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.
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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 what time your FastPass reservations are and dining reservations. The times of these will impact how your plan your day at Epcot and where you will need to be. Read this article where I go into details about our Epcot Fastpass recommendations.
Epcot Itinerary for One Day
Before you visit Epcot you want to take a look at the map of the park. Epcot is divided into two parts: Future World and The World Showcase.
Future World 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 or the Riviera Resort, you will enter in The World Showcase between France and the United Kingdom.
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.
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.
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 9:00am-9:00pm. World Showcase opens at 11:00am.
Extra Magic hours can also affect the hours at Epcot. Extra Magic hours allow on-site resort guests entry into the park an hour early or a few hours after park closes. Read our 7 Reasons for Staying On-Site During Your Disney World Vacation.
Epcot is divided into two distinct areas. Future World is where most guests will enter the park and The World Showcase is where guests can visit and explore countries.
Future World has popular attractions like Test Track, Soarin’ and Spaceship Earth. It also has the Seas with Nemo and Friends, Journey Into Imagination with Figment, and Living with the Land.
Epcot’s Future World is undergoing a huge refurbishment that will completely transform the area. It will divide Future World into 3 distinct areas: World Nature, World Celebration, and World Discovery. These new Worlds will add a Guardians of the Galaxy attraction, Moana attraction, and an interactive PLAY! Pavilion. Read more about the Epcot transformation here.
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 breakfast is this video below.
The Frozen Ever After attraction is also open at 9:00am. The best way to start lining up for this is to walk through Future World and around. You will not be able to get to Frozen through the World Showcase until after 11:00am.
The World Showcase is also adding attractions in the next few years. They are adding Remy’s Ratatouille Experience in France and a Mary Poppins attraction in the United Kingdom. We do not have many details but my guess is these attractions will open at 9:00am. Remy’s is expected to open in 2020 and Mary Poppins has not been given an opening date.
Where to Start Your Epcot Itinerary
Where you start your day at Epcot will depend on your FastPass reservations 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.
I highly suggest securing a FastPass for Frozen Ever After in the afternoon and work on riding the attractions in Future World in the morning. With this plan you would want to start your day with Test Track and then move on to Soarin’.
This will include a bit of speed walking but it will benefit you to ride those attractions in the first hour of park opening. After you ride those attractions you can go at your own speed. I would suggest booking a FastPass for Spaceship Earth around 10:30 and Mission Space around 11:30.
This will allow you to ride Soarin’ and Living with the Land, then ride the Seas with Nemo and explore the aquarium at the ride exit. After you explore these areas ride Journey Into Imagination with Figment if you have time.
Then use your Spaceship Earth FastPass, ride Mission Space, and start your way through the World Showcase where you will get lunch and explore the countries.
The most popular attractions at Epcot are Frozen Ever After, Soarin’, and Test Track. You will want to make time to ride all of these during your day at Epcot.
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
- 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 in Future World as well as characters throughout the countries. Guests can meet Mulan in China and Elsa and Anna in Norway.
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.
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!! This is the order we did all the rides including our FastPass and meals. We entered the park and started to walk directly to Test Track for the first ride of the day. After that we went over to Soarin’.
- Test Track
- 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 (FastPass 10:30am-11:30am)
- 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
- Frozen Ever After(FastPass 2:00pm-3:00pm)
- 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. Try to secure a 4th FastPass for Test Track or Soarin’, or another attractions we may have missed. You can book a 4th FastPass after you use your first three. Read more details about Disney World FastPass here.
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. You may want to use a FastPass to meet Mickey & Pals if meeting characters are high on your list.
This plan also requires a bit of back and forth to ride all the attractions in Future World. On a very crowded day you may have to skip attractions and try to make later FastPass reservations for them, 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 in Future World.
- 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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