Hands-on with Epcot's new Wi-Fi Internet service

Aug 31, 2012 in "Internet Access"

Epcot's complimentary guest Wi-Fi service began last week and we've got all the test details from throughout the park to give you an idea of the performance. 

Magic Kingdom was the first park to provide Wi-Fi from the start of August, and you can read our hands-on review of that here.  For Epcot, we visited each attraction and land, and carried out a speed test using the standard SpeedTest app on an iPhone 4.  In each location we measured the ping time, the upload speed, and the download speed.

Our overall impression was that Epcot has done a great job with integrating the Wi-Fi into the park.  We found the signal strength to be consistent throughout the park, with no need to keep accepting login requests as we crossed into new zones.  There were a few drop outs in World Showcase between pavilions, but service quickly returned by taking a few more steps.  Something that was particular evident was that the signal at Epcot was available inside and outside of the pavilions.  Service was also available inside restaurants.  This will of course be necessary to power Disney's NextGen experience and the new 'My Disney Experience' apps.

The Magic Kingdom service was a little inconsistent with speeds, whereas we found Epcot's service to be much more standardized.  Typical download speeds are in the region of 2 to 3Mbps, with uploads being 2 to 3Mbps.  This compares very favorable to a typical at home high speed internet connection, with the upload speed in particular being higher than you would typically experience at home.

The same content filters are in place as in the Magic Kingdom, with access to any slightly questionable site being blocked.

As with the Magic Kingdom, the Wi-Fi service outpowers the 3G service by a long way.  Along with the higher speed and more constistent services come a battery life saving with the more efficient Wi-Fi service.  So in every sense it is good news all around for park-goers who are making more and more use of their internet devices.

The addition of Epcot to the Wi-Fi service now just leaves Disney's Animal Kingdom, Disney's Hollywood Studios, Downtown Disney and the water parks to officially come online to complete the rollout to all guest areas in the Walt DIsney World Resort.

Here are the complete test results from Epcot.

Main entrance - 90ms, 2.1Mbps up, 2.2Mbps down
Tip board - 111ms, 2.6Mbps up, 2.6Mbps down 
Land Pavilion outside - 117ms, 3.02 up, 2.19Mbps down 
Sunshine Seasons - 98ms, 3.2Mbps up, 2.6Mbps down
Living seas - 100ms, 3.16Mbps up, 2.5Mbps down
Imagination! outside - 107ms, 2.91Mbps up, 2.93Mbps down
Electric Umbrella - 100ms, 3.07Mbps up, 2.48Mbps down
Universe of Energy outside - 105ms, 3.00Mbps up, 3.03Mbps down
Mission Space outside - 112ms, 3.02Mbps up, 1.37Mbps down
World Showcase Plaza - 121ms, 2.54Mbps up, 2.81Mbps down
Mexico Pavilion outside - 105ms, 2.40Mbps up, 2.90Mbps down
Mexico Pavilion inside - 92ms, 3.26Mbps up, 2.62Mbps down
Norway outside - 103ms, 2.65Mbps up, 1.78Mbps down
China - 112ms, 1.96Mbps up, 1.98Mbps down
Outpost - 93ms, 3.13Mbps up, 2.32Mbps down
Germany coutryard - 109ms, 3.03Mbps up, 2.39Mbps down
Italy Outside - 113ms, 2.71Mbps up, 2.64Mbps down
American Adventure Liberty Inn - 93ms, 3.20Mbps up, 1.73Mbps down
American Adventure outside - 155ms, 0.93Mbps up, 1.28Mbps down
Japan koi pond - 129ms, 1.86Mbps up, 2.33Mbps down
Morroco fountain area - 104ms, 2.06Mbps up, 1.78Mbps down
Morroco back of pavilion - 95ms, 3.16Mbps up, 2.70Mbps down
France fountain - 87ms, 1.71Mbps up, 2.02Mbps down
France bakery - 108ms, 3.10Mbps up, 2.19Mbps down
France UK bridge - 117ms, 1.98Mbps up, 1.13Mbps down
International gateway - 131ms, 2.48Mbps up, 2.51Mbps down
UK bandstand - 113ms, 2.74Mbps up, 2.82Mbps down
UK outside Rose and Crown - 99ms, 2.82Mbps up, 1.66Mbps down
Canada - 117ms, 3.01Mbps up, 2.19Mbps down
Article Posted: Aug 31, 2012 / 10:08am EDT