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EPCOT VS ANIMAL KINGDOM 2021

Let’s get right to it: Epcot vs Animal Kingdom?

Vacations do not last forever and it is hard to choose which Disney parks have the best attractions for you to enjoy during your visit. For the sake of reading time and space, we will only cover two, Epcot and Animal Kingdom. So, which park comes out on top when we compare Epcot vs Animal Kingdom?

In a side-by-side comparison, when the choice is Epcot vs. Animal Kingdom, Epcot has slower moving rides, with the exception of one. They have better food and live entertainment choices. Animal Kingdom has a good balance of fast and slow-moving rides from which to choose with fewer food and entertainment choices than Epcot.

Not everyone has the vacation time or the budget to visit both on the same trip. It is also not the easiest task to decide which park to visit and which to save for next time. While I lean toward Epcot for its food choices and live shows, it is hard to forego the adventurous rides offered at the Animal Kingdom. 

For this reason, I decided to lay it all out for you as plainly as possible. Then you may understand my struggle in making a decision between the two. And maybe, I can help you make a better-informed choice.

Let’s break it down into categories. I will introduce you to the rides, the restaurants, and the entertainment options offered by both Epcot and Animal Kingdom. 

Maybe by doing so, you will understand why I lean toward Animal Kingdom as the winner of this virtually even comparison competition. 

Epcot vs Animal Kingdom – Rides

If we are going, to be honest with each other, the truth of which is the best ride when comparing Epcot vs Animal Kingdom truly depends on you. What do I mean, you wonder?

Let’s face it, some of us like to get our thrill on. We want fast and we want hard. Maybe some wet and definitely a little wild. We want to get on an amusement park ride and be exhilarated. Others in our ranks just want to relax and chill.

For those that fall into this category, slower, more interactive rides attract our attention. They get more out of the small details of a set design they travel through and the ingenuity of the interactions they perform within interactive exhibits.

There is nothing wrong with this! We all have different likes in life and that is no different when it comes to amusement park rides. Let’s face it, sometimes we like different things on different days. 😉 

Let’s talk about Epcot. Here we have nine rides and two more in development. Aside from the Test Track, (which can go up to 65 miles per hour, by the way) Epcot’s rides are slower overall. 

Epcot creates worlds where you can float down a lazy river and wander through the magical vistas of Living With the Land and the popular, Frozen Ever After. Although there are a couple of small, fun dips along Frozen’s river journey that might tickle your belly, both attractions offer a tame, enjoyable ride. 

Along with the boat rides, there are also several omnimover rides. In the Epcot vs Animal Kingdom comparison, Epcot has several omnimover rides while Animal Kingdom does not.

Here’s where I get to give you a fun fact! An omnimover is a system developed by Disney that runs vehicles along a track hidden under the floor. The chain never stops moving which makes it a bit tricky to get in and out. Therefore, engineers added a conveyor belt to run alongside the loading/unloading area that moves at the same speed as the cars. This allows us to safely board and un-board the vehicles without them stopping. 

Leave it to Disney to develop a system to get us on and off rides quickly and efficiently.

Hop into your car and gently travel down the omnimover’s track while visiting beloved characters in The Seas with Nemo & Friends or take a tour of the galaxy and beyond in Spaceship Earth. Either attraction will take you on a most delightful mini Disney experience.

We cannot ignore one of Epcot’s best interactive attractions, Mission: SPACE. Test your skills as you and your crew pilot the space shuttle safely out of our atmosphere and into the darkness of space. Try your hand at docking with the International Space Station. 

Take part in the Green option for a fun interactive journey or hop into the Orange option and strap in for the full take-off experience. Will you survive to tell the tale?

With the lazy riverboat rides and extraordinary interactive attractions, you can see why I say Epcot is on the slower side of life with its rides. (We won’t mention Test Track here.) 

Don’t get me wrong, though. While the majority of these rides won’t rock you or roll you (like Test Track will!), they are still excellent options for a magical day of entertainment.

Now let’s talk about the other park in this Epcot vs Animal Kingdom discussion. The Animal Kingdom contains seven rides to date. 

While the Animal Kingdom offers their fair share of must-see slower rides like the Na’vi River Journey boat ride, the Kilimanjaro Safaris vehicle ride, and the Avatar Flight of Passage simulator, they have something for those seeking an adrenaline boost.

