Epcot was certainly one of my favourite of the Walt Disney World Theme Parks. It was big but never too busy. Maybe it felt less busy because of its size. We spent a couple of days there and loved every minute of it. I would recommend planning your fast passes and trip around the park well. I think this park took more precision planning than I was expecting.
On our first day there we spent a lot of time walking from place to place and we were shattered. I learnt by our mistakes and re planned day two to make life easier getting around. One thing to note about Epcot is that it will take a lot longer to walk to places than you think.
I would certainly recommend you allow 2 days for Epcot. It would be a very long day for families if you tried to fit in all the rides plus a leisurely walk around the world showcase. It is also a Disney park that is worth spending two days at. There is plenty to see and do for young and old.
Epcot For Kids | What is there to Do | Best Fast Pass
Getting to and into Epcot
We were staying in a villa offsite for our 2 visits to Epcot. It was an easy park to park at. We even arrived late one day and we still weren’t parked too far away. We took the courtesy tram in but in all honesty, we could have walked. On the second day, we arrived at 9 am and we were so close that we didn’t bother with the tram. We also found the bag check queues a lot shorter here. It all felt a lot less of a hassle visiting Epcot.
If you are staying off site it costs $22 a day to park at Epcot and all the other Disney parks. If you are staying at a Disney hotel there is no charge for transport via bus, boat or Monorail.
Epcot for Kids and Families – What is there to do
I will comment below as to what we did and didn’t manage to do. If there is a FP beside the words in bold this means that it is a ride or show that you can reserve a Fast Pass for. Don’t forget to read the end of my post for recommendations on what to Fast Pass.
Epcot is well known for its table service restaurants, with most of them located in the World Showcase. There are more table service restaurants here than any of the other Disney World theme parks. The main table service restaurants in Epcot are the Coral Reef restaurant which is expensive however you get to dine next to a very large tank full of fish, even sharks. Jamie and I ate here on one of the days and there is a link to my review at the bottom of this post. The character dining restaurant is Garden grill which you will find in the Land area.
Another character dining restaurant is Akershus Royal Banquet Hall where you will find a lot of the more popular Disney princesses. There are another 15 table service restaurants in the world showcase. You truly can dine all around the world. We also ate at the Chinese restaurant Nine Dragons.
Shows / Films at Epcot
Turtle Talk with Crush (Future world west) FP – We queued up for general admission and were sat at the back. We could just about see OK and Jamie especially loved the humour in this. It was very cleverly done as Crush interacts with some of the audience. I found myself puzzling over how they did it for most of the time.
The Circle of Life (Future world west) – This was not on during our visits.
Disney & Pixar short film festival FP (Future world west) – This is a few Disney short animations where you wear 3D glasses. Honestly, I found it a little bit too long and I was wishing we hadn’t bothered. It was OK but if you are short of time at Epcot then this isn’t for you.
Reflections of China (world showcase) – ‘View the places and faces of the world’s most populous country in this circle-vision 360 film’ – 14 minutes long.
The American Adventure (world showcase) – ‘Explore the past and future of America through fil, music and audio-animatronics’ – 30 minutes long.
Impressions De France (world showcase) – ‘Experience the grandeur and charm of the French countryside through film’ – 20 minutes long.
O Canada (world showcase) – ‘View the very best Canada has to offer in this circle vision 360 film’ – 14 minutes long.
Rides at Epcot – Family Friendly – No height restrictions
Spaceship Earth (Future World East) FP – This ride is within the iconic silver globe itself. You board a continuous carriage up and around and down throughout the history of mankind. As you are heading back down your face is superimposed onto people on a screen in front of you which then tells a story involving yourselves. It’s quite a long ride and we were glad we went on it. We walked straight on it on the day that we arrived at 9 am. The silver globe is the ride that you come to when you enter the park.
The Seas with Nemo and Friends (Future world west) FP – This is a non-stop ride with carriages that you sit in for a journey with Nemo and all the characters from this popular film. We liked this ride but I did think that the graphics could have been better. It is a slow ride. This ride can become quite popular however you probably wouldn’t need a FP earlier on in the day.
Living with the land (Future world West) FP – This is a sedate boat journey which teaches you all about how we live off the land. It was a little boring but Jamie seemed to find it interesting. Because the ride is so close to Soarin’ it always seems to have a relatively long queue. It was mostly around 30-40mins long and we were glad of our FP as although it’s a relatively long ride it’s not worth queuing for.
Journey into Imagination with Figment FP – This has a relatively short queue in the morning. We had a FP for this first thing but we did not need it and walked straight on. It’s another relatively slow and educational ride hosted by a character called Figment. There is also an interactive play area once you are finished on the ride.
