Epcot

Lockers at Epcot at Disney World

Does Disney World Have Lockers? Your Guide To Using a Locker at Disney

I remember the days you could show up at the Magic Kingdom with nothing more than a wallet and your keys. 

Of course, I also remember using travelers’ checks so, you know, I’m getting old. 

But today’s typical Walt Disney World theme park visitors are a little more plugged in, a little savvier than we used to be. 

Of course, if you want the full experience, you need your phone to access the My Disney Experience App where you can track wait times, order food and entertain kids in line with online interactive games. You need chargers and cords and Magic Bands and even chargers and cords for your Magic Bands. 

I was five when I first visited a Walt Disney World park. It was 1979. I had a bowl cut, shorts that would make a cheerleader blush and a Tang T-shirt. 

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Sunscreen? Snacks? Extra water? Nope. A change of clothes? Are you kidding? We dripped dry and we liked it. 

Extra shoes? Blisters were part of the experience. 

Personal belongings? We came in with the clothes on our backs and that was it. 

By the time we started bringing the kids, it was de rigueur to bring a lot of things with us on a trip to the parks. We made it a point to stay at Disney resorts so we got the Magic Bands and didn’t need to carry our wallets or keys.

Sunscreen, snacks, water, a change of clothes, a change of shoes, maybe a hat, ponchos … it was a whole thing. 

Still, we were never in need of Walt Disney World lockers because we took full advantage of stroller rentals. When you have small kids, a stroller acts as a kind of mobile locker room for all of your vacation gear. It’s a baby care center on wheels. 

But as the kids have gotten older and had less need of a stroller, we’ve begun to turn to lockers. In fact, they are a great way to stash stuff we might need later in the day.

For example, we store chargers, cords, changes of clothes and additional items you pick up throughout the course of the day that you don’t want to tote around.

Kali River Rapids Sign
A Disney locker is available at Kali River Rapids, but it has a time limit (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Does Disney have free lockers? 

Disney does not have free lockers in the sense of a place where you can store your stuff all day.

However, you can get a Disney locker near Kali River Rapids at Disney’s Animal Kingdom due to the fact you may get exceedingly wet.

You can store your personal items there that you do not want to get wet. The lockers come with a two-hour time limit. There are no storage lockers, however, near Splash Mountain in the Magic Kingdom.

In Universal Studios, there are convenient keyless lockers near many of the thrill rides. But Disney has not embraced that concept just yet.

If you want a storage compartment whilst enjoying the thrills of the Walt Disney World Theme Parks, you’re going to have to pay. 

Read Also: Can you bring bags on rides at Disney World? A guide to bags at Disney

Magic Kingdom Entrance
Look for lockers at the park entrance of Disney’s Magic Kingdom (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Where are the lockers at Disney World?

Disney Parks lockers are usually at the front of the park near the main entrance. Specifically, the lockers are to the right just as you come through the front gate by Guest Services in the Magic Kingdom.

At EPCOT, there are two sets of locker locations. One is over by the Camera Center on the Nemo side of Spaceship Earth. There are also locker rentals at the International Gateway.

In Disney’s Hollywood Studios the locker station is at the Crossroads of the World, at the entrance to the park.

At Animal Kingdom, the locker area is on the left, just past guest services. And also, the free lockers are over by Kali River Rapids.

Man carrying backpack at Disney
You may be able to carry your items rather than rent a locker (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

What are the locker options at a Disney theme park?

There are three different sizes of lockers, small, large and jumbo.

Small lockers are 12” x 10” x 17” and are $10 per day.

Large lockers are 15.5″ x 13″ x 17″ and are $12 per day. Jumbo lockers are 17″ x 22″ x 26″ and are $15 per day.

The jumbo lockers are only available in Magic Kingdom and EPCOT.

Lockers at EPCOT
A set of kiosk locker rentals at EPCOT (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

How do I rent a locker? 

There are a couple of ways. If paying with cash or a major credit card, you can go to the self-service kiosk to rent a locker.

If you’re paying with MagicBand or a gift card, go to the nearest merchandise location where a cast member can process the transaction. They will give you a code to input into the kiosk. 

Read Also: What not to do at Disney World, 7 tips from a Disney pro

Droid at Droid Depot Disney
Disney may offer a mobile or possibly droid locker in the future (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

What is a mobile locker at Disney? 

