Epcot is a favorite park of many, and once you visit, you’re sure to see why. This awesome place has all kinds of amazing attractions and entertainment, and is a truly unique park. Another thing to know about Epcot is that it is huge. It’s huge and jam-packed with exciting things to do and see around every corner. This can make seeing the park in one day quite difficult. Fortunately, there are ways to hit the most important parts and leave feeling like you’ve seen enough, even if you do only have one day to spend. Here’s how we would do it.
1. FastPasses to Get
Here are the FastPasses we recommend scheduling as soon as your window opens up:
- Late Morning: Spaceship Earth
- Afternoon: The Seas with Nemo and Friends
- Evening: Frozen Ever After (If following our plan below, 7pm–8pm time frame is recommended.)
Don’t care about the Frozen Ever After ride? That one can definitely be replaced by a late-morning FastPass for either Soarin’ Around the World or Test Track. Additionally, the Epcot Character Spot can easily be replaced by any of the second-tier Future World West attractions you might prefer. When you use all three of your initial FastPasses, use your My Disney Experience App to select a 4th FastPass and so on until the park closes.
2. Dining Suggestions
There are many kiosks, quick-service, and table-service restaurants in Epcot. Our top recommendations would be to enjoy lunch at Sunshine Seasons located in The Land portion of Future World. Dinner selections could include Biergarten in the Germany Pavilion or Akershus Royal Banquet Hall in the Norway Pavilion. Advanced reservations are recommended for either of these restaurants. If following our plans below, reservation for around 5:30pm are recommended.
Start your morning off early and hit Soarin’ Around the World before everything else. By doing this, you shouldn’t have to wait in much of a line at all, meaning you can be on and off before the crowds begin to build up. Next, head over to Test Track, where you can use the regular queue (if the line hasn’t built up yet) or the single rider queue (if the line is too long for your tastes). After riding both of these headliners, hit up Mission: SPACE if that ride interests you, and then walk back to Spaceship Earth and use your FastPass to ride. At this point, you’ll probably be hungry for lunch. Go ahead and go back to The Land building for a delicious quick-service lunch at Sunshine Seasons.
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4. Early Afternoon
After lunch, you’ll stay in Future World West to see any of the following:
- Living with the Land
- Pixar Short Film Festival
- Journey Into the Imagination with Figment
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends (both the dark ride and the aquariums)
- Turtle Talk with Crush
Be sure to use your FastPass for the Nemo ride! Depending on the wait times, you may be able to hit up all of these in a short amount of time. However, we feel that the Pixar Short Film Festival and the Journey Into the Imagination with Figment ride can both be skipped if lines are too long.
5. Late Afternoon into Evening
With Future World completed, it’s time to head into the World Showcase. Our recommendation is to head right after crossing the bridge. This will put you in the Canada Pavilion. Here you can shop, enjoy live entertainment, and watch a movie about Canada if you wish. You’ll continue around the World Showcase, enjoying the shopping and entertainment each country has to offer until you get to your dinner restaurant of choice. After dinner, keep walking to the Frozen Ever After ride where you will use your third FastPass. Explore the Norway Pavilion a bit, making sure to stop in their tiny museum before continuing on to Mexico. Mexico is the last country in the showcase (if you’ve traveled counter-clockwise as we recommended), and is currently the only country besides Norway to have a ride. Head into the building to ride The Three Caballeros and do some shopping before the nighttime show begins. At 9:00pm, you will want to be sure to be somewhere near the World Showcase Lagoon in order to view “IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth”. This nighttime spectacular is absolutely beautiful and something you won’t want to miss. If you’re there on an especially crowded day, it’s best to find a place 30–40 minutes early in order to ensure you can see.
Note: Illuminations’ last show will be September 30, 2019. “Epcot Forever”, a temporary fireworks spectacular, will begin October 1.
Obviously, this is a very full day. However, it does allow you to see all of the highlights of this incredible park in a single day, so why not give it a shot? Even if you don’t see every single thing, you’ll still have a blast and go home with memories that will last for years to come.