Epcot is a huge park that is packed full of surprises, and it’s practically impossible to explore everything it has to offer in one day. It’s also the most under-rated park in Walt Disney World. So we’ve compiled a list of suggestions and tips for having an amazing day at Disney’s Epcot – some of them may just surprise you!
1. Lowdown on FastPass+
Because Frozen Ever After, Test Track and Soarin’ are so popular, you can only get a FastPass+ for one of these attractions on any given day. Of the three, Frozen Ever After would be our recommendation for a FastPass+. Soarin’ has increased guest capacity since its renovations, so you won’t wait in line as long for this ride as you will for the extremely popular Frozen Ever After. And if you immediately head to Test Track after rope drop, there won’t be much of a line at all!
2. Savvy Scheduling
The World Showcase doesn’t open until 11:00, giving you time to do Test Track and Soarin’ before you head over to the pavilions. If you want to avoid the crowds, it’s best to get to the World Showcase when it opens. You can always return to Future World later in the afternoon to complete any attractions you haven’t done. Insider Tip: you’ll rarely wait longer than 10-15 minutes for Turtle Talk with Crush, and if you’re short on time but want to ride Mission: SPACE, opt for the “Green” version (the gentler option with no spinning), as it has shorter lines than the “Orange” version.
3. Snack Around the Worlds
There are a lot of fabulous restaurants in the World Showcase that will transport you to a different country for lunch or dinner. But there are also a lot of smaller snack items scattered throughout the pavilions, and we can never choose just one! So our suggestion is to “snack around the worlds” instead of pinning yourself down to just one restaurant. You’ll want to grab a caramel goodie at Germany’s Karamell-Kuche, try the strawberry-and-red-bean ice cream in China, sample a macaron ice cream sandwich at France’s L’Artisan des Glaces – and don’t forget to find out for yourself why Norway’s School Bread receives rave reviews from guests!
4. Explore, Explore, Explore!
Epcot is huge, and there are rewards for guests who explore it to the fullest, especially in the World Showcase. There are shops offering merchandise from other parts of the world (don’t miss the Tea Caddy shop in the UK, or the House of Good Fortune in China), and beautiful regional artwork and architecture (spend time wandering among the back alleys and stunning tiled rooms of Morocco). You’ll also find a variety of daily cultural performances, from chair tumblers in France to chainsaw-wielding lumberjacks in Canada. You can check out a full schedule online.
5. Kid-Friendly Options
Think there’s nothing for your kids to do at Epcot? Think again! Kids will love watching their favorite underwater pals at The Seas with Nemo and Friends (and don’t miss Turtle Talk with Crush!). Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros is also a hit with kids, who can help search for Donald while riding a boat through the Mexico pavilion. Older kids will enjoy collecting stamps at each country in the World Showcase, and there are Kidcot Fun Stops at each pavilion where your little ones can draw and color.
6. Under the Sea
Before or after you visit with Nemo, Marlin and Dory at The Seas with Nemo & Friends, check out some real-life sea creatures in Disney’s absolutely massive aquarium. You can explore at your own pace, and discover sharks, dolphins, seahorses, manatees and more. There are even fish feeding demonstrations and dolphin shows at different times each day, for any guests eager to learn more about this magical underwater world.
7. Fountain Fun
It’s hard not to be mesmerized by the fountains in Innoventions Plaza in Epcot’s Future World. At regular intervals throughout the day, they “dance” in time with rotating musical selections, and at night, they become even more magical because they light up! It’s a great place to stop for a quick break in your day at Epcot. For more fountain fun, head over to Imagination to marvel at the famous “jumping fountains”, where you can surprise first-time visitors by having water magically jump over their heads (maybe advise them to put their cameras and phones away first – just in case!).
8. Cool Down with Club Cool
We all know how hot Florida can get in the summer. So if you’re looking to cool down while in Epcot, a fun – and completely free – option is to check out Club Cool, near Innoventions West. You’ll find a variety of Coca-Cola flavors from around the world that you can sample (Coca-Cola merchandise is also available). Past flavors have included pineapple Fanta from Greece, raspberry-flavored Cream Soda from Zimbabwe, and sweet Inca Kola from Peru, but the showcase is always changing, so who knows what fun new flavors you’ll discover when you visit?
No matter how you choose to spend your day in Epcot, you won’t want to miss IllumiNations Nighttime Spectacular at night. This award-winning show is possibly the most fantastic fireworks display on Disney property, and it features a giant, moving, illuminated globe of the planet Earth. Who doesn’t love fireworks, pyrotechnics, water fountains, fire effects, lasers, and searchlights? Snag a spot along the lagoon early for the best views.
10. Post-Fireworks Showcase Stroll
After you’ve seen the brilliant conclusion of IllumiNations, you can join the hordes of guests heading towards the park exit to wait in line for buses and boats back to their resorts – or you can take your time and take an evening stroll through the World Showcase. The pavilions are all beautifully lit at night, and you’ll find some gorgeous photo ops that weren’t possible during the day. A relaxing walk among the countries while the park is closing and the crowds have thinned is the perfect peaceful end to your day at Epcot. Plus, by the time you finally head out of the park, the transportation lines will have cleared out.