Eleven Countries, No Jet Lag…That’s Epcot

A travel adventure through Eleven Countries, no passport, customs and best of all, no jet lag involved…that’s Epcot. Instead of a long plane trip across the Atlantic, it was a two hour drive from our home in Vero Beach to the Walt Disney World Resort.

My husband and I joined friends for a short visit to the Orlando area and while there, spent one day visiting the Epcot theme park at Disney World. We stayed at the convenient Saratoga Springs Resort and Spa, part of the Disney Springs resort area.

Our day at Disney began with a short, complimentary bus ride from our hotel to the main entrance of Epcot. It was a beautiful, crisp morning with a deep blue sky overhead.

Click on any photo to enlarge and see a slide show of photos in this post.

Just beyond the main entrance is Spaceship Earth, Epcot’s famous icon in Future World. The silver geosphere is covered with triangular panels that some people say resembles a golf ball. After a short wait, we rode inside the giant sphere enjoying a brief animated story about communications from the stone age to our present computer age.

You could spend hours or an entire day in Future World but we decided to save it for another visit. Instead, we headed to the World Showcase to visit the pavilions of Canada, the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Morocco, Japan, Italy, Germany, China, Norway and Mexico that surround Crescent Lake.

Having traveled to every featured country except mainland China (although I have been to Hong Kong), I instantly recognized small scale reproductions of historic buildings I’d seen during my travels. You’ll find some kind of entertainment, ride or film about each country’s culture and places to enjoy some of its unique cuisine. Every pavilion is staffed by people from that country who work in the shops and kiosks. They dress in traditional fashions that represent their country and sell imported goods and souvenirs. You’ll also find designated spots where children can meet and have a photo taken with Disney characters at specific times of the day.

We started our visit in Canada. The large building, Hotel du Canada, was inspired by a historic hotel found in Ottawa. Inside, Le Cellar is considered to be one of the best restaurants in the park. The surrounding area has a wonderful garden and high boulders with a cascading waterfall represents the Canadian Rockies.

Epcot's Canada Pavilion
Part Of The Canadian Pavilion In Epcot

Next, we walked down the streets of the United Kingdom. The largest building replicates Hampton Court Palace and there is a thatched roof cottage which is modeled after Anne Hathaway’s cottage in Stratford-upon-Avon. The Rose and Crown Pub, with a red telephone booth outside, is popular if you want a pint of beer or some fish and chips.

We crossed over a footbridge and were in France with the Eiffel Tower peering above the rooftops. Round kiosks, a sidewalk café and artists works lined up along the water brought back memories of my trips to Paris.

Les Chefs de France, a pretty brassiere with a distinctly French decor, is good for lunch. Try to make advanced reservations for a window table in the sunroom. While the food might not be as authentic as what I’ve had during my travels to France and it’s geared more towards American tastes, I enjoyed the meal. The food was well prepared, our waiter from Lyon was excellent and the surroundings couldn’t have been lovelier.

Morocco feels so authentic, with its colorful casbah, Moroccan music and little passages that take you into courtyards surrounded by olive trees and towering date palms. When it was being developed, King Hassan II sent native craftsmen to help with the building of its pavilion. This is evident throughout the entire area, from the reproduction of a 12th century prayer tower in Marrakech to a mosaic fountain and a tiled gate in Fez.

We walked through a large red Torii gate and entered Japan. It’s very picturesque with a five story blue roofed pagoda, sculptured gardens, footbridges and koi ponds.  A replica of the ceremonial halls of Japan’s Imperial Palace house a large gift store. Traditional Japanese drummers perform outside several times a day.

We quickly passed through the United States pavilion which was inspired by 18th century colonial architecture. Gardens are planted in red, white and blue flowers and there are rose varieties named after U.S. presidents.

