This guide to things to do in Epcot at Walt Disney World will help you plan your day at the Disney park. Includes the best rides at Epcot, what to do at Epcot, and a one day Epcot itinerary to plan your day.
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It is a very large park with a focus on different cultures, technology, and nature of our world. There are unique areas to explore at the World Showcase pavilions and Epcot is also home to the second largest aquarium in the United States.
This guide will give you details on the best things to do in Epcot and share our one day Epcot itinerary.
Before you arrive at the Disney Parks be sure to purchase tickets, make resorts reservations, and book your park day reservation. Check out our partner Undercover Tourist for the best deals on theme park tickets, hotels, and attractions to save money on your trip!
Top Things to Do in Epcot at Walt Disney World
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Guardians is the newest ride at Epcot and is the most popular. This thrill ride is a family friendly roller coaster set to a fun soundtrack. At this time there is no stand-by line. Guests must join the virtual queue or purchase an individual lightning lane.
Pick Up a Snack from Las Halles in France
One of my favorite places to get a snack is Las Halles in the France pavilion. There are many options here from traditional baked goods to sandwiches.
Everyone in our family like the traditional baguette.
Frozen Ever After
Expect long lines for the Frozen Ever After attraction. This boat ride features Elsa, Anna, Sven, and Olaf on an adventure. It is a really cute ride for all ages.
Disney’s DuckTales World Showcase Adventure
This is an interactive game guests can play on their device. Download the Play Disney Parks mobile app to help solve mysteries and find some fun hidden secrets along the way.
This is located in the World Showcase pavilion and you will have to walk around to find the answers to your questions. Cast Members will also interact with you and help if you need it.
Explore the Japan Pavilion
The Japan Pavilion has a large gift shop as well as a museum area to explore. We really like checking out this area especially on hot days.
Living with the Land
Living with the Land is a slow boat ride that goes through a greenhouse and talks about resources of the Earth. A lot of the food grown in this area is used in the restaurants at Epcot.
The Seas Aquarium
The Seas Aquarium is home to many sea creatures as well the the Finding Nemo attraction, The Seas with Nemo and Friends. This is a great area for all ages. The ride is fun and the aquarium as a lot to explore.
This area also has the interactive show Turtle Talk with Crush.
Test Track allows guests to create and customize their own car. Then put it to the test against the elements. The ride ends with a speed test reaching up to 60mph. Test Track is great for all ages.
Soarin’ is a simulator type attraction. Some people that do not like heights might not enjoy this but most people find it okay. It is inside the Land pavilion.
Take Time to Explore the Different Areas of Each Country in the World Showcase
A lot of time at theme parks guests are rushed from one thing to the next. If you can I suggest taking time to explore the different shops and show within each of the countries.
Each one has different food items and unique things to discover.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Remy’s is a family fun 3D trackless ride that is a new addition to the France pavilion. It is a copy of the attraction at Disneyland Paris and a fun addition to Epcot.
Planning Posts for Visiting Epcot at Disney World
- Best Snacks at Epcot | Snacking Around Epcot’s World Showcase
- Epcot vs. Magic Kingdom: Which Disney Park is Best?
- Epcot with Kids: Tips for Planning a Day at Epcot for Families
- Where to Eat Breakfast at Epcot
- What are the Countries in Epcot’s World Showcase
Things to Consider When Visiting Epcot
What will the crowds be like during your visit? Is it a busy season or low crowd season? Typically weekends, holidays, and summer are the busiest times to visit Epcot. You can check crowd levels here.
When planning a visit to Epcot it helps to learn more about all the things to do in Epcot and plan your day around what is best for your family.
Determine what rides and attractions your group wants to ride. Do they meet all the height requirements for the attractions? Also consider the weather during your visit? Will you want to take a mid-day break if it is hot or rainy?
The final thing to consider when planning your itinerary for Epcot is will you purchase Genie+ (the replacement for FastPass) for your visit.
Genie+ at Epcot
Genie+ at Epcot is the the replacement to Fastpass+ at Epcot. There are a few things to understand about how this works.
Disney Genie is a complimentary service offered through the My Disney Experience App that will allow guests to customize and create their visits to the Disney parks.
In theory this will help guests know the best times to visit attractions that they want to see and do. I have not used this or know anyone who finds this helpful.
Most guests will either plan their day on their own or use the paid reservation system: Disney Genie+
Genie+ is an upgraded service that will allow guests to make reservations for popular attractions one at time on the day of visit.
Guests will enter the attractions through the Lightning Lane. The cost fluctuates depending on crowd levels but starts around $15.00/day.
