To the future...

In the words of Walt Disney:

"EPCOT is an experimental prototype community that will always be in a state of becoming. It will never cease to be a living blueprint of the future, where people actually live a life they can’t find anywhere else in the world."

And he was right. 

There are few places in the world where you can find thrill, playgrounds, and cocktails all in one place. 

This guide is an overview of everything that the park offers, but through the lens for the entire family. 


Before you arrive,
make sure to...

  • Download the My Disney Experience app and have all your tickets + party linked
  • Have a credit card ready and tied to your account (this makes it easy to purchase Genie+ and mobile order food)

and remember...

  • If you have a single-day ticket, you can still leave the park to take a break and come back later.
  • Kids under 3 are free! No ticket required.

start exploring...

Getting to EPCOT is a little different because it's the only park with two entrances:  the more common front entrance and the International Gateway, which puts you straight into the World Showcase.

Knowing which entrance to use is important because it can help you decide how your morning will look and what you should head to first.

To figure this out, download the Resort Transportation chart below. This will give you an overall glance at the different possibilities from your Disney Resort.


01. Arriving at EPCOT

DOWNLOAD THE TRANSPORTATION CHART

All Disney resort guests can take the complimentary bus system directly to the gate.

Buses don’t require car seats (yay!) but you will have to collapse your stroller.

You can see exact bus times in your My Disney Experience app under the resort tab, but you can expect buses to start running at least 90 minutes before the park opens.    

    

You'll be using the front entrance

TO FROZEN & REMY's

TO TEST TRACK

FRONT ENTRANCE

If you’re driving to EPCOT, you’ll have the option to pay for Standard ($25) or Preferred ($45-50/day) parking.

If you're Disney Resort guest, standard parking is free! 

The parking lot opens 90 minutes prior to Early Entry. Example: If Early Entry starts at 8:30am, you can park at 7:00am.

You'll be using the front entrance

TO FROZEN & REMY's

TO TEST TRACK

FRONT ENTRANCE

Both Ubers and Lyfts will drop you off just a short walk away from the front entrance, making it easy when you're in a rush or don't want to wait for a bus.

You could also call a Minnie Van through the Lyft app for a Disney Cast Member as your driver, including 2 car seats installed!

You'll be using the front entrance

TO FROZEN & REMY's

TO TEST TRACK

FRONT ENTRANCE

Not the fastest option, but if you're coming from a monorail resort, you can take the monorail from the Ticket and Transportation Center at Magic Kingdom.

From there, board the Monorail Express Line, and get off at the EPCOT station near the front gate.

You'll be using the front entrance

TO FROZEN & REMY's

TO TEST TRACK

FRONT ENTRANCE

Just outside of the International Gateway is the EPCOT Skyliner Station, which connects directly to the Riviera Resort with a transfer station at Caribbean Beach.

From there you can Skyline to Art of Animation, Pop Century, or Hollywood Studios.


You'll Be USING THE INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY

TO FROZEN

REMY's

INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY

"The Friendship" runs from EPCOT to Hollywood Studios, with stops along Crescent Lake like this:

  • Epcot
  • Boardwalk Inn
  • Disney’s Beach and Yacht Club 
  • Swan, Dolphin Hotel, and Swan Reserve 
  • Disney’s Hollywood Studios

PS: majority of the time, you don't have to collapse your stroller!

You'll Be USING THE INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY

TO FROZEN

REMY's

INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY

The Boardwalk, Beach, Yacht Club, Swan, Dolphin, and Swan Reserve are all within walking distance to EPCOT.

TIP FROM DANA: You can take an Uber/Lyft to a dining reservation at one of these resorts (Beach Club is the closest), then use the International Gateway.

My favorite is a character breakfast at Beach Club's Cape May Cafe before heading into the park.

You'll Be USING THE INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY

TO FROZEN

REMY's

INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY

Guests of Disney Resorts and some neighboring hotels are allowed into the park 30 minutes before official park opening, or "Early Entry". 

