PlanningThe ParksTips

How to Experience EPCOT in a Few Hours

We planned a quick evening at EPCOT during our most recent trip to Walt Disney World. Our flight landed at 11:30, and I knew the kids would want food and swimming before we did anything else. After checking into Disney’s Coronado Springs Resort, we checked those two things off the list.

We weren’t heading to EPCOT until around 4:00 that afternoon. Typically this would have been stressful for me. I would have been worried that we were missing things and not using our Park ticket to the fullest. With Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes, we had a fantastic time in just five short hours. That even included a fun meal at one of EPCOT’s most popular dining locations.

Come along with me for a quick few hours in EPCOT.

Family planning for Disney

Planning Ahead

Knowing we wouldn’t be getting to EPCOT until later in the evening, I knew that using Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane would be essential to us being able to experience more in a shorter period.

When we got up for our flight, I paid for Genie+. Then once I could book our first return time, I focused on Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. As I knew that this famous ride would be more competitive, I wanted to ensure that my kids could experience it for the first time on this trip. I booked it for a later return time of 7 to 8 that evening, knowing that would give us much time to get into EPCOT that day.

Genie+, on the other hand, was a little trickier. As we didn’t want to head into the Park until later, I had to keep watching and modifying our options to a time that would work with our day. Remy’s Ratotulie Adventure continues to be extremely popular at EPCOT, so I made that my first selection.

By starting our planning for the day early, I was able to set us up for our late arrival.

Disney Genie
Credit: Disney

Stacking Genie+

Once you have purchased Genie+, you can keep booking every two hours after Park opening. Since EPCOT opened at 9:00 am, I could continue making Genie+ selections at 11, 1, and 3 before we even got into EPCOT.

When we walked into EPCOT that evening, we had the following experiences booked via Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane.

Soarin: 4:00- 5:00

Frozen Ever After: 5:40-6:40

Remy’s Ratotulie Adventure: 5:40-6:40

Test Track 6:25-7:25

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind: 7:05-8:05 (via Individual Lightning Lane)

Let’s look at how we put these to use throughout our evening at EPCOT.

Greetings from the Future, Spaceship Earth, EPCOT
Credit: Disney

Our Touring Plan

We quickly grabbed the bus from Disney’s Coronado Springs at 3:45 and arrived at EPCOT. From there, the kids made Mom happy, focusing in on World Celebration by getting pictures and riding Spaceship Earth, which had a 10-minute wait. Spaceship Earth is a must-do ride for me in EPCOT. I love the history of it and how it is classic old EPCOT bringing entertainment and education to Guests in a fun way.

We headed to The Land Pavilion, found in Spaceship Earth’s new World Nature section, where we used our Genie+ pass for Soarin’ Around the World. This is also a favorite ride of mine. The standby wait time was 45 minutes, but with Genie+, we were getting strapped into our seats within 12 minutes. Some will complain that the ride needs updating, but I find it breathtaking whenever I experience it.

We grabbed our refillable popcorn bucket on our way back to the France Pavilion. Not only does it make a great souvenir, but if you have teens that love popcorn, this is an excellent investment for your trip. Once purchased, popcorn refills are only $2.25. A fantastic deal!

Kids at Remy's in Epcot

We munched back to Remy’s Ratotulie Adventure and enjoyed some World Showcase taking in the sites. When we got to Remy’s, the posted wait time was at 90 minutes for standby. With our Genie+ booking, we could get onto the ride in 10 minutes.

A bonus to our quick experience was that we could get a snack at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie. Known for delicious pastries, this spot never disappoints. After refueling, we tried the new DuckTales game on the Play Disney app. We went on a few adventures around France. This was fun to explore the pavilion in a way we typically don’t. Download the PlayDisney app to find DuckTales and other great games for all the Parks.

Following some adventure in France, we headed around the World Showcase to Norway to see our favorite sister duo. The wait for Frozen Ever After was similar to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, hovering around 90 minutes. With Genie+, we were able to ride in 10 minutes.

From there, we headed to Test Track, where we had a great time creating a crazy car before we rode. Finally, we could load Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, found in World Discovery. The kids found the ride sick, and I was focused on not getting sick. I was glad that they had a fantastic time.


Using Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lane, we could ride five of the top rides in EPCOT in a short two hours.

Family dining at Space220 EPCOT
Credit Disney

Space 220 Lounge

Our final adventure before returning to bed was a late meal at Space 220 Lounge. Space 220 is the hottest dining location at EPCOT currently. At both lunch and dinner, Guests experience a prix-fixe menu. I OPTED FOR THE LOUNGE since I knew my kids wouldn’t eat that much.

You can order from the lounge menu featuring small bites and the more extensive restaurant menu. This was perfect for the three of us. We were able to share, and the kids loved their drink that came with pop rocks. They had a great time watching them pop all over.

Even though we only had a few short hours at EPCOT, we were excited to experience so much of its magic. We got so much done quickly, from excited dining to the top thrill ride.

The next time you head to Disney, don’t discount trying out a Park for just a few hours. You might be surprised at how much you can experience quickly.





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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