Attractions included in Genie+ at Epcot
- Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
- Frozen Ever After
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Living with the Land
- Mission: SPACE – Green
- Mission: SPACE – Orange
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Spaceship Earth
- Test Track
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
Individual Lighting Lane:
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
- Cost varies from $15.00 and up per person. This is not included in Genie+ cost.
Guests that don’t want to use the paid service can still use the regular lines. As you would expect some visits may warrant an upgrade and some visits, during low season, the upgrade will not be necessary.
More details can be found here.
Recently we had an opportunity to use Genie+ at Epcot and this was my take-away:
- We purchased Genie+ around 6:30am the day of our visit. It cost $22.00 a person. This price fluctuates depending on the date of your visit. We were visiting during a break/high crowd season.
- Guests can make their first reservation at 7:00am. Then you can make it 2 hours from opening time (11:00am for a 9:00am park open) or when you use the first one.
- The most popular rides may run out of times early in the day. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Frozen Ever After, and Test Track are the most popular.
- We booked a Remy’s for 4:55pm-5:55pm time slot at 7:00am, which goes to show how quick they fill up.
- At 11:00am when I went to book Frozen it was gone. Test Track was also gone. I booked Soarin but was frustrated.
- I continued to check the app and refresh. Eventually we did secure a Test Track time.
- Frozen never became available. Be prepared to change your plans or lower your expectations on busy days.
- We did end up using Genie+ to ride everything except for Mission Space and Frozen. Mission Space had availability but we had to leave the park early due to other circumstances.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is NOT part of Genie+ as of now. You can purchase an individual lightning lane or join the virtual queue. These are the only options to ride as of now.
Is Genie+ Worth It??
Yes, it saved us time waiting for rides.
Is Genie+ frustrating?
Yes, at times I was on my phone more than I wanted to be and we did a lot of walking back and forth depending on what was available.
If you don’t want the frustration you can skip Genie+ but be prepared for long wait times during the busy season.
Rope Drop at Epcot and Early Entry On-Site Advantage
If you want to take advantage of rope drop consider using early entry for on-site guests.
Rope drop is the name for when the park officially opens. It is when they “drop the rope” to allow guests on the attractions.
If you are an on-site guest at Disney World you can enter the park 30 minutes prior to official park opening.
This allows you to be one of the first people to ride the attractions and can help avoid crowds for the first few hours the park is open.
Costs of Visiting Epcot
It is also important to check ticket prices and hours before you arrive. Epcot one day ticket price starts at $109.00 a day. This price depends on the date of your visit and can change.
Check ticket prices from our partner at Undercover Tourist: Epcot Ticket Deals!
Guests are also required to make reservations for the day they are visiting. Keep this in mind when purchasing tickets. You will need to know what day you would like to visit.
Hours also vary by the time of year. Shorter daily hours are in the lower crowd days and off-season, or on days where there is a special event.
Special Events at Epcot
Epcot hosts many special events throughout the year. These typically bring crowds especially later in the afternoon.
- Festival of the Arts (January/February)
- Broadway Concerts (January)
- Flower and Garden Festival (March-July)
- Food and Wine Festival (July-November)
- Festival of the Holidays (November/December)
Coming Soon to Epcot
I wanted to include what is coming soon to Epcot because new things are always being added to the parks.
- Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana (Opening Summer 2023)
- CommuniCore Hall (Rotating exhibit space and Mickey & Friends meet and greet area)
- All New Night-Time Show
- Figment Meet and Greet at Imagination! pavilion (Late 2023)
Before you visit Epcot you want to take a look at the map of the park. Epcot has currently changed its “lands”.
Previously Epcot was divided into two parts: Future World and The World Showcase. Now Epcot has World Celebration, World Discovery, and World Nature areas that used to be Future World.
The World areas is where you will enter the park if you are entering from the parking lot or the bus drop off.
If you are entering from a Skyliner resort, like Art of Animation, Pop Century, Caribbean Beach, or the Riviera Resort, you will enter in The World Showcase at the International Gateway which is between France and the United Kingdom.
Epcot is divided into four areas. World Nature, World Discovery, and World Celebration is at the front of the park and The World Showcase is towards the back of the park.
- World Nature: Soarin’, Living with the Land, Seas with Nemo and Friends
- World Discovery: Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, Test Track
- World Celebration: Spaceship Earth, Moana Attraction (opening summer 2023)
- The World Showcase: Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Looking over the map will give you a better idea of the layout of the park and allow you to organize your Epcot touring plan easily.