In June of 2022, multiple outlets reported that Disney has obtained a patent for a mobile locker – also known as a mobile Sherpa. It’s a little rolling locker that would bring your items to you in the park. It would even have an insulated compartment to keep items cold on hot summer days.

One version in the drawing looks like a computer tower with wheels, another looks like the Mouse droid from Star Wars.

The little guy on wheels who squeaks and rolls away when Chewie roars at it while pretending to be Han and Luke’s prisoner in a New Hope. I would suspect that there would be a Star Wars-specific version.

How practical is the idea? I can’t imagine walking around a theme park with knee-tall rolling lockers everywhere. Look away for a minute, trip over a rolling locker droid and fall. In other words, it may not be a great idea, at least in my opinion.

Assorted Luggage Bags
If you’re staying at a Disney Resort, ask about luggage storage (photo by Kim Grayson/HeyOrlando.com)

Is luggage storage available at Disney World?

Yes. Usually, if you’re staying at a Disney resort you can use bell services to store your luggage, even on the day you’re checking out. This may vary, so it’s always a good idea to double-check with your resort.

Also, smaller pieces of luggage may fit in the jumbo lockers at Magic Kingdom or EPCOT. There is no charge for leaving your bags at bell services, but a tip is customary.

If you’re staying at multiple Disney resorts in the same location, bell services can manage to get your luggage from one resort to another. Again, a tip is customary. 

Do you use lockers at Disney? Share your tips with us in the comments!

Finding Nemo figures at EPCOT

What Can Babies Ride at EPCOT and Disney World? 7 Best Rides

I love this question! Despite its reputation as a park geared more toward adults, EPCOT is one of the best Disney parks for babies and young kids. 

There are seven rides that babies and kids of all ages can enjoy at EPCOT. Only the Magic Kingdom has more rides suitable for babies.

In addition to rides, EPCOT has several play areas, shows and movies, splash pads, interactive fountains and characters that babies and young children can enjoy. 

People often seem to think they should skip EPCOT when planning a Walt Disney World vacation with young kids. However, if you’re rushing through EPCOT and focusing only on the most popular attractions, there’s a lot you could miss.

With this in mind, let’s explore some of the fun things for the entire family that EPCOT has to offer.

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Can babies go on rides at EPCOT?

Yes, babies can go on seven rides at EPCOT.

That’s more than Hollywood Studios (2) and Animal Kingdom (4) combined. Additionally, there are three rides in the World Showcase and four rides in World Celebration that are suitable for babies.

The Ratatouille Adventure ride at EPCOT
Babies can ride Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, a 3D trackless ride (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

What can babies ride at EPCOT?

World Showcase rides (without height requirements)

  1. Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballeros
  2. Frozen Ever After
  3. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

World Celebration rides (without height requirements)

  1. Journey Into Imagination with Figment
  2. Living with the Land
  3. Spaceship Earth
  4. The Seas with Nemo & Friends

Most festivals also feature a pop-up playground with artificial grass and a variety of play structures. And also, there are exciting towers for older kids to climb and play on.

There are also smaller structures and tunnels that babies can explore. In fact, my one-year-old twins love having a chance to get out of their stroller to walk, crawl and climb on the playground.

My husband brought me delicious snacks from the nearby festival outdoor kitchens while the kids were playing. It was magical.

Read Also: How do you pack a bag for a theme park? The theme park backpack list

The seas with nemo and friends
The little ones usually love The Seas with Nemo and Friends at EPCOT (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

What can a one-year-old ride at EPCOT?

One-year-olds can ride seven of EPCOT’s ten rides. The better question may be what CAN’T babies ride at EPCOT?

Specifically, babies can’t ride Mission: SPACE, Test Track or Soarin’ Around the World until they are 40 inches tall. For most kids, this is around age 3 (which is also when they start needing tickets for admission to Disney’s theme parks).

Fans of “Finding Nemo” and “Finding Dory” will love visiting the Seas with Nemo & Friends. It’s located in the area of World Celebration (formerly Future World) called World Nature. You’ll find it near the main entrance between Spaceship Earth and The Land Pavilion.

This dark ride takes you under the sea and through an actual aquarium. The baby can sit in your lap in the clamshell ride vehicle.

You’ll see a bright coral reef and gently swaying sea anemones as you travel along the same journey that Marlin and Dory take to rescue Nemo. Look out for Jellyfish, mines and sharks! Animated images of favorite characters like Dory, Marlin, Nemo, Bruce, Crush and Squirt are projected into the aquarium tank swimming alongside real fish.

