One of the toughest parks to figure out a FastPass+ strategy for is Epcot. Well, I’m here to give you the best Epcot FastPass+ Strategy and some tips because Epcot is a tricky park to get all your FastPasses in for the rides and attractions that you want to enjoy.
Before Disney World celebrates its 50th anniversary two big attractions will open up at Epcot Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at the France pavilion and the highly anticipated Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster. Now while we’ll still have to wait a little bit for those big attractions to arrive there are big changes already underway at Epcot, which has had subtle impacts on FastPass+ strategies at Epcot as well. So today I’m giving you an updated list of suggestions when making FastPass choices at Epcot. I’ll even break things down into different age groups and travel parties to make your visit a little easier.
Epcot is a very big park and the way the attractions are split up into the different FastPass+ categories makes a visit to this park very challenging. More than 75% of the year now includes a different festival at Epcot. So balancing something like the Flower and Garden Festival with all of your favorite attractions can feel overwhelming. This is why I always suggest that you split Epcot into two different days, which will allow more than enough time to do everything.
You don’t necessarily have to wake up at the crack of dawn and rope drop in order to do it all. I personally like to do Future World on one day and World Showcase on a second day; although I know others who say that splitting the park vertically from Future World East along with the countries between Mexico and Italy and vice-versa on the second day so there are a lot of ways to do this and none of them are really the wrong way to do it.
Epcot FastPasses By Category
Let’s start by recapping how the different FastPass+ categories are broken down now, because this has changed recently. If you are a veteran then you know how this goes. You can make three initial FastPass+ choices when visiting a park and choose a single attraction in the Tier 1 category and two attractions in the 2nd tier.
Tier 1 now consists of:
- Test Track
- Frozen Ever After
- Epcot Forever (until a brand new permanent fireworks show debuts in 2020.)
In Tier 2 the choices are much easier you can select two attractions out of the following:
- Spaceship Earth
- The Seas with Nemo & friends
- Turtle Talk with crush
- Living With the Land
- Journey Into Imagination With Figment
- The Pixar and Disney short film festival
- Mission Space
Almost all of these will have moderate wait times, but you still want to use FastPass+ with these just to keep the day moving along.
Epcot FastPass+ Strategies For Toddlers
So, now that you know about the two tiers let’s jump into some FastPass+ strategies. We’ll start by looking at groups traveling with kids. If you’re visiting the parks with a toddler who is under three years old and you’re planning to skip over the attractions with height restrictions then the tier 1 category is really between Frozen Ever After and the Epcot Forever fireworks. I typically say that without a doubt go do Frozen Ever After, which is still a great choice because the wait times there still hovers around an hour or so.
I normally would say to do Epcot Forever as a fourth FastPass+ choice, because if you booked one of your initial three here you have to remember that it’s at the end of the day so that will remove the ability to book a fourth FastPass+ choice altogether. But I’ll get more into the fireworks in a bit.
Moving on to tier 2, you have a lot of options but let’s weed out the field a bit. You may be skipping over Mission Space since there is a height restriction and neither of the two offerings at the imagination pavilions really needs a FastPass+ and are almost always easy walk-ons. So this leaves us with four contenders between Spaceship Earth, Living With The Land, and the two offerings at the Seas. Honestly, any two choices in the set will work well, it really depends on what you and the group enjoy the most.
But I will say I would get a FastPass+ for spaceship earth if you plan on riding between 10 a.m. and 12 noon when the wait time sees its peak. If you do this at the end of the night you’ll probably walk right on that with no problem. I think the offerings at the Seas is a wiser choice than Living With The Land; The Seas with Nemo & friends ride tends to run out of FastPasses before Turtle Talk. Living With The Land is a real wild card because I’ve seen the wait time flux from 10 minutes to 40 minutes without any rhyme or reason. So again the choice here is really about preference when it comes to these four attractions.
Epcot FastPass+ Strategies For Kids
Let’s move up a step and look at groups with kids who are tall enough to get on those bigger rides, but still enjoy the smaller attractions. The first tier will be very difficult for this group, but the best advice I can give you is this… if you’re only spending one day at Epcot make sure you book Test Track for your Tier 1. Because typically it sees the longest wait times without question, in fact usually much longer than frozen now.
These days I say rope drop Soarin instead of Test Track, you can be in and out of there much more quickly. This is why I say give yourself two days at Epcot for your Future World day book test track for your Tier 1 and Frozen on your world showcase day. If frozen is not a priority then switch over to Soarin if you want or save that tier 1 FastPass+ for the fireworks and simply do Soarin on standby. If you are doing two days then you’ll find that the wait here is no big deal really.
In tier 2 of FastPass+ you again have a lot of options if you’re planning to specifically go on Mission Space: Orange. This is the more intense training mission to Mars, definitely book a tier 2 FastPass+ no matter if you’re doing one day at Epcot or two. The wait time doesn’t get too bad, but out of all the tier 2 attractions, this sees the longest wait time and runs out of FastPasses the fastest.