U.S. Pavilion In Epcot
U.S. Pavilion In Epcot

We entered Italy and found ourselves in Venice with gondolas tied up to striped poles along the lagoon. St. Mark’s Square has a replica of the original campanile and the 14th century pink and white Doge’s Palace. In another area of the plaza, there is a fountain that was inspired by Bernini’s Neptune fountain in Rome.

Germany represents different regions of the country. There is a fountain in the center of the platz with a statue of St. George slaying a dragon and there’s a popular biergarten where you can enjoy a beer and sausages. We spotted Snow White greeting a little girl at a wishing well and there is a working outdoor miniature model railroad that will please boys of all ages.

Enter through the large Gate of the Golden Sun, a replica of one in Beijing’s summer palace and you’re in China. There is a large recreation of the Temple of Heaven and many smaller recreations of buildings found in the Forbidden City. A lotus pool surrounded by typical Chinese gardens with footbridges add to the character of this pavilion.

The main feature in Norway is a replica of the original Stave Church in Gol, Norway. The original church, which dates back to 1212, is one of very few surviving ancient wooden churches left in the world today.

Mexico is either the last country in the World Showcase or the first, depending on which direction you started your visit. Its main feature is a replica of a pre-Colombian pyramid almost hidden by lush tropical landscaping. Whereas other countries have lots of outdoor buildings and gardens, most everything is inside the pyramid including an excellent restaurant.

Over the course of one day, I wandered through eleven countries in the Epcot without experiencing any jet lag…I was tired but enjoyed every moment. The Epcot Flower and Garden Festival is held each spring and I’m hoping to return to not only enjoy the flower displays but to see more of Epcot, it was far more than I imagined.

 

 

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155 thoughts on “Eleven Countries, No Jet Lag…That’s Epcot

  1. Karen, We have “traveled” through the countries of Epcot many times and we always find something new and interesting on our journey. It’s easy to just fly through this park without stopping to see the exhibits and movies in each land, but spending an entire day is the perfect way to see it all. We finally had the chance last summer to dine for our 35th at Le Cellar (make reservations way in advance or hope for a last minute cancellation!) and the food definitely was not only the best we have ever had at Disney but also outstanding as a steak restaurant anywhere. I see that the excellent short water ride at Norway is temporarily closed to be transformed into a Frozen ride and I am hoping some of the magical feeling of being in the waters of the North Sea remains. I also hope you were able to stay for the incredible light and fireworks show which takes place every night. If you haven’t seen it be sure to put it on your schedule when you revisit for the flower show. I would LOVE to visit at that time as one of my favorite things to do is explore the plantings while the rest of the family rides the wilder rides. Now I have the urge to hop a plane… Thanks for the tour! Linda

    1. Hi Linda, I’m glad you enjoyed the tour, I know we certainly had a great time. There is so much to see and do including the fireworks which we missed, I can’t wait to go back. Hopefully, we can make it for the flower and garden show as it has to be outstanding. Thank you for your nice comment and advice. 🙂

    1. Hi Mad Dog, We lived in Florida before we moved to New England but would you believe that this is the first time we were at Epcot. I know it won’t be our last.

  2. Thanks for the tour! I’ve been to Epcot, but it has been years now. I’ve forgotten how fun it can be. Now that the kids are grown, maybe we should make another visit.

  3. Hi Karen, I’m glad you enjoyed the tour. It really is a fun place to visit, more than I thought it would be. I’d definitely recommend you visit again sometime if you get the chance.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Jovina. I’m happy that you enjoyed the photos. We had a great time visiting Epcot…it was a lot of fun.

    1. I totally agree with you Darlene, the countries are all so well represented. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos and the tour of Epcot. Thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Marlene, If you get the chance to visit Epcot, I believe you would really enjoy the experience…we certainly did. Thank you, I’m glad you liked the tour.

  4. Epcot is fun! Something everyone should experience once. Although it’s interesting, at the end of the day it’s the landscaping that I think I enjoyed the most! Fun post — thanks.

