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How to plan day at epcot

One of the highlights of any Disney vacation is a trip to Epcot. There are good rides, great food, and a wide variety of things to do. Before you book those fastpasses and decide what to do, though, we want you to take a look at our Epcot touring plan and use it to help you plan a great day in the Epcot park.

Epcot Touring Plan

Now with or without a touring plan, anyone will usually be able to hit the main rides at this park, due to the simple fact that there aren’t a large number of headliners. Our goal, however, is to help you do that as efficiently as possible, so that you can then relax in whichever way you choose. Epcot is a great place to relax and enjoy the day in a bevy of different atmospheres.

soarin epcot touring plan

Fastpass Booking

Like Hollywood studios, Epcot has a tiering system. Unfortunately 3 of the best Epcot rides, Soarin , Test Track, and Frozen Ever After are all in Group A. Group B is a rather sad group of fastpasses. But we are going to carry on anyway, because this plan will still save you a lot of time especially in the ultra-busy seasons when even rides such as Spaceship Earth boast 40-60 minute wait times!

9:30-10:30 – Epcot Character Spot

10:30-11:30 – Epcot Character Spot

12:00-1:00 – Frozen Ever After

spaceship earth epcot

A view of Spaceship Earth from Across the Pond!

Epcot Touring Plan

As with all of our touring plans, we are going to assume you are arriving 30 minutes ahead of the opening, ready to knock out a half-empty park!

9:05 – – Soarin – Since you didn’t get a fastpass for this ride, we want you to head there first. If you don’t do Soarin first thing, the wait times will skyrocket. If you haven’t done Soarin in awhile, you’ll notice some changes! No longer do you soar over California, now you soar over the entire world!

9:25 – Livin With the Land – After you do Soarin, see Livin With the Land in the same building.

9:45 – Nemo and Turtle Talk w/Crush – The Finding Nemo ride is fun for small children, though it may bore older children. The Turtle Talk show is a hidden gem, and I highly recommend seeing it after the ride.

10:15 – Fastpass – Character Spot – This first fastpass allows you to meet the a bunch of Disney characters at one time. Wait times are quite erratic here. If you see 5 minute wait times, just use your fastpass anyway so that you can move on to getting new ones.

Epcot Touring Plan

Look for this sign.

10:45 – Fastpass – Mission Space – Your second fastpass will be used on this ride. Of course, you’ll need to decide whether you want to do Green or Orange before you book your fastpass.

11:10 – It’s time to do Test Track. You have two options. First, you can stand in line for the full ride. The wait times will likely be quite high. Second, you can ride the single rider. I highly recommend this, unless you have small children who won’t want to be separated.

Epcot Touring Plan Test Track

Test Track

12:15 – Fastpass – Frozen Ever After – Epcot’s newest ride is dedicated to the blockbuster movie that your kids probably played a million times. This ride does a great job of capturing the spirit of Frozen. It’s done exceptionally well.

12:45 – Lunch – At this point, (we’re serious), you’ve knocked out the vast majority of the major attractions in the front part of the park. We highly recommend that you use lunchtime to experience the cuisine from around the World Showcase. Be aware though, it’s quite large. On a hot day, the walk around the World Showcase from 1-4 can be nightmarish.

At this point, you are going to have some decisions to make. There are a number of things you may have missed in the front of the park. Do you want to ride those? If so, go to the fastpass kiosks, and start grabbing fastpasses and hitting anything you may have missed. Some of the main attractions left are Spaceship Earth and Figment. Depending on the fastpass selection, you may get lucky and grab additional Soarin or Test Track fastpasses, though this will differ greatly based on overall availability.

If you feel that you need a break, the after lunch period is also a good time to go take a nap or relax at the resort before heading back to Epcot for dinner.

If your family really wants to do the World Showcase, take your time and enjoy. In the hot part of the day, take time to go inside the countries and experience different shows and events. Grab a beer in Germany, see the Donald Duck boat ride in Mexico, and the acrobats in China.

Epcot Touring Plan

Inside the Pyramid at Mexico

Dinner and Illuminations – Make sure that you know when Illuminations takes place, and try to line up 30 minutes ahead of time. When it comes to dining reservations, it seems as if Disney restaurants always take longer than you think they will. So if illuminations is at 9PM, don’t get a 7:45 reservation and think that you will be out in time to get good seats. Eating earlier in the evening, is smarter, so that you can get a good view of the fireworks.

Also, don’t even bother getting a fastpass for Illuminations. It’s quite possibly the worst fastpass in all of Disney. They put a massive group of people up front in a big area. It’s MUCH smarter to just stake out a claim somewhere around the lake 45 minutes before the show starts.

epcot touring plan illuminations

Illuminations…BEFORE the magic

Epcot is a fantastic park, and this brief touring plan will help you to maximize your time, minimize unnecessary walking and enjoy the many activities and attractions in this theme park.

