EpcotThe Parks

10 Things to Know Before You Go to Epcot

Magic Kingdom is a true fantasyland. Hollywood Studios is action-packed. And Animal Kingdom is stunning. But, for some reason – if we ever have a situation where we’re passing by Walt Disney World and only plan to drop into one park… Epcot is our pick. In our opinion, Epcot has that perfect dose of fantasy, action, and that stunning factor. Before you go to Epcot however, you’ll want to understand a few things we feel are important in planning your big Epcot day!


1 – How To Get There & Best Resorts

Epcot is the easiest park to get to! There are plenty of transportation options that make your arrival an easy one. If you’re driving, the parking lot and trams are well structured and easy to follow. If you’re staying at a Disney Resort, jump on one of the many complimentary transportation options, including buses from all resorts, Monorail from the Transportation and Ticket Center, boats from surrounding resorts, and Disney Skyliner transportation. If you’re looking to take a leisurely walk to and from Epcot, stay at one of the Epcot resorts, including Disney’s Boardwalk Inn, Disney’s Yacht Club, and Disney’s Beach Club. You can also walk from The Swan and Dolphin Hotels, but this can be a trek.

2 – Expect Construction and Certain Closures

Epcot is undergoing an epic transformation that was planned to be completed when Walt Disney World celebrated its 50th Anniversary on October 1, 2021. Because of the pandemic, most of those projects have been pushed back a year or two. Work has been well underway for years, and most of the transformation is complete. However, construction walls are still up around much of the middle of the park. Even with all the construction, there is still so much to enjoy at Epcot. So many new offerings are already open. Your best bet is to use your My Disney Experience App for the current location of characters and stores. We are so excited about the finished project! It’s going to be amazing! Click here for everything we know about the transformation of Epcot. 

3 – Be Prepared for Your Lightning Lane Selections the Day You Visit

If you plan to use the new paid Lightning Lane service at EPCOT, understand and be prepared to know how and what attractions you want to book for the day.

There are two Lightning Lane paid options that include different attractions. First, you can purchase Disney Genie+ for the day of your visit. This costs anywhere from $15-$35 per day, per person. With Genie+, you can access the Lightning Lane at nine attractions at EPCOT. Much like the original FastPass system, you can only book one Lightning Lane attraction at a time. At 7 am on the day of your visit within the My Disney Experience App, you’ll book your first return window at one of the attractions below. After that, you can make one selection at a time based on availability. Also, note that you can only use the Lightning Lane for each attraction on the list once. You cannot book another return window for an attraction you’ve already used for Lightning Lane that day. See the list below for the nine Genie+ attractions at EPCOT.

Disney Genie+ Attractions:

    1. Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
    2. Frozen Ever After
    3. Journey Into Imagination with Figment
    4. Living with the Land
    5. Mission Space – Green and Orange
    6. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
    7. Soarin’ Around the World
    8. Spaceship Earth
    9. Test Track
    10. The Seas with Nemo & Friends
    11. Turtle Talk with Crush

A second option for purchasing Lightning Lane is the a la carte method. The attraction below is NOT included with your Genie+ purchase and must be purchased separately. Lightning Lane selections for the top-tier individual attractions will also be made on the same day of your visit and can be made across multiple theme parks (great for those who have the Park Hopper Option). Access to purchase Lightning Lane for the individual top-tier attractions is available to all guests at park opening. However, guests staying on Disney World property receive the benefit of early access to top-tier reservations and can make their purchases at 7:00 am on the day of their visit. Access to the Lightning Lane can hit capacity and will sell out, so we highly recommend you purchase access right at 7:00 am if you plan to purchase access. Prices will vary by date, attraction, and park. We’ve seen prices range anywhere from $7-$25 per person per attraction.

Individual A la Carte Lightning Lane Attraction:

    1. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Keep in mind that you do not have to purchase either of these options to enjoy these attractions. The standby queue is available for all attractions except for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, which utilizes a Virtual Queue. 

