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8 Rookie Mistakes That People Make at Walt Disney World’s Epcot

Epcot is definitely worth at least one day of your Walt Disney World vacation. Some people find that there is so much to see and do that they decide to spend two days at the park. Here are eight rookie mistakes that people make at Epcot. If you’re planning your first visit, don’t make them yourself.

8. Arriving Late

Epcot is broken up into two major sections; Future World and World Showcase. Those are then broken up even more. On most days Future World opens at 9:00am, while World Showcase opens two hours later. Some rookies assume that since World Showcase isn’t yet open, there won’t be anything to do at rope drop. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Arrive when the park opens, then hit a few rides and get some character pictures before you can explore World Showcase. The lines are shortest of the day at opening, if you arrive late you’ll end up waiting longer.

7. Leaving Early

A day at Epcot is not complete unless you’ve stayed for IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. It’s held nightly when the park closes, which is usually 9:00. The 12 minute show uses fireworks, lasers, music, and a floating globe to tell The Story of Earth. There are great places to watch all along World Showcase Lagoon, or make a dinner reservation near show time at a restaurant that is on the lagoon. You can also book the IllumiNations Sparkling Dessert Party and enjoy reserved viewing and treats from around the world. It’s a delicious way to end a special day at Epcot.

6. Not Using FastPass+

FastPass+ is important to use at Epcot. The choices are in tiers. You’ll pick one ride or attraction from Tier One, and two from Tier Two. Choose carefully, because some are not necessary. Only a rookie would use the Tier One selection for Living with the Land instead of Test Track. Remember that after you use all three reservations, you can use your My Disney Experience App or find a FastPass+ kiosk and make a fourth selection and so on until the park closes.

5. Not Making Dining Reservations

There are some amazing full service restaurants at Epcot. Rookies might think that it’s possible to walk up and get a table at Le Cellier Steakhouse, for example, but that is highly unlikely. If you’re planning your first visit to Epcot, research the restaurants and make reservations up to 180 days in advance. You can always cancel if your plans change.

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4. Underestimating the Size

Epcot is huge. Rookies tend to think that Epcot is the size of a normal theme park, but they’re wrong. Make sure that you wear comfortable shoes, because you will do a lot of walking. A trip around World Showcase is over a mile long, and chances are you’ll do some backtracking. It is also a good idea to use plenty of sunscreen, on a typical Florida day you’ll spend a good part of it in the sun. Drink your water as well, it’s easy to get dehydrated at Epcot because of its size.

3. Skipping the Live Entertainment

One of the nice things about Walt Disney World is that there is always something going on. Epcot is no exception, there is plenty of live entertainment. Take a few minutes and enjoy the various acts along World Showcase such as the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats. Check your Times Guide to see who will be performing, where, and when. The live shows from around the world just might be the most amazing part of your day.

2. Hurrying Through World Showcase

Rookies tend to hurry through any Walt Disney World park. The vacation becomes too much about cramming in everything possible, and not enough about noticing the details. World Showcase features 11 different countries. You can order their food, buy their merchandise, and experience their cultures. Explore each country instead of just walking through it. Enter the buildings, notice the architecture, enjoy the gardens, talk to the Cast Members. You just might learn that it is a small world after all.

1. Thinking That There’s Nothing for the Kids

The number one rookie mistake that people make when it comes to Epcot is thinking that there is nothing at the park for kids. While it is true that Epcot has more of an adult reputation than the Magic Kingdom, there is still plenty for the little ones. Epcot has some great character meet and greets, from classic characters to princesses. Speaking of princesses, you might want to make a reservation at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall for some quality time with several of them. The kids will love The Seas With Nemo & Friends, and they’ll have a blast at Innoventions. The whole family will want to play Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure. Children can try new foods like couscous, or enjoy old standards such as chicken nuggets. If you think that your kids will be bored at Epcot, you’re making a rookie mistake.

About PaulaK

I grew up in Western Massachusetts. When I was nine my family went to Disneyland and I was hooked. I grew up, attended New England College in Henniker, NH and eventually moved to Virginia. I worked as a disc jockey, married and became a full time mom when our daughter was born. Fast forward several years. In 2010 we moved to Central Florida and my Disney obsession grew. I now work as a freelance writer and spend my spare time in the parks. Under the name Paula Brown I penned the novels Dream Wanderers and The Coffee Cruiser. I also am a co-author of Dining at Walt Disney World: The Definitive Guide. I'm obsessed with Star Wars, so this is a good time to live in Central Florida. I've been a vegetarian for well over a decade, a choice that my daughter eventually made as well. While my husband still hasn't joined us fully he has given up most meats except for seafood. I was relieved to find that vegetarian dining is not difficult at Walt Disney World.