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EPCOT vs Hollywood Studios: Differences & Which One Is Better?

When thinking about Disney World, most people picture Cinderella’s Castle in Magic Kingdom. 

However, EPCOT and Hollywood Studios are the fourth and fifth most visited theme parks in North America, each offering guests a unique thematic adventure.

The attractions at EPCOT revolve around edutainment – the combination of education and entertainment. The main themes at the park are scientific discovery, technological innovation, and intercultural understanding. Hollywood Studios focuses on the magic of movies, television, and theater, immersing guests in the fictional worlds they’ve come to know and love. EPCOT is family-friendly, offering slower rides suitable for all ages. In contrast, Hollywood Studios pumps up the adrenaline with thrilling attractions geared toward teenagers and adults.

Disney Imagineers designed EPCOT and Hollywood Studios as completely different experiences from the classic Disney feel of Magic Kingdom. 

This article details the specific rides, attractions, and shows that make these EPCOT and Hollywood Studios memorable and unique.

What Does EPCOT Have to Offer?

View from the ground looking up at the EPCOT's Spaceship Earth at nighttime.

EPCOT contains four different areas – World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery – each providing guests with rides, attractions, and shows that stimulate the mind, foster a sense of wonder, and encourage exploration. 

World Showcase supplies visitors with the tastes, sounds, and appearances of the cultures encountered in its 11 international pavilions. 

The countries represented in the World Showcase Pavilions include Morocco, the United Kingdom, Canada, France, Germany, Norway, Japan, the United States, Italy, China, and Mexico.

World Celebration encompasses the area around the main entrance where visitors can find the iconic silver sphere and the Imagination Pavilion. 

World Nature contains two exhibits, The Land and The Seas, focusing on conservation and preserving the natural world.

World Discovery provides guests with interactive exhibits, attractions, and rides designed to educate them about science, technology, and space.

Rides at EPCOT

EPCOT has eleven rides for visitors to enjoy, spread throughout the park’s four sections. 

The World Showcase, World Nature, and World Discovery contain three rides, while World Celebration has two.

Seven rides are appropriate for guests of all ages, no matter their size, while four have minimum height requirements.

World Showcase

Frozen Ever After within the Norway Pavilion at World Showcase is based on the extremely popular Disney film Frozen. 

Guests can explore Arendelle while waiting in line for a frosty adventure starring Olaf, Anna, and Elsa. 

Located in the France Pavilion of the World Showcase, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure follows the adventures of Chef Remy, a rat with culinary genius, based on the Disney/Pixar movie Ratatouille.

In the Mexico Pavilion, the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros, follows the adventures of Donald Duck and his two friends, based on the Disney movie, The Three Caballeros.

World Celebration

In World Celebration, Spaceship Earth takes passengers through the famous geodesic sphere, introducing them to the ways human communication technology has changed throughout time.

The slow ride, Journey Into Imagination With Figment, introduces Figment the Dragon and takes visitors on a musical tour of the Sensory Labs at the Imagination Institute. 

World Nature

World Nature contains the peaceful ride, Living with the Land – Glimmering Greenhouses, that takes guests on an educational journey about agricultural products and practices. 

Riders will learn how Disney horticulturalists grow the food served at restaurants in the Land Pavilion.

Disney paired spectacular sights with a beautiful score in Soarin’ Around the World, which flies parkgoers at least 40 inches (102 cm) tall across our blue planet in front of an IMAX screen.

The Seas with Nemo & Friends allows guests to help find Nemo as they slowly ride the East Australian Current through the ocean, encountering dangers and friends on their journey.

World Discovery

The Test Track in World Discovery gives visitors taller than 40 inches (102 cm) a chance to design a virtual car and test it by racing it around the track. 

A scoreboard displayed at the end of each race shows riders whose car was fastest.

Mission: SPACE is a thrilling attraction that offers visitors two different experiences, depending on their preferences. 

When they choose the Orange Mission, riders taller than 44 inches (112 cm) blast off to Mars, complete with G-forces that give them a sense of a real space mission. 

For a gentler ride, passengers measuring at least 40 inches (102 cm) can select the Green Mission, which orbits them around the Earth.

World Discovery is the home of Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, a thrilling, reverse-launch roller coaster that runs in the dark. 

Guests at least 42 inches (107 cm) tall enjoy this speedy and dimly lit space chase based on the popular Marvel film.

Attractions and Shows at EPCOT

EPCOT offers a variety of attractions and shows appropriate for all ages. 

Visitors can participate in Character Meet and Greets, explore art galleries, interact with science and technology exhibits, visit the aquarium, watch films, and enjoy play areas designed for kids.

