We at All Things Mouse would be remiss if we failed to mention the International Gateway found in the World Showcase area of Epcot.
Many do not even know about the Gateway as they casually walk past it on their way from the United Kingdom pavilion to the France pavilion, or vice-versa. However, those that do know about the benefits it offers, especially to those who are staying at one of the Epcot Resorts of Disney World.
Officially, the International Gateway is an entrance/exit for Epcot to and from the Epcot Area resorts. This includes the Yacht and Beach Club, the Boardwalk as well as the Swan and Dolphin Resorts. This means the guests staying at one of those resorts can walk right into the World Showcase area of Epcot from their resort without having to take a bus (of course, they need a valid park admission ticket!).
This can really be a time-saver versus the bus route as the buses drop off in front of the Future World section. So those guests heading for World Showcase from the bus stops have to walk all the way through Future World of Epcot just to get to World Showcase.
A couple of shops in the International Gateway are worth mentioning. First, for those coming or leaving Epcot via the Gateway, there is a stroller and wheelchair rental location here. Gateway Gifts offers a wide variety of items including souvenirs, sundries, etc. and World Traveler has some Disney fashions available for sale.
However, the main bonus of the International Gateway is its access to the world beyond Epcot. This not only includes the aforementioned Epcot area resorts, but also the restaurants found in them. Also, at the end of the walk, Disney’s Hollywood Studios can be found. This allows relatively quick access from Epcot to the Hollywood Studios for those that like to park hop.
If you are not up for the walk between the parks or the resorts also located there, Disney offers a free water taxi service which starts at the International Gateway, proceeds to stop at the resorts along the canal before arriving at the Hollywood Studios. The water taxi then returns to Epcot, once again stopping at the appropriate resorts along the way.
Thanks to TheProduction101 who provided the video shown above.
For more videos and reviews of Disney rides, see the All Things Mouse Video Tours Page.