Give “Alexa” a break, put “Siri” down and let’s chat Disney fan to Disney fan! You’ve got Epcot questions? We’ll do our best to give you the answers! Check out our top 10 questions and answers for none other than our favorite Walt Disney World park – Epcot.
10 – What are the “Must-Do’s”?
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, Voices of Liberty is not performing regularly. The act will be performing during the 2021 Festival of the Arts and the 2021 Epcot Flower & Garden Festival.
We count “must-do’s” as experiences that would be unfortunate to leave the park without enjoying. They make up what we feel Epcot is all about and for sure need to be on your must-do list! Of course, with any must-do list, we encourage you to do your research and see what appeals most to you and your traveling party. Here are our top Epcot must-do’s:
- Stroll the World Showcase: Hands down THE best part of visiting Epcot, in our opinion. There are 11 different Pavilions (aka Countries) to experience around a beautiful lagoon.
- Take a flight on Soarin’ Around the World: Experience a hang-gliding feeling above beautiful scenes from around the world.
- Make then test a car in Test Track: This attraction allows guests to not only put their engineering skills to the test but also have a seat for one thrilling ride as your car design competes against others.
- Hear Voices of Liberty: Located in the American Adventure Pavilion of the World Showcase, Voices of Liberty is an acapella group that gives our goosebumps goosebumps with their outstanding sound and patriotic notes.
- Travel through Spaceship Earth: Take a slow-moving ride through the iconic Spaceship Earth (aka the huge, white golf ball). People know its Epcot with one glimpse at this masterpiece, so what better must-do than to experience being inside it.
9 – What do I need a FastPass for?
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, FastPass+ is temporarily suspended.
FastPasses allow guests to skip the wait and head straight to the front of the line. It’s included with your admission, and all guests can have three reserved FastPasses in advance of your park arrival with your MyDisneyExperience App. There are two Tiers in Epcot:
- Tier 1 includes: Soarin’, Frozen Ever After, Test Track, Epcot Forever
- Tier 2 includes: Spaceship Earth, Mission: SPACE, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Pixar Short Film Festival, Journey into Imagination with Figment, Turtle Talk with Crush, and Living with the Land
Guests can select one attraction from Tier 1 and two attractions from Tier 2. Our recommendation – FastPass Frozen Ever After, Spaceship Earth, and Mission: SPACE. If you go this route, be sure to arrive at park opening and head to Test Track first. After riding Test Track with a small wait, head over to Soarin’. If you’re early enough in the morning, the wait won’t be too long.
8 – What’s the best place to eat?
Tough choice! Wow, the food at Epcot is outstanding! It’s our favorite theme park for food simply because the variety is spectacular. As you stroll around the World Showcase, you can taste just about any type of cuisine your heart desires! Some of our favorites have been Biergarten Restaurant in Germany, Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria in Italy, and Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie in France. Outside of the World Showcase, we enjoy Garden Grill Restaurant that rotates above Living with the Land attraction. In other words, you can’t go wrong!
7 – What is there for my kids at Epcot?
First things first, Epcot is not Magic Kingdom. At Magic Kingdom, your children will be bouncing from one attraction to the next with no end in sight. But don’t count out Epcot! A few highlights our kids love at Epcot include Frozen Ever After, Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Turtle Talk with Crush, Living with the Land, Journey into Imagination with Figment, and Spaceship Earth. The kids will love exploring the World Showcase with Kidcot – where they collect stamps and info cards from each pavilion. Kids also love the scavenger hunts offered regularly and those special to the Epcot festivals. Characters are abundant, and there is entertainment galore! Want a Disney parent tip? If this is your first time to Disney and you’re planning on doing all four parks…do Epcot first. Your kids will LOVE it as they don’t have Magic Kingdom to compare it to just yet!
6 – What characters are at Epcot?
Editor’s Note: During the phased reopening of Walt Disney World, character greetings are temporarily suspended. You’ll see characters come through each park in short parades. Click here for more information on how to see characters during the phased reopening. The Garden Grill offers a modified character dining experiences.
If you’re looking for characters – Epcot is the place to be! Here you’ll find your classic favorites such as Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, Pluto, and Daisy. But you’ll also find Donald Duck in his Mexican sombrero, Anna and Elsa offering warm hugs in Norway, Mulan dropping by in China, Snow White by the wishing well in Germany, Jasmine in the Morocco marketplace, Belle and Aurora greeting friends in France, Mary Poppins being practically perfect in every way in the United Kingdom…and so much more. Newer characters are also popular in Epcot, such as Ralph and Vanellope from Wreck-It-Ralph and Joy from Inside Out. And if you’re looking for character dining experiences, you can find several Princesses at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and Chip, Dale, Mickey, and Pluto in Garden Grill Restaurant.
