Epcot is a favourite park for many visitors spending time at Walt Disney World. Utilizing these effective tips to enjoy Epcot will make your day at the park just that much better. It is easy to underestimate the size of Epcot. When you consider Future World, the Seas, the Land, the Hub, the Showcase plaza, and the World Showcase…you are dealing with a lot of park. Each part of the park contains rides, shops, and offers its own particular atmosphere. I have created this Epcot survival guide to provide you with my best tips to enjoy Epcot so that you can efficiently navigate this monster of a theme park.
- Enjoy the rides early in the morning
The rides at Epcot can get busy, especially Frozen Ever After, Soarin’, and Test Track. In order to successfully find your way onto one of these experiences, arrive at the park as early as possible, with rope drop being the obvious best time. As Test Track does have a single rider option that moves incredibly fast, I would point your early morning ride direction to either Frozen Ever After or Soarin. Being that Epcot’s fast pass system only allows one of these tier one rides per day, guests should be able to effectively get on all three by fast passing one, enjoying one at rope drop, and accessing Test Track’s single rider line. The rest of the rides in the park ebb and flow reasonably throughout the day and are less of a concern.
One of the reasons why this is one of my favourite tips to enjoy Epcot is that the World Showcase does not open until 11:00am. This allows park goers to get the most out of their time in the front half of the park before being distracted by the food and wine in the World Showcase. The World Showcase stays open until 9:00 and has the night time entertainment. With this fastpass strategy guests can get the most out of the part of Epcot that is open. This way when the World Showcase opens, time can be dedicated to the area without roller coaster FOMO.
I also use this strategy to get on Avatar’s Flights of Passage in Animal Kingdom without a Fast Pass.
2. Get your Photo passes done at 11:00am, as soon as the World Showcase Opens
If you are interested in taking commemorative photos of your time at Walt Disney World, then head into the World Showcase as soon as it opens and hit all the photo passes before everyone else does. When Disney says it opens at 11:00am, Disney means it opens at 11:00am. While everyone else is still streaming into the park for the World Showcase, or stuck in lines for rides (which you have avoided via Tip 1), you can do a full lap of the World Showcase stopping at every photo pass getting photos of you and your family in the park without hordes of people behind you, and without waiting in line. This Epcot survival guide tip allows you to survive Epcot with the best photos to prove it.
Like at Epcot, Animal Kingdom is best taken advantage of before 11:00am! Check out this Animal Kingdom fastpass strategy and hacks guide.
3. Water is Free at most Kiosks
I mentioned this in my guide to Magic Kingdom and I will say it again as part of my tips to enjoy Epcot. Water is complimentary at Walt Disney World! You can stop by the majority of kiosks or quick service restaurants and pick up a cup of clean, cold, iced water. What I am saying is, you don’t need to purchase a $4.00 water bottle and you have no excuse to not be hydrated all day long. The more hydrated you are, the better you will feel. This tip gives guests a better chance of surviving a long day at Epcot.
4. Get a free refreshing drink at Club Cool
Next to Starbucks, or the ‘Fountain View Cafe’ as it is called, across from Mouse Gears is one of Epcot’s best kept secrets. Club Cool is a store sponsored by Coca-Cola where guests can stop by at any point in the day and sample the most popular Coke products from around the world. The samples come from 1 of 3 fountain drink stations pouring 1oz tastings of each drink. Stop by, and taste your way around Coke’s world. You can refill your cup as many times as you would like, and come on in all day long. Club Cool is a major part of any Disney Pro’s Epcot Survival Guide.
5. Find the Blue Room to cool down and charge your phone
Right next door to Club Cool as mentioned above, on the side closest to the World Showcase, is a magical blue corridor with a blasting air conditioner, couches, and wall outlets. One of the best tips to enjoy Epcot is to keep yourself charged all day long. If you need to take a moment to escape the heat, the blue room is the place to be. The air conditioning is always on. It is a low traffic area. There are bathrooms, and couches that line the walls which are actually comfortable. Behind the couches are outlets you can use to charge your electronics. The blue room is a perfect little hideaway to catch a little ‘chill’ during your time at Epcot.
6. Visit Epcot during one of its Festivals
Epcot is known for its festivals and so one of the best tips to enjoy Epcot is to visit during one of the 4 festivals hosted at the park throughout the year. The easiest way to survive a long day at Epcot is to go when there is even more to do; the more to do, the less tired downtime you have to compete with. The Food and Wine Festival, the Festival of the Arts, the Flower and Garden Festival and the Festival of the Holidays are all events which take place throughout the year. If you can plan your trip during one of the festivals, then that is your first step to surviving long days at Epcot.
