Epcot is one of the four theme parks located at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. It’s known for its international pavilions, futuristic technology exhibits, and various attractions and shows. With so much to do around EPCOT including the World Showcase, we have listed the EPCOT Must Dos for your EPCOT day.
Best Rides in EPCOT
EPCOT (Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) is a unique theme park that combines education and entertainment. The park was originally conceived by Walt Disney as a place where people could learn about science, technology, and the future in a fun and engaging way.
EPCOT is divided into two main sections: Future World and World Showcase. Future World is where you can explore technology, innovation, and the natural world through a variety of exhibits, shows, and attractions. For example, you can experience a simulated space mission at Mission: SPACE, design and test your own virtual concept vehicle at Test Track, or explore the world’s oceans and marine life at The Seas with Nemo & Friends.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is an upcoming attraction at Epcot in Walt Disney World Resort, currently under construction and set to open in 2022. The attraction is based on the popular Marvel Comics characters and features an innovative ride system that combines a roller coaster with a rotating ride vehicle.
The story of the attraction follows the Guardians of the Galaxy as they visit the Nova Corps to borrow a device called the “Cosmic Rewinder.” However, things go awry when a creature called a “Chronosaurus” escapes and causes chaos throughout the galaxy. Guests will join the Guardians on a thrilling adventure through space and time as they attempt to catch the Chronosaurus and restore order to the galaxy.
This attraction combines great music, storyline, and ride experience, so it is of course on the list for your Best Day Ever! Currently, the only way to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmis Rewind is to either get a Virtual Boarding Group or purchase an Individual Lightning Lane (pay per ride to skip the line feature).
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is a recently opened attraction at Epcot and is based on the popular Disney Pixar film “Ratatouille” as it takes guests on a thrilling adventure through the world of the film’s protagonist, Remy the rat.
The attraction is located in the France pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase and takes guests on a ride through the kitchen of Gusteau’s restaurant, where they follow Remy as he scurries through the kitchen, avoiding obstacles and dodging danger.
The ride uses state-of-the-art technology to create a fully immersive experience for guests. The ride vehicle, which resembles a rat, moves and tilts in sync with the action on screen, creating a feeling of being inside the film itself. The ride is also designed to appeal to all ages, with no height requirement, making it a great option for families with young children.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is a fun and exciting addition to Epcot, offering guests a chance to step inside the world of one of Disney Pixar’s most beloved films as an honorary rat! Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is currently available under the Genie+ Lightning Lane system as well as a traditional standby queue.
Because this is a new attraction, we recommend either riding right at Rope Drop or right before the park closes if you plan to use the standby entrance.
Frozen Ever After
Frozen Ever After is a popular attraction at Epcot in Walt Disney World Resort, based on the hit Disney animated film “Frozen”. It is located in the Norway pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase.
The ride takes guests on a boat journey through the world of “Frozen,” where they encounter characters like Anna, Elsa, Olaf, Kristoff, and Sven. The ride features scenes and songs from the film, including “Let It Go,” and “For the First Time in Forever.”
The attraction uses state-of-the-art technology to create a fully immersive experience for guests, with animatronics, special effects, and projections that bring the world of “Frozen” to life. Guests will feel as though they are sailing through the fjords of Arendelle and experiencing the magic of Elsa’s ice palace.
The animatronics in Frozen Ever After use some of the most sophisticated technology used in any Disney animatronic and utilize projection mapping for hyper realistic faces and facial expressions. Basically, this attraction isn’t just for the little princess loving children, it’s really for the engineering and Disney nerds!
Frozen Ever After is available through the Genie+ Lightning Lane service to schedule a time to skip the line. Trust us, this is a must if you want to ride Frozen Ever After. The standby line for this is always crazy long.
Must Have Epcot Lightning Lanes
If you purchase Genie+ there are rides that you want to prioritize Lightning Lanes for and others that you can just do in the general standby line. The attractions that you want to use Genie+ for on your Best Day Ever at EPCOT are:
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Frozen Ever After
- Test Track
- Mission Space
Individual Lightning Lane
The only ride that utilizes the pay-to-play skip the line Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. The cost is based on demand for the day. The pricing can range from $15 per person to $29 per person.