The Animal Kingdom likes to get our blood pumping with high-energy rides like the Kali River Rapids raft ride (you WILL get wet!), the Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain roller coaster, and the stomach-churning spinner, TriceraTop Spin.

All three of these rides will bounce you and pounce you in a good way! These are high-energy rides that are not for the faint at heart. If you do not have a weak tummy, you should ride them all at least once in your Disney explorations.

Winner

The winner? I can be unbiased here. But first I will give you my personal favorite, Animal Kingdom. I love the faster, more exhilarating rides. I also love the slower rides that take me to other worlds. Animal Kingdom offers me the best of both worlds. That is why my personal choice is Animal Kingdom. 

But, If you like the slower rides and do not really have the need for speed, I highly recommend that in the Epcot vs Animal Kingdom comparison, you choose Epcot. I go there myself and enjoy the rides equally to the rides at Animal Kingdom. Then again, I can go to any Disney park and truly enjoy all the rides. 😀

You have more fun if you choose the park with the most kind of rides you enjoy. I truly can’t tell you which to choose, but I sure can give you all the information you need to make the right choice.

Here is a list of all the Epcot and Animal Kingdom rides.

Epcot Rides

Boat RideFrozen Ever AfterGran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three CaballerosLiving With the Land
SimulatorMission: SPACESoarin’ Around the World
Omnimover RideSpaceship EarthThe Seas with Nemo & FriendsJourney Into Imagination With Figment
Slot Car RideTest Track
Upcoming New RidesRemy’s Ratatouille Adventure (opening Oct. 2021)Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind (expected in 2022)

Animal Kingdom Rides

Boat RideNa’vi River Journey 
SimulatorAvatar Flight of Passage
Raft RideKali River Rapids
Vehicle RideKilimanjaro SafarisDINOSAUR
Roller CoasterExpedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain
SpinnerTriceraTop Spin

Epcot vs Animal Kingdom – Restaurants

Now that we have an idea of which park offers the rides you want to experience, let’s talk about food. We have to eat, right? In the Epcot vs Animal Kingdom comparison, there are good eats on both sides.

There are three kinds of restaurants at both Epcot and the Animal Kingdom: Quick Service, Table Service, and Food Stands and Carts.

Overall, both parks offer a good assortment of delicious food. It is hard to choose between the two. 

There is one main difference between Epcot and the Animal Kingdom. Epcot, with its World Showcase, offers a lot more options than the Animal Kingdom for a great bite to eat. 

When at Epcot, grab a quick bite at Sunshine Seasons or take a seat at the Rose & Crown Dining Room. Want a quick treat? Visit one of the more than 60 Food Stands and Carts. Yes, there are over 60 and I have them all listed for you further in this article. 

Looking towards Animal Kingdom instead? Get some quick service at the Flame Tree Barbecue, or pull up a chair at La Hacienda de San Angel. If you just want a quick bite on the go, stop at one of over 20 Food Stands and Carts. Yep, that is a lot less than Epcot, but just as tasty!

Winner

While I couldn’t name a winner when talking about rides, I can sure name one here. This girl likes to eat. When visiting a Disney park, I am going to take my food choices into account.  

Epcot wins the dining battle hands down. The park is home to a greater variety of eateries in every category.

Other than the number of choices you have at Epcot, both it and Animal Kingdom offer delicious choices that would make any visit extremely satisfying. 

Epcot vs Animal Kingdom

Here is a full list of restaurants and food carts for Epcot and Animal Kingdom.

Epcot Restaurants

Quick Service Restaurants

Traveler’s Café
Kringla Bakeri og Kafe
Lotus Blossom Cafe
Katsura Grill
Sunshine Seasons
The Odyssey
Promenade Refreshments
Refreshment Outpost
Refreshment Port
Tangierine Café
Sommerfest
Starbucks – Epcot
La Cantina de San Angel
Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue
Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie
Yorkshire County Fish Shop

Table Service Restaurants

Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
Biergarten Restaurant
Le Cellier Steakhouse
Chefs de France
Coral Reef Restaurant
La Crêperie de Paris
Garden Grill Restaurant
La Hacienda de San Angel
Monsieur PaulNine Dragons Restaurant
Restaurant Marrakesh
Rose & Crown Dining Room
San Angel Inn Restaurante
Space 220
Spice Road TableTakumi-Tei
Teppan Edo
Tokyo Dining
Tutto Italia Ristorante
Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria

