01 Oct Epcot International Gateway Entrance Info and Resorts
Ah, Epcot. Just the thought of Walt Disney World’s second theme park inspires happy thoughts. All the festivals, entertainment, attractions and food make Epcot a fun and memorable place to be. If you’ve enjoyed a lap around World Showcase, you may have noticed the additional entrance toward the back area of the park. Between the United Kingdom pavilion and France pavilion there’s a lovely bridge that goes over a waterway, a walkway, a store and a way to get in and out of the park. This entrance is called the International Gateway.
Epcot International Gateway Entrance Info and Resorts
Who Can Use the Epcot International Gateway?
Anyone with a ticket can use the Epcot International Gateway to enter or exit the park. There just isn’t guest parking on that side of Epcot, only resort hotels. This entrance is most convenient for guests staying at resorts within walking distance or on the Disney Skyliner route which connects to this area as well. There is a perfectly placed Disney Skyliner stop right next to this entrance. The International Gateway is particularly exciting if you’re staying at the Disney Vacation Club Resorts Disney’s Boardwalk Villas or Disney’s Beach Club Villas. Disney’s Beach Club Villas is the closest resort to Epcot and a very short walk from the International Gateway entrance. Disney’s Boardwalk Villas are just a slightly further walk around the beautiful water that connects Epcot and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. Guests of the DVC property Disney’s Riviera Resort can also use this entrance with great convenience as it’s just one stop away on the Disney Skyliner. In this area you can also catch a Friendship Boat to Beach Club, Boardwalk, the Swan and Dolphin Resorts and Hollywood Studios. It’s quite the transportation hub.
What time does the International Gateway entrance open at Epcot?
Even though World Showcase doesn’t technically open until later in the day, the International Gateway opens when the park does. You are able to enter early through the International Gateway entrance. It’s confirmed on the planDisney site that even when there are early opportunities for resort guests to enter, the International Gateway will be open to accommodate. Both park entrances open at the same time at Epcot.
Parking and the International Gateway Entrance
There is one tricky thing to remember. If you leave through the International Gateway you can’t get back into the park after it has closed. There are a few scenarios where things could go wrong. Here’s what I mean. Let’s say you happen to drive to Epcot and park in the parking lot. If you exit through the International Gateway and have dinner at one of the resorts nearby, make sure you’re back before the park closes. You’ll need to enter Epcot through the International Gateway and exit through the front of the park to get back to your vehicle. That won’t be possible once the park is closed and there is not another way to walk to the front of the park. You and your party would need to walk to the nearest resort, probably Disney’s Beach Club, and take a taxi or some other transportation method to the Epcot parking lot. Usually you could catch a bus from the resort to the front of Epcot where the busses drop off guests. However, if the park is closed there probably won’t be transportation headed there, only coming back.
If you have closed a Disney Park down before, you know there isn’t always a hard stop within the park right at closing time. Often you can linger and grab a snack to go or shop. The stores on Main Street, U.S.A. stay open so the park goers are tempted on their way out at the end of the day, right? Epcot has this kind of thing too. So if you’re staying in the Epcot resort area and hoping to pick something up late on your last night, just make sure you’re inside the International Gateway entrance before the park officially closes.
Disney Vacation Club Resorts Near Epcot
If using the International Gateway to make a quick exit at the end of an Epcot day sounds like a dream, maybe you should consider the Disney timeshare Disney Vacation Club. The resorts mentioned above each have fantastic themes, great dining and exciting pools and being so close to Epcot is a fantastic perk. Enjoying all of this and saving money on Disney hotel stays by purchasing Disney Vacation Club is the ultimate vacation win. Learn more about pricing, savings and financial comparison in our DVC resale vs direct guide.
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