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10 Rookie Mistakes At Epcot In Walt Disney World And How To Avoid Them

1. Breezing through Future World

You probably won’t skip the most popular attractions in Future World like Test Track, Soarin, Mission Space and Spaceship Earth, but there are a couple of other underrated attractions that sometimes go unnoticed. You can easily spend an hour or two at the Seas with Nemo and Friends, and other attractions like Journey Into Imagination, Living with the Land, and the Pixar Short Film Festival are all not to be missed. Instead of moving quickly through Future World, visit Epcot when the park opens and spend a couple of hours in the front of the park before World Showcase opened.

2. Not bringing enough cash

Everyone knows that Walt Disney World is an expensive vacation, but Epcot by its nature requires that more money be spent than the other parks. Particularly in World Showcase, most of what there is to do will require spending money one way or another. Whether it be shopping, dining, or drinking around the world, bringing extra spending money is vital for the perfect day at Epcot.

3. Skipping character meet and greets

Epcot is home to some of the most unique character meet and greet experiences, and yet they are often skipped in favor of meeting characters in the Magic Kingdom instead. Many classic Disney characters meet in World Showcase (in their respective countries), and newer favorites like Baymax from Big Hero 6 and Joy and Sadness from Inside Out meet in Future World.

4. Forgetting to hydrate

Epcot may not be the hottest park (Animal Kingdom is—the plants give off heat), but it may be the least-shaded. A walk around World Showcase is almost entirely unshaded, and staying cool and hydrated is a must. If you find yourself worried about grabbing enough water throughout the day, remember that any quick service restaurant can give you a complimentary cup of water.

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5. Rushing through World Showcase

The worst mistake you can make in World Showcase is rushing through each pavilion while only focusing on attractions. Much of World Showcase is made up of shops, restaurants, and intricate details that make up the full design of each pavilion. There are only two rides, and a couple of shows (which you should absolutely do) but you should also make time to slow it down and stroll through each pavilion, taking in all of the details.

6. Leaving before Illuminations

Illuminations: Reflections of Earth is one of the greatest nighttime spectaculars at Walt Disney World, and no visit to Epcot is complete without sticking around for the fireworks. While there really is no “bad spot” to watch Illuminations from, your best view will be closest to World Showcase Lagoon. If you can get towards the front, with little or no people in front of you, you’ll have a better view of the globe that lights up on the water during the show.

7. Sticking to the basics with food

Epcot’s dining scene really does have something for everyone outside of the usual items you can find in your hometown. If you plan on drinking around the world, skip the Bud Light and opt for something you won’t find at home—especially not at such a higher price point. If your hometown is full of Italian restaurants, try dining in Germany or Mexico instead. Branch out and don’t be afraid to try new things, especially things that you simply have no way of trying when you’re not visiting the park.

8. Disregarding Future World eats

Another mistake when it comes to dining in Epcot is to skip the eats in Future World. World Showcase for obvious reasons ranks among one of Disney’s best foodie destinations, but Future World still has so much to offer. Sunshine Seasons is routinely mentioned as one of the best quick service restaurants at Walt Disney World, and the flavored popcorn found in between the Land and Imagination pavilions is not to be missed.

9. Visiting only once per trip

If you are visiting Walt Disney World for a long enough time, you’ll want to devote more than one day to Epcot. If you really take your time to enjoy everything in the park, you can easily spend more than one day there (and probably still not see or do everything). If you’re able to plan it that way, better to not be rushed and enjoy yourself than try to squeeze everything into one visit.

10. Forgetting about festivals

Epcot hosts some of the best special events at Walt Disney World with the Food and Wine Festival, Flower and Garden Festival, Festival of the Arts, and Festival of Holidays. If your travel dates are flexible, consider planning around one of these special events to get even more out of your next visit to Epcot. Each festival features event exclusive outdoor kitchens, entertainment, behind the scenes tours, and more.

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a graduate of St. Anselm College, where she earned her bachelor of arts degree in History. She completed two Disney College Programs, one at Dinoland U.S.A., in Animal Kingdom, and one at Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show at Hollywood Studios. She is the author of “Brittany Earns Her Ears,” a memoir about her experiences on the college program, and she currently resides in Massachusetts.