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EPCOT Tips: It’s Not All About the Rides

Last Updated on June 26, 2022

EPCOT is a great park, particularly for adults. It has a handful of fun rides, decent (though outdated) play areas, good food, great alcohol, and a World Showcase that cannot be found elsewhere. It is a must visit at Disney World. What EPCOT tips do you need to know to plan your day?

What Disney EPCOT Tips and Tricks Do You Need to Know to Plan Your Day?

1. Where is EPCOT Located?

2. What Does EPCOT Stand for?

3. Check a Crowd Calendar

4. You Need EPCOT Reservations

5. On Property Guests Get Extra Time

6. How Long Do You Need?

7. Arrive Early

8. There Are Two EPCOT Entrances

9. Check the Weather

10. What Do You Need to Bring?

11. Download the App

12. There is Free Wi-Fi

13. Consider the Front of the Line Extras

14. EPCOT Parking and Transportation Options

15. Must Do Disney World EPCOT Rides and Attractions

16. Utilize Rider Switch

17. There is a Baby Care Center

18. EPCOT Orlando Tips for Touring Plans

19. Do Not Miss EPCOT Kidcot with Kids

20. There Are Character Meet and Greets

21. Ways to Save

22. EPCOT Dining Highlights

23. Harmonious Fireworks Tips

24. There is an EPCOT Fireworks Dessert Party

25. Festivals Run Constantly

26. COVID-19 Precautions Are Still in Place

spaceship earth (epcot)

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Disney’s EPCOT Tips

1. EPCOT Location

EPCOT is part of Disney World. This park is located at 200 Epcot Center Drive in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

2. What Does EPCOT Stand for?

EPCOT stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, code for technology that was impressive in the 1980s.

epcot phone booths

3. Check a Crowd Calendar

Generally speaking, when kids are out of school, the park will be more crowded. If you have the luxury of choosing the time of year to visit, check a crowd calendar to pick a time that won’t resemble Costco on Black Friday.

4. You Need a Reservation

This is perhaps the most important of the tips for EPCOT. The days of strolling into a Disney park casually are behind us. Theme park reservations are mandatory. If you don’t make one, you can’t come in.

Pro EPCOT tips for picking a park: When choosing which park to visit on which day, consider that guests of Deluxe Disney World properties get extra time on specific days. If you are in one of those hotels, choose the days with extra time to visit. If you aren’t, avoid that park like the plague.

epcot underwater restaurant

5. On Property Disney World Hotel Guests Get Extra Time

If you are wondering how to get into EPCOT early, there is only one good way. Stay on property.

Early Park Entry

Guests of on property Disney World hotels and the Swan and Dolphin get into the park 30 minutes before the general public each day. One of the most important EPCOT visit tips is to take advantage of this time.

Extended Evening Hours

Guests of the Swan and Dolphin and Disney World’s Deluxe properties also get extra time after the park closes on certain nights. As of the time of this writing, extra EPCOT park hours are on Mondays. Check the schedule at the time of your visit.

6. How Long Do You Need?

EPCOT in a day for adults is probably enough. If your kids like the play areas and you want to repeat some things, you can even fill two.

epcot italian restaurant

7. Arrive Early

What is the best way to enjoy EPCOT? Visit when no one else is there.

The park is best first thing in the morning before the masses roll out of bed. Be sure you check the EPCOT hours and arrive as early as possible for rope drop (the opening of the park). You will find shorter lines and a more pleasant atmosphere.

Pro tip: Guests of on property Disney World resorts get into the park 30 minutes before everyone else.

Bonus pro tip: If you are staying on property, arrive at your stop about an hour before the park opens.

8. There Are Two Entrances

Unlike the other parks, you can access the park from two places. The main entrance is in the front. If you ride the Skyliner or walk from the BoardWalk, you will enter through the EPCOT International Gateway that places you in the World Showcase. Adjust your touring plan accordingly.

epcot statue

9. Check the Weather

Orlando weather can be oppressive. Check to see what you are getting yourself into prior to arrival.

10. EPCOT Tips for Day Bag Packing

Go easy here. You don’t want to drag a bunch of stuff around if you don’t have a stroller. It’s hot enough. Don’t make it worse. With that said, don’t forget:

A. A refillable water bottle

B. A poncho

C. Headache medication

D. Sunscreen

E. Nausea medication

F. A portable phone charger

G. A hat or sunglasses

epcot frozen ever after

11. Download the App

The My Disney Experience app is mandatory. It gives you a map of EPCOT World Showcase, ride wait times, and allows you to mobile order quick service meals.