Do you need an Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) in the EPCOT?
Yes and no.
Let’s explain: Getting a Virtual Boarding Group is FREE. F-R-E-E. However, that is only an option if you actually get one.
Getting a Virtual Boarding Group requires some preplanning, fast fingers, and an early alarm. It’s totally possible, but realize that 10,000 of your closest friends are all trying to do it at the same time.
How to Snag a Virtual Boarding Group
- Have your party already set ahead of time.
- Make sure you have a park reservation for EPCOT.
- Set an alarm for 6:30 AM EST so you can wake up and have a cup of coffee before you need to function.
- Have another device open to the World Clock in the clock app.
- Make sure you are off of Disney WiFi. Frankly, cell phone data is more reliable for this because remember those 10,000 friends…
- At 6:55 AM open up your My Disney Experience App and click the button on the home page that says “Join Virtual Queue”.
- When the world clock app says 6:59:59 start refreshing the Join the Virtual Queue page in the app until a button appears that says “Join”.
- The next page will ask you to select your party. Don’t waste time reading the members, just click the next button!
- Hopefully you got a success page. If you don’t, it’s okay. You can try again at 1:00, but this time you have to be in the park.
BONUS: EPCOT Cult Classic Rides
There are some die hard Disney fans out there, and some Disney attractions, especially original ones sometimes gain an almost cult-like following with super fans, and EPCOT is no exception.
For EPCOT, the cult attraction is hands-down Journey into Imagination with Figment.
Journey into Imagination with Figment
Journey Into Imagination with Figment is an attraction at Epcot that has gained a cult following among Disney fans. The ride first opened in 1983 as a replacement for the original Journey Into Imagination attraction, which opened in 1982.
The ride takes guests on a journey through the Imagination Institute, where they are introduced to Dr. Nigel Channing and his mischievous purple dragon assistant, Figment. The ride features a catchy theme song and colorful sets that showcase different aspects of creativity and imagination.
Despite undergoing several changes over the years, including a major renovation in 2002 that removed the original version of Figment, the attraction remains a fan favorite. Many fans appreciate the ride’s whimsical spirit and its celebration of creativity and imagination, and Figment has become something of a cult icon among Disney fans.
Figment the Pop Culture Icon
In recent years, Disney has embraced the ride’s cult following, introducing Figment-themed merchandise and hosting special events for fans. While most days Figgy maintains a 5-15 minute standby line, that changes at Christmas when fans will wait in an hour long line just to see our favorite little dragon in a cute Christmas sweater.
If you think that was crazy, that’s nothing compared to the 2022 EPCOT festival where they released a Figment souvenir popcorn bucket where people waited in a line for… wait for it… 8 HOURS! Yes, 8 hours for a Figment Popcorn bucket.
Best Entertainment in EPCOT
Epcot is known for its live entertainment offerings, which are spread throughout the park and provide guests with a variety of musical and cultural experiences. Here are some examples of live entertainment you can enjoy at Epcot:
Mariachi Cobre – This group of Mexican musicians has been performing at Epcot since the park opened in 1982. They play traditional Mexican music and wear authentic costumes, adding to the festive atmosphere of the Mexico pavilion.
Matsuriza – This Japanese drumming group performs in the Japan pavilion, using taiko drums to create a powerful and rhythmic sound. Their performances are full of energy and are a great way to experience Japanese culture.
Jammitors – This group of percussionists uses trash cans and other everyday objects to create music and entertain guests in Future World. Their performances are high-energy and fun for all ages.
These are just a few examples of the live entertainment offerings at Epcot. There are many other performances and shows to discover throughout the park, so be sure to check the schedule and performance times in your My Disney Experience App.
Do you need Lightning Lanes for EPCOT Entertainment?
There are no Lightning Lanes for entertainment or shows in EPCOT. EPCOT is a “choose your own adventure” park, so relax, stroll, and see what you see! Today is a break from major planning.
