Epcot is an amazing theme park filled with a variety of attractions ranging from educational to thrilling with something for everyone in your family. With its vast size, Epcot is easily a theme park that takes at least two days to see all that it has to offer.
Developing A Touring Plan
A Touring Plan is a “plan” or strategy for seeing the attractions that you wish to see, while minimizing the amount of time that is spent waiting in lines. It takes into account the potential wait times and popularity of various attractions and it also looks at trends for typical park going crowds.
A good touring plan for your visit to a Walt Disney World Park can make the difference between a long, tired, frustrating day, and the best vacation ever.
Epcot: A Tale of Two Worlds
Upon entering Epcot you will want to familiarize yourself with the layout. Look at a map of Epcot prior to entering the park.
Epcot is divided into two Main Sections: Future World and the World Showcase. Future World opens 2 hours before the World Showcase each day so you typically will start your day there.
StrategyThere are two attractions in Epcot that develop long lines and will form the basis for your Touring Plan: Soarin’ and Test Track.
Enter the park at rope drop (Disney lingo for opening which is typically 9:00 am). Send a designated person from your party to Soarin’ to get FastPasses for the group. (If you are not familiar with FastPasses read more here: FastPass - the Ticket to Maximizing Your Fun At Disney World)
The rest of the group should head towards Test Track and get in the line once the whole party is there.
After riding Test Track proceed to Mission: Space. There are two versions of this ride: mild and wild. Choose the one that best suits your style, but we highly recommend riding this attraction.
Next head over to Ellen’s Energy Adventure. This attraction does take about 45 minutes. We think it is worth the time, especially if you have never been on it before.
Proceed to the Innoventions East Building. The Sum of All Thrills is a great attraction if the line is not too long. Also, the Don’t Waste It attraction sponsored by Waste Management is fun for the family.
Head to the Seas With Nemo and Friends to explore the undersea world in an amazing pavilion.
Now it is time to head to the Land pavilion to use your FastPasses to ride Soarin’. At this point the standby line will often be over 1 hour long. The FastPass will save you about 50 minutes or more.
After that check out Living With The Land that is in the same building, and you may want to have Lunch in the Sunshine Seasons Quick Service restaurant, which is one of the best in all of Disney World with an amazing variety of foods to choose from.
At this point you can visit the rest of Future World attractions (Journey Into Imagination With Figment, Honey I Shrunk The Audience, Innoventions West, and Spaceship Earth) or head into the World Showcase. If you have allotted two days for Epcot, this is a good time to head to the World Showcase. Spaceship Earth often has a shorter line at the end of the day and you can visit it then.
When you get to the World Showcase, you can choose either direction to walk around the World Showcase Pavilion to visit the 11 Country pavilions. At each country there are shops, attractions, live entertainment and places to eat.
The World Showcase is best enjoyed if you do not hurry or put yourself on a time table. This is a place to relax and enjoy. Young children can be entertained with the Kidcot Stations available in each country and old children (and adults) will like the Kim Possible Missions.
There is so much to do, see, and enjoy at Epcot, it can not be done in just one day. If you try then you will miss much of the magic of Epcot. You can spend almost a full day just watching all of the live entertainment that performs daily at Epcot.
If you are spending two days, skip any attraction with a line over 20 minutes (except Test Track at the beginning of your day) and put it at the top of your list to visit at opening for day 2.
In each Future World Pavilion, there is a variety of activities to explore after the main ride. Take the time to check these out. Many are educational and most are a lot of fun. You will find people racing past them to head to the next attraction and they really miss out.
The Innoventions buildings have added many new attractions that are worth your time to explore. These are buildings that often get skipped as well.
If you want help with a detailed Touring Plan, we recommend http://www.touringplans.com/. They are the people who wrote The Unofficial Guide to Walt Disney World and have statisticians on their staff that they use to take real attraction wait time data to create their recommended touring plans.
Lastly, the food in Epcot is the best! Do yourself a favor and make sure that you make reservations to have dinner at one of the Epcot Table Service Restaurants.