    1. Hi John, I agree with you, I really think everyone would enjoy a visit to Epcot. The landscaping is outstanding, hopefully we will get a chance to return again this spring to experience the flower and garden festival. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, thanks.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Sandra…I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. Our friends have been to the Food and Wine Festival at Epcot and said they had a get time, perhaps we will return this fall to attend. You should definitely try to visit again as there is so much to experience.

  5. What a lovely post Karen, I hadn’t thought about Epcot in years, we were there about 20 years ago. I can’t recall, are the replica buildings to size or are the like Vegas, smaller? It sounds like the food was good too, I recall that it was just OK when we visited. It sounds like we’re due back!

    1. Hi Eva, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and that it brought back memories of your visit there. The buildings are large but not the same size as the originals. We were very hesitant about the food but every meal we had at Epcot as well as Orlando was very good…we were pleasantly surprised. 😀

  6. This post brings back such great memories of taking our son to Disney World when he was young. I think I enjoyed it more than he did–especially Epcot! Thanks for this.

    1. Hi Vicki, I’m glad to know that this post brought back nice memories of when you visited Epcot with you son when he was young. Even though we saw lots of children, I think Epcot is probably more enjoyable for adults. You would love Disney Springs as well. Thank you for your nice compliment. 🙂

    1. Hi Kathryn, Hopefully I’ll get a chance to return for more visits to Epcot like you did. We had a great time. I was hoping to give everyone a good overview of the lovely park, I’m glad that you liked the photos…thank you.

  7. What a lovely memory you revived, Karen! It must be close to 20 years ago that we were there. It’s certainly stood the test of time. I can still feel the sunshine as we stood and gazed. 🙂

    1. Hi Jo, I’m happy that you’ve had a chance to visit Epcot and that my post brought back nice memories. It was a lovely sunny day there. I thank you for taking the time to visit and your nice compliment as I know you are getting ready for your own holiday.

    1. Hi Misky, If you take a trip to the states and visit Florida, I believe that you really would enjoy visiting Epcot. I know my husband and I certainly did.

  8. Looks like a fabulous way to see the world , the replica buildings look good,
    And not too many people, and to make it even better as you said no jet-lag.

    1. Hi Barbara, It really is a fun way to experience a lot of different countries. I think we picked a good time of the year to visit as it really wasn’t crowded…I’m sure summer is very different.

    1. Hi Ingrid, Perhaps you’ll head to Florida in your travels and visit Epcot again. I’m happy my post brought back nice memories for you…thank you for your nice comment.

    1. Thank you Heather, for your nice compliment. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos. I know that if you make your way to Florida, you would enjoy seeing the countries in Epcot. We had a great time.

    1. Hi Deb, I’m glad that you enjoyed my tour, thank you. We certainly had a wonderful time visiting Epcot…I’m sure you would enjoy it as well.

    1. Hi Norma, It seems that so many of my friends have visited Epcot…I’m glad we finally got a chance to visit. Thank you for your nice compliment, I’m glad that the post brought back nice memories.

    1. Thank you for your nice compliment, Monique. I use a small Canon point and shoot when we travel and I’m happy with the pictures it takes.

    1. Hi Greg, I’d never been to Epcot before but everything looked beautiful. Thank you for your nice compliment about the photos, it is much appreciated.

  9. This will probably not be your last visit to Disney World. My sister-in-law lives in Ft. Myers and she and here girlfriends make one or two trips there a year and always have a blast.

  10. Such beautiful weather you had and blue, blue skies. I have been to Epcot center many many years ago and it is really a nice way to enjoy diversity without needing to travel and visa/passport costs.

