Epcot is a favourite park for many visitors spending time at Walt Disney World. Utilizing these effective tips to enjoy Epcot will make your day at the park just that much better. It is easy to underestimate the size of Epcot. When you consider Future World, the Seas, the Land, the Hub, the Showcase plaza, and the World Showcase…you are dealing with a lot of park. Each part of the park contains rides, shops, and offers its own particular atmosphere. I have created this Epcot survival guide to provide you with my best tips to enjoy Epcot so that you can efficiently navigate this monster of a theme park.
- Enjoy the rides early in the morning
The rides at Epcot can get busy, especially Frozen Ever After, Soarin’, and Test Track. In order to successfully find your way onto one of these experiences, arrive at the park as early as possible, with rope drop being the obvious best time. As Test Track does have a single rider option that moves incredibly fast, I would point your early morning ride direction to either Frozen Ever After or Soarin. Being that Epcot’s fast pass system only allows one of these tier one rides per day, guests should be able to effectively get on all three by fast passing one, enjoying one at rope drop, and accessing Test Track’s single rider line. The rest of the rides in the park ebb and flow reasonably throughout the day and are less of a concern.
One of the reasons why this is one of my favourite tips to enjoy Epcot is that the World Showcase does not open until 11:00am. This allows park goers to get the most out of their time in the front half of the park before being distracted by the food and wine in the World Showcase. The World Showcase stays open until 9:00 and has the night time entertainment. With this fastpass strategy guests can get the most out of the part of Epcot that is open. This way when the World Showcase opens, time can be dedicated to the area without roller coaster FOMO.
2. Get your Photo passes done at 11:00am, as soon as the World Showcase Opens
If you are interested in taking commemorative photos of your time at Walt Disney World, then head into the World Showcase as soon as it opens and hit all the photo passes before everyone else does. When Disney says it opens at 11:00am, Disney means it opens at 11:00am. While everyone else is still streaming into the park for the World Showcase, or stuck in lines for rides (which you have avoided via Tip 1), you can do a full lap of the World Showcase stopping at every photo pass getting photos of you and your family in the park without hordes of people behind you, and without waiting in line. This Epcot survival guide tip allows you to survive Epcot with the best photos to prove it.
3. Water is Free at most Kiosks
I mentioned this in my guide to Magic Kingdom and I will say it again as part of my tips to enjoy Epcot. Water is complimentary at Walt Disney World! You can stop by the majority of kiosks or quick service restaurants and pick up a cup of clean, cold, iced water. What I am saying is, you don’t need to purchase a $4.00 water bottle and you have no excuse to not be hydrated all day long. The more hydrated you are, the better you will feel. This tip gives guests a better chance of surviving a long day at Epcot.
4. Get a free refreshing drink at Club Cool
Next to Starbucks, or the ‘Fountain View Cafe’ as it is called, across from Mouse Gears is one of Epcot’s best kept secrets. Club Cool is a store sponsored by Coca-Cola where guests can stop by at any point in the day and sample the most popular Coke products from around the world. The samples come from 1 of 3 fountain drink stations pouring 1oz tastings of each drink. Stop by, and taste your way around Coke’s world. You can refill your cup as many times as you would like, and come on in all day long. Club Cool is a major part of any Disney Pro’s Epcot Survival Guide.
5. Find the Blue Room to cool down and charge your phone
Right next door to Club Cool as mentioned above, on the side closest to the World Showcase, is a magical blue corridor with a blasting air conditioner, couches, and wall outlets. One of the best tips to enjoy Epcot is to keep yourself charged all day long. If you need to take a moment to escape the heat, the blue room is the place to be. The air conditioning is always on. It is a low traffic area. There are bathrooms, and couches that line the walls which are actually comfortable. Behind the couches are outlets you can use to charge your electronics. The blue room is a perfect little hideaway to catch a little ‘chill’ during your time at Epcot.
