Walt Disney World’s Epcot is one of our favorite Disney parks. It’s also one of the most under-rated, in our opinion! We love exploring Walt Disney’s visions of the future in Future World, and exploring the sights, sounds, and tastes of other countries in the World Showcase. There’s something new to discover every time you visit Epcot! With that in mind, we’ve compiled a list of our best tips, tricks and secrets at this park – and trust us, there were a LOT to choose from! But don’t take our word for it – visit, and create your own list!
1. Fun with Fountains
We love the fountains at Epcot, and we’re pretty sure you’ll be mesmerized too! You can head to Innoventions Plaza in Epcot’s Future World to watch fountains dance in time with the music, at regular intervals throughout the day (or wait until night falls, when they also light up!). But our favorite fountain tip? Go to Imagination to check out the “jumping fountains” that will magically jump right over your head!
2. Adventures Under the Sea
You’ll definitely want to check out Walt Disney World’s massive aquarium at The Seas with Nemo & Friends. You’ll discover sharks, dolphins, seahorses, manatees, rays 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. And did you know it’s possible to get up close and personal with dolphins and other creatures? There’s a Backstage Tour that lets you dive or snorkel with Nemo & Friends!
3. Sneak Peek
If you’re near China and the African Outpost around 5:00 pm, keep an eye out: the drawbridge will rise to let the launching islands through for IllumiNations. You will have to wait a bit to cross the bridge, however, because traffic stops until they’ve finished. It’s worth it, though, to watch the massive globe and the barges move into position for the fireworks show!
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If you’re a fan of Hidden Mickeys, we have a doozy for you. Except it’s not actually our favorite mouse at all; it’s an entire ride! The next time you’re at the Moroccan pavilion, make sure you look up. See that large building that blends in with Morocco’s colors and rises above the pavilion? Believe it or not, that’s the back of Hollywood Studios’ The Tower of Terror! Imagineers disguised it to look like Morocco, but once you’ve seen it, you can never UNsee it.
5. Snack Around the Worlds
One of our best tips for Walt Disney World’s Epcot, and one you may have discovered yourself through trial and error, is to never, ever fill up at one dining location. There are just too many amazing foods to try in the World Showcase! We love eating around the Worlds, and thankfully, there are lots of smaller snack items in each pavilion, which makes it easy to eat on the go. So, don’t pin yourself down to just one restaurant! Try a caramel goodie at Germany’s Karamell-Kuche, or some pot stickers at China’s Lotus Blossom, and don’t forget the to-die-for artisanal ice cream at L’Artisan des Glaces (which actually makes our list of top Disney desserts!).
6. Perfect Planning
You’ll only be able to get a FastPass+ for one of the following each day: Frozen Ever After, Test Track and Soarin’. Soarin’ now has increased guest capacity, and therefore shorter lines, and if you make a beeline for Test Track as soon as the park opens, you won’t have much of a line to contend with. So we’d recommending snagging a FastPass+ for Frozen Ever After. It’s best to get to the World Showcase when it opens (usually 11:00 am), to avoid the lines, and then return to Future World in the afternoon for any rides you missed.
7. Exploration: Epcot
We live by one rule when visiting Walt Disney World’s Epcot: explore! There are endless rewards for guests who take the time to explore this park, especially in the World Showcase. There are gorgeous, picturesque spots around every corner where you can stop for a break. You can shop for souvenirs from all over the world (don’t miss the Tea Caddy shop in the UK, or the House of Good Fortune in China), and marvel at stunning architecture and artwork crafted by international artisans. Plus, there are free performances throughout the World Showcase daily! Check out the full schedule of entertainment, from chair tumbling in France, to rhythmic drumming in Japan, online.
8. Bring the Kids
There was a time when Walt Disney World’s Epcot was known for being less kid-friendly than the other parks. But that’s all in the past. Today, there’s more than enough to delight kids of every age! Kids will love watching their favorite underwater pals at The Seas with Nemo and Friends (and don’t miss Turtle Talk with Crush!). They can also search for Donald Duck while riding a boat through the Mexico pavilion on Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros. There are Kidcot Fun Stops at every pavilion where younger kids can draw and color, while older kids can collect stamps at each country.
9. Food and Wine Festival Expansion
Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival is bigger and better than ever! It’s now expanded beyond the borders of Epcot, which means you can now find Festival experiences at many Disney Springs restaurants, as well as at various Walt Disney World resorts. There are special Food and Wine experiences such as mixology classes, sneak peeks at how food is prepared, and culinary collaborations by chefs, at resorts like the Grand Floridian, Yacht Club, Contemporary Resort, and Polynesian Village Resort.
10. Post-Fireworks Showcase Stroll
Most guests make a beeline for Epcot’s exit as soon as IllumiNations, the park’s fantastic fireworks show, concludes. But our insider tip? Avoid joining the crowds of people heading for the buses, and enjoy a leisurely 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. This is the perfect, peaceful end to a day in Epcot – and by the time you finally head out of the park, the transportation lines will have cleared out.
11. Moroccan Magic
Morocco is one of our favorite pavilions to get lost in at Walt Disney World’s Epcot. Artisans from Morocco created the beautiful mosaic tiles throughout the pavilion, and they return yearly to make repairs. There’s even a stunning mosaic prayer room that was originally created for the pavilion’s cast members, which is now open to the public, and probably the most photographed spot in Morocco! You can even take a free tour of the Moroccan pavilion if you want to learn more about this Epcot gem!
12. Festival of Holidays
If you’re visiting during the holidays, make sure you pick up a Holiday Passport on your way into Epcot, and check out all the special entertainment and food options on offer. Our past favorites include Chinese lion dancers, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa celebrations, mischievous Norwegian gnomes, Mexican mariachis, and various storytellers in their own cultural costumes across the World Showcase. We love travelling across the world, celebrating different global holidays through song, dance and food, all without leaving Orlando!