Recently, Disney unrolled the free Genie service on the app. It recommends an itinerary and suggests things to do throughout the day. You can skip this.

Genie’s proposed itineraries are new, but Touringplans.com has been doing this for free for years. Disney has an interest in sending people where it wants them to go to control crowds. Touringplans.com couldn’t care less. Odds are decent that you will get better results without the Genie.

Pro tip: The app drains cell phone batteries faster than middle-aged women consume a bottle of Rose after a day at LEGOLAND. Don’t forget a portable cell phone charger.

bruce's shark world

12. There is Free Wi-Fi

It isn’t great, but there is free Wi-Fi in EPCOT.

13. EPCOT Tips for Genie+ and Lightning Lane

Disney World used to have a free FastPass+ system that gave all guests some front of the line passes. COVID-19 gave it the perfect excuse to drop this program. You can technically skip the new paid system, but you really can’t in some cases.

On the plus side, not everyone pays for these extras. The people who choose to make the purchase see more benefit than they did from the free version because they have less competition.

Note: You can purchase both Genie+ and Lightning Lane. You dont need to choose.

Genie+

Genie+ allows you to reserve spots to skip the line on certain attractions throughout the day. Everyone who purchases it, whether in an on property hotel or off, can start making reservations at 7:00 a.m. on the day of their visit.

Guests can make a new reservation every two hours OR when their prior selection has been used or expired. In other words, you can book one less than every two hours if you have no selection pending.

You cannot reserve a specific time. You get what Disney is kind enough to give you (and you will say thank you). If your first selection is later in the day, you may end up holding more than one pass at once after you book your second one.

As of the time of this writing, it costs $15.98 per person per day. You can add it to your vacation package at any time.

Pro tip: Sometimes, you have to prove you have a reservation multiple times in the same line. Don’t book another ride until you are sure you have gone through all the scanners.

Bonus pro tip: You can pick and choose when you use Genie+. You do not have to purchase it for every day of your trip.

Extra bonus pro tip: If you don’t care if you sit with your party, consider skipping Genie+ and using the the single rider lines for free.

Note: Unlike the old FastPass system, you cannot use Genie+ to book the same attraction multiple times in the same day.

Note: Official rules state you can be five minutes early or 15 minutes late for your reservation.

Lightning Lane

Lightning Lane only applies to two ridess, Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.

If you choose to buy Lightning Lane for one or both of these attractions, you pay a flat fee to skip the line once for that ride only. The rate varies depending on demand, but you can generally expect to pay somewhere between $7 and $15 per person as of the time of this writing.

Pro tip: Guests of on property resorts can start booking Lightning Lane reservations at 7:00 a.m. Off property guests must wait until the park opens.

Extra bonus pro EPCOT tip for adults: If you don’t care if you sit with your party, the single rider lines have short wait times.

Are These Extras Worth it?

Are Lightning Lane and Genie+ worth it at this park?

Lightning Lane

Lightning Lane may make sense for you at this park. Remy’s is a brand new ride, and Frozen Ever After routinely has a line as well. If you want to purchase one, I would consider buying Remy’s and going to Frozen Ever After first thing in the morning at rope drop.

Genie+

Unlike at Animal Kingdom, Genie+ is probably worth it at this park. There are enough attractions to justify the cost. Less time in line means more time to walk the EPCOT World Showcase countries.

With that said, if you don’t want to pay for it, arrive early and have a good touring plan in place. EPCOT without FastPasses is doable, but not ideal.

vikings

14. EPCOT Tips for Parking and Transportation

Guests at Disney’s on property resorts can take resort transportation to the park for free. Depending upon your resort, you may access EPCOT by bus, boat, monorail, or Skyliner.

Buses start running about 45 minutes before park opening. You want to be at the front of the line when the bus arrives, so get to the stop at least an hour before park opening.

Is there free parking at EPCOT? Not usually. If you have to drive, the parking fee is $25 per day for standard parking and between $45 and $50 per day for preferred parking depending upon the day.

Pro tip: If you park hop, you don’t have to pay for parking twice in the same day.

