The rides at Epcot Center are fairly recent additions to the ever-evolving
park. In the early days, the focus at Epcot
Center was more about cultural education and great food. While that is still
pretty much the case, it didn't take long for the Walt
Disney World corporation to realize that adding rides could only help to
attract visitors. Like the rides at Disney World and at the other Disney theme
parks, the Epcot rides come in three different categories. There are "Big Thrill"
rides here that are intended for older and braver visitors, "Fun For the Little
Ones" rides that are intended for kids, and "Mild But Wild Thrills" rides that
fall somewhere in-between.
When it comes to the "Big Thrills" rides at Epcot Center, there are three to choose from. The Soarin Epcot ride, which can be found at the Land Pavilion, mimics the Soarin Over California ride at Disney's California Adventure theme park. As is the case at California Adventure, the Soarin Epcot ride replicates a hang gliding experience, and you'll literally soar some 40 feet off the ground. Looking down from above, you'll see replicas of iconic California images, like the Golden Gate Bridge and Yosemite National Park . While found in the "Big Thrills" category, the Soarin Epcot ride can be enjoyed by younger visitors all the same, provided that they are at least 40 inches tall. Test Track is another one of the "Big Thrills" rides, and it entails cruising around a long track in an automobile-like vehicle. Hairpin turns and speeds of up to 60 miles an hour characterize this ride, which is one of the longest Disney rides ever created. The remaining "Big Thrills" ride is Mission : Space, which instead of making you feel like a car tester, makes you feel like an astronaut. You and your team will enjoy a fantastic cosmic adventure at Mission : Space, even shoving off for Mars to explore. There are two sides to the Mission Space Epcot ride. One involves a lot more spinning than does the other, so if you are prone to nausea, you might stick to the non-spinning side. Mission : Space is definitely reserved for older riders, as it can be quite intense at times.
Families with smaller children in tote will definitely want to check out the "Fun For Little Ones" Epcot rides and experiences, which include The Seas With Nemo and Friends, Kidcot Fun Stops, Spaceship Earth, and Journey Into Imagination With Figment. The Seas With Nemo and Friends is among the most popular Epcot rides, and it is housed in its own Nemo-themed building. As you cruise along a giant aquarium on this ride, you'll not only see real marine animals swimming around, but also Nemo characters, making for a magical experience that virtually all kids will love. After the ride is over, you can head over to the nearby Turtle Talk with Crush exhibit, where you can interact with more Nemo characters. For those who like these Nemo-related attractions, catching "Finding Nemo - The Musical" at Disney's Magic Kingdom is also recommended. The Kidcot Fun Stops are not exactly rides, though they are worth mentioning. Found parkwide, these various stops let kids get into arts and crafts activities that aim to highlight cultures from around the world. As for Spaceship Earth, it is the original Epcot ride. Housed within the iconic Epcot geosphere, this first of the Epcot rides takes passengers along a tour of world history. New scenes, narrations, costumes, sights, and sounds are all part of the Spaceship Earth ride, making it better than ever. Like the Kidcot Fun Stops, the Journey Into Imagination With Figment is a wonderful place for kids to learn about interesting things while having fun. Figment, who is an interactive purple dinosaur, will challenge both adults and kids with tests of smell, sounds, and things the like.
Families with kids will also want to consider enjoying the "Mild But Wild
Thrills"experiences and rides at Epcot Center . While not a ride in the truest
sense of the word, the Honey, I Shrunk The Audience show at Future World will
certainly take you on a ride of sorts. An interactive experience, this exhibit
has audience members feeling like they've actually been shrunk. A giant dog
and an enormous python are part of the 3-D show, which can be a little scary
for smaller kids. Maelstrom, which is the only Epcot ride that falls into the
"Mild But Wild Thrills" category, is a bit more docile and involves making your
way through an imaginary world by boat. Pirates, polar bears, and mischievous
trolls are just some of the things that you'll encounter as you make your way
through the often raucous waters of the North Sea. It's kind of like the Pirates
of the Caribbean ride at Magic
Kingdom, where you board a small boat as well and explore a magical world.
These are just some of the rides and experiences that you will want to consider adding to your itinerary when visiting Epcot Center . Since the lines at the Epcot rides can often be long, getting a FastPass is always a good idea. The FastPass program allows you to hold your place in line at the various rides while you go off and enjoy something else. FastPass tickets are available at the ride entrances. Once your turn comes up, you can head back over and get on your ride as if you never left. It definitely beats standing around in line for an extended period of time.