First Timer’s Cor­ner


WDW Magazine - - Content - BY DAVE SHUTE

Be­cause of the way Fastpass+ is set up at Epcot, most first time vis­i­tors who want to see all of its best with­out long waits will want to spend parts of two days at Epcot.

While it has a num­ber of other top-notch at­trac­tions and things to see and do, there’s four must-see at­trac­tions at Epcot: Soarin’ Around the World, Test Track, Frozen Ever Af­ter, and Il­lu­mi­na­tions: Re­flec­tions of Earth, the nightly fire­works show.

Epcot puts its Fastpass+ into two tiers, and you can only pre-book one “Tier One” ride per day—and all four of these are in Tier One. You can see two with­out a Fastpass+: one at park open if you ar­rive at the turn­stiles well be­fore rope drop, and a sec­ond—il­lu­mi­na­tions or an­other—right be­fore park close. This how­ever, leaves you with two must-sees but only one Fastpass+ Tier to use for them. So see­ing all four in a sin­gle day means you will have a long wait for at least one of them.

A bet­ter way to do it is to di­vide your Epcot visit over two days, which gives you as many as six op­por­tu­ni­ties to ex­pe­ri­ence these rides—two Fastpass+, two park opens, and two park closes. This gives you many op­tions for see­ing these four. One ex­am­ple is to see Soarin’ on Day 1 at open, Test Track via Fastpass+, and re­peat your fa­vorite at park close. On Day 2, sleep in, see Frozen Ever Af­ter in the af­ter­noon via Fastpass+ and see Il­lu­mi­na­tions at park close.

Be­yond these four, there lots of other de­light­ful things to see and do at Epcot. If you like char­ac­ters, you can meet Mickey and the gang, Bay­max, and Joy and Sad­ness all near In­noven­tions West; you can meet Anna and Elsa in Nor­way; and you can meet var­i­ous other princesses in the coun­tries lin­ing World Show­case.

Much loved other don’t-miss-rides in Epcot in­clude Space­ship Earth, MIS­SION: Space, Tur­tle Talk with Crush, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, and Liv­ing with the Land. You can use your “Tier Two” Fastpass+ on all of these, pretty much in the pri­or­ity listed. Epcot also has sev­eral other rides, which some love and oth­ers don’t, and all the in­ter­est­ing pre­sen­ta­tions in World Show­case, of which the movies in Canada, France, and China, and the his­tory show The Amer­i­can Ad­ven­ture, are all well-re­ceived.

Epcot re­ally re­pays ex­plor­ing and cu­rios­ity, es­pe­cially—but not only—in World Show­case, and it com­monly hap­pens that dif­fer­ent fam­ily mem­bers will end up with very dif­fer­ent fa­vorite ex­pe­ri­ences.

So my ad­vice is to try to see every­thing, leav­ing plenty of time to ex­plore World Show­case over about half of a day. One and a half days works well for most. That en­ables see­ing all four must-see at­trac­tion of Soarin’ Around the World, Test Track, Frozen Ever Af­ter, and Il­lu­mi­na­tions with low waits, and fit­ting every­thing else in around them!

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