EPCOT is a massive theme park; having no plan can mean you can move aimlessly across the park. Thankfully most mistakes do not mean our vacation is ruined, but they can mean we enjoy our day less. These are the Top EPCOT Mistakes to Avoid updated for 2023.
You might have heard that EPCOT is currently undergoing some massive changes. While it is true that the park is probably the most significant building site in the Western Hemisphere, there is still a lot to do in the park, and it would be a mistake to skip it. Also, you will not want to miss several new additions to the park, including our favorite new attraction at Walt Disney World, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
You attempt to do EPCOT in 1 day.
Epcot is a massive theme park with lots of things to see and do. Attempting it all in 1 day will usually lead to failure, tiredness, and grumpy kids. If you have time, visit for two or even three days.
If you only have one day available, consider your must-do attractions. You should manage to do most of the main attractions in one day, but you won’t be able to explore the World Showcase fully.
Not booking a Disney Park Pass.
To visit EPCOT, you must have a Disney Park Pass.
In 2023 you must obtain a Disney Park Pass as soon as you get your ticket. You must book a reservation online through the Disney Park Pass System to access your first park daily. If this means you intend to visit EPCOT first, you must obtain a Park Pass.
To access EPCOT, guests must present their park reservation and a valid park ticket. Guests who do not have either of these will be refused entry, even if they have a dining reservation.
Guests can access a second park, with the correct ticket, during Park Hopper Hours.
Not taking advantage of Early Theme Park Entry and Extended Evening Hours.
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. You don’t want to miss these great benefits, which often have quieter crowds.
Thinking you have to purchase Disney Genie+
Disney Genie+ is the paid replacement for FastPass+, but it isn’t cheap. If you are on a short vacation, you might wish to purchase it every day, but it probably isn’t necessary if you plan to visit EPCOT for several days.
Guests who purchase Disney Genie+ join a much shorter Lightning Lane entrance. Many attractions included with Disney Genie+ do not have long waits especially close to park closing time, and Lightning Lane isn’t required.
If you decide to purchase Disney Genie+, you can book your first experience at 7:00 AM on the day of your visit. The most popular attractions quickly run out of slots; make sure you are ready for 7:00 AM to book your first attraction.
Thinking you have to purchase Individual Lighting Lane attractions
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.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is a must-do attraction, but you can always join the virtual queue.
Being too late for the Virtual Line for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
There is no standby line for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
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 for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind:
- 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 park 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 the phone when it is your turn to board. Unfortunately, a Virtual Line reservation does not guarantee you can board. Make sure you book early to get the best chance of riding.
Know height requirements before you visit EPCOT.
Disney does strictly enforce height restrictions. If the kids can’t ride Test Track, let them know in advance rather than getting turned away in the line. Disney does strictly enforce height restrictions. If the kids are too small, you can use a rider switch to allow the rest of the party to ride.
We have created guides to Rider Switch and Height Requirements at the Epcot, which contain further information.
Not using the Single Rider Line for Test Track.
Test Track has a single-rider line, which allows you to join a much shorter line if your group is happy to ride apart. While waiting times are not guaranteed, they are usually much quicker in the single-rider line.
Not bringing park essentials.
Make a list of what you must take to the park, e.g., a camera, phone, autograph book, and poncho. Make sure you don’t forget sunscreen and a good hat. Plus, you will need access to plenty of water.
Remember not to take too much as you carry it all day. Our Guide to what you should include in your Disney World Park Bag has further information.
You can’t access the park’s Wi-Fi.
Online access is essential at Walt Disney World. Don’t even consider entering EPCOT in 2023 without access to Wi-Fi.
You must download the My Disney Experience App before accessing EPCOT. 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 Line
- Order in advance food at select Quick Service Locations
- Access maps, wait times, showtimes, park hours, and essential information via the app.
- Check on all the latest resort changes, including any closed attractions.
Not having a break.
Don’t underestimate how much walking there is to do in EPCOT. Plus, the Florida heat can be unforgiving. It is easy to burn out if you are not careful.
Make sure you take time out, drink plenty of water, and don’t skip meal breaks. Also, consider returning to your hotel for a few hours in the afternoon.
Thinking EPCOT is for adults only
Many people have the impression EPCOT is for adults. In fact, it is one of our kids’ favorite parks.
While kids will love Turtle Talk and the Seas with Nemo & Friends, the World Showcase is the biggest star for any children with a curious mind.
Don’t forget to visit Kidcot in each country to complete an activity and collect activity cards.
Wearing new shoes.
Make sure your shoes are worn in and comfortable you will be doing a lot of walking. EPCOT is a massive park. Wearing new shoes could be the EPCOT mistake you will regret for the rest of your vacation.
Did you know the British Queen used to hire someone to wear-in her shoes?
Remember, small children will walk a lot more than back home. Be ready to hire a stroller for all under 5s and some older kids.
Not Eating in World Showcase
EPCOT is the epicenter of Disney World cuisine. With restaurants from all around the world, there is something that will appeal to everyone.
However, restaurants do book up, and it is essential you have booked your reservations well in advance. Don’t expect to get a favorite dining location on the day if standby reservations are available; you will often experience very lengthy waits.
Missing the Festivals at EPCOT
If a festival is getting held when you visit EPCOT, you don’t want to miss it. There are four festivals that return annually to EPCOT:
- International Festival of the Arts.
- International Flower and Garden Festival.
- International Food and Wine Festival.
- Epcot International Festival of the Holidays
All these festivals have great entertainment, special events, music, and special food kitchens. Festivals at EPCOT are included in your regular admission and are fantastic fun.
Visiting EPCOT on major holidays
EPCOT is at its busiest during summer and public holidays. The park during these times is very busy.
EPCOT can also bring in large crowds during the weekends when festivals are held, especially during the Food and Wine.
However, you can still have a great time at EPCOT during these busiest periods, but be prepared for added crowds.
You drank too much at EPCOT.
We always recommend drinking plenty of water in EPCOT. However, Drinking Around the World is a fantastic Disney experience many adults enjoy.
Remember that the Florida sun can be unforgiving if you drink too much alcohol.
Not staying for the night at EPCOT
EPCOT is even more magical at night; don’t leave before dark.
EPCOT Forever has just returned as the evening show, but a brand new show is scheduled to open later in 2023.
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Our 2023 Guide to Walt Disney World is a great starting place to plan your Disney Vacation.
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