Easy to Follow One Day Epcot Itinerary

This one day Epcot Itinerary will help you plan your day at Epcot during your Walt Disney World vacation.

Epcot is part of Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. It is one of the four Disney theme parks. Magic Kingdom, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, and Disney’s Animal Kingdom being the other three.

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.

Planning a 1-day Epcot itinerary can feel a bit overwhelming because it is a large park. We have toured the park with our kids when they were young children as well as visiting Disney as teens.

I hope this helps you plan your day at Epcot!

How to Plan One Day Epcot Itinerary

  • Decide on the top rides at Epcot that you are interested in and prioritize them.
  • Understand the most popular rides at Epcot and which ones you want to ride. Plan your day around them.
  • Decide if you will purchase Genie+ for your visit.

These are the basics to how I plan our 1-day visits to Epcot. You want to plan it around the rides and attractions you want to visit. In this post I am going to share how I put together an Epcot itinerary and sample itineraries for Epcot.

Want to learn more? Read on for our One Day Epcot Itinerary.

epcot 2 days at disney world topiaries
Flower and Garden Festival is a fun time of year to visit Epcot.

Familiarize Yourself with Epcot Layout

Before you visit Epcot you want to take a look at the map of the park.

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 were previously Future World.

Guests staying at an Epcot hotel will enter Epcot at International Gateway. Guests arriving via the parking lot or bus transportation will enter at the front of the park.

If you are entering from a Skyliner resort(Epcot hotels), 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.

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. Below are the most popular attractions in each area.

  • 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, Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana
  • 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.

epcot map for planning one day at the park

Learn How to Use 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.

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 Lanes.

The cost for Genie+ 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 is not included in Genie+ and guests wanting to reserve a time need to book an Individual Lightning Lane or book a Virtual Queue boarding time.
  • A boarding group time is free but must request through the My Disney Experience app at 7:00am. It runs out quickly. Currently, there is no stand-by line for this attraction.
  • Cost for individual lightning lanes varies from $15.00 and up per person. This is not included in Genie+ cost.
  • If you do not receive a boarding group at the 7:00am hour you will have another opportunity to request at 1:00pm.

Guests that don’t want to use the paid service can still use the regular lines for most attractions. As you would expect some visits may warrant an upgrade to Genie+ 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 lines and 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 theme park 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.

The best strategy for early entry is to ride the attraction that is the most important to you and most popular.

united kingdom at epcot

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 here.

Special Events at Epcot

Epcot hosts many special events throughout the year. These typically bring crowds especially later in the afternoon. It is good to be aware of Special Events when planning your day at Epcot.

  • 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)

Now that we have gone through the basics of planning your day at Epcot I want to share an Epcot Itinerary that has worked well for us.

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.

Read this post if it is your first time at Epcot.

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.

epcot itinerary planning canada pavilion
The Canada Pavilion at Epcot.

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 guests can meet Figment and Joy from Inside Out.

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 (Sample 1)

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 (Sample 2)

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.

  1. Test Track
  2. Frozen Ever After
  3. Soarin’
  4. The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  5. Spend a bit of time exploring the Aquarium at the exit. You can see manatees and dolphins here.
  6. Spaceship Earth
  7. Journey Into Imagination with Figment
  8. Living with the Land
  9. Lunch: 11:45 am Garden Grill Character Meal (Need Reservations)
  10. Start World Showcase in Canada (Stay to the Right)
  11. World Showcase: Canada, United Kingdom, France, Morocco, Japan, America, Italy, Germany, China
  12. Mexican Pavilion-Explore the Coco exhibit inside and ride the Gran Fiesta Tour Featuring the Three Caballeros
  13. 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 most popular rides at Epcot for adults are Soarin’ Over the World, Test Track, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

As an adult I enjoy all the attractions so don’t skip them if they seem more for kids. They are all fun!

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.

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.

Read Next: Step by Step Disney World 7 Day Itinerary Planning Guide

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