Epcot: Full-Day Touring Strategy

There is a reason Epcot is lovingly referred to as “Every Person Comes Out Tired.”  Epcot holds enough attractions, shows, live entertainments, shops, and dining options for at least two full days, but we will do our best to get all of the “must-dos” into a day’s plan.

Epcot Full-Day Plan

Fastpass+ Choices

*Normally, I say to try and schedule your fastpasses as early as you can when you plan on getting into any park.  This way, you can try and use your original three fastpasses and then try to score at least a fourth before the night is up.  Check out how to become a Fastpass+ master in one of our earlier posts.  However, because of the way Epcot’s Fastpass+ system is set up, there isn’t much of a chance to book a good fourth fastpass, so you can spread them out more for where you’ll be location-wise throughout the day.

Epcot has a tiered Fastpass+ system, and it is probably the most difficult system to navigate.  On tier one, fastpass Test Track, which will have the longest wait times of the day, unless you have someone in your group who is a big Frozen fan, then you’ll have to use your tier one fastpass on Frozen Ever After, which will also have wait times in the 80-90 minute range all day.

On tier two, you can basically use your fastpasses on any two attractions you like, as most wait times are around the same, but I like to use them on Living with the Land and Spaceship Earth, which can both see their wait times peak at a decent length and at seemingly random times throughout the day.

Rope Drop (9:00 a.m.)

  • Arrive at the park a little before 9:00 a.m. to get into the park at rope drop. Head to Test Track or Frozen Ever After (whichever you haven’t fastpassed).
  • Head to your first fastpass (around 9:30-10:30 a.m.) – Test Track or Frozen Ever After

Late Morning (10:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.)

  • After you have done Frozen and Test Track, head back to the front of the park and grab a Starbucks from Fountainview. It’s a gorgeous Starbucks, and it is always super impressive to watch how fast these cast members operate.18738961_10207782365311117_7216476552238573142_o
  • If you’re lucky, you might be able to catch a showing of the Muppet Mobile Labs
    right in front of the former tip board– an awesome audio animatronic Bunsen Honeydew and Beaker that somehow interact with the audience and perform “science experiments.” No one, not even cast members, seem to know when these shows happen throughout the day. So, you’re going to have to be a little lucky to catch it.
  • If you’re into Mission Space, head back to Future World East and hop in line (lines are never too long).
  • If you’re at Epcot during a festival, and chances are high that you are (Food and Wine in the fall, Festival of the Arts in the winter, or Flower and Garden in the spring), make sure you stop by the Festival Center in the former Wonders of Life pavilion (RIP Cranium Command).

Afternoon (1:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.)

  • Go back towards Spaceship Earth and use your fastpass (ideally, 12:30 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. window)
  • Head to Future World West
  • Time to ride the Seas with Nemo and Friends (again, not usually a long wait)
  • Once you’re in the Seas, take a look around at all the underwater tanks, and pay a visit to the manatees!
  • Catch a showing of Turtle Talk with Crush, especially if you have kiddos, as they get to sit front and center and may get to ask Crush a question!
  • After the Seas, head over to those pyramid-looking things to visit Figment in18700680_10207782366511147_6716322055649280496_o.jpg
    Journey Into Imagination with Figment.

    • There is something associated with the Imagination Pavilion that you won’t find on any guide map, but certainly needs to have some time devoted to it. Behind the giant waterfall (where the water actually “falls up,”), there are a series of fountains that jump from one platform to the next, called the leapfrog fountains.  These fountains are both completely mesmerizing to look at and incredibly fun to play in.  I could play in these things for hours if there wasn’t so many other fun things to do.  They truly are one of the hidden treasures of Walt Disney World, and everyone who actually takes the time to watch and play in them feels the same way.

Late Afternoon/Early Evening (3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.)

  • Time to head back to World Showcase (“the countries”).
  • Coming from Imagination, you will be closest to Canada, so we’ll start there.
  • Make sure you stop and see “O Canada!,” a short movie featuring comedian and Canadian-native Martin Short. It is the best movie of the countries that offer them in World Showcase.
  • Take a stroll through the shops of the UK, the beauty of France and Morocco, and the gardens of Japan.18739013_10207782382671551_2880442252202441355_o
  • America is the “host” of World Showcase and lies in the center. When you get here,
    take in a showing of the American Adventure, and make sure you do so early enough so you can also see the Voice of Liberty. Check a Times Guide for that day, but they’re last show is usually around 5:00 p.m.
  • Now, a little walking comes into play. Go back the way you came, through the same countries, because we have to go back to the one of the best attractions in all of Walt Disney World.

Evening/Nighttime (6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.)

  • Use your last fastpass for Living with the Land.18673019_10207778951985786_4363065394225469418_o
  • Head across the pavilion to Soarin’ Around the World. The extra walking from World Showcase allows time for the lines to die down a bit in the front-half of the park.  Usually around 6:00-6:30 p.m., the lines in Future World die down a good deal, so you’re only waiting an average of 30 minutes for Soarin’.
  • Now, we’re heading back to the countries (remember that “Every Person Comes Out Tired” crack). This time, go across the promenade to begin your worldly journey through Mexico.
  • Take a ride with The Three Caballeros aboard The Gran Fiesta Tour (hardly ever more than a 5-minute wait).
  • Now, it’s time to decide where to eat dinner around the world!
    • Again, if it’s festival time, your options increase exponentially, with food booths added to the already wonderful quick service and table service options.
  • As you decide, make your way through Norway (which you’ve already seen), visit the shops of China, take in the quaintness of Germany, and the authenticity of Italy, and before you know it, you’re back in America.
  • After you choose your dinner spot, it’s dessert time! Germany, Norway, and France are my favorite spots, so there are amazing options no matter where you are in World Showcase!
  • After you get your dessert, make sure you get a good spot for Illuminations: Reflections of Earth
    • A common mistake people make is feeling the need to get a good spot at least 30 minutes early, right on the lagoon. Illuminations can be seen and heard from just about anywhere, so don’t feel like you have to waste time waiting.
    • My favorite spot? The sitting area outside the Norway bakery- Kringla Og Kafe.
  • Watch Illuminations and enjoy the amazing park closing music that follows.

1269660_10204923311276553_9149098416634969488_o

This plan is quite daunting and may not even be feasible for some people to get through in a day, but it can be done.  No matter what you are able to get done, enjoy every second and take in the beauty of Epcot because it really is a theme park like no other.

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