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Today you’ll learn about the best things to do in Epcot Disney World park in Orlando Florida. Check out some of the most popular Epcot attractions, places to eat quick service and fine dining meals, rides for families, thrill rides, character meet and greets, and more…
See what to do on your first day at Disney World...
What to know before you go to Epcot
- Check out food photos of where to eat in Epcot at Disney World.
- Get tips on the best Epcot rides for all ages.
- Learn about Epcot Festivals 2023 and beyond…
- Get location, transportation, and parking info for Epcot park.
- Learn how far out to book tickets to Epcot.
- Get character meet and greet details.
- Plus, see a video and Epcot photos of rides and food, too.
Epcot Disney Vlog
Here’s a look at our first day at Epcot itinerary with a family.
See more tips from Jenna Loves Magic on YouTube…
What is Epcot?
Epcot is one of the four theme parks in the Walt Disney World Resort.
The park name is actually an acronym, EPCOT, meaning Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow.
It’s a fantastic park where your future world becomes reality.
What’s also neat is the eat & drink around the world section of the park.
As a guest, you’ll be able to go to country themed pavilions to taste authentic foods and beverages from those areas.
Here’s a look at the Disney Epcot Center map.
Getting to Epcot
You can travel quite a few ways – by Skyliner, by monorail, by bus and boat….
I love taking the Disney Skyliner to Epcot, which pops you over to the side entrance…
Where you’ll enter near the France Pavilion… (more on that when you scroll down this article).
Epcot’s hours of operations change periodically throughout the year.
Typical park hours are 9am - 9pm with extended hours of 9pm - 11pm.
They have early entry park hours as well that allow special guests to get into the park starting at 8:30am.
Park hopper entry begins at 2pm each day. If you have a park hopper pass, you’ll be able to go to any of the parks starting at 2pm until closing.
Epcot does offer onsite parking located at the main entrance of the park.
You have a couple of different parking options…
- Standard Parking - $25 per day
- Preferred Parking - $45 - $50 per day (comes with parking that’s closer to the park entrance)
- Oversized Vehicle - $30 per day
*prices are from 2023 Winter/Spring
Parking fees are valid for one day at all four theme park locations.
Also see this guide to stroller parking…
When to buy Epcot tickets
Epcot is definitely a busy, in-demand park.
You’ll want to make sure to both buy tickets AND reserve your park tickets for the day, specifically for each park you’re attending, including Epcot.
You’ll want to do this months or weeks in advance of going to Disney World.
Especially at busy times of the year.
Popular Epcot rides
Spaceship Earth Epcot
Even if you’ve been living under a rock, you are probably familiar with the image of the Epcot ball…
Which is home to the Spaceship Earth…
This is one of the first rides at Epcot to enjoy when you first enter this park, using the main entrance.
Learn more about the Spaceship Earth ride…
Guardians Of The Galaxy Epcot ride
This is one of the most popular rides at Disney World in 2023… it’s the Guardians Of The Galaxy Ride.
This is the only roller coaster ride offered in Epcot park. You must be at least 42” tall to ride this coaster.
Given the popularity of this ride, it’s highly recommended that you use Genie+ to book lightening lane passes, so you can skip the general boarding line.
Mission Space Epcot ride
Mission Space is a simulated flight experience that makes you feel like you’re in a space shuttle that’s flying to Mars.
See the Mission Space and Space 220 location…
On the Orange Mission, you’ll be going to Mars.
This mission is a way more intense flight simulator, so please be aware that you will feel like you are spinning in this mission.
They provide barf bags if needed. You must be 44” or taller to ride this mission.
Alternatively, you can go on the Green Mission, which is less intense and better suited as a “family-friendly ride.” You’ll be orbiting earth.
You must be at least 40” or taller to ride this mission.
Learn more about the Mission Space ride…
Soarin Epcot ride
This is a popular 40” and up ride in Epcot’ Land Pavilion…
It’s a fun hang gliding ride that takes you high above the earth to enjoy aerial views from all over the world.
Learn more about Soarin Epcot…
Test Track Epcot ride
This attraction is your opportunity to first hand experience Chevrolet vehicles concept cars.
These custom concept sim cars will navigate you through a course that has an indoor component as well as an outdoor high speed test at the end.
