With double the acreage of Magic Kingdom, EPCOT is a HUGE park. Despite this, most visitors tend to stick to the main paths through the park and only see a fraction of what EPCOT has to offer. If you’re ready to take a step off the beaten path, check out some of these hidden gems!
1. Canada’s Waterfall
The Canada pavilion is one of my favorite spots to take a break from the heat at EPCOT. Many people pass right by this pavilion, as you can’t see much of it from the main path around the lagoon. But if you take the time to head into Canada, you’ll find a beautiful hidden respite with a sprawling garden and a mountain scape representing the Canadian Rockies. The highlight is a 30-ft waterfall that is incredibly relaxing to watch and provides a nice break from the busyness of the park.
2. Hedge Maze
Right next door to Canada is the United Kingdom pavilion. This pavilion is home to several well known attractions, including the Rose and Crown Pub and the British Revolution rock band that performs multiple times a day. If you head back behind the shops at the front of the pavilion, you’ll see some unassuming rows of hedges. Get a little closer and you’ll see they are actually a traditional hedge maze, which is fun for both kids and adults to explore!
3. Morocco Museum
The Gallery of Arts and History in the Morocco pavilion is a gem that is hidden in plain sight. I actually found it by accident when I was searching for a quiet cool place to get my nine-month-old a nap. It’s located right at the front of the pavilion on the left, with a beautiful door featuring stained glass. The tiny museum inside is ornately decorated. The best part about the museum is that the exhibits, which highlight the art and history of Morocco, are not permanent, so each time you visit you may get to see something new.
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4. Katsura Grill
Hidden in the back of the Japan pavilion, the Katsura Grill quick service restaurant is a real gem. The fairly generous portions of Americanized Japanese cuisine are tasty and a nice change of pace from the typical quick service fair throughout Disney. But the real draw here is the ambiance. The restaurant is so far off the beaten path that you can really let the stress of the crowds melt away as you take in the beauty of the gardens, a babbling brook with a small waterfall, and a koi pond. It’s especially nice at night, with lanterns lighting the seating area.
5. Cotton Candy in China
This is such a hidden that it may not be there when you visit, but we had to include it on the list incase it is. The artisan cotton candy is nothing like your typical pink ball. With names like Butterfly Dream and Sunrise Star, these are as much pieces of art as they are a delicious sweet treat. They were introduced at the Flower and Garden Festival and then began making appearances in the pavilion during non-festival times as well. The hours were limited and we don’t know how long it will last, but make sure you look for it on your next visit!
6. La Cava de Tequila
We couldn’t create a Hidden Gems of EPCOT list without an entry for adults looking for a great place to grab a drink. Many people walk right through the Mexico pavilion and only see the margarita stand and restaurants that are outside and right along the path. The actual heart of the pavilion is inside the pyramid though, and this is where you’ll find the tiny Cava de Tequila bar. With at least ten hand crafted margaritas on the menu, along with mezcal and tequila flights, other mixed drinks and appetizers, it’s a must-do whether you are drinking around the world or just looking to take a break from the heat.
7. Gran Fiesta Tour
Since almost everything in the Mexico pavilion is hidden, it’s not surprising that there is even a hidden ride here! Gran Fiesta Tour featuring the Three Caballeros is a delightful boat ride that combines the original ride featuring scenes from Mexico with an added story about Donald Duck and his bandmates from the Three Caballeros. Tucked in the back of the pyramid, you have to go out of your way to find this ride, so the wait is usually quite short. We love riding while we’re waiting for our table at San Angel Inn, which actually overlooks part of the ride!
8. Dolphin Experiences at the Seas
The Seas with Nemo and Friends is an awesome pavilion that features the ride with same name, Coral Reef restaurant, and Sea Base which is home to a 5.7 million gallon aquarium. Checking out this aquarium from inside Sea Base is pretty awesome, but what if you could get up close and personal with the dolphins, fish, sharks and rays IN the aquarium itself? What most guests who visit the Seas don’t know is that EPCOT offers several ways to get inside the tank. Check out Disney’s events and tours on their website and you’ll find opportunities to snorkel or scuba dive in one of the largest aquariums on the planet!