There’s so much to do in Epcot’s Future World! Here are 10 secrets to do it well…
10. Take it Slow – Way too often I hear of people who go to Epcot and leave disappointed. What?! Disappointed by Epcot?! Well, what happens is that they scamper around Magic Kingdom legitimately trying to fit in as much as they can on their first day, then they go to Epcot and hold the same quick pace. That’s NOT how Epcot should be done. Epcot is less of a theme park and more of a super science museum, in my opinion. Which means, in Epcot you actually do MORE by going slow. Stop and play the games; pause and immerse in the exhibits. Interact and experience all of Epcot—you won’t be disappointed.
9. Do Spaceship Earth…Later – Doing Spaceship Earth (the ride inside the big ball) is definitely a must. In fact, my kids often want to ride it three or more times when we go because of the “create your future” part as you descend. However, even though it’s the first ride you come to, it doesn’t have to be the first ride that you do. The wait time for Spaceship Earth is never very long. Instead, use it as a “filler ride”, in between other fast passes or reservations. It’s basically in the middle of Future World, so getting there is never a problem no matter where you are.
8. Character Greetings – Epcot Character Spot is one of the best places to meet the classic Disney pals, in my opinion. They’re dressed in their “normal” clothes, so pictures there are timeless. Don’t forget about Pluto and Daisy near the Epcot entrance. If you’re a Disney Visa Card holder, you have access to an exclusive greeting spot in Innoventions. However, only two of the characters will be there (they say it’s a surprise but I’ve only ever seen Pluto and Minnie), so if you are planning to wait for the main Character Spot, you may find that you can skip the cardholder one (or vice versa). Also, at time of writing, Baymax is across the breezeway from Mickey and Friends—the only place in the parks to meet him.
7. Innoventions – Often the Innoventions section gets overlooked in favor of the rides. But this is one of those places were you should definitely pause and interact. The new color section by Glidden is AWESOME, especially for kids! Again, think super science museum…
6. Free Drinks – If you’re thirsty, stop off at the Cool Station by Cocoa Cola for free samples from around the world. Some are better than others (what is up with Italy?!) but it’s fun to try a few in order to find your favorite.
5. Fast Pass Test Track – At time of writing Soarin’ is closed for refurbishment, which means Test Track wins for most popular Epcot ride. (Normally, it’s a tie between the two of them, but because of the tier system you could only choose a FastPass for one or the other.) Be sure to reserve Test Track FastPasses early, since the wait is currently 90 minutes or more. Test Track is a ride that you don’t want to miss. You’ll start by designing your own car to compete virtually in the “simulations” of the ride. Then you’ll buckle in the test car for a thrilling, high-speed experience. (PS – If you did the test-dummy version way back when, do it again—this version is way better!)
4. Check the Dolphin Schedule – The Seas with Nemo & Friends always holds plenty of appeal for young and old. But being there for the dolphin show is definitely a highlight, since often you cannot see them swimming in the tank otherwise. It is not publicized on the My Disney Experience app, but if you check with Guest Services they will be able to tell you the schedule. Get (or adjust) a Fast Pass for the ride 30 minutes or so before showtime—perfection!
3. The Rest of The Land – People get so excited for Soarin’, they often bypass the rest of The Land building. In my opinion the boat ride Living With the Land is definitely interesting and worth your time. It’s not highly popular so usually the wait time is minimal. Also, there are two great dining venues here: Sunshine Seasons, a food court style restaurant with numerous healthy and unique options (plus, by golly, the desserts!), and The Garden Grill, an overlooked but highly acclaimed family-style character meal restaurant.
2. Kiddo Cool Down – If I have friends visiting Epcot with small children, I always tell them to bring an extra set of clothes for the little ones. There are a couple small splash pads in Future World that are a perfect spot to cool down—but no one likes wet clothes afterwards! The splash pads are perfect entertainment for toddlers who are not tall enough to ride the “big” rides…one parent can camp out and let them go crazy, then use rider switch! (Rider switch allows the waiting adult to get a fast pass and skip the line. Ask a cast member at the ride’s entrance.)
1. Come Back at Night – Most people enjoy Future World in the morning because World Showcase doesn’t open until 11:00. But don’t forget to come back to Future World at night for lovely views (and photos) of the fountain, ball, and even sidewalks, as they come alive in dazzling lights. What a great way to end a wonderful Epcot day!
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