6. Visit Epcot during one of its Festivals
Epcot is known for its festivals and so one of the best tips to enjoy Epcot is to visit during one of the 4 festivals hosted at the park throughout the year. The easiest way to survive a long day at Epcot is to go when there is even more to do; the more to do, the less tired downtime you have to compete with. The Food and Wine Festival, the Festival of the Arts, the Flower and Garden Festival and the Festival of the Holidays are all events which take place throughout the year. If you can plan your trip during one of the festivals, then that is your first step to surviving long days at Epcot.
7. Take Advantage of the Underrated Experiences
There are quite a few ‘underrated’ experiences in Epcot which do not get the attention they deserve, so take advantage of them during your time in Walt Disney World. During the day while everyone is waiting in line for rides (which you have already done because you followed step one), you can almost walk on to any one of these experiences and they can be pretty entertaining. These are great places to go when you are tired from walking around the massive park that is Epcot and feel the need to take a cool and relaxed break. The Living with the Land ride in the Land pavilion provides an informative and fabulous example of hydroponic technology. The Pixar Film Festival shows 3 entertaining shorts, and the movies and shows in the country pavilions throughout the World Showcase are both enlightening and fun. Eliminating time waiting in lines, and keeping busy are vital to surviving a long day at Epcot, no one likes a gray area. Keeping yourself busy with alternative experiences are one of the best tips to enjoy Epcot you could ask for.
8. Escape for a Mid-day Break to the Boardwalk via the International Gateway
A day at Epcot can be really long. One way to break up the Disney day is by taking advantage of the International Gateway to Epcot area resorts and Disney’s Boardwalk. Guests have access to these areas by walking to the back of the World Showcase (between England and France) and heading out of the park to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet away from the madness that is Epcot. There are beach areas to sit and relax, and places for kids to run around. There are a variety of restaurants available, as well as bars, and even quick service joints where you can bring food out on to the boardwalk. Sometimes a break to just relax in a less crowded zone can seriously re-energize the rest of the day. This is a method I use, not just for an Epcot survival guide, but for a Disney World Survival Guide.
9. Stop for a drink and a Snack at Tutto Gusto’s Wine Cellar
If you are in the need for an escape from the heat, and are looking for a place that is cool, dark, calm, and relatively adult to catch your breath, head to Tutto Gusto’s Wine Cellar. You can find this hidden gem in Italy, just beyond the Tutto Italia restaurant. Find the door, walk into the basement, grab a glass of wine, beer, and an antipasto and enjoy the wonderful world of adulting. When considering tips to enjoy Epcot, this is a great place for adults to catch a moment of chill…with good wine.
10. You can see the Fireworks from everywhere in the park, don’t waste your time waiting
This is one of the biggest tips to enjoy Epcot you could take advantage of…a total game changer. I am saying this with confidence…you can see the fireworks show from anywhere in the World Showcase. I actually get a sense of sadness in my heart when I see people sitting at the railing for 2 hours to watch a 15 minute firework spectacular that you can see from anywhere in the World Showcase. Spare the 2 hours, do something fun, soak up Epcot, but don’t waste your time sitting by the railing. Ill give you another big tip…you do not need to be by the railing to see the fireworks, they are in the sky! Step back a few feet and enjoy, it looks the same. Don’t waste your time in Walt Disney World waiting for fireworks in the sky.
11. Get a Coffee and Wait for the crowd to funnel out after fireworks
The rush to leave a Walt Disney World park is actually insane. Thousands of people filter out of Epcot at 9:15 after the fireworks, and I mean thousands. It is reminiscent of the Hunger Games with people pushing and shoving their way to the exit. You can avoid this, however, by having purchased a coffee or drink before fireworks, and sitting at a table to enjoy it as the major crowd makes its way out. No coffee, no problem, try people watching. Sitting for an extra 15-20 minutes can make a world of difference when attempting to leave Epcot. Enjoying your time from start to finish is a big part of the Epcot Survival Guide.