EPCOT Festivals & Entertainment
Epcot hosts several festivals throughout the year, each of which features its own unique entertainment offerings. Here are some examples of the live entertainment you can expect to see at Epcot’s festivals:
Epcot International Festival of the Arts – This festival takes place in the winter and features art exhibits, workshops, and culinary demonstrations. Entertainment offerings include live performances by Broadway stars, visual artists creating works in real-time, and live music acts.
Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival – This festival takes place in the spring and features topiary displays, gardening seminars, and outdoor kitchens. Entertainment offerings include live music performances by popular acts like Simple Plan, Peabo Bryson, and Rick Springfield.
Epcot International Food & Wine Festival – This festival takes place in the fall and features culinary demonstrations, tastings, and seminars. Entertainment offerings include concerts by popular musical acts like Boyz II Men, Sugar Ray, and Hanson.
Epcot International Festival of the Holidays – This festival takes place during the winter holiday season and features holiday-themed food and drink offerings, as well as special entertainment. The Candlelight Processional is a popular highlight of the festival, featuring a celebrity narrator telling the story of Christmas accompanied by a live orchestra and choir.
Best Meet and Greets in EPCOT
You may not think that there would be many meet and greet opportunities in EPCOT, but you are in Walt Disney World remember!
Character Spot – Located in Future World, the Character Spot is a meet and greet area where guests can interact with Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, and other classic Disney characters.
Frozen Ever After – Guests can meet Anna and Elsa from the hit movie “Frozen” in the Royal Sommerhus, located in the Norway pavilion.
Princesses – Guests can meet and take photos with several Disney princesses at the Princess throughout the countries in World Showcase. Belle, Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, and others are often available for meet and greets.
Mary Poppins – Guests can meet Mary Poppins in the United Kingdom pavilion and take photos with the iconic nanny.
Winnie the Pooh and Friends – Guests can meet Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and other friends in the United Kingdom pavilion.
Disney announced that in the coming future Figment will be available for meet and greets! Figgy is about to break the internet…
Do you need Lightning Lanes for the Character Meet and Greets?
There are no Lightning Lanes for any of the Character Meet and Greets in EPCOT. It is all standby lines or just see the characters in passing.
Best Snacks in EPCOT
Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort is known for its diverse and delicious dining options. The park features a wide variety of restaurants, snack stands, and food booths, offering everything from international cuisine to classic American dishes.
Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort offers a wide variety of snacks that are both delicious and unique. Here are some of the best snacks to try at Epcot:
This sweet, Norwegian treat can be found at the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe in the Norway pavilion. It consists of a sweet roll filled with vanilla custard and topped with coconut.
Enjoy a little taste of Canada with the Maple flavored popcorn available at the popcorn cart right outside the Canadian pavilion. BONUS: This popcorn also participates in the discount deal with the souvenir popcorn bucket!
Anything from Les Halles Boulangerie
We just couldn’t pick! Les Halles Boulangerie is in the heart of the France pavilion and is both the bakery and mini cafe. Depending on what you’re hankering for that day you can get a sweet macaron, semi-sweet tart, savory sandwich, or just live your best carb life with a freshly baked baguette. We won’t judge if we see you just eating a loaf of bread.
Pretzel Bread Pudding
Picture salty German pretzels soaked in custard and baked with cinnamon… Now top it with vanilla cream. Yes. This gem is available in the German pavilion. Be sure to ask for extra vanilla cream!
This classic carnival treat can be found at the American Adventure pavilion. It’s a crispy, fried dough that’s topped with powdered sugar and can be customized with toppings like strawberries, whipped cream, or chocolate sauce. BUT for a little extra special fun try their special that day.
The menu changes seasonally with fun creations like mint chocolate or lemon blueberry.
These are just a few of the many delicious snacks through EPCOT. EPCOT really is a foodie paradise, so come hungry!
Best Drinks in EPCOT
If you have heard anything about EPCOT you have heard about “drinking around the world”. Yes, EPCOT has a lot of different cocktails to choose from!
