20+ Tips for Visiting Walt Disney World's Epcot Theme Park

The Walt Disney World Resort offers a variety of theme parks and adventures for its Guests to enjoy on their vacations. My whole family always enjoys their time at Epcot, which many people consider the most "Grown-up" of the Parks. With a Park this size though, you have got to go in with a plan. I've gathered together some tips and tricks from Disney experts to share how regulars tackle a day at this Disney Theme Park.

20+ Tips For Visiting Epcot20+ Tips For Visiting Epcot

Many people believe that it's best to go to Epcot early in the week, when others are at Magic Kingdom.

Epcot is an extremely large park and many families take two days to explore it. However, if you have just one day, be sure to map out the things you want to see most in advance so that you know how to follow your touring strategy.

Just as with the other parks, check the Epcot tip board throughout the day. Located between the Innoventions plazas in Future World it displays wait times for the most popular rides. Don't forget a times guide either, this will make sure you know when to catch the fantastic performers Epcot is known for.

Spaceship EarthSpaceship Earth

The Sum of All Thrills is a roller coaster simulator located within Epcot's Innoventions. Thrill seekers can design their own roller coaster track and then take a ride in the simulator - right down to the loop de loops.

Being one of Epcot's most popular attractions, Soarin always has a long line. Schedule a FastPass+ to ride here and at Test Track. If you forget a FastPast for Soarin' your best chance for a reasonable line is just before Illuminations.

When riding Soarin' many people try to get in the front row and believe that it's the best ride by far. In the second row you can see feet dangling above you and in the third row you can see the bottom of the screen.

Guests Buckle in to Soarin' Ride VehiclesGuests Buckle in to Soarin' Ride Vehicles

A fun place to cool off mid-day at Epcot is Cool Club sponsored by Coca-Cola. Inside this refreshing center you'll find free samples of soft drinks from around the world. Just beware of Beverly.

The friendship boats travel across the World Showcase Lagoon, there are two boat docks at the base of the world showcase lagoon (one near Mexico and one near Canada), one in Germany, and one in Morocco. If you're not in a hurry, using these for transportation can provide a rest from all the walking and provide a pleasurable trip while taking break.

The friendship boats offer unique views of the World Showcase Pavilions. Photographers may want to take the boat for a ride around the lagoon sitting in the back to capture some rarely captured angles.

Friendship Boat on World Showcase LagoonFriendship Boat on World Showcase Lagoon

Be sure to catch the performance of The Voices of Liberty for a stunning American Adventure pre-show. The a capella group showcase the struggles of a young country as it grew into its independence through classic song.

Think you've seen all the shows? In 2014 Epcot refreshed its World Showcase entertainment and brought in a host of new performers. Be sure to check out some of the latest entertainment options.

When going to the American Adventure, try being the front of the line when the crowd is first lead to up past the flags. More often than not, the cast member will give a bit of a tour and fun facts about America.

The Voices of LibertyThe Voices of Liberty

Stay Hydrated. This is a big park, and let's be honest, it's fairly famous for "Drinking Around the World." The mid-day heat can sneak up on a body, so make sure that you drink lots of water, and be sure to pace yourself. All restaurants will be happy to offer you an ice water for free.

Not a big drinker? Snacking your way around the World is fun all year long, not just during Food & Wine Festival. Visit the counter service restaurants to sample a board variety of international treats as you make your way around World Showcase. The DFB Guide to Epcot Snacks can help make sure you hit all the best spots!

Cast Members working in World Showcase are most often from the countries that they represent. Striking up a conversation with the cast members throughout World Showcase can often provide unique views and interesting perspectives on the country and pavilion you are visiting.

Fish and chips is all you need!Fish and chips is all you need!

If you are there over the winter holidays, you will be able to see how the different countries celebrate Winter Holidays and meet their version of Santa Claus or other holiday personalities through a series of fun shows and programs called Holidays Around the World.

If you are looking for a late meal or just a quick bite and want a good Illuminations viewing area, grab a table along the rail at the Cantina de San Angel in World Showcase's Mexico pavilion around 30-45 minutes before showtime.