If you're looking to go full park mode, I recommend getting to the gate at least 30 minutes before you're allowed in.

To use Early Entry, you'll scan your MagicBand, Key to the World card (aka: ticket), or MagicMobile to show you're a resort guest.

"Where should I head first if I'm using Early Entry?"

Anyone wanting to take advantage of Early Entry have a few options, depending on where you're coming from.

If you're from the front entrance...
head to either Frozen Ever After or Test Track, depending on your family.

If you're using International Gateway...
head to Remy's Ratatouille Adventure and then Frozen Ever After.

Here's what's open during Early Entry:

  • Beauty and The Beast Sing-Along
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Mission: SPACE
  • Remy's Ratatouille Adventure
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
"Where should I head first if I'm NOT using Early Entry?"

If you can swing it, pleeease buy Genie+. Having a Lightning Lane for Remy's alone will make it worth the money!

If you're coming from the front entrance, it's a loooong walk to Remy's in the back of the park, and the wait will be long by then.

It would be better to head to Test Track or Frozen Ever After and use Genie+ as much as you can.

WE GET THERE?"

"What time should

Getting Familiar

Let's go back a bit and go over all the rides and shows in EPCOT's 4 "neighborhoods": World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery.

NEXT

Attractions
Spaceship Earth
Journey Into Imagination
Meet Beloved Disney Pals at Mickey & Friends

Entertainment
Disney + Pixar Short Film Festival
JAAMitors

Attractions

Living with the Land
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
Soarin' Around the World (40")

Entertainment

Awesome Planet
Turtle Talk with Crush

Attractions

Test Track (40")
Mission:Space (40")
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (42")

Entertainment

Attractions

Frozen Ever After
Gran Fiesta Tour w/ Donald Duck
Meet Anna and Elsa 
Remy's Ratatouille Adventure

Entertainment

Beauty and the Beast Singalong
Impressions de France
Reflections of China
Voices of Liberty

World Nature

World Showcase

World Celebration

World Discovery

hover over each neighborhood

World Discover

Attractions
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (42")
Mission:Space (40")
Test Track (40")*

World Nature

World Showcase

World Discovery

World Discover

Attractions
Living with the Land
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
Soarin' (38")

Entertainment
Awesome Planet
Turtle Talk with Crush

World Nature

World Showcase

World Nature

World Discover

Attractions
Frozen Ever After
Gran Fiesta Tour 
Remy's Ratatouille Adventure

Entertainment
Beauty and the Beast Sing-a-long
Impressions de France
Meet Anna and Elsa 
+ more

World Nature

World Showcase

World Showcase

4 Festivals in EPCOT

Flower and Garden Festival

(Dates for 2024 haven't been announced yet, more details coming soon!)

For quintessential springtime vibes with topiaries, a butterfly room, specialty food, and the Garden Rocks concert. 

While I guess I'm a little jaded with the topiaries, my daughter LOVED seeing all the characters shaped out of plants, it blew her little mind.

I'm most excited about the new BRUNCHCOT booth this year, near Test Track. I'll never say no to avocado toast. 

FEBRUARY 28 - MAY 27, 2024

TAP HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THIS FESTIVAL

current festival!

Food & Wine Festival

August 29 - November 23, 2024

If you hadn't guessed, this is all about the food. Each country in the World Showcase gets a special "booth" based around that cuisine. 

Some tips for this festival:
  • It WILL bring in crowds in the evenings and weekends. 
  • Most of the booths don't open until 11am. 
  • Kids can get a little bored going from booth to booth. Stop and buy a map for Remy's Hide & Squeak (lol) Scavenger Hunt from Disney Traders, Port of Entry, Creations Shop, or World Traveler by the Int' Gateway to keep them busy.

TAP HERE TO READ MORE AND SEE MENUS

Festival of the Holidays


LATE-NOVEMBER - END OF YEAR

2024 DATES NOT ANNOUNCED

Festival of the Arts

2025 DATES NOT ANNOUNCED

The best part of EPCOT's festivals throughout the year is that they're all included with your regular park ticket. 