Afterward, when you finish the ride, plan to spend some time in the aquarium. Young children can pick up a scavenger hunt sticker booklet there to guide their exploration of the exhibits.

You can also view manatees, dolphins, seahorses, sharks, sea turtles, rays and more in the aquarium that shares a building with the ride. Highly knowledgeable cast members are posted throughout the aquarium to answer your questions about the sea creatures that call EPCOT home. 

There’s also an interactive show called Turtle Talk with Crush that little kids and parents will both love. The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion is a great place to take a break from the long lines. And you can spend some time inside, cooling off on hot days.

The Gran Fiesta Tour at EPCOT
The Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Three Caballeros is one of my family’s favorites for the younger ones (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Another of my family’s favorite rides at EPCOT is the Gran Fiesta Tour starring the Three Caballeros. It’s located inside the pyramids of the Mexico Pavilion along with an indoor night market and a table service restaurant.

I’ve been going to Disney World since I was a baby. But I never knew there was a ride inside the Mexico Pavilion until I was nearly 30. We were at EPCOT with our three small kids and I saw it pop up at the top of the wait times list in the My Disney Experience app. There are almost never long wait times for this boat ride that takes you on a tour of Mexico in search of the missing Donald Duck.

If your little one needs a quiet space to rest, visit the EPCOT baby care center. In fact, each park in Walt Disney World has a baby care center. EPCOT’s center is located between Test Track and the Mexico Pavilion.

Baby care centers offer private nursing rooms with rocking chairs, kitchens with sinks and microwaves, high chairs and restrooms with changing tables. So, if you find yourself short on diapers, wipes, baby food or formula, you can purchase these supplies at the baby care center.

Frozen Ever After
Babies can even ride the popular ride Frozen Ever After (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Can babies ride Frozen Ever After?

Yes, babies can ride Frozen Ever After!

In fact, there is no height requirement for this fun ride found in the Norway Pavilion. Therefore, even your smallest princes and princesses will be able to enjoy this chilly boat ride. Sing along with Anna, Elsa, Kristoff, Sven and Olaf as you visit Elsa’s ice castle.

Read Also: Disney Characters at EPCOT: What Characters are at EPCOT? [2022]

Can babies ride any rides at Disney?

Babies can ride any ride without height requirements at Disney World parks. However, they will need to sit on an adult’s lap or on the seat beside the adult.

Sometimes a cast member will give you more specific instructions when boarding the ride vehicle, such as “please make sure baby’s legs are under the lap bar”.

On rides like Dumbo, children younger than 7 will be required to sit on the inside of the vehicle with an adult between them and the door/exit. Of course, small children under 7 must be supervised by an adult or older kids (age 14+) on many rides.

Also, babies can stay in a front-pack carrier on many rides.

Buzz Lightyear ride at Disney World
Babies can ride Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin at Magic Kingdom (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

What can babies ride at Magic Kingdom?

Magic Kingdom has a few more rides for babies. These include:

  1. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  2. Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
  3. Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  4. Mad Tea Party
  5. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  6. Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
  7. Under the Sea: Journey of The Little Mermaid
  8. It’s a Small World
  9. Astro Orbiter
  10. Peter Pan’s Flight
  11. Haunted Mansion
  12. Jungle Cruise
  13. Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  14. Pirates of the Caribbean
  15. Walt Disney World Railroad (currently closed for refurbishment)
Child on safari ride in Animal Kingdom and baby elephant
A baby elephant makes an appearance during the Kiliminjaro Safari experience (photo by Kirby Russell/HeyOrlando.com)

What can babies ride at Animal Kingdom?

  1. Kilimanjaro Safaris
  2. Na’vi River Journey
  3. TriceraTop Spin
  4. Wildlife Express Train

What can babies ride at Hollywood Studios?

  1. Toy Story Mania
  2. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Have you visited EPCOT with the little ones? Let us know in the comments!

the epcot ball

What Is the EPCOT Ball? Does It Have a Name? What’s Inside?

Walt Disney had a vision – one of many really.

He wanted to take the lessons learned in building Disneyland in California and apply them to the mega-site he was preparing in Central Florida.

In addition to the Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, Disney had a dream for EPCOT. The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.

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EPCOT was originally meant to be a real city

It was, in fact, an elaborate vision of a city of the future. It would house 20,000 souls and serve as a testbed for city planning and organization.

