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    • Undiscovered Future World - Epcot

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        8 31293
      • Recommended By Average Rating
        100% of reviewers 8.8
      • Description: Learn about the history and creation of Epcot and the legacy Walt set forth for the Walt Disney World Resort". See how each pavilion in Future World celebrates human accomplishment and presents the challenge of the future.

        AllEarsĀ® Review: http://allears.net/ae/issue347.htm

  • Author
    • mfener

      Registered: October 2009
      Posts: 2
      Review Date: Tue October 15, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 7 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Backstage areas
      Cons: 45 minute Epcot history

      My wife and I love backstage tours and since we had been to Epcot many times before (and love it!) we felt this would be a fun new experience. And for the most part it was. It's long: over 4 hours, and the last three hours were very informative and enjoyable. The problem was the the first hour, which was a recap of Epcot's history, given while we stood in front of Guest Relations. Our guide was knowledgable and personable and did a fine job, but we wish the tour script called for immediate visits to the backstage areas, all of which were very interesting and exactly what we were looking for. The VIP lounges in the Living Seas and Mission Space were beautifully impressive. The Land and getting a front row seat in Soaring was great. The enormous costume and cast member area was a real treat, especially when we had the chance to peak in at the princesses putting on make-up and getting ready for their "shifts". The large backstage mehanical area for test track vehicles and for the Illuminations barges was also very interesting.

      Going backstage and seeing the tremendous amount of activity that goes on behind the scenes gives you a new appreciation for the planning, operation and management of an enterprise like Epcot. The number of cast members, vehicles of all sizes, tons of machinery, and huge support buildings of all kinds are just amazing.

      All in all, it was a good tour and we would recommend it to anyone who has a yen to see how magic is created. The perks at the end, including a discounted lunch in China and preferred seating for Illuminatins, were nice even though we didn't use them.
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      Registered: July 2008
      Posts: 21
      Review Date: Mon March 4, 2013 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): learned & saw behind the scenes tidbits & places

      My husband & I took this tour a few weeks back with our tour guide Christopher. He was very nice & knowlegable with Epcot facts & lesser-known tidbits & trivia. We all were given headsets to wear so everyone could hear Christopher talking no matter where you were standing. We never missed any info while we were walking around during the tour. There is alot of walking with the tour so be sure you like to walk. We learned alot about the history of Epcot & all the great detail that went into making this park. We went to the Living Seas & even got to go "backstage" there. We had a quick break where we could get a snack at "Seasons" in the Land before we got to take a ride on "Soarin"-without waiting in line. Cool!. (We used this time to also grab a FP so we could ride again later!)We went backstage to the costuming dept & saw where the CM's have "their" areas. We also ended up backstage to see where the globe used in "Illuminations" is stored. Because we took the tour, we received a special 'surprise gift' & were able to come back to the VIP area in front of Italy to watch 'Illuminations' that evening. (that was nice. You could wait to it was about ready to start & just walk up to the private area & have a great view of the show!) We enjoyed the tour alot & always like hearing 'behind the scenes' info about the parks & learning new trivia facts. We felt the cost of the tour was good compared to some others & felt we got our money's worth. I personally am a huge MK fan & probably enjoyed the 'Keys to the Kingdom' tour (which includes lunch in the price) a little bit more. But, Epcot is my husbands favorite park & he really enjoyed it! We would both do it again & would recommend it to anyone. For us, anytime spent at Disney is a good day! And to learn more about the park & to go 'backstage' is always magical!
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      Registered: November 2012
      Posts: 1
      Review Date: Sat November 10, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Great tour
      Cons: none