4 – Four Neighborhoods

Wear those comfortable walking shoes because if you’ve checked out a map of Epcot, you’ll notice it’s a rather large park. Despite its large size, Epcot is easy to navigate as it is divided into four “neighborhoods, ” offering different theming and experiences. Future World is a thing of the past and is now the home of three new neighborhoods: World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery. The last neighborhood, World Showcase, is the last neighborhood that provides guests an opportunity to stroll “around the world” with 11 countries/pavilions to explore. The World Showcase is where you’ll find the best dining, “streetmosphere,” and shopping. Both are unique in their own way and well worth spending time taking in all the details they have to offer!

Photo Credit: Disney Photo Snapper

5 – Be Prepared to Mobile Order

Have you downloaded your MyDisneyExperience mobile app yet? If not, go ahead and do that right now! This app will make your life much easier in all of the Disney World parks. Most quick-service restaurants in Epcot require Mobile Ordering. This means you can select your food and pay right from your phone. When your food is ready – you’ll get a text telling you to come to the mobile window. You just pick up your food, then enjoy your meal! It’s too simple and easy not to take advantage of.

6 – Lots of Characters… and Many Unique

Yes! One of our favorite things about Epcot is its hefty list of characters. And while we absolutely love seeing Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy – sometimes it’s nice to visit with a character you can’t find at any of the other parks. Be sure to visit with characters that only offer a meet and greet at Epcot, such as Anna and Elsa, Baymax, Joy, Ralph and Vanellope, and even Mulan. Character dining is also available in Epcot at the Garden Grill (Chip & Dale and Friends) and Akershus Royal Banquet Hall (Disney Princesses).


7 – Plan to Keep The Kids Occupied

You may have heard Epcot is not for kids. Wrong! Epcot is totally for kids… just ask our kiddos who love the park! Outside of the kid-friendly attractions like Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Frozen Ever After, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Journey Into Imagination with Figment, and more – check out the scavenger hunt options around the World Showcase. Collect stamps (stickers, really) at Kidcot spots in each Pavilion. Epcot may not be as kid-friendly as Magic Kingdom, but it’s definitely a fun park for kids to explore!

8 – Be Wise about “Drinking Around The World”

Yes, Epcot’s World Showcase is well known to guests as the perfect place to “Drink Around the World.” We get it – there are eleven pavilions, and each one offers unique and delicious adult beverages! Vacation is all about relaxing, after all, right? Well, this is all fine and well, but let’s not forget that families are present. If you’re going to drink around the world, be sure you’re eating around the world as well. Lots of water in between drinks will help too.

9 – Almost Always a Festival

Epcot almost always has a festival to match the season! At the start of the year (January – February), Epcot holds its Festival of Arts. Festivities to celebrate the arts in sight, touch, and taste are everywhere. Once spring rolls around (March – July), the Flower and Garden Festival is in full bloom… literally! If you want to see Epcot at its most colorful, check it out at this time. Fall is the very popular International Food and Wine Festival (July – November). Taste your way through numerous food and beverage kiosks. It’s really a foodie’s heaven! Last but not least, the year ends with Epcot’s International Festival of Holidays (late November – December). Bring in the holiday season with storytellers throughout the World Showcase Pavilions, traditional Holiday food, and stunning decorations. Check out the festival schedule when planning your visit to Epcot to make the most of all the events and entertainment offered!

10 – After the Fireworks Stroll

Epcot’s nightly fireworks and projection spectacular is a beautiful sight! While the park is technically closed after the fireworks, there is no reason to rush out with the rest of the crowd. Take a nice, slow stroll and let the crowd clear out in front of you. You can shop and take in how beautiful Epcot is at night. It beats fighting the crowds!

Get ready to have an exceptional Epcot visit!

For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.


Matt & Kim

We have had a long time love affair with Disney. We love the magic and the memories we've made at Walt Disney World! We follow all things Disney and have great experiences with being Annual Passholders, Disney Vacation Club Members, and RunDisney participants. From lodging to dining to Genie+ we have a spreadsheet for every occasion. Usually there isn’t a day that passes without some discussion of the master plan of our next trip to the happiest place on earth. Most people think we’re normal – until they travel to Disney with us.
Back to top button