    1. Hi Bobbie, When you make reservations in advance you never know what the weather will be like but it was perfect for the three days we were in the Orlando area…we couldn’t have asked for a nicer day than the one we spent in Epcot. You are correct, you get to enjoy the pleasures of traveling to those countries without the hassles of a long plane ride, etc. 🙂

  11. Looks like that you had lots of fun in Epcot theme park. Thanks for the tour, Karen!
    Happy Sunday!
    Angie

  12. Hi Karen–I’ve always wanted to see this, but hubby and I keep thinking it would probably be overwhelming to a couple of introverts!! Glad you took the trip for us. Lots of gorgeous photos! I’m sure it’s very neat to see, but I’m getting that feeling yet again that it would be too much for us.
    Hope all is going well with you and that you are enjoying your new home.

    1. Hi Sue, I would think you and your husband would really enjoy Epcot..especially all the beautiful gardens. As you can see from my photos, it isn’t that crowded as long as you visit during the off season. This is the only time I’ve been but I imagine that summer when kids are out of school it can be very busy. We are enjoying our new home, thank you so much for asking. 🙂

  13. Very impressive. We will be in the US later this year but not near Orlando 😦 Hope you are well Diane

    1. Hi Diane, We thought so too…Epcot was much more than we were expecting. Wish you were going to be in our area on your trip to the US, I would have loved to have met you.

  14. I loved the Epcot centre when I visited Florida back in1991. It really is a wonderful place and I have done memories of my visit. I should go back some time. Thanks for sharing and bringing my memories back. ☺

    1. I’m happy to have brought back memories of your visit, Fatima. You certainly are the world traveler…this being my first trip there and I lived in Florida for years before we went to New England. 🙂

  15. We’ve visited Disney World a couple times and Epcot was always my favorite. One of our favorite thing was to sample a favorite dish from each of the countries as we walked through. Sharing among the 4 of us made it fun for all. Thanks for the tour, it brought back good memories!

    1. Hi Jan, I can see why Epcot would be your favorite. I was really surprised by the all the food choices on offer. I’m glad you enjoyed the post and that it brought back nice memories of your visits. Thank you!

    1. Hi Denise, I’m thrilled to know that so many of my readers are being reminded of the good times they had at Epcot. I think you would definitely enjoy a return visit.

  16. Dear Karen, thank you for a most memorable “virtual tour” of Epcot center – the kids would adore a visit there! Your pictures are wonderful and I really enjoyed all of them! What a fun idea for a blog post!
    All the very best,
    Andrea

    1. Thank you for your kind words, Andrea. I do indeed think that your girls would enjoy Epcot. It was a wonderful visit…I can’t believe that I never went there when we used to live in Florida years ago.

  17. The Disney properties are a magical and wonderful place. I enjoy Epcot. It is a passport to the world ( and all in walking distance). Great you spent the day enjoying it.

    1. Hi Velva, It is hard to believe that my husband and I used to live in south Florida and never traveled to either of the Disney properties. I’m so glad we visited Epcot with our friends, we had a great time.

  18. Hi Karen, wow! did not realize Epcot was that big, it’s amazing how they re-created some of the more famous buildings in those countries. I have never been to Florida but it’s on the list, now I have another place to visit when we go. Thanks for sharing such beautiful pictures.

    1. Hi Cheri, I had no idea either, we were pleasantly surprised and really enjoyed our visit. You must try to visit Florida but come during the cool months of winter or spring. 🙂 I’m happy to know that you enjoyed my photos, thank you for your nice compliment.

    1. Hi Sylvia, This was our first visit to Epcot and we really thought it was wonderful. Yes a visit to Epcot after your move would give you a nice break. Hope you are feeling better.

  19. I really enjoy wondering around Epcot all day. Most people do not realize that the ‘host’ countries have absolutely nothing to do with this. At one time, Disney wanted the various countries to be little consulates (my wording) that would foster relations and trade, but the countries either did not participate or dropped out. I think Norway was the last country to make contributions, but that stopped some time ago.