Festival of the Arts is on its seventh year and quickly becoming the top festival. Murals! Artists! Disney on Broadway! Treats!

This is the only festival I have yet to visit and it's at the very top of my "one day..." list.

Tip: grab a free festival passport at the park entrance -- everything you need to know is inside.

MiD-JANUARY TO MID-FEBRUARY

TAP HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THIS FESTIVAL

Yes! There is a new nightly fireworks show in the middle of the World Showcase called "LuminoUS." Some tips:

Our favorite spots to watch are from Mexico, Norway, or Canada, but there really isn't a "bad" view anywhere around the World Showcase.

Canada or France are great places to watch if you're staying at a Skyliner or Crescent Lake resort for a quick getaway.

The most crowded spot will be in the middle in front of Spaceship Earth (called the Showcase Plaza), I would avoid there!

To take your night to the next level, look into the EPCOT Forever Dessert Cruise here.

Are there fireworks in EPCOT?

Maybe it's just me, but I loving seeing wait-times at a glance (yes, I'm a nerd.)

BECAUSE this can help you visualize which ones you prioritize during Early Entry and use for Genie+. 

Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, Test Track, and Frozen Ever After are going to be the three longest waits to avoid.

HISTORICAL WAIT TIME AVERAGES

Avoid Waiting in Long Lines

AVAILABLE WITH GENIE+

Everything you'll ever need to know can be found in the separate Genie+ Toolkit. It’s too much to fit into a park guide! Here are the basics:

  • Genie+ is the skip-the-line system at Disney World that allows you to use the "Lightning Lane" (expedited queue) at an attraction.

  • Genie+ costs between $15-30/day per person and can be purchased in your My Disney Experience app starting at midnight on the day you want to use it.

  • Anyone can book their first Lightning Lane return time at 7am, no matter where you're staying.

Using Genie+ to Skip the Line

WHAT SHOULD I BOOK FIRST?

To get the most out of Genie+, book your first Lightning Lane based on which ones sell out first. These are the top rides that have the average highest wait time, and tend to sell out the soonest:

REMY'S RATATOUILLE ADVENTURE
FROZEN EVER AFTER
TEST TRACK (TEMPORARILY CLOSED)
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY*

*Not included with Genie+ but an Individual Lightning Lane can be purchased separately

LIST OF LIGHTNING LANES IN EPCOT

Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
Frozen Ever After
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (42")*
Journey into Imagination with Figment
Living with the Land
Meet Beloved Disney Pals at Mickey & Friends
Mission: SPACE (40")
Remy's Ratatouille Adventure
Soarin’ (40")
Spaceship Earth
Test Track (40") *TEMPORARILY CLOSED*
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Turtle Talk with Crush

*Not included with Genie+ but can be purchased a la carte.

What day is worst for crowds?

Historically, EPCOT's highest wait times are on Mondays. Its lowest are on Saturdays + Sundays, even though the World Showcase will "feel" more crowded on weekend nights.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is the newest attraction in EPCOT. It's unique for a lot of reasons, but the biggest one is that it doesn't have a standby line.

There are 2 ways to ride: through a free virtual queue or purchasing an Individual Lightning Lane. Download the guide HERE.

HOW TO RIDE GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY

Where to Eat in EPCOT

EPCOT's become known for their food with the most restaurants of any park, plus festival kiosks.

I've marked spots that are my favorites (💗), can mobile order-ahead (📲), and have characters (👑).

QUICK SERVICE

TABLE SERVICE (RESERVATIONS)

CLICK EACH LOCATION FOR MENUS NAD MORE INFO

Click FOR HOW TO SAVE TIME WITH Mobile OrdeR

HOW TO MOBILE ORDER IN EPCOT

Open your My Disney Experience app, click the "+" and choose “Order Food.” Pick the restaurant, and your arrival time, and then add to your order.

