Epcot Touring Plans, Rope Drop, Wait Times, and FastPass+ Priority

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General Touring Philosophy: Because of its massive size and the long length of many of its attractions, Epcot is best experienced over two days, particularly now that Frozen Ever After is such a high priority. Most visitors will want to use FastPass+ at Frozen on at least one day and otherwise keep mostly to one side of the park. This way, you cut down on the amount of walking necessary and you won’t run into waits longer than a few minutes all day. On your Test Track day, visit Future World East and the World Showcase Pavilions from Mexico through the U.S, riding Frozen with FP+ in the early afternoon. On your Soarin’ day, hit Future World West and the Pavilions from Canada through Japan, using FP+ again at Frozen or elsewhere.

With just one day, things are more complicated if you want to try to do Soarin’, Test Track, Frozen, and IllumiNations. The best way to accomplish that is to ride Test Track at rope drop, use FastPass+ at Frozen, ride Soarin’ around 7pm, and then see IllumiNations. If you’re willing to forego seeing IllumiNations, Frozen typically has an actual wait under 30 minutes at the very end of the night, but the ride may not be operational. If you’re willing to risk it, ride Test Track or Soarin’ first thing, use FastPass+ at the other, and get in line for Frozen about five minutes before park close. Those skipping Frozen can also do this and instead enjoy IllumiNations. Test Track single rider is a viable option with actual waits typically under 20 minutes all day.

Characters: Joy and Sadness inside Innoventions West are the highest priority and see waits of 30 to 60+ minutes. Visit first thing if possible or late at night. The Princesses in World Showcase can see substantial waits. Mickey, Minnie and Goofy at Character Spot can also see 30 to 50 minute waits. It’s best to do Character Spot near park close or use FastPass+. Most other characters will have 5 to 20 minute waits. Random characters may also appear in between the Canada and United Kingdom Pavilions and to the left of Liberty Inn in the U.S. in the afternoon.

Rope Drop:  Epcot has two entrances – Guests arriving via Disney bus, monorail, or their own vehicles will enter via the main entrance at the front of the park. The International Gateway entrance in between the France and UK Pavilions in World Showcase is used by those arriving from the BoardWalk, Beach Club, Yacht Club, Swan, and Dolphin resorts.

If your group arrives later than you’d like at the main entrance, check to see if Disney is still letting in guests with breakfast reservations on the far right (sometimes left) side of the entrance. If yes, wait until these lines open to everyone and hurry over for a shorter wait. Disney typically starts letting guests enter the park between 20 and 40 minutes before official open. Guests are then held at Spaceship Earth typically until 10 to 15 minutes before official open and then allowed to head to the attraction of their choice freely.

From the International Gateway, Disney will typically let guests enter the Park 20 to 40 minutes before official open. Guests are held at the top of the hill in front of Yorkshire Fish in the UK Pavilion until 10 to 15 minutes before official open and then allowed to head to the attraction of their choice freely.

The International Gateway entrance is typically better for Frozen, but will put you at a slight disadvantage at Soarin’ or Test Track due to how far away it is. Those with pre-opening breakfast reservations at Akershus in Norway have an advantage at Frozen Ever After if they are able to finish breakfast and be outside by 8:50am.

FASTPASS+ AT EPCOT

FastPass+ at Epcot is divided into two tiers. Guests may initially select only one Tier 1 experience. Frozen is the highest priority as it will save the most time and guarantee you will be able to ride should the attraction go down for technical difficulties. Soarin’ and Test Track are more or less even as a second priority though Test Track gets the nod now that capacity at Soarin’ has increased and waits are down. Test Track is typically more convenient to ride in standby first thing, so many guests may still elect to use FastPass+ at Soarin’ instead. On the other hand, those willing to ride Test Track in single rider may favor using FP+ at Soarin’.

There are eight options for Tier 2 and you may initially select two of them. Most guests will want to initially select two of the top four choices. Note that Mission: SPACE does not require selecting Orange/Mars or Green/Earth in advance, but Mars waits are routinely longer and those that prefer the more intense version will save more time.

