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The Epcot “Low-Down” – Walt Disney World

So you’re headed to Epcot? If this is your first visit, you may be feeling a bit overwhelmed. That’s okay! Most people feel that way before visiting the first time. After all, there’s a lot to learn. Fortunately, you really don’t have to know it all to have fun at this fantastic park. In fact, by learning a few simple tips and bits of knowledge, you’ll be well prepared to tackle this incredible park. Read on to learn everything you need to know before you visit Epcot.

Parking Options

Just like Animal Kingdom and Hollywood Studios, Epcot offers guests parking at the entrance to the park. In fact, we feel this particular park has the most convenient parking lot of all. That said, there is another parking option available, and those who enjoy views or park hopping might prefer it. You see, the Transportation and Ticket Center has three monorail lines: One runs to Magic Kingdom, a second one services the monorail loop hotels, and the third carries guests to Epcot. Epcot visitors can park at the TTC and take the monorail over, giving them an opportunity to see Epcot from above as they come in. This route also also makes it easy to hop back over to Magic Kingdom should they so choose.

Two Lands

Epcot only has two lands—Future World and World Showcase—and both are absolutely fabulous. Future World is at the front of the park. It’s the first section to open each day, usually around 9am. This part of the park includes all kinds of awesome attractions that encourage learning and an appreciation for science. You’ll want to keep in mind much of Future World is currently under construction for the refurbishment of this areas into a whole new experience. World Showcase is located in the back part of the park, and usually doesn’t open until 11am, with the exception of the France and Norway pavilions. This section is the larger of the two lands, and features 11 themed pavilions, each one representing a different country. The pavilions include themed food and drink stops, cultural entertainment, and tons of shopping. A few even feature rides or movies that match the theming of the pavilion they’re in.

Dining Reservations

Anyone who has ever visited Disney World will tell you that you simply must have dining reservations if you plan to eat at any table-service restaurants at all. Epcot has tons of amazing table service options to choose from, so you’ll definitely want to heed this advice. Not sure which one to book? These are some guest favorites:

  • Akershus Royal Banquet Hall
  • Biergarten
  • Teppan Edo
  • Via Napoli
  • Le Cellier
  • San Angel Inn
  • Coral Reef
  • Garden Grill

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Best Snacks

Food in Disney World doesn’t need to be confined to meal times. In fact, we 100% recommend eating throughput the day in order to ensure you enjoy as many of the amazing options as possible. This is especially true in Epcot, where eating around the world is an amazing experience everyone should have. That said, you’re not going to be able to try it all. Therefore, you’ll need to go in knowing what the best options are. Here are our favorite snacks in Epcot:

  • Troll Horn or School Bread (Kringla Bakeri Og Cafe, Norway)
  • Caramel Corn (Karamell-Kutcher, Germany)
  • Green Tea Ice Cream (Katsura Grill, Japan)
  • Baklava (Tangierine Cafe, Morocco)
  • Anything from Les Halles Boulangerie (France)
  • Fish and Chips (Yorkshire County Fish Shop, UK)
  • Cronut from Refreshment Port (at entrance of World Showcase)

FastPasses

Scheduling your FastPasses in advance is a must. After all, nobody likes to wait in lines, and FastPasses allow you to skip them. That said, not all FastPasses are created equal, and there are some passes you’ll want to grab while leaving others on the table. To make things even more difficult, Epcot has a tiered FastPass system. This means you can only choose one top-tier ride while your other two selections must be from the less popular attractions. Here are the most popular FastPasses in Epcot in order of most valuable:

Tier 1 (pick one):

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Test Track
  • Soarin’ Around the World

Tier 2 (pick two):

  • Mission Space (“Orange” side)
  • Spaceship Earth (in the morning)
  • Living with the Land
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends

Must-See Attractions

Once you’ve made your FastPass selections, you’ll probably want to put together a loose touring plan. Of course, this is a difficult task if you aren’t sure at all what you want to see and do during your visit. Therefore, we’ve compiled a list of must-do attractions and experiences in Epcot to make your job a bit easier:

  • Test Track
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Living with the Land
  • The Seas With Nemo & Friends
  • Shopping and dining in the World Showcase
  • “Serveur Amusant” show in France
  • The Jeweled Dragon Acrobats in China
  • Voices of Liberty choir in American Adventure
  • “Epcot Forever” nighttime fireworks spectacular

Special Events

Epcot is the host of special events throughout the year. For instance, the park is home to the impressive Flower and Garden Festival in the spring, as well as the Food and Wine Festival in the fall. The Epcot International Festival of the Arts is the newest addition to the Epcot event lineup and happens each year in late winter. If you enjoy such special events, be sure to check a calendar before booking your trip to see if you can attend a festival and make your trip even more exciting.

We hope this article helps provide you with the Epcot “low-down” for a memorable visit to Walt Disney World!

About Chelsea Gonzales