Planning the Perfect EPCOT Park Visit
Every Disney fan prefers one theme park more than the rest.
I’m no different than the rest of you in that one park stands out for me. It was my favorite as a child and remains that way today.
What can I say? I love the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
Let’s talk about planning an EPCOT park day!
The Morning Hours
Disney recently finalized its park hours for the rest of 2020. For the first time in a while, we possess some clarity about what to expect.
On most dates, EPCOT will open at 11 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. So, I’ve constructed an itinerary based on that plan.
Also, EPCOT will behave a bit differently than the other parks. You’ll spend more time eating and snacking here due to the delicious food options.
Your attraction strategy will vary, too. EPCOT operates nine attractions right now, and six (!) of them feature wait-times of 10 minutes or less.
So, you’ll have plenty of time to do whatever you want, and you can ride many of your favorites again and again.
When you start the day, there’s really no reason to rush. However, we will prioritize two attractions over the rest.
EPCOT famously possesses a big three, rides that previously stood on the top tier of the FastPass system.
With FastPass gone at the moment, Soarin’ features manageable lines. You don’t need to worry about that.
The other two rides, Test Track and Frozen Ever After, present more of a challenge.
I’ll suggest that you head straight to one of them once you’re inside the park.
Specifically, I think you should go to Test Track. The ride notoriously experiences downtime more frequently than anything else at the park.
By going early, you can check it off your list at the start. If it’s down, you can move on to Plan B, which is Frozen Ever After.
Both rides will require waiting in line for about 50 minutes. So, either way, you’re already at lunchtime.
How you proceed from here depends on your pre-park strategy. Personally, I’d recommend a Disney breakfast, but some EPCOT fans lightly snack instead.
With this approach, you’ll want to eat lunch after your first ride. I recommend Regal Eagle Smokehouse for those who have yet to experience it.
However, I know that many of you will target festival food instead. Through November 22nd, the Taste of EPCOT International Food & Wine Festival is available.
Five days later, the 2020 version of the Epcot International Festival of the Holidays will arrive.
Both serve wickedly good cuisine, and you’ll have no problem finding something tasty for lunch.
Keep in mind that you may wait in line at some of these kiosks for longer than you will on most attractions.
If that idea doesn’t appeal to you, pick a Mobile Ordering restaurant instead.
Once you’re done, stand in line for Frozen Ever After if you haven’t already done so.
Conversely, if you haven’t ridden Test Track yet, skip it and head to Soarin’ instead.
You’ll wait about 30 minutes at this time of day. It’ll give you plenty of time to digest your food.
If you chose Test Track, you’ll be on board in about 45 minutes. You may get a rumbly tummy that way.
So, pick Soarin’ first, then follow it up with Test Track. Now, you’ve got six or seven hours of park time, but you’ve already ridden the big three!
Personal preference comes into play now. You may love certain attractions and rush to them after being patient thus far.
However, I’ll recommend a front to back approach. Frequent EPCOT guests know to skip Spaceship Earth at the start of the day.
The lines are longest then, as guests ride the first thing they see.
In the 2 p.m. range, the line vanishes. Wait-times rarely surpass 15 minutes the rest of the day, at least right now.
So, go back to the front of the park and ride Spaceship Earth. Afterward, take the right path and walk straight on The Seas with Nemo & Friends.
Ten minutes later, you should head to The Land pavilion and board Living with the Land for 20 minutes of entertainment and light napping.
From there, you can ride Journey into Imagination with Figment or not, depending on your preference.
I’ll offer a word of caution here. Some wait-time abnormalities have occurred on this ride. Check the estimated wait-time before you commit.
You should never wait more than 15 minutes for Figment during the pandemic. If you have, something’s gone wrong.
At this point, the adventurous types should take a trip on Mission: SPACE. Even the Green (calm) version seems a bit much for some.
You’ll decide on your own whether you’re up for this kind of adventure…but it’s a stunningly beautiful ride thanks to the recent enhancements.
A Night Under the Stars
Once you’re done with Mission: SPACE, you’ve only got one ride left, and I intentionally saved it for last.
You’re heading to the Mexico pavilion to ride Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros!
While you’re wandering that way, you should feel free to grab a drink at La Cava del Tequila, home of the best tequila menu at Walt Disney World.
Also, you have plenty of time to check out the various food kiosks at whichever festival you’re visiting.
Don’t be afraid to sample the cuisine! We’re only talking about a few bucks per item, which means it’s the price of a fast-food combo meal.
You won’t beat this value, and you may discover food you didn’t know existed until now.
Since you’re now at EPCOT after dark, you should walk around the place and admire the beauty.
Architects worked overtime to ensure that EPCOT features some of the most remarkable buildings in the south.
Take your time and explore, all the while nurturing a beverage and may a snack, too. The Canada pavilion’s popcorn is one of the park’s hidden gems.
Of course, the other thing you should do is pay attention to ride wait-times. You can use your spare time to re-ride your favorites.
The only ones that should have substantial waits are Test Track and Frozen Ever After. And remember, as long as you’re in line for those when the park closes, you’ll get to ride them!
I’ve found that an E-ticket attraction has proven the perfect way to end a park day…but you’ll find me on Spaceship Earth anyway. It’s my favorite.
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