Epcot features many countries and inside those areas are incredible shops, foods and cultures and activities. It's a really beautiful park.
The food here is the biggest thing you are going there for. There are not many shows, only a handful of rides that you are really interested in, so the food is a MUST. I wish we'd skipped a character meal here to just enjoy each country's food options. So, make sure you go early and go hungry, stay late for dinner. It's amazing all the options they have.
Prep the kids: there are not tons of rides here like Magic Kingdom. It's a great park, just not as many things for the kids.
Another fun thing that you can do if you are leisurely strolling through Epcot is to stop at KidCot Stops. Here the kids can get stamps and have words or things written in another language. A fun activity for kids! We didn't do any of these, but they looked fun. For more info:
Epcot is one of those parks that makes you pick one ride from a certain tier, Frozen Ever After and Soarin' are in the same tier, so choosing one of those is tough. We ended up choosing Frozen Ever After and then later in the afternoon I was able to get a FP for Soarin' for my husband and kids.
A few rides that you may want to FastPass (FP) ahead of time:
- Frozen Ever After - This is the best ride, one of my all time favorites. The line was really crazy after 10 a.m. (about 30-45 minutes before that timeframe), so getting a FP for this is a must. Meeting Anna and Elsa is right next to this ride, so you could try to get on this ride first thing in the morning and meet the princesses before their wait time gets too long. You cannot FP meeting Anna and Elsa. If you have a dining reservation to Akershus, it's right next to the Frozen ride and meeting princesses also, so that same area of the park. (in Norway)
- Finding Nemo
- Test Track- This is a fast one, I've been told.
- Spaceship Earth
A few others you do NOT need a FP for but are fun to go on:
- Gran Fiesta Donald Duck boat ride in Mexico
- Living on the Land - super low-key and interesting boat ride looking at plants, not super exciting but a great break in your day.
- Character Spot- If you haven't met the fab Mickey characters at another park yet (Mickey, Minnie, etc) then this is a great one to FP. For us, we'd already met those characters earlier in the week since Epcot was our last park we went to, so we didn't need to go to this character spot.
- Figment's Imagination - it's a ride, it's super adorable.
NOTE: You do NOT get a FP option for meeting Baymax or Inside Out's Joy and Sadness. They are located in the Character Spot inside the park, but you can't get a FP for them and you don't see them along with the Mickey characters, they are different. We stopped here first, it was the best decision, we waited 15-25 minutes to see these characters!
Outside the Gran Fiesta ride in Mexico is an amazing restaurant! There is quick stop restaurant that had the best nachos, yummy guacamole. An easy break in our day. La Cantina de San Angel is awesome quick stop. The sit down restaurant I'd love to try next time in Mexico was inside the Mayan structure where you go for the Gran Fiesta ride- San Angel Inn. It was beautiful and the menu looked awesome.
GO TO ITALY! You must get a tiramisu popsicle- nothing like it, I wish I could get one of these every day. Yummmm!
There is so much to see at this park! Just stopping to enjoy the flowers or topiaries is really interesting. Kids loved seeing these!
Epcot was not my favorite of the parks, but certainly one I'd go back to. I'd park hop here if you are park hopping at another location in the morning, then head here for the evening and get an amazing dinner, delicious dessert somewhere else in the countries, and enjoy the fireworks.
The fireworks show at Epcot is really an amazing show! It's a late show at 9 p.m. IllumiNations is amazing though, so worth going to.
An awesome tip: at the end of our afternoon of riding the rides and checking things out in the park, around 5 p.m. I checked to see if we could get a FastPass for the fireworks, for some reserved space sitting in the prime spot to see the fireworks show front and center. I was able to get FP for all of us throughout the afternoon, it took me about 20 minutes to go on the app a few times to get them for all of us. It was so nice knowing we didn't have to get there too early, didn't have to rush and we'd get a good spot to sit.
Enjoy your trip to Epcot!