5 – Can you explain the Epcot Festivals?
The festivals at Epcot are amazing! There are four festivals – each with a different twist. The festivals are included with your Epcot admission, but you can expect to pay extra if you plan to join in any of the extra seminars or purchase the specialty food and beverages.
- Festival of the Arts: This festival takes place in mid-January through late February. It’s a great time to visit Epcot as there are typically lower crowd levels. It’s a celebration of “art, entertainment, and food”!
- Flower & Garden Festival: Our favorite festival takes place in early March through early June. Spring weather in Orlando is wonderful as Epcot pops with colorful flowers and stunning topiaries. Come celebrate “gardens, fresh flavors, and rockin’ entertainment.”
- International Food & Wine Festival: Taking place late August through late November, this festival is the most popular Epcot festival. People come out in droves to celebrate international food and beverages while strolling around the World Showcase.
- Festival of the Holidays: Held late November through December, this is a festive time and a perfect holiday tradition. International holiday treats, beverages, storytelling, and more!
4 – When is the best time to visit?
Such a common question! Of course, our answer is any time at Epcot is a good time! With that being said, if you’re looking to enjoy Epcot without the crowds, you’ll want to schedule visits for the “lull” times in Epcot, which are usually when there is no festival taking place. You’ll find holidays and weekends during the festivals to be the busiest. While we recommend Extra Magic Hours if you’re a Disney Resort guest, if you’re staying off property and see there are Extra Magic Hours for Epcot – this would be a good day to visit a different park.
3 – What’s recently closed?
Saying goodbye is difficult! Epcot is revamping much of the current Future World and beyond. With the new, sometimes the old has to clear out. If you haven’t been to Epcot in the past few years, a few of the most impactful closures have included:
- Maelstrom closed in 2014 (replaced by Frozen Ever After in 2016)
- Ellen’s Energy Adventure in 2017 (will be replaced by Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind)
- Circle of Life: An Environmental Fable (replaced by Awesome Planet)
- Fountain of Nations
- Fountain View – Starbucks (new location available)
- Electric Umbrella
- Club Cool
- Liberty Inn (replaced by Regal Eagle Smokehouse: Craft Drafts & Barbecue)
- Character Spot (temporary location available)
- Mouse Gear (temporary location available)
- IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth (replaced by the temporary show, Epcot Forever)
2 – What’s NEW and Coming Soon?
We thought you’d never ask! We’re incredibly excited about all the “newness” on the way into Epcot. Epcot will feature four “neighborhoods” instead of the current Future World and World Showcase. These four neighborhoods will include World Celebration, World Nature, World Discovery, and World Showcase. Each neighborhood will be themed with immersive attractions, entertainment, and experiences to engage Epcot goers. A few of the new or coming soon highlights in Epcot include:
- Takumi-Tei Restaurant: A signature dining experience in the Japan Pavilion.
- Walt Disney Imagineering Presents: The EPCOT Experience: Check out what’s on the horizon for Epcot with this engaging walk-through display.
- Three New Films: Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along in France, Canada Far and Wide, and Awesome Planet in the Land Pavilion.
- Space 220 Restaurant: New “out of this world” restaurant that will have us dining in “space”! There is no official opening date from Disney yet.
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure: This highly anticipated attraction is scheduled to open in the France Pavilion in 2021.
- La Crêperie de Paris: Right along with the Remy above, we’re also getting a new restaurant in the France Pavilion.
- HarmonioUS: A nighttime spectacular is scheduled to replace the temporary “Epcot Forever.”
There’s so much more coming like a new Entrance Plaza, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind rollercoaster, Dreamer’s Point, updates to Spaceship Earth attraction, Journey of Water Inspired by Moana, and more!
1 – Is it even worth going to Epcot between now and the future?
Ok, let’s get things straight! Yes, there are closures and construction walls currently at Epcot. And yes, this is supposed to continue through to the Walt Disney World 50th Anniversary in 2021. BUT – to answer the question if it’s worth going to Epcot right now… that’s one big YES! Epcot is still flourishing with activity, entertainment, and excitement! The new experiences, coupled with the classics, are keeping Epcot a full day of family fun. That “Epcot feel” is still alive and well! To us, the re-imagining and construction walls are simply like seeing the presents wrapped under the tree in anticipation of the day you can open and enjoy them!
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