10 Tips & Tricks to Enjoy the Best Day Ever at EPCOT

Spaceship Earth
Credit: Disney

With so much to see and do in EPCOT, it may seem overwhelming trying to plan your day, especially if there are special events going on or you are expecting the parks to be crowded during your vacation. Read this tips, and plan to do some research to make the most of your next day in EPCOT:

1. Arrive when the park opens

EPCOT may have late opening hours depending on when your visit is, so to make the most out of your day in the park you’ll want to arrive early. Getting to the park early means more time to get on some popular attractions with shorter waits, and to simply enjoy the park before the crowds fully arrive. Getting some time in before the park hits its normal crowd level can be especially nice in World Showcase where you tend to see some bottlenecks in the middle of the day. 

2. Prioritize a popular attraction

When you arrive at EPCOT, plan to head straight to an popular attraction that tends to draw a wait (think Test Track, Soarin’ Around the World, or Frozen Ever After.) Depending on the time of your visit, and how much you feel like walking back and forth across Future World, you may even be able to get two of those rides in without spending a lot of time in line.

3. Explore underrated areas of Future World

Many Guests visiting EPCOT focus on World Showcase, and understandably so! It’s always exciting to spend time exploring the countries around the World Showcase Lagoon, especially when there is a festival going on. Be sure to spend time visiting all of the areas of Future World, too. You can’t miss Spaceship Earth as you enter the park, and while on opposite sides of EPCOT’s entry into Future World Mission: Space and Test Track, and the attractions inside The Land pavilion are not often missed. Further into Future World lies the Imagination pavilion, which is home to Journey Into Your Imagination with Figment as well as the Pixar Short Film Festival, and The Seas with Nemo and Friends, which hosts a ride, restaurant, and aquarium- Both locations are well worth spending the extra time in Future World!

4. Make a dining reservation

If you are hoping to enjoy a table service meal in EPCOT, remember to make a reservation in advance. Thankfully there are lots of restaurants in EPCOT, so even if you do plan a last minute trip you should not have a hard time finding somewhere to eat, it just may not be your first choice. If you have your sights set on dinner in a specific country, it’s best to make reservations in advance. Don’t give up though– You can now check for walk-up availability in the My Disney Experience app, and other Guests may have cancelled reservations meaning something could open up for you.

5. Check the festival guide

Chances are there will be a festival happening during your next visit to EPCOT since the festival dates have continued to expand! Each festival brings a totally unique element to your trip to EPCOT that you may not experience during your next visit, so be sure to take advantage of all there is to see and do. Whether it’s snacking around the World at the EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival, checking out the topiaries at the EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival, or the art at the EPCOT International Festival of the Arts, or even spending the holidays in the park, you’ll find there are plenty of festival-specific events and activities around the park. Read up on the festival before you go, pick up a festival guide when you arrive in the park, or check out the offerings on the My Disney Experience app. 

Credit: Disney

6. Drink around the world (safely!)

Drinking around the world in World Showcase is a must-do during at least one visit to EPCOT (even if you do not drink alcohol, there are lots of mocktails and unique specialty beverages and snacks that do not need to come 21+). If you are drinking though, it’s important to do so safely. Ideally you should be drinking as much water as you are alcohol, and perhaps even more so given Central Florida’s heat and humidity. It’s also important to eat so you aren’t drinking on an empty stomach, and it can be very helpful to share drinks or split your time drinking over two days of your trip. 

7. Don’t skip the shows

This tip goes for any of the Disney theme parks, so you may have heard this one from us before, but shows can be just as fun as rides and we recommend making sure you see at least a couple of them while in the park. The Pixar Short Film Festival is a hit for Guests of all ages as it brings 3-D elements to classic Pixar shorts, and some countries like France, China, and Canada have films showcasing their real-life locales as well. 

8. Pack your camera (or cell charger)

EPCOT is easily one of the most photogenic parks at Walt Disney World, especially during certain times of year, like when it is adorned with Christmas trees and lights for the holidays or when the topiaries are installed for Flower & Garden Festival. Whenever you visit, be sure you phone and camera are ready because you are going to want to capture some moments from your day at EPCOT (and consider purchasing Memory Makers so you can download all of your PhotoPass pictures.) 

9. Plan to spend some money

This one is another tip that applies to anywhere in Walt Disney World, but especially compared to the other theme parks EPCOT may require you to have more of a budget in mind. While there is plenty to do without paying beyond park admission, you’re sure to be tempted to purchase lots of snacks, drinks, and especially during a festival, merchandise. Try to budget in some extra spending cash for your EPCOT days- You may still have sticker shock but your wallet will thank you for planning ahead. 

10. Visit the shops in World Showcase

Even if you do not plan on buying anything, we recommend spending some time in EPCOT’s shops. Especially in World Showcase, the shops really help give more of a feel for each of the countries. Window shopping in World Showcase is a fun activity in itself, and there is always something new and exciting to shop for in every area of the park. 

About Brittany DiCologero

Brittany is a New England-based writer focused on the history of the Walt Disney World Resort. She is the author of "Red, White, and Disney: The Myths and Reality of American History at the Walt Disney World Resort," and "Brittany Earns Her Ears."