By far, the best EPCOT cocktails can be found at the various festival booths, but here’s the best cocktails available at the permanent stations in EPCOT:
The Avocado Margarita at La Cava del Tequila
This unique margarita is made with fresh avocado and features a blend of tequila, melon liqueur, fresh lime juice, and agave nectar.
Grand Marnier Slush at Les Vins des Chefs de France
This refreshing frozen cocktail combines Grand Marnier, Grey Goose Orange, and orange juice to create a delicious slushie-like drink.
Tokyo Sunset at Kabuki Cafe
This cocktail is a combination of strawberry puree, coconut rum, and pineapple juice. It’s a fruity and refreshing drink that’s perfect for a hot day in the park.
Pimm’s Cup at Rose & Crown Pub
This British classic features Pimm’s No. 1, lemonade, and a variety of fresh fruits and herbs. It’s a light and refreshing drink that’s perfect for sipping on the pub’s outdoor patio.
Grapefruit Beer at Sommerfest
If you’re looking for something light and refreshing, try the Grapefruit Beer at Sommerfest. This German-style beer is mixed with grapefruit juice to create a fruity and tangy beverage.
Best Restaurants in EPCOT
Usually, people like to use EPCOT to snack and nibble through the park to try a little of everything, but maybe you want to celebrate a special occasion and enjoy a little more of a formal meal.
Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort offers a wide variety of dining options, ranging from quick-service restaurants to fine dining experiences. Here are some of the best restaurants to try at Epcot:
Le Cellier Steakhouse
This popular restaurant in the Canada pavilion offers delicious steaks and other Canadian-inspired dishes in a cozy, cellar-like setting. Plus – You can get a charcuterie board with a beef fat candle that you can eat. That’s one of those things that you do just so you can say you did it.
Located in the France pavilion, this upscale restaurant offers gourmet French cuisine and stunning views of the World Showcase Lagoon. Remember, this is a signature dining experience that has a dress code.
Spice Road Table
This Mediterranean-inspired restaurant in the Morocco pavilion offers delicious small plates and entrees, along with stunning views of the World Showcase. This often-overlooked restaurant is delicious and is very easy to get a table.
This Japanese restaurant in the Japan pavilion offers delicious teppanyaki-style meals cooked right at your table by skilled chefs. Be ready for a full show that will extend into hours in the restaurant.
Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria
Located in the Italy pavilion, this restaurant offers delicious, authentic Neapolitan pizza along with a variety of Italian dishes.
This buffet-style restaurant in the Germany pavilion offers traditional German fare and live entertainment, making for a fun and festive dining experience. In the German pavilion, every day is Oktoberfest!
Reservations for Epcot Dining
Making dining reservations in Epcot is a good idea, especially if you want to try some of the more popular restaurants or dining experiences. Dining reservations can be made 60 days in advance through the My Disney Experience.
BONUS: Food Booths at EPCOT Festivals
Epcot is famous for its festivals, which feature a diverse range of food booths offering unique and delicious dishes. The food booths are typically set up around the World Showcase and Future World, and each booth offers a selection of dishes and beverages that fit the theme of the festival.
There is almost always a festival going on in EPCOT, so be sure to check before your next trip!
Best Photo Spots in EPCOT
There are many great photo opportunities in Epcot. Here are some of the best:
- Spaceship Earth: The iconic geodesic sphere that serves as the entrance to Epcot is a must-see and must-photograph attraction. You can capture great shots of Spaceship Earth from various angles around the park.
- World Showcase Pavilions: The World Showcase Pavilions offer many great photo opportunities, as each pavilion features unique architecture, landscapes, and cultural details. You can take photos of the colorful buildings, traditional clothing, and street performers in each pavilion.
- Character Meet and Greets: There are many opportunities to meet and take photos with your favorite Disney characters throughout Epcot. These experiences include classic Disney characters like Mickey and Minnie Mouse, as well as characters from different countries in the World Showcase.
- The Living Seas: The Living Seas pavilion features a massive aquarium that is home to thousands of marine animals. You can take photos of dolphins, sharks, turtles, and other sea creatures through the glass walls of the aquarium.