7. Take Advantage of the Underrated Experiences
There are quite a few ‘underrated’ experiences in Epcot which do not get the attention they deserve, so take advantage of them during your time in Walt Disney World. During the day while everyone is waiting in line for rides (which you have already done because you followed step one), you can almost walk on to any one of these experiences and they can be pretty entertaining. These are great places to go when you are tired from walking around the massive park that is Epcot and feel the need to take a cool and relaxed break. The Living with the Land ride in the Land pavilion provides an informative and fabulous example of hydroponic technology. The Pixar Film Festival shows 3 entertaining shorts, and the movies and shows in the country pavilions throughout the World Showcase are both enlightening and fun. Eliminating time waiting in lines, and keeping busy are vital to surviving a long day at Epcot, no one likes a gray area. Keeping yourself busy with alternative experiences are one of the best tips to enjoy Epcot you could ask for.
8. Escape for a Mid-day Break to the Boardwalk via the International Gateway
A day at Epcot can be really long. One way to break up the Disney day is by taking advantage of the International Gateway to Epcot area resorts and Disney’s Boardwalk. Guests have access to these areas by walking to the back of the World Showcase (between England and France) and heading out of the park to enjoy a bit of peace and quiet away from the madness that is Epcot. There are beach areas to sit and relax, and places for kids to run around. There are a variety of restaurants available, as well as bars, and even quick service joints where you can bring food out on to the boardwalk. Sometimes a break to just relax in a less crowded zone can seriously re-energize the rest of the day. This is a method I use, not just for an Epcot survival guide, but for a Disney World Survival Guide.
9. Stop for a drink and a Snack at Tutto Gusto’s Wine Cellar
If you are in the need for an escape from the heat, and are looking for a place that is cool, dark, calm, and relatively adult to catch your breath, head to Tutto Gusto’s Wine Cellar. You can find this hidden gem in Italy, just beyond the Tutto Italia restaurant. Find the door, walk into the basement, grab a glass of wine, beer, and an antipasto and enjoy the wonderful world of adulting. When considering tips to enjoy Epcot, this is a great place for adults to catch a moment of chill…with good wine.
If you are trying to decide where to eat in Walt Disney World, try one of these Character Meals ranked for adults.
10. You can see the Fireworks from everywhere in the park, don’t waste your time waiting
This is one of the biggest tips to enjoy Epcot you could take advantage of…a total game changer. I am saying this with confidence…you can see the fireworks show from anywhere in the World Showcase. I actually get a sense of sadness in my heart when I see people sitting at the railing for 2 hours to watch a 15 minute firework spectacular that you can see from anywhere in the World Showcase. Spare the 2 hours, do something fun, soak up Epcot, but don’t waste your time sitting by the railing. Ill give you another big tip…you do not need to be by the railing to see the fireworks, they are in the sky! Step back a few feet and enjoy, it looks the same. Don’t waste your time in Walt Disney World waiting for fireworks in the sky.
11. Get a Coffee and Wait for the crowd to funnel out after fireworks
The rush to leave a Walt Disney World park is actually insane. Thousands of people filter out of Epcot at 9:15 after the fireworks, and I mean thousands. It is reminiscent of the Hunger Games with people pushing and shoving their way to the exit. You can avoid this, however, by having purchased a coffee or drink before fireworks, and sitting at a table to enjoy it as the major crowd makes its way out. No coffee, no problem, try people watching. Sitting for an extra 15-20 minutes can make a world of difference when attempting to leave Epcot. Enjoying your time from start to finish is a big part of the Epcot Survival Guide.
Heading to Walt Disney World on vacation, not sure where to start or what to do? That totally OK, connect with me for a consultation and tap my brain to help organize your trip!
Wow. If I’d had this guide BEFORE I went to DisneyWorld, it would have been a much better experience. I had no idea you could get free water. I wonder how much I wasted on that?? And the Blue Room? I wish I’d known!!! I did go to Living on the Land and thoroughly enjoyed it. Even spotted a hidden Mickey there. :)
This is such great information! Thank you for sharing!
Super cute photos! I just was in Epcot a couple months ago and regret not scoring some of those rose gold ears, haha! Love these tips too – I think there’s lots of underrated rides and attractions in Epcot people overlook. I loved the Coco stuff in the ‘Mexico’ part, hidden inside that temple!
Ryan Biddulph says
So timely because friends of ours raved about Epcot a few days ago. They visit once a year and adore the place. I see why. The countries in the place seems so cool, with food and culture and buildings being quite the mirror of the actual nation. Super post Kimberly.
