EPCOTPlanningThe ParksTips

Planning an Exciting Day at EPCOT

EPCOT is the biggest Disney Park to navigate during a Walt Disney World vacation. Having a plan for how you will tour the Park is essential, so you don’t put in a bunch of extra miles. One lap around World Showcase is a mile, so unless you are working out, you want to limit how much you are crisscrossing EPCOT. This is also important right now because of the construction that is happening. EPCOT is going through a big update, and although it will be amazing when it is done, it is slightly messy right now.

We have a few tips for touring to help you have a wonderful time at EPCOT. We hope these will help you generate an overall touring plan to get the most out of your day.

Before we get started, remember that EPCOT is one of the Disney Parks we don’t always feel Genie+ is needed. Our plans don’t include purchasing Genie+ but know that you can do so if you want to manage the wait times more during your day.

Credit: Disney


Before arriving at EPCOT, we highly recommend purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane or obtaining a boarding group (or both) for Guardians of the Galaxy: Comic Rewind. This is the newest attraction in Walt Disney World and one you won’t want to miss out on. However, the only way to experience it is through ILL or a boarding group. You’ll want to do this in the morning to plan for those return times.

Early Entry: Our next big tip for touring EPCOT is to use early entry. When staying at a Walt Disney World Resort hotel, you can enter any Disney Park thirty minutes before posted opening time. This can make a huge difference in being ahead of the crowds. Get on the bus 90 to 60 minutes before opening to ensure you are ahead of the crowd.

First Ride: Your first ride will depend on where you enter the Park. If you are entering from the front of EPCOT, we recommend heading to either Test Track or Soarin’ as your first ride. For those entering from the International Gateway entrance at the back of the Park, you will want to head to either Remy’s Ratotoulie Adventure or Frozen Ever After.

Once you have accomplished that ride, we recommend thinking about where you want to spend the next hour or so. As we mentioned earlier, EPCOT is big. Because of this, you won’t want to be walking back and forth from World Showcase to the front neighborhoods. Pick an area to focus on.

Front of the Park: If we were in the front of the Park riding Test Track or Soarin’, we would think about staying up there. We would use a single rider to get on Test Track or wait in line for Soarin. From there, we would hit up fun attractions such as Mission Space, Spaceship Earth, and even Nemo and Friends.

Back of the Park: If we started in the back of the Park, we would ensure that we got both Remy’s and Frozen Ever After before checking out the Grand Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros for fun. After accomplishing these rides, we would start looking at heading to the front.

connections eatery
Credit: Disney Park Blog


One of the great things about EPCOT is that there are so many fantastic food options to choose from. Think about what your family needs when it comes to food. Do they need a sit-down meal? Would they instead pop from place to place and try out many options, or do they just want to order something quick?

Table-Service Meal: There are outstanding table-service meals located throughout EPCOT. For kids, try out Garden Grill, where Chip n’ Dale and their friends greet Guests while they enjoy a feast. Look into Le Cellier or Rose and Crown for great options for a romantic meal.

Quick Service: The new Connections Eatery and the beloved Sunshine Seasons offer top quick service entrees for Guests to enjoy. Use mobile ordering at both to avoid long lines. Most countries throughout the World Showcase also provide quick service locations if you have a specific cuisine you are looking for.

Festival Booths:  Throughout the year, EPCOT hosts a variety of festivals. At each festival, Guests can enjoy small plates from numerous food booths throughout the Park. These are excellent ways to try new cuisine without having significant meals. Share entrees so you can enjoy more.

Turtle Talk With Crush


Once you have refueled, you can once again tour the Park. The afternoons get hot and crowded, so have a plan to manage both. We recommend enjoying some of the shows throughout the country or even Awesome Planet, a film found within the Land Pavilion.

Take time to explore the Seas Pavilion and the fantastic aquarium, where you can find dolphins, turtles, manatees, and so much more. Don’t skip out on Turtle Talk with Crush. This interactive show brings laughter and joy to Guests each day.

Epcot Beacons of Magic
Credit: Disney Tips


EPCOT comes alive during the evening hours. Make sure to stop and see the Beacons of Magic that light up Spaceship Earth each night. Enjoy cooler temps and walk around and explore the great countries. See the displays and enjoy more of the cuisine that is offered.

Evenings are when you will want to hit up the rides you didn’t in the morning. Crowd levels shift to focus more on food than rides as the night continues. If you haven’t experienced a ride yet, this would be the time to do so.

Finally, grab a spot to enjoy Harmonious, the current nighttime show at EPCOT. Although we have been told a new show will be coming, take time to enjoy this display of fireworks, projections, and fantastic music to wrap up your day at EPCOT.

EPCOT is such a big Park with so much to offer. Because of this, you will want to make sure you have a plan for touring. Knowing what you want to see and do can help prevent a lot of extra walking. We hope our suggestions will help you navigate and have a magical time at EPCOT.

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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