There is truly something magical when you arrive at a Walt Disney World park. Epcot, the second oldest theme park at Disney World, is no different. Epcot holds a special place in many Disney fans’ hearts for its look at the future, innovation, and different cultures. But, with so much to do, deciding where to start can be overwhelming. To make sure your arrival is a magical memory you can treasure and not a hectic, frantic moment you’ll remember or won’t want to, we suggest you consider the following.
1 – Expect Construction, Walls, and Closures
Epcot is in the midst of the biggest transformation of any Disney theme park in history. The park is developing groundbreaking attractions, magnificent new landscapes, and unforgettable entertainment spectaculars. Construction, walls, and closures are now a part of visiting Epcot. You’ll notice this right away as you’ll find construction walls up around sections of the parking lot. The good news is that Disney is working hard to make these disruptions minimal. Once inside the park, you’ll notice walls up as well, mostly in Future World. By the end of the transformation, Future World will cease to exist, as Epcot is being developed into four distinct worlds or neighborhoods. Much of Innoventions West has already been torn down, making way for new projects. Finally, expect some closures and relocations. Most of the locations that have closed have been moved to temporary locations. You’ll now find Starbucks near World Showcase, and Mouse Gear has a temporary new home in Innoventions East. Your My Disney Experience App will have the most up to date information on hours, as well as a Times Guide.
We’ve had people ask us if we think it’s even worth visiting Epcot right now. Our answer is a resounding, yes! While you may have heard horror stories online about everything being closed at Epcot, it just isn’t factually true. The reality is nearly every experience, attraction, entertainment option, character meet & greet, store, etc. that was open prior to construction is still open, perhaps just in a new spot. There are more attractions and experiences open today than there were a year ago. The only thing closed and not relocated is Club Cool. The construction will give us an exciting new Epcot, and we can’t wait to see it!
2 – Take a Photo in Front of Spaceship Earth
Once inside the park, one of the first things you’ll want to do is snap that iconic photo in front of Spaceship Earth. The construction in front of the iconic attraction is now (mostly) finished and the walls are down! Disney PhotoPass photographers are there to take pictures. Be sure to also admire the new fountain in front of Spaceship Earth. It’s gorgeous and is a great addition to the area!
3 – Head to Frozen Ever After
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, FastPass+ is temporarily suspended.
Epcot utilizes tiered FastPass selections allowing you to only choose one attraction in Tier One. Tier One attractions include: Frozen Ever After, Test Track, Soarin’ Around the World, and Epcot Forever preferred viewing. Out of all of those, Frozen Ever After is the hardest FastPass to get. If you missed out and don’t have a FastPass for Frozen Ever After, you’ll want to head to that attraction first. The line will only get longer as the day goes on, so typically, first thing in the morning is the best time to wait in the standby line.
4 – Enjoy a Starbucks Drink While You Review Your Day
As we noted above, Starbucks has a new location near World Showcase and the Refreshment Port. This convenient new spot is a great place to pick up a coffee or light breakfast as you are gearing up for a full day at Epcot. This is also a great time to review the park map and the plans for the rest of your day.
5 – Have a Pastry at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie
While World Showcase doesn’t open until 11:00 am, if you’re looking for a tasty breakfast spot, then you’ll want to head over to the France pavilion for breakfast at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie. This quick-service location opens at 9:00 am and serves delicious French treats. You’ll also get to enjoy walking through the Canada and United Kingdom pavilions with fewer crowds.
6 – Be on the Lookout for Character Cavalcades!
During your morning stroll around World Showcase, be sure to be on the lookout for come of your favorite characters who will occasionally proceed through World Showcase. Here are the different cavalcades you can spot:
- “Mickey and Friends World Tour” – As guests travel around World Showcase, they may come upon Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Pluto, and Goofy all out sightseeing and waving to their friends.
- Disney Princesses travel around World Showcase.
- Queen Anna or Elsa in the Norway pavilion.
- Mary Poppins or Alice in Wonderland in the UK pavilion.
- Pooh Bear near the Imagination Pavilion.
- Joy from Inside Out near the Imagination Pavilion.
7 – Take a Ride on Test Track
Another attraction we encourage you to ride during the early morning is Test Track. This fun-filled thrilling attraction generally has the second-longest standby wait times in Epcot, making it a great attraction to visit early in the morning at Epcot.
We hope you have a fantastic time at Epcot!
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