I love Epcot but it has been SO long since I’ve visited. These tips would definitely help. I especially like how you’ve laid out the three most popular rides-fast pass, rope-drop, single rider line. Got it! Food showcase around the world is my absolute favorite. I would love to go back sometime soon and see how it’s changed and how familiar a lot of the foods will be to me now that I’ve traveled so much! The Blue room would become my friend ASAP if I went when it’s hot which I don’t love to do. And yes, you can see the fireworks from anywhere….while everyone else is waiting in “the” spot, go ride the rides some more. All the people will be waiting on fireworks!
What a great guide to Epcot! The last time I was there was 2010, and we definitely didn’t know about the free water or Club Cool. Thanks for the pro tips about watching the fireworks from anywhere in the park and not rushing to leave at 9 PM — that’ll make things way less stressful for us next time we visit for sure!
Okay… don’t hurt me… but Epcot is my least favorite Disney park. Haha, sorry!! To be fair, the last time I went was years ago and I think it has changed a lot since then. Plus I was a kid and just wanted to do Splash Mountain all day, whereas Epcot seemed more ‘educational.’ I have to say I wish I had your guide way back then, and it is definitely making me want to give Epcot a second chance! That around the world with Coke sounds fun.
The last time I was at Disney World was 10 years ago! I wasn’t aware that Epcot has so many festivals! I have heard about the food and wine festival, but not the others! I’d love to visit during the flower and garden one – it is just so pretty everywhere you look!
Rachel Pearson says
Epcot is my favourite park in Disney, its been a while since I did all the rides, but we love to go ‘around the world’ sampling all the different food and drinks – so much fun! I didn’t know you could get free water at the kiosks though …great to know!
Nicola Holland says
Love these tips. Juice costs a fortune in Disney so good to know I can get free water. Epcot is the only park I haven’t been to but looks amazing, next time 👍
Ashley Hubbard says
I love, love, love Epcot! I’ve grown up going to Disney World and it has such a nostalgic value for me. I’m actually heading back in November and for the first time as a vegan. I can’t wait! These are great tips too!
Kimberly Erin says
Amazing!! Ill be there in November too :)
Barbara Szekeres says
I was in Epcot a while ago, but it is certainly one of the happiest places on Earth. Thank you for reminding me of how much fun it was. I cant wait to go back!
Great tips. The blue room sounds like a great place to sit relax and get some nice ac while charging up the phone. Also good to know you can get a free refill with your cup all day long. Saving on water is also great.
Disney is not my thing, but with these tips I’d betcha I have a much better trip! The one thing that might get me to Epcot one day is there food festival that looks pretty darn good! Thanks for sharing these time saving and aggravation reducing tips!
i’ve never been to Epcot, but I can imagine it can be a little overwhelming, so thanks for your tips. Especially the tips about utilising your fast passes. Neat tip about Club Cool too – I enjoy samples of things, and this sounds like both a refreshing and useful getaway from the chaos of the crowds!
The Pixar Film Festival is definitely my jam and that’s awesome that water is free! It’s ridiculous how some places charge $4 (sometimes more) for a small bottle. Also, you had me at wine. I’m not a mom myself, but I’d imagine this would be the perfect place to unwind after a day at the park with kids hahaa.
I can see why doing the rides first thing would be a smart idea! I am definitely not a fan of the Disney parks, but if I ever visit Epcot, I will definitely take you up on the tip to get a coffee and wait for the crowds to disperse … big crowds are one of my least favorite things ever, especially at the end of a long day.
I haven’t been to Disney World for a very long time but remember Epcot was my favorite park. Would like to check out both Frozen Ever After and Soarin, they would be new to me. Didn’t realize water is free, great tip!
I’ve been to Disney World but didn’t actually visit Epcot. How is that possible?! ;) I appreciate your tips on arriving early to get the most of the day and actually ride the rides. And love knowing that the water is free – and environmentally friendly to boot. It does get awfully hot in Florida!
Laura Spann says
Loving place. Seems you enjoyed much. Next week il;l go. Thanks
Medha Verma says
I think the best tip would be that one can see the fireworks from anywhere in the park so they don’t need to waste their time waiting! The fireworks look amazing by the way and I have been to Disney Epcot but I do not remember the boardwalk unfortunately! Also, a great tip to get your photos first thing once the park opens.
Suruchi Mittal says
Those are some of the perfect tips to enjoy Epcot especially doing the morning tour and getting your tickets sorted by 11 am. Sponsored coco cola store and blue phone charging room too are the perfect options. I liked your happy face in all the pictures. Great post gal.