During your arrival window, select the “I’m Here, Prepare My Order” button (I like to do this while I'm walking over). The screen will turn purple and tell you exactly where to pick up.

a few of my favorite things

PREV

NEXT

THE BEST MARGARITA

Get the Top Shelf Clasica from Choza de Margarita in Mexico -- ignore the word "ants". Dana's orders.

CARAMEL CORN

I can't say no to popcorn in general and the caramel corn from Karamell-Küche in Germany is no exception.

VIOLET SAKE

Shoutout to Bethany Vinton for this hidden gem of a drink. Find it in Japan's Garden House.

BRIOCHE + ICE CREAM

Head to France's L'Artisan des Glaces for ice cream and the sauce of your choice toasted between 2 pieces of brioche (!!)

SECRET CHAMPAGNE BAR

Yes, France again. Head to Les Vins de France for glasses of Veuve, Dom, or a champagne flight.

GELATO

Don't waste your time on Mickey bars and head to the walk up booth in Italy, Gelateria Toscana. The amerena cherry in a waffle cone is my fav, but the affogato is great, too.

EPCOT With Kids

BEST RIDES FOR KIDS

NEXT

The Seas with Nemo and Friends

The best part about this ride is that it exits you into an aquarium -- it's actually the second largest in the US -- and is a great spot to explore in glorious air-conditioning!

Remy's Ratatouille Adventure

You scurry in front of 3D screens from the perspective of a...you guessed it, rat. If you get motion sick like me, I'd take something like Bonine to be safe. It's a cute ride!

Gran Fiesta Tour

Find this overlooked boat-style ride inside the pyramid in Mexico to chase Donald Duck and his Caballeros through Mexico. Such a cute ride and usually a walk on.

Frozen Ever After

Perfect for the Frozen fan, this is a boat-style ride through Arendelle. My daughter wants you to know that "there's a snow monster at the end -- he seems scary, but his name is Marshmallow, which is totally not scary."

Journey Into Imagination w/ Figment

This is kid-friendly and never has a wait. There is one part of the ride that gets very dark and you "hear" a loud train sound, maybe give your kids a heads up if you think they'll get nervous.

Spaceship Earth

I loved this history-driven ride for nursing my babies. It's dark, slow, and a long 15 minutes. 

PS: This is inside "the golf ball", now you can call it Spaceship Earth instead :)

The Landing Play Zone (outdoor)

Find this playground to the left of the Creations Shop. This is a short walk to Guardians of the Galaxy + Test Track, making it perfect for something to do while you're using Rider Switch.

This spot can get pretty hot in the middle of the day -- have your husband grab you an iced coffee from the Starbucks inside Connections Cafe next door. Obviously.

Journey of Water (outdoor)

A Moana-inspired walk thru trail where you can interact with water as much (or as little!) as you'd like. 

This is a great break to let the kids out of the stroller and get some energy out, but if you have more of 'lil wild one -- be ready for them to get wet! 

Space Base (indoor)

This playground reminds me of the ones we loved as kids at McDonalds #noshame. 

To get there, go through the exit for Mission Space -- you don't have to ride it to get inside, and you can bring your stroller with you. 

A perfect spot to get some A/C!

Bruce's Shark World (indoor)

Here's another indoor playground that you'll see when you're exiting the Seas with Nemo + Friends ride.

It's a little guy, but there's enough to keep the kids busy and stretch their legs for a bit.

PLAY AREAS!

What's Rider Switch and how does it work?

RIDER SWITCH

The best way to save time! One adult rides while the other stays back with the kid(s) not riding because they're either too little or just don't want to...

Then *switch*! The adult that stayed behind can use the Lightning Lane instead of waiting in standby a second time.

Here's how:
Find a Cast Member (they'll usually be holding a device) at the attraction with your entire family.

The adult whose staying behind will have their ticket/MagicBand scanned along with whoever wants to ride with them.




