Location: Future World in EPCOT
Type: Guided Tour
Specialty: Taking you behind the scenes of Future World
Craig’s Favorite: Going backstage and seeing the cast member areas
If you are a Disney fan or just curious about the inner workings of the prime vacation destination on Earth, then you’ve got to take the UnDISCOVERed Future World tour at EPCOT. It will be more than worth it. This four-hour tour is an information explosion about the origins and workings of one of the most unique places in Walt Disney World. You get to see some of the behind-the-scenes techniques that Disney uses to make the magic come alive and learn about what goes in to being a cast member in this fantastic place.
One of the fun parts of going on this tour is that it begins before the park even opens. You do have to have admission to EPCOT before you arrive as you need to enter the park for the tour (admission is separate from tour cost and the tour currently costs $64), but it is so neat to walk into an empty park and just take in the silence and beauty of it. Once the tour is ready to start, you meet up with your tour guide and they lead you all around the different pavilions in Future World and even backstage to the Cast Member only areas of the park (no photographs in this part).
A couple of interesting tidbits we learned on the tour (not going to share them all! Why ruin the fun?): The rumor about corporate sponsor offices located within the park is true! We got to visit the old United Technologies lounge area in The Seas with Nemo and Friends (at the time called The Living Seas). The view from the lounge looked directly into the tank and you could see the wide variety of sea life swimming to and fro in front of the window. It gave you a whole different view into the huge aquarium. Every pavilion sponsor had their own private lounge where their staff and guests were able to come and work or visit while at EPCOT.
Also, The mosaic tile murals on the walls of the entrance to The Land are exact mirror copies of each other – with the exception of ONE tile. Out of the hundreds of thousands of tiles individually placed only one is different. The artist placed the birthstone of his daughter (who also helped with the wall) into the mural to honor her. Although Disney doesn’t typically allow their artists to “sign” their work, they let this one go as an “honest mistake.” Who would know out of the hundreds of thousands of tiles, right? See if you can find the one tile next time you’re at EPCOT.
Helpful Tip: Because the tour does take place before park opening, you basically have the park to yourself. While waiting for the tour to start I had time to walk over to Pin Central and do some early morning trading. Because no one had yet gone up to them, all the pins were new and fresh and I actually got TWO artist proof pins in trade! Try it out for youself and bring some trading pins!
The tour not only gives you background on the different pavilions and what went into making them, it also delves into the magic of what you see onstage. We got to tour the cast locker rooms and the wardrobe area, see how they handle clothes changes and watch them putting together new cast costumes. We also got to see how they clean the 3D glasses for all the different parks and we got “back doored” for one of the most popular rides in the park – Soarin’. On it we learned about some of the Disney magic that went into the making of that amazing attraction (notice the avocado trees standing in for oranges). At the end of the tour, we were given a souvenir pin from our guide to commemorate our time together. All in all, it was a lot of fun and incredibly informative. If you are the type of person who wants to know about how the magic works, you need to take this tour!
Helpful Tip: Good thing to know is that these tours sometimes sell out far in advance. Same day tickets are rarely available. Plan ahead and reserve your spot early!