Your final choice is really between Spaceship Earth and Nemo, again Spaceship Earth is a good option in the morning. Do Nemo only if the kids are a big Finding Nemo fan or you just don’t want to risk waiting in that line. One final note here for this age group is that I personally don’t find doing riders switch with FastPass+ a good choice at Epcot. That’s because the attractions are very far apart and you can be waiting for a considerably long time. I’ve done this myself at Soarin and found that it was a big time-hog, so just keep that in mind.
Epcot FastPass+ Strategies For Adults
Now let’s move over to the thrill-seekers or groups traveling without little ones. Whether you have some teenagers or just a group of young adults looking for a fun day at Epcot with a festival. I find that this demographic may only want to use one day at Epcot right now. As I said, two will always ensure you can do absolutely every little thing at this park and do it with ease. But your strategy will be quite similar to the previous group.
If you’re doing one day only here and devoting a lot of time to a festival I would rope drop the park and do Soarin first thing. You might be able to squeeze in Living With The Land in stand by if you’re a hardcore Epcot fan and then book a tier 2 FastPass+ for spaceship earth mid-morning. Then head over to Mission space for your second of your two FastPasses and book your tier 1 for Test Track by noon. This will give you plenty of time to do the countries and a festival and the chance to possibly book fireworks for that 4th FastPass+ choice.
Now if you’re thinking “Heather I love Figment and Living with the Land what about those attractions?” Well make necessary adjustments or again give yourself two days.
Epcot FastPass+ Strategies With Grandparents
Finally, I want to talk about grandparents, I always like to think of my parents specifically and how they would best enjoy the parks either traveling with their granddaughter or on their own. Out of all the parks at Disney World, this one certainly attracts those traveling without children the most.
Grandparents might be looking for an easy day at this park, skipping over those thrill rides. If this is true then I would replace test track with Soarin for your Tier 1 FastPass+, especially if Test Track is a little too intense for you. I have to admit that I love Soarin, it’s my favorite attraction at this park and no day is complete without it, so you want to make sure you get on that.
For this group, I would also definitely say book spaceship earth because it is an Epcot classic. Your final choice can be something easy like Living With The Land, but don’t necessarily rule out Mission Space because you can go on the less intense green mission around the earth. There is no spinning in the green version and it feels like Soarin in space. However, this version of the attraction almost always is a walk-on, so Living With The Land is a slightly wiser choice just in case you happen to be visiting when that ride sees one of it’s busier times.
Epcot FastPass+ Fireworks Tips
I think booking the fireworks here as one of your initial three FastPass+ choices is still a mistake unless you have two days at Epcot and you plan on skipping Frozen Ever After in a world showcase day. If you booked this while only visiting the park on a single day, you’ll have to wait in really long lines specifically at Test Track and Soarin.
So, in my opinion, this remains to be a good 4th FastPass+ choice. But there is that catch if you do this technique try and book those initial three FastPasses back-to-back between 9 a.m. and 12 noon. You can maybe stretch into 1 p.m. if you have to, only because Epcot tends to run out of 4th FastPass+ choices by the afternoon.
Dining With A Fireworks View
If that sounds too stressful which I admit it definitely is. Then I would then consider dining with a view. You can enjoy dinner at La Hacienda in Mexico, the Rose and Crown pub in the UK, or Spice Road Table in Morocco. You’ll get a good view of the fireworks with dinner and not have to worry about booking FastPass+ here at all. I think this is definitely the best way to go.
Alternatively, you can consider the Frozen Ever After Dessert Party, which gets you reserved viewing for the fireworks and a special trip on the attraction after the park closes to normal daytime guests. This will also alleviate the challenge of that Tier 1 category, but I find this dessert party tricky when doing Epcot during a festival. I think there’s so much great food to enjoy this park that wasting stomach space on a dessert party is a waste of time. I say save that budget for a more beneficial dessert party like over at the Magic Kingdom.
What Are The Busiest Rides At Epcot Overall?
Test Track is one of the most sought after FastPasses in all of Disney World. Even the ride queue here is interactive and keeps you busy. But who doesn’t want to get launched onto that outer track with your hair on fire? You could always rope drop Test Track if you aren’t lucky enough to get a FastPass+. But I would put in the extra effort and make sure you get Epcot fast passes for this ride.
Soarin is my husband’s favorite ride, so this is always a must-do for us. There really isn’t a better time of day to get one either, because this is an air-conditioned ride where you can rest your feet and legs. There are also some great smells that accompany the different scenes on this ride, which make it even more relaxing. This is definitely one of those must-do Epcot Fast Passes!
Frozen Ever After
The Frozen ride is another popular one, especially for folks with little kids. One little piece of advice I can give you, is that most people don’t know that this ride opens up before World Showcase even opens up. So if you are on your game and if you are there before World Showcase opens, you could potentially beat a large amount of the crowd in getting on this ride.
Those are my FastPass+ recommendations when visiting Epcot. This park certainly can be a challenge to navigate FastPasses, but a little planning goes a long way! This park will certainly change a lot in the near future, so you can expect that I’ll definitely be updating this page soon. Also, make sure you come on over and join the discussion with us about different FastPass+ strategies over on our Facebook or Twitter!