Bonus pro tip: There is a special Disney bus for people who are park hopping.

Extra bonus pro tip: Guests of Disney World resorts (who likely paid for parking at their hotels) do not have to pay to park at the theme parks.

epcot china

15. Rides and Attractions EPCOT

EPCOT is unique in that the majority of the highlights are not rides. The front half of the park has a few, but almost all of them let out into some sort of play area with buttons to push. You won’t get out of them quickly with kids.

The back half of the park is the World Showcase that takes you on a walk in a circle through the eleven countries EPCOT offers. Plan to spend time strolling and snacking.

EPCOT Disney World Rides and Attractions in World Celebration

World Celebration is located in the front of the park near the main entrance. It doesn’t hold any of the big ticket attractions. You can safely save this section for later in the day.

Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival

This theater plays short films, usually three at a time. They are always cute. This is a great place to sit down and get out of the heat and/or rain. You will never have to wait. Save this one for the afternoon and do not waste a Genie+ selection here.

Pro tip: You can meet Mickey Mouse here at specified times.

Genie+ accepted: Yes

Lightning Lane attraction: No

EPCOT Journey into Imagination with Figment

This. Ride. Is. Annoying. Barney Figment, a purple dragon (?), sings and takes you on a slow moving ride through rooms about imagination. At one point, air is blown in your face. The good news is this ride is a walk on all the time. Save it for the afternoon and do not waste a Genie+ reservation on it.

This EPCOT kid ride exits into ImageWorks, a small play area that will appeal to the younger population.

Height requirement: None

Genie+ accepted: Yes

Lightning Lane attraction: No

EPCOT Spaceship Earth Ride

Spaceship Earth EPCOT is a slow moving, somewhat outdated, ride through the iconic silver golf ball sphere you see upon entering the park. The first half takes you up the ball through different periods in history with lots of animatronics, and the descent features an interactive screen in your car. The screen pushes it over the edge to making it a big hit with kids.

The line exits into a play area with screens that let you send postcards via email.

This EPCOT ball ride never has much of a wait and the line tends to move quickly. You should be able to walk on with no wait every morning and before park close. If you want to grab a Genie+ reservation after you have reserved other rides, feel free.

Spaceship Earth Disney height requirement: None

Genie+ accepted: Yes

Lightning Lane attraction: No

Walt Disney Imagineering presents the EPCOT Experience

This attraction is basically a commercial for the future of the park. It has a screen that wraps around a room, with a model with flashing lights in the middle. You know what else it has? Air conditioning.

I would say to skip it, but it’s a good dose of cold air, and you can walk through it anytime on the way to the World Showcase. You don’t have to wait for the next show to start to enter.

Genie+ accepted: No

Lightning Lane attraction: No

totem pole

Rides and Attractions in World Discovery

World Discovery is located toward the front of the park to the left of the main entrance. If Test Track is important to you, head here first.

Mission SPACE EPCOT

Mission: SPACE is one of the most nauseating rides EPCOT has to offer. It is a motion simulator in individual space shuttles. There are two sides, Orange and Green. If you don’t enjoy really, and I mean really, intense spinning, go to the Green side for some mild shaking instead.

This EPCOT space ride exits into the Advanced Training Lab, an area with some games with screens and a playground.

EPCOT Mission Space height requirement: 40″ Green, 44″ Orange

Genie+ accepted: Yes

Lightning Lane attraction: No

Test Track EPCOT

Test Track basically has its occupants act as crash test dummies. Prior to boarding, you design a car on a screen that is incorporated into the ride. At one point, there is a fast lap around the outside of the building.

You exit into an interactive section featuring screens and a car dealership (no, really). Putting aside the ridiculous car salesmen, the ride is quite fun.

Pro tip: This line gets long. Arrive early or consider using Genie+.

EPCOT Test Track height requirement: 40″

Genie+ accepted: Yes

Lightning Lane attraction: No

le cellier epcot

Rides and Attractions in World Nature

World Nature is located in the front of the park to the right of the entrance. If you are interested in upping your chances of Crush talking to your kid in Turtle Talk with Crush or are interested in Soarin’ EPCOT, go here first.

Awesome Planet

Awesome Planet is a movie that shames you for not recycling enough. You can view this movie while holding a souvenir that Disney gave you in a plastic bag.

Other than waiting for the next show to start, you will never encounter a wait. Save this for the afternoon when you need a break and some air conditioning.

