Are you planning a Disney World family vacation? There is so much to see and do at Disney World’s Epcot. Here are tips for families visiting Epcot.
Epcot Tips for Families
1. It’s Worth it to Buy Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane at Epcot
If you are on the fence about whether to buy Disney Genie+ Lighting Lane for Epcot- buy it! It is worth it to pay the $15 per person per day for Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane. Epcot has some of the most popular rides at Disney World- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Test Track, and Frozen Ever After. Standby lines for popular rides can be long. Time is money at Disney- your $15 will be worth it if you can save a few hours with Lightning Lane at Epcot!
If you are still on the fence about buying Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane check out my in-depth analysis of Disney’s Lightning Lane- Is it Worth it to Buy Lightning Lane at Disney World?
2. Wake Up Early to Start Booking Lightning Lane Reservations at 7 am for Epcot
Lightning Lane reservations for popular rides at Epcot do sell out. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Test Track, and Frozen Ever After typically sell out. You need to set your alarm and book Lightning Lane for these rides at 7 am.
I suggest you book Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at 7 am. After that wait, 2 hours after the park opens to book your second lightning lane reservation- Test Track or Frozen Ever After will go quickly so book them as your 2nd Lightning Lane option.
Check out my Epcot Lightning Lane Tips and Strategies
3. Make Time for the Post-Shows at Epcot
There are several rides at Epcot that have really good educational post-shows. Make sure you make time for these post-shows because if your kids are like mine, they will want to spend time wandering around the post-show exhibits. For example, the post-show for The Seas with Nemo and Friends is a large aquarium with sharks and dolphins! Below is a list of rides with good post-shows.
The Seas with Nemo and Friends Post Show
The post-show for The Seas with Nemo and Friends is a large aquarium with dolphins, sharks, and sting rays. There is also an interactive kids zone where kids can climb into a large shark (photo op!) and play computer games.
Test Track Post Show
The post-show for Test Track is a lot of fun. My kids spent a lot of time at the Test Track post-show. There is a big interactive area where kids can design another car and race them.
Spaceship Earth Post Show
The post-show for Spaceship Earth is fun and interactive. There are many educational video games to play at the post-show. My kids spent a lot of time there as well!
4. Don’t Miss Awesome Planet and Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
I was impressed after watching Awesome Planet and Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival. If you have time, don’t miss these shows. If you only have time for one, I’d pick Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival. The short films were so good, the audience actually clapped at the end of the show!
5. Let Your Kids Participate in Epcot’s Kidcot
Epcot’s Kidcot program is similar to Animal Kingdom’s Wilderness Explorer program. Your kids go from country to country collecting postcards. When they have completed collecting all 11 postcards, they can claim a prize. My kids became obsessed with Kidcot and we had to collect all 11 postcards before we could leave Epcot. You can just imagine the mad dash running from country to country in our attempt to collect them all!
6. Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros has the Shortest Line at Epcot
The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros has the shortest line at Epcot. This is my go-to ride at Epcot if I’m looking for a ride that will entertain my kids and for me to relax and cool off (plus it’s not far from the Margarita stand). The line to get on the ride is often 15 minutes or less. So it’s easy to re-ride if your kids want to do it again. The ride is similar to “it’s a small world”, it is a dark ride where you get on a boat and you go on a journey looking for Donald Duck.
7. It’s Worth it to Buy Disney MagicBands
It’s worth it to buy Disney MagicBands for everyone in your family. I know what a major hassle it is to have to pull out your Disney tickets or Disney app every time you check-in for a Lightning Lane ride or when you enter the park. Trust me, you will be doing it a lot! Make your life easier at Magic Kingdom by getting everyone a MagicBand. Put a stop to the stress of rummaging in your purse trying to find everyone’s Disney tickets!
