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7 Things You May Not Know About Walt Disney World’s Epcot

Epcot opened in 1982, as Walt Disney World’s “second gate.” From opening day, Epcot offered a unique view into the future, as well as the current world around us. Today, Epcot still offers interesting and exciting experiences for its guests. There is so much to do, see, and taste. Epcot may not seem like much at first, since it doesn’t have a huge lineup of headlining attractions, but it’s the little things that count at Epcot. Here’s seven things to consider about Epcot to get the most out of the headliners and the theming.

7. Experience Tier 1 Attractions early

Epcot has tiered Fastpass+ (as does Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom) which means guests must choose one attraction from tier 1, and two attractions from tier 2. Tier 1 Attractions include Frozen Ever After, Soarin’, Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, and Test Track. This means you can’t get a Fastpass+ for more than one of these when making your initial Fastpass selections. If you don’t have a Fastpass for these more popular experiences, make sure to arrive to Epcot at park opening and make a beeline to experience these attractions with notoriously long lines!

6. Test Track Single Rider Line

Or, if you don’t get a Fastpass+ for Test Track, another attraction with a long wait, jump in the single rider line. This option is great for parties who don’t mind splitting up between various ride vehicles. Just know that guests in the single rider line are not guaranteed to ride together, as the single rider line is used to fill ride vehicles when a party from the standby or Fastpass lines don’t fill a vehicle all the way. The single rider line is another option for getting through long lines efficiently.

5. Eat Breakfast in France

Most of the World Showcase pavilions don’t open until 11:00am, but Les Halles Boulangerie Patisserie in the France pavilion opens for breakfast! It’s a tasty spot for a quick service breakfast in the parks. The menu features a variety of pastries, sandwiches, coffee, plus dessert (if you’re into having dessert for breakfast!). Enjoying breakfast in France is a great way to get a jump on the rest of World Showcase before the crowds arrive.

4. Snack Around the World

World Showcase is home to a myriad of delicious snacks.You may have heard of “drinking around the world” where guests have a drink in each of the eleven country pavilions. But I challenge to a tastier option: having a snack in each pavilion. There’s old standbys like School Bread from Norway, and ice cream from France, and seasonal favorites like frushi (fruit sushi) from Japan.

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3. Eat Sit Down Lunch

Some of the best restaurants in Walt Disney World are located in Epcot. My favorites include Rose and Crown (United Kingdom pavilion) and Spice Road Table (Morocco pavilion). Lunch and dinner don’t differ much in menu, but they often differ in price. Make a lunch reservation so you can try a new-to-you restaurant at a lower price point. I also like sit down lunches because it’s a great opportunity to enjoy air conditioning and time off my feet!

2. Find Illuminations Viewing Early

Guests can watch Illuminations: Reflections of Earth from all around the World Showcase Lagoon. Most guests have a favorite viewing location. Some folks stake out spots way before the show begins. If you also want a premium location, and didn’t score a Fastpass, then plan to find your spot early than you might think. It can get a little boring, so send someone from your party for snacks.

1. Explore World Showcase

So many guests focus just on checking attractions off a must-do list. Instead, I think they should make more time to focus on the incredible theming and ambiance of World Showcase. The imagineers put time and effort into transporting guests to far flung locations. Enjoy their hard work! World Showcase is a beautiful place for family portraits. Nosh on snacks from the kiosks and bakeries. Look around the stores and the handcrafted and imported goods from the countries represented in the pavilions. These are times you can make vacation memories.

What’s your favorite thing about Epcot? Do you have any must-dos and traditions in this park? Let us know!

About Robin Swanson

Robin’s Disney journey began with Beauty and the Beast bedsheets, a Jasmine dress up set, and a purring Nala plush. As a child in the 1990s, the renaissance and classic animations alike captivated her imagination. In 2008, Robin visited Walt Disney World for the first time, and the obsession really took hold. Since then, Robin has enjoyed visiting the Happiest Place on Earth many more times. She lives in the Chicago suburbs where she is wrapping up a Masters in writing. When not at Disney World, Robin enjoys researching fairytales, eating ice cream, Netflix binging, reading and, of course, planning the next Walt Disney World vacation!