If you’re planning a trip to EPCOT Park at the Walt Disney World Resort soon, you’ll notice many more references to animated movies than when it opened in 1982.
Of course, at the original onset, Walt Disney Imagineers intended for EPCOT (once an imagined real-life futuristic community of Walt Disney’s own dreams) to serve as a more educational Disney Park, catered towards adults rather than the fantasy-filled, child-friendly Magic Kingdom which had opened a decade prior.
At first, EPCOT Center (Now just EPCOT) prioritized nine different enriching themes within the Park’s Future World Pavilions: communication, innovation, energy, transportation, nutritional ecosystems, imagination, the ocean, the body, and the future, while the World Showcase brought Guests on a whirlwind trip around through various countries all in a single day. Today, the Park has realigned its values to provide more touches of Disney magic, including incorporating various intellectual properties for some of Walt Disney Studios’ famous films.
But who can keep up? Here are five Disney movies to refresh your EPCOT memory:
The Three Caballeros (1944)
In EPCOT’s Mexico Pavilion area, an Aztec temple-style show building houses the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, a gentle boat ride allows Guests to “see the sights of Mexico” with the occasional interjection from Donald Duck and his bandmates. The attraction itself is based on the classic animated film where Jose and Panchito show Donald the sights, sounds, and… girls… of Latin America.
Finding Nemo (2003)
The beloved Disney Pixar film about a clownfish father crossing the ocean to find his missing son became a blockbuster and served as the inspiration for a revamp of EPCOT’s The Seas With Nemo & Friends attraction, which walks Guests through the events of the film before releasing them into a real-life aquarium! You’ll even hear references to “In the Big Blue World” from Disney’s Animal Kingdom’s Finding Nemo: The Musical.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure opened recently in the France Pavilion to great fanfare, giving Guests a trackless rat’s-eye-view of the events and settings in Pixar’s Ratatouille, a film about a rodent who proves that “anyone can cook.”
This frosty, fun boat ride replaced Norway’s previous Maelstrom, going from a thrill ride to a fun journey into Anna and Elsa’s winter kingdom of Arendelle, inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Snow Queen,” just in time to head up the North Mountain from the first film to Elsa’s Ice Palace, where you’ll find the ice-powered queen herself! The ride includes references to the film’s other characters. such as Kristoff, Sven, Olaf, Marshmallow, and even the Snowgies!
Guardians of the Galaxy: Volumes I and II (2014, 2017)
The recently opened E ticket rollercoaster, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, takes EPCOT Guests from Future World into the high-flying space adventures of Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy, including Rocket Racoon, Gamora, Strax, and Groot! Each time you ride, you might get a different song off Peter Quill’s Awesome Mix, making for a unique ride experience every time!
BONUS: Moana (2016)
Now’s the perfect time to find your inner Wayfinder with Moana, the Chief’s daughter who restored the Heart of Tefiti to save her homeland of Motonui, as an all-new walkthrough attraction is coming to EPCOT soon! The Journey of Water: Inspired by Moana will teach Guests all about the ways of water through anthropomorphic special effects and a beautiful topiary of the film’s iconic Goddess.
Whenever you visit EPCOT next, you can always get into the spirit from home simply by turning on any of these magical Disney films! For more information about admission and theme park reservations for EPCOT, click here.