FAQ’s About Epcot
Epcot is a huge park. Expect to do a lot of walking. Epcot also hosts many festivals throughout the year like the Food & Wine Festival, Festival of the Arts, and Flower and Garden.
These are included with admission ticket.
Is Epcot a Full Day Park?
Epcot attractions can be done in a full day but you will do a lot of walking. Expect to spend the entire day at the parks if you want to see and do everything.
Even with a full day it will be difficult to see everything. If you have two days to visit Epcot and there is a lot your family wants to see and do you may want to plan that.
Is Epcot for Kids?
Many people think Epcot is not for kids but I have to disagree. There are attractions and activities for kids to do and Epcot is one of our favorite parks.
I wrote an entire article about Epcot with Kids that you should read if you are visiting with kids.
Are there scary rides at Epcot?
The rides at Epcot are not really scary but if you are concerned you can search on youtube for the attraction to see what to expect.
Mission Space(Orange) and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind may be too intense for very small children.
How to get to Epcot
Most guests will arrive through the main entrance at Future World. Guests will arrive by car or resort bus transportation and walk to the entrance.
If you are staying at an Epcot monorail resorts you will use the monorail to arrive at Epcot.
Guests staying at a Skyliner resort will arrive at the World Showcase. From here they will enter Future World.
How to Plan 1 Day at Epcot
Where to Start Your Epcot Itinerary
Where you start your day at Epcot will depend on your priorities as well as any dining reservations you may have. Epcot is a very large park and to avoid walking back and forth you want to plan your day as efficient as possible.
If you purchased Genie+ you will want to make your first reservation at 7:00am for later in the day. This will probably be done in your hotel room.
I suggest booking afternoon times and take advantage of the first two hours of park open to ride attractions stand-by.
If there is a virtual queue attraction try to join at 7:00am. Currently Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind has a virtual queue or guests can purchase an individual lightning lane.
Virtual queue is free to anyone with an admission ticket. Individual Lightning Lane is paid.
Once you have secured virtual queue book your first Genie+ pass, if you are using Genie+)
We suggest booking Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Frozen Ever After, Test Track. In that order. You can only book one at the start of your day.
If you book Remy’s plan to rope drop Frozen.
If you are planning to ride Frozen but not use the Lighting Pass this should be your first attraction. Then Test Track followed by Soarin’. Also use this strategy if you don’t purchase Genie+.
If you don’t mind walking a lot you could also do Test Track-Frozen-Soarin.
The most popular attractions at Epcot are Frozen Ever After, Soarin’, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and Test Track. You will want to make time to ride all of these during your day at Epcot.
I know Epcot sounds like a ping-pong kind of day but you can easily take your time for the rest of the day if you get the most popular attractions done within the first 2 hours of park opening.
Afternoon at Epcot
In the afternoon you can either take a break back at your resort or ride the World Nature/Celebration/Discovery attractions you have not done.
This is a great time to explore the aquarium and ride The Seas with Nemo and Friends.
Evenings at Epcot
Evening at Epcot are great within the World Showcase. If you want to avoid crowds do afternoon in the World Showcase instead. We like strolling through the countries exploring the pavilion shops and food options.
Dining at Epcot
There are so many amazing places to eat at Epcot. Especially in the World Showcase. I go into details in this article about our World Showcase Itinerary with Kids including where we ate.
There are many quick service and table service options at all price points.
A few of our favorites are:
- Les Halles in France Pavilion, Read More About our Favorite Epcot Breakfast!
- La Cantina de San Angel in Mexico Pavilion
- Regal Eagle in American Pavilion
- Katsura Grill in Japan
Honestly all 11 countries in the World Showcase have amazing food to try. I suggest doing some research ahead of time on the Disney website and pick what works for your family.
If you are using quick service dining I highly recommend using mobile ordering to save time waiting in lines at the restaurants. Learn more about Mobile Ordering.
Shows at Epcot
Every country has shows that showcase their culture. Some of the shows are movies and some are live street performers.
The Disney App will tell you the daily time of shows you may want to include in your Epcot touring plan.
At France you can be part of the new Beauty and the Beast sing-along or watch the O’ Canada movie in the 360 degree theater.
Characters at Epcot
Epcot is a great place to meet characters. You can meet Wreck-It Ralph as well as characters throughout the countries.
Guests can meet Mulan in China and Elsa and Anna in Norway.
There are also meet and greets in the other areas of the park. At the exit area for Journey Into Imagination with Figment guests can meet Joy from Inside Out and Vanellope from Wreck-It-Ralph.
