Epcot is honestly one of my favorite parks to photograph, due to the amount to capture on my camera. You don’t even have to be in the park itself, to get a great view of the big white golf ball known as Spaceship Earth! As you walk up from the parking lot, Spaceship Earth is welcoming you as you enter this amazing park. Epcot is split into two sections, the front part is Future World and in the back is World Showcase. Both areas provide many great photo opportunities and in this list like before I will go through some of my favorite spots. With most night pictures I highly recommend using a tripod so you don’t have to rely on a trash can to put your camera on when you need stability and long exposure shots.
1. The Entrance
As you walk through the touch points, the whole area provides so many great angles of Spaceship Earth and other interesting subjects you can include in it like the legacy stones or the monorail. My favorite time to shoot here is during the sunset or at night, when the sky is filled with many beautiful colors making for some great shots during the sunset and at nighttime Spaceship earth is illuminated. In one of my pictures, I happened to find a puddle as I walked into the park and thought it could give me a real nice reflection. And it did!
2. Fountain of Nations
This spot is right in front of the fountain as you walk up, it has a great view of its own structure and Spaceship Earth but you kinda have to hit this spot with the right conditions. Preferably the ground has to be wet with puddles, this can be achieved by a light drizzle or if the wind is blowing the right direction the fountains with do the job. If either of those events have occurred then the best time to hit this spot is after close when there’s very little people left in the park so you don’t have anyone in the background of your pictures. You will be able to get real nice reflection shots of Spaceship Earth, Mouse Gear, and Starbucks. I just place my camera on the ground at the edge of the puddle and focus on the far objects that is reflecting.
3. Mission Space
In the area that used to be Horizon attraction (arguably the best attraction on property at the time) now stands the Mission Space attraction. As you walk up to the attraction you can see the stunning planets and architecture of the building. This area provides a great capture of the night sky with the planets that make this picture really out of this world! The earth model planet actually spins so when you are taking pictures of it with the long exposure it creates a spinning motion effect. In my picture I had a high shutter speed and placed the sun in the corner of the planet to cause that sunburst effect.
4. Imagination Pavilion
The Imagination Pavilion is the home of our favorite purple dragon, Figment! It also has so many angles that make those pyramid structures stand out and play around with the colors. Being glass, you can have the sun shine through them giving your picture a creative touch, and at night the glass is illuminated with colorful lights. If you stand across from the pavilion, there’s a small area of water that you can get a really nice reflection off of and sometimes you can grab an occasional light streak from a passing monorail. If you move closer to the pavilion you will see the colorful reverse waterfall of the pavilion and its great for long exposure to get the flow of the water. In this same spot you have a view of some of the bigger fireworks from Illuminations so if you want to get this shot you got to be patient and able to predict the fireworks a little since you won’t be able to hear the music.
5. Odyssey Pathway
The open space of Epcot really helps get the sky in the picture unlike when you’re in the Magic Kingdom, you can really feel the openness as you walk towards the odyssey build from Test Track. Looking over the water you can get a killer sunset shot with the monorail, you just got to be patient for the monorail since it can take its time coming around. So setting up for this shot is quiet easy with just to lean on the rail for stability and have your trigger finger ready or have burst shutter on. You will also get the reflection on the water which is key and makes the photo have the “wow” factor.
6. Canada Pavilion
Heading into the first country pavilion that I usually go to every country has great photo opportunities but these are the few that stand out to me starting with the Canada Pavilion. At the top of the stairs in the pavilion facing the World Showcase Lagoon, is a great spot to set up for fireworks. I suggest to get there a little early because it does fill up rather quickly. It gives you a full view of the IllumiNations fireworks and has a nice reflection off the water of the Lagoon.
7. France Pavilion
Now moving deeper into the World Showcase, we cross the International gateway bridge to the France Pavilion. This pavilion is usually really crowded because of its popularity so the best spots to take pictures are of the fountains or the buildings. One of my favorite pictures I’ve taken is of the ornaments during Christmas and this was an hour after park close. This pavilion does have lots of construction from the new additions being added to it so once that is complete there might even be more great spots to capture.
8. Japan Pavilion
Moving down the World Showcase, the Japan Pavilion has a great view of a lot of the park and across the lagoon is a perfect view of Spaceship Earth. You can either get close to the water or go to the back of the pavilion and still get a great shot of that golf ball. This pavilion has my favorite spot to shoot the fireworks, which is the second floor of the building where the restaurant, Teppan Edo, is located. This corner spot gives you a great view of the water and the fireworks. Even if it’s crowded you can either go farther down and find a spot or shoot from the stairs.
9. Italy Pavilion
The detail in the Italy Pavilion is probably the best out of all the other pavilions in the World Showcase. There are two main spots in the Pavilion that are my favorite, one is near the water across the bridge looking across the lagoon towards Spaceship Earth. This spot is great for just regular night time photography or you can shoot during the fireworks to make your capture something unique. Getting the boats and poles in the shot in your foreground is what you want to achieve with still being able to see Spaceship Earth in the background, then the fireworks should be on the left side of the lagoon. The second spot I like to get when I’m there is more into the pavilion and it really compliments the detail to the architecture of the buildings in the pavilion. It’s right outside the gift store that sells perfume and clothes, at one end of the the outside arches you should see Spaceship Earth at the far end. Here you can play with the photo, with the placement of Spaceship Earth, the angle on the pillars, how far down the corridor you are and whatever else you can think of to make it your own.
10. China Pavilion
The China Pavilion is full of color and is another great architectural pavilions. If you set up near the Reflections of China building and face the lagoon, you will have a great view of the fireworks over China’s big arch and pond. But the spot I particularly like in the pavilion is of the Reflection of China build, especially when there’s a puddle for a great reflection shot. For my shot I actually created my puddle by bringing a water bottle and pouring a little out just placing my camera on the ground on the edge to get that perfect reflection of the building.
Like I said before, these are just some of my favorite spot around Epcot but there are a ton more to discover and capture! The real challenge is to find a unique spot of your own that you haven’t really seen anywhere and could make great potential for beautiful shots. Some of these locations were inspired by other talented photographers I follow but I have spent quite a lot of time in the park trying out and searching for what seems to be a great subject for a shot. I hope these locations and little tips help you out the next time you find yourself in Epcot. I would also love to see if you tried out any of these spots I listed or any new ones. If you want to direct message me your results I would love to see them.
Jason P. (WDW Kingdom Master Contributor)
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