Finishing off our series of tips for 2021 is our Top Epcot Hacks. Epcot is undergoing massive construction work, but it is still a massive theme park involving plenty of walking. How you plan your visit has changed in 2021 with several changes due to social distancing. Our Top Epcot Tips for 2021 include the latest information that will keep you ahead of the rest of the crowd.
Don’t skip Epcot
You will probably have heard that Epcot is currently undergoing some massive changes, but it would be a mistake to skip the park. There is still a lot to do in Epcot, including some of the best attractions at Walt Disney World.
Be prepared for extra safety checks and differences in how you plan your day
Currently there are a number of changes throughout Epcot to keep you safe:
- All Guests ages two and up, and Cast Members, are required to wear face coverings. Make sure you don’t forget it!
- Temperature screening will occur. Any guest recording 100.4 F or above will not be allowed entry.
- Physical distancing and limited contact will be in place throughout the resort.
Also, your planning process will be different as the following are not currently available at Epcot:
- Single Rider Lines
- Extra Magic Hours(this isn’t returning)
- Disney Dining Plan
- Character meet and greets
- The majority of tours and special experiences
Not everything is currently available at Epcot
Throughout Epcot, there are attractions currently closed, but we suspect these will slowly be reduced over the year. However, there is still plenty to do in the park. Any entertainment that causes the gathering of crowds has currently been canceled. Entertainment suspended at Epcot includes:
- Character meet and greets
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Many of the entertainers who perform throughout World Showcase
Keep checking My Disney Experience for the latest information. We also expect ‘Harmonious’ Epcot’s new nighttime spectacular to open on October 1st in time for the 50th birthday celebrations.
You can probably do most of Epcot in 1 day
First-time visitors probably should spend two days at Epcot, but you can manage to do most of the main attractions in 1 day. We think this is especially true in 2021 due to attractions being closed. However, you will need a plan and to consider what are your must-do attractions before your visit.
Book a Disney Park Pass
Forget FastPass+; the key booking now you must obtain as soon as you get your ticket is a Disney Park Pass. To access a park, you will need to prebook a reservation online through the new Disney Park Pass System. To access the Epcot, guests will have to present both their park reservation and a valid park ticket. Remember, to dine in any Epcot restaurant, you must also have a Disney Park Pass.
Check park opening times.
Park opening times vary daily throughout the year. Currently, the opening times of Epcot regularly change! Check My Disney Experience for the latest information.
Check the latest information on Park Hopping
When Walt Disney World reopened, Park Hopping was suspended. However, Park Hopping will be available in 2021, but it will be slightly different. Guests will still need to make a Disney Park Pass Reservation for their first park each day, and they must enter this park before trying to enter another.
Guests will then be able to enter a second park during Park Hopper Hours. Park Hopping Hours are subject to change, but initially, they will be between 2 pm to close at all parks. Park Hopping will be subject to park capacity, and Disney advises you to check My Disney Experience for the latest information.
Check the My Disney Experience App before you visit
Not every day at Epcot is the same. Attractions close for refurbishment, showtimes vary & park hours can change. Times can even vary on different days of the same week.
It seems almost inevitable that changes will happen throughout 2021, assuming the pandemic comes under control. Make sure you don’t miss out if suddenly FastPass restarts. Keep checking My Disney Experience for all the latest information, including park hours.
Have access to the park Wi-Fi.
We have already mentioned My Disney Experience several times in this post, and it is essential you can access it while in the parks. Online access is essential at Epcot during 2021. We recently reviewed our top Walt Disney World Tip and named having the ability to access wifi as our number 1 for 2021.
Having access to WiFi is essential to use My Disney Experience. My Disney Experience is a free online guide to Walt Disney World that allows guests to plan their vacation. Through this free service, you can:
- Keep track of your plans & reservations, including those of your family & friends.
- Make FastPass+, Dining & Ticket Reservations
- Order in advance your food at Quick Service Locations
- Access maps, wait times, showtimes, park hours, and much more essential information via the app.
- Grab a spot in the virtual queue for Rise of the Resistance.
Walt Disney World encourages all guests to have downloaded the latest version of My Disney Experience on their mobile device before entering parks. Also, they recommend having location services, and notifications enabled.
