We’re starting to wind down this series, rating the shows at each U.S. Disney Park. If you missed the Disneyland, California Adventure, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios installments of the series then just click on the corresponding park to catch up. Today, we head over to Epcot.
Attractions are just one aspect of a theme park experience. Live entertainment can really help balance out an itinerary and really make a day at the park much better. Epcot has plenty of shows for guests to see. Nearly all of the World Showcase Pavilions have some sort of entertainment. This, along with several other options, make Epcot an interesting place to catch a few shows. Before we rate those shows, let’s brush up on the rules.
- The show has to be live, also no meet & greets – I covered 3D shows (and the like) in the attraction rankings. Meet & greet experiences differ from person-to-person so it’s nearly impossible to rate a typical experience, seeing how there really isn’t a ‘typical experience.’ For the record, I don’t often like meet & greets unless they involve King Louie.
- I’ll try to keep up! – Epcot has more live entertainment than any other park. There are some shows that I haven’t seen but I’ll try to remedy that soon. If there is a show you’ve seen that isn’t on the list then drop a comment below and let us what you think of it!
- Shows are rated mostly on production, minimally on subject – I’m not the target audience for Disney Jr. shows, or something of the like, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad show. I’ll try to be as fair as possible, regardless of subject matter.
- Make up your own opinion – I’m always right… Except when I’m not. If I don’t like the show, that doesn’t mean you will feel the same. I don’t think my opinions are too outlandish and I try to rate things on show quality instead of subject but that doesn’t mean you should take my word as gospel.
The shows are rated on a scale of a 1-10, with 1 being “I’d rather spend an eternity inside of that Circle of Life film than see this show” and 10 being “You’re a stupid Judy (RIP Ellen’s Energy Adventure) if you don’t see this show.” On to the ratings!
Illumination: Reflections of Earth – 10/10
Starting off with a bang! This is my favorite nighttime spectacular at Walt Disney World. The show is very different from any other Disney nighttime show aside from Rivers of Light. Illuminations is a little more abstract in its story, telling how the human race is connected. The show uses screens, lasers, water and fireworks to tell the story. The soundtrack is uplifting and one of the best around. The show might be a little bit over kids heads but they’ll likely enjoy the fireworks (if they are into that sort of thing). While a replacement or update is likely coming to Illuminations, as it is pretty old, I’m hoping that the main theme and some of the main parts of the show remain.
JAMMitors at Future World East – 6.5/10
This act feels like a dad joke. These are guys dressed up as janitors playing garbage cans and performing (rapping?!) for guests. I do like the drumming, the rest of the act is very cheesy and a little over the top. That’s not to say that this doesn’t have a place in the park. It adds a little energy to Epcot’s atmosphere. I just wouldn’t make a point of seeing this unless they were right along the way.
Jeweled Dragon Acrobats – 8.5/10
This is a really fun show at the China Pavilion. A group of teenagers and young adults perform feats of strength and agility. The Acrobats show lasts for about 20 minutes and there are 4 or 5 different stunts they do. If you’ve never seen this before, think of it almost as a Cirque Du Soleil acts. No, there isn’t theatrics involved but the acts are impressive and this gives a peak into the precise and focused Chinese culture.
Mariachi Cobre – 7.5/10
This is a mariachi band that plays outside of Mexico. Deciding on whether to stop at the musical acts around World Showcase will largely depend on what kind of music you’re interested in and how you feel about music as a whole. I’ve stopped to listen to this band on a few occasions and they are really good, as are the rest of the bands around. While I wouldn’t make a point to go see them, they really add to the experience as you walk around the Mexico Pavilion.
Matboukha Grove – Unknown
I haven’t made it out to see this somewhat new Moroccan group. The previous musical groups in Morocco played upbeat, fun music and I would expect this group to do the same.
Matsuriza – 7/10
This show features a group of drummers in the Japan Pavilion. The drummers stand at the base of the pagoda and play while dancing. The show is very choreographed and disciplined. While not the most exciting show in World Showcase, this does feel authentic to the Japanese culture. Another one of the shows I wouldn’t make a point to see but if you stumble across it then all the better.
Muppet Mobile Labs – 9/10
Although somewhat elusive and not on the times guide, Muppet Mobile Labs performs in the middle of Future World around midday for the time being. The show is hilarious as Bunsen and Beaker are out trying science experiments. This isn’t much of a time commitments, the show is about 15 minutes, and is one of the better streetmosphere acts around. I make a point of seeing this one.
Sergio – 8/10
This is a mime-style juggling show in the Italian Pavilion. While I wasn’t blown away by the act it was a nice bit of street performance and another fun act to stumble upon. Does anyone else thing mimes are weird?
Serveur Amasant – 9.5/10
The France Pavilion’s streetmosphere act is second to none in terms of entertainment and humor. This show features acrobats who balance on top of high structures (I don’t want to say too much and ruin the surprise). While there isn’t much speaking, the guy on the ground is blowing a whistle rapidly and this makes the show comical. Server Amasant is very fast-paced and a joy to watch for the whole family.
Voices of Liberty – 9.5/10
Voices of Liberty is an a capella that sing mostly old American songs. The show has a very patriotic vibe and usually precedes a showing of The American Adventure. Both are not to be missed. This group is extremely talented and well worth stopping in for 15 minutes to hear them perform.
British Revolution – 7/10
This is just a good old-fashioned rock n’ roll band singing some of your favorite British songs. With a set list heavy on The Beatles, this can be a fun way to spend a half hour when the sun goes down. Still, there isn’t anything extremely unique to see here and that’s why the rating is somewhat low.
Seasonal Events in America Gardens Theatre
Throughout the course of the year, Disney World will have different acts performing at the World Showcase ampitheater. I didn’t rate this category as they’re all seasonal and some are much better than others. Our favorites are the Candlelight Processional during the holiday season and the Disney on Broadway Series that takes place during Festival of the Arts. If you’re there during either of those times then don’t miss the performances. If you’re in Epcot at a different time then the acts are hit and miss.
As you can see, Epcot isn’t lacking for quality entertainment to see. With an amazing nighttime spectacular and plenty of top-notch street entertainment, a day at Epcot wouldn’t be complete with seeing a few of these acts. I also enjoy that the entertainment is balanced. There is plenty of music but also acrobats and Muppet Mobile Labs add variety. While Epcot is more adult-friendly, the entertainment could be a kid’s favorite part of the trip.
What are some of your favorite Epcot entertainment acts? Let us know in the comments! Thank you for reading Wandering in Disney, if you enjoy what you’re reading please subscribe to the blog and like our social media pages. You can do both of those things on the right side of this page. Have a great day!
Categories: Entertainment Ratings