This ride does have a height requirement. You must be at least 40” tall to ride
Learn more about the Test Track Epcot ride…
Journey into imagination with figment
The Figment ride is one of my favorites to suggest for visiting Epcot with kids.
Learn more about the Figment ride…
The new Moana Epcot ride
There are a lot of new rides in Epcot and changes coming.
One of the most anticipated for 2023-2024 is Moana's Journey of Water.
It will be in the World Nature neighborhood.
What is Moana replacing at EPCOT?
It’s going to take up half of Innoventions West, which was previously a center focused on technological advancements…
It's now demolished as part of the redesign of EPCOT.
See tips on my two favorite places to watch Epcot fireworks…
See what else to do at night in Epcot…
One of the most-loved things about Epcot Disney World park are all of the dining experiences.
You can eat around the world, enjoy some quick-service dining when on the go, and you can have full-on table service dining if you’re looking for a date night out.
Epcot has it all when it comes to dining options.
Epcot country restaurants
You’ll learn more about some of the best Epcot restaurants in the “country pavilion” section of this article.
One of my favorite places for quick service food in Epcot is Les Halles in France… more on that if you scroll down…
Connections Eatery quick service in Epcot
The quick food service spot, Connections Eatery, is definitely a good place to have in mind when you’re near the main entrance and need a bite to eat.
It’s next to Connections Cafe, and between the two buildings you can find plenty of pizza, salads, chicken fingers, ice cream, milk shakes, coffee, and more to tame a hungry stomach.
I found the pepperoni pizza here really hits the spot!
Garden Grill Epcot dining
This restaurant is super neat. It uses food that’s grown in the Living with the Land Greenhouses right on sight.
Additionally, this is a character lunch and dinner spot.
You’ll enjoy seeing Chip & Dale, as well as some of their friends parading through the restaurant.
Reservations are highly recommended.
Rose And Crown Epcot food
This British Pub is located in the United Kingdom Pavilion of the park.
You’ll enjoy authentic British food and drink options. Children have a pre-fixed menu too.
PRO TIP - Rose & Crown offers a special night-time dinner option that lets you eat with a view of the Epcot fireworks.
You definitely need reservations.
Via Napoli Epcot restaurant
Enjoy a taste of southern Italy during your Epcot day.
Via Napoli is open for lunch and dinner and does require a reservation as this is a table service restaurant.
You’ll enjoy pastas, fried arancini, fresh sliced prosciutto, and the pizza is made in a wood burning oven.
You can’t go wrong with Via Napoli.
It’s a great spot for all ages.
Coral Reef Epcot restaurant
Located in the World Nature section of the park which includes The Seas with Nemo & Friends (finding Nemo ride), you’ll be dining below the water.
This is a great restaurant for a family because your kiddos will really enjoy all the fish, sharks, turtles, and even scuba divers swimming around them.
Coral Reef is open for lunch and dinner.
Reservations are highly recommended.
Epcot Food and Wine Festival 2023
One major event at Disney World is the Epcot Food And Wine Festival.
If you’re a Disney foodie, you won’t want to miss this festival!
Dates are announced each year, and luckily the event goes on for a while so you can easily book.
It’s not like it only happens over just one weekend like a Disney marathon or cheerleading event.
Epcot Flower And Garden 2023 Show
Starting March 1st - July 5th 2023, you can enjoy the Flower and Garden Festival at Epcot.
This festival is open to all guests, you just need to have an Epcot park ticket for that day.
You’ll love seeing all the beautifully architected garden displays of Disney characters.
Outdoor kitchens will be all around for you to enjoy fresh food tastings.
In the evening, you can dance to a live outdoor concert at the America Gardens Theatre.
Character meet and greet Epcot attractions
There are plenty of characters to meet inside Disney World Epcot park.
Here are few that top my list:
Drink Around The World Epcot planning
Now, I’m not recommending this because I don’t know you or your “limits” and I don’t want to get you kicked out of the happiest place on earth…
But I can’t share details about this popular Walt Disney World park without covering what is Drinking Around The World in Epcot….
Epcot has 11 world pavilions where you can enjoy an authentic alcoholic beverage.