    1. Hi Naomi, I agree with you about enjoying Epcot. It was our first visit but not our last. After Walt Disney died, a lot of what he envisioned for his new theme park didn’t materialize or was changed. I think it is nice that people from the featured countries work in each pavilion and you can visit with them to learn about their countries and hear what they think about living in the US. 🙂

  20. I have heard of Epcot but I did not know about the 11-country tour. I’m very impressed. What a great idea. I’m happy to report I’ve been to Hampton Court and to Anne Hathaway’s cottage but yes, there are plenty of places I haven’t been. I think they need to make it 12 countries and include Australia! xx

  21. Hi Charlie, I’m glad that you found this post about Epcot interesting…thank you. There are a few small parcels of land left in the Epcot…perhaps one day Australia will be featured. Since your country is halfway around the world from us, I would love seeing it at Epcot…that would certainly eliminate the jet lag. 😀

    1. You are very welcome Didi, It is amazing how many of my friends from Europe have visited Epcot and this was my first visit and I used to live in Florida. 😀

  22. This brings make many happy memories of the trips to DisneyWorld that we took with our two daughters. Loved the light show in the evenings at Epcot too. Chefs de France and The Brown Derby were two favorites back then. It’s probably been close to 15 years since we’ve been there.

    1. Hi Susan, i’m happy that you enjoyed the post and that it brought back memories of your trips to Epcot. We were very pleased with the lunch we had at the Chefs de France…probably as good as what you remember. Thank you for your nice comment.

    1. Hi B, We have had lots of rain in Florida since the first of the year but the weather was absolutely wonderful for our short trip to Epcot and it certainly was a nice way to “travel and see the world”. 😀

    1. Thank you Krista, I’m glad you enjoyed the little stroll with me on our visit to Epcot. It certainly is an interesting and fun place to visit.

    1. I’m glad I was able to bring back memories of your visits to Epcot, Juliana. Thank you for your nice compliment on the photos and your wish. I hope you’ve had a great week as well.

    1. Hi Katerina, I must say that this was the easiest way to see a little of the world…we really enjoyed our day at Epcot. I’m glad you enjoyed the post, thank you.

  23. I believe it has been over 20 years since we visited Epcot, but your photos brought back fond memories of the two trips we took there and to Disneyworld. I hope to go again someday with my grandchildren when they are older. It really is a magical way to spend a vacation!

    1. Hi Pat, I do hope that you get a chance to visit Epcot and Disney World again but this time with your sweet grandchildren. I know that all of you would have a great time. I hope you continue to progress nicely with your eyes…wishing you all the best.

  24. Somehow I’ve been missing your posts – and also the posts of several others of my favorite bloggers. It seems I’m going to have to be more thorough when scanning my emails… I’m so impressed with how excellent Epcot’s renditions of other countries are – its pretty amazing. I think I’d like to return to ‘Disney’ just for that !! ; o )

    1. Hi Cecile, I’ve seemed to have had a similar problem…please don’t worry about it. We were very pleasantly surprised with Epcot and had a terrific visit. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to return.

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment, Nancy. I’m glad that you enjoyed the photos of our trip to Epcot. I can’t believe that this was our first visit as we lived in Florida for many years before we moved to New England. I hope you get a chance to visit sometime…we really enjoyed our stay there.

  25. We haven’t been to Epcot since the 90s when our youngest kids were little and all of your photos bring back such good memories. Someday, we’ll certainly have to return and traverse the numerous countries across the globe in one day as you too enjoyed, Karen!

    1. Hi Roz, I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and photos…thank you. I hope you get a chance to return to Epcot and relive some of the good times you had during your previous visit.

  26. Hi Lis, Thank you for your visit and very lovely compliment. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the post. I look forward to having you return for another visit in the future. 😀

    1. Hi Ksenia, We had a wonderful time and are hoping to return for the garden festival…I know Epcot will be beautifully landscaped for the event.

