Epcot Secrets You Don’t Want to Miss

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When it comes to the mystery of Disney, EPCOT secrets come in much larger numbers than any other park. EPCOT has been special from the beginning; it did stem from an original Walt Disney idea after all.

The Beginnings of EPCOT and EPCOT Secrets

In the early days, EPCOT was not a theme park, but an entire city. In fact, the “city” of Reedy Creek, the governing jurisdiction where Walt Disney World resides, was created for EPCOT.

Walt wanted to build an entire “city of tomorrow,” Aptly named the Experimental Prototype City of Tomorrow, or EPCOT for short. To do so, the company had to create its own governing body to have the necessary creative control. Today, while EPCOT is not its own city, Reedy Creek still is.

The story of EPCOT and what it was originally planned to be has been told at great length, but many of the EPCOT secrets about what we actually have today, have not been.


Today, EPCOT is certainly not a city, experimental or otherwise. But, it is the theme park we have all come to know and love.

With some recent construction, the park is no longer separated into the two main sections of World Showcase and Future World.

EPCOT Spaceship Earth
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Instead, now we have four sections, the first being the World Showcase, which features 11 countries from around the world. Next, is World Celebration, which features the park’s icon, Spaceship Earth, as well as dining and shopping. World Discovery encapsulates science and exploration, and features all of the park’s thrill rides. World Nature celebrates nature and our connection with it.

Now that we have given a basic outline of the park, let’s get down to those EPCOT secrets. (For a full outline of EPCOT, click here.)

EPCOT Secrets of World Celebration

World Celebration is the first section of EPCOT you will enter when using the main entrance. Here, you’ll find Journey into Imagination with Figment, Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival, and Spaceship Earth, the parks icon. Spaceship Earth is part of our first EPCOT secret.

Spaceship Earth’s Secret

Spaceship Earth is a large presence in the park, and due to its round design, could cause some weather issues. But, Disney imagineers planned for this. To prevent rain from drenching guests below the sphere, Spaceship Earth has a special drainage system.

Spaceship Earth EPCOT Secret
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When it rains, the water is diverted through channels in the ball’s exterior, and then channeled into pipes which drain the water into the World Showcase Lagoon.

The EPCOT Secret About Weather

This point leads us to our next EPCOT secret. EPCOT is the worst park to go to in extreme weather. EPCOT is huge, really huge, and features large areas of uncovered space.

Due to this, during rainy weather in EPCOT, you will get wet. There’s just no way around it. Additionally, in hot weather, there is little shade.

We recently visited the park during a very hot week in May. We found EPCOT to be the most sweat inducing park, between the massive amount of walking and the little shade.

EPCOT’s Secret of Size

Speaking of massive amount of walking, expect that when EPCOT. The sheer size of EPCOT can be surprising to many. EPCOT covers about 300 acres, which could fit all of Disneyland and California Adventure inside of it.

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A Nod to EPCOT Past

Another EPCOT secret can be found inside Journey into Imagination with Figment. In the early days of EPCOT, there was a beloved ride by a similar name: Journey into Imagination. The ride also explored the theme of imagination and dreams with a memorable soundtrack and the well-loved character of the Dream Finder.

Today, in the modern ride, on one of the doors you pass, it say Dean Finder. This is a nod to the Dream Finder from the original ride.

For an overview of the history of Journey into Imagination, click here.

Tower of Terror’s EPCOT Secret

This may be considered a World Showcase EPCOT secret, but I personally think it fits in here. When looking out at the World Showcase from the World Celebration section of the park, you will notice the Morocco Pavilion has an extra building that cannot be seen up close.

This building is not part of the Morocco pavilion, not even close! This building is actually Tower of Terror. The Hollywood Tower Hotel was designed in this color scheme to blend into the Morocco pavilion skyline for guests inside EPCOT.

FREE Epcot Secret Drinks

Club Cool is located behind a small sliding door next to the Creations Shop. Behind this small door, you will find rows of soda fountains.

Club Cool is an EPCOT Secret
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These soda fountains are entirely free! Here, guests can sample various coke flavors from around the world, but be careful, not all flavors are as delicious as regular Coca-Cola.

