How to Save Time in EPCOT without Lightning Lane

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EPCOT is home to some of the most popular and thrilling experiences at the Walt Disney World and offers Guests the opportunity to enjoy everything from a soothing boat ride through greenhouses and the chance to travel the world to creating innovative automotive designs and diving deep into the seas. With so many incredible things to see and enjoy in EPCOT, Guests absolutely want to make the most of their Disney vacation and each moment in the Disney Park, and there are some great ways to save time in order to see more.

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Spaceshipe Earth

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Obviously Guests can utilize the Lightning Lane service which allows them to essentially skip the line on certain attractions when visited at selected times, however this service requires an additional fee and often only works out for one or two attractions a day. Instead of paying for Lightning Lane, let’s check out some tips and tricks to save time, experience more, and have the best time possible at EPCOT!

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Monorail EPCOT

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Arrive Before Official Opening

It’s simple, but the best way to get the most out of a day in EPCOT is by arriving early before the Disney Park is officially open. By arriving for rope drop, Guests can get through the turn styles, grab some great photo opportunities with Spaceship Earth and the beautiful futuristic fountain and prism in World Celebration, and be ready to head further into EPCOT the moment of official opening. Having that little jump on the day can make all the difference when factoring in visiting specific attractions first thing, no Lightning Lane required.

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Visit Popular Attractions First – NOT Spaceship Earth

While it might seem obvious to enjoy a ride on Spaceship Earth first since Guests have to pass right by it when entering into EPCOT, the attraction is best saved for later. Many Guests tend to automatically hop on that line, and the result is a bottleneck with a longer queue that would normally be found throughout the day. Save Spaceship Earth for a later time in the day when the wait time will be much lower and crowds will be less hectic!

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Outdoor Track

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Instead, continue past Spaceship Earth and strategically head to a popular attraction that is considered a must do. Begin the day by heading straight for Test Track Presented by Chevrolet as the early morning nearly always has a lower wait time than any other point during the day. Guests can enjoy this popular attraction and then even head right next door in World Discovery to enjoy an early morning ride on Mission: SPACE before heavier crowds gather.

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Japan Pavilion

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Dining Through World Showcase for Meals

EPCOT is definitely home to some of the most incredible table service dining options at the Walt Disney World Resort, but a table service meal eats up a significant amount of time that can be spent enjoying other various experiences in EPCOT. Instead of dedicating an entire meal to one location, Guests should plan on dining their way through World Showcase and enjoying a treat or beverage from each of the eleven pavilions. By doing this, Guests can save time while sampling delicious dining options like Egg Rolls in China from Lotus Blossom Café, Guacamole from Choza de Margarita in Mexico, Grilled Kebabs from Tangierine Café in Morocco, Fish & Chips from Yorkshire County Fish Shop in the United Kingdom, fresh sushi from Katsura Grill in Japan, and more.

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Canada Pavilion

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Start in Canada, Not Mexico

Many Guests love to spend the majority of their day in EPCOT in World Showcase enjoying all of the beautiful pavilions and wonderful experiences found within, and most Guests tend to begin their exploration by heading left into the Mexico Pavilion. A great and simple way to save some time while enjoying World Showcase is to avoid some of the crowds and instead opt to head right and begin in Canada. Guests will still enjoy the same experiences, just with lower crowds!

Friendship Boat

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Take Advantage of the Friendship Boats

The pavilions of World Showcase are spread around World Showcase Lagoon and a full loop of the area comes in at just over a mile, which can definitely feel like a lot on a hot and humid day in the Disney Park. While strolling through World Showcase and soaking in the amazing atmospheres and details of the pavilions is a must, Guests can also save a little time and energy by taking advantage of the Friendship Boats which run back and forth across World Showcase Lagoon throughout each day. With a central dock right near the main entrance into World Showcase and two other docks in Morocco and Germany, Guests can eliminate some of the walking and save a little time by hopping onto the boat.

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Take Breaks within EPCOT

Many Guests love to take a midday break from a long day in any Disney Park, but the time spent heading back to a Disney Resort takes up a ton of time that could have otherwise been spent enjoying attractions and experiences. Instead of leaving EPCOT, Guests should instead plan on taking a break within two attractions in World Showcase that feature longer shows in cold, dark theaters with comfortable seating. The American Adventure in The American Adventure Pavilion is twenty nine minutes long and Impressions de France in the France Pavilion is eighteen minutes, and both offer the chance to sit and relax for a while without actually leaving EPCOT. Guests who are truly set on leaving EPCOT for a break can exit through the International Gateway and check out close by locations like Disney’s Beach Club Resort and Disney’s BoardWalk Inn.

RELATED: Quiet Corners of EPCOT’s World Showcase

Frozen Ever After

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Visit Frozen Ever After at Night

Frozen Ever After is a charming attraction that brings the story and beloved characters from Frozen to life and invites Guests to enjoy a serene boat ride to the kingdom of Arendelle. The attraction is popular with all Guests but definitely is a big draw for families with small children, and so the line tends to be longer throughout the daytime hours. Guests who want to enjoy a ride on Frozen Evert After without the lengthy waits should plan on visiting later in the evening when the wait time does tend to die down a little as younger children have headed back for the night.

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Pick a Popular Attraction Right Before Closing

The final tip to save time and enjoy a fantastic day in EPCOT is planning to head to a popular attraction right before closing. Many Guests tend to head to World Showcase Lagoon to enjoy Harmonious, making right before a closing a great time to visit experiences like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Soarin’ Around the World in World Nature, Test Track Presented by Chevrolet, and Mission: SPACE as the wait times will be lower than earlier in the day.

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.