The community of the future would have an industrial park and a futuristic airport. It would also serve as something of a Utopia for city planners.

Corporations would be stimulated to come up with new ideas for urban living that would spur endless innovation.

EPCOT would never stop growing, creating and testing new systems.

It would be part of the larger Project X in Lake Buena Vista, aka Disney World. 

The legend is that Walt looked at his grandkids and worried about the world in which they would grow up. And Walt had begun to notice that modern cities were hectic and disorganized. They were dirty and filled with crime.

Walt wanted a better future and he thought he and his Disney Imagineers could create it.

They couldn’t, of course.

a 3d model of what would have been the city of EPCOT viewed from the people mover
A physical 3D model of the original plans for EPCOT can be viewed while riding the PeopleMover at Magic Kingdom (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Why did Walt’s original plan for EPCOT fail?

Walt’s vision showed but the double-edged blade of his hubris.

In fact, it was the limitations of his seemingly boundless optimism and the perils of always looking to the future while neglecting the past.

Walt’s vision of EPCOT is similar to Saltaire, a Yorkshire town in England, by Sir Titus Salt – a textile magnate.

In 1851, Salt built neat stone houses for his workers – much better than the slums in which they lived previously. They had washhouses with tap water. The town had a hospital and an institute for recreation.

There was a library, a reading room and even a gym. The model village had a school, park and boathouse.

For a while, in the glow of a post-Industrial Revolution era, Saltaire was a landmark example of enlightened city planning.

But ownership of the town fell eventually to Sir James Roberts. Roberts invested heavily in Russia and lost some of his fortune in the Russian Revolution. Over the years Saltaire’s grand vision faded and it became just another English town.

Even if Walt could have created his utopia, it would have been impossible to sustain.

The inherent flaw in Walt’s original vision for the city of EPCOT

It’s strange to me that the uber visionary Walt Disney was unable to recognize the other basic flaw in his vision. If he truly looked at “modern” cities with dismay, it was a pessimistic vision.

Sure the cities of the 50s and 60s could be all the things he feared.

However, they were also significantly better than at any time in the world’s history.

Even in his own younger life, American cities were hard, unforgiving places.

American cities at the time Walt’s grandchildren were young were modern marvels as they are today, testaments to both the failures and the triumphs of the human condition.

Finally, I don’t understand how someone who spent his life connecting and marketing to the populace like no one ever before him could craft a scheme so inherently flawed as a utopian city. 

Utopia cannot exist because we are human beings, not robots. In addition to our better qualities, we are filled with passion and vices and jealousies and prejudices.

We’ve been on this Earth a long time. There have been many men and women of vision – of a special kind of hubris – who thought they could craft a Utopia through the force of their will and the promise of a better life. That carrot and stick may work for a time, but thousands of years of history say we will reject it.

You’d think that someone who fought so long and hard with Mary Poppins author P.L. Travers just to make a single movie would understand, better than most, just how stubborn and intractable people can be, even in the face of a spectacular vision.

Modern cities and even smaller communities are wonders of the modern age. They are superior in every way to Disney’s EPCOT vision because they are real and they reflect who we are and what we are capable of for good and for bad.

Walt passed, of course, long before he could put any real concrete plan together to create his Utopia.

Then came the EPCOT we know today

It took nearly 20 years, but another vision arose in its place. Not a utopian city, but an amusement park that paid homage to the more practical pieces of Walt’s vision.

It’s a park that brings the world together and casts an eye to the future.

And it’s a park that has a giant golf ball smack dab in the entrance. 

The epcot ball at night
The EPCOT ball houses a dark ride that takes riders on a trip through time (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

What is the EPCOT ball?

Friends, the EPCOT ball is irony, writ large.

It is a celebration of the very journey of humankind that Walt overlooked in his pessimistic assessment of “modern” cities.

Inside the ball is a dark ride on a slow track that carries riders through the history of human communication.

From caveman drawing on the walls, it tracks through time as new ideas spread like wildfire.

From Gutenberg’s press to the modern age of media, it is a slow climb and descent through the history of man’s achievements.

And it’s brought to life through elaborate sets and using the talents of Academy Award winner, Dame Judi Dench, who narrates the journey.

spaceship earth line entrance
The EPCOT ball’s name is actually Spaceship Earth (photo by Morgan Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Does this EPCOT ball have a name?

