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

_caleb

Well-Known Member
I'm a total geek about entrances and routes in the parks–ESPECIALLY when I'm with friends for their first visits! Walking the parks with me is like watching a movie with that annoying guys who's always like, "Oooh, now watch this!" or "Here comes the good part!" or "This is my favorite!"

Of course, most people don't seem to appreciate this.

I do it anyway.
 

LastoneOn

Well-Known Member
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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.
No, not silly. It is less dramatic certainly. I like it because it puts me right next the fish and chips.
Will be nice to go through the new entrance without the tombstones junking the place up, perhaps that "experience" feeling you talk about will return, but I haven't felt that way about Epcot in a long time.

The only park that gives me that bit of chill and excitement is MK, walking out of the tunnel onto Main Street.
DHS is close second.
AK, my favorite park, a distant 3rd or even 4th. its a hodgepodge, and there really isn't much drama, not even when the tree comes into view.
 

LastoneOn

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.
No doubt first time, have to go in the front.
Lots go agree with here.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
I really like the International Gateway, but nothing anywhere compares with the original entrance into EPCOT. Everything about it was fantastic, and what awaited you on the other side of Spaceship Earth was even better.

It's not like that now -- and never will be again with all the ways they've made Future World worse -- but hopefully the newly renovated entrance will at least recapture a bit of the magic.
 

Sbk1234

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I'm a total geek about entrances and routes in the parks–ESPECIALLY when I'm with friends for their first visits! Walking the parks with me is like watching a movie with that annoying guys who's always like, "Oooh, now watch this!" or "Here comes the good part!" or "This is my favorite!"

Of course, most people don't seem to appreciate this.

I do it anyway.
You sound like the perfect Disney companion!
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
I love entering the IG. One of the best part is leaving through the IG. Few steps and at the hotel not the crowded bus at the end of the day. One of my favorite spots in all of Disney World is the walk way under the bridge near the entrance.

One of my favorite things to do is to leave EPCOT at night through the IG (especially after Illuminations when it was still running) and then head over to the Boardwalk. Spend a little time at Jellyrolls or even just get a pizza from the pizza window and sit outside and have it as a late night snack.
 

BoarderPhreak

Well-Known Member
The IG has received a lot of love, with the Skyliner addition - and getting a beefed up entrance. But perhaps what I'm looking forward to most is seeing the France expansion across the water - especially at night - with the glow and buzz of Rat in the distance. It's no longer the sleepy backdoor it used to be for the Boardwalk area resorts... Which I have mixed feelings about (as mentioned earlier).
 

cmb5002

Well-Known Member
Not silly at all. The main entrance has gravitas; the music, the landscaping, and of course SSE all carry weight and set and exciting mood for your day in the park.

To contrast, I've always found entering through the IG to be very relaxing and calm. It still puts a smile on my face, just in a different way. Since we joined DVC, and BWV is our home resort I have come to love that calmness of walking over to Epcot, but I certainly miss the feeling you get at the main entrance.
 

Sbk1234

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
I gladly admit that reading all of these posts has given me new appreciation for the International Gateway. Thanks for the new perspective.
 

danyoung56

Well-Known Member
I've stayed a couple times at Epcot area resorts. And while I enjoy being able to walk to Epcot, I do miss the grand entrance through the front.
 

Mickey5150

Well-Known Member
I think both entrances have their place. The main entrance has that rope drop building excitement, exactly the type of thing that future world is built for. The IG entrance is a relaxing, casual stroll into the magic of Disney. What always amazes me is how these 2 entrances are going to the same park yet they are so very different.
 

JustAFan

Well-Known Member
I'd say the front entrance is better. Spaceship Earth, nostalgia, and tradition play a part of that. The IG entrance is nice too, especially if you're staying back there, park hopping, and dropping in for dinner.
 

barrymoss

New Member
Boardwalk is my home DVC resort, so I've entered Epcot many times through the International Gateway. Now my last trip was 2018, so I haven't used the IG entrance since the Skyliner came into operation.

I love the main entrance to Epcot and the music loop there--it really is very special and I often listen to that music loop at home to get a Disney fix. I usually come in that way once or twice a trip doing a park hop from Magic Kingdom, and of course, if I'm staying at a different resort. But the IG would feel like the insider's special entrance--short lines, a boat trip to my resort (or a pleasant walk). Usually, I go to WDW during the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, so I would spend more time around the World Showcase, so the IG entrance was actually much more convenient unless I was going to a seminar over at the Festival Center (aka Wonders of Life pavilion). But honestly, it's become a tradition on the first night at WDW to go to Epcot whether it's for dinner at the Hacienda de San Angel or noshing at the Food and Wine booths, so there is still something special about coming in the IG and popping directly into the World Showcase. I'm always happy to visit Epcot no matter which entrance I come in and I enjoy both for different reasons.
 

UNCgolf

Well-Known Member
Boardwalk is my home DVC resort, so I've entered Epcot many times through the International Gateway. Now my last trip was 2018, so I haven't used the IG entrance since the Skyliner came into operation.

It is significantly busier, unfortunately -- but not unexpectedly. It's still nothing compared to the main entrance, but when I was there in January, the IG was no longer the sleepy back entrance that was sometimes completely deserted. There was a steady stream of people going in/out every time I was in the area.
 

Qscout

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!

View attachment 508710
We got the monorail once.
Always get the ferry, It always reminds us of the very first time we crossed seven seas lagoon and got our fist glimpse of the castle as the ferry rounded the island.
 

JohnD

Well-Known Member
Last week I entered and exited Epcot via the IG for the first time. With the Skyliner that's going to happen with more and more guests. (I was staying at Pop, BTW.)
 

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