I think everyone has their favorite Walt Disney World Park. Mine is the Magic Kingdom with Epcot coming in second. I never feel like I’ve been to WDW if I haven’t visited both the Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
When you plan your Walt Disney World vacation, one park that deserves multiple days is Epcot. A single Day at Epcot is challenging to plan, because there is always plenty to do.
To have the best day at Epcot here are five simple planning mistakes you should avoid.
Not Knowing the Layout
Epcot is a very unique park. While every Walt Disney World park functions around a hub and spoke model, Epcot puts a different spin on things by adding a circular loop around the World Showcase lagoon. Future World uses the more traditional Disney approach, but Epcot is really more like two parks in one.
Epcot has two gates that you can enter and exit from. The locations of these gates and the layout of the park are worth studying so you know where you want to enter and leave on your day at Epcot.
Not Making Reservations
More than any other Walt Disney World park, Epcot has very popular restaurants. From the Character Dining of Garden Grill and Akershus to the international cuisine from France, Japan, Morocco, Mexico, and more Epcot offers an experience with each pavilion you explore.
The diversity of the park makes it a desirable place to enjoy a meal and the best restaurants all require reservations, sometimes as early as 180 days in advance.
Although I have my favorite Epcot restaurants, we try to eat in a different country each trip for the experience as well as the exposure to the cuisine of different countries.
Missing the Hidden Galleries
Throughout the World Showcase, there are hidden gems that you would easily miss if you didn’t already know they exist. There are secret galleries you can find at pavilions for Norway and Morocco. There is a tucked-away one in Japan as well.
Other pavilions with more prominent galleries worth spending some time on are Mexico, China, and the United States of America.
Showing Up Late
Showing up late is not always a huge mistake if it is part of your multi-day strategy, but if you only have one day at Epcot, you need to get there as early as possible. There are two separate opening times. It’s just one more way that Epcot behaves like two parks in one.
The World Showcase doesn’t open up until 11:00 a.m., but Future World is open two hours earlier. It’s always good to get what you can at Future World within those two hours and move on to the World Showcase. You can experience the rest of Future World at the end of the day on your way out.
Waiting too Long in Line
There are a variety of different popularity levels for attractions at Epcot. Some rarely have very long wait times while others are consistently long enough to warrant a Fastpass. Then there are attractions that would otherwise have short wait times but they fluctuate depending on the crowd levels at any particular moment. These attractions, like Living with the Land, Finding Nemo, and Spaceship Earth should be waited out.
Spaceship Earth is the first ride everyone sees, so as long as there are crowds coming into the park, the line will be lengthy. When attendance slows down there is a good opportunity to ride with a minimal wait.