Genie+ accepted: No

Lightning Lane attraction: No

EPCOT Living with the Land

Living with the Land is a slow moving boat ride through a greenhouse and the inner workings of how the park grows its food. It isn’t exciting, but it is a relaxing cruise in air conditioning. There is never much of a wait. Save this for the afternoon and save the Genie+ reservation for something else.

Height requirement: None

Genie+ accepted: Yes

Lightning Lane attraction: No

SeaBase

SeaBase is a large, walk through EPCOT aquarium with everything from fish to sharks. The giant manatees on the second floor are not to be missed. There are also some interactive play areas, including Bruce’s Shark World, starring Bruce from Finding Nemo.

Pro tip: There is a free scavenger hunt activity in the aquarium. Employees are set up at a table on the main level to pass out the materials.

Height requirement: None

Genie+ accepted: No

Lightning Lane attraction: No

EPCOT Soarin’ Around the World

Soarin’ lifts you up and gives the illusion you are flying over several landmarks on a screen. You go on a smooth ride that is enjoyable for most. It is an EPCOT can’t miss attraction.

Pro EPCOT tips for seating: There are three large sections of people lifted at once and stacked on top of each other in rows. The best view is in the center section (B) and Row 1 that goes to the top of the stack. If you’re not in the first row, you will see the feet of the people above you during the ride. If you really care about this, request this section and tell the ride attendant you’re willing to wait.

Height requirement: 40″

Genie+ accepted: Yes

Lightning Lane attraction: No

The Seas with Nemo & Friends

This is a slow moving ride through the story of Finding Nemo in a real aquarium. It is short, but sure to be a hit with kids. There is rarely a wait for this ride. Save it for the afternoon.

This ride empties into SeaBase, the aquarium.

Height requirement: None

Genie+ accepted: Yes

Lightning Lane attraction: No

Turtle Talk with Crush

Turtle Talk is an interactive show wherein Crush interacts with kids. Not all the kids. There isn’t time for that. He messes with a handful of kids at most. It is a cute show with subtle adult humor that is entertaining for all.

Pro tip: If you want to up your chances of your kid getting picked, consider going here first thing in the morning. We were once with only one other family, resulting in a semi-private experience and priceless video footage that is certain to be pulled out on prom night.

Genie+ accepted: Yes

Lightning Lane attraction: No

epcot rides the seas with nemo & friends

Rides and Epcot Attractions in World Showcase

What should I not miss at EPCOT? The World Showcase tops the list.

World Showcase is a walk around a lagoon through eleven countries. Most of the sections are immersive and fun to see. Some have rides or shows. Others do not. All have, at a minimum, shopping and multiple food stands.

If you want to drop a small fortune and leave on a stretcher, an unsanctioned Disney challenge is EPCOT drink around the world, during which you try a different drink in each country.

Pro tip: If you decide to see if your liver can take it, bring an EPCOT drinking around the world passport.

Bonus pro tip: If your kids enjoy scavenger hunts, don’t miss Kidcot.

What Are the Eleven EPCOT Countries?

America

We just couldn’t let the other countries in EPCOT have the glory, could we? For some reason, there is an American pavilion. It has a stage with live music. You can breeze past this one quickly.

EPCOT American Adventure

The American Adventure is a painfully slow, incredibly boring EPCOT show about the history of the US. It is a time suck. The show is long, so the wait to see the next one can also be long. Unless you want to see it or can’t think of anything better to do (unlikely), you can skip this one.

Genie+ accepted: No

Lightning Lane attraction: No

Canada

The Canada section is prettier than most of the others. It also has one of the most expensive EPCOT restaurants, Le Cellier.

Canada Far and Wide

Canada Far and Wide is a movie with a wraparound screen. You shouldn’t encounter a line other than waiting for the next show to start. It is standing room only. This is not a place to sit down and relax.

Genie+ accepted: No

Lightning Lane attraction: No

China

China has interesting stores and restaurants. Chinese food at home will be much cheaper and readily available, so eating here probably isn’t your best option.

You can meet Mulan in this section at certain times of the day.

Reflections of China

Reflections of China is a movie with a wraparound screen with air conditioning. It is standing room only. Other than waiting for the next show to start, you will be able to walk into this one with no problem.