Disney Parks announced the a Figment meet and greet will be opening in summer 2023.
When planning your Epcot itinerary it is important to consider what you and your family are interested in, and plan around that.
The best days at Disney are the days where you do not try to fit everything in and do what works best for you.
Make a list of your top priorities and then enjoy the amazing attractions and entertainment that you do experience, without worrying about what you might not get to.
We have done Epcot in one day but if you have two days you may want to give yourself time to explore the World Showcase more.
There is so much to learn and explore in this area. If you only have one day at Epcot you can still see the best of the park and have a great day.
Epcot Itinerary for One Day
I always start planning our Disney vacations with a worksheet and pencil. Then I go through and plan each day. This is an example of an ideal day at Epcot.
If park opening is later than the times adjust accordingly.
Epcot Itinerary (February 2023)
6:30am Purchased Genie+ for the day. Made sure my party was listed on my account.
7:00am Joined virtual queue for Guardians of the Galaxy. Booked a Genie+ for Remy’s at 4:55pm.
7:40am Walked from the Walt Disney World Dolphin resort to Epcot.
8:15am Rope drop Remy’s. We rope dropped Remy’s because we had never done it but if I was to do this again I would have rope dropped Frozen because we ended up not riding Frozen.
9:00am Received a notification of our Guardians of the Galaxy boarding group was ready.
10:00am Gran Fiesta Tour in Mexico. Started playing the Ducktale’s game on the Play Disney app and got a snack.
11:00am Tried to get a Frozen Genie+ but they were sold out for the day! Tried for Test Track, that was also gone for the day. Made a Soarin’ Genie+
At this point the crowds were already getting pretty big. It was a very busy day. If you visit during the busy season adjust your expectations.
We were able to ride Spaceship Earth, Soarin’, Living with the Land, The Seas with Nemo, Journey Into Imagination, and Test Track by the end of the day.
We did a lot of back and forth walking, which can be difficult in Epcot. Then one of my kids got sick and we had to pivot again.
If we had time we would have taken a break at the resort, returned for dinner, and tried to get on Frozen Ever After.
Sometimes a Disney day doesn’t go as planned and we have to be flexible…although it is not easy!
Epcot Itinerary (2021)
7:00am: Go on the My Disney Experience App and join any available virtual queues. Then reserve your first Genie+ Lightning Lane.
7:30am-7:45am: Take the bus from Resort to Epcot. We always decide the time we need to leave the night before. Remember to consider drive time, walking to entrance, and other things you may need…like coffee!
8:20am-8:30am: Line up at Epcot entrance. We usually eat granola bars and cereal while we wait for the gates to open.
9:00am: Park Opens!! Enter the park and started to walk directly to Test Track for the first ride of the day. This is a plan without Genie+ or Lightning Lane.
- Test Track
- Frozen Ever After
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends
- Spend a bit of time exploring the Aquarium at the exit. You can see manatees and dolphins here.
- Spaceship Earth
- Journey Into Imagination with Figment
- Living with the Land
- Lunch: 11:45 am Garden Grill Character Meal (Need Reservations)
- Start World Showcase in Canada (Stay to the Right)
- World Showcase: Canada, United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Japan, America, Italy, Germany, China
- Mexican Pavilion-Explore the Coco exhibit inside and ride the Gran Fiesta Tour Featuring the Three Caballeros
- Any Attractions we missed or wanted to ride again. Ride Mission Space.
You will also want to make a point to meet characters at Epcot. Check out the park guide when you arrive at the park to plan your day.
This plan also requires a bit of back and forth to ride all the attractions in the front of the park. On a very crowded day you may have to skip attractions or be prepared to wait in longer lines.
Epcot Itinerary for Toddlers
If you are visiting with young children I suggest these attractions:
- Frozen Ever After
- Gran Fiesta Tour with the Three Caballeros
- Meet Characters like Alice in the United Kingdom, Belle in France, Donald in Mexico, Wreck It Ralph.
- Take time to play at the indoor play area at the exit of Journey with Figment.
- Collect postcards as you visit the countries in the World Showcase. This is a free activity with Kid Cot locations at each country.
- See the large train exhibit in Germany.
Epcot Itinerary for Adults
Adults may want to spend more time exploring the World Showcase and sampling beverages and food.
The best way to explore Epcot as an adult is to take your time visiting each country. Watch the shows and movies, sample the different foods, and take a slower pace through the areas.
Planning your Epcot itinerary should be a fun way to get you excited for your Disney World vacation. With so many fun things to do at Epcot, it will be a great addition to your family vacation.
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