While you’re researching your next Disney World trip, you will find many basic Disney World tips…
Learn to use FastPass.
Wake up early to enjoy the lowest crowds.
Get free cups of water from any quick service restaurant.
Always wear comfortable, broken-in shoes because you’ll be doing a lot of walking!
Those are all essential tips for every park you visit at Disney World. However, this post is all about tips that are specific to touring Epcot.
Here are 19 Epcot tips to make the most of your Epcot day at Disney World.
1. Save Spaceship Earth for Later
Many are tempted to get in line for Spaceship Earth right when they arrive. After all, every guest who enters through Epcot’s main entrance is funneled under Spaceship Earth and right by the ride’s entrance, after all. This means the line can build early.
The first of my Epcot tips is to wait until the afternoon when most guests have already arrived and are deep into the park. Most won’t go all the way back up to the front for Spaceship Earth in the middle of their day and the wait time drops significantly.
One of my family’s Epcot traditions is to ride Spaceship Earth on our way out of the park at the end of the day. Around 7:00-8:00 PM, we’ve always walked right on with less than a five minute wait.
2. Take A Beach Break
If you need a break from the Disney crowds, exit Epcot out the International Gateway in World Showcase between the United Kingdom and France. Just a short walk away is a lovely beach on a lake in front of the Beach Club Resort. Relax there on chaise loungers, grab some ice cream from the Beaches and Cream window at Beach Club or across the lake at the Boardwalk Inn’s Ample Hills Creamery.
You don’t even need a park hopper ticket to leave and return to the same Disney park. Even with a base ticket, you can come and go as long as it’s the same park so feel free to leave Epcot for an afternoon break and return later that same day.
3.Epcot is Huge!
Technically, Animal Kingdom is the largest Disney World park, but most of that space is consumed by safari lands that aren’t walkable. Epcot is where you’ll likely do the most walking. Don’t underestimate the time it will take to get from the front entrance, all the way around World Showcase, and back (1.7 miles right there!). Take your time. Stay hydrated. And wear comfortable shoes!
4. Plan on 2 Days
Due to its size and two-parks-in-one design with Future World and World Showcase, don’t expect to cram all that Epcot has to offer into a single day. This is especially true if a festival is going on.
5. Use the Back Entrance to the Aquarium at The Seas
The Seas with Nemo and Friends is a must-do attraction for families with kids. The attraction experience begins with a slow-moving Finding Nemo-themed ride that leads to the aquarium. After getting off the ride, you’re free to stay and watch the fishies as long as you’d like. There are marine experts holding presentations and even an additional attraction-within-an-attraction, Turtle Talk With Crush. Exit through a gift shop filled with Finding Nemo character merchandise when you’re done.
While The Seas doesn’t attract the longest line at Epcot, you still might not want to wait 20-30 minutes for the ride. Or, maybe you’ve already done the ride, but your kids really want to look at the fish again. You can bypass the ride and access the aquarium simply by walking in through the gift shop. Of course, this isn’t obvious when you arrive at The Seas. The main ride entrance is front and center. Just look for the automatic sliding glass doors off to the left and you’ll be in the aquarium in a minute!
6. World Showcase Opens Later
World Showcase opens later than the posted park opening time, typically at 11:00 AM.
7. Norway Opens Early
Norway is an exception to the World Showcase delayed opening time. The Frozen Ever After ride and Kringla Bakeri open at the same time as Future World. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall character dining is also open for breakfast with a reservation.
8. Les Halles Boulangerie Opens for Breakfast
The bakery in France opens around 9:00 AM, though the rest of the restaurants, shops, and movie in France do not. My family’s favorite Epcot tradition is to rope drop Les Halles and enjoy croissants for breakfast on the “streets of Paris” while the France pavilion is still nearly empty.
9. Some Future World Attractions Close Early
While most of World Showcase opens late, some of Future World closes early. The Seas with Nemo and Friends, for example, may close as early as 7:00 AM.