- Flower and Garden Festival: During the annual Flower and Garden Festival, Epcot is transformed into a colorful wonderland of blooming flowers and topiary displays. This is a great time to take photos of the elaborate flower arrangements and character topiaries throughout the park.
Whether or not Memory Maker is worth it depends on your personal preferences and priorities. Memory Maker is a Disney PhotoPass product that allows you to download all of the photos taken by Disney PhotoPass photographers throughout the parks, as well as ride photos and videos.
Another great perk with Memory Maker is the access to Magic Shots. Magic Shots include a hidden surprise in your picture. Maybe there will be a little character hidden in the photo, or even special effects.
Is Memory Maker worth it?
Here are some things to consider when deciding if Memory Maker is worth it for you:
- Do you want to capture all of your Disney World memories in photos? If you plan to take a lot of photos during your trip, Memory Maker can be a convenient way to get all of your photos in one place.
- Do you want professional-quality photos? Disney PhotoPass photographers are trained to capture high-quality photos and often use professional equipment, so the photos you receive through Memory Maker can be a step up from the photos you take with your own camera or phone.
- Do you plan to purchase ride photos and videos? Memory Maker includes all ride photos and videos, so if you plan to purchase those separately, it may be more cost-effective to buy Memory Maker instead.
- Do you want to save time? With Memory Maker, you don’t have to worry about stopping to take photos or managing multiple cameras or devices. This can save time and allow you to focus on enjoying your trip.
- Is the cost within your budget? Memory Maker is an additional cost on top of your park tickets and other expenses, so you’ll want to make sure it fits within your overall budget for your trip.
BONUS: Which EPCOT Festival is Your Must Do?
There is almost always a festival going on in EPCOT, but what is the best festival for you and your party? Trust us when we say EPCOT festivals always have something for everyone, but maybe one just clicks for you.
Below is a little bit about each of the EPCOT festivals.
EPCOT Festival of the Arts
The Epcot Festival of the Arts is an annual event held at Epcot in Walt Disney World. The festival celebrates various forms of art, including visual, culinary, and performing arts. Here are some key features of the Epcot Festival of the Arts:
- Art exhibits: The festival features art exhibits showcasing the work of renowned Disney artists as well as emerging artists. You can browse the exhibits and purchase artwork to take home.
- Culinary arts: The festival features several food booths offering a variety of artistic and creative culinary dishes. Each dish is beautifully presented and incorporates artistic elements, such as edible paint and sculpted food.
- Performing arts: There are several performances throughout the festival, including concerts, Broadway-style shows, and acrobatic performances.
- Interactive activities: The festival offers several interactive activities for guests, such as workshops and seminars on various forms of art, including animation, photography, and painting.
- Merchandise: You can purchase festival-themed merchandise, including clothing, pins, and artwork.
EPCOT International Flower and Garden Festival
The Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival is an annual event held at Epcot in Walt Disney World. The festival is focused on showcasing beautiful flowers and gardens, as well as offering a variety of activities for guests of all ages. Here are some key features of the Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival:
- Topiaries: One of the highlights of the festival is the collection of topiaries throughout Epcot. These are elaborate sculptures made from plants that depict beloved Disney characters.
- Gardens: In addition to the topiaries, the festival also features a variety of themed gardens, such as butterfly gardens, a tropical rainforest garden, and a Shakespeare garden.
- Food booths: The festival offers a variety of food booths featuring fresh, seasonal ingredients, with many dishes incorporating fruits and vegetables grown at the festival.
- Outdoor kitchens: The festival also offers outdoor kitchens, where guests can watch chefs prepare dishes using fresh ingredients and sample a variety of dishes.
- Entertainment: There are several musical acts and other performances throughout the festival, including Garden Rocks, a concert series featuring classic rock and roll bands.
- Workshops: The festival also offers a variety of workshops and seminars on gardening, cooking, and other related topics.
