Epcot is one of Walt Disney World’s more detailed parks. You can spend days in Epcot, but if you are limited on time then I would suggest these tips for planning your 1 day Epcot itinerary to make sure you make the most of your limited time.
Visiting Epcot is almost the top of my favourite things to do at Walt Disney World. I can spend hours wandering around the World Showcase. With 11 pavilions there is always something to see and do.
Your Epcot itinerary will be different if you have more than one day planned. With just one day to visit Epcot, then I suggest deciding whether you want to arrive when the park opens and stay until Illuminations at the end of the day, or if it’s advisable to arrive a little later in the day to be able to stay until the park closes.
Can You See All Of Epcot In One Day?
It is doable to see all of Epcot in one day, but be prepared to do lots of walking. You will be grateful for wearing the right shoes. It may be difficult to decide on which of the Epcot restaurants to eat in however as there are some great choices.
What Does Epcot Stand For?
Epcot stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
What Are The Best Rides To Fastpass At Epcot?
There are two different Epcot Fastpass tiers so you won’t be able to gain a Fastpass for all of the top three attractions which are currently Test Track, one of the Future World attractions, Soarin’ and Frozen Ever After.
One of the great questions for Epcot is whether to ride Test Track or Soarin first, I would suggest attempting to secure a Fastpass for Test Track, one of the best rides at Epcot in my opinion. The standby queue for Soarin’ is often less than Test Track.
Try to schedule this near the time you arrive at Epcot. The standby line for Soarin’ is often shorter than Test Track, so if you’re arriving at Epcot near when the park opens then you should head to Soarin’ first.
In my experience, Fastpasses for Frozen Ever After and Soarin’ pop up on the My Disney Experience app more often than ones for Test Track, so once you have used your three Fastpass selections for the day then keep checking for one for Frozen Ever After.
That way you will have been able to experience the top three attractions in Epcot on the same visit. The remaining two choices I would suggest using on anything that takes your fancy, but avoid selecting one for Illuminations as you won’t be able to select your fourth Fastpass choice until you have used your third.
Future World at Epcot
Epcot is split into three parts, Future World East, Future World West and the World Showcase. You enter in the middle of Future World, and will begin here. If the line for Mission Space isn’t too long, then I would get in line, however if there is a long wait and you didn’t Fastpass it then I would leave it until later in the day, perhaps on your way out of the park.
Both Test Track and Soarin’ are in Future World, West and East respectively. If you are arriving early and looking to have breakfast at Epcot, I would suggest Sunshine Seasons as there is plenty of choice.
Inside the Land pavilion which is home to Soarin’, Living with the Land also has a great quick service location, Sunshine Seasons. You can get a wide variety of food and drink here and is well worth a visit. If you’re looking for a character meal then I suggest Garden Grill with Chip, Dale, Farmer Mickey and Pluto.
Epcot World Showcase
Epcot’s World showcase opens at 11am, a little later than the main park opens. Once you have seen the attractions in Future World, and perhaps popped into Club Cool to try your free soda drinks from around the World, it’s time to explore the World Showcase.
There are many things I love about Epcot World Showcase, and I am still discovering more now. Each pavilion is a different country and within those pavilions there are places to shop, attractions, quick service locations, table service restaurants and amazing theming.
We always tend to start in Canada and work out way around the World Showcase lagoon anti clock wise, but if you have a reservation in the China pavilion, Norway or Mexico then you may want to start in Mexico and walk around clockwise.
Some of our favourite counter service places for lunch is the Lotus Blossom Cafe in China, and the Liberty Inn in America. The Liberty Inn is approximately half way around the World Showcase and near the American Adventure, so it’s sometimes a great place to stop and rest for a while.
You may also like to read – How to maximise the Quick Service Dining Plan
The World Showcase itself can be walked round in approximately 1.5 hours if you don’t stop and explore all the hidden depths or stop for food. You would miss out on some amazing sights if you chose to do this, but if your time was restricted then it could be done.
How Many Miles Is It To Walk Around Epcot?
The whole of Epcot is approximately 2.4 miles to walk from the front of the park, around and back to the front again, or 1.2 miles around the lagoon and World Showcase.
Equally if you have arrived later in the day and are short on time before Illuminations starts, then I would suggest starting the World Showcase in Mexico, walking around and watching from between Canada and the UK pavilion. This way you are near the front of the World Showcase and beating a lot of the queues on the way out of the park.
What To Do At Epcot For Kids
A lot of people assume that Epcot is educational and therefore not a lot of fun. This isn’t the case at all, and there is so much to keep the kids entertained.
As you are walking around enjoying the World Showcase, the kids can collect stamps in their Kidcot passport. Each pavilion has a section where the kids can take part in an activity, often in a lovely air-conditioned area.
Epcot also has Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure where you can follow clues around the World Showcase to solve a mystery. This is great for fans of Phineas and Ferb and keeps the kids entertained on your walk around the World Showcase.
Epcot World Showcase is a great place to meet the characters. The lines are often quite short which is a great way to meet characters. Check your times map on the way into the park, but you can usually find Mary Poppins and Alice in the UK pavilion. Belle is often in France, Snow White in Germany, Mulan in Japan and Anna and Elsa of course are in Norway.
Related Post – 10 things to do at Epcot with kids
A 1 Day Epcot Itinerary Example
- Arrive at Epcot mid morning
- Check out the standby queue for Soarin’
- Ride Test Track using a Fastpass
- Use your two other Fastpasses in Future World during the morning.
- Keep checking the app for a Fastpass for Frozen Ever After
- Book a table service meal in one of the pavilions in the World Showcase
- We have eaten at Via Napoli in Italy and it was lovely
- You can find the princesses in Akershus Norway
- Explore the World Showcase
- Rest on your way around in the air-conditioned buildings, or restaurants
- Enjoy the live music that Epcot has to offer in the different pavilions
- Watch Illuminations at 9pm (Epcot at night is stunning and a must see)