  27. I have not been to Epcot since it first opened. It didn’t have nearly as many countries nor was all the landscaping so well established, not to mention the other features like Future World, etc. It looks like a very worthwhile place to visit and enjoy. Thanks for the tour!

    1. Hi Betsy, I’m glad you enjoyed my tour of Epcot…it was our first time visiting and we really enjoyed it. It sounds like Epcot has changed a lot since your first visit. Perhaps you’ll get a chance to return.

    1. Hi Raymund, I do think you would enjoy visiting Epcot. My husband and I certainly did and are hoping to return in a couple of months for the garden and flower festival.

  28. Thank you so much for taking us on your trip through Epcot, Karen. I can see already you are going to appreciate living in Florida so much more than you did before moving to New Hampshire.

    I’ve never been to Epcot so your pictures really gave me a feel for what I can expect when I finally do make it down there. After visiting Disney in California last year, I know for a fact I will not be disappointed!!!

    Thank you so much for sharing, Karen…I enjoyed my visit, actually both visits, lol (here and Epcot:)

    1. I appreciate your nice compliment, Louise. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and the photos. I believe that you would really enjoy Epcot, we are already planning a return visit. We do think we made the right decision moving back to Florida, especially known that the low is going to be -12 degrees tonight. 😀

    1. Thank you for your lovely compliment, Smiling. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the photos. We did indeed have a very good time during our visit.

  29. Karen, thanks for stopping by my blog G’day Souffle’. I have only been to the west coast Disneyland(starting in 1957) but the Orlando site looks like it is HUGE compared to the Anaheim one. Looks like the visit to Epcot might save me some money by not having to travel to each separate country!

    1. Hi Fran, I visited Disneyland years ago and yes, the Disney World and Epcot are is huge in comparison. Well worth a visit, I believe. There is so much to see…we are already planning a return visit for the garden and flower festival this spring.

  30. Thank you for your nice compliment, Sartenada. I’m glad that you enjoyed the post and photos. If you ever come to Florida, I believe that you would enjoy spending a day at Epcot.

    1. Hi Linda, Thanks for stopping by for a visit and your nice compliment. I’m happy to know that you enjoyed the photos. I appreciate the tip about the Segway tour as we are planning another trip this spring.

  31. I was just there over the Christmas holiday and I really enjoyed visiting all the countries too! I enjoyed the pastries in France and I placed my order in French… Great pictures Karen – I wish it were that warm here. 🙂

    1. Hi Meg, I can just imagine how pretty Epcot was decorated for Christmas, is it really crowded then. I’m glad you enjoyed the photos, thank you. Believe it or not we’ve had a few cold days for Florida although today is lovely.

    1. Hi Mél@nie, Sorry to be answering so late but my husband was ill. Epcot really is enjoyable, we are hoping to return for another visit.

    1. Not a bad way at all, Wendy. Flying from the east coast to the west coast certainly does give you jet lag. Sorry to be answering so late but my husband was ill.

  32. We enjoyed going to Epcot a few years ago with our older kids—we actually ate some lovely meals! Much more memorable than our dining experiences in the rest of the park 🙂

    1. Hi Liz, We were pleasantly surprised with the meals we had during our stay. Now as to the rest of the park, we’ve not been in years…hopefully there food is better. Sorry to be answering so late but my husband was ill.

    1. Hi Marcelle, Sorry to be answering so late but my husband was ill. Florida is a nice place for a family vacation and Epcot and Disneyworld are very popular. Wherever you decide, I hope you have a nice vacation with your children.

  33. i am enjoying your post a lot and I would to like say thank you for sharing your journey with us… It seems like must visit place once in life

    1. Hi Priya, Thank you for your visit and lovely compliment. I’m happy that you enjoyed the post. I’m very sorry to be answering your comment late…unfortunately my husband was ill.

  34. Lovely photos and interesting post Karen. Definitely on our wish list. Our boys are Disney-obsessed after our trip to Cali Disneyland last year (actually, so am I)!

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