Looking to spend one day in Epcot? Not sure which attractions to hit first? Here are some of my suggestions, tips, and tricks for how to design your Epcot itinerary.
Some things to keep in mind…
- No plan is foolproof. Tons of outside factors will affect how long it takes for you to do the parks, what attractions might be closed for refurbishment, etc. Be willing to go with the flow and don’t feel like you have to stick to your schedule.
- Time of year will greatly affect crowds, so keep that in mind.
- Extra magic hours will influence the amount of people in the parks – this blog post is written assuming you go on a day that does not have extra magic hours.
- Fastpasses are essential to make the most of your Epcot day. Book them as soon as possible!
- This is assuming a full day at the park, from opening to closing. Adjust according to your plans!
- This itinerary does not include every attraction and show in Epcot, just what I believe are the biggest highlights. With young children, things like Nemo may take on more of a priority over thrill rides like Test Track.
- This is my opinion on what I prefer… yours may vary ?
- Frozen Ever After
- Test Track (if Frozen Ever After doesn’t interest you)
- Mission: Space
- Spaceship Earth
And now, my Epcot itinerary:
There are three major attractions in Epcot that you’ll want to make time for. They are Frozen Ever After, Test Track, and Soarin’. Since Soarin’ recently added a third theater the waits haven’t been as bad for that one, so I make it my lowest priority out of the three. That means you’ll want to head to either Test Track or Frozen Ever After first, and then ride Soarin’ after that. For me, that usually means rope dropping Test Track and then heading over to Soarin’ once we’re done with that.
After riding Test Track and Soarin’, it’s probably around 10:00-10:15. Spend some time visiting other rides in the area. Living with the Land can come right after Soarin’ since it’s in the same building. Then head over to check out The Seas with Nemo and Friends, and of course Turtle Talk with Crush! I consider Journey into Imagination with Figment and the Pixar film as optional. Finally, make sure you ride Mission: Space before lunch, preferrably with a fastpass. I try to book my fastpasses in the period from around 10-1.
I like to do a quick service meal for lunch and a table service for dinner. There are lots of tasty places to grab lunch in Epcot! If you’re ready to head to the World Showcase I would definitely try to eat there. Lately I’ve been a fan of Cantina de San Angel, and if you’ve been following my plan and just did Mission: Space you should be close by. Other great lunch options are Katsura Grill (Japan, has Udon and sushi) or Les Halles (France, has great sandwiches and salads – plus the ice cream shop nearby is perfect for dessert!). If you prefer to stay in Future World, Sunshine Seasons has lots of tasty options and Electric Umbrella has improved a lot lately too.
I like to get most of my Future World stuff done in the morning and hang out in the World Showcase for most of the afternoon/evening. I’d aim for a Frozen Ever After fastpass around 1-2 o’clock so I can visit after lunch and squeeze in a visit with Anna and Elsa. Then I just take in the atmosphere of the different countries and check out the shows and entertainment. Voices of Liberty in the American Adventure is a highlight. And I always ride the boat ride in Mexico. And of course I like to try some fun snacks and drinks around the world!
Late Afternoon/Early Evening
At this point I would do one of two things – if I feel like I need a mid-afternoon break I’d leave around 3:00 or 4:00 and take a nap or just relax at the resort. If I wanted to stay in Epcot I’d probably see if I could head back into Future World to re-ride some stuff that I enjoyed the first time or stuff I might have missed. See if you can grab a 4th fastpass. If you’re going back to Future World or taking a break that’s a good time to hit up Spaceship Earth too.
There are so many great dinner options in Epcot, and I like to do a sit down restaurant. Some of my favorites include Tokyo Dining, Le Cellier, Garden Grill, Rose and Crown, or Via Napoli. Though honestly, I don’t think you can really go wrong in Epcot. One of my favorite things to do is eat at Rose and Crown or Spice Road Table around 7-7:30, request an outside table, and hang around until Illuminations begins.
If you aren’t dining at a place with outdoor viewing, I’d try to grab a spot for the fireworks no later than 8:30 – earlier if you’re picky about where you stand (I’m not). After the fireworks show the park closes, and chances are you’re wiped out! But on the off chance that you’ve still got energy, I’d head over to the Boardwalk. Grab a drink at AbracadaBAR or visit the amazingly fun dueling piano bar, Jellyrolls.
Character meet and greets – almost all of the characters are in the World Showcase, so I try to work in some meet and greets while I go around in the afternoon.
Circle of Life show – it’s not good. I would skip it, and I hear it’s probably closing soon anyway.
All of the street entertainment – there are so many great little shows happening in Epcot. If there’s a certain one that interests you I would check out the times guide and make a point to see it. Otherwise I’d wander and make time to stop when you see something good!
Festivals – Epcot is home to three different festivals throughout the year: Festival of the Arts, Flower and Garden Festival, and Food and Wine Festival. A lot of emphasis is placed on food booths during these festivals. If you’re a foodie like I am, I would suggest skipping a counter service lunch and just snacking around the World all afternoon.
Finally, don’t feel like you have to stick to an itinerary. Sometimes the best experiences are from going with the flow and just taking in all of the little details that Epcot has to offer!
If you enjoyed this, make sure you check out my Animal Kingdom itinerary as well!
Do you use an Epcot itinerary? What do you make sure you do on your Epcot day?