Top tips for touring EPCOT!

Since visiting Walt Disney World as an adult EPCOT has become my favourite Disney park. It might not have as many thrill rides as the other parks, but there is something really special about the atmosphere at EPCOT. I could sit in world showcase all day long with a drink and a snack in hand and just people watch. I love exploring the countries in world showcase and learning about history and the land and the sea in future world. I could watch the sea turtles in the sea’s pavillion for hours on end (and have done). EPCOT is a peaceful park to me, but it shouldnt be confused with a boring park. There is so much to see and so much to do that I struggle to do it all in one day and like to devote many days of our holiday to enjoying all that EPCOT offers. Here are my top tips for getting the most out of your visit to EPCOT:

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Don’t Skip Spaceship Earth:

Many people I’m sure refer to spaceship earth as a giant golf ball, because that is indeed what the icon of EPCOT resembles! But inside the golf ball is a ride, and it’s a wonderful ride too! Spaceship earth takes you right up inside the golf ball and through history, telling the story how our earth has developed into what it is today and making some (pretty wild) speculations about what the future could bring! Don’t skip this ride!

Fastpass Soarin & jump in the single rider line for Test Track:

If you only have one day to spend at EPCOT then Soarin is a ride you need to fastpass. It regularly commands long waits but is definitely worth doing. The parks other e-ticket ride, Test Track is also very worth doing but because of the fastpass tier system at EPCOT you can only choose one or the other as one of your original 3 fastpasses (as they are in the same tier). I’d go with Soarin, as Test Track has a single rider line which – if you are happy to be split up from your party to ride – can considerably reduce the wait time. The other option is to hit either early as the park opens before the line builds up. Of course this will all be confused by the opening of the new Frozen ride in the Norway pavillion, which is also said to be commanding huge wait times. I have yet to visit since the frozen ride has opened and so have no idea which fastpass tier it belongs to, though the internet informs me it’s in the same tier as Test Track and Soarin. If this is the case I’d still be inclined to use the single rider line for Test Track and then get a fastpass for either Frozen or Soarin depending on your preference and then perhaps get to the other one as early in the day as possible before the crowds build up.

Eat at sunshine seasons:

For a quick service meal at EPCOT I don’t think you can beat sunshine seasons (although there are admittedly many great places to eat in world showcase). Sunshine seasons has plenty of options to suit everyone from Mongolian beef and rice, to rotisserie chicken and turkey sandwiches, plus they use ingredients that have been grown within the land pavillion itself – how cool is that??

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Turkey Sandwich from Sunshine Seasons!
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Mongolian Beef and Rice, Cheesecake & Key Lime Pie from Sunshine Seasons!

Better yet, just make sure you eat anywhere at EPCOT:

EPCOT really can’t be beaten by any other park when it comes to food! The options are numerous and diverse. There are signature restaurants, character dining experiences, buffets, table service and counter service locations. EPCOT even has its own food and wine festival from September to November each year where they add even more kiosks all across the park serving food from dozens of different countries.

Each pavilion in world showcase has at least one restaurant and the cuisine is authentic to the country, so whatever you fancy from Fajitas to Sushi, you can usually find it somewhere in EPCOT!

Dedicate time to exploring world showcase:

So many people just wander around the perimeter of world showcase (a 1+ mile loop around the lake which is home to 11 mini pavillion’s each based on a different country) and fail to really explore the area. Take the time to really explore each pavillion. Go right to the backs where there are quiet corners to relax in. Watch the circle vision 360 movies in Canada, France and China and wander through the mini exhibits and (sometimes massive) gift shops! Take your time to marvel at the little details that really make these pavillions special. Some are more authentic than others. I don’t think much of the UK pavillion for example (although I can see what they were trying to do), but the China pavillion has a replica of the temple of peace in Beijing and having been to the original I was so shocked when I realised just HOW SIMILAR the outside of the EPCOT version is. Here is a real v’s EPCOT comparison photo – obviously the real ones a bit bigger but the detailing is so similar!

 

Don’t skip the seas:

Don’t skip the seas pavilion. It’s kind of tucked away, but its worth going too. You may be thinking ‘but it’s just another aquarium’ and in a sense you are right, but it’s a pretty cool one! They have dolphins, sharks, sea turtles, rays and the place is huge. I find it really mesmerising and could watch the fish for hours and hours. If you want to watch the fish whilst you sit down for a relaxing dinner you can do that too at the Coral Reef restaurant (which I highly recommend). It also makes for a nice air-conditioned place to escape the midday sun for a bit on hot days.

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My sea turtle friend!

Stay for Illuminations:

Illuminations is my favourite of all the fireworks displays at Disney World. It takes place on the lake in the middle of world showcase so you can watch from anywhere. The soundtrack is what makes it if you ask me, it’s just beautiful. With the fireworks and the pavillions all lit up you really do feel like you are somewhere special.

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There is so much to see and do at EPCOT I couldn’t possibly cover it all in this post, so GO! Explore it for yourself! There really is something for everyone!

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