Epcot is one of the most popular Disney theme parks. With popular attractions, a ton of dining options, and unique seasonal festivals, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
But, with so much to see and do between Future World and the World Showcase, how do you get the most out of your visit? In this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best tips, tricks, and strategies for visiting Epcot. We’ll explore some general tips to get you started. And, we’ll take a look at some specific strategies and even secret tips and tricks to help you explore while maximizing your time.
General Tips and Tricks
Epcot is a huge theme park with lots of attractions, restaurants, shops, and shows. So, it’s easy to get overwhelmed or miss out on the little details found in the park.
With this in mind, we’ve come up with our top tips to help you have a more fun and efficient trip to Epcot.
Make Fastpass+ reservations in advance: This is one of our best tips for any Disney park. But, it’s especially true for Epcot. There are several extremely popular attractions to ride in Epcot. And, the wait times can get very high, very quickly. If you and your kiddos have your heart set on riding Soarin’ or Frozen Ever After, make sure to book your Fastpass+ for these attractions well in advance.
Go early: They say that the early bird gets the worm. And, we couldn’t agree more. We recommend going early to Epcot for a few reasons. The first is so you can get on the most popular attractions with lower wait times. The second, and probably the most important, is so you can experience Future World attractions before you head into the World Showcase before it opens at 11 a.m. This lets you experience all that Future World and World Showcase have to offer and maximize your time.
Tour the park the whole day: There is a lot to see and do at Epcot. So much so that you might want to plan several days of park touring. But, if you only have one day to visit the park, plan to spend the whole day there. This way you can fit in everything and not worry about feeling too rushed.
Make Advanced Dining Reservations (ADRs): Epcot has some of the best Disney dining options throughout the entire Walt Disney World Resort. There are restaurants that highlight foods from all over the world. And, some restaurants like Biergarten, have unique atmosphere too. The table service restaurants at Epcot are extremely popular, as well. So, if you plan on dining at any of them, make sure to make your ADR in advance to get a table service reservation.
Book a dining package for seasonal events: If you are visiting Epcot during one of its many festivals or seasonal events, do take advantage of several dining packages offered. These packages are perfect because they include a meal at one of the Epcot table service locations and also have priority seating for concerts, shows, and other events, like the Candlelight Processional. These are popular though and book out. So, make sure to book in advance before you go.
In addition to these general tips and tricks, there are also some Epcot specific tips, tricks, secrets, and strategies that will help you really make the most of your visit.
Here are some of our favorites.
Use the Secret Entrance
Did you know that there’s a back entrance to Epcot? You can actually enter the park through the World Showcase’s International Gateway. This entrance is found in between the France and United Kingdom pavilions and lead to the Epcot area resorts.
So, if you’re staying at the Boardwalk, Swan & Dolphin, or Yacht & Beach Club, you can actually walk to Epcot from your resort or take a boat to the International Gateway entrance. We also use the back entrance occasionally when we’re at Epcot but want to take a break or dine at one of the Epcot area resorts too.
Explore the Nearby Resorts
Epcot area resorts are just hop, skip, and a boat ride away. These resorts are a great way to take a mid-day break or enjoy a meal before heading back into the parks. We especially love making dinner reservations at these resorts during Epcot’s busy season so that we can take a break from the crowds but head back to the park in the evening to enjoy the nighttime entertainment.
The Best Time of the Year
Epcot is known for hosting seasonal events and festivals. And, we have to say that the best time of year to go to Disney World is during Epcot’s International Food & Wine Festival — one of the most popular special events at Disney. Visiting during Food & Wine Festival, Flower & Garden Festival, or even the winter holidays will give you a chance to explore unique experiences not offered any other time of year. We really love the Epcot Food & Wine Festival held during the fall months for food experiences.
You can explore the festival’s marketplace booths where you can sample food and drinks from around the world. Or, you can sip and taste during culinary demonstrations, mixology sessions, and even listen to chefs share their favorite tips. If food and wine are not your speed, visit during the Flower & Garden festival in the spring months. It’s the perfect event if you love gardening. Plus, the park is in full bloom and filled with colorful and creative topiaries.
For a truly magical holiday experience, visit during the winter months when the popular Candlelight Processional is held — where celebrity narrators, a choir, and orchestra, help get you into the holiday spirit. Of course, no matter when you go, the chances are high that Epcot will have a festival. So, be sure to plan your trip around the festival that sounds like the most fun to you.
Score a Free Drink
It’s pretty easy to get dehydrated when you’re touring Epcot. It’s a big park, with very little shade. So, drinking a lot of fluid is important. But, did you know that there’s a place to cool off and grab a free drink or two? Club Cool is located near the Fountainview Cafe (Starbucks) in Future World.
There you can sample soda flavors from Around the World — for free. And, you can drink as much as you want. We recommend trying new flavors and seeing which ones you like the most. Of course, for those wanting a truly unique experience, try the Beverly flavored soda. But, if you want something that’s flavorful but not too weird tasting, we like Inca Cola and Fanta Pineapple soda flavors.
So, go ahead. Get your drink on.
Play a Game
Whether you’ve got kiddos or just want to experience Epcot in a new way, Phineas and Ferb’s Agent P game is a cool way to see the World Showcase. This free game lasts about 30-45 minutes and gives you a chance to visit several World Showcase pavilion to complete spy missions. It’s fun for the whole family!
Go Explore the Aquariums at the Seas
The Seas with Nemo and Friends is one area of Future World that’s often overlooked. And, a lot of guests ride the attraction in this pavilion and miss out on exploring the huge amount of aquariums here.
You can see marine life like sharks, stingrays, and many different varieties of fish. Plus, there are cast members and kiosks available for even more information about the marine life that call the Seas home. We also love watching the diving demonstrations and even catching a chance to experience Turtle Talk with Crush.
Go Behind the Seeds
Disney offers a lot of tours in the parks. And Epcot is no exception.
Our favorite tour has to be the Behind the Seeds tour in the Land Pavilion in Future World. That’s because it’s one of the cheapest tours at Disney — around $20 per person — and gives you a chance to tour Epcot’s famous greenhouses. This tour lasts about an hour and is perfect for families and large groups who want to see Epcot in a new way.
Plus, each time you visit your experience will be a bit different because what you see does depend on the tour guide. You’ll also get a chance to even eat some of the food grown at Epcot when you go on this tour.
With so much to see and do at Epcot, it’s hard to fit it all in. But, with these tips, tricks, secrets, and strategies, you’ll be on your way to exploring the World Showcase and Future World. Of course, there are so many details and hidden areas to explore. So, our best tip has to be to simply explore. You’ll be glad you did.
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