Picking favorite attractions always feels a little bit blasphemous — shouldn’t we love them equally, like children? The cold, hard truth is that we don’t. There are some that have a hold tight on us and make us feel like spending hours of our lives standing in line is a brilliant idea. Here, I’m going to take on Epcot and pick my Top 5 attractions.
When I first thought of this task with Epcot, I figured it’d be easy — there aren’t that many “attractions” in Epcot, so how hard could this be? A MASSIVE portion of the park is the World Showcase, and it felt like a cop-out to call all of that an “attraction.” (If I had, it’d take first place on this list, btw.) Still, this was trickier than I expected… Enough delays – on with it!
5. Gran Fiesta Tour
Ah yes — a classic. Let’s be real here. Do I think the Gran Fiesta Tour is an excellent attraction? No. Do I love it nonetheless and make sure to hit it up every time I visit Walt Disney World? Absolutely. My love for this attraction stems from my love for Donald Duck. I find his old cartoons with Chip and Dale to be charming and whimsical, and he’s one of my absolute favorite characters to meet. He’s a hero, but he’s also a troublemaker and I love his flaws and quirks. You never know what Donald’s up to, and, because of that, he’ll always keep you on your toes. Gran Fiesta Tour gives us a glimpse into his mayhem-filled life, brought about entirely by his own liking of shenanigans. This relaxing boat ride is a great way to cool down, laugh a little, and enjoy some peace even on the most hectic of days.
We’ve all heard the rumors that Gran Fiesta Tour may get a Coco overlay. I’ve got to say — I hope it doesn’t happen. I’ll never argue that the Disney parks shouldn’t change; I don’t believe that’s the right mindset. These parks should grow, expand, and change to survive. I respect the way these things go. Someday, when this attraction is replaced, I’ll be sad, but that won’t stop me from enjoying it now.
4. Spaceship Earth
Speaking of change, we already know my next pick has a big refurbishment on the horizon! While I’m bummed Spaceship Earth is expected to be down for two years, I’m excited to see what comes next. While I love Dame Judy Dench’s soothing voice narrating history to me, I think some updates could make Spaceship Earth so much more than it already is. While I support modifications, I still have a great time on this ride every time I step back in time. From scenes where I feel like I see something new each time I glide past, to carefully curated scents to pull you back in time, to a soundtrack that I regularly play on repeat during my work week – this attraction appeals to four of the five senses (don’t be touching the scenes, even if your time machine vehicle gets stuck, as they often do. Just don’t do it. While I’m at it – TURN OFF YOUR FLASH. Thanks).
3. Mission SPACE
This attraction usually has a pretty decent wait, so Ben and I must not be the only people alive who enjoy it, though it often feels like this is the case. I understand that a lot of people get some pretty unpleasant motion sickness from Mission SPACE, so no judgement if it’s not your cup of tea, but for those who aren’t bothered by the feeling of being stuck to the side of a blender, I think this ride provides a rush unlike any other. I am a HUGE fan of Gina Torres as our new Cap. Com., too (FIREFLY FOREVER!!!!). This ride really does make me feel weightless in space and I’m appreciative for that sensation, which I don’t get on any other Disney attraction. It’s really thrilling being pinned to your seat for takeoff!
2. Test Track
Alright, we’re getting to Tier One status here. I think Test Track is truly a fantastic attraction. It lets you be creative in designing your car, gets the blood pumping as it zips around, and brings out your competitive side as the vehicle rankings pop up after each test. I’ve also got sentimental reasons for ranking Test Track so high on this list. It’s the first attraction Ben and I did after he proposed! The proposal actually almost made us miss our FastPass for Test Track, but #priorities — we speed-walked like pros through Epcot once we arrived and made it just in time. (Honestly, I feel like “he was proposing” would be a good enough excuse for a Cast Member to let us slip through a few minutes late.) Also, if you’re deterred from Test Track by it’s often-unappealing wait time, make use of the single rider line!
Three words: Baby. Polar. Bear. I very vividly remember my first time riding Soarin’ after it was changed to “Around the World.” I wasn’t in the B bay, so everything was slanty and warped, but the second that baby polar bear popped up on his back legs and made his tiny baby polar bear noise, I fell in love. (Cue heart-eyes emoji here.)
I feel like I’m pointing out flaws in a lot of my top picks, but it is what it is — Soarin’ has a warped screen. If you go into it knowing that, accepting that, and letting it go, you’ll just have a better experience. If you can look past that flaw, you can enjoy the majesty of the scenes and scents that Soarin’ carries you through. When I ride Soarin’, I get to see incredible wonders of the world from a point of view that I’d otherwise never get to experience. I always leave Soarin’ being reminded just how small I am and how many opportunities this massive world has to offer.
So, what do you think?! Did your favorites make the list? Do you think I’m a complete lunatic? I’d love to hear from you either way! Please reach out in the comments below or on Instagram at @castleboundkim.