TPT logo

Your guide to theme parks in Orlando and beyond


Main menu

10 Misconceptions People Get Totally Wrong About Disney's Epcot

8. There’s only one way in

Epcot International Gateway

Image: Loren Javier, Flickr (license)

This is a small misconception about Epcot, but it’s one that can save you a ton of time. It may even affect what resort you decide to stay at.

Epcot has a secret entrance.

Okay, it’s not really that secret, but there are still many visitors who have no idea about Epcot’s International Gateway. This sort-of hidden entrance is tucked between World Showcase’s France and UK pavilions, providing direct access to Disney’s Boardwalk as well as to the Epcot resorts like the Yacht and Beach Club, Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, and The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin. Friendship boats stop at these resorts travelling in between Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s new Skyliner transportation system will also drop guests off at the International Gateway.

While guests travelling in their own vehicles will generally still need to use Epcot’s main entrance, the International Gateway provides two great functions. First off, the Epcot resorts are some of the most beautiful and convenient on Walt Disney World property. They are all within walking distance of the park thanks to this special entrance. Second, the International Gateway is a great option for guests looking to exit the park without getting caught in the hubbub of Epcot’s main entrance. From the International Gateway, if you want to head to a destination not accessible by friendship boats, you can always walk to a nearby resort and take the bus to the Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, or to Disney Springs.

9. Epcot’s facts and representations are all completely accurate

Greek teacher on Spaceship Earth

We love Epcot, and it is certainly one of Disney’s most well-known parks for educational entertainment. However, attentive fans may notice that Disney doesn’t quite get everything right with their representations of science, history, and culture in the park.

This is a subject that has fueled entire articles, but Spaceship Earth alone hosts a number of flubs on its historical accuracy. The Egyptians did not exactly invent paper as we know it, the Phoenicians might not have invented the alphabet, and the ancient Greeks didn’t necessarily perfect the idea of public schools. Soarin’ also holds some glaring inaccuracies in its depictions of national landmarks—the Taj Mahal, for one thing, is not nearly that pristine and is often packed with tourists.

Guests who have visited or are from World Showcase’s namesake countries may also spot other inaccuracies. Some of these are intentional—after all, World Showcase is meant to represent an idealized picture of each of these nations. Some of the goof ups are more obvious than others, though, such as the fact that on the map of Mexico at the end of the Gran Fiesta Tour in the Mexico pavilion, the northern half of Mexico (which includes the states of Chihuahua and Sonora) is depicted as a formless, desert wasteland bereft of cities compared to more affluent areas like Mexico City and Cancun. Also, after the Frozen Ever After takeover, there is almost no actual representation of Norwegian culture left in the Norway pavilion.

World Showcase is still an amazing place to visit. It stirs guest curiosity to learn more about each of the nations it has represented, and it also gives guests the opportunity to meet real cast members from those nations. Still, it is an idealized—sometimes too-idealized—picture of these countries.

10. The old attractions are lost forever

Sea monster from World of Motion at Disney's California Adventure

Image: Loren Javier, Flickr (license)

Longtime Epcot fans can’t help but pine for nostalgia. There are some elements of Epcot that are nearly unrecognizable from the days of yesteryear, and some of the park’s best attractions (like Horizons) were lost prematurely due to sponsorship fall-throughs and ongoing changes in the park’s culture. While it might be easy to assume that all of the Disney magic of days gone by has been lost forever, there are actually some elements of former attractions that still survive to this day.

We already mentioned one: guests who visit Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival can take a stroll over to the event’s Festival Center to get a look inside Epcot’s long-lost Wonders of Life pavilion. The famous Rainbow Tunnel from Journey Into Imagination’s ImageWorks reportedly found new life in the Wreck It Ralph character greet, and if you happen to be visiting the Hollywood Backlot at Disney’s California Adventure, you might just spot a familiar sea monster from the classic attraction, The World of Motion. Finally, while Frozen Ever After might follow it’s own pace, the attraction is built directly atop of the bones of another lost Epcot classic, Maelstrom, to the point that maybe—just maybe—you might be able to throw on a pair of headphones running the old ride audio and get a vague feel for that long lost journey through troll country…

What are some of the biggest misconceptions you’ve run into about Epcot?


Go to page:


There are no comments so far.

Connect with Theme Park Tourist: