Violet Lemonade, EPCOT Festival
Credit: Disney Dining

10 Ways To Survive A Crowded Day At Walt Disney World’s Epcot

The second Walt Disney World theme park to open was Epcot. While it doesn’t reflect the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow that was envisioned by Walt Disney, it is still an incredible place. The front of the park is known as Future World, and the rest is World Showcase. Epcot has thrill rides, education, family friendly attractions, food from around the world, and much more. Even though there is plenty of room to walk, it still does get packed. Here are ten tips for surviving a crowded day at Epcot.

10) Stay in the Epcot Resort Area

This tip obviously isn’t going to work for everyone, but if you’re worried about the crowds at Epcot, stay close enough so that you can leave and head back to your room for a break. Disney’s Beach Club, Yacht Club, BoardWalk, Swan, and Dolphin are all a short walk or boat ride away from Epcot. You can return to your room for a nap, then easily return. If you’re not staying at any of these resorts you can still leave the park for a little while through the International Gateway entrance. Take a stroll around Crescent Lake, or get something to eat. When you’re ready, you’ll be refreshed enough to join the crowd again.

9) Meet Some Princesses

There are several meet and greet areas around World Showcase, and many of them feature princesses. The lines usually move quickly, so this is a great thing to do on a crowded day. Use the My Disney Experience App to see who is appearing and where. You can also use the app to view your pictures after.

8) Last Minute Dining Reservations

If there is a full service restaurant that you really want to try at Epcot, make a reservation as soon as you can. That said, if you arrive without a reservation and aren’t sure where to eat, all is not lost. This is another place where you can use the My Disney Experience App. You will be able to see which full service restaurants at Epcot have openings. You might be surprised by the number of choices.

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7) Don’t Over Imbibe

If you are 21 or older, you might be tempted to purchase specialty drinks from one or more World Showcase country. Go ahead and enjoy if you’d like, but don’t overdo it. If the park is crowded you don’t want to be walking into people. If you want to take part in the unofficial game Drinking Around the World (one drink from each country), then order one drink for your whole party and split it. You can still get a taste of drinks from around the world, but you won’t make yourself sick.

6) Watch the Live Shows

There is plenty of live entertainment at Epcot, and these are shows that you won’t have to worry about getting a good seat for. Streetmosphere is the word that Disney uses to describe live entertainment that takes place near where people will be walking. You’ll be in awe of the balancing of Sereur Amusant, the juggling of Sergio, and the stunts of the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats. These are just a few of the acts that will entertain you on a crowded day. You can see who is performing and when in your Times Guide, or on the My Disney Experience App. Stop and watch for a little while, you won’t be disappointed.

5) Explore World Showcase

One thing that you might notice on a crowded day at Epcot is that World Showcase is packed; with people walking from one country to the next. Take the time and explore a little bit. Walk through the gardens, visit the buildings and exhibits, talk to the Cast Members, and do a little bit of shopping. World Showcase is astounding, and most guests miss the details. Spend some time learning about each country, and you might discover that exploring World Showcase is your new favorite thing to do at Epcot.

4) Don’t Worry too Much About Epcot Forever

You will want to end your day at Epcot with Epcot Forever. On a busy day people will start staking a claim on good viewing areas well in advance. The truth of the matter is that they’re aren’t a lot of bad viewing areas for Epcot Forever. As long as you’re somewhere along World Showcase, you will be able to see and hear. Don’t stress if you aren’t right in the front, you will still have a great view.

3) Book a Dining Package

During special events (the annual festivals and the holidays) there is extra entertainment that takes place in the America Gardens Theater. If you don’t want to sit in line for hours on a crowded day, there is a simple solution. Book a Dining Package. With a Dining Package, you will enjoy a meal at one of several restaurants, and then receive a voucher for reserved seating that evening. Make sure it’s a Dining Package that you reserve, just eating in one of the restaurants will not get you a voucher.

2) Hit the Rides First

For the most part, Future World opens two hours before World Showcase. Norway is an exception, and so are a couple of the restaurants. Arrive at rope drop, and start riding things that you don’t have FastPass+ for right away. With a little bit of luck, you’ll be able to ride everything before the crowds get heavier. Once Future World gets busy, wander back to World Showcase and start your exploring. It will take a while for the crowds to catch up.

1) A FastPass+ Dilemma

Frozen Ever After, Test Track, and Soarin’ are the three most popular rides at Epcot, and they are all Tier One FastPass+ selections. You can only reserve one of them ahead of time. Out of those three, Frozen Ever After usually ends up with the longest line, so if the ride is important to you and you can get it, use your Tier One FastPass+ for that. Some guests will hit Soarin’ at rope drop, and then use the Single Rider line for Test Track. No matter what you do, try to hit the two that you don’t have FastPass+ for as early as possible, because the lines will grow long as a crowded day goes on.

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.