Have you been to EPCOT recently?
Would you believe us if we told you you’re doing EPCOT wrong!? Maybe you did all you could to study up on EPCOT hidden secrets and tips, but you still might have made these BIG mistakes while you were exploring. Let’s stop you from doing them next time!
Moving through the countries too quickly in World Showcase.
First things first, during your EPCOT visits you might be moving through the countries too quickly in World Showcase. Look, we get it. There is a LOT to get through. With 11 different country pavilions AND the whole other half of the park in Future World, it can be tempting to keep a quick pace.
But some of the BEST magic in EPCOT is tucked in the hidden spaces of the World Showcase pavilions. There’s a LOT to explore, from shopping to theming — even tucked away pathways you may never spot without looking!
Don’t stick to that main path when making your way around World Showcase. Grab a drink and a snack and get wandering into those Pavilions. Some of our favorite spots to find include the Stave Church exhibit in Norway, the koi pond in Japan, and the Fez House in Morocco!
Getting in line for Test Track at the wrong time.
On the other side of the park, you might be getting in line for Test Track at the wrong time. Unless you’re visiting EPCOT during a VERY slow time, Test Track can have loooooong lines for most of the day. Don’t waste precious EPCOT time waiting to zoom along in your sim car!
We recommend getting in line for Test Track right at rope drop (usually a little before posted open), but only if you’re in one of the first crowds to make it to the ride. The wait time usually rockets above an hour immediately after park open as would-be rope droppers trickle in.
Your other option to keep Test Track from sucking up time out of your day is to save it for the very LAST thing you do. You can get in line until one minute before park close. Typically, doing so will have you in shorter lines AND everything else will be closed while you wait (so you’re not missing out on anything).
Starting on the wrong side of World Showcase.
Alright, this one is more subjective. But you don’t want to start on the wrong side of World Showcase. Plenty of Disney fans have STRONG opinions about starting in Mexico or Canada (and don’t forget the lesser-thought-of International Gateway option).
Really, this decision depends on what your priorities are! If you’re eating and drinking around the world, think about how you’d rather end a long day: With a margarita and chips or a beer and popcorn?
If it’s more about crowds for you, you might want to head towards Canada. Mexico has you walking around clockwise which seems to make more guests gravitate in that direction. Heading towards Canada might have you going against crowds and waiting in shorter lines. But if you REALLY want a pro tip for avoiding crowds, you’ll want to read the next mistake…
Not using the boat from Canada to Morocco.
You are making a HUGE mistake if you’re not using the boat between Canada and Morocco. World Showcase is HUGE and this boat can get you across in just five minutes. You might think taking a boat is a waste, but it really will save you time and ENERGY in EPCOT!
First of all, the boat is a great trick to beat the crowds. If you’re starting around World Showcase first thing with everyone else, you might want to forgo going to Mexico or Canada and instead take the boat to Morocco, then go left! Because this is the furthest you can easily get from any of the entrances to World Showcase, it’s usually a surefire way to avoid and move AGAINST the crowds.
But that’s not the only way the boat can be useful. Have you ever found yourself hankering for an air-conditioned ride on Spaceship Earth in the middle of eating your way through a festival? We certainly have…pretty much every time. Conveniently, that need usually hits around Morocco. Don’t despair that the walk is too far to go hop on a ride and resume your World Showcase route, just use the boat!
Skipping half the park.
EPCOT is very much two parks in one, even with all the construction going on right now. You’ve got the three lands of World Celebration, World Discovery, and World Nature (the half of the park formerly known as Future World) with iconic attractions and classic EPCOT theming, and then you’ve got World Showcase with its amazing dining and world-class theming. For many, there’s a strong preference toward one half of the park or the other.
If you only care about rides, you might opt to skip World Showcase. If you’re a big food fan, you’ll probably blaze through the front half of the park en route to the eater’s paradise of World Showcase. But both halves have some AMAZING offerings that you shouldn’t skip.
You should certainly plan your EPCOT day around your priorities but plan at least one dip into the other half of the park. It’s good to mix things up and you can likely make time to experience both!
Making a lot of dining reservations during a festival.
And finally, we’ve got a tried and true tip. No matter how many times we say not to, it’s easy to think that making a table service dining reservation is a good idea during an EPCOT festival. If you plan on eating at the current fest, DON’T make that reservation!
There are typically dozens of booths at the EPCOT festivals and you might find yourself surprisingly stuffed come time for your dinner reservation. Or, if you have an earlier reservation, you might be too full to try all the amazing festival food!
Make sure you don’t end up in this situation by not making that dining reservation unless you KNOW your stomach can handle it with all the festival food you’re eyeing.
As you can see, there are a lot of mistakes you can make during your EPCOT day, but now you know how to avoid them! As always, stay tuned to DFB for all the latest tips and tricks for Disney World!
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What are some EPCOT mistakes we missed? Tell us in the comments!