By Diane Schroeder, Authorized Disney Vacation Planner
THE CONVENIENCE OF STAYING AT EPCOT RESORTS
Epcot is a Disney Park that has something for everyone in your party, whether they want a thrill ride or a cultural experience. Walt Disney's vision of an ideal community can be seen in so many ways here, from Journey Into Imagination to the Monorail soaring overhead.
International Gateway: A Great Way to Begin and Get In
If you love, love, love Epcot and its many Festivals, you may want to consider staying at a walkable Epcot resort such as Disney's Swan & Dolphin, Yacht & Beach Club, or BoardWalk. Did you know there is a side entrance into Epcot within a 5-10 minute walk from these hotels? It is called the International Gateway! Being able to reach Epcot so quickly definitely adds value to your vacation with less time in transit and more actual time spent inside the Park!
We enjoyed staying at Disney's Yacht Club during Epcot's Festival of the Holidays! It is so easy to pop back over to your hotel room from Epcot if you are staying at one of these Disney Resort Hotels. Because of the close location, we could visit Epcot and the Festivals very easily. Having Park Hopper tickets also allowed us to walk through part of Epcot and hop on the monorail to ride to the Magic Kingdom at 2 PM or after quite easily.
We have stayed at Disney's Swan & Dolphin Resort Hotels in the Epcot area several times. These hotels are a ten minute walk via the Boardwalk, or a lovely boat ride over to the International Gateway entrance into the park. So close! We could see the "Eiffel Tower" and Tower of Terror from our room window.
You can get spoiled pretty quickly using the International Gateway to access Epcot. We were able to steer clear of the long lines with masses of people at the front entrance of the park. Guests may arrive at this gate by walking, arriving on the Skyliner, or taking a boat called a "Friendship Launch". By the way, these same modes of transportation can also whisk you away to Disney's Hollywood Studios. It is also walkable but walking to the Studios takes quite a bit longer than it does to Epcot.
Beat the Crowds
The line to go through a security check and tap your MagicBand or ticket card seems to be shorter at the International Gateway. Likewise, leaving through this gate at the end of the day is much easier than using the front gate to access a Monorail, bus, or tram to find your car with thousands of other people. You will walk right past the line of people waiting to board the Skyliner to return to other hotels as well!
Morning is a great time to beat the crowds at Epcot, especially during Festivals. I saw Cast Members having their start-of-day meetings and walking to their posts because I was one of the first people inside the park through the International Gateway!
The walkways were blissfully peaceful and calm and it was nice to take a few moments to enjoy the quiet of the beautiful gardens, such as those here in Canada. If you love Epcot and saving time, I hope you will consider a stay at an Epcot resort for your next visit!
fb: Diane with If You Can Dream it Travel