1. Arrive When The Park Opens
While Epcot may not be the biggest park at Walt Disney World in terms of attractions, it certainly does take a lot of walking and time to see and do everything. Getting there early can be helpful in terms of experiencing as much as you can before the crowds set in for the day and the lines become very long. It’s also a good idea to arrive early if you plan to take a break in the afternoon to head back to the resort. A solid plan may be to visit some of the attractions in Future World right when the park opens around 9:00 a.m., and then….
2. Get To World Showcase When It Opens
When most guests visit Epcot, they tend to visit Future World in the morning and World Showcase in the afternoon. This means that in general, Future World is more crowded early in the day and World Showcase gets crowded later on. If you are able to get to World Showcase right when the area opens around 11:00 a.m. you should be able to spend some time walking through the countries with light crowds.
3. Use FastPass+
Epcot uses the tier system for FastPasses, which means that you cannot use a Fastpass for Test Track, Soarin’, and Frozen Ever After. However if you arrive to the park early, and head straight for one of those attractions and use a FastPass for another one, you shouldn’t have to spend too much time waiting in line for the third. You could also use a FastPass for Frozen Ever After, go right to Soarin’ when the park opens, and use the single rider line for Test Track!
4. Plan To Spend Extra Money On Food/Drinks
Many Disney guests are shocked to learn how much money they’ll end up spending on food over the course of their vacation. While this may be shocking in any Disney park, Epcot can sting a little bit more, especially if most of your party is in the 21+ crowd and plans on drinking around the world. Whether you’re drinking or snacking, eating in World Showcase can add up quickly, and it’s best to prepare to spend some extra money on the day you visit Epcot.
5. Meet The Characters
Some of the most overlooked experiences in Epcot are character meet and greets. Epcot is home to some characters that you won’t find anywhere else in Walt Disney World, like Ralph and Vanellope in Future World or Mulan in China. Other classic Disney characters can also be found throughout the park, usually even with shorter lines than the other parks!
6. Don’t Skip The Movies
A lot of guests tend to skip the movies in World Showcase in favor of other attractions, but they are actually quite interesting. Even if you initially decide to step inside for the air conditioning, chances are you’ll end up really enjoying the movies, and you’ll even learn something new about either France, Canada, or China.
7. Make Dinner Reservations
Epcot is home to a number of excellent restaurants that may run out of tables if you don’t secure a reservation in advance. If you really want to dine at a certain restaurant, making reservations in advance is always a safe bet. You’re better off doing some extra planning in advance, than arriving in the park only to find that you can’t get a table at your favorite restaurant.
8. Visit More Than Once Or Take An Afternoon Break
As I’ve mentioned before, Epcot may not be filled to the brim with attractions, but it does entail a lot of walking. And while it is not the hottest park (that would be Animal Kingdom as the plants give off heat) there is not a lot of shade in World Showcase. Spending the day at Epcot can easily be exhausting, so it may be wise to split your visit up into two separate days or take an afternoon break from the park.
9. Get A Spot Early For Epcot Forever
If you plan on staying in the park for Epcot Forever, the temporary nighttime spectacular, plan on finding a good spot around World Showcase Lagoon fairly early. A lot of the show takes place right on the water, and if your view isn’t close to the front you may miss out on some of the effects.
10. Take Your Time Leaving After The Fireworks
There is always a rush leaving any Disney theme park after the fireworks. If dealing with a cattle-herd sized crowd isn’t your thing, slowly make your way out of the park. Many of the shops will still be open on your way out, or plan to use the time getting some last minute photos in front of Spaceship Earth.