The Upside-Down Mystery of the Epcot Park Map: The Truth Behind the Design

  • By: pdstamp
  • Date: January 16, 2023

Anytime we visit an attraction at Disney, one of the first things we do is pull out our map and orient ourselves. We want to know where we are and where we are going so we can get the most out of our day.

Many people are confused about the upside-down orientation of the Epcot map. Or is it a right-side-up orientation? It really depends upon your perspective. Or perhaps on which entrance you use to access the EPCOT park.

The Epcot map is oriented with North pointing up, which means you are holding the map and looking at the entrance from the top. Although this is standard for maps in general, many people who use a map at a theme park would like to have the starting point at the bottom so they can orient themselves easier.

It was back in 2013 that the printed maps for many Disney attractions were switched to match what would be shown on the new MyDisneyExperience app.

This really threw a wrench into the works for many people who liked holding the map and looking at it so that the right side of the map is on their right side and the left side of their map is on their left side.

For some reason or another, Disney decided to make the switch back to the original positioning at many parks. This put the main entrance to the park at the bottom of the map again. Disney also decided not to reposition the Epcot map and the water park maps.

It can be confusing to look at a map upside down in this way when you are trying to navigate over short distances. You may even find yourself going in the wrong direction for the simple reason that you are not accustomed to looking at a map oriented like the one for Epcot.

If you’re really confused over the map and would like to switch things around for yourself, it’s relatively easy to do. Simply turn the map upside down so that you have the entrance side pointed toward you.

Sure, the words are upside down but we can adjust!

The My Disney Experience app has a feature called ” Get Directions” when you click on a ride scroll down and click this feature and it will tell you if you are walking in the right direction!

Are There 2 Entrances To Epcot?

The fact that the Epcot map is sometimes considered to be printed upside down makes people wonder if there is a second entrance. There is, but it has nothing to do with the map.

You can enter Epcot toward the back of the park between the France and UK pavilions. Known as the international gateway or ‘World Showcase’ entrance, it is accessible by boat, Disney’s Skyliner, or on foot. It’s a great way to reach the park from a different angle and beat the crowds in numerous ways.

Interestingly, there is no other park at Walt Disney World that offers a second entrance. The World Showcase entrance makes it very convenient for people who are staying at local resorts and hotels on Disney property, such as the Yacht and Beach Club, Boardwalk, or the Dolphin and Swan hotels.

  • You might find that it is best to use this secondary entrance because it opens at the same time as the main entrance and you can often be through the check-in process and in the park much faster.

Can Anyone Use The Back Entrance At Epcot?

Since the International Gateway is open to transport from many different areas within Walt Disney World, there is always a question if it is open for everyone.

Anybody can use the International Gateway entrance at Epcot. Known as the World Showcase entrance, it is accessible from many different areas that are easily accessible by anyone, including those who are not staying at a Disney resort.

International Gateway Entrance By Skyliner August 2022

It’s not only possible for anybody to use the back entrance to Epcot, but it is also beneficial. Since you are dropped off right at the area where you check into the park, you can typically be through the line and visiting World Showcase in no time.

It also provides you the benefit of getting on one of the more popular rides at Epcot, one that is often missed by those who are simply winging it. I’m talking about Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at the French Pavilion.

Since you’re entering the park right beside the French Pavilion, you could be at the attraction and in line before many people who were coming in through the main entrance walk from their cars to the gate.

The back entry to Epcot is also an excellent way to get from the park to other areas and from there, you can catch Disney transportation in all its glory.

Some people even make a day of it, traveling from one place to another and enjoying everything they can see for free outside of the parks.

Where Does The Skyliner Go To From Epcot And Is It Free

Since entering the back entrance at Epcot is such a good idea, it brings up a number of questions. First of all, is it free, and secondly, where can you go from Epcot taking the Skyliner?

There is no charge to ride the Disney Skyliner gondolas. You can share a cabin with up to 10 people and enjoy some beautiful views of the property while you’re on your way from Epcot to your next destination. Those destinations include:

* Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort

* Disney’s Riviera Resort

* Disney’s Pop Century Resort

* Disney’s Art of Animation Resort

Disney’s Skyliner was originally intended to be used by those who were staying at one of the Disney resorts. You may even see it written that it was for that purpose, but it is still 100% free for anyone who gets on.

Onboard a Disney Skyliner August 2022

You don’t even have to show a ticket or any type of identification to anyone in order to ride.

In fact, you can hop on the Skyliner and take it everywhere without ever going into a park. You can just enjoy the view and the amenities at the resorts for the day.

Of course, you also have other options for exiting Epcot from the back entrance. This includes walking to some other resorts that are nearby, such as Disney’s Boardwalk. You can also take a boat to various areas as well.

Regardless of whether you take the main entrance or enter through the back entrance, your day at Epcot promises to be a magical one. Simply spin the map and put your best foot forward. The world is waiting for you.

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