Pavilions offer several options of beer, wine, and mixed drinks from various countries including…
- Mexico pavilion
- China pavilion
- Norway pavilion
- Germany pavilion
- Italy pavilion
- Morocco pavilion
- France pavilion
- Japan pavilion
- The United Kingdom pavilion
- Canada pavilion
- United States pavilion
How much is drinking around the world in Epcot?
You will be required to pay for each beverage, so the cost of drinking around the world is up to you, depending on what you plan to drink.
Beverages from the countries are not included with your park ticket.
Prices per drink vary, so if you plan on ~$10 per drink per country, you should expect to spend at least ~$110.
But, that’s quite a lot of drinking so tacking every country in Epcot is not a plan I’m recommending for drinking around the globe!
Must-visit Epcot countries
Whether you’re embarking on an Epcot Drink Around The World challenge…
Or just want to nibble and sip your way around the World Showcase…
I have a few favorite countries in Epcot to visit during your trip…
The Mexico Pavilion in Epcot tops this list because it’s easy to access from the Main Entrance of Epcot, and has something for all ages…
First, the Mexico Epcot ride my family just LOVES…
Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros is a long-standing Epcot country boat ride.
It has survived the lifespan of other rides which have been rebranded and changed over time.
There’s singing, dancing, music to tap your feet to, and you ride by diners eating inside the Mexico Pavilion.
Inside the Mexico Pavilion are multiple Epcot Disney dining experiences…
- Quick service at La Cantina De San Angel.
- Reservation dining at San Angel Inn.
Learn more about what to do and where to eat at the Mexico Pavilion in Epcot…
Also topping the list of countries to visit in Epcot, is the France Pavilion, because the food is so tasty and one of the “best rides at Epcot” according to many people is found here…
The Epcot Ratatouille ride.
The side entrance to Epcot, available by Skyliner, will get you right to the France Pavilion where you can head over to quick service restaurant, Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie.
Les Halles quick service food highlights…
I love to head here for breakfast in Epcot.
It’s part of this schedule for a fun morning in Epcot.
It’s easy to get to France inside Epcot… when you look at a map of Epcot, you’ll notice there are two ways to enter Epcot.
For drinks in France – you can grab a Frosé - which is a frozen rosé wine.
Love Disney foodie spots? Learn about the new Roundup Rodeo BBQ at Hollywood Studios…
American Adventure Epcot Pavilion
This is a favorite tourist attraction for both US citizens along with park guests who are visiting Disney World from overseas.
Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow
Yes you can leave Epcot and come back if you have a valid park ticket for the day or are park hopping Epcot after 2pm (info true at the time of Disney guide post).
Tips for planning a Disney World trip
Shop my favorite things to buy in advance for a Disney World trip:
- Disney outfits for women
- Brooks sneakers for women (see more on shoes for Disney)
- Matching Disney adult and kids hats
- 2 pack of ponchos
- best neck fan for Disney World
Get more Disney World travel tips...
- See the ULTIMATE GUIDE to Disney World resorts
- Get tips for booking Disney World tickets
- See this beginners guide to Disney World packages
- Tips for flying to the closest airport to Disney World
- Learn about taking a Skyliner ride during EPCOT fireworks time
- Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party
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Top Disney World restaurant guides
- What to order at Topolino's Terrace for dinner at Riviera Resort
- Sanaa bread service
- Where to get breakfast in EPCOT
- Joffrey's Disney coffee
- Le Cellier
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Disney dining tips from Jenna Loves Magic
Remember: for any sit-down dinner or character meal, I recommend to definitely book 60 days out, or whenever your Disney dining dates open.
If you’re staying on site, you can book dining reservations earlier as a perk.
Don’t have reservations? Check regularly during your trip, on the app, or walk up to the restaurant early in the day and request a day-of reservation. Disney reservations are often dropped day-of since sometimes people “hoard them”.
I once was a walk-up and was told there would be a 90 minute wait for a table at Steakhouse 71.
Not a problem, since it’s an interesting hotel to walk around and they have an arcade.
Anyways, within 5 minutes my reservation was ready because someone canceled. So you never know.
Also see my other favorites on this list of the best places to eat at Disney World. (coming soon)
Ready to visit the Epcot Orlando Disney park?
Hope that answers all your questions about what is Epcot and why it is so special.
Soon, I’ll have more guides for Epcot dining, rides, and attractions to check out during your visit to Disney World.
See what it’s like to go on the Disney Skyliner at night…