Sunday, March 13, 2011

Epcot's Mini-Attractions, Volume 1

There's no questioning that Epcot is an amazing park both for attractions and atmosphere.  Between E-tickets like Soarin' and Test Track and the culture of the World Showcase, this park has it all.  But sometimes the things that people skip over can also be some of the funnest memories later.  Thus I'd like to dedicate this post (and a future one, as I've thought of enough for at least two posts) to Epcot's "mini-attractions."

1. Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure
This is kind of a big one, but it's also one that I don't think people stop at enough.  For anyone who's unaware, Kim Possible World Showcase Adventure is an interactive game that takes place in, you guessed it, World Showcase.  To play, first stop at a recruitment station and get a "Fastpass."  This will tell you when and where to return to get your mission.  When your time arrives, simply go where the Fastpass tells you to, and you will be given a Kimmunicator for your group.  This Kimmunicator is essentially a cell phone on which Wade from Kim Possible talks to you.  He directs you to a specific country, and you must stop the villain who is trying to destroy the world!  The game is a lot of fun for both adults and children.  I've played the Germany, Japan, France, and United Kingdom missions, and the Japan one was my favorite.  It really is a blast, and the best part is, once you have your Kimmunicator, if the park isn't too busy, it will let you play another mission after you finish yours without getting another "Fastpass."  I think the attraction is too often overlooked, either because people aren't sure what it is or because it seems too childish.  I think it's a lot of fun, however, and there are some really cool interactive elements!

2. The Great Piggy Bank Adventure
Some people skip right over Innoventions while they're at Epcot, and I think that's a big mistake.  There are a lot of fun exhibits there, and one of my favorites is the Great Piggy Bank Adventure (presented by T. Rowe Price).  In this exhibit, you enter a little area to learn about money (mainly saving it).  First you are sent to a little kiosk where you virtually meet your pig friend.  You choose whether you want to save up for an ultimate vacation (obviously what we chose), a bedroom makeover, a college education, or retirement.  Once one is chosen, you get your own little piggy friend to carry around with you on your journey!  (See photos!)  You are directed to different kiosks throughout the experience to do things like save money for your goal, avoid inflation, and diversify your money.  At the end, you learn if you reached your goal or not.  Luckily we did, although I wish they really gave you the money you "saved" in the game!  The game actually does have a lot of important lessons, and I think it could be enjoyed by every age group.  The youngest of children might not understand the financial lessons completely, but they will enjoy the games and the piggy friend.  Older children will both understand the lessons and enjoy the games, and adults should already know the lessons (hopefully!) but will still have fun playing!

3. The Seas
Everyone knows about the two real attractions in the Seas pavilion: the Seas with Nemo and Friends ride and Turtle Talk with Crush, but if you stay in the pavilion once you're done with the attractions, you'll find many more mini-attractions.  Aside from the most obvious one (all the fish!), others include little trivia games on screens (these were fun, and you can email yourself a little certificate with your results) and looking at the especially cool manatee section of the aquarium.  There is also a special aquarium in one section with just fish that mimic the Finding Nemo characters.  Finally, one of the coolest mini-attractions in the Seas pavilion is the little dolphin show.  When the dolphins get fed a few times a day, the cast member that does the feeding also puts on a little show with the dolphins.  It's nothing like what you'd probably find at Sea World, but it's a cool little thing to add something extra awesome to your day.  Really the entire Seas pavilion in itself is a cool mini-attraction, and it should definitely be explored in its entirety!

What do you think of my first three mini-attractions from Epcot?  What are your favorites?  I had at least three more for a future post, but do you have any suggestions?  Or can you think of any mini-attractions in other parks?  Anyone who lists any that I don't already have on my list will most definitely be shouted out in the next mini-attraction post(s), so let me know your thoughts in a comment, a tweet (@discollegeblog), or on Facebook!


  1. Kim Possible is definitely a lot of fun. It's an especially good way to kill some time before a Priority Seating at one of the World Showcase restaurants.

  2. My favorite mini-attraction is Club Cool. Most people don't even notice this but it is so much fun. You can get a taste of sodas from around the world and it's free! It's a great stop on a hot day.

  3. Club Cool is an awesome one! I'll add that to my list for my next post. I'll remember to give you credit for that one!

  4. We love Kim Possible and my 8yo DD is a huge fan of Innoventions but somehow we've missed The Great Piggy Bank Adventure. Going on our must-do list!

  5. It's a lot of fun, you guys would like it I bet!

  6. I love the street performers in Epcot. There was this acrobat dude outside of France who ended up on top of like 5 or 6 chairs and standing on top upside down.