Epcot

Epcot

Epcot opened as Walt Disney World's second theme park on October 1, 1982 and is in the midst of a park-wide transformation project, so expect a lot of construction walls around the Future World section of the park. The pandemic has altered some of Disney's announced plans for the park, which can be previewed in the Odyssey exhibition space between Future World and World Showcase. Epcot is big on food festivals, which now run almost every week of the year, starting with the Festival of the Arts in January, then continuing with the Flower & Garden Festival in the spring, followed by the Food & Wine Festival in late summer through fall, wrapping up with the Festival of the Holidays in November and December.

Our recommendations below come from our annual survey of Theme Park Insider newsletter subscribers. Locations with star ratings ranked especially highly among our readers. Click here to subscribe to our free, twice-weekly email of theme park news and to participate in the next ranking survey.

Certain locations may not be available due to Covid-19 restrictions.

Rides

Top Recommendations

  1. Soarin' Around the World
    Flying theater ride above famous world landmarks, located in The Land pavilion in Future World. Height requirement: 40 inches
  2. Spaceship Earth
    Dark ride through world history, located in the giant geosphere at the heart of Future World.
  3. Mission: Space
    Centrifuge ride in Future World that simulates a Mission to Mars. Height requirement: 44 inches for the Orange Mission (which simulates weightlessness) and 40 inches for the Green Mission (which does not).
  4. Test Track
    High-speed track ride/simulated factory tour in Future World. Height requirement: 40 inches

Other notable attractions include The Seas with Nemo and Friends aquarium tour, Listen to the Land indoor farming tour, and Journey Into the Imagination with Figment dark ride in Future World; the Gran Fiesta Tour indoor boat ride in World Showcase's Mexico pavilion, and the Frozen Ever After indoor boat ride in the Norway pavilion.

New for 2021 will be Remy's Ratatouille Adventure, a trackless dark ride that first opened in Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris. It will debut in an expanded France pavilion in World Showcase. Also coming soon will be Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, an indoor roller coaster with rotating cars in the former Universe of Energy pavilion in Future World.

Shows

Top Recommendations

  1. Impressions de France
    Movie in World Showcase's France pavilion [Check showtimes as this shares a theater with the Beauty and the Beast Sing Along]
  2. The American Adventure
    Audio Animatronic show about American history, in World Showcase

Other notable shows include Turtle Talk With Crush in The Seas with Nemo and Friends pavilion, Awesome Planet in The Land, Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360 in World Showcase's Canada pavilion, Beauty and the Beast Sing Along in France, and Reflections of China in World Showcase's China pavilion.

Epcot's next production will be Harmonious, a night-time spectacular on the World Showcase lagoon that replaces the long-running Illuminations show.

Dining

Top 10

  1. Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria ★ ★ ★
    Table service pizzeria serving lunch and dinner in World Showcase's Italy pavilion. [Run by Patina Group]
  2. Akershus Royal Banquet Hall ★ ★
    Character dining with Disney princesses for breakfast, lunch, and dinner in World Showcase's Norway pavilion
    Read Russell Meyer's review of Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.
  3. Le Cellier Steakhouse
    Table service for lunch and dinner in World Showcase's Canada pavilion
  4. San Angel Inn Restaurante
    Table service for lunch and dinner next to Gran Fiesta Tour in World Showcase's Mexico pyramid.
  5. Chefs de France
    Table service for lunch and dinner in World's Showcase's France pavilion. [Run by the Bocuse family]
  6. Biergarten Restaurant
    Oktoberfest show with family-style dining for lunch and dinner in World Showcase's Germany pavilion
  7. Garden Grill Restaurant
    Character dining with Chip 'n' Dale in a rotating restaurant overlooking the Listen to the Land ride in Future World
  8. Restaurant Marrakesh
    Table service for lunch and dinner in World Showcase's Morocco pavilion. [Disney is taking over management of this restaurant, so selections and quality may be changing.]
  9. Rose & Crown Pub and Dining Room
    Table service dining and bar for lunch and dinner in World Showcase's United Kingdom pavilion
  10. Teppan Edo
    Teppanyaki for lunch and dinner in World Showcase's Japan pavilion

Also recommended:

  • La Cantina San Angel
    Counter service outside in World Showcase's Mexico pavilion
  • Tutto Gusto Wine Cellar
    Lounge inside World Showcase's Italy pavilion [Run by Patina Group]
  • Spice Road Table
    Lounge next to the World Showcase lagoon in the Morocco pavilion
  • La Hacienda San Angel
    Table service dining for dinner next to the World Showcase lagoon in the Mexico pavilion
  • Yorkshire Country Fish Shop
    Counter service chippy in the United Kingdom pavilion

Coming next is Space 220, a Patina Group restaurant next to Mission Space that will use giant screen "windows" to simulate dining 220 miles above the planet, in Earth orbit.

Map

Epcot is part of the sprawling Walt Disney World Resort, located in Lake Buena Vista, Florida – about 24 miles from Orlando International Airport.

Strategy

You must reserve the day you want to visit in advance using the Disney Park Pass Reservation system. Once you have your dates reserved, you can start making restaurant reservations up to 60 days in advance of your visit. As for ride reservations, Walt Disney World's Fastpass+ system has been suspended due to the pandemic and the need for additional physical distancing in queues.

The Frozen ride tends to be the longest wait in the park, followed by Test Track. But the big consideration here is the dining, as Epcot's restaurants are the real top attractions in the park. Make your reservations as soon as you can, starting exactly 60 days before the date of your visit - and the earlier in the day (Eastern time), the better.

Want to talk more about Epcot visiting strategies? Start a discussion in our Walt Disney World Forum.

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