9 Rookie Mistakes At Epcot And How To Avoid Them

Epcot is confusing to some people who have never been to Walt Disney World before. Is it a place to learn, or a place to experience thrills? Do you travel around the world, or do you learn about the future? The answer to these questions is all of the above! There is something for everyone at Epcot. Some people plan two days at the park and take things at a leisurely pace. Others hurry from one place to another, trying to get in as much as possible in a few short hours. Here are nine mistakes that rookies often make at Epcot, and solutions to the problems.

9. Mistake: Underestimating the Walking

Epcot is huge, and most people do not realize how much walking is required. You’ll walk about 1.2 miles just around World Showcase alone, and that’s without exploring the countries. There’s lots of doubling back and retracing steps. It is not uncommon to walk 10-15 miles a day while at Epcot.

Solution: Wear comfortable, broken in walking shoes, and make sure that each member of your party does the same. You will also want to drink plenty of water, you can get a free cup at many counter service restaurants. Use the sunscreen as well, because you won’t be walking under a lot of shade.

8. Mistake: Not Booking During a Festival

There are four festivals held annually at the park; Epcot International Festival of the Arts, Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival, Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, and Epcot International Festival of Holidays. There are seminars, food booths, special entertainment, and other activities that aren’t held during the other times of the year. Some rookies don’t realize how awesome the festivals are.

Solution: If your dates are flexible, plan to visit during one of the three festivals. You will still be able to experience all of the regular offerings at Epcot, but you will have a little bit of extra magic as well.

7. Mistake: Not Trying Something New

World Showcase features 11 unique countries from various parts of the world. One of the best features about World Showcase is that you will be able to feast on specialties from these places. So why do rookies seek out pizza or burgers?

Solution: Plan to try at least one dish that you have never had before while you’re at Epcot. Ask a lot of questions so you will know what you are eating, and then enjoy! You just might find a new favorite.

6. Mistake: Not Watching the Live Entertainment

There is always something to do at Epcot, even on the most crowded days of the year. There is live entertainment everywhere! Rookies don’t realize that, and they often end up missing it.

Solution: Pick up a Times Guide when entering the park, or check the Entertainment tab on the My Disney Experience App to find out when and where you can find live entertainment. You will see some incredible acts from around the world, and the best part is that you won’t have to wait in line in order to watch.

5. Mistake: Not Booking a Candlelight Dining Package

It can be hard to get a seat for the Candlelight Processional that is held in the America Gardens Theatre during the Christmas season. This special show features a mass choir and a full orchestra, as a celebrity narrator retells the Biblical Christmas story. Rookies who don’t want to miss it show up a couple of hours early, hoping for a seat, not knowing that there is another option.

Solution: The Candlelight Dining Package is a win win. You will enjoy a meal at a fantastic restaurant, and then you will receive a voucher for reserved seating for that evening. Rookies might not realize that they need to make sure that it’s the Candlelight Dining Package that they make the reservation for. Eating at a participating restaurant without having booked the package will not get them a voucher.

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4. Mistake: Hurrying Through World Showcase

World Showcase is astounding. It is about more than just eating and shopping. Too often, though, rookies will rush through and not pay attention to the details.

Solution: Take your time in World Showcase. Explore the buildings, walk through the gardens, and talk to the Cast Members who are from that country. After you have checked out everything in one country, move on to the next. Where else can you travel around the world in a few hours?

3. Mistake: Drinking too Much

There is an unofficial challenge that many rookies like to face known as Drinking Around the World. It consists of trying one drink from each of the World Showcase countries. While some people can handle it, many cannot.

Solution: Know your limits. If you’re spending thousands of dollars on a vacation, wouldn’t you rather not spend it drunk and sick? Order one drink per country for all the adults of age in your party to split, or get Park Hopper and visit Epcot several times during your visit. You’ll still be able to Drink Around the World, but you won’t pay a price for it later.

2. Mistake: Assuming Epcot Is Not for Kids

Too many people think that Epcot does not have anything to offer children, so they decide to skip the park all together until the kids are older.

Solution: Take your kids to Epcot! You’ll be able to meet plenty of characters (including princesses), hit some great rides, watch entertaining shows, and try different dishes from around the world. While in World Showcase stop by the Kidcot Fun Stops. At these your little ones can participate in a fun activity while learning about a different country. Another thing that you might want to do with your kids is Disney Phineas and Ferb: Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure. Your children will hunt for clues and save the day. It could end up being the most fun they have while at Walt Disney World.

1. Mistake: Booking the Wrong FastPass+

FastPass+ at Epcot is in tiers. You will pick one attraction from Tier One and then two from Tier Two. Choose carefully, because the park’s three most popular rides are all Tier One.

Solution: Know what you want, and book the moment you are able. If Frozen Ever After is on the top of your must do list, grab that FastPass+ if it is available because it won’t be for long. If you can’t get a Frozen Ever After FastPass, your second choice for Tier One should be either Soarin’ or Test Track. Soarin’ is usually a bit harder to get FastPass+ for than Test Track, but it still might not be easy. You can then snag two FastPasses from Tier Two. Plan to arrive when the park opens and head to a ride that you don’t have FastPass+ for immediately. The line will be shortest at the beginning of the day.

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.