Genie+ accepted: No

Lightning Lane attraction: No

France

France is perhaps the most popular EPCOT country. It has the newest ride in the park, several dining options, and lots of shops. It is always crowded. Prepare yourself accordingly.

You can meet Belle in this section during certain times.

Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along

Are you dying to sing some Beauty and the Beast songs in a room with a bunch of strangers? You’re in luck.

Genie+ accepted: No

Lightning Lane attraction: No

Impressions de France

Impressions de France is an educational movie in air conditioning. This is a good place to visit in the afternoon when you need a break.

Genie+ accepted: No

Lightning Lane attraction: No

Ratatouille Ride EPCOT

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is a 3D ride in a rat car. It is screen heavy and not for those who get motion sickness easily. You can pay extra to ride using Lightning Lane, but I would try to avoid this unless it will make you really happy to skip the line.

Note: As of the time of this writing, a virtual queue is required if you don’t purchase Lightning Lane. There is no standby option. Reservations are distributed at 7:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. and are gone within a matter of seconds. Set an alarm.

Pro EPCOT tips to secure your spot: Everyone in your party should try to get a boarding group on his or her device. You have not secured your virtual queue until you have a boarding group number. Getting into the queue to select family members alone does not secure your spot. Be sure you have your party in place on the app prior to the time the virtual queue opens. Don’t take the time to check your work before confirming. Click fast.

EPCOT Ratatouille ride height requirement: None

Genie+ accepted: No

Lightning Lane attraction: Yes

Germany

Germany’s EPCOT pavilion has a popular restaurant, Biergarten. Don’t miss Karamell-Kuche, a takeout candy stand. You can also meet Snow White in this section.

Italy

Italy has several restaurants and a gelato place. It also has several good photo opportunities.

Japan

Japan has some fun areas through which to walk, as well as decent quick service takeout options. You can also pick a pearl in this area, which is typically accompanied by loud drumming.

Mexico

Mexico has an indoor building with a Coco vibe and fun EPCOT Mexican restaurant, San Angel Inn.

Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros

Gran Fiesta Tour is a slow moving boat ride with an angry Donald Duck wearing a sombrero. It never has much of a line and is a great place to sit down and soak up some air conditioning.

EPCOT Mexico ride height requirement: None

Genie+ accepted: No

EPCOT Lightning Lane attraction: No

Morocco

Morocco feels more authentic than the other countries. The shops feel like you are walking through a bazaar.

It is rarely crowded in this area. You may or may not run into Aladdin and Jasmine.

Norway

Norway features one of the newest and most popular rides in the park. If this ride is important to you, go here first.

You can also meet Anna and Elsa during certain times of the day in this section.

Frozen Ever After

Frozen Ever After is a boat ride through the story of Frozen. The animatronic Olaf’s movements are impressively natural. At one point, the boat goes backward. Even if Frozen isn’t your thing, it is worth a stop.

You can pay extra to ride with Lightning Lane. This probably isn’t necessary, but go for it if it makes you happy.

EPCOT Norway ride height requirement: None

Genie+ accepted: No

Lightning Lane attraction: Yes

United Kingdom

The United Kingdom section has a pub, neighborhood feel. You can take your picture in a telephone booth. It also houses one of the most popular restaurants EPCOT has to offer, Rose & Crown.

Alice in Wonderland hangs out here for pictures throughout the day.

epcot royal sommerhaus

16. EPCOT Tips for Rider Switch

Short person holding you back? Disney World has a Rider Switch program that allows multiple adults to wait in line one time. One adult stays with the child while the other rides, than the adults switch without having to wait in line a second time.

Pro tip: If you have an older child, he or she can ride with both adults.

waterfall

17. There is a Baby Care Center

EPCOT with a baby just got easier. There is a baby care center near the Epcot Experience. It includes rocking chairs for nursing, changing tables, high chairs, a microwave, a sink, and a store that sells baby items.

epcot american adventure

18. EPCOT Tips for Touring Plans

How do I get the most out of EPCOT? You need a plan for your visit.

The park doesn’t have as many rides as some of the other Disney World parks. The EPCOT queue times get long. Minimize your wait.

The perfect plan will vary depending upon what is important to you. Everyone should plan to arrive prior to park opening and eat at off times. Consider going to Soarin’, Frozen Ever After, Test Track, or Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure first. Save shows, shopping, and unpopular rides at EPCOT for the afternoon.

