First Things We Do When Arriving at Walt Disney World’s EPCOT
EPCOT is simply a marvelous place. Steeped in nostalgia and innovation, this is the most unique Walt Disney World theme park. Divided into two strong areas, Future World and the World Showcase, the park is here to delight the technically savvy and those with a travel bug. The property is also massive. And depending on which “side” you enter from, this determines your morning itinerary. To assist, we’ve compiled a list of several things you should experience upon arrival. Whether you want to embrace the future or travel the globe first, here are your first must-dos.
1. Take a Spaceship Earth Photo
Assuming you tackle Future World first, it’s a rite of passage to get a photo in front of the Spaceship Earth globe. (There are countless Photo Pass photographers at the front and rear of the structure. Plus, you can still get great shots from the less-crowded sides!) Nothing gets you in the right mood like a Christmas card – ready family shot at EPCOT. And don’t forget to grab a Cronut for breakfast at one of the many refreshment stands afterwards…
2. Soar Around the World
Resist the temptation to jump on Spaceship Earth (the queue is always longest in the morning) and get in line for Soarin’ Around the World. Adapted from the popular original version, this virtual hang-glider takes you around the most famous landscapes of the globe. Oo and awe at the seven wonders. Avoid the splash of the ocean waves. Smell the various fragrances. Most importantly of all, get in line as soon as possible because this ride is extremely popular. Guests wouldn’t love it if it wasn’t so incredibly realistic. And while the wait is always worth it, why not aim for a shorter one?
3. Find Nemo
After such a thrill, take a breather and check out the calming Seas with Nemo and Friends attraction. Board a clam-shell vehicle and experience a dark ride that incorporates Finding Nemo characters and real-life aquariums. You’ll love spotting actual sharks between the movie scenes! Best of all, this ride can fit countless guests and rarely has a wait. Give it a try and you’ll leave pleased.
Now that the queue has died down, head back to Spaceship Earth. Similar to the previous attraction, this constant loading/unloading ride seats a lot of guests in record time. So, take a seat and enjoy this dark ride that takes you through the history of mankind and our relationship with technology. A true blend of education and entertainment, Spaceship Earth has helped parents justify WDW trips to schools for decades. That being said, this is a beautiful attraction with effects and animatronics that have aged well over time. Enjoy this iconic journey.
5. Take a Test Drive
Make sure you ride the heart-stopping Test Track. Anticipate a roller-coaster style ride that simulates the various safety tests for a car in production. (And have we mentioned that “speed” test finale? It’s literally breathtaking.) As a must-do for roller coaster enthusiasts, this can’t be skipped. And once you’ve experienced it, you’ll never miss it again.
6. For the First Ride in Forever
As stated earlier, there are two excellent options to start your day. So let’s hop over and plan a tentative morning in the delightful wonders of the World Showcase. Regardless of your entry point, head straight to Frozen Ever After in the Norway pavilion. This ride retheming may have been controversial, but it is still one of the most popular attractions in EPCOT. (And it usually has a long wait.) Once seated, enjoy this delightful ride through Arendelle. Best of all, enjoy the cutting-edge projection mapping and some of the most sophisticated animatronics on property. You couldn’t ask for a more enchanting beginning.
7. Time for a Stroll
With the Frozen hard-hitter out of the way, we recommend soaking in the beauty of the area. The World Showcase is one of the most detailed and tranquil places to explore. Before too many people arrive, take a leisurely walk exploring the nooks and crannies of each carefully crafted pavilion. Duck inside the alleys of Morocco. Stroll the landscaped gardens in the UK. Wander the outdoor marketplaces of China. Few people can say they’ve traveled the globe in mere hours, but in Disney anything is possible. Allow your imagination to run wild as you traverse the Earth.
8. Snack Time
No day at Disney is complete without treats, so treat yourself! Every stand or counter may not be open right away, but keep your eyes peeled for open registers. Personally, one of our favorite sweet shops is Germany’s Karamell-Küche. (You will smell the caramel popcorn from miles away.) And yes, caramel goodies are their specialty. You can’t go wrong with any of their desserts. From pastries to apples to bars of pure caramel, your taste buds will be utterly spoiled. Don’t hesitate to indulge, regardless of how early it is. You’ve earned the right to have dessert for breakfast!
9. Party at a Fiesta
Assuming you’re finished snacking in Germany, keep walking towards the Mexico Pavilion for one of the most joyous attractions. While this ride rarely has a wait, it truly enjoyable. Nestled inside the Mayan ruins lies the Gran Fiesta Tour. This charming boat takes you through a dark ride that will remind you of It’s a Small World. The ride is narrated by the famous Three Caballeros, who happen to lose their newest member (Donald Duck). Enjoy colorful and playful scenes of Mexico as Donald gets into all kinds of shenanigans. Even after countless rides, Gran Fiesta Tour never fails to make guests smile.
10. Drinking Around the World
After hopping off your brief cruise (assuming it’s almost lunchtime), it’s time to engage in a beloved EPCOT activity. Guests 21 and over have enjoyed sampling the many alcoholic beverages in the various countries. And many guests like to begin this tour with a refreshing margarita. The nearby La Cava del Tequila offers a menu of varying cocktails made with top-shelf liquor. Always remember to consistently drink water and pace yourself throughout the day. Really take the time to enjoy your beverages. Take a break to sit and overlook the lagoon. Cheers!
With these itinerary tips in mind, we’re confident that you will have an amazing morning in EPCOT, regardless of which entrance you choose. Happy travels and best of luck!
Rebekah is a life-long Disney enthusiast who is thrilled to be sharing her passion with fellow fanatics! As someone who lived on a Disney diet in childhood, her appreciation for the company has only grown over time. When Rebekah isn't planning her next trip, she can be found reading, blogging, obsessively exercising, and participating in the musical theater community.