Ready for tips on touring the Magic Kingdom?

Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida

Epcot would be, in Disney's vision, a "living blueprint of the future" where real people actually lived.

In the wake of Disney's death in 1966 and the debut of Disney World in 1971, Disney's vision of Epcot was put on hold.

In the late 1970s, the Disney board deemed that a community would be unworkable, and instead decided to build an Epcot theme park that would have the feel of a World's Fair. Epcot has two distinct areas.

  • Future World, true to Walt Disney's vision, revolves around technology and innovation. This is where you'll find many of the popular attractions and also many interactive exhibit spaces.
  • World Showcase is an around-the-world tour featuring 11 pavilions from different countries, including fabulous, authentic dining experiences, and live entertainment. You'll find the Frozen Ever After attraction in the Norway pavilion, along with a meet-and-greet with Anna and Elsa.

​​Epcot is perhaps the most underrated park at Disney World. There are some cool, under-the-radar attractions for little kids, and tweens and teens will find plenty to love.

Top Tips for Epcot

  • Stay nearby.
Epcot has a number of very clever, cool attractions for younger kids, including Honey I Shrunk the Kids and Turtle Talk with Crush. And don't miss Spaceship Earth, the ride inside the iconic geosphere that looms over the park's entrance.
  • Return to the World Showcase for dinner. Did you spend lunchtime in Italy? For dinner, try France, Japan, Canada, or Mexico. Stroll through the showcase at a leisurely pace so you can enjoy watching the live entertainers, such as acrobats in China or a mime in France.
    • Stay for the fireworks. This is where that midday nap will come in handy. Epcot's spectacular night-time IllumiNations fireworks display is a must-see. Arrive early for a good viewing spot.

    Epcot Festivals and Special Events

    Visitors get some great extras at Epcot during certain times of year.

    • Fall: In October and November, the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival offers an amazing array of cuisine, chefs, wine, and tasting events.

    – Edited by Suzanne Rowan Kelleher

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    Now with or without a touring plan, anyone will usually be able to hit the main rides at this park, due to the simple fact that there aren’t a large number of headliners. Our goal, however, is to help you do that as efficiently as possible, so that you can then relax in whichever way you choose. Epcot is a great place to relax and enjoy the day in a bevy of different atmospheres.

    Fastpass Booking

    Like Hollywood studios, Epcot has a tiering system. Unfortunately 3 of the best Epcot rides, Soarin , Test Track, and Frozen Ever After are all in Group A. Group B is a rather sad group of fastpasses. But we are going to carry on anyway, because this plan will still save you a lot of time especially in the ultra-busy seasons when even rides such as Spaceship Earth boast 40-60 minute wait times!

    9:30-10:30 – Epcot Character Spot

    10:30-11:30 – Epcot Character Spot

    12:00-1:00 – Frozen Ever After

    A view of Spaceship Earth from Across the Pond!

    If you don’t do Soarin first thing, the wait times will skyrocket. If you haven’t done Soarin in awhile, you’ll notice some changes! No longer do you soar over California, now you soar over the entire world!

    9:25 – Livin With the Land – After you do Soarin, see Livin With the Land in the same building.

    9:45 – Nemo and Turtle Talk w/Crush – The Finding Nemo ride is fun for small children, though it may bore older children. The Turtle Talk show is a hidden gem, and I highly recommend seeing it after the ride.

    10:15 – Fastpass – Character Spot – This first fastpass allows you to meet the a bunch of Disney characters at one time. Wait times are quite erratic here. If you see 5 minute wait times, just use your fastpass anyway so that you can move on to getting new ones.

    Look for this sign.

    10:45 – Fastpass – Mission Space – Your second fastpass will be used on this ride.

    Second, you can ride the single rider. I highly recommend this, unless you have small children who won’t want to be separated.

    Test Track

    12:15 – Fastpass – Frozen Ever After – Epcot’s newest ride is dedicated to the blockbuster movie that your kids probably played a million times. This ride does a great job of capturing the spirit of Frozen. It’s done exceptionally well.

    12:45 – Lunch – At this point, (we’re serious), you’ve knocked out the vast majority of the major attractions in the front part of the park. We highly recommend that you use lunchtime to experience the cuisine from around the World Showcase. Be aware though, it’s quite large. On a hot day, the walk around the World Showcase from 1-4 can be nightmarish.

    At this point, you are going to have some decisions to make. There are a number of things you may have missed in the front of the park. Do you want to ride those?

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