Epcot is seriously amazing. With the distinct areas of Future World and World Showcase, it’s kinda like getting two theme parks for the price of one! Remember to take your time as you tour Epcot. There are fewer rides (compared to Magic Kingdom), but half the fun is lingering in the exhibits, so don’t rush through them!
Before You Go:
As we mentioned in our 6 Steps Planning, you’ll want to figure out Fast Passes and Advanced Dining Reservations (ADR) before you enter the park. Here are our general suggestions for families:
1. FastPass+: Any of the First Tier + Spaceship Earth + Epcot Character Spot
When scheduling FastPass+ reservations for Epcot, you’ll notice that there are two sections. The top tier is the most popular attractions, and you may only choose one of them.
2. ADR: Cape May Cafe (Breakfast), The Garden Grill, Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, or Coral Reef Restaurant
All right, here we go!
1. Early Morning
I highly recommend reserving the earliest possible character breakfast at Cape May Cafe in the Beach Club Resort. If you have a car you can leave it at the Beach Club all day and walk over to Epcot. It’s a wonderful start to your day!
Start in Future World (World Showcase does not open until 11:00 am). I’d start with the West side first. Make Soarin’ your first ride before it gets busy. Then move on to Living with the Land, Imagination, and The Seas.
Get a snack in Sunshine Seasons (bakery items are delicious and a great value).
4. Late Morning
Do character greetings at the Epcot Character Spot, as well as the area across the breezeway (currently Baymax, Joy, and Sadness are there). Do Spaceship Earth and sample sodas from around the world at The Cool Spot (behind Starbucks). Then move over to the East side of World Showcase for Test Track and Mission:Space.
Garden Grill OR Electric Umbrella for counter service
6. Early Afternoon
Inventions East exhibits (Colortopia is a highlight). Then start heading towards World Showcase. Be sure to sign up for Agent P’s World Showcase Missions on the breezeway.
It’s fun to get an authentic snack while watching a show. Some of our favorites are shaved ice with Matsuriza in Japan or ice cream with Serveur Amusant in France.
8. Late Afternoon
World Showcase. Highlights include lots of character greetings, Frozen Ever After (Norway), Gran Fiesta Tour (Mexico), Jeweled Dragon Acrobats (China), Sergio (Italy), and Voices of Liberty (USA).
Akerhaus or Coral Reef for table service OR any World Showcase counter service that appeals to you. (Our favorite is La Cantina de San Angel in Mexico.)
Free time to repeat some favorites or do anything you may have missed.
11. Late Night
IllumiNations. You don’t want to miss this incredible fireworks/lasers/drones show. Grab a dessert and a good spot at least 20 minutes before the show. Some favorites include the space between UK and France, down by the water in Italy, or up on the balcony in Japan.
- If possible, visit Epcot during the Flower and Garden Festival (spring months). There are several amazing playgrounds and gardens set up during this time that your kids will love.
- Ellen’s Energy Adventure may look cool with the dinosaurs and all, but it’s really long for kids.
- Weekend evenings can get a little rowdy in World Showcase, just FYI. Especially during Food and Wine Festival.
- The Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival is nice, but if you’re pressed for time you may want to skip it. (You’ve most likely seen them all, or can access them in other ways.)
However you choose to schedule it, have a memory-filled Epcot day with your family!