Epcot: This may sound really silly, but ....

Sbk1234

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I know this sounds silly to some, but am I the only one who finds it less dramatic and exciting to enter Epcot from the International Gateway the first time on a trip, rather than through the main entrance in Futureworld?
To me, the main entrance sets up the whole day perfectly with that dramatic view of Spaceship Earth right there in front of you, as it gets larger and larger as you approach it. Then, it’s directly above you as enter further into Futureworld and then truly become surrounded by the park and it spreads open around you.
I won’t go so far as to say I’d never stay at one of the hotels near the “back entrance” so I won’t miss such a dramatic introduction to the park, but I do think I’d be missing a part of the experience.
Am I the only one who thinks like this? What about you? Please share your thoughts.
 

mergatroid

Well-Known Member
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Been visiting Epcot since the opening year and have yet to use that Gateway entrance!
 

Sans Souci

Well-Known Member
I agree and yet I usually stay at Boardwalk with my family. I like the convenience of walking to two parks, but during my stay I am able to enter Epcot through the front a few times during my stay.
 

MaryJaneP

Well-Known Member
Question is not "silly". We have stayed at Contemporary many times and on our most recent trip we stayed at Beach Club, so we have seen and used both entrances. While your observation of the main entrance visual impact is correct, and the seemingly derisive naming of the gateway entrance as a back entrance, may somewhat diminish it attractiveness, we find both entrances very welcome (you are in the park upon going through either). We like the gateway entrance equally as our interest on that trip was more directed to World Showcase and less to rides. Also worth thinking about is that during this time of many construction walls (Wallcot), maybe the focus on WS makes the gateway entrance even more attractive. YMMV
 

belledream

Well-Known Member
I get it! Walking towards Spaceship Earth as it gets bigger and bigger, until you’re directly under it, coupled with the music loop, is a great adrenaline rush. It’s iconic to the WDW experience.

That’s not to say I don’t also really love entering through International Gateway to that music loop, feeling the breeze from Showcase Lagoon, and soaking in all the beautiful architecture that’s inviting me to wander. Both are good things. :)
 

Ldno

Well-Known Member
It does feel completely off to be enter that way, since it’s like boom world showcase and you have to walk the other way around to get to test track or soaring need be
 

MisterPenguin

Rumormonger
Premium Member
I prefer the IG.

At the main entrance, it's a giant blacktop parking lot. The bus area is not pretty at all. The monorail is a concrete monolith to pass under and an unnecessarily long slog to go up and down the lengthy ramps. And up until recently... the tombstones!! Blech!!

The IG is pretty and pastoral and quaint both inside and outside the gate. Gondolas beat the monorail hands down for funtime riding and watching.
 

Tinkerfan4ever

Well-Known Member
Not silly at all. We are DVC owners at the Boardwalk. We had been to Epcot many times previously and had even stayed at BWV and went thru the Gateway and didn't think anything of it. Then we went with first timers and stayed at BWV. My nephew knew it was the "ball" park (he was only 5) so he asked right away where it was once we entered. It is easy to forget the 'wow' factor, especially for first timers
 

Goofyernmost

Well-Known Member
Not silly at all. I marvel about the people that love to take the bus to the entrance of MK. That option didn't exist when I first went to WDW. The only way in was either the ferry or the monorail from TTC. I enjoy the boat ride more then the monorail because all you get on the monorail is a sideways view. On the ferry you get 360 degrees. On a nice morning with the sun glimmering off the water and the resorts in easy view you can watch as the Castle gets closer and closer. The one time I took the bus to the entrance it was like something important was missing from the experience. Even if I stayed onsite now, (I don't) I would use my car or rental and drive to MK parking just for that experience. To me it's like a birthday party with no cake. It isn't then end of the world, but it sure makes it better.

Try getting this view from the bus stop at MK. So much being missed by being in a hurry!

1603825469460.png
 
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The Empress Lilly

Well-Known Member
I'm an irredeemable hardliner. There is only one way to enter EPCOT, through the frontgate, past SSE, its dramatic opening act.

