As much as we don’t want to have to schedule everything on our vacations, when visiting Walt Disney World, it becomes a necessity. With advanced dining reservation windows opening 180 days in advance and FastPass+ slots opening 60 days ahead of time, part of a Disney vacation is thinking about where you want to go and when and planning your day out. Each park has different quirks when it comes to gaining access to the park, when attractions open, and when entertainment begins. Here are the things you need to know when making your one day plan for visiting Epcot!
Epcot plays host to four different festivals throughout the year: the Epcot International Festival of the Arts (January through February), the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival (March through May), the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival (August through November), and the Epcot Festival of the Holidays (November and December). Each of these festivals offers different entertainment, food, and drink options to guests.
So, depending on what you are most interested in, you may want to plan your trip to Epcot during one of these festivals to take advantage of them! Our personal favorite is the International Flower and Garden Festival — happening in the spring, guests are treated to comfortable temperatures and weather, along with beautiful outdoor kitchens, as well as stunning topiaries featuring your favorite Disney characters!
Epcot is home to two distinct lands: Future World and World Showcase. Future World opens to guests beginning at 9 AM (8 AM on days when Epcot is having morning Extra Magic Hours). Most of World Showcase stays closed until 11 AM (some shops and restaurants in certain countries open earlier — Frozen Ever After in Norway, as well as Akershus and the patisserie in France). Early arrival at the park can make it easier to experience some of the attractions in Future World without missing out on the fun that happens in World Showcase — you’ll also dodge some of the crowds, too!
Even though there are a ton of restaurants in Epcot, dining reservations are a must when traveling around World Showcase — there are 11 counties, so there is sure to be something that will please any appetite. Some of countries have incredible views of the nighttime entertainment in the World Showcase Lagoon, so be sure to plan accordingly if you want to snag one of these tables. We recommend an earlier dining reservation so you can experience the show from outside after enjoying your meal or dining at one of the few restaurants on the water overlooking the lagoon!