In addition, several entertainers, live musical shows, and theater performances provide parkgoers with a taste of various international cultures combined with the Disney World experience.

The fireworks displays and parades also offer guests a spectacular extravaganza of music and Disney magic that leaves a lasting impression on EPCOT guests.

EPCOT also hosts four festivals throughout the year, drawing in visitors who want to experience something truly special. 

These festivals include the International Flower and Garden Festival, the International Festival of the Arts, the International Food and Wine Festival, and the International Festival of the Holidays.

What Does Hollywood Studios Have to Offer?

People riding the Slinky Dog Dash at Toy Story Land.

Hollywood Studios gives guests a taste of movie magic with several rides and attractions designed to engage the imagination. 

The park is divided into seven sections representing either real locations or fictional places from popular movies.

These areas include Hollywood Boulevard, Sunset Boulevard, Echo Lake, Grand Avenue, Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge, Toy Story Land, and Animation Courtyard.

Rides at Hollywood Studios

Four areas of Hollywood Studios are modeled after places in California. 

Hollywood Boulevard is the main entrance to the park and contains one ride. 

Sunset Boulevard has two thrilling rides, Echo Lake has one ride and two live-action shows, and Grand Avenue has one show. 

Three areas of the park are based on movies and TV shows. 

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge contains two rides and excellent interactive adventures, Toy Story Land has three rides, and Animation Courtyard offers Character Meet and Greets and shows.

Hollywood Studios has nine rides, most of which are thrilling and not appropriate for all ages and heights. 

Hollywood Boulevard

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway on Hollywood Boulevard is the only ride in all of the Disney parks featuring the classic Disney characters Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto. 

This attraction has no minimum height requirement and allows guests of all ages to ride.

Sunset Boulevard

The Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster Starring Aerosmith is an epic indoor roller coaster on Sunset Boulevard that launches fast while playing killer Aerosmith tunes. 

This ride has the strictest height requirements at Disney World and is built for passengers at least 48 inches (122 cm) tall.

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is a spooky drop ride in an elevator car based on the retro television show, The Twilight Zone

After guests reach the top of the lift, the power seems to fail, and the ride goes dark.

They are then dropped at random intervals without any idea when the next one will happen, adding to the suspense. 

Riders who want to add fear to their lives must be at least 40 inches (102 cm) tall.

Echo Lake

Star Tours – The Adventures Continue is found at Echo Lake and gives riders measuring 40 inches (102 cm) and up an epic and exhilarating 3D ride that can take them anywhere in the galaxy. 

The adventures always change and feature different characters, and each new experience is inspired by one of the Star Wars movies.

Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance takes riders at least 40 inches (102 cm) and above on an intergalactic adventure with Resistance fighters like Rey and BB-8.

The Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is an exhilarating race through space where crew members 38 inches (97 cm) and above choose their task on board the ship and work together to complete a smuggling mission. 

Each mission on the Millenium Falcon is different, depending on where a rider sits.

Toy Story Land

The Slinky Dog Dash is a small roller coaster with fun hills and banked turns ideal for guests at least 38 inches (97 cm) tall looking for a mildly thrilling ride. 

Alien Swirling Saucers is a slow-spinning attraction perfect for younger children at least 32 inches (81 cm) tall.

Toy Story Mania! is a fun, 4D slow ride giving guests the opportunity to compete for a high score by shooting at targets in five different games.

Attractions and Shows at Hollywood Studios

Hollywood Studios offers Character Meet and Greets, movies, live-action theater performances, and live music. 

The best attraction at Hollywood Studios is the Muppet Vision 3D

This fun, 3D experience is a mixture of film, special effects, and live-action based on Jim Henson’s The Muppet Show. 

It’s also the last time Jim Hensen voiced Kermit the Frog.

The best show at Hollywood Studios is the Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular! 

This exhilarating experience gives guests a glimpse behind the movie magic that created some of the most iconic scenes from the Indiana Jones movie, Raiders of the Lost Ark. 

Audience participation at this show is encouraged, and some lucky audience members get to participate in the action.


The biggest difference between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios is the parks’ themes. 

While EPCOT celebrates science, technology, preservation of the natural world, and international culture, Hollywood Studios embraces the magic of movies, television, and theater. 

EPCOT contains only a few thrilling rides and offers more slow rides appropriate for guests of all ages and heights. 

Hollywood Studios delivers a wide variety of live entertainment and hosts mostly thrilling rides better suited for older, braver guests.

EPCOT and Hollywood Studios provide a one-of-a-kind Disney experience, and they are definitely worth visiting during any Disney World vacation.