It is not uncommon to see guests filling up water bottles here, and we have never seen a cast member deny someone the opportunity to do so. But, many claim doing so is against the spirit of the place, as sample cups are provided.

Lightning Lane in EPCOT

Before you even set foot into EPCOT, you will want to have a plan for your Lightning Lane reservations. Remember, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is not a part of Genie+, but instead requires a virtual queue or an Individual Lightning Lane.

For Genie+ Reservations, we highly recommend making Test Track, Frozen Ever After or Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure one of your 7am booking priorities. Then, when you can book again, try to score another one from this list.

Remember, Soarin’ can typically be ridden with a minimal wait in the afternoons. Lets link this section somewhere to the epcot Genie+ blog just published.

EPCOT Secrets of World Discovery

World Discovery focuses on Science, Education and an emphasis on Space. Here, the park’s thrill rides are located.

Nod to the Long Forgotten Horizons

Horizons was a beloved omnimover dark ride that debuted in the early days of EPCOT. The ride met a sad end of being neglected before closing and being replaced.

Its replacement was Mission Space, a thrill ride taking guests on a mission to Mars.

But, Mission Space still has a small piece of Horizons in it. Inside the queue, on the large spinning wheel, you will find the logo for Horizons in the center.

The EPCOT Secrets of Guardians of the Galaxy

Cosmic Rewind is a modern day Space Mountain type ride. It revolves around the characters from Guardians of the Galaxy, and is a coaster unlike any other. The vehicles rotate and twist around the dark track in a shocking way.

But, before Cosmic Rewind was the Universe of Energy, a screen and ride experience featuring Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye the Science Guy. In the ride, Ellen learns about energy, where it came from, where its going and green energy.

Guardians of the Galaxy and Spaceship Earth have EPCOT Secrets
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The ride was replaced recently with Cosmic Rewind, but Cosmic Rewind pays homage to Ellen in a couple ways.

In the queue, during an interview with Peter Quill, he mentions being excited to return to EPCOT and experience Horizons and Universe of Energy, both defunct EPCOT rides.

Additionally, during the ride, during the launch, Drax asks “Was that the Ding Dang?” This is a reference to a conversation between Ellen and Bill Nye during her ride experience.

Ride Cosmic Rewind TWICE

One EPCOT secret that is not well known is that guests can ride Cosmic Rewind twice in one day, with a little planning. The virtual queue is open to all guests for no fee. Resort guests can book the queue starting at 7 am sharp, to reserve their spot.

Coaster cars for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
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Additionally, Individual Lightning Lanes can be booked for the ride for a fee per guest. If you have a park reservation for EPCOT, the system will let you book both an Individual Lightning Lane, and a spot on the virtual queue.

To score both, be sure to have every member in your group except one try to get into the virtual queue, and then have the remaining member book the Lightning Lane at 7 am sharp.

Another EPCOT Secret About Rain

We’ve already mentioned that EPCOT is not the best park to be in during inclement weather due to the lack of covered spaces, but there is another reason.

During rainy weather, Test Track will more than likely close. Be sure to plan your Test Track ride around the weather. If you save test track for the afternoon or evening, and rain is in the forecast for that time, you may not be able to ride it on that day.

World Nature’s EPCOT Secrets

World Nature explores and celebrates nature and the human connection to it. This area features the Land pavilion, the Seas with Nemo and Friends, and the future Moana themed walkthrough water attraction.

Living with the Land

Inside the Land Pavilion, there are many EPCOT secrets. The first set of secrets revolves around the educational boat ride Living with the Land. Inside the ride, you will find many hidden Mickeys, including some Mickey shaped produce on occasion.

Additionally, the mailbox in the homestead scene is stamped with an 82, which is a nod to the year EPCOT opened, 1982.

Living with the Land also grows produce and fish that are served all over the resort.

The EPCOT Secrets of The Land

One of Epcot’s overlooked secrets is regarding to the mosaic on the exterior of the Land pavilion. The mosaic inside Cinderella’s Castle tends to steal the thunder.