Food Stands and Carts

2021 Taste of Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival
American Adventure Frozen Treats
American Adventure Ice Cream Cart
Block & Hans
Canada SnacksCool Wash
Crêpes des Chefs de France
Donkey CartThe Donut Box
Epcot Frozen Treats
Fife & Drum Tavern
France Nut Cart
Funnel Cakes
Future World East Frozen Treats
Future World East Hot Dog and Ice Cream Cart
Future World East Popcorn
Future World East Pretzels
Future World East Turkey Leg Cart
Future World West Fruit Cart
Future World West Nut Cart
Future World West Popcorn
Gelateria Toscana
Germany Bier Stand
Germany Trinken Cart
House of Good Fortune – Beverage – Cotton Candy
Germany Weinkeller
Japan’s Sake Bar
La Maison du Vin
Rose & Crown Pub
Trading Post Refreshments
Karamell-Küche
Italy-USA Ice Cream Cart
Japan Beverage Stand
Joffrey’s Coffee at Port of Entry
Joffrey’s Epcot Entrance
Joffrey’s Future World East
Joffrey’s USA
Joffrey’s World Showplace
Joy of Tea
Kabuki Cafe
L’Artisan des Glaces Artisan Ice Cream & Sorbe
Les Vins des Chefs de France
Mochi Ice Cream Cart
Morocco Coffee & Pastries
Morocco Snack and Beverage Cart
Norway Beer Stand
Oasis Morocco Beverages
Odyssey Bridge Ice Cream Cart
Pin Station Popcorn Cart in Future World
Rose & Crown Beer Stand
The Seas With Nemo and Friends Ice Cream Cart
Vivoli Il Gelato Cart
Bars or Lounges
La Cava del TequilaChoza de Margarita
Enoteca Castello
Garden House Sake
Tutto Gusto
World Showcase Wine Walk
Markets
Club Cool

Animal Kingdom Restaurants

Quick Service Restaurants

Creature Comforts
Dino Diner
Flame Tree Barbecue
Harambe Market
Mr. Kamal’sPizzafari
Pizzafari Family-Style Dining
Restaurantosaurus
Satu’li Canteen
Tamu Tamu Refreshments
Yak & Yeti Local Food Cafes

Table Service Restaurants

Rainforest Cafe – Animal Kingdom
Restaurantosaurus Burgers and Sundaes
Tiffins
Tusker House Restaurant
Yak & Yeti Restaurant

Food Stands and Carts

Anandapur Ice Cream (Thai Bus)
Anandapur Frozen Drink Cart
Animal Kingdom Entrance Joffrey’s
Animal Kingdom Ice Cream and Beverage Carts
Boneyard Beverage Cart
Caravan Road
Chakranadi
Conservation Station Wild Snacks
Corn-Ivore
Dino-Bite Snacks
Dinoland Frozen Treats
Discovery Island Pretzels
Drink Wallah
Eight Spoon Cafe
Expedition Everest Beverage Cart
Expedition Storage – Lockers Beverage Cart
The Feeding Ground
Finding Nemo Beverage Cart
Harambe Fruit Market
Kali River Rapids Pretzels
Kusafiri Coffee Shop and Bakery
Lion King Ice Cream and Hot Dog Cart
MahindiMandala Gifts – Beverage Cart
Oasis Stroller Rental Snacks
Pandora Beverage Cart
Pandora Bridge Hot Dog & Ice Cream Cart
Pandora Snack Cart
Royal Anandapur Tea Company
The Smiling Crocodile
Terra Treats
Trilo-Bites
Warung Outpost Beverages
Zuri’s Sweets ShopBars or Lounges
Dawa Bar
Nomad Lounge
Pongu Pongu
Thirsty River Bar and Trek Snacks
Yak & Yeti Quality Beverages
Isle of Java

Epcot vs Animal Kingdom – Entertainment

Let us be entertained! The Epcot vs Animal Kingdom comparison is not complete without noting the live entertainment available. 

There is nothing better than catching a live show when visiting Epcot or Animal Kingdom. From live performers and parades to sing-alongs and meet-and-greets, there is always a live show to see.

