Epcot is a park packed with fun. There are great family and thrill rides, characters, live shows, international food, and more. The park is in two sections; Future World and World Showcase. Those two sections are broken up even more. There is so much to see and do at Epcot that many guests take two days to explore the park. If you are tight on time it can be done in one day. Here are seven tips to help you squeeze as much as possible into that day.
7. Make Dining and FastPass+ Reservations Well in Advance
Squeezing the most out of a day at Epcot starts up to 180 days in advance. That is when you can make dining reservations. This is not a park where you will want to eat only counter service meals, there are some fantastic table service choices; especially in World Showcase. When your trip is getting closer, you’ll want to make your FastPass+ reservations. FastPass+ at Epcot is in tiers, you’ll pick one from Tier One and two from Tier Two. If there are any must-dos that you don’t get a FastPass+ for, hit them when the park first opens. Make your reservations for as early in the day as possible, because when you’ve used all three you will be eligible for a fourth selection, followed by a fifth selection, and so on until the park closes. Ideas to make this process easier… dine at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall for breakfast before the park opens. This will make riding Frozen Ever After without waiting forever in line a breeze as you will be dining right next to it before the park even opens! Also keep in mind that Test Track has a single rider line. If the standby line is too long, that is usually much more manageable.
6. Familiarize Yourself With the Park Ahead of Time
Epcot can be confusing if you have never been there before. One way that you will save a lot of time is to learn all that you can about the park before you leave home. Read about the rides, restaurants, and other attractions, and decide which are the most important to you. Study a map of the park so you will have a general idea of how to get around. If you know which way to go, you’ll be able to get where you’re headed faster and will waste less time. Once in the park, you can use a paper map or your My Disney Experience app to be your guide.
5. Wear Comfortable Shoes
Epcot may not be the largest of the Walt Disney World theme parks, but at times it will feel like it is. Before you leave for the park in the morning, make sure that everyone in your party has sturdy, broken in shoes. You will do a lot of walking while at Epcot. If you aren’t wearing the right shoes, it will slow you and everyone down. Epcot is not the place to be fashionable, you need to make sure that you don’t end up with painful blisters. You’ll also be walking in long stretches where there is little or no shade, so make sure you have sunscreen and water. Sunburn and dehydration will also slow you down and keep you from squeezing in as much as possible.
4. Pick Up a Times Guide
This might seem unnecessary, especially since much of the information can be found using the My Disney Experience App, but do you really want to pull your phone out just to find out when Sergio is performing? The app can also be confusing to use at times, there is so much information on it that it can sometimes be hard to find what you’re looking for. Epcot is filled with Streetmosphere, and all the shows are unique and entertaining. The best way to know what is going on and when is to keep your Times Guide handy.
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3. Use the My Disney Experience App
Just because you’re using your Times Guide to keep an eye on performance times does not mean that you don’t need the My Disney Experience App. It is essential if you want to get the most out of a day at Epcot. You can check Wait Times, look for character appearances, change your FastPass+ times, making mobile food and beverage order at Quick Service spots, and try to make last minute Table Service dining reservations. The app is an essential tool no matter which park you’re visiting. One word of warning; the My Disney Experience App is also a bit of a battery drainer. You will probably want to close it when you are not using it.
2. Visit World Showcase When It Opens
World Showcase features the culture, architecture, food, merchandise, and people from 11 different countries. Each pavilion is unique, and they all deserve some of your time. World Showcase opens two hours later than Future World, which is usually at 11:00. The best way to experience all that World Showcase has to offer is to start exploring right as it opens. Most days, that is when the crowds will be the lightest, in fact you might be surprised by how few people are around when it opens. Festivals at Epcot however such as the International Food and Wine Festival might be crowded early but usually become even more crowded later in the day.
1. Plan Time for Characters
Epcot is a great place to meet some of Disney’s most famous princesses, and maybe a prince. Along World Showcase you’ll often find Jasmine, Aladdin, Belle, Alice, Mary Poppins, Mulan, Snow White, and Anna and Elsa. There are no FastPass+ times for these princesses, so you’ll have to wait in line. Know ahead of time that the princesses are there, and plan to stop to meet at least a couple of them. There are also other characters to be on the lookout for. Daisy and Donald are in two different spots that don’t offer FastPass+, but you can make a FastPass to meet Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy at the Epcot Character Spot. Character pictures are a big part of a day at Epcot, so include the fact that you will need to stop often when you’re planning out your day.