9 Best Tips for EPCOT

In this guide, we will cover our best tips for EPCOT to ensure that you arrive to the park extremely prepared, and know all of the 'hacks' to maximize your time and money.

epcot ball

Table of Contents

  1. The Park is Split Into Two Areas
  2. Visit World Showcase First
  3. Know About Disney Genie and Disney Genie+
  4. Arrive to the Park When it Opens
  5. Know What the Popular Rides Are
  6. Drink Around the World
  7. Take the Tram After Parking
  8. Watch the Nighttime Fireworks
  9. Shop at EPCOT

1. The Park is Split Into Two Areas

If you take a look at the EPCOT map, you'll notice that the park is split up in 2 areas, Future World and World Showcase.

epcot robot

Future World

Is the portion of the park that focuses on innovation and technology. It details Walt's vision through unique architecture and design.

Here, you'll be able to find popular rides such as Test Track, Mission: Space, and The Seas With Nemo & Friends.

Future World can be found straight ahead, right after entering the main entrance of the park.

World Showcase

This portion of the park is exactly what it sounds like, as this area features different countries.

In each country, you'll find authentic food, drinks and even live experiences. They do a great job of providing guest with a real-life experience around the world.

As you walk around from country to country, you'll immediately see everything flip in seconds, ranging from the types of building architecture to the types of food that are offered.

epcot future world

2. Visit World Showcase First

As we mentioned, Future World is located right after the main entrance, which means most guests will bunch up in this area quickly after entering the park.

epcot anniversary

By visit the World Showcase section of the park first, you'll be able to deal with minimal crowds and have a better experience overall.

Normally, we head over to Mexico, and move in a clockwise direction (to the right) around the park.

After completing the circle around World Showcase, that's when we finally make the move to Future World,.

3. Know About Disney Genie and Disney Genie +

Fast Passes have been retired, but now a new option has been born, known as Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane.

It's important to know that Disney Genie and Disney Genie + are two separate things.

Disney Genie +

is an upgrade that costs $15 that allows riders to skip the regular line and access to the 'Lightning Lane' entrance. This is essentially the new fast pass.

Lightning Lane selections must be made on the same day of your visit and can be used across several theme parks, which is extremely convenient for those with the Park Hopper options.

Disney Genie

disney genie logo

Disney Genie on the other hand is included with admission is essentially a live itinerary, that you can use to plan your day before arriving to the park, and while you're at the park through the My Disney Experience app or Disney app.

4. Arrive to the Park When it Opens

Ideally you'd want to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the park opening.

epcot opening time

This will normally give you the edge on being able to head directly to your must-do rides & experiences, without dealing with the heavy lines.

Additionally, the park normally takes a few hours to fill up, which will give you a few hours of a more laid back experience.

Make sure that you know the EPCOT hours, as they are often different depending on the day which you are visiting.

5. Know What the Popular Rides are

The most popular rides will inevitably bring the larger crowds. By knowing which these rides are ahead of time, you can plan your day at the park more efficiently.

Soarin'

This flight motion simulator will take guests high into the air showcasing the beauties of the world.

soarin epcot

Guests will begin in the Swiss Alps, travel above the Pyramids of Egypt, and even see the Wall of China!

This ride uses artificial winds and aromas, to give guests the most realistic experience possible.

Test Track

One of the most unique rides ever. Guests will design their own car, and then they'll be able to test drive that same car at high speeds and sharp turns!

test track

This is the fastest ride in all of Disney World as guests will reach speeds of up to 65 miles per hour.

Mission Space

If at one point you've ever wondered what it'd be like to be an astronaut, this ride is for you.

This ride will simulate everything and anything related to space, including boarding, training and even lift-off.

6. Drink Around the World

Remember how earlier we mentioned there were different countries in World Showcase?

Well, it gets even better.

drinking around the world

There's a fan favorite activity that's called 'Drinking Around the World'. How it works is guests will attempt to not just drink, but experience everything each country has to offer in a single day.

This is something most guests do as a couple, or as a group!

Each country has a completely different experience than the other, and something that you'll be able to talk to your friends and loved ones about afterwards, forever.

As always, drink responsibly, and you must be 21+ to drink.

7. Take the Tram After Parking

If you're unable to get to the park early, you may end up parking far away in the lot, which means tons of walking.

epcot tram

Luckily for you, there's a tram that comes by every few minutes that can shuttle you to the entrance of the park.

You can start your day at the park in style, and save your feet for walking inside of the actual park.

Bonus Tip

Make sure that you take a picture of where you parked!

Don't make the rookie mistake of spending an entire day at the park, and forgetting where you parked.

Avoid walking around aimlessly for minutes trying to hear the sound of your car horn by taking a picture. Disney parking lots will have pictures of characters that differentiate each row and area.

8. Watch the Night Time Fireworks

If you're able to stay until night time, DO IT!

epcot fireworks

The main reason is that EPCOT showcases amazing fireworks shows at this time.

You've never really seen fireworks until you've stayed through Disney fireworks. They showcase fantastic special effects along with great creativity to really give visitors a unique experience.

9. Shop at EPCOT

If you want to buy unique gifts for your family (or yourself), EPCOT is the perfect place to do so.

shopping at epcot

In World Showcase, you'll be able to find country-specific merchandise.

In Future World, you'll be able to find futuristic centric souvenirs and apparel.