Gran Fiesta Tour Mexico World Showcase – Hidden within Mexico you will find this relatively long and sedate boat ride around Mexico. We literally walked straight onto the boat. It was one of Jamie’s favourite rides.
Rides – For taller and older kids/families
Mission Space (Future World East) FP – Green Mission 102cm/40″ and Orange mission 112cm/44″. There are two different queues for this ride. The green mission is less intense and although Jamie was tall enough for the orange mission he was quite insistent that he didn’t want this ride to be too scary so we went on the green mission. This has a lot shorter queue. In fact, we queued twice (toilet emergency) and we were never in the queue for more than 10 minutes. This ride sits you in your own ‘launch chair’ and there’s 4 in a row. It is a very claustrophobic space and even on the less intense mission it still felt like you were blasting off into space. You have to complete tasks while you travel over the surface of the earth. We both loved it, although we were totally rubbish at doing what we were told. Don’t forget to have a go in the advanced training lab at the end of the ride.
Test Track (Future world East) FP – 102cm/40″ I would have loved to have gone on this. We couldn’t see the ride as such but Jamie could hear the roar of the engines and it freaked him out. He did not want to go on it. We never had a FP for it so I’m not sure we would have attempted the hour-long queue. There always seemed to be a long queue for this ride. You sit in a car that goes fast around a circuit.
Soarin’ (Future world West) FP – 102cm/40″ – This is one of the best and most popular rides in Epcot. We had a FP for the ride and I highly recommend that you get one as the queue becomes long quick! You sit in aisle long seats which elevate slightly in the air. You then go on an air born journey over the world. It was very realistic and the kids were ducking as birds whooshed past and we narrowly missed mountains. The 4D elements such as wind made the experience even better.
Frozen Ever After (World Showcase) FP – This ride was so much better than I was expecting. We love Frozen and we have seen it many times so it was rather magical to take a boat ride through Arundel and see the cast of Frozen. There are a couple of surprises along the way and I won’t spoil them. All I can say is we weren’t expecting it to be quite as exciting as it was.
What else is there to find and see at Epcot?
Project Tomorrow (Future world east) – This is an indoor interactive play area for all ages with games and displays.
Innoventions (Future world east) – It was always too busy here for us. It’s an indoors place with fun activities and exhibits.
Disney Phineas and Ferb (Future world east) – Search for clues on this interactive adventure which you can complete at your own pace.
Seabase (Future World west) – This is located in the same area as Turtle talk and the exit for the Nemo ride. There is one large tank with fish and sharks etc. which is also the same tank that you can see from within the Coral Reef restaurant.
There are quite a few characters that you can meet and greet in Epcot. Pluto was on the top of our list for a ‘must meet’. He didn’t disappoint!
What are the best things to Fast Pass at Epcot?
The absolute must two rides to Fast pass in Epcot, as a family, are Frozen ever after and Soarin’. There is a height limit for Soarin’. Both of these rides rarely have a short wait queue. They are also two rides you should not miss. I’d also recommend getting a Fast pass for Test Track if your children are big enough to ride on it. Epcot, in general, is no way near as busy as the Magic Kingdom. If you get there early enough and visit on at least 2-3 separate occasions then you could manage most rides during those days and during the first couple of hours of the park being open. We walked straight on a lot of the rides by arriving there at 9 am.
We loved the character spot at Epcot and booked a Fast Pass for it one day after we’d used up our 3 Fast passes of that day. You get to meet three characters including Mickey (we met Mickey, Minnie and Goofy) and it is well worth getting a fast pass for.
We didn’t need a FP for Mission space the green less intense mission. Nor was it really needed on any of the other rides as they could all be easily done first thing.
Epcot is a massive park and I really don’t recommend trying to do it all in one day. There is also an evening show with fireworks which is worth going to. In general, they are much later than the Magic Kingdom fireworks. The best views are around the top end of the lake near USA etc. But if you want to hurry out afterwards then you can try and get a spot on the opposite side but be warned that you will be a lot further back and the view won’t be anywhere near as good unless you’ve booked somewhere to stand in advance.
For an even closer look at Epcot please watch our video
Walt Disney World Tickets
Are you looking to book tickets for Walt Disney World in Orlando Florida? Why not buy your tickets from this UK based website. It’s a good place to find savings on your tickets. It’s always an idea to shop around if you are uncertain. This website is often recommended on Disney planning groups on Facebook.
For more on Epcot please check out our other posts – Epcot World Showcase, What is it, What Restaurants are There – What Rides, Epcot Characters – Meet and Greets – Disney PhotoPass and Epcot Coral Reef Restaurant Review – Is it worth the money?.
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