Know height requirements before you visit Epcot
Disney does enforce height restrictions. Height restrictions in place at Epcot are:
- Mission Space Orange at least 44″
- Mission Space Green at least 40″
- Test Track at least 40″
- Soarin at least 40″
If the kids are too small, you can use a rider switch to allow the rest of the party to ride.
Eat at Epcot
Epcot is the center for Walt Disney World Cuisine. With restaurants from all around the world, there is something that will appeal to everyone. Currently, not all venues are open, but there is still plenty of choices.
There is a new 60-day Advanced Dining Reservation window at Walt Disney World. Make sure you make your reservations as soon as possible as they book-up fast. There are no guarantees you will get a reservation on the day. Visit our 2021 Guide to Walt Disney World Dining to learn more.
Quick service locations use Mobile Ordering. It is perhaps the greatest time-saver at Walt Disney World; order your food in advance at quick-service restaurants. Ordering is simple through the My Disney Experience app. Disney is encouraging all guests to use this during the reopening period.
Be ready for every type of weather
Don’t be unprepared for the weather. Epcot is massive, and it will take time to return to your resort. Sunscreen, hat & waterproof all might be needed on any day.
Read our Guide to the Orlando Weather for more tips & tricks.
Only pack essentials in your park bag
There is a lot of walking at Epcot, and you will be carrying your bag all day. What are the things you must take into the park? Make a list of what you need, e.g., camera, autograph book, poncho. Also, don’t forget a facemask!
We have created an updated guide to what we think you should include in your Walt Disney World park bag
Visit during an Epcot Festival
Traditionally there are 4 festivals held annually at Epcot:
- Epcot International Festival of the Arts
- Epcot International Food & Wine Festival
- Epcot International Flower and Garden Festival
- Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
All these festivals have great entertainment, special events, music, and unique food kitchens. However, during Walt Disney World’s reopening period, an abbreviated version of these festivals is getting held. The Taste of Epcot Festivals remains excellent fun and the highlight of any visit.
Kids love Epcot
Many people think that Epcot isn’t for kids, but they will love it.
Don’t forget to visit Kidcot in each country to complete an activity and collect activity cards. Kidcot helps kids explore different cultures.
Ride Test Track early in the day
Summer afternoon storms are frequent in Orlando. Storms will mean Test Track will close. Ride the attraction early in the day.
Walk past Spaceship Earth on arrival
Spaceship Earth attracts long waits in the morning. However, in the evening it is often a walk-on attraction. Leave Spaceship Earth until the last hour.
However, don’t miss it! Spaceship Earth was scheduled for a multi-year renovation which was canceled following the pandemic. Expect it o still close at a future date.
You will want to return to Epcot
Massive changes are happening at Epcot, and several new attractions will be opening over the next few years. During 2020, we had new films at the Land Pavilion, Canada, and Beauty & the Beast Singalong in France. However, the big new attraction, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, was postponed until 2021.
Epcot might be a building site, but you will want to return in the future. The renovations at Epcot have been reduced, but a lot is still happening. Perhaps the most anticipated new attraction is Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, which should open 2022.
Don’t miss the Rat!
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure was planned to open in time for summer 2020. Many of us hoped summer 2021 might be the delayed opening. However, the attraction has now been confirmed to open on October 1. This date is significant as it the resort’s 50th anniversary.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure already exists at Walt Disney Studios Paris and is a guest favorite. We have ridden the attraction in Paris a couple of times, and it is great fun. The attraction is in 3D and uses a trackless ride system. During the ride, you shrink to the size of a rat and cause mayhem in Gustav’s kitchen. It is an attraction you will not want to miss.
Also opening in the French pavilion is La Crêperie de Paris, offering both table and quick service options. The menu will feature sweet crepes, savory buckwheat galettes (naturally gluten-friendly), and authentic French hard cider.
Experience Epcot at Night
All Disney parks look great at night. Epcot perhaps looks the best of them all. Make sure you schedule some late-night exploring into your visit. Even without fireworks, the World Showcase should be visited after dark.
Do you have any other Epcot Hacks? Why not leave us a comment below?
More Disney World
To learn more about Walt Disney World visit our 2021 Guide to Walt Disney World.
This Guide is part of our “Road to 2021 at Walt Disney World” series. Check out the rest of the guides for the latest information.