      My husband and I went on this tour a few weeks back and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to learn about Epcot. Our tour guide was Justin and he was awesome. He had a sense of humor and was very informative. We were able to ride Soarin', which is one of my favorite rides and also visited the Coral Reef restaurant. It is amazing how many "little" things you miss as you are walking through Epcot. He showed us the spot that is the middle of Disney World! We toured the costuming and wig departments. I learned things that I never even thought about! It went by fast, did not seem like a 4 hour tour. It's interesting to also see all the hustle and bustle behind the scenes!! Absolutely LOVED this tour.
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      Registered: April 2012
      Location: PA
      Posts: 27
      Review Date: Tue April 24, 2012 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): great backstage areas, lots of exercise, great perks
      Cons: lots of exercise ;)

      We took this tour with Casey on 4/20 and she was excellent. One tip if you're taking this or any other tour - you're on a preferred admission list. Use it!! Arrive at the park as early as an hour before your tour beings for access to the park prior to opening. It's a great opportunity to get once in a lifetime photos. Our tour group had 15 people, but it was still very personal and we had plenty of access to our guide. Each tour participant was given a head set, which was very helpful because we could wander away and look at things without missing any information.

      Our tour began with a ride on Spaceship Earth. The only thing I would have preferred here is if Casey had pointed out all of the authenticity in each of the scenes. She did give us some great facts about the attraction after the ride, but I would have like to have heard some more detail about the historical depictions. Next, we visited a lobby on the World Showcase side of the Innoventions pavilion and discussed the timeline of development for Epcot.

      Our next stop was The Seas VIP lounge. It's a very 80's space that could use some updating, but the views of the aquarium are fantastic! We didn't have to wait for the little kids to get tired of looking at the sea turtles in order to get a good look at them! We visited Innoventions West and got to see the new Green Home exhibit getting ready for its Earth Day grand opening.

      Our next stop was The Land. where we had a few minutes to stop and get a snack at Sunshine Seasons. Since we were running late and ditched breakfast that morning, the break saved us! We walked through a backstage area to bypass the Soarin' queue and got to ride with no waiting. This time Casey talked to us during the ride and pointed out all of the hidden mickey's which was great.

      Next, we visited the building where all of the 3-D glasses for all of Walt Disney World are cleaned. The shear number of glasses that passes through this facility is amazing.

      Our next stop was the Universe of Energy. We saw a cast break room where some retired animatronics are stored. We were able to touch and take photos by the animatronics, which was really cool. We walked past the mission space pavilion and discussed the history of the building. We were also able to walk backstage at Test Track even though the pavilion had closed that week for rehab.

      Next, we went to the costuming area for the front line cast members. That was simply amazing and in itself, worth taking the tour for. Our last backstage area was the canal that stores the Illuminations barges and preps them for the show. When we re-entered the on stage area, were were at the back of the China pavilion.

      We chose to accept the 20% discount for lunch at Nine Dragons. A new policy needs to be instated if this is the restaurant that the tour is guided to for lunch - water needs to be available immediately upon entry. We waited 15 minutes for our server to bring water and after our 5 mile walking tour, that was waaaay to long to wait! Lunch was good, but I had to send the check back because our discount had not been applied.

      As an added perk of taking the tour, we were placed on a list for the special guest relations Illuminations viewing area outside of the Italy pavilion. This was a great place to watch the show and we were able to walk up 10 minutes before Illuminations began and get a spot along the railing. It was a great end to our last full day of vacation.

      Casey was a very thorough and knowledgeable tour guide. She did insert her opinions of attractions-both positive and negative, which surprised me. Like the Keys to the Kingdom tour, I wish there was a bullet point souvenir publication that we could have taken home and reviewed. Casey shared so much interesting information and there were so many interesting things to observe that I couldn't possibly remember them all by only hearing the information.