8. For Lots of Seating: Head Over to Sunshine Seasons and Connections Eatery
Lunchtime can be a zoo at the quick service restaurants at Epcot. It’s often hard to find seating and the line can be long to place your order. For quick-service restaurants with lots of seating, head over to Sunshine Seasons and Connections Eatery. Most of the quick-service restaurants in the World Showcase Pavillion don’t have a lot of seats (maybe Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie but it’s often crowded from the Remy’s Ratatouille crowd).
Sunshine Seasons is a large quick-service restaurant located in The Land. It is a large food court with lots of air-conditioned indoor seating. This is a great place for picky eaters because you can get pizza to burgers to stir fry at Sunshine Seasons.
Connections Eatery is a large quick-service restaurant located near Spaceship Earth. There are lots of air-conditioned, indoor seating. You can order pizza, burgers, and salads at Connections Eatery.
9. Snack at Epcot
Instead of eating one big meal, have many small snacks at Epcot. There are so many food kiosks all over Epcot, especially at the Epcot World Showcase, you will miss the fun of being at Epcot if you don’t snack. Of course, this only works if you have older kids who can be flexible with their meal times!
10. Double Check the Beer Portion Sizes at Epcot
Before you buy beer at Epcot, double-check the menu to find out what size cup your beer will be served in. There are so many kiosks selling beer at Epcot, that you’d think they have a standard pour for beer. You should be aware that some of the beer is served in a 12 oz. cup while others are served in a 16 oz. cup, making the beer in some places a better deal than others.
11. It’s Worth It to Buy Disney’s Photopass Memory Maker Package
It is worth it to buy Disney’s Photopass Memory Maker package if you are visiting Epcot. Disney Photopass Memory Maker gives you unlimited photo downloads. The more photos you take, the more photos you can download!
I like to take a photo in every country at Epcot. You will have lots of photo opportunities at Epcot, making Disney’s Photopass Memory Maker worth it.
12. Epcot Rides to Go to in the Late Afternoon/Early Evening
The wait times for some rides at Epcot shorten in the late afternoon/early evening. These rides are Journey Into Imagination with Figment, Living with the Land, Mission: SPACE, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Soarin’ Around the World, and Spaceship Earth. You will find standby wait times as short as 5 minutes! This is a great time to go back to re-ride these rides if you already rode them earlier in the day! Please check the Disney App Tip Board to make sure the wait times are short before heading over.
13. Shop at Creations Shop at Epcot
If you are looking to buy Disney merchandise, definitely go to Creations Shop at Epcot. Creations Shop is Disney World’s flagship store selling the most assortment of Disney World merchandise. It is a large store, almost like a department store! This is a great place to shop for MagicBands, I think it has the most assortment of MagicBands at Disney World.
14. Don’t Miss the Mitsukoshi Store in Japan
Don’t miss one of the largest stores at Epcot’s World Showcase, the Mitsukoshi Store in the Japan Pavillion. Mitsukoshi is actually a major department store in Asia and this is one of their branches. You and the kids will enjoy looking at all the interesting merchandise from Japan. There are some cool Japanese toys- Pokemon to Hello Kitty and lots of Japanese snacks.
15. Preferred Parking at Epcot is not Worth It
If you thinking of upgrading to preferred parking at Epcot- don’t. Preferred Parking is not worth it at Epcot. The standard parking at Epcot gets you pretty close to the Epcot entrance. In fact, you can just walk from Standard Parking to the Epcot entrance (no tram needed).
16. Quench Your Thirst for FREE at Club Cool
Did you know you can get Free drinks at Epcot? Just head over to Club Cool (near the entrance of Epcot). It’s the Coca Cola store and they give out free samples of Coca Cola beverages. There is a wall of fountain drinks dispenser where you can help yourself to free Coca Cola beverages. The cool thing about it is that these drinks are not your typical Coca Cola drinks, they feature popular Coca Cola beverages from around the world. I love Minute Maid’s Joy (which is the lychee drink from South Korea) and Country Club (which is an orange drink from Dominican Republic).
Check out my Disney World Tips for Families:
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