Rider Switch is available at Frozen Ever After, Guardians of the Galaxy, Mission Space, Test Track, and Soarin'.

After riding, the adult that just rode stays back with the "not riding" child.

Now the adult that waited doesn't have to wait in the regular standby line: they can use the Lightning Lane. 

Here's the best part: the adult using the Lightning Lane can bring someone with them! So someone could ride a second time!

non-riders

riders

non-riders

riders

My number 1 tip for visiting with an infant is to use the Baby Care Center across the bridge before Mexico. It’s a clean, air-conditioned spot with cushioned changing tables, and in my opinion the BEST Baby Care Center in Disney World.


BABIES

The Baby Care Center will have last minute items available for purchase: formula, diapers, wipes, baby food, medicine, etc. There’s a place to fill up your water bottle, or microwave a snack for your toddler. It’s really the best!


These are some favorites to keep your kids busy...aka: barter so you can try more snacks and drinks around the World Showcase.

KEEPING THEM BUSY

  • KIDCOT
    Visit a KIDCOT station at any country to get a “suitcase” with an activity card. Kids love collecting their cards and it's free!

  • Festival Scavenger Hunts
    There is always a scavenger hunt for each festival. Depending on which one, you have to find certain things to put a sticker on your map. These usually cost $9.99/map and you get a little something when you complete it.

  • Shows
    Two great shows for kids are Beauty and the Beast's Sing Along in France and the Pixar Film Festival which is an 18-minute long 3D show of Disney and Pixar films.


My daughter loved going to the different countries and chatting with country representatives while she got her Kidcot kit!

1/2



First, open the My Disney Experience app > hit map > filter EPCOT > characters



Tap "show list" and to see where they are on the map and what times they'll be there.

2/2



Tap "show list" and to see where they are on the map and what times they'll be there.



Tap "show list" to see aaaall the characters you can meet, you can even find them on the map!

Use the My Disney Experience app to check times to meet Anna and Elsa in Norway, Mulan in China, Snow White in Germany, Jasmine in Morocco, and Aurora and Belle in France. Note that some meets end around 3/4pm, so don't wait until nighttime if these are a must for your family.

Sooo many princesses

FINDING CHARACTERS

There are more characters than meet the eye like Pooh, Pluto, Jasmine, Alice, and more.
Here's how to know where (and when) to find them:

NORway, world showcase

Meet the princess clan for a family-style breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

Pricing: $63/adult and $41/child for dinner, plus tax + gratuity.

Characters: Aurora, Ariel, Belle, Jasmine, and Snow White

Pro Tip: ride Frozen Ever After before or after your reservation, it's right next door!

Dana's rating: 8.5/10

BEACH CLUB RESORT

A buffet-style breakfast at the Beach Club Resort about a 6-min walk from the Int'l Gateway. 

Pricing: $45/adult and $29/child, plus gratuity

Characters: Minnie, Goofy, Donald and Daisy.

Pro Tip: As far as character breakfasts go, this reservation is usually an easier one to get. Characters are only at breakfast!

Dana's rating: 9/10

WORLD NATURE, EPCOT

See Chip n' Dale at the World Nature pavilion for either lunch or dinner. The restaurant revolves (literally) around Living with the Land.

Pricing: $55/adult and $36/child for lunch or dinner, plus gratuity.

Characters: Chip, Dale, Mickey and Pluto

Dana's rating: 6/10

RIVIERIA RESORT

One of my favorite character breakfasts with Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Daisy - all dressed up like different artists. Order the waffles and a french press!

Pricing: $42/adult and $27/child for breakfast, plus gratuity

Pro Tip: Get an early breakfast reservation and take the Skyliner directly to EPCOT for a Remy's Ratatouille Adventure LL; the perfect morning!

Dana's rating: 10/10

NEXT

CHARACTER DINING IN AND AROUND EPCOT

Even if your child doesn't use a stroller at home, I think anyone under nine should bring one! We gate-check our double stroller from home to stow our drinks, bags, sweatshirts...and, um, daughters...