EPCOT Food & Wine Festival
The Epcot Food and Wine Festival is an annual event held at Epcot in Walt Disney World. The festival celebrates the culinary arts with a focus on international cuisine and wine. Here are some key features of the Epcot Food and Wine Festival:
- Food booths: The festival offers a variety of food booths featuring international cuisine from over 30 countries, including small plates, desserts, and beverages.
- Wine and beer: There are also beverage booths throughout the festival, offering a wide variety of wines, beers, and cocktails from around the world.
- Culinary demonstrations: The festival offers a variety of cooking demonstrations and seminars, where guests can learn cooking techniques and sample dishes.
- Entertainment: There are several musical acts and other performances throughout the festival, including Eat to the Beat, a concert series featuring popular musical acts.
- Merchandise: You can purchase festival-themed merchandise, including clothing, pins, and kitchen items.
- Special events: The festival also offers several special events, including pairing dinners, brunches, and parties, where guests can enjoy food and wine in a more intimate setting.
EPCOT Festival of the Holidays
The Epcot Festival of the Holidays is an annual event held at Epcot in Walt Disney World. The festival celebrates holiday traditions from around the world, featuring seasonal food, music, and entertainment. Here are some key features of the Epcot Festival of the Holidays:
- Holiday Kitchens: The festival offers several food booths, known as Holiday Kitchens, featuring seasonal dishes and drinks from around the world. These dishes range from traditional holiday fare to more unique offerings.
- Candlelight Processional: The Candlelight Processional is a retelling of the Christmas story with a celebrity narrator, live choir, and full orchestra. This is a popular event, and it’s recommended that guests secure a seat ahead of time.
- Holiday Storytellers: Throughout the festival, guests can listen to holiday storytellers sharing traditional tales and customs from around the world. These storytellers represent countries such as Italy, France, and Canada.
- Holiday Entertainment: There are several musical acts and other performances throughout the festival, including the Holiday Cookie Stroll, where guests can sample holiday treats while collecting stamps for a special prize.
- Merchandise: You can purchase festival-themed merchandise, including clothing, pins, and holiday ornaments.
- Special Events: The festival also offers several special events, including Holiday Tea at the Rose & Crown Dining Room and a New Year’s Eve celebration.
EPCOT Tips For Your Best Day Ever
Walt Disney World has so much to offer that it can be overwhelming, so here’s some tips for your best day ever.
Epcot can get busy, so arriving early gives you a head start on the crowds. Rope dropping the park can also help you take advantage of shorter lines for popular attractions.
Make use of the Genie+ system to reserve a time slot for your favorite attractions. This way, you can avoid long lines and maximize your time in the park. Yes, the service costs extra, but the Best Day Ever doesn’t involve spending all day in line!
Florida can get hot and humid, so make sure you drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated. You can also bring a refillable water bottle and use the water fountains located throughout the park.
Wear Comfortable Shoes
Epcot is a large park, so be prepared for lots of walking. Wear comfortable shoes and consider bringing blister pads just in case. Worst case scenario you can head into the Baby Care Center in the park for basic first aid items like bandaids.
Epcot has plenty of shady spots to take a break and rest your feet. Take advantage of these spots to relax and recharge. The Morocco pavilion is the best place in World Showcase to relax in the shade and away from the crowds.
Try the Food
Epcot is known for its international cuisine. Take advantage of the various food options available in the different pavilions and try something new. Eat all the food!
Stay for the Fireworks
Epcot has nightly fireworks show over the water in World Showcase. The newest show Harmonious is set to close April 2,2023 and EPCOT Forever will return until the latest show is ready for release. It’s definitely worth staying for, as it’s a beautiful display of fireworks, lasers, and music.
I am a mother of three that has refused to grow up. Adulting is for the birds, so I go to Disney World every chance I get for that magical escape from reality. I believe that Haunted Mansion is the best ride in all of the Disney Parks, and I am fervently in team Happily Ever After for fireworks spectaculars, (sorry, not sorry, Enchanted). Finally, I hope I never grow tired of skipping down Main Street, USA, and my dream come true would be “friends with” the Fairy Godmother in my old age.
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