Bonus pro tip: Check out the EPCOT map before you go to familiarize yourself with where things are located.

Pro tipTouringplans.com creates personalized touring plans for free. Input what you want to do to generate a plan. The plan can be modified throughout the day based upon current EPCOT wait times.

Extra bonus pro tip: EPCOT is not going to kick you out of a line if you are in it before the park closes. If you get in line one minute before park closing, you will be allowed to ride.

NoteDisney’s Genie app claims to provide you with a free touring plan. While this is technically true, data points suggest the app sends people to rides in EPCOT with longer wait times that do not make sense. Disney is more interested in controlling traffic than ensuring you maximize your day. Touringplans.com is probably a better way to go.

EPCOT Tips for Adults

An EPCOT itinerary for adults should include arriving early, riding big rides in the morning and before park close, spending a lot of time in the World Showcase, eating a good meal, and leaving time in the evening for cocktails.

If you don’t care if you sit with your party, single rider lines will have shorter waits.

epcot german restaurant

19. Kidcot

Kidcot is a free scavenger hunt around the World Showcase. It is a great way to keep your kids engaged during the long walk around the lagoon. They get a prize for visiting all the stations. The prize is an EPCOT passport postcard, so don’t hype up the whole prize thing too much.

The stations can be hard to find. Check to see where they are at the time of your visit.

epcot kidcot

20. There Are Characters

You can meet characters throughout the day in various locations. Check the schedule at the time of your visit.

pluto

21. EPCOT Tips to Save

How much does EPCOT Cost? A lot, but there there are ways to save.

Discounted Disney Tickets

You can purchase tickets through a discount broker like Undercover Tourist.

Visit at an Off Time

Ticket prices vary by the day. You will get a better deal when most kids are in school.

Discounted Disney Gift Cards

You can purchase tickets with Disney gift cards. Purchase said gift cards at a discount at several places.

Use Miles and Points

The Disney Visa from Chase earns Disney dollars. It isn’t the best credit card for everyday purchases, but it comes with a decent signup bonus. You can purchase EPCOT tickets, dine, and buy merchandise with the Disney dollars earned. You also get discounts on dining at Biergarten, Coral Reef, Le Cellier, and Rose & Crown, as well as select stores, if you pay with this card.

Note: If you have taken out or been listed as an authorized user on five or more credit cards from any company (not just Chase) in the last 24 months, you will be declined.

You Can Bring Food

Outside food is allowed when visiting EPCOT. Dragging a bunch of stuff around all day is not worth the hassle, but some lightweight snacks wouldn’t hurt.

Free Ice Water

The counter service restaurants pass out free cups of water. Don’t waste your money buying water bottles.

Pro tip: The cups are small. Bring a refillable water bottle and ask for multiple cups.

Free Soft Drinks

Club Cool, located in the World Celebration section of the park, gives guests free samples of soda from around the world.

Does an Annual Pass Make Sense?

If you are planning to visit Disney World multiple times, do the math to make sure an annual pass doesn’t make sense for you.

Pro tip: You can upgrade previously purchased Disney World tickets to an annual pass.

model town

22. EPCOT Tips for Dining

This park has a ton great dining options. The vast majority of the restaurants in EPCOT offer allergy friendly menus. The best restaurant for you depends upon personal preference, but there are a few standouts.

Pro tip: Everyone can make dining reservations 60 days before his or her visit to the park starting around 5:45 a.m. EST. If you stay in a Disney hotel, you can make reservations for up to ten days at once starting 60 days from the day you check into the resort. The popular ones go fast. Set an alarm.

Bonus pro tip: When you make dining reservations, don’t make them in chronological order. Instead, make the most difficult to get reservations first, then circle back, even if it means reserving the restaurants you will visit at the end of your trip first.

Extra bonus pro tip: Save the most difficult to get reservations for the end of your trip. On property guests who check in before you have already made reservations for some of the days of your trip when your booking window opens. If you stay on property, you will be more likely to get something a few days after your check in date.

Extra bonus pro tip: If you don’t get what you want right away, keep checking. People cancel all the time.

Extra bonus EPCOT tips: Consider eating at an off time. This will allow you to avoid crowds and take advantage of shorter ride lines. Alternatively, make reservations for the latest possible time. This will keep you in the park after it closes so you don’t waste time eating while you could be riding.

