Guests new to Disney may not know that EPCOT park has two entrances: the main entrance and the International Gateway. The main entrance is in the front of the park (on the Future World side) and that is the entrance used by guests arriving by car, Disney bus or monorail. The International Gateway connects EPCOT with Hollywood Studios and the Boardwalk Resorts. Guests walking or taking the boat from Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club, Boardwalk Inn, or the Swan and Dolphin Resorts use the International Gateway. There is no bus service to Epcot from these resorts.
The International Gateway is located down a walkway to the right between the United Kingdom Pavilion and France. You will pass a couple of gift shops on the way to the entrance/exit. Most people don’t even notice the path to the International Gateway while crossing the bridge between the UK and France pavilions. This entrance is one of the least used and nicely kept park entrances. The lines are usually short and there are restrooms and Guest Services windows for your convenience.
The International Gateway is the best way to park-hop between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. Likewise, if you’ll be dining at a Boardwalk area restaurant during your park visit, the International Gateway will be the easiest and quickest way to get around.
Park-Hopping Between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios
If you plan to park-hop between EPCOT and Hollywood Studios, and you are near the World Showcase, this will be your quickest route. There is a walking path or you can take a Friend Ship (boat) between the parks. I also recommend using the International Gateway if coming from Hollywood Studios to EPCOT via walking path or boat. There is bus service from the entrance of Hollywood Studios to the main entrance of EPCOT, but if you are in the World Showcase area that will be too far to go.
Dining in the Boardwalk Area
Planning to break up your EPCOT visit by having lunch or dinner (or the Kitchen Sink) at a Boardwalk restaurant? If so, then this will be the most convenient method to travel back and forth. It is a short, leisurely stroll from the International Gateway to Disney’s Beach Club, Yacht Club, or Boardwalk Inn. It only takes about 10-15 minutes. Walking to the Swan or Dolphin takes a little longer. Taking the Friend Ship to these properties usually takes a little longer but it is an enjoyable ride and a chance to rest.
The boat ride from the International Gateway to Hollywood Studios takes approximately 30 minutes. It makes stops at the Boardwalk resorts to drop off and pick up guests along the way. It will take you to the Main Entrance to Hollywood Studios.
Now that you know all about the International Gateway, I hope you will remember to use it during your next visit. It will save you time and trouble when park-hopping or dining near EPCOT. It is the most convenient way to get around the area.
Wishing you happy travels!
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