1. Arrive Early
Arriving early is a good tip for visiting any Disney park, but it may be extra helpful when visiting Epcot. The park includes a lot of walking, especially compared to a park like the Magic Kingdom or Hollywood Studios, so simply getting around the entire park (especially with your entire family and accounting for photo ops, bathroom breaks, etc..) will take some time. Epcot also uses a tiered FastPass system, which means that it is not possible to secure FastPasses for three of the most popular attractions at a time, which in turn means that you will spend more time in line if you choose to do all three.
2. Head to World Showcase When it Opens
To avoid some of the crowds in Epcot, plan on visiting World Showcase as soon as it opens. Visiting Frozen Ever After in the Norway pavilion early, and then heading to the rest of the countries as the area opens around 11am is a good strategy to have. Most guests will enter the park and spend the earlier part of the day in Future World and the later part of the day in World Showcase, so by doing the opposite you should eliminate some of the crowds.
3. Come Back to Future Work Later in the Day
If you decide to follow this strategy, return to Future World later in the day. Future World will start to slow down around 4pm, when most guests are spending time in World Showcase. The line for some attractions like Spaceship Earth and Mission Space will be shorter around this time, and attractions like the Seas with Nemo and Friends and the Epcot Character Spot should be less crowded.
4. Take Advantage of FastPass+
With fewer ride attractions than most theme parks, using FastPass+ in Epcot is a MUST. The tiered system can make it difficult to get on the most popular attractions with one round of FastPasses, but some strategizing here can go a long way. Make a FastPass for either Test Track or Soarin, and visit Frozen Ever After first thing in the morning. Use your other two FastPasses for ride attractions (not shows) like Journey into Imagination or Spaceship Earth, and loop back around to either Test Track or Soarin later in the day.
5. Make Advanced Dining Reservations
World Showcase is one of the most popular areas for dining in the Walt Disney World Resort, so it is no surprise that many restaurants will run out of walk-in tables. To secure a table, determine which day you will be visiting Epcot, and make your dining reservations in advance.
6. Bring Extra Spending Money
Epcot, particularly World Showcase, involves a lot of walking around, shopping, and eating. To be able to do this, you’ll want to plan on bringing some extra spending money. You don’t need to overspend in World Showcase, but it may not have the same appeal if you restrict yourself from spending anything extra while visiting.
7. Meet the Characters
Though not necessarily known for character meet and greets, Epcot actually has plenty of places to meet characters. Visit Epcot Character Spot in Future World, or stroll around World Showcase to meet some of your favorite Disney characters– often with shorter wait times than you would experience in the other parks!
8. Check the Entertainment Schedule
With less rides, Epcot is home to a variety of entertainment offerings both in Future World and World Showcase. As performances take place at select times (and all around the park) throughout the day you’ll want to make sure you have a plan for which ones are must-sees.
9. Bring Your Appetite
Even without planning on dining at a table service restaurant, you may find yourself unintentionally snacking (or drinking) your way around the world. For this reason, you may want to rethink your all-you-care-to-enjoy breakfast reservations, and save Ohana or Chef Mickey’s breakfasts for a different day of your trip. (And if you do decide to drink around the world, remember to stay hydrated and eat throughout the day).
10. Don’t Miss Walk-Through Attractions
Like Animal Kingdom, Epcot’s walk-through attractions are severely overlooked. Whether it be learning about the creatures that live in our oceans at the Seas with Nemo and Friends or simply looking at artifacts in curated exhibits for some of the countries in World Showcase, do not miss the walk-through attractions. The attention to detail is often incredible, and you’re sure to find yourself having fun while learning something new.
11. Stay for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth
Illuminations is one of the most incredible fireworks displays at Walt Disney World! If you only have one day to spend in Epcot, do not plan on leaving the parks before the fireworks begin. If you are visiting during a busy season, note that you may want to get in your spot to watch them about an hour earlier– anywhere around World Showcase Lagoon will provide an excellent view!