Recently, Kaitie and I got to go on the Undiscovered Future World Tour in Epcot. It was actually her gift to me for our anniversary! This tour took us through each area in the Future World section of Epcot, explaining the history, design, and changes made in the area since the park opened. This tour was really cool and we got to learn a lot about the lands in Epcot.
The first thing about this tour is that it starts off in the morning and lasts for about 4 hours. You will be walking for most of this time so wear good shoes. You should also know that the tour can vary from the description given. The tour starts at 8:30 A.M., which means you can get into the park early. We arrived at 8 and headed to the area behind Club Cool for check in. Upon checking in, they gave us each a nametag and a bottle of water and told us we could walk around until everyone checked in and we were ready to start. We took this time to get a few pictures while the park was empty.
Once the group was all checked in and our tour guide was ready, it was time to begin the tour. It was a small group with only about 6 people. Unfortunately our tour guide's name eludes me. After a rather lengthy introduction and briefing our tour began. We started at the center of Epcot... Literally on the original Epcot logo located between the Fountain of Nations and the bridge leading towards World Showcase. Did you know this logo marked the exact center of the Walt Disney World property at the time EPCOT was built? I would definitely make sure to take a second to appreciate it the next time you are in Epcot, especially since it’s the 35th anniversary this year.
After talking about Epcot’s history, we moved on towards Spaceship Earth. We spent more time talking about its structure and design and even got to see a piece of panel that gives Spaceship Earth its silver glow. We then got to go through the VIP entrance to ride Spaceship Earth. This wasn’t actually my first time through this entrance though. This is also where the Siemens lounge is located.
After riding Spaceship Earth, we headed towards Future World West. The next location we went to was The Seas with Nemo and Friends. Again we talked about its history outside. We then entered through the old lounge entrance. This location is seldom used now but it is a really unique setting. The nautical lounge has views along the aquarium and can still be used for private events like weddings. Did you know that when the aquarium in The Seas opened, it was one of the largest single aquariums in the world?
After The Seas, we headed to The Land pavilion. Of course many people have noticed that this pavilion looks like a volcano, but I had never noticed that the cement leading up to it, actually looks like lava flowing down the path. We stopped for a quick lunch at the Sunshine Seasons quick service. I must admit this is one of my favorite quick services so I couldn’t complain. Afterwards, we met back up thinking we were going to ride Soarin', but this was not the case. Instead we headed back stage for a quick walk around. We got to take a look at the facility where Walt Disney World cleans all of their 3D glasses for all four parks. It sounds kind of odd, but was pretty interesting. This brought us into the back of the Journey into Imagination ride. Thankfully we avoided riding this slow moving torture. We went out the front and back "on stage". We then took a walk back across the park and over to Future World East. There we talked about Universe of Energy, the old Body Wars location/festival center, and then Mission Space. We then got to Test Track. We got to go backstage again and enter through the GM lounge. To be honest, we didn’t really get to see much of the lounge… just white hallways. We did get to ride Test Track!
After that we again headed backstage and over to the cast member staging area. This is the building where cast members prepare for their day and dispatch through a bus service that runs around the back of the park. We also got to see the huge costuming facility and learn all about how cast members check in and out their uniforms each day. We also got to see the costumed and face character areas, including where the wigs for face characters are created. After this we re-entered the usual guest area in the back of the Norway pavilion. This was where our journey ended and the group headed in their own directions. Of course before parting we were given special pins you could only receive from talking the tour.
The tour was a lot of fun and definitely worth it. One thing I was disappointed about was that the itinerary was suppose to include a tour of where they prepare for Illuminations. Checking the online itinerary now, I see that this has been removed completely. We also read that many people also received special viewing of Illuminations later that day, this was not the case for us. This was not a let down because we were actually pretty tired after the tour. Between being up relatively early to get there and then walking around for over four hours straight, we were pretty tired and ended up heading out shortly after.
Overall, I would recommend this tour. From what I understand it’s no Keys to the Kingdom, but I enjoyed it and learned a lot about Epcot, its history, and its development. I had a lot of fun and it was a great anniversary present!