Yes. The EPCOT ball is actually named Spaceship Earth.

Does that name make a lot of sense? No. I suppose it’s a reference to the idea that the planet on which we live is a spaceship carrying us through time and, well, space.

But the ride itself isn’t particularly space-related. However, there is a moon landing segment. I think probably they just needed a name and Spaceship Earth rocked a lot harder than the Big Golf Ball.

The basis for the design and the name ultimately comes from the work of a guy named Buckminster Fuller. Fuller was an architect, engineer and futurist.

But the design of the ball, the name and the entire ride itself don’t seem to go together very well. Is the story of humanity really Spaceship Earth? I don’t know.

an animatronic scene on spaceship earth
Spaceship Earth features a series of animatronic scenes (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

Why was the EPCOT ball built?

The people at Disney wanted a striking centerpiece similar to the castles in Disneyland and the Magic Kingdom. Apparently, the Expo ’67 Dome in Montreal caught their eye. 

Designer Gordon Hoopes said he wanted to “create an atmosphere for our guests that raises their spirit and kindles an excitement for the human experience in the future.”

That’s kind of grandiose but I suppose building another cool princess castle was already off the board.

Read Also: What is Reflections of China at Disney’s Epcot?

the Expo ’67 biosphere
The design inspiration for the EPCOT ball came from the Expo ’67 Biosphere in Montreal Canada (photo by Greatest Shots/shutterstock.com)

Why does the EPCOT ball look like a golf ball?

The Walt Disney Company took the basic design idea from the dome from Expo ’67 – which was basically a biosphere. At some point, they decided a full sphere would be cooler.

According to the website emtekalloys.com:

“The EPCOT ball is a 165-ft diameter geodesic sphere that is elevated above the ground to stand 180 feet tall. Each face of the polyhedron is divided into three isosceles triangles to form each point. In theory, there are 11,520 total isosceles triangles forming 3,840 points.”

What gives the ball its golf ball feel is the series of 1-inch gutters all the way down the building that transport water into the World Showcase Lagoon. And it’s what gives the iconic geodesic sphere Spaceship Earth its signature look.

What is the EPCOT ball supposed to be?

Other than futuristic? Ultimately, it was based on Fuller’s work and his geodesic dome, according to the Disney Parks Blog which cites Disney’s John Hench.

From Hench’s book Designing Disney:

“We assumed from the beginning that we needed a large sphere for the EPCOT icon, and we wanted one with enough space inside for an attraction. We were familiar with architect Buckminster Fuller’s experiments with building the geodesic dome he had invented in the 1940s, including the one he had constructed for the Ford headquarters in Dearborn, Michigan, in 1953. Fuller’s famous phrase ‘spaceship earth’ also appealed to us.”

The EPCOT ball is supposed to be what it is, the Spaceship Earth ride. Legendary sci-fi author Ray Bradbury played a central role in creating the themes for the original attraction.

Over the years the icon of EPCOT has undergone some minor and some major refurbishment as has EPCOT itself.

What’s next for the ball?

Hard to say. Disney had previously announced another extensive refurbishment for the ride but that was delayed.

It is, of course, a huge part of EPCOT history but as a ride? Meh. It rises at an odd angle and in my experience stops frequently for loading and unloading.

The last time we rode, we were left at an odd incline angle for a while. It wasn’t painful or even physically uncomfortable, it was just bothersome.

The full ride takes about 16 minutes. And it mostly serves as a nostalgia piece or a place to get out of the weather.

I know some are pushing for the park to make big changes inside the giant sphere. But EPCOT’s Spaceship Earth is one of the signature dark rides in the Walt Disney World Resort along with Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion.

Read Also: Mission SPACE at EPCOT: How it works, what you should know

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind debuts in 2022 (photo by James Overholt/HeyOrlando.com)

What’s next for EPCOT?

The park itself is going through some of the biggest changes in its history.

Long taking a back seat to Hollywood Studios and the Animal Kingdom, EPCOT, like the other Walt Disney World theme parks, is finally getting a much-needed assist from Disney Designers.

The ambitious refurbishment includes the new Guardians of the Galaxy ride, which I believe is likely to be the only Disney Marvel ride east of the Mississippi due to contracts signed before Disney purchased the rights to the Marvel universe.

Have you ridden Spaceship Earth at EPCOT? What did you think? Let us know in the comments!