Illuminations is a great nighttime show. A good view of the center of the World Showcase Lagoon is important. Avoid standing with the wind blowing in your face, because that's also the direction the smoke and debris will travel.

Lasers, waterworks, and fireworks are part of the showLasers, waterworks, and fireworks are part of the show

Try something new! If you think you've got your theme park routine down cold, break out of your habits and try something new! Even if it's just heading the the opposite direction around the lagoon, or going on a ride you haven't been on in years, a change of perspective can bring pleasant surprises.

Even if you've done it during the day, go back and tour World Showcase again at night. The sun goes down, and the sparkling lights up the atmosphere changes from Theme Park to Wonderland.

Epcot in the evening can make for a romantic date night. Though it's hard to pick which pavilion is most romantic, the Morocco and France pavilions have their own special magic after dark with stellar restaurants, great shopping and fun entertainment.

Twilight on the SeineTwilight on the Seine

Twice a year Epcot goes from regular theme park fun, to International Festival location. In spring gardeners will love attended the Epcot International Flower and Garden Show, and in the Fall food rules with the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival. Both of these special events offer extra themed programing that's including in the cost of your theme park ticket, as well as a selection of special ticketed showcases and programs. If you head down for a festival you may want to add a couple of days to your trip just to take in these special events!

Several times a year you can find concert series happening at the American Gardens Pavilion at Epcot. Well known acts or high end tribute bands participate, and concert seats are included in the cost of your theme park ticket. After a day of touring the parks you can spend the night rocking to the beat of some great musicians. Check in advance to see who may be playing while you're there.

America Gardens TheaterAmerica Gardens Theater

Thanks to John Stavely for use of his Soarin' picture through Creative Commons.

Do you have any tried and true touring tips for Epcot? Leave a comment below and share your best advice!

Disneyjulie wrote on Tue, 03/31/2015 - 15:53:

Disneyjulie's picture

If I had to tell people anything about Epcot, I would say take it slow and dont just do the main attractions. There is so much to see and do there that if you buzz from place to place you are going to miss all the fab stuff that makes Epcot the best park. (In my oppinion).

Elizabeth wrote on Tue, 03/31/2015 - 19:15:

Elizabeth's picture

Great tips! Epcot is definitely a great park for browsing and exploring - we're excited to visit the Flower & Garden Festival this year and see all the topiaries and displays.

Morgan wrote on Sat, 04/04/2015 - 09:50:

Morgan's picture

If you are traveling with kids, tweens and even maybe younger teenagers, purchase a World Showcase tour item such as the Epcot World Showcase Passport or the Agent P and Duffy Bear world showcase character.

(The Agent P experience uses a hand held device to guide kids through a secret mission in each country. Sign up at the International Gateway to get the book and device. The Duffy Bear is great coloring activity in each country for little kids.)

We purchased the Passport for my two daughters (ages 7 and 9) and it really helped them enjoy the World Showcase! The Passport booklet comes with stickers for each country showing famous landmarks and icons. Take the Passport to each Kidcot station in the countries and the Ambassador for that country will stamp the time and date you visited and also write a traditional greeting in the native language.

The Passports were $10 each in Winter 2014 and the girls are still getting play value out of them 6 months later. Awesome souvenir! It also gave them something fun to do in each country so my husband and I could enjoy WS more.

-Plan to meet several characters in Epcot. The interactions have consistently been more in depth and fun for meet and greets.

-Don't rush through the countries! If you're short on time pick 2 or 3 (at least!) and really explore the pavilions. See the shows, sit and enjoy the scenery, soak it in.

-Take advantage of Photo Pass photographers. Our past two visits to WDW, the best family pictures we have were taken by the PPP in Epcot. (This is true for other families in our group, too!)

Epcot and MK are my favorite parks. Can't wait to go back!

alicemouse wrote on Mon, 04/06/2015 - 01:07:

alicemouse's picture

Great tips--especially regarding hydration.

On Soarin' you can further enhance the benefit of being in row 1 by requesting Concourse B. If you're on the end of Concourses A or C, you'll catch the rounded end of the screen in your peripheral vision. Personally, I find that very distracting.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly. If you have a Gravatar account associated with the e-mail address you provide, it will be used to display your avatar.

More information about formatting options