But, in reality, the mosaic on the Land pavilion was created by Hans Scharff, the same artist as the Castle mosaics. So, during your next trip, take a moment to admire this beautiful piece of art on your way into the pavilion.

Additionally, inside the Land pavilion, you will see four large hot air balloons suspended from the ceiling.   These balloons are each themed to a season: fall, winter, spring, and summer.

Soarin’ through the EPCOT Secrets

Soarin’ holds another number themed EPCOT secret. You may have noticed a theme of imagineers hiding numbers that reference dates inside the rides. Soarin’ is no exception. During the preshow, and throughout the queue, you will see nods to flight number 5505.

Soarin' Inside EPCOT
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This number comes from the opening date of Soarin’: May 5, 2005.

Another EPCOT secret regarding Soarin’ is how to find the best seats. Soarin’ is hosted in front of a giant IMAX style screen, with slight curves on the edges. Due to these curves, certain seats may see some of the images onscreen a bit warped.

This is particularly true on the edges and the tope and bottom. There is some debate as to the exact perfect row, but, we prefer to be seated in B1. Some people argue B2 is better, as it is dead center of the screen. But, we do not agree with this, as you do have one hang glider row above, so dangling feet can be seen.

In B1, you are center of the screen, with minimal warping of the picture, and not dangling feet.

The Seas

Another Epcot Secret is that the Seas aquariums were the largest in the world upon opening. Unfortunately many guests skip this section of the park. The Seas building is not as easily seen as some of the others. It is a bit tucked into the corner, and entirely indoors.

Fish Life in The Seas Pavilion, a more known EPCOT Secret
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We highly recommend spending some time inside, and interacting with the sea life. Here you can find dolphins, manatees, rays, and a myriad of fish.

Additionally, you’ll find Turtle Talk with Crush, a well loved, and somewhat hidden gem where guests can converse with Crush and ask him questions. 

EPCOT Secrets of the World Showcase

The World Showcase is a source of a lot of EPCOT secrets. It contains 11 different countries from around the world and serves to celebrate our connection to other cultures and people.

Each country was created with great detail, and no expense spared. This leads to many small details guests may overlook.

Our Neighbors

One of EPCOT’s secrets regarding the World Showcase is in the placement of the countries. Both Mexico and Canada serve as entrances to the World Showcase.

Disney designed this to represent the fact that Mexico and Canada are our direct neighbors.

Meet and Greets

A surprising EPCOT secret is regarding character meets. Most expect to find characters in Magic Kingdom, scattered throughout Galaxy’s Edge, but not inside the countries of the World Showcase.

Many would be surprised to learn that many impromptu character meet and greets take place inside the World Showcase. In fact, Mary Poppins, Alice from Alice in Wonderland, Aurora, Tinkerbell, and more can often be found at or between the France and UK pavilions.

Speaking of Mary Poppins, a bonus EPCOT secret can be found inside the Toy Soldier Shop inside the UK pavilion. If you look carefully in the shop, you will find a package containing a coatrack and umbrella addressed to:

Mr. Banks

17 Cherry Ln, London.

Authenticity to the Max

An often overlooked EPCOT secret regarding the World Showcase is the plant life. Next time you meander through the countries with a drink or snack in hand, tale a look at the plants that surround each country’s pavilion.

You will quickly notice that the plants change with each country. Not only do they differ per country, but they are authentic. Imagineers ensured each country’s pavilion had plant life authentic to the areas they represented. 

The EPCOT Secret to the Festival of the Arts

A more recent EPCOT secret comes from the newest festival added to the lineup: the Festival of the Arts. During the festival, small paintings of Disney characters are added around the World Showcase.

They are certainly fun to scavenger hunt for!

Drink Around the World Passport

This EPCOT Secret cannot be considered official, per se. But, many different companies make a Drink Around the World Passport that can often be printed for free.

These “passports” are not needed to drink in EPCOT, but can be a fun way to ensure you know which drinks are available in each country. They also outline the specialty drinks available during the various festivals.

