Top 10 Tips for Visiting Disney World Epcot. Epcot is one of the four Disney World theme parks you can visit in Orlando, Florida. This Disney World theme park is dedicated to technological innovation and international culture. One may think it is more educational and is not really for the kids but to the contrary, it is both. I thought my 2 daughters would only enjoy the princessy stuff like the Frozen ride and meeting Elsa and Anna but I was wrong. For our eldest (7 yr old), the highlight of our visit to Epcot was the Living with the Land Boat Tour at The Land Pavillion. For the youngest, it was watching the Dragon Legend Acrobats at the China Pavillion. Follow our 10 Tips for Visiting Disney World Epcot to maximize your visit to the theme park.
Top 10 Tips for Visiting Disney World Epcot:
- Wear comfortable shoes – it’s a huge theme park and attractions are spaced apart.
Disney World EPCOT is twice the size of Disney World Magic Kingdom. Unlike Disneyland or Magic Kingdom where you walk a little bit and there’s already another ride or activity you can do, at EPCOT, things are housed in huge buildings that are spaced apart especially at the Future World area. The World Showcase area features one country next to another but it was still a long walk as there are 11 countries to loop around a giant water lagoon.
I picked EPCOT as our first Disney World theme park to visit because it’s nothing like Disneyland or Disney California Adventure but it sure was tiring and overwhelming if you don’t know what to expect when you arrive.
2. Explore the 2 Epcot areas – Future World and World Showcase
The layout of Epcot is like a number “8”. The bottom of the “8” is the Future World while the top of the “8” is the World Showcase.
Epcot Future World – here you will find attractions featuring state of the art technology starting with the iconic Spaceship Earth that you see all the time in pictures that resembles a giant golf ball. The kids favorite at Epcot Future World were:
- Living with the Land
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
Epcot World Showcase – here you will find 11 countries around a huge lagoon. The 11 countries are – Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada. Each area will have a ride (not all), shows, food, souvenirs, photo opportunities, and shopping.
You won’t find any thrill rides in this area but there are boat rides and shows that are a must see. You will also enjoy the food each country has to offer.
You’ll be surprised to hear cast members talk in their national language as you visit each country in the world showcase. And if you love souvenirs, you will find things here that are really from the country it represents. The girls had a lot of fun opening fans at the China Pavillion as though they were Mulan.
Note: If your child loves Frozen, the Norway Pavillion is a must visit for the Frozen Ever After ride and to meet Anna & Elsa.
3. Don’t eat a heavy breakfast to try the food around EPCOT’s world showcase
With eleven countries to choose from, you cannot possibly say you can’t find anything to eat at Epcot. Grab some arancini in Italy, margarita in Mexico, poutine in Canada, and school bread in Norway. I wish I live close by!
4. Get a Fastpass for these Rides ahead of time
#4 on our Tips for Visiting Disney World Epcot is getting the Fastpass ahead of time. You can shorten your wait time to some rides and attractions using a Fastpass+. You can reserve as early as 60 days out if you’re a Disney World Resort guests, and 30 days out for anyone staying off-property. You can get 1 Fastpass+ for a tier 1 attraction and 2 Fastpass+ for Tier 2 attractions. After you’ve used your 3 Fastpass+ during your visit, you may get another one via the My Disney Experience App or at the Fastpass Kiosks at Disney World Epcot. Then another one after you’ve used that as well – if there’s still FastPass available at the time you’ve used your 4th, of course.
Before we went, I really don’t know which Epcot ride or attraction to book for our Epcot Fastpass+. I did an extensive research to make sure we get on the right attractions. Follow these Fastpass Tips and prioritize it when booking your Disney World vacation as the more popular attractions may run out.
Tier 1: I would suggest getting either Frozen Ever After, Soarin’ and Test Track.
Tier 2: Choose Mission Space, Epcot Character Spot, and The Seas with Nemo and Friends.
The FastPass+ I booked coz’ my girls are quite young for Soarin’ and Test Track is Frozen Ever After, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, and Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot. Note that the lines for Fastpass+ may also be quite long during the holidays. We went the week before Christmas and it was as you guessed it – still long even with a FastPass+! I can only imagine how that will be like without it.
5. Go inside each building at Disney World Epcot
Explore every building at Epcot. We initially didn’t go inside the Mayan Temple in the Mexico Pavillion because we didn’t know there was a boat tour inside and we were trying to get to the Frozen area (Norway) that early morning when we visited. When we went back to Epcot that night after a nap back at our Disney Resort, we were amazed at how beautiful the Mayan Temple was inside. If you’ve seen the Coco movie, which we love, you will see it here. And there’s a nice restaurant just beside the boat tour.
6. Watch the Dragon Legend Acrobats show and the Reflections of China at China Pavillion
The Dragon Legend Acrobat show is just outside the China pavillion, do check times so you don’t miss it. But also, make sure to watch the 14-minute 360-degreee film about China inside the Temple of Heaven replica. It was my favorite at Epcot.
7. Make time for a Disney Character Meet & Greet at Epcot
You will only be able to do a character meet & greet with Anna, Elsa, Joy, Sadness, and Baymax at Epcot, you won’t find them at the other Disney World theme parks. Here’s a complete listing of the Disney Character Meet & Greet available at Epcot.
- Meet Anna & Elsa and Joy and Sadness
- Meet Baymax at Hiro’s Workshop
- Meet Disney Pals at Legacy Plaza West
- Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot
- Meet Joy and Sadness at Headquarters
- Meet Anna & Elsa at Royal Sommerhaus
- Meet a Wonderful Friend and Mary Poppins in the United Kingdom
- Meet Belle in France
- Meet Donald Duck in Mexico
- Meet Mulan in China
- Meet Princess Jasmine in Morocco
- Meet Snow White in Germany
8. Grab some pastries at Kringla Bakeri og Kafe.
If you love bread and butter, visit Kringla Bakeri og Kafe in the Norway Pavillion to grab some School Bread. I liked it. The girls ordered something else but it was good too! This should be #1 on our 10 Tips for Visiting Disney World Epcot.
9. Visit EPCOT when there’s a festival
Make your visit even more special by visiting Disney World Epcot when there’s an ongoing festival. Here are some of them:
- Epcot International Festival of the Arts
- Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – Feb to May
- Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
10. Find the best spot to view IllumiNATIONS: Reflections of Earth
IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is a nightly light and fireworks show at the World Showcase Lagoon. You can see it anywhere around the lagoon but try to get to any of the best IllumiNATIONS viewing spots hours before it starts for the best chance of seeing it well especially if you want to take a video of it. Here are some of the spots:
- La Hacienda de San Angel in Mexico
- Rose & Crown Pub in the United Kingdom
- World Showcase Plaza
- Benches in China
- Second Floor terrace at Tokyo Dining
- International Getaway Island pedestrian bridge
- Gondola Landing in Italy.
Looking for more Tips for Visiting Disney World Epcot? Check out these related posts:
- The Ultimate 2 Week Orlando Itinerary
- 15 Ways to Save on an Orlando Vacation
- 10 Tips for Planning a Disney World Vacation
- Legoland Florida VS Legoland California
- 10 Tips for Visiting Kennedy Space Center
- Where to Stay in Downtown Orlando