There are also many holiday-inspired special events at both parks. If you travel during a major holiday, make sure to check which park has the more interesting special events.

If you are hanging out at Epcot for the day, make sure to check out JAMMitors for some heart-thumping, soul-pounding trash can drumming that is sure to get you up and dancing. Catch Serveur Amusant at the World Showcase. Their mind-blowing balancing act is sure to keep you on the edge of your seat!

Feel the need to release your inner diva? Join the Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along and release your superstar self for the world to see. Or, if you just feel like jamming to some good ole rock and roll, see who is headlining the Garden Rocks Concert Series. The stage is sure to be rocking!

Don’t let the Epcot vs Animal Kingdom comparison skew towards Epcot just yet. You can find some top-notch entertainment on the Animal Kingdom side of the Disney aisle too. 

Feel the rhythm of the Pandora Drummers as they carry your soul to foreign worlds. Be lucky enough to visit during the Festival of the Lion King for a magnificent African excursion with Simba, Nala, and all your favorite characters. Be a witness to the Tree of Life Awakenings and be a part of Avatar’s otherworldly customs. 

Animal Kingdom has rivers flowing throughout the park, therefore offer more character flotillas than Epcot. On the other hand, Epcot seems to offer more live musical entertainment.

Winner

It is hard to choose a winner between the entertainment options found at Epcot vs Animal Kingdom. In truth, Epcot has more offerings than their counterpart Animal Kingdom. Their selection of live music definitely helps them take the lead in this choice. 

But, who is the winner? For me, it is Epcot. I like to have a lot of choices when it comes to entertainment. I prefer the live music to the flotilla parades. It might be different for you. 

Your preferred choice of entertainment will most likely depend on your travel companions. If you have young ones with you, a day of character flotillas and meet and greets might suit your desires. 

Here is a list of all the entertainment options available at both parks. The easiest way to decide who wins this Epcot vs Animal Kingdom comparison is to check out the list below. You can decide what sort of entertainment is best for you and your family or travel buddies. 

Epcot Entertainment

The American Adventure
Awesome Planet
Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along
Candlelight Processional
Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
Disney on Broadway Concert Series
Epcot ForeverEpcot Pianist
Garden Rocks Concert Series
The Guardians of the Galaxy – Awesome Mix Live!
Impressions de France
JAMMitorsJoyful! A Celebration of the Season
Mariachi Cobre
Meet Anna and Elsa at Royal Sommerhus
A Mischievous, Magical Barn Santa in Norway
Reflections of China 
Serveur Amusant
Turtle Talk with Crush
Voices of Liberty
Walt Disney Imagineering presents the EPCOT Experience
City Beautiful Bandstand
Harmonious
Marimba de las Américas
The Seas Main Tank and Exhibits
DuckTales World Showcase Adventure – Opens in 2022
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – Opens in 2022
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana – Opens in 2021
Play! Pavilion – Opens in 2022
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure – Opens October 2021

Animal Kingdom Entertainment

Discovery River Character Cruise
Discovery Island DrummerS
Donald’s Dino Boat Bash!
Mickey & Friends Flotilla
Animal Encounters: Winged Encounters – The Kingdom Takes Flight
Christmas Character Cavalcades
Donald’s DinoBash Festive Flotilla
Mickey and Friends Festive Flotilla
UP! A Great Bird Adventure
Timon & Rafiki
Santa Claus Festive Flotilla
Discovery Island Drummers Festive Flotilla
Festival of the Lion King
Finding Nemo – The Musical
Pandora Drummers
Pandora Rangers
Tam Tam Drummers of Harambe
Tree of Life Awakenings

A Final Word

I hope I helped you see the main differences between the entertainment options offered by Epcot and the Animal Kingdom. 

I also hope you understand why I insist that the winner in the Epcot vs Animal Kingdom competition is truly a personal choice. Everyone likes different kinds of rides, food, and live entertainment. Just because I like something specific does not mean you see it the same way. 

No matter which park you pick, you are sure to have a great time. Both Epcot and the Animal Kingdom are amazing places to visit with family and friends. Maybe you will have time to check them both out. 

Whichever park you visit, let me know what you think. I love to hear about my reader’s experiences. 

Until then, happy travels!

Epcot vs Animal Kingdom

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