Florida Guide > Disney Parks
Epcot – a park for all Seasons
Epcot is our favourite ‘theme park’, although admittedly more for the ambience than the rides. Yes, you have Test Track and Mission Space for the thrill seekers and Soarin’, Ellen’s Energy Adventures and Living With the Land for the more ‘laid back’ visitors. There is also live entertainment in the shape of ‘Off kilter’ the Canadian, with more than a hint of Scots, band, Mo’Rockin (the Morrocan ‘pop’ group with a very attractive belly dancer – always a hit with the gents! ) and my particular favourite ‘Matzurisa’, Japanese drum ensemble. These and many other attractions are available all year round. However, as a place to just stroll and soak up the atmosphere it is the ‘seasonal’ attractions that, for us anyway, make Epcot an ever-changing ‘must visit’ park.
Mid March sees the start of the Annual Flower and Garden Festival, which runs until the end of May. The whole park is transformed into a sea of colour and your first view is of the huge themed topiary exhibit, featuring many of the famous Disney characters, which greets you as you enter through Epcot’s turnstiles. A great spot for your first photos with Spaceship Earth in the background. As you stroll through Future World and into World Showcase you will see more topiary characters plus themed areas and small exhibits that you can wander through at leisure and often have experts on hand to answer any questions you may have. There are also plenty of small temporary stalls where you can buy plants and garden ornaments etc. Evenings are highlighted by the Flower Power concerts held at the outdoor America Gardens Theatre which this year featured such artists as Peter and Gordon, Herman and the Hermits, BJ Thomas and Starship evoking memories of the 70’s.
The next transformation comes in the form of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, which runs from mid September to early November. As you meander through World Showcase your senses are tempted by a bewildering variety of food and drink from around the world. Countries not normally represented at Epcot, such as Spain, Eire, Dominican Republic and many more, set up small stalls selling ‘taster’ dishes and wine or beer samples to illustrate the cuisine of their country. Most dishes cost between $2 and $3. So have a starter in New Zealand, main course in India and dessert in Poland and really eat your way around the world! The Eat to the Beat concert series includes performances from the likes of Davy Jones.
As the Food and Wine Festival winds down the Epcot staff are already starting to put up decorations to celebrate Thanksgiving and the Christmas Holiday season. Numerous lit tableau’s and a huge festive tree make this season truly memorable. During the Holidays Around The World festival you can watch the Candlelight Procession or listen to stars of stage and screen reading holiday folklore from around the world as well as take in the wonderful synchronised light show in World Showcase Plaza, and the nightly lighting of the Christmas Tree accompanied by carol singing is an experience not to be missed.
Yes - Epcot really is a ‘park for all seasons’.
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