      Epcot does indeed stand for "Every Person Comes Out Tired". This was a very tiring 4-hour 5-mile tour, but it was well worth the time investment and the energy expenditure. Just make sure you wear comfortable shoes!!
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      Nodak Mouse Lover

      Registered: November 2010
      Posts: 4
      Review Date: Thu December 29, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 10 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Everything
      Cons: None

      It was a great tour. It went about an hour over the advertised length. Robert our tour guide was wonderful. Started with history and moved on through innovations. Went to a private area in the Seas where they might host events/dinners with the aquarium taking up one entire wall. Went through the backdoor at The Land and rode Soarin' no waiting:)
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      Registered: October 2006
      Posts: 20
      Review Date: Thu May 5, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Lots of information
      Cons: seating

      Christopher and Elton with their tag team humor kept us going, informed and enthused about a lot of backstage viewing. Special treatment with Soarin and a reserved space for Illuminations were unexpected treats to a very thorough view of WDW and how it got here.
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      Registered: June 2008
      Location: Pittsburgh, PA
      Posts: 11
      Review Date: Fri February 18, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 9 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Interesting; backstage areas give you a different perspective
      Cons: The beginning of the tour info could be skipped

      My wife & I took this tour on Feb 14, 2011. Overall, I recommend this tour. Our guide (Allan) was enthusiastic and interesting. Everyone will learn something that they didn't know before, and will see things that they never noticed before. Some specific details about the tour itself:

      The first 40 minutes of the tour was spent hanging around Guest Relations while our guide rehashed some general Disney history and the origins of Epcot that just about everyone should know.

      When we finally got moving, the tour was very interesting. We toured the old United Technologies lounge on the top floor of The Living Seas (very nice). From there, we accessed Soarin' via a side parking lot entrance, and also got to ride it. Then, back out into the parking lot and into a back entrance of the Imagination Pavilion. When you're outside behind these pavilions, it's amazing how close everything is.

      Anyway, we got to see how the 3D glasses are cleaned in a back room of the Imagination Pavilion, and then were allowed to walk around the old Image Works area on the 2nd floor.

      From here, we headed over to the Universe of Energy Pavilion, and looked at old AA pterodactyls. We were not allowed to look into the show area, but you can certainly hear it.

      Onwards to Mission: Space, where we were allowed upstairs into the HP reception area (only the reception area). We then were allowed to see where the ride was monitored and controlled. Then, it was out the back door to see how the track on Test Track is supported. We also visited the maintenance building where they rebuild and repair the cars.

      From here, it was off to the Cast Services building, and a tour of the wardrobe area. Then, upstairs to a conference room where a cultural representative from Honduras gave us a brief overview of the program.

      Finally, we headed to the dock where the Illuminations barges and Earth are stored until the next show. We then entered the shop in the China Pavilion via another back door, which concluded the tour. We were given a pin, an offer for a 20% discount on lunch at China, and a reserved viewing spot in Italy for that night's Illuminations show.

      Our tour lasted close to 4 1/2 hours. Once it got started with The Living Seas pavilion, it was paced well and held your interest.
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      Registered: June 2006
      Posts: 7
      Review Date: Mon January 17, 2011 Would you recommend the product? Yes | | Rating: 6 

      Positive aspects of the product (pros): Interesting
      Cons: Drags at times.

      My mom and I did this tour on 1/12/11. I was surprised that there were so many on the tour - about 15 I believe. We were not fans of our guide. He just rubbed us the wrong way. He was informative though, and we covered a lot of ground. We got to go backstage at the Seas, rode Soarin', went inside Universe of Energy, then went behind Test Track (we got to see where they work on the cars, and it was broken down so we could see CMs walking the track), went into costuming, talked to a CM from France, and saw the Illuminations barges.

      I'd done the Backstage Magic tour and once we entered costuming it's very similar to this tour. From that point on it seemed to drag and we were happy when it was finished. We had a few people on the tour who monopolized the questions and would repeat questions that had just been answered since they weren't paying attention - but that's to be expected with a larger group I guess.

      We ended up in the back of the store in China and were given our pins. We had the option of following the guide into Nine Dragons for a discounted lunch and also the option of a preferred viewing location in Italy for Illuminations that night.
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