.  Great for children.

CAPTAIN EO is a story of saving the world by a star ship captain "Michael Jackson" and his crew.  The movie is in 3D and features a few great Jackson songs.  This film was part of EPCOT during the 90s and was replaced with "HONEY I SHRUNK THE AUDIENCE.  After Jacksons death the movie was brought back and is much better than "HONEY I SHRUNK THE AUDIENCE",  Like him or not this movie is worth seeing.

Outside of the pavilion are a variety of fountains. Especially interesting are the jumping fountains where a stream of water jumps from one fountain to the other. Children enjoy playing in this area and parents enjoy watching them.

(7) WAITING TIME: MOVIE HAS SCHEDULED SHOW TIMES BUT LONG LINES OUTSIDE MAKE THE WAIT ABOUT ONE HOUR.

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE: EARLY MORNINGS OR MID AFTERNOON ON

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5. General Motors Test Track (H) 40

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP: 7 and up

(2) THRILL LEVEL: 8

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL: 8

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL: *****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED: YES while inside the building

(6) SUMMARY: If you've ever seen the safety adds on TV featuring the test car dummies. nuf said. Rapid acceleration, emergency stopping, collision avoidance and a high speed run around a one mile outdoor track are some of the things you will experience on this ride. The first time that I rode it I had to wait almost two hours. It was worth it. Pre shows and live entertainment make time pass quickly.

(7) WAITING TIME: 75 MINUTES ( FAST PASS RIDE ) ( SINGLE RIDER LINE)

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE: LATE AFTERNOON

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6. Mission Space (H) 44

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP: 7 and up

(2) THRILL LEVEL: 9

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL: 9

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL: *****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED: YES

(6) SUMMARY: This ride opened in 2003 and was well worth the wait. The premise of the ride is that you and three other riders are on a training mission to Mars. The ride is extremely realistic. Boasting an incredible 4 Gs of acceleration, you will wonder how they got the ship out of the building. As you sit at the controls there is a video screen in front of you. The graphics displayed on the screen are very realistic. This is accomplished with a centrifuge and motion simulator working together. Please, heed the warnings and the instructions given to you by the flight crew. Most importantly, always look straight ahead. Looking around during the ride could cause you to get motion sick. Not to worry though, Disney has thoughtfully provided motion sickness bags for the few who do not heed the warnings.  Recently, Disney added a non-spinning version of this ride for those who do not like the sensation of spinning.

(7) WAITING TIME: 30 MINUTES

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE: EARLY MORNING

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PHOTO COURTASY OF WALT DISNEY CORP.

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7. Universe Of Energy (R)

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP: ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL: 4

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL: 7

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL: ****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED: YES

(6) SUMMARY: Ellen's Energy Adventure, featuring Ellen Degenerus, Bill Nye The Science Guy, and Jeopardy's Alex Trebeck, takes you on a journey through time and around the world to learn all about energy. Humorous, enlightening, and worth seeing

7) WAITING TIME: NONE

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE: ANYTIME

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8. Soarin (H) 40

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP: 6 AND UP

(2) THRILL LEVEL: 7

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL: 9

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL: *****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED: YES

(6) SUMMARY: This attraction opened in May of 2005. The entrance is inside THE LAND pavilion on the lower level.  In the attraction you view an IMAX movie while sitting in seats that simulate a hang glider.  A very gentile ride as simulators go.  While on the ride, you fly over a variety of scenes from California.  Breathtaking scenery and very gentile movement make this ride one that should not be missed.

(7) WAITING TIME: 60 MINUTES OR MORE

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE: EARLY OR LATE IN THE DAY

 
WORLD SHOWCASE  
1. Mexico (R)

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP: ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL: 1

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL: 4

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL: **

(5) AIR CONDITIONED: YES

(6) SUMMARY: The River Of Time is a boat ride which showcases the history and culture of Mexico. There is nothing much to say about this ride other than it is interesting. The effects are amateur and the audio animatronics are very far from state of the art.

(7) WAITING TIME: 10 MINUTES

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE: LATE AFTERNOON

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2. Norway

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP: ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL: 4

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL: 5

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL: ***

(5) AIR CONDITIONED: YES

(6) SUMMARY: On The Maelstrom, you will explore Norway through myth and folklore aboard a miniature Viking Longboat. Good scenery and proper lighting greatly enhance this ride. Shortly before the end, the boat seems to be going outside but stops just short of the exit to the cave. At that point the boat moves in the opposite direction and shoots down a short water flume. After the ride you are invited to watch a film on Norway. This is more like a travel log shown to entice you to visit their country. The movie can be bypassed if you walk straight through the theater after the ride. This is a really good ride but it should be a little longer.

(7) WAITING TIME: 35 MINUTES

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE: FROM NOON TIME ON

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3. The American Adventure (R)

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP: ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL: 3

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL: 9

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL: *****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED: YES

(6) SUMMARY: This show is without a doubt one of the best shows at Disney and it has the best audio animatronics presentation that I have ever seen. Prior to the show just inside the entrance you can view a short pre-show where a group of men and women sing colonial songs. Once inside the theater you will see a multimedia presentation on the history of the United States. The story is told by famous men and women from history. Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin, and Susan B. Anthony to name but a few. This is definitely one of the highlights of EPCOT. It's also a good rest stop. Don't miss it!

(7) WAITING TIME: SCHEDULED SHOWS

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE: ANYTIME BUT ARRIVE ABOUT 15 MINUTES BEFORE SHOW.

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4. Illuminations

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP: ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL: 7

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL: 10

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL: *****

(5) AIR CONDITIONED: NO

(6) SUMMARY: This is EPCOT'S nightly fireworks display. The lagoon in the center of the World Showcase serves as the stage for this dazzling display of lights, fountains, fireworks and lasers. Good views can be had anywhere around the lagoon but the best location is at the plaza near the entrance to the World Showcase. As with all night time displays this show takes place whenever the park is open late. Don't miss it! This is one of the best displays around.

(7) WAITING TIME: NONE

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE: SEE SCHEDULE OF SHOW TIMES

 
5. American Theater

(1) RECOMMENDED AGE GROUP: ALL

(2) THRILL LEVEL: 3

(3) ENTERTAINMENT LEVEL: 7

(4) PRIORITY LEVEL: ***

(5) AIR CONDITIONED: NO

(6) SUMMARY: Located directly across from the American Adventure, live shows are presented here a few times a day. Check the daily show guide that you received when you entered the park for show times. The shows presented will vary from week to week. One week they may have an orchestra doing tunes from the big band era and the next week the Air Force band may be appearing. The theater is outdoors so inclement weather may cancel a performance. Depending on the show and your tastes you may consider this worth seeing. For the summer of 2002 the "STAR OF INDIA DRUM AND BUGLE CORP" performed their show "SHOCKWAVE" before embarking on their world tour. They are from the same people that gave us BLAST in 2001. A really great show. The first two photos on the right are of BLAST, the last three are of SHOCKWAVE. Their is also a video of BLAST on my video page.  There are also many name bands that appear during EPCOTS many festivals.

(7) WAITING TIME: NONE

(8) BEST TIME TO SEE: SEE SCHEDULE OF SHOW TIMES

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