EPCOT is undergoing massive construction work but is still a massive theme park with plenty of walking. If you haven’t visited in recent years, how you plan your visit has significantly changed. Our Top EPCOT Tips and Tricks for 2023 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 undergoing massive changes, but skipping the park would be a mistake. Epcot has some of the best attractions at Walt Disney World, including what I think is the best ride in Walt Disney World, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
If you have previously visited EPCOT pre-2020, you will find a very different experience. Not only is there a lot of construction in the park, but many other things have changed. We will highlight these changes in our EPCOT Tips and Tricks.
You can probably do most of Epcot in one day.
As a rule, I don’t think any park in Walt Disney World is a One-Day Park. However, EPCOT probably is the exception to the rule.
First-time visitors probably should spend two days at EPCOT, but you can manage to do most of the main attractions in one day. You won’t be able to explore the World Showcase fully but should manage to do most of the Big Attractions.
Book a Disney Park Pass
Your Disney Park Pass is the critical booking you must obtain as soon as you get your EPCOT ticket. To access a park, pre-book a reservation online through the Disney Park Pass System. Availability is generally good, and even on the busiest days, you can usually get a last-minute EPCOT pass.
To access the EPCOT, guests must present their park reservation and a valid park ticket. Guests who do not have either of these will be refused entry. Remember, to dine in EPCOT; you must also have a Disney Park Pass.
If you are planning to Park Hop, 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 can then enter a second park during Park Hopper Hours.
Park Hopping Hours are subject to change but have been operating from 2 pm to close at all parks.
Check park opening times.
Park opening times vary daily throughout the year. Check My Disney Experience for the latest information.
Have access to the park Wi-Fi.
Online access is essential when visiting Walt Disney World. Don’t even consider entering EPCOT in 2023 without access to Wi-Fi.
Having access to WiFi allows you to access My Disney Experience. My Disney Experience is a free online guide to Walt Disney World that allows guests to plan their vacations. Through this free service, you can:
- Keep track of your plans & reservations, including those of your family & friends.
- Make Disney Genie, Dining & Ticket Reservations
- Join the Virtual Queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
- Order in advance food at select Quick Service Locations. Mobile Ordering is a great time saver.
- Access maps, wait times, showtimes, park hours, and essential information via the app.
- Check on all the latest resort changes, including any closed attractions.
Walt Disney World encourages all guests to have downloaded the latest version of My Disney Experience on their mobile devices 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″
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at least 42″.
If the kids are too small, you can use a rider switch to allow the rest of the party to ride.
Consider carefully whether to buy Disney Genie+ and Individual Lightning Lanes.
Disney Genie+ is the paid replacement for FastPass+, but it isn’t cheap, costing up to $29 a day per person. Purchasing Disney Genie+ allows you to book reservations for the Lightning Lane at select attractions in EPCOT. The Lightning lane will enable you to join a shorter line than the regular standby line.
If you are on a short vacation, you might wish to purchase it every day, but it probably isn’t necessary for more extended vacations. Many attractions included with Disney Genie+ do not have long waits, and Lightning Lane isn’t required.
Some of the most popular attractions at EPCOT are unavailable on Disney Genie+. An individual fee of up to $25 is required to access the lightning lane for these attractions.
The list of rides has changed several times since the introduction of Individual Lightning Lanes, but currently, only one attraction in EPCOT attracts this fee:
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Visit our guide to learn more about Individual Lightning Lanes.
Use the Virtual Queue.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind does not have a regular standby line; instead, guests must request a place in the Virtual Queue via My Disney Experience.
Guests must have valid admission and a theme park reservation to join the virtual queue. There are two daily opportunities to request to join the virtual queue
- 7:00 AM (Guests do not need to be in the park when they join but must have a theme park reservation for EPCOT)
- 1:00 PM (Guests must be in EPCOT to join the virtual queue)
An additional opportunity to request to join the virtual queue will be available at 6:00 PM during extended evening theme park hours.
You will be notified on your phone when it is your turn to board. Unfortunately, a Virtual Line reservation does not guarantee you can board.
Take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours.
Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours greatly benefit onsite guests; both are available at EPCOT.
Early Theme Park Entry is the replacement for Extra Magic Hours. All Walt Disney World Resort guests, and other select hotels, can gain 30-minute early entry to any theme park each day. However, you will need a Disney Park Pass.
Extended Evening Hours are only available for guests staying at Deluxe Resorts. Guests at one of these resorts can enjoy extended evening hours in EPCOT on select nights. A valid Disney Park Pass is also essential for guests taking advantage of Extended Evening Hours. However, guests may visit with a Park Hopper option as long as the park where they made their reservation has been visited earlier in the day.
Extended evening hours are typically held at EPCOT on Mondays. Try and complete some of the resort’s most popular attractions during these periods.
Eat at EPCOT
EPCOT is the center of Walt Disney World Cuisine. With restaurants from all around the world, there is something that will appeal to everyone. Best of all, apart from Restaurant Marrakesh, everything has now reopened.
There is a 60-day Advanced Dining Reservation window at Walt Disney World. Make sure you make your reservations as soon as possible, as they book quickly. There are no guarantees you will get a reservation on the day.
There are also some excellent quick-service locations and carts throughout EPCOT. Plus, if you visit during one of the festivals, there are fantastic kitchens around EPCOT.
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, a hat, and waterproofing might be needed 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 carry your bag all day. What are the things you must take into the park? List what you need, e.g., a camera, autograph book, poncho.
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 four 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. Over recent years, the festivals have been extended, so there will likely be a festival when you visit.
Kids love EPCOT
Many people incorrectly think EOCOT 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.
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 during your visit.
Don’t miss Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
Unless you suffer from motion sickness, you do not want to miss Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. It is the best ride in Walt Disney World.
Also, if you want somewhere different to dine, check out the Space 220 Restaurant.
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 2023 Guide to Walt Disney World.