Extra bonus pro tip: Mobile order is your friend. Use it for EPCOT quick service restaurants.

Note: Disney World’s dining plan is currently suspended.

Restaurants to Consider

EPCOT Biergarten

Biergarten is a German buffet with a live Polka band. It is quite popular. It is also quite expensive. Make a reservation if this restaurant is important to you.

Pro tip: You get a discount at this restaurant if you pay with the Disney Visa.

Note: You eat at traditional Oktoberfest-type tables, meaning, you will likely be sitting with strangers.

Location: Germany

Coral Reef

Coral Reef is a seafood restaurant attached to a massive aquarium. Your children will marvel at the sharks and fish as they eat fish of their own. It is on the expensive side, but worth it given the food quality and views.

Pro tip: Be sure your kids order Nemo and Squirt’s Noggin Concoction for dessert.

Bonus pro tip: Request a table by the aquarium. It isn’t guaranteed, but it doesn’t hurt to ask.

Extra bonus pro tip: The gluten free shrimp and grits is delightful.

Extra bonus pro tip: You get a discount if you pay with the Disney Visa.

Location: World Nature

Garden Grill EPCOT

Epcot Garden Grill is a character meal starring Chip and Dale. To add to the fun, the restaurant slowly spins, giving you rotating views of the park. It is basically Thanksgiving food at a steep cost, but it is a big hit with kids.

Location: World Nature

EPCOT Le Cellier

Le Cellier is a very expensive steakhouse. This is a great option in EPCOT for adults. I would not bother with kids. They will not appreciate it.

Pro tip: You get a discount if you pay with a Disney Visa.

Location: Canada

Rose & Crown

Rose & Crown has classic English food in a fun pub atmosphere. If this is your type of food, it is a great option.

Pro EPCOT tip: This restaurant offers a fireworks package that allows you to view the fireworks from your table.

Bonus pro tip: You get a discount if you pay with a Disney Visa.

Location: United Kingdom

San Angel Inn EPCOT Disney World

San Angel Inn is Mexican food in front of a pyramid. It is more expensive than your local restaurant, but it is filled with air conditioning, unlimited chips and salsa, and views of boats floating by.

Location: Mexico

EPCOT Space 220

Space 220 is a brand new restaurant in outer space. The theming is great, but it is stupid expensive. If your kids are space crazy, it may be worth it to you.

Location: World Discovery

epcot mexican restaurant

23. Harmonious EPCOT Night Show

Is EPCOT doing fireworks? Yes! They are back.

EPCOT Harmonious is the current fireworks display. The show plays daily. You can watch it anywhere around the lagoon, so it doesn’t require the same staking out of spots that the other parks do. Check the time when you visit.

24. EPCOT Dessert Party

The Frozen Ever After dessert party serves desserts, some savory food, and cocktails. You get to view the fireworks from a priority viewing area, then take a ride on the Frozen Ever After attraction.

As of the time of this writing, this experience costs $99 per adult and $59 per child.

Location: World Showcase EPCOT

Note: This experience is temporarily suspended.

american statues

25. Festivals Run Constantly

This park loves its festivals. There is one running more than there isn’t. These tend to appeal to adults more than kids. Highlights include the EPCOT Food and Wine, Flower and Garden, and the Festival of the Holidays. Check the schedule at the time of your visit.

26. EPCOT Walt Disney World COVID-19 Precautions

As of the time of this writing, Disney World requires masks at all indoor locations. That is really all it does to try to prevent the spread, as it still instructs guests to fill in all available space in line. If crowds make you uncomfortable, postpone your trip.

epcot japanese restaurant

Final Thoughts – Disney World EPCOT Tips

Is EPCOT worth it? Absolutely. EPCOT is not the most popular park at Disney World, but you should visit. It has great food, decent rides, and offers an experience you cannot get at any other park. Use the best Epcot tips that work for you to maximize your day, the most important being to arrive early, have a touring plan, and make dining reservations ahead of time.

Visit EPCOT theme park. You will not regret it.

epcot tips pin
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Epcot Tips

41 thoughts on “EPCOT Tips: It’s Not All About the Rides

  1. Epcot was my favorite park and it had nothing to do with the rides! The world showcase and the science exhibits were so fascinating! I could spend my whole trip there eating my way through the world showcase! Thanks for the great memories!

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