With so much to see and do in every Walt Disney World Park, it can be confusing what you should prioritize. Though different families will prioritize different experiences, it’s always good to have a game plan of which well-known and lesser-known experiences are most worthy your time. In EPCOT, there aren’t as many overall attractions as other parks, but there are tons of hidden places and incredible engineering and gardening to appreciate. Here’s a list of must do activities in EPCOT.
#1. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
Disney’s newest attraction is certainly a unique one. The new Guardians of the Galaxy themed roller coaster is one of Disney’s most thrilling rides, though the smooth track keeps it tame enough for most guests to experience. Its vehicles rotate as you ride, which can create a free-floating feeling as you fly through space. It also has a backwards launch to start the journey to get you up to a high speed which persists throughout your journey.
Part of what makes the ride great is the queue. You’ll travel under a beautiful planetarium-like dome screen and through exhibits which educate you on the culture of Xandar, the (fictional) planet in the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise that has added itself to EPCOT’s attractions. The preshow for the ride has some very convincing visual and physical effects which truly make you feel like you’re being transported into space!
Unfortunately, as it stands now, you can only experience the ride if you are one of the first to reserve a spot in its virtual queue promptly at 7am. Otherwise, you won’t have a chance to ride at all without paying $15+ per person for an individual lightning lane pick. Is it really worth it for you family of four to spend $70+? That’s for you to decide.
#2. Living with the Land
Living with the Land is probably the most underrated attraction across all of Walt Disney World. It’s an awesome combination of dark ride sets, edutainment (educational entertainment!), and relaxation. The ride starts out with explanation of Earth’s ecosystems, and eventually takes riders through EPCOT’s greenhouses and aquaculture farms to give them a behind the scenes look into food development. All that is being grown in the ride is used in Disney’s restaurants!
If the awesome content isn’t enough, Living with the Land also NEVER has a line, so you can just hop on immediately! During Christmastime, it also has an additional overlay with holiday lights. With all of these things considered, it is an absolute must-do at EPCOT that does not deserve to be overlooked.
#3. Club Cool
Speaking of underrated experiences, I think Club Cool is a great spot to chill (pun intended). It’s basically just a Coca Cola shop which offers free samples of various foreign sodas from around the world. It’s a great way to get a taste of other cultures without having to spend a bunch just to try things out. Be sure to taste them all – but especially Italy’s Beverly drink. Be sure to chug a whole cup of it! Club Cool is located just across from the Creations Café, on the way to or from Test Track or Cosmic Rewind. Its convenient location makes it a must-do stop!
#4. The Voices of Liberty
As the pinnacle of live entertainment in EPCOT, the Voices of Liberty are an a cappella group which sings classic americana and Disney songs in the American Adventure pavilion. They usually perform inside the main building itself, under the rotunda, which offers incredible sound quality. The group is simply amazingly talented and should not be missed. Be sure to check the times guide you grabbed when entering the park (or check the My Disney Experience App) for their showtimes. When they perform at the rotunda, grab a seat on the floor just outside of the colored area (sit on the right of the entrance area, facing the left wall) and when they come out for the show, you’ll have a front row seat! There are also plenty of benches to sit on if you really need a better resting spot. Though it doesn’t quite make the list, the American Adventure show in the theater is also a great way to spend your time, and it usually runs just after each performance.
#5. Spaceship Earth & the “Ball” Lighting
As some visitors may not know until they enter, the huge ball (actually a geodesic sphere) is home to an entire ride which takes visitors through the history of communication. The attraction is quintessential EPCOT, and one of the few original attractions that remain in the park. Inside the ride, there are multiple hidden Mickey’s to spot, Easter eggs to find (many of the characters share the same molds as the ones used for Hall of Presidents and the Carousel of Progress in Magic Kingdom), and scents to enjoy.
What’s new with the “Ball” is the LED lighting covering its outer surface. These lights create mesmerizing patterns and symbols at night that offer tons of great photo opportunities. The lighting itself is probably better than its current nighttime spectacular. Spaceship Earth checks all the boxes for a must-do experience.
Continuing with rideable attractions, you simply can’t skip out on the ride Soarin‘, where you soar around the world in a hang glider. Though this theme doesn’t quite make sense anymore (it used to be Soarin’ Over California, where being able to glide over California locations on a hang glider made far more sense), the feeling of flight and the incredible sights are still something that cannot be missed. If you want the best seats for the ride, you can try to kindly ask a cast member for “B1.” Though it’s not guaranteed they’ll be able to help, it’s still a worth asking!
#7. Food & Drink
Though I’m sure you’re not going to just visit and not consume anything, it truly needs to be said that visitors should visit EPCOT expecting food and beverages to be a big part of their day. In other parks, having to stop for meals with relatively low-quality food just gets in the way of accomplishing everything. In EPCOT, the dining is part of the whole experience, and has become the major focal point of the park (so that Disney can make more money). That being said, the quality of food in EPCOT is much better than the other parks, and you’ll have way more options both in the full-time restaurants and festival booths (depending on the time of year you visit).
I recommend grabbing snacks along the way from the different festival booths during most of the year for lunch, and then reserving your ideal location for a dinner around 7:15pm. That way, you can have the chance to try lots of things from different countries but still get a nice full-service meal at the end of your day. Le Cellier steakhouse in Canada, Teppan Edo Teppanyaki style in Japan, Le Chefs De France, or Tutto Gusto in Italy are all great picks. If you have the chance, it’s also cool to check out Space 220 near the front of the park, though it’s somewhat out of the way of where you should be towards the end of your day.
If you’re a drinker, take special note of the offerings available in each country. I’d recommend trying something a little bit out of your comfort zone (whether that be Sake in Japan, French or Italian Wine, of the fan-favorite German Grapefruit Beer) to better experience the culture each country has to offer!
#8. The Seas
The Seas, when constructed, was the largest aquarium in the world. Though it no longer is as other venues have caught up, it’s still an awesome place to relax away from the crowds. Though the ride is cute if there isn’t much of a wait, you can easily skip it by simply walking into the building through the gift shop to the left of the entrance. You can then access all the aquarium exhibits and Turtle Talk with Crush, which can be a fun addition to your day.
The large tank is the focal point and contains sharks, rays, turtles, and tons of fishes. There are also other side tanks with manatees, urchins, and other smaller creatures like the species starring in Disney Pixar’s Finding Nemo.
#9. Talk with Cultural Representative Cast Members
A massive part of EPCOT is the cultural experience you get through the World Showcase. To get the most out of it, take the time to interact with cultural representative cast members that are working throughout the World Showcase. They probably have tons of information to share about their home countries and enjoy sharing part of their culture with you!
#10. Explore the World Showcase
In combination with #9, be sure to take the time to walk all the way through each world showcase pavilion. There are tons of hidden spaces and details that you’ll miss if you simply stay on the main path outside each area. There’s a bonsai garden behind the koi pond in Japan. There’s an awesome train set in Germany. The Trevi fountain replica in Italy is a great photo opportunity. Altogether, be sure to explore everywhere you can, and keep your eyes up!
Honorable Mention: Mission: Space
Mission: Space used to be so intense that riders truly felt the true sensation of a launch. Former astronauts lauded its accuracy. Unfortunately, multiple riders with undiscovered heart conditions died while riding, and the intensity was dropped. However, the ride is still a uniquely intense experience, and shouldn’t be skipped.