A One-Day Plan for Epcot at Walt Disney World

Hooray! You’re headed to Disney World! But this time, you’ve only got one day to spend, and you’ve decided to spend it at EPCOT. How do you make the most of your day? Which attractions will most likely require a FastPass+? And how do you put it all together to make a fun and “productive” day in the park? Try these 8 steps and see how much fun you can have in just one day at EPCOT.


1. Plan ahead and make the most of your 3 FastPass+ selections.

Some attractions are easily accessible without a FastPass+, while others are almost impossible to enjoy (without camping out in the queue) without one. Be sure to plan ahead for your day at EPCOT and make your FastPass+ selections in advance. It can be helpful to have a FastPass+ for attractions such as Test Track, Soarin’, Mission: SPACE, Frozen Ever After and even Living with the Land, if you’re visiting during peak seasons in the parks.

2. Get there early and plan to stay until closing.

Check the My Disney Experience app to see park hours on the day you’re visiting and plan to get there when the park opens. Keep in mind that the World Showcase opens a couple of hours later than Future World, so make the most of your time by enjoying attractions in Future World first.

3. Head deeper into Future World than Spaceship Earth.

This is because many Guests—especially those who have never been before—start their day with Spaceship Earth. That’s why the lines for the attraction are so long in the mornings. So that you don’t spend a chunk of your park time waiting in a queue, it’s best to venture further into Future World and enjoy attractions like The Seas with Nemo and Friends, attractions inside the Land pavilion, Test Track, Mission: SPACE and others.

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4. Have lunch at a quick-service restaurant in Future World.

There are several choices in quick-service eateries inside Future World at EPCOT. The Electric Umbrella is located near the exit of the Spaceship Earth attraction. Inside the Land pavilion, you’ll find Sunshine Seasons Food Court. This spot serves a wide variety of entrees—hot and cold—desserts, snacks and other items. Wherever you choose to eat, do so in Future World after you’ve enjoyed several of the attractions. Then you can move on to the World Showcase for the latter part of the day.

5. Head to the World Showcase.

After you’ve enjoyed the attractions in Future World that were on your bucket list, make your way to the World Showcase. If you are the type that likes to take it all in, you’ll definitely want to allow yourself plenty of time to enjoy each of the 11 pavilions on the Showcase. Each pavilion is chock full of beautiful structures and architecture, colorful costumes, delicious food, exciting shops and more. You’ll want to be sure you have your camera with you and allow yourself ample time. Begin at the Mexico pavilion and continue clockwise around the showcase or begin at the Canada pavilion and work your way counter-clockwise around the Showcase. It’s fun to stop and look at every little detail around you—and there are thousands of them!

6. Enjoy dinner at a table-service restaurant inside one of the country’s pavilions.

There are several table-service restaurants inside the World Showcase, and each one serves authentic food from the respective countries. Enjoy Mexican fare in a romantic setting at San Angel Inn at the Mexico pavilion. Sing and dance during dinner in the Germany pavilion at Biergarten where Oktoberfest is celebrated every day. If you’re in the mood for steak, enjoy a meal with your family at Le Cellier Steakhouse in the Canada pavilion. The options in dining around the World Showcase are nearly limitless, so add a special touch to your day at EPCOT by enjoying an evening meal at one of the many table-service restaurants in one of the 11 pavilions.

7. Experience Spaceship Earth in the evening.

You’ll want to enjoy the Spaceship Earth attraction in the evening after most Guests have ventured out to the World Showcase. You do not—repeat DO NOT—need to use one of your FastPass+ selections for this ride. The lines get very short later in the evening. The attraction gives Guests a unique look into the development of language and communication over the past 40,000 years. Board a time rover and head back to the days when the woolly mammoth roamed the earth and continue through the Information Age of today. Toward the end of the attraction, you’ll get to create a future of your very own!

8. Catch Illuminations—you’re running out of time!

This year will mark the end of the Illuminations nighttime spectacular at EPCOT. The show is presented every night—weather permitting—at 9:00 p.m. You can see it from anywhere around the World Showcase Lagoon. The presentation lasts approximately 15 minutes. Disney World spends a whopping $25,000 each time the show is presented. Enjoy the creativity in storytelling in this show as special effects come together to tell the story of Earth in three parts: “The Earth is Born,” “The Triumph of Life,” and “Hope for the Future.” Fireballs are launched 60 feet in the air as the story is told, and there’s even a 350,000-pound globe that is used as a video display system. It was the first of its kind in the world. There’s no such thing as a bad seat for this nighttime show, so grab a spot and enjoy the nighttime spectacular before it’s a thing of the past!

About Becky Burkett

Becky's from the Lone Star State and has been writing since she was 10 and encountered her first Disney Park when she was 11. It was love at first Main Street Electrical Parade. Joy is blank lined journals, 0.7 mm pens, and all things Walt, Woody and Buzz, PIXAR, Imagineering, Sleeping Beauty (make it blue!), Disney Parks history and EPCOT. At Disney World, you'll find her croonin' with the birdies at the Enchanted Tiki Room or hangin' with Woody and the gang at Toy Story Land. If you can dream, you really can do it!