11 Rookie Mistakes People Make At Walt Disney World’s Epcot

France Fountain
Credit: Disney

When visiting Walt Disney World, most guests like to spend the majority of their time in the four theme parks enjoying attractions, entertainment, dining, and shopping. Of the four parks, the favorite of many guests is Epcot thanks to its unique composition of two different halves. The front of the park is home to Future World where technology and nature are showcased through innovative and exciting experiences. The rear of the park is home to World Showcase which features eleven different pavilions each highlight a country from around the world. With so much to see and do in Epcot, it can be easy for guests to become overwhelmed while trying to experience it all. This can lead to some rookie mistakes that end up costing guests both time and frustration instead of allowing them to fully enjoy the park. From simple strategies to booking the right FastPasses, there are plenty of ways to avoid these rookie mistakes. Here are eleven rookie mistakes that guests make at Walt Disney World’s Epcot.


1. Arriving Late —

One of the biggest rookie mistakes that guests make at Epcot is arriving late. Guests who arrive early for rope drop are some of the first to enter the park where they are rewarded with few crowds and low wait times. Guests who arrive late miss the early jump on the crowds and are often met with already lengthy wait times on attractions that are very popular with guests.

2. Visiting Spaceship Earth First —

After entering through the main gate in the front of Epcot’s Future World, many guests make a rookie mistake by heading straight for Spaceship Earth. This classic attraction is found just inside the entrance and brings guests on a journey from the beginning of time to modern day to celebrate the history of communication. Since so many guests tend to head straight to Spaceship Earth, the queue can back up and be much longer than normal. Guests are smart to bypass Spaceship Earth first thing in the morning and instead opt to return later on in the day.

3. Not Enjoying Soarin’ Around the World First —

Instead of heading straight to Spaceship Earth, guests should instead go to The Land Pavilion first. Soarin’ Around the World is found on the lower level of the pavilion and is very popular with guests. The attraction brings guests on a scenic tour of some of the most beautiful locations in the world while simulating the sensation of hang gliding. Guests can dangle their feet over locations like Monument Valley, the Eiffel Tower, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Great Wall of China, and Sydney Harbor. Since Soarin’ Around the World is so popular with guests, those who enjoy it first thing in the morning are sure to experience much lower wait times than during the crowded afternoons.


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4. Not FastPassing Frozen Ever After —

Another very popular attraction in Epcot can be found in the Norway Pavilion in World Showcase. Frozen Ever After brings guests into the kingdom of Arendelle where the hit Disney animated film Frozen is set. Guests can see favorite characters like Anna, Elsa, Sven, Kristoff, Olaf, and more and partake in a summer celebration thrown by the sisters. Since Frozen Ever After is so popular with guests, it tends to have lengthy wait times throughout each day in Epcot making it a perfect choice for a FastPass.

5. Using the Standby Queue at Test Track Presented by Chevrolet —

Guests who book a FastPass for Frozen Ever After are unable to book one for Soarin’ Around the World and Test Track Presented by Chevrolet which is also located in Future World. This thrilling attraction lets guests step directly into the design studio and create their own SIM cars to test on the track in Capability, Power, Responsiveness, and Efficiency. While Test Track Presented by Chevrolet tends to have standby queues that can be rather lengthy, there is another option for guests that helps them to save lots of time. Those who do not mind their parties being split up should opt to wait on the single rider queue for the attraction which offers up the same experience with a typically much lower wait time.

6. Not FastPassing Mission: SPACE —

Future World East is home to a thrilling attraction that blasts guest right out of this world. Mission: SPACE invites guests into the International Space Training Center where they can train for two distinct missions. The Green Team is a less intense version of the attraction which has guests embark on a scenic orbit of the Earth. The Orange Team is more intense and trains guests for a mission to Mars. Both versions of the attraction are popular with guests and can experience long wait times, making Mission: SPACE a great attraction to use a FastPass for.

7. Skipping the Underrated —

While Epcot is home to plenty of popular attractions, it also features some that are definitely considered to be underrated. Many guests tend to walk right past these underrated attractions, but they are all wonderful in their own ways and should not be skipped. The Seas with Nemo and Friends brings guests into the oceans where they can relive the classic story of Finding Nemo and check out beautiful aquariums filled with all sorts of marine life. Living with the Land is a scenic boat tour through different settings and beautiful greenhouses to showcase how the land can thrive in all sorts of different environments. Journey Into Imagination with Figment invites guests into the Imagination Institute where Figment is waiting to show them that the imagination works best when set free.

8. Not Leaving Enough Time for World Showcase —

The entire back portion of Epcot is home to World Showcase which is beautifully arranged around World Showcase Lagoon. Each of the eleven pavilions highlights a country from around the world and guests can travel to Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, America, Japan, Morocco, France, the UK, and Canada without leaving Epcot! Each pavilion is home to beautiful culture, architecture, dining, shopping, entertainment, and even attractions, and guests should be sure to leave plenty of time to fully explore every area. One of the biggest rookie mistakes is not leaving enough time for World Showcase and missing out on some of the most amazing details and experiences in the pavilions.

9. Not Eating in World Showcase —

Each pavilion in World Showcase is home to at least one full service and one quick service dining location that brings the cuisine from that country to life through beautiful dining areas and presentations. Guests can feel as though they have had a culinary tour of the world by sampling dishes in each of the pavilions or opt to book a full service meal in one of them. Some of the most popular full service restaurants in World Showcase are the San Angel Inn Restaurante, Biergarten, Via Napoli, Teppan Edo, Rose & Crown Dining Room, and Le Cellier Steakhouse.

10. Skipping the World Showcase Attractions —

Several of the pavilions in World Showcase are home to wonderful attractions that often tend to be overlooked by guests. The Mexico Pavilion hosts the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros which brings guests on a whirlwind tour of the country while in search of Donald. The China Pavilion features Reflections of China, a Circle Vision film that showcases the diversity, landscapes, and culture of the beautiful country. The America Pavilion is home to the American Adventure which tells the story of the American people through audio-animatronics, special effects, photos, and more. In the France Pavilion guests can enjoy Impressions de France which displays the wonderful landscapes and culture of unique France. Finally, the Canada Pavilion is home to the Circle Vision film O Canada! which is hosted by Martin Short and showcases the beauty and diversity of the different cities and areas of the massive country.

11. Leaving Before Illuminations: Reflections of Earth —

Note: Illuminations’ last show is September 30, 2019. “Epcot Forever”, a temporary fireworks spectacular, begins October 1, 2019. 

Each night in Epcot is brought to the perfect close with Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. This beautiful show is performed nightly on World Showcase Lagoon and combines special effects, beautiful music, dancing water, pyrotechnics, laser lights, fireworks, and more to share the wonderful message that the entire world and its people are united. A big rookie mistake is choosing to leave Epcot before this wonderful show, as no night in the park is complete without enjoying Illuminations: Reflections of Earth!

About Caitlin Kane

Caitlin Kane has been visiting Walt Disney World since she was a child and has developed a deep love and appreciation of the Disney Parks with a particular interest in the small details and history that can be found all around. Visiting every chance she gets, Caitlin loves to enjoy the ambiance of the Disney Parks and try something new every time. She can often be found eating and drinking her way through the Epcot International Food & Wine Festival, riding the Haunted Mansion, sipping on a Lapu Lapu, pretending Illuminations: Reflections of Earth was still in existence, and enjoying seeing the magic through the eyes of her children. When not in WDW, Caitlin can be found at home in New York dreaming of a ride on Living with the Land and counting down the days until her next trip.