The Only Reverse Forced Perspective

Its not a secret that all over the Disney parks, forced perspective is used to make buildings appear taller. Forced perspective is when the upper parts of the buildings are made smaller to appear farther away, hence making them appear taller.

There is only one place where this system is used, but in reverse, and it perfectly fits into our EPCOT secrets list.

In the American Adventure pavilion, the building appears to be 3 stories tall. But, in reality, is 5 stories tall. The building has to be this large to feature the animatronic stage show it hosts.

But, Imagineers wanted the pavilion to be authentic to colonial times America. During this time period, buildings were typically only 2-3 stories tall, making a 5 story building improbable.

To make the building appear shorter than it is, Imagineers used the forced perspective concept, in reverse.  

O Canada

The Canada Pavilion hosts two fun EPCOT secrets. The Canada Pavilion is home to a quiet and beautiful garden that many guests overlook. The garden features pathways for guests to view the flowers. The flowers are even changed based on the season, so be sure to check back during each trip.

Also inside the Canada Pavilion you will find 3 totem poles. When the pavilion was being constructed two fiberglass totem poles were added, but Imagineers did not like the lack of authenticity of them.

Soon, Imagineers contracted David Boxey to carve a real wood totem pole to be genuine to the culture.

Mexico’s Addition

Speaking of carvings, the Mexico Pavilion has a large blue carving structure at the base of the pyramid stairs. Upon the pavilions opening, this art piece was not present.

Cast Members realized quickly, children (and many adults) repeatedly tried to climb the very steep faux stairs of the pyramid. The artwork was installed as fast as possible to keep guests safe and away from the stairs, and it remains today.


Today the Norway Pavilion sees a lot of attention. Guests flock here due to Frozen Ever After and it can be hard to maneuver about. Despite this, many people overlook the EPCOT secret found here.

In Norway, (the country, not the pavilion,) many roofs are made with sod, and grass growing on top. This helps insulate the roofs from the extreme cold.

As we have already discussed a few times, Imagineers insisted on authenticity for each country’s pavilion and their buildings. So, many of the buildings in the Norway pavilion feature this sod type roof as well.

The grass on the roofs is even trimmed by hand so it can be kept tidy.

Germany’s Many EPCOT Secrets

The Germany Pavilion hosts a slew of EPCOT secrets you will want to look for during your next trip. Next to the Germany Pavilion, but still a part of, is a miniature train set and town.

This train set is riddled with hidden Mickey’s, although we won’t tell you where they are and ruin the fun. Additionally, be sure to check the banners on the light posts in the miniature town.

These banners change based on the festival occurring inside the World Showcase, which is a fun Disney detail.

Another fun EPCOT secret in Germany takes place inside the clock. On the hour, the clock opens up and a figurine of a German boy and girl emerge and dance about.

Lastly, Germany’s biggest secret: the never built boat ride. To the right of the Biergarten restaurant entrance, a large mural covers an even larger wall. This wall was not originally intended to be there.

During the early days of EPCOT, a boat ride through four of Germany’s most famous rivers. Behind this wall was supposed to be the boat ride, that never came to be. Rumors persist that the entire show building was constructed, and sits empty today.

This is only partly true though. While most of the show building does not exist, part of it does. The area where guests would load and unload from the boats does still exist, and it most likely used for storage today.

EPCOT Secrets Never End

While these are just a few EPCOT secrets, many more exist. Additionally, many more will come to be as the park continues to grow, expand, and change. As Walt Disney said, “Disneyland (and Disney World) will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world.”

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Mother daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S.

We're Kat and Ali, a pair of mother-daughter travel bloggers exploring the U.S. We're sharing our experiences, tips and insights to help you more easily get out and explore the beautiful landscapes and places of this nation.


Ali Patton

Ali is a travel blogger for Seconds to Go, where she shares her experiences traveling the U.S. with her co-blogger Mom, Kathleen. She is also an avid Disney travel enthusiast, and with multiple Disney World trips under her belt, is a knoweldgeable resource for all things related to Disney vacations. Ali can be found managing the Seconds to Go social media accounts as well as the famed Double Z Farm pages on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

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