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Epcot Center or Animal Kingdom?

Walt Disney World: Need some input on Epcot Center. Or should we be going to Animal Kingdom instead?

From Bobbie Voegeli
Posted January 18, 2011 at 11:39 PM
Headed to WDW on Feb 2 for 4 days followed by a 4 day WDW cruise for some fun and relaxation! Was reading some of the reviews on Tripadvisor about Epcot Center and some are not favorable. Any input on Epcot? We were thinking Epcot over Animal Kingdom - good idea or bad? Help!


Comments in chronological order. Most recent at the bottom. Scroll down to respond.

From Samantha McCrae
Posted January 19, 2011 at 4:27 AM
I think it just really depends on what you like.....
If I HAD to choose to do one or the other, then i would pick Animal Kingdom - but can't you do both? :)

From Anthony Murphy
Posted January 19, 2011 at 9:13 AM
Who is going?

If its mostly adults, I would say EPCOT
If its mostly kids, I would say AK


Though I would say both if possible!

If you are there for four days, you might as well just "do it" and go to all four parks each day. You will have plenty of time to relax on the cruise ship and the day you go to AK can also be a relaxing day due to the park usuallly closing early.

Also, if you are staying at a Disney resort, take advantage of Magical Hours that lets you in the park earlier or stay later on certain nights!

From James Rao
Posted January 19, 2011 at 10:53 AM
I would choose EPCOT over any US theme park.

From Randall Peek
Posted January 19, 2011 at 3:20 PM
It really is a matter of personal choice. If you are wanting the more traditional theme park, then AK is the right choice. It has fewer offerings than Epcot, but they fit into the traditional mold better, and has more thrills. It also is much more kid-friendly.

Epcot, on the other hand, is essentially a permanent world's fair. The offerings here are geared for an older audience and includes a healthy dose of information in every exhibit. While there are some thrills to be found, the emphasis is much more on enlightening while entertaining. There are definitely more things to do at Epcot, which will almost always take more than a day to see everything.

From Deborah Davis
Posted January 20, 2011 at 7:18 AM
Animal Kingdom closes earlier than EPCOT. I checked the schedule and 2/2/11 AK stays open until 8 PM, but the other 3 days, it closes at 5 PM. EPCOT stays open until 9 PM each night.

I've taken my boys to EPCOT since they were toddlers and they have always loved it. I've never understood why people think it's for older kids, but I guess it depends on the child.

From Terri Pierce
Posted January 20, 2011 at 12:41 PM
It depends on the types of people going. My parents and I love Epcot- however my sister does not. You're going to learn something if you go to Epcot, whether it be cultural diversity, how energy works, that Ellen has crazy dreams, or that Donald Duck loves Sombreros. Its also very big and takes a while to walk around. In the Pavillions, while there is lots to look at and do, is a lot of just walking. And the ride section can be a lot of walking back and forth. However, I LOVE Epcot. The fireworks show at the end of the night is to die for.

However, AK is very chill and relaxing. There are thrill rides hidden among lots of relaxing animal treks. AK is also a lot of walking. I enjoy AK quite a bit but have never been able to spend an entire day here. Also, they close early in the day so there are no fireworks or shows to end your night with.

From Bobbie Voegeli
Posted January 20, 2011 at 1:52 PM
Thanks so much for everyone's insight and advice. Hadn't thought of AK closing early so that advice was very helpful! I think we can do both - just wanted to know if Epcot was still worth it...

From Ray Schroeder
Posted January 25, 2011 at 12:15 PM
Don't forget, you can do a Pub Crawl at EPCOT :)

From Jeff Elliott
Posted January 25, 2011 at 1:53 PM
With the exception of Expedition Everest and Dinosaur, Animal Kingdom is about shows and animals. Granted, Animal Kingdom has by far the best show at the resort (despite what the other "voters" said) in the Festival of the Lion King. Animal Kingdom can be done in half of a day.

Epcot has many more rides and I would consider it a 3/4 day park. With rides like Soarin', Mission Space, Test Track, and then some of the slower rides like Journey into Imagination, Spaceship Earth, Nemo, Turtle Talk, and Innoventions (Sum of all Fears is a favorite of mine), there is much more to do. And all of that is before you leave Future World and head off onto the World Showcase.

If I only had one day in Orlando, I would go to Islands of Adventure with a park hopper to go over to Universal Studios Florida next door. They have the "big kid" rides.

From TH Creative
Posted January 25, 2011 at 9:45 PM
I'm going to ignore the sign of the apocalypse that is Rao and I agreeing on something ("I would choose EPCOT over any US theme park").

But let's narrow this down to a single question: Do you drink alcohol?

If so then I have three words for you: EPCOT, EPCOT, EPCOT.

Bomb the park early. Hit Soaring first, Mission: Space (perhaps the most underrated attraction in the industry) Sum of All Thrills (fun enough), Test Track and the flashlight tag thing at Communicore. Then break into Turtle Talk, grab a snack at The Land food court, roll through the free Coke joint (try the mouthwash flavor from Turkey) and then blast out to World Showcase.

Moosehead at Canada (while watching Off Kilter) a traditional stout at the Rose & Crown, Grey Goose Slushie in France, good ol' Bud in the American Adventure ('cause I don't like sake), that purple wine my girl likes in Germany and the tequila bar in Mexico.

I can PROMISE you will have a great time. And you have to accept that promise because if you follow my agenda the next morning you will have no recollection of what you did the day before.

From James Rao
Posted January 25, 2011 at 9:55 PM
Paraphrasing from the 24th chapter of Matthew: "There shall be wars and rumors of wars, and TH and James in full agreement, and then shall the end come..."

Regardless of the fact that I do not prescribe to the part of TH's touring plan that involves drinking all that Schlitz Malt Liquor, his strategy is a sound one indeed. And even without the booze, Epcot is a wonderful park, the finest this country has to offer.

However, if you do go the booze route, do try to stay conscious long enough to enjoy Illuminations at the end of the night.

From Tommy Cheatham
Posted January 26, 2011 at 5:38 AM
I wouldn't miss Epcot for anything!

As much as they say Epcot isn't for kids, it's the park that I have the most memories of growing up. When someone says "Disney World" I think of Spaceship Earth and Horizons. Apparently my first trip there was right after it opened (I was...one), and we hit all the parks equally when we would take our family trips. Of course, I haven't been since 1996, so I haven't been to AK at all or seen the new stuff at Epcot (and now Horizons is gone).....so I guess I can't TRULY be the judge.

Based on last time I was there, I would rather skip MGM (errr, Hollywood) than Epcot for sure.

Looking forward to our two week honeymoon at Disney in September. We will DEFINITELY see everything that all parks have to offer this time.

From Donna McKay
Posted January 26, 2011 at 6:55 AM
EPCOT every time- Illuminations alone is worth the visit. I sat listening to the soundtrack this very morning en route to work- brought a lump to my throat!

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