First Time Tips for Epcot at Walt Disney World

Are you visiting Epcot for the first time? These tips for Epcot at Walt Disney World will be your guide for planning a perfect day at the Disney park.

Epcot is a unique park at the Walt Disney World resort. It offers a more educational approach to theme parks but it is also home to some of the best rides at the Disney theme parks.

Best 7 Tips for Epcot

  • Arrive Early to ride the most popular rides at Epcot in the first few hours of the day.
  • Take a Mid-Day Break to recharge. Then return for the evening hours.
  • Prepare for a lot of walking. Epcot is a huge park.
  • Give Yourself time to explore the World Showcase.
  • Research the expected crowd level and set your expectations.
  • Stay on-site at a Disney resort to maximize your park time.
  • Prioritize the rides and attractions you and your family are interested in.

Want More details? Epcot is a unique park with a mix of attractions ranging from celebrating nature to different cultures around the world. Read on for more tips for Epcot.

figment statue at epcot
The Figment statue at Epcot.

Tips for Visiting Epcot at Walt Disney World

The first thing I would do is download the My Disney Experience app. This is a great way to start familiarizing yourself with the Disney parks.

Arrive Early to the Parks

When visiting Epcot you want to arrive 30-45 minutes before official park opening. This will ensure you are among the first in the parks.

I always arrive early (commonly known as rope drop) because it keeps us ahead of the crowds for the first 1-2 hours of park opening. This means shorter wait times and more time to go at our own pace after riding the most popular attractions.

Consider staying at an Epcot hotels to have easy access to the park. Many of these hotels are walking distance to Epcot making it a perfect place to stay for your Epcot visit.

We stayed at the Walt Disney World Swan resort on a recent visit. The hotel is considered a Disney resort and you will receive Deluxe hotel perks like early park entry and extended evening hours. It is also a Marriott resort that you can use points on to stay at.

disney world epcot hotels dolphin resort
The Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin are a 5-10 minute walk to Epcot.

Take a Mid-Day Break

We love visiting Disney World but we don’t love big crowds or standing in long lines, so we usually take a mid-day break.

If you are staying on-site this is fairly easy to do and doesn’t take a lot of time. If you are off-site consider the travel time before taking the break.

By taking a break we recharge and avoid mid-day meltdowns. Plus the theme parks are so fun at night. Journey Into Water, Inspired by Moana is a great attractions to experience in the evening hours.

Prepare to Walk A Lot

Epcot is a huge park and you will walk a lot. If you are visiting Epcot with kids and young children consider a stroller.

Between the walking and the heat Epcot can be a challenging park to navigate. Pack water and take a rest if you need it.

Toward the front of the park you will find World Nature, World Celebration, and World Discovery. The back of the park has different countries like the France Pavilion and United Kingdom Pavilion towards the back of the park.

Explore the World Showcase

The World Showcase is home to eleven different country pavilions. These all have shops, displays highlighting the culture, and dining options.

We prefer saving this area for after we have experienced the rides. The World Showcase tends to get busier as the day goes on. Read this post for details on Epcot’s World Showcase.

countries in epcot world showcase france
France at Epcot.

Set Your Expectations for Crowds

The crowds can make or break a theme park day. I find it best to set our expectations for the crowds before we arrive. Check out this crowd calendar predictions.

If we are visiting during winter or spring break we know it will be busy and we try to create a more flexible day. During less busy times we can get more done.

I always plan a flexible Epcot itinerary when we are visiting to be sure we have a plan for our day.

Stay On-Site at a Disney Resort

On-site Disney guests receive early park admission 30 minutes before official park open. This will give you an advantage at the parks. Guests staying at Deluxe Resorts have extended evening hours as well on certain days.

Disney resorts are available at all price points. We have stayed at Disney’s Pop Century (value resort) as well as Disney’s Riviera Resort (deluxe resort). It is worth checking out prices to see if it will work within your vacation budget.

pop century pool
Pool at Disney’s Pop Century Resort

Prioritize the Rides and Attractions You Want to Do

My advice when visiting the Disney World theme parks is to do what you want to do. Once you do your research on what there is to do at the parks, decide what is best for you.

If you are traveling to Disney with teens your focus may be different than if you are traveling with small children.

You will have a much better time at the park if you do what works for your family because even though advice is helpful you know your family best and should do what works best for you.

Most popular rides at the park are: Test Track, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Soarin’ Over the World, Frozen Ever After, Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana, and Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

test track at epcot
Test Track at Epcot.

Guardians of the Galaxy currently has a virtual queue or guests can purchase an individual lightning lane. The virtual queue is free but must be reserved through the My Disney Experience app. There is no stand-by (regular) line. Learn more here.

Good rides that are worth checking out: Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo (Finding Nemo) and Turtle Talk with Crush, Gran Fiesta Tour (boat ride), Journey Into Imagination with Figment, Living with the Land, and character meet and greets.

If you have questions about an attraction ask the cast members. They will be happy to help you. If you would like to take advantage of the Lightning Lane (skip the lines) reservation system consider purchasing Genie+. Learn more here.

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 the top rides at 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.

living with the land at epcot
Living with the Land at Epcot.

FAQ’s About Visiting 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. Check Epcot ticket prices!

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.

You may also want to learn about how to get from Hollywood Studios to Epcot. You can walk if you want to!!

I hope these first time visitor tips for Epcot help you plan a great day at the parks. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments. I am happy to help!

Read Next: Epcot vs. Magic Kingdom: Which Disney Park is Best?

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