10. Test Track and Mission Space Activity Areas
Both Test Track and Mission Space have extensive activity areas at the ride exits. At Test Track, you can use the car you designed while waiting in line (saved on your ticket card or MagicBand) to make commercials, race other guest-designed cars on a video track, and also see the latest Chevrolet vehicles in a showroom.
Mission Space offers an indoor playground and many space-themed interactive video games.
Plan on spending additional time in these two activity areas when you exit and consider returning if the kids get tired of walking or waiting in lines by the end of the day. You can always access them without riding again by walking in through the ride exit.
11. Build Your Test Track Car Before You Ride
In addition to the activities at the Test Track exit area, there are several kiosks to design a car. These are the same kiosks you experience while in line for the ride, but without the time limit or number of kiosks restriction per party. While waiting in line for the ride, cast members assign up to 3 guests per kiosk. My family of four is always split two people for two kiosks which means the four of us only get to design two cars (the kids always do and Mom and Dad get left out!).
Six people ride each car on Test Track and there is a tap point for each rider to load their designed car. Before you ride, design your cars in the exit activity area so that everyone in your party can compete during the testing phases of the ride! The ride will always use the last car designed on each park ticket or MagicBand.
12. Use the Test Track Single Rider Line
Test Track is one of only three rides in all of Disney World that has a single rider line. This is marked at the main entrance to the attraction. If you enter this line with a group, be prepared to split up to fill separate cars.
The single rider line does not include the same design-your-car kiosk as the main line. You simply choose from a few pre-built cars or can skip the step entirely. For my family, designing the car is half the fun at Test Track, so use a kiosk in the exit area to build your car before entering the single rider line.
13. Expect To Stand At World Showcase Movies
The films in China and Canada are CircleVision 360 movies that require you to stand for the film. Keep this in mind if you’re expecting to rest your tired feet!
Impressions de France is a 180-degree movie with standard, cushioned theater seats.
14. Free Drinks in Club Cool
Beside the Starbucks in Future World is Club Cool, sponsored by Coca-Cola. Inside are numerous self-serve machines with beverages from around the world.
15. Breakfasts That Get You Into Epcot Early
If you want to get into Epcot before everyone else, reserve breakfast at Garden Grill or Akershus Royal Banquet Hall. Both character dining restaurants begin taking reservations at 8:00 AM even on days when Epcot opens at the standard time of 9:00, allowing you some bonus time in an empty park!
16. Festival Crowds Are Worst on Evenings and Weekends
Unless you’re visiting Epcot in the summertime, there’s probably a festival going on – Flower and Garden (spring), Food and Wine (fall), Festival of the Holidays (December), or Festival of the Arts (winter). These festivals are a big draw for Florida locals so many visit in the evenings after work and on weekends. For the lowest festival crowds, enjoy the food booths and activities on weekdays before 5:00.
17. These are the Largest, Newest Bathrooms!
As you’re walking, eating, and drinking around World Showcase, not all bathrooms are created equal. The bathrooms in the United Kingdom and Morocco are right on the walkway and can get quite crowded and dirty.
Instead, use the bathrooms at the American Adventure (on the right side of the building) and Norway (on the Mexico side). Both are relatively new, huge, usually spotless, and uncrowded.
18. World Showcase Cast Members are Authentic
Disney cast members working in the World Showcase countries are actually from those countries on internships. Check out their name tags to see their hometown. If you have the chance, strike up a conversation and ask about their homeland. They love to talk about their country!
On my boys’ first trip, we asked a cast member in each country to sign and write their favorite color in their native language (the boys’ idea!) in the boys’ character autograph books. It was such a fun way to add more interest for the kids around World Showcase!
19. Enjoy the Numerous Kids Activities!
There’s an old rumor that Epcot isn’t a kids park. Blasphemy! In addition to great kids rides like The Seas With Nemo & Friends and Journey Into Imagination, kids can enjoy World Showcase with the Agent P Adventure, KidCot activity centers in each country around World Showcase, and creating your own magic by talking with the cast members (see previous tip!).
Do you have any Epcot tips to add? Share them below!