I get a lot of questions and emails on Chip and Company asking me the best ways to tour the parks. I wanted to share with you my Magic Kingdom Touring Plan to help make your Disney World Vacation more enjoyable. I posted this last week on Couponing to Disney and thought it would be great to share it here too! If you missed my last Touring Plan click here to read about Touring the Magic Kingdom.
I stated off the last article about the Magic Kingdom by saying “Get there early.” Epcot unfortunately is not a park you can get there early, unless they have Extra AM Magic Hours or you have a ADR for Breakfast at Akershus. Most days Epcot is going to open at 9am and World Showcase around 11am. Our last trip we made breakfast reservations at Akershus Princess Storybook Dining around 8am, which I think is the perfect time to eat and hit the rides just when the park opens.(We eat fast)
Start off slow
While most people want to run and jump on Test Track when the park opens again we avoid the biggest attraction an opt for something else entirely. My family and I are big fans of the ocean and Nemo so we start off at The Living Seas with Nemo & Friends. Its a very relaxing ride and helps digest your breakfast nicely. We love getting our pictures taken with Bruce and checking out all the sea life. If you have little ones with you be sure to stop by and do Turtle Talk with Crush.
Quick Tip – Have your child sit on the very front row to interact with Crush, also something identifiable like a hat seems to get Crush’s attention. Teach your kids the word “Dude” before you go and have them use it for an additional laugh.
Off to The Land
Next door to the seas is “The Land” and our next stop “Soarin.” I suggest riding Soarin twice in a row cause later in the day you will see some of the longest lines for this ride. Avoid Living with the Land for now and when your done head up to Imagination.
Quick Tip – Use Fastpass for Soarin as your first of the day. Return time should be around lunch time.
Journey to Imagination
I am one of the few fans of the Journey to Imagination ride so its a must for us. Some people dislike that ride and avoid it at all cost. That I leave up to you. Again avoid Captain Eo (Honey I shrunk the Audience) for now. Also I would wait on the games outside of Imagination at this time. You can come back later in the day for a quick cool off.
At this point most of the Rope Drop people will have been on Test Track once maybe twice so now is your chance to get in there. Your food should be well digested and ready for some excitement. Hit Test Track up first and then if your ok with spinning rides visit Mission Space next. If your still full from breakfast head down to Universe of Energy and check out your first show. Be prepared its a LONG show.
Quick Tip – There are restrooms on your way to Test Track if you look on yourfor the exact location.
World Showcase Opens
If you timed it right World Showcase is now open, and it should be warming up in Epcot. Now is a good time for a pitstop before heading out to World Showcase. Club Cool is a great place to sample free Pop from around the world. Check out my article Epcot’s Club Cool is to HOT to pass up here.
If your a little early still or skipped a few rides head to Spaceship Earth or get some Autographs/Pictures at the Disney Character Meet & Greet. Tooling around in Innoventions is fun but we usually do that later in the day.
Once World Showcase opens head directly to Norway first. The Maelstrom is another ride that is going to have some seriously long lines. We skip the Norway show after the ride like most people do. When are they going to upgrade that thing? Seriously..
Around the World
After Norway we double back and visit one of my favorite places in Epcot..Mexico. Grand Fiesta Tour is a great boat ride and hardly ever busy. If your hungry stop off at San Angel Inn for lunch or if you have little ones stop by the Kidcot Station and start your fun journey around the world.
Quick Tip – Kidcot is free and is a lot of fun for little ones. Our daughters mask is still up on her wall minus the paint stick of course 🙂 There is a Kidcot station in every pavilion.
Take off Eh
We like to double back to Canada and go counter clockwise around the World Showcase. You can leave Mexico and go clockwise if you want. The choice is yours. I feel that most people go Clockwise for some reason and I am a rebel when I go backwards.
Take your time and enjoy the stroll
The World Showcase is a place you want to relax and enjoy. There is no need to rush, just take your time and explore everything you can. The food in each of the pavilions are some of the best at Walt Disney World. It usually takes us the better part of the day to walk all the way around Epcot. We make sure to stop at all the shows, attractions, and little shops that are available. For more on the Food around the World Showcase checkout our Guide to Walt Disney World Section here.
Quick Tip – Another great stop for little ones is in Japan. Our little one loved Miyuki the Japanese Candy Artist. Be sure to stand near her so she can ask your favorite animal. Check out this article for more.
Take a boat ride
As your feet get sore from walking around Epcot we find a riding the boat from Epcot to Hollywood Studios and back again is great for relaxing or letting little ones nap. I myself have fallen asleep a few times on board for a few minutes. We are staying at the Boardwalk Villas on our next trip so this might be a good time to head back to the room for a quick nap. Here are some tips on re-energizing.
Quick Tip – If you are a late eater you will want to skip the boat ride and move onto Fast Pass Time area.
Refreshed and ready to go
After the boat ride and a recharging of our batteries we are ready to go again. At this point it is getting close to dinner. We like to have an early dinner to avoid the crowds. There are some Good Eats in Epcot so depending on what kinda of food your in the mood for its just a short walk away.
If you are a drinker I suggest trying out our Drink Around the World Showcase or DAWS. It is a lot of fun and something you will want to try once in your lifetime!
Fast Pass Time
Depending on what your feel like riding this is where some strategy comes into play. This late in the day there is going to be lines for everything. Pick a ride that has a long line and go get a fast pass for it. Now with Fast Pass in hand go back to The Land and take in the Living with the Land, Captain EO, and any other shows you might have missed. You can head over to Innoventions and play with all the cool exhibits they have there. Basically you are killing time till your fast pass is ready.
Do some shopping or Pin Trading near the rotary in the center of the plaza. Its a great inexpensive hobby and perfect souvenirs to take home with you. For on Pin Trading check this article out.
Around this time it should be getting dark and the last thing you will want to do is watch Illuminations. Seating is up to you as there really is no bad seat. Check out this article for Best Fireworks locations.
Quick Tip – Depending on which way the wind is blowing be sure to sit up wind so the