Once, my off-site hotel shuttle drop-off point was the EPCOT bus stop. I would walk to the entrance, take the monorail to the TTC, then straight back again to EPCOT. -_-

EPCOT is not a theme park, it is not an open air bar. It is a sacred site of pilgrimage.
 

larryz

Completely Saponificated
Premium Member
I know this sounds silly to some, but am I the only one who finds it less dramatic and exciting to enter Epcot from the International Gateway the first time on a trip, rather than through the main entrance in Futureworld?
To me, the main entrance sets up the whole day perfectly with that dramatic view of Spaceship Earth right there in front of you, as it gets larger and larger as you approach it. Then, it’s directly above you as enter further into Futureworld and then truly become surrounded by the park and it spreads open around you.
I won’t go so far as to say I’d never stay at one of the hotels near the “back entrance” so I won’t miss such a dramatic introduction to the park, but I do think I’d be missing a part of the experience.
Am I the only one who thinks like this? What about you? Please share your thoughts.
I substitute the serenity and relative calm found at the IG entrance for the glamor and excitement of the main entrance. I would hate for my FIRST Epcot visit to start there... and in my case, it didn't. Caveat -- I haven't used the IG since the Skywhiner opened, so I can't vouch for "serenity" or "relative calm" in this day and age...

But I still get excited starting my day at rope drop at IG, being one of the first people to walk through the UK and Canadia en route ex-Futureworld, or zipping into France for a quick but satisfying continental breakfast.
 

Queen of the WDW Scene

Well-Known Member
In the Parks
No
I rarely go there first thing in the morning anymore so for me it doesn't really "set the tone for the day" or anything.
What I like is the walk from HS to IG and how peaceful it is. It lets me wind down between parks.
But yes at the same time there is something special walking in the main entrance which I do my other EPCOT afternoon.
I don't feel like that day HAS to be the first EPCOT day though.
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
While I love the main entrance, it hasn't been the same with all the construction. Besides, we love staying at the Swalphin, so IG it is. Of course, with the Skyliner that experience has been tainted as they're letting all the riff raff from the budget resorts in the backdoor now... 😜
 

Sbk1234

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I do appreciate the different perspectives on this. It's also nice to know that there are others who feel the same as I do, so I know I'm not THAT weird. ;)
 

OneofThree

Well-Known Member
My first trip to WDW was in 84; I was 9. My most memorable experience from that whole trip? The first time we walked through the gate at Epcot center. It was night time, so SE was all lit up, the fountain was still in the foreground, and you could hear this playing:

(just epic)


IG? Not even close for me.
 
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Marc Davis Fan

Well-Known Member
This is a great question. I've actually thought about this as well, specifically in the context of taking first-time visitors, and here's what I decided:

The front entrance was vastly superior before all the clutter was added to the Communicore central plaza (e.g., tarps, pin station, corny Mouse Gear and Electric Umbrella signage, Starbucks, etc). Once all that clutter was piled on, the front entrance resulted in a big letdown after you pass under SSE.

However, as long as the new central plaza is aesthetically pleasing (and surely it will be better than the aesthetic mess it had become), the front entrance will once again be the best way to take first-timers into EPCOT. In fact, this is the main reason I'm excited for them to get moving on the central plaza construction.
 

JIMINYCR

Well-Known Member
Well the IG was never meant to be the entranceway that was set up to greet the majority of guests. So thats why it wasnt designed to WOW guests entering. Even though the IG entrance was for a large amount of resort guests coming in from that area, it isnt meant to be the main set up for the park. The weenie that greets the guests and leads them into the body of the park is the massive Spaceship Earth. Leading up to it is the floral decorations that begin to set the tone or theme greeting you into the park.
We visit the Boardwalk area at some point in the days of our EP visits and entering back into the park never feels as dramatic or heart pumping that we are entering EP. Probably the most exciting thing about the IG is the nice bathrooms that you first come to on your way in.
 

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