FastPass+ Priority:

Tier 1 (Choose One)

  1. Frozen Ever After
  2. Test Track
  3. Soarin’
  4. IllumiNations

Tier 2 (Choose Two):

  1. Spaceship Earth
  2. Mission: SPACE
  3. Character Spot (Only offered for the Mickey side. Joy/Sadness do not offer FastPass+)
  4. Turtle Talk with Crush
  5. Journey into Imagination with Figment
  6. The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  7. Living with the Land
  8. Pixar Short Film Festival

4th FastPass+ Selection Availability

Tier 1 selections will be limited by noon and only cancelations may be available. Refresh the app as often as possible for the most availability. Lower Tier 2 priorities will have plentiful availability for most of the day and may save a handful of minutes at each, though it’s usually easy enough to see the attractions in standby during a recommend time.

FastPass+ Kiosks:

  • Future World West breezeway across from the entrance to Character Spot
  • Future World East breezeway outside Mouse Gear and across from Electric Umbrella
  • International Gateway in between UK and France Pavilions near entrance/exit

TWO DAY TOURING PLAN

Two Day Plan, Morning Day 1

Use FastPass+ at Turtle Talk with Crush (10am – 11am) Character Spot (11am – 12pm), Your Tier 1 Choice

  1. Ride Soarin’: 9am – 9:25am
  2. Ride Living with the Land: 9:30am – 9:45am
  3. Ride Journey into Imagination with Figment: 9:55am – 10:15am
  4. Ride The Seas with Nemo and Friends: 10:20am – 10:40am
  5. See Turtle Talk with Crush with FP+ and Look Around the Seas: 10:45am – 11:30am
  6. Visit Character Spot with FastPass+: 11:35am – 11:50am
  7. Ride Tier 1 choice with FastPass+: 12pm – 12:30pm
  8. Have lunch. Sunshine Seasons makes sense if you rode Soarin’ or try World Showcase.

Two Day Plan, Afternoon and Evening Day 1

You have a lot of options depending on what you want to do and where you plan to have dinner. Consider heading up to World Showcase beginning with the Canada Pavilion. Even though there aren’t waits at the attractions in Canada, France, etc. touring the area in low crowds means you’ll have an easier time perusing the shops and fewer people in front of you at the various acts. Consider returning to Future World around 5pm. You’ll be exiting World Showcase when crowds peak there and returning to Future World where waits will be short for everything other than Soarin’ and Test Track.

Two Day Plan Morning Day 2

Use FastPass+ at Test Track (9:30am-10:30am), Spaceship Earth (10:30am-11:30am), and a third selection.

  1. Ride Test Track: 8:55am – 9:20am
  2. Ride Mission: SPACE: 9:25am – 9:45am
  3. Ride Test Track with FastPass+: 9:50am – 10:15am
  4. Ride Spaceship Earth with FastPass+: 10:25am – 10:45am
  5. Experience a third attraction with FastPass+ (Mission: SPACE again or something from Day 1?)

Two Day Plan, Late Morning and Evening Day 2

You have some options depending on what you plan to do in World Showcase and whether you’re planning to head back to Future World. Consider heading up to World Showcase beginning with the Gran Fiesta Tour in the Mexico Pavilion. You can stay in World Showcase or take the boat in Germany back to Future World around 5pm when crowds thin. Standby waits will be short for anything other than Test Track, which has the single rider line, and Soarin’.

ONE DAY TOURING PLAN

Use FastPass+ at the following attractions: Spaceship Earth: 9:15am – 10:15am, Character Spot: 10:15am-11:15am, Frozen Ever After: Whatever is available, ideally earlier in the day.

  1. Ride Test Track: 8:55am – 9:20am
  2. Ride Mission: SPACE: 9:25am – 9:50am
  3. Ride Spaceship Earth with FastPass+: 9:55am – 10:15am
  4. Visit Character Spot with FastPass+: 10:25am – 10:40am
  5. Meet Baymax if desired across from Character Spot entrance: 10:42am – 11am
  6. Tour World Showcase – Start on the Mexico/Norway side if you have an earlier Frozen FastPass+ time. Start with Canada/UK if it’s later. Have lunch and check for additional FastPass+ availability after riding Frozen: 11am – 5pm
  7. Ride Journey into Imagination with Figment: 5:10pm – 5:30pm
  8. Ride The Seas with Nemo and Friends: 5:35pm – 5:50pm
  9. See Turtle Talk with Crush or look around The Seas: 5:55pm – 6:30pm
  10. Ride Living with the Land: 6:35pm – 7pm
  11. Ride Soarin’ standby unless you are able to acquire FastPass+: 7pm – 8pm
  12. Have dinner at Sunshine Seasons or grab snacks in World Showcase: 8:05pm – 8:45pm
  13. See IllumiNations: 8:50pm to 9:15pm (IllumiNations is sometimes at 9:30pm or 10pm)

TWO DAY LATE ARRIVAL TOURING PLAN

Frozen Ever After complicates late arrivals on two days as there are now three high priority attractions that all see long waits and most guests will only be able to initially select two Tier 1 FastPass+ experiences. Try to book Soarin’, Test Track, or Frozen as a 4th FastPass+ on both days and you’ll have an easier time. Otherwise, ride one at park close to experience short waits.

