PlanningThe ParksTips

Discover the Ultimate Guide to EPCOT

EPCOT at Walt Disney World is going through a significant update. The Park is getting a lot of new, magical experiences. New dining, rides, and attractions are slowly becoming available to Guests during this time.

We have the ultimate guide if you spend some of your vacation time at EPCOT. Use this to get the most out of this Disney Park while on vacation.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Credit: Disney

Genie+, Individual Lightning Lanes, and Virtual Queues

Before you head to EPCOT for the day, you must decide if you want to use Genie+, Individual Lightning Lanes, or a virtual queue.

Genie+ can be purchased starting at midnight. This ranges from $15 up, depending on crowds. With purchasing Genie+, Guests can use the Lightning Lane entrances for specific rides, shows, and attractions.

At EPCOT, if Guests want to experience Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, there are two ways to do so. You can purchase an Individual Lightning Lane to access the faster line. The other option is to join the virtual queue at 7 a.m. This gives you a boarding group and approximate return time. Learn more about Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind HERE.

It is essential to think through this decision before your EPCOT day. Knowing your overall plan can help you determine how to experience the Park. The hard part of Genie+ at EPCOT is that the rides are significantly spread out. This means you might spend much time crisscrossing the Park to use your Lightning Lane return time.

Genie+ is a great way to save time in line for the big attractions at EPCOT, such as Frozen Ever After, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Test Track, and Soarin’ however, after those big rides, there aren’t a lot of experiences at EPCOT that will need Genie+.

Think about what will work best for you and your travel group.

EPCOT Mornings
Credit: V Mills

Arrive Early

You will want to get to the Park early to get the most out of your day at EPCOT. You can take advantage of early entry at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel. This allows you to start exploring EPCOT thirty minutes before the posted opening.

During these thirty minutes, hit one of the big rides. Doing one right as the Park opens will give you the lowest wait time possible. You should consider the two main rides at Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Frozen Ever After. Because the whole family can enjoy these two rides together, they are extremely popular, and the waits grow quickly.

Knock out one during early entry to save time for the rest of the day.

French pavilion Patisserie


One of the best things about EPCOT is the fantastic breakfast you can get back in the France Pavilion. Plan on stopping at Le Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie for some delicious breakfast options. From warm breakfast sandwiches to sweet treats, everyone will find something fantastic to have here to get their day started.

Before Lunch

After breakfast, use the morning hours to wrap up the main rides. As the lines will grow throughout the day, getting the most popular rides experienced early on in the day can have a significant impact.

EPCOT is spread out, so try to hit up both Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure before heading back toward the front of the Park. This can save you time going back and forth.

Hit up Test Track, Mission Space, and Soarin before making plans for lunch.

Connections Cafe, EPCOT
Credit: WDW Magazine


EPCOT has so many fantastic dining options to choose from throughout the Park. If you want a quick meal, consider Connections Eatry or Sunshine Seasons. Both of these offer good, fresh options. Don’t forget to use mobile ordering to skip the long mealtime lines.

You can also enjoy some fantastic sit-down meals at Garden Grill, where you can enjoy unlimited skillets while hanging out with characters such as Chip and Dale, Mickey Mouse, and other fun Disney pals.

EPCOT has a variety of dining options throughout the Park. Check out the menus before your visit to find something that works for you.

EPCOT International Flower & Garden Festival
Credit: V Mills/Disney

Festival Fun

When visiting EPCOT, schedule time in the afternoon and evening to enjoy the festivals throughout the year. The festivals bring fun booths focusing on unique small plates and drinks. They also have entertainment and even scavenger hunts for the kids.

The festivals are a great way to explore the Park and experience great food and drinks.

Germany pavilion epcot

Explore the World Showcase

Make sure that you schedule in time to enjoy the World Showcase. This area is what makes EPCOT so unique. Take time to explore the pavilions as they bring the culture of these great countries to EPCOT in a unique way.

Don’t just walk by the pavilions; take time to go into them and truly discover the details that make them so beautiful. Enjoy one of the films, have a great meal, or enjoy a beverage as you walk around.

The pavilions around the World Showcase are so beautiful and unique. Don’t skip out on them during your visit.

Le Cellier Steakhouse


EPCOT is a beautiful place for an excellent meal. Each of the pavilions offers top dining options to choose from. Le Cellier is a fantastic steak house, Rose and Crown offers fish and chips, and Via Napoli has excellent pizza. Schedule a meal at one of these restaurants for supper so you can sit down and relax.

EPCOT Forever
Credit: Disney

Evening Wrap Up

As the evening starts to wrap up, consider watching the nighttime show.  EPCOT Forever is back to entertain Guests as it lights up the World Showcase Lagoon. Grab a spot around the water for an excellent view.

If you don’t care to watch the show, use the evening hours to enjoy the pavilions or rides you might have yet to get on earlier in the day. The evening is excellent for Spaceship Earth, Soarin, and Living with the Land.

When visiting EPCOT, make sure you head in with a plan. This will help you navigate the Parks successfully and have a magical time.

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Jennifer Retzlaff

Jennifer became a lifelong Disney fan during her first trip to Walt Disney World in 6th grade. From that moment, Disney became a big part of her life. She quickly started to introduce her love of Disney to her family with a Disney honeymoon and then family trips when her youngest was 18 months old. She loves the magic that Disney brings to people through theme parks, cruises, and adventures. As a teacher, she tries to bring Disney magic into her classroom to help kids believe that “If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It.” She is also part of the Magic Vacation Planner team as a personal travel advisor. With this team, she can now help others plan magical vacations. She loves bringing her love to Disney to readers with How to Disney.

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