First Timer’s Corner
THE BEST USE OF FASTPASS+ AT EPCOT
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!