Epcot is a favorite park of many guests thanks to its unique theme consisting of two different halves coming together as a cohesive whole. The front portion of the park is Future World which focuses on a combination of technology and the environment to stress the beauty and necessity of each. World Showcase occupies the back half of Epcot and features eleven different countries rich in culture, history, architecture, dining, and attractions. Guests who are enjoying a Walt Disney World vacation love spending lots of time at Epcot because there is so much to see and do. With so many experiences, guests will also want to make the most of each moment they have in the park to be able to see as much as possible. This can be done by following a few simple tips and tricks that a lot of guests don’t know. Here are eight things no one tells guests about visiting Epcot in Walt Disney World.
8. Rope Drop –
One of the best tips for getting the most out of a day in any of the four Walt Disney World theme parks is to arrive for rope drop. Arriving before the park officially opens for the day ensures that guests are some of the first to enter and can enjoy few crowds and low wait times. Guests who arrive at Epcot for rope drop get to hear a great speech welcoming them for the day and teasing of all the excitement to come. Most importantly, guests who arrive for rope drop at Epcot can enter into the park and head to popular attractions and experience them with little to no wait times!
7. FastPasses Are Tricky –
The three most popular attractions in Epcot are Frozen Ever After, Test Track and Soarin’ – and can easily have wait times exceeding two hours on busy days. Frozen Ever After is a family-friendly boat ride that took the place of the former Maelstrom and follows a similar track, winding through multiple experiences up and down the river. It’s a fun attraction with beautiful surroundings, top notch animatronics, and of course… the forever popular Frozen characters and songs to sing along with. Test Track Presented by Chevrolet brings guests into the design studio where they are able to create their own SIM cars which are then tested on the track in Efficiency, Power, Capability, and Responsiveness. Soarin’ is located on the lower level of The Land Pavilion and takes guests on an adventurous hang gliding experience over the beautiful sights around the world. All 3 attractions are so popular, and can be hard for guests to experience all three in one day at Epcot without losing lots of time spent waiting in line. Since all three are on Tier 1 for FastPasses, you’ll have to pick only one to FastPass. We recommend a FastPass for Frozen Ever After late morning or early afternoon. As soon as the park opens head directly to Soarin’s standby line. After Soarin’ jump in the single rider line of Test Track. You can then use your Frozen Ever After FastPass at your scheduled time. Of course, the best case scenario would be to spend two days at Epcot and select a Frozen Ever After FastPass one day then a Soarin’ FastPass for the next, allowing you to head to Test Track as park opening either day.
6. A Separate Entrance –
Many guests automatically assume that the only way to enter into The Seas with Nemo and Friends Pavilion and enjoy all of the experiences located there is to ride the attraction of the same name. The main entrance to the pavilion does funnel guests directly onto the line for The Seas with Nemo and Friends attraction, but those who are looking to skip the attraction and head straight into the pavilion can enter elsewhere. Guests who are looking to just head into the pavilion can walk along the ride hand side of it and find a large set of glass double doors which lead through a gift shop and into the main area of the pavilion.
5. Sunshine Seasons –
Many guests who visit Epcot end up dining in World Showcase at one of the many quick service or full service dining locations. Unfortunately, this means that a lot of guests don’t know about a great dining location in Future World! Sunshine Seasons is a quick service dining location located on the lower level of The Land Pavilion right near Soarin’. Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant serves up fresh fare at several different counters ensuring that there is something for everyone to enjoy. Guests can order up hearty breakfasts, turkey sandwiches, and delectable items from the bakery counter including a massive slice of strawberry shortcake. Guests should be sure to enjoy at least one meal at Sunshine Seasons while in Epcot!
4. Behind The Seeds –
A hidden gem that many guests don’t know about when visiting Epcot is a backstage tour also located in The Land Pavilion. The Behind The Seeds Tour costs an additional fee, but it brings guests backstage and into the greenhouses seen on the Living with the Land Pavilion. The tour allows guests to see how plants are grown using new technology, release ladybugs into the greenhouses, sample a vegetable recently picked, and even touch and smell different things that have been grown or produced on site. The Behind The Seeds Tour is a great way to spend time in Epcot, and many guests don’t even know that it exists! Those who are looking to take the tour can sign up at a counter located near the entrance to Soarin’.
3. See It All –
Many guests who visit Epcot spend the majority of their day in World Showcase simply wandering through each pavilion and enjoying all that the country has to offer. While guests spend tons of time dining, shopping, learning about the culture, and enjoying the unique architecture in each pavilion, many don’t realize that there are several attractions found in World Showcase as well. We’ve already mentioned Frozen Ever After in the Norway Pavilion but there are others well worth visiting! In the Mexico Pavilion guests can board The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros for a whirlwind tour of Mexico looking for Donald. In the China Pavilion, guests can watch the film Reflections of China which is shown in circle vision and showcases the beauty and culture of the country. In the American Pavilion, guests can enter into the massive colonial building to watch The American Adventure which tells the story of the people of the United States throughout history. The France Pavilion is home to the film Impressions de France which combines classic French composers with beautiful scenes depicting the various landscapes and architecture of France. Finally, guests enjoying the Canada Pavilion can watch O Canada!, a circle vision film hosted by Martin Short which depicts the different environments and beauty of Canada. With so many amazing attractions to experience in World Showcase, guests should definitely take the time to stop and enjoy each film while learning about different cultures.
2. The Festival Center –
Note: We have learned from this year’s D23 Expo that this pavilion will be transformed in a PLAY! Pavilion with new experiences. It is set to open in 2021.
While exploring Epcot, many guests notice that there is a pavilion in Future World which is no longer generally used. The Wonders of Life Pavilion use to teach guests all about the amazing capabilities of the human body. The pavilion has been closed to the public for some time, but guests can still venture inside during special times of the year. Each spring, Epcot is host to Epcot International Festival of Arts, Epcot Flower and Garden Festival, Epcot International Food and Wine Festival, and Epcot International Festival of the Holidays. During these special events, the Wonders of Life Pavilion is typically open to the public during certain hours each day to serve as the Festival Center. Guests who venture inside can enjoy a gift shop, tasting area, seminars, tastings, and events hosted by famous chefs and stars.
1. Line Up Early –
Note: Illuminations’ last show will be September 30, 2019. “Epcot Forever”, a temporary nighttime spectacular, will begin October 1, 2019.
While most guests know that no day in Epcot is complete without a viewing of Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, many of them don’t know a tip that can make their experience so much better! Illuminations is a nightly show on World Showcase Lagoon which combines fireworks, pyrotechnics, dancing water, lasers, and a beautiful score to make one amazing spectacle. While there are plenty of great viewing spots surrounding World Showcase Lagoon, many guests don’t realize that they need to line up at a spot at least an hour before show time to guarantee an unobstructed view. Those who are looking for the best experience should be sure to line up for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth as early as possible and have a fantastic end to a day in Epcot.