Two Day Late Arrival Plan, Day 1

Use FastPass+ at Spaceship Earth (10:30am – 11:30am), Character Spot (11:30am – 12:30pm), Frozen Ever After (Whenever available, ideally around 1pm)

  1. Arrive between 10:30am and 11am
  2. Ride Spaceship Earth with FastPass+: 11am – 11:20am
  3. Visit Character Spot with FastPass+: 11:30am-11:50am
  4. Ride Gran Fiesta Tour: 12pm – 12:15pm
  5. Have lunch. There are lots of options in World Showcase
  6. Ride Frozen Ever After with FastPass+: 1pm – 1:30pm
  7. Enjoy World Showcase through the United States or Japan Pavilions.
  8. Check FastPass+ availability for Mission: SPACE with a return time around 8pm
  9. Meet Anna and Elsa at Royal Sommerhus if desired: 20 minutes whenever convenient
  10. Have dinner in World Showcase and walk back to Future World: 6:30 or 7pm – 8pm
  11. Ride Mission: SPACE ideally with FastPass+: 8:10pm – 8:45pm
  12. Ride Test Track: 8:55pm – 9:20pm

Two Day Late Arrival Plan, Day 2

Use FastPass+ at The Seas with Nemo (10:15am – 11:15am) Turtle Talk with Crush (11:15am – 12:15pm), Soarin’ (1:15pm – 2:15pm),

  1. Arrive between 10:30am and 11am
  2. Ride The Seas with Nemo and Friends with FastPass+: 11am – 11:15am
  3. See Turtle Talk with FastPass+ and look around Seas Pavilion: 11:20am–12:30pm
  4. Have lunch at Sunshine Seasons: 12:40pm – 1:30pm
  5. Ride Soarin’ with FastPass+: 1:35pm – 2pm
  6. Ride Living with the Land: 2:05pm – 2:30pm
  7. Ride Journey into Imagination with Figment: 2:40pm – 3pm
  8. See Disney Pixar Short Film Festival if desired: 3:05pm – 3:30pm
  9. Tour World Showcase from Canada – Japan
  10. Enjoy dinner in World Showcase or back in Future World
  11. See IllumiNations or get in line for Soarin’, Test Track, or Frozen at 8:55pm

No Frozen FastPass+ Availability: The best time to ride Frozen in standby is getting in line just a couple of minutes before close when actual waits are typically under 30 minutes. You can ride first thing but it puts you a long ways away from Future World and you’ll need to rush there first thing to experience a short wait. Otherwise, actual waits are typically shortest around 10:30am.

IllumiNations: IllumiNations is the nightly entertainment at Epcot, scheduled at 9pm most nights. For the best spots, arrive 15 to 30 minutes before the start of the show. Plan a backup spot in case your first choice is booked for a private event or there is little front row space.

Best spots: 

  1. Base of the World Showcase directly across from the United States Pavilion. This “front of house” view is elevated with a direct view of the globe and fireworks. Parts of this area are reserved for FastPass+.
  2. The next best spot is the bridge connecting the UK and France. It can’t be reserved and the IllumiNations cruisers will stop below you, enjoying a similar view.
  3. The Italy Isola, or raised section across from Italy. Parts can be reserved, but the viewing location behind the seated guests is almost as good.
  4. The stretch from Mexico to Norway is good. Areas closer to Norway have fewer people.
  5. Other options: There’s limited space outside Tokyo Dining on the second level in Japan. Limited viewing is available along Canada into the UK. There are areas to the right of the UK downstairs that are good locations, but they may be reserved for private events.
  6. Rose & Crown has patio seating and a reserved platform for those dining inside prior to the show. La Hacienda de San Angel also has indoor viewing, but only some of the tables face the windows. It isn’t a great choice if you’re looking for a guaranteed view. Consider a meal that begins after 7:45pm.

After IllumiNations, hang out for 20 to 45 minutes and let others exit in front of you.

Wait Times By Crowd Level



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