Are you planning your Epcot Itinerary and need a place to start? In this article I will share how to plan the best one day Epcot touring plan to minimize wait times and maximize your day at Disney World theme park.
This post may contain affiliate links.
Epcot is part of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It is a large park where you can experience different cultures and countries in the World Showcase or spend the day enjoying a look at what our world is and will be.
When planning your Epcot 1 day itinerary you should consider a few things before you leave your home.
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.
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.
Epcot Itinerary for One Day
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(Opening Summer 2022), Test Track
- World Celebration: Spaceship Earth, Moana Attraction
- The World Showcase: Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
The map below shows what Epcot looked like before the changes to the lands. Future World West is now World Nature. The Center as you enter is World Celebration and Future World East is World Discovery.
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.
Epcot Ticket Costs
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 for Epcot here.
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. Epcot hours are usually 11:00am-9:00pm. World Showcase opens at 11:00am.
Genie+ at Epcot
Genie+ at Epcot is the new program replacing Fastpass+ at Epcot. FastPass+ is being retired and a new system Genie+ is replacing it.
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. In regards to replacing FastPass it will offer an add on service called Genie+.
Genie+ will be an upgraded service that will allow guests to make reservations for popular attractions one at time on the day of visit. This is very different than the 60 days in advance guests were used to with FastPass.
Guests will enter the attractions through the Lightning Lane. Once they have entered an attraction they can make their next attraction reservation. This will cost $15.00 per day per person.
Attractions included in Genie+ at Epcot
- Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
- Frozen Ever After (February 25th-August 7th)
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Living with the Land
- Mission: SPACE – Green
- Mission: SPACE – Orange
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Spaceship Earth
- Test Track
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
Individual Lighting Lane:
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Cost varies from $7.00 and up.
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.
Things to Know 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 your visit.
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.
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.
Arriving at 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 a 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. The World Showcase is not open until 11:00am with some exceptions.
The France Bakery, Les Halles, is open at 9:00am to guests. We absolutely loved Les Halles. The breakfast was amazing!! You can check out our Epcot breakfast is this video below. Update: Recently Epcot hours have changed, keep this in mind when planning your day.
I still suggest visiting Les Halles for a quick snack during your day at Epcot.
The Frozen Ever After attraction is also open at park opening. Guests wanting to ride Frozen first need to head in the direction of the Mexico Pavilion.
If you plan on riding Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure you must purchase a Lightning Lane ticket or secure a virtual queue ticket on the My Disney Experience App. There is no stand-by line for Remy’s.
1 Day Epcot Itinerary
Where to Start Your Epcot Itinerary
Where you start your day at Epcot will depend on your priorities as well as any dining 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.
Also at 7:00am purchase lightning lane pass for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure if you are planning too. Guests can also reserve their first Genie+ reservation if they are staying on-site.
Obviously you can’t do both at the same time. For our planning we would do Remy’s first then book a Lightning Lane time for Test Track or Soarin’ later in the day.
Then we would start our day at Frozen Ever After for Stand-by line.
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 at the Seas with Nemo and Friends too.
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. Due to COVID character meet and greets are slowly returning. Keep this in mind during your visit.
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.
Sample Epcot 1 Day Itinerary
Epcot Itinerary for Families
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.
7:00am: Go on the My Disney Experience App and secure a time for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
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.
Updates on our latest destination and theme park posts so you never miss a thing and can start planning your next family adventure. Don’t worry we won’t spam you with lots of emails. We know you are busy and only share the best! Sign up for Five for the Road Newsletters.
Pin for Later