STROLLERS

  • Strollers can't be larger than 31" wide and 52" long. Double strollers are OK! 

  • Stroller parking can be at completely different spots then where you enter the ride. Look for designated signs before getting in the queue.

  • Within these parking areas, Cast Members will move strollers around to make room. So no - your stroller didn't get stolen - just moved!

  • Tie or hang something on yours so you can spot it easily - I tie a red bandana!

  • Wagons/stroller wagons are NOT allowed.

  • The park offers strollers for rent, but they are hard plastic, don't recline, and I 10/10 do not recommend


This is the only service I've heard of that is allowed to leave the stroller at your resort without meeting you in person.

If you're looking to rent a stroller,
               for the best options I've found.

STROLLERFY

SCOOTERBUG RENTAL

KINGDOM STROLLERS

MAGIC STROLLERS

If you need to rent a stroller for your trip, here are the best options I've found

click here

This is the only service I've heard of that is allowed to leave the stroller at your resort without meeting you in person.

BABYQUIP

SCOOTERBUG RENTAL

KINGDOM STROLLERS

MAGIC STROLLERS

When Things Go Wrong

First thing to do is to let the closest Cast Member know along with a detail of your kid's appearance. They are HIGHLY trained and will communicate with staff across the park. Your child will be taken to the Baby Center - if need be - until you're reunited.

I love these temporary tattoos that you can write your phone number on for peace of mind!

LOST CHILDREN

Try and start your day off as soon as possible since thunderstorms tend to creep up in the afternoon. Bring along a raincoat or poncho, umbrella, and a rain stroller cover. Head to indoor spots like Spaceship Earth or Gran Fiesta Tour until the rain passes. If the forecast is predicting a soggy day, throw some waterproof sandals in your bag. 

RAIN

If you have a Lightning Lane return time and the ride closes during your window, the MDE app will automatically give you a "Multi-experience pass" that you can use somewhere else!

You can check other closures + refurbishments in the My Disney Experience app.

RIDE CLOSURES

First, let the closest Cast Member know along with a detail of your kid's appearance. They are HIGHLY trained and will communicate with staff across the park. Your child will be taken to the Baby Center - if need be - until you're reunited.

I love these temporary tattoos that you can write your phone number on for peace of mind!

LOST KIDS

If you have a Lightning Lane return time and the ride closes during your window, the MDE app will automatically give you a "Multi-experience pass" that you can use somewhere else!

You can check other closures + refurbishments in the My Disney Experience app.

RIDE CLOSURES

EXTRA TIP

In the morning, not everything in the World Showcase will be open yet. It's a great chance to get photos with little people, but keep in mind certain snack booths won't be open.

Walking...so much walking. I've learned my lesson to bring these for the back of my poor heels.

If you haven't noticed, EPCOT is all about the snacks. Bring a reusable snack bag to save those half-eaten guys for later.

We've had this clip-on stroller fan since '19 and it's still kickin'. Aaaand it can be recharged with FuelRods (win-win)

My favorite travel potty seat for those newly potty-trained ages.

SEE MORE

Our Park Day Essentials

First, what entrance will you be using?

FRONT GATE

INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY

Cool. Will you be using Early Entry?

YES

NO

Will you be using Early Entry?

YES

NO

DOWNLOAD NOW

Here's your itinerary!

START OVER

DOWNLOAD NOW

Here's your itinerary!

START OVER

 Download and print your itinerary to use as a baseline to craft your own laid-back day, or follow step-by-step! For tips on park hopping to EPCOT, click here.

Pre-Designed Itineraries

The Secret to a Laid-back Park Day

To keep from feeling overwhelmed, pick your top 3 attractions your family wants to ride.
Now pick 2 experiences. These are usually free and thoughtful things like, “meet Belle."
Finally, 1 dining reservation. Whether it’s breakfast lunch or dinner, having one reservation to anchor your day can take the stress out about deciding where to eat.

GIVE ME ALL THE THINGS!

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