By Caitlin Corsello
Of the four theme parks in Walt Disney World, there is only one that lets guests experience the future of technology, the beauty of nature, and the culture of countries across the world all in one place. Epcot combines Future World and World Showcase to bring guests a unique park with opportunities to dive under the sea, take to the skies, travel the world, and go back in time. Guests can easily spend an entire day wandering through the park, enjoying attractions, dining in different locations, and taking in the beautiful architecture and design of the different areas. With so many things to see and enjoy, it is a great idea to have a touring plan in place before heading to the park to save time once there. Here is the perfect touring plan for a day in Epcot!
Rope Drop –
Getting to Epcot before it officially opens is the perfect start to a day there. Lining up early ensures that guests will be some of the first in the park allowing them access to some of the most popular attractions with little to no wait time. Guests who arrive early are also treated to an audio presentation combining background music from the park and a welcome speech which is sure to get every guest pumped up for the fun day ahead. After passing through the gates, guests can hop aboard Spaceship Earth, Epcot’s signature attraction which takes guests on a journey to see how communication has developed and evolved from the beginning of time to present day.
Head To The Land –
Guests should then immediately head towards the Land Pavilion in Future World West. Once inside the pavilion, they should head to the lowest level and get on line for Soarin’ which is one of the most popular attractions in Epcot and can easily reach wait times of two hours during the afternoons. By heading straight for Soarin’ guests ensure that they can enjoy the awesome hang gliding experience over California with little to no wait time. After exiting Soarin’ guests can then walk over to nearby Living with the Land which features a tranquil boat ride through various environments and greenhouses where food is grown for restaurants all throughout Walt Disney World.
The Seas and Imagination –
After finishing in The Land, guests should head next door to The Seas with Nemo and Friends where the can board an attraction of the same name and dive into the ocean to explore with characters from the classic Pixar film Finding Nemo. After exiting the attraction, guests can wander through the rest of the pavilion and check out Turtle Talk with Crush, interactive play areas, and plenty of habitats featuring sea creatures like dolphins, turtles, manatees, and sting rays. After seeing everything in The Seas with Nemo and Friends, guests can enjoy the Imagination Pavilion which is the final pavilion in Future World West. The main attraction there is Journey Into Imagination with Figment which almost never has a wait time. Figment takes guests on a fun and entertaining tour of the Imagination Institute and shows how a little imagination can make the world an interesting place.
Test Track Presented By Chevrolet –
Aside from Soarin’, Test Track Presented By Chevrolet is the most popular attraction in Epcot and allows guests to step into the world of design and create their own SIM car. After finishing their creation, guests can then see how their model holds up on the track after being tested in Capability, Responsiveness, Power, and Efficiency. The attraction culminates with a joy ride around an open air loop featuring fast views of Spaceship Earth and Future World. Since Test Track is so popular, the wait times are generally very high but there are several ways to enjoy the experience without wasting a lot of time on line. Guests can opt to either book a FastPass in advance and return to the attraction at their given time or choose to wait on the single rider line. As long as parties don’t mind being split up, waiting on the single rider line offers the same ride experience with a much shorter wait.
Located next door to Test Track Presented By Chevrolet is one of the most intense and thrilling attractions in all of Walt Disney World. Mission:SPACE takes guests into the International Space Training Center (ISTC) where they become real astronauts training for a mission to Mars. Before long guests are strapped into their spacecraft and rocketing off to the red planet on an adventure with plenty of twists and turns. Guests are able to choose the intensity of their experience on Mission:SPACE and can opt for the Orange Team for full G forces and intensity or the Green Team for a more tame simulated experience. Either way, the experience is out of this world!
Lunch At Sunshine Seasons –
Guests can enjoy one of the best quick service dining locations in Epcot for lunch on the lower level of the Land Pavilion near Soarin’. Sunshine Seasons offers up fresh and delicious food options including pork chops, turkey sandwiches, and decadent baked goods. With several different counter areas each serving up their own unique options, guests are sure to love dining at Sunshine Seasons as there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Explore World Showcase –
One of the best was to fully enjoy all that Epcot has to offer is to take plenty of time to explore World Showcase. Featuring eleven different countries, the back of the park is rich in culture, cuisine, architecture, design, and details unique to each particular country. Guests can spend an entire afternoon wandering through each country and enjoying the shopping, buildings, entertainment, and dining options. At the end of the day, guests will really feel as though they traveled across the world without actually leaving Epcot.
World Showcase’s Attractions –
Some of the best experiences in World Showcase are the several attractions featured in the countries. Guests in Mexico can experience the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros which takes them on a scenic trip across the country to find Donald in time for their nighttime concert. The American Pavilion is home to the American Adventure, a patriotic stage show featuring animatronics and massive sets which help to tell the story of the American people. Guests can also enjoy films in several of the countries which share scenes of the beauty and the people of each culture. Impressions de France can be watched in the rear of the France Pavilion, Reflections of China can be enjoyed in China, and O Canada! is hosted by Martin Short in a theater in the back of the Canada Pavilion.
Dinner in World Showcase –
Each country in World Showcase is home to at least one full service dining location where guests can enjoy traditional cuisine from that country. With eleven different cultures to choose from, there is a dining option to please even the pickiest of eaters. Some of the most popular dining locations in World Showcase are Le Cellier Steakhouse in Canada, Monsieur Paul in France, and Nine Dragons in China. Guests should be sure to book Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs) as early as possible since the restaurants of World Showcase are popular and tend to book quickly.
Each night, World Showcase Lagoon comes to life with Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. The show combines a beautiful score, pyrotechnics, lasers, fireworks, and dancing water to tell the story of how Earth is a united place. Guests can watch from all around the lagoon, but they should be sure to pick out a spot up to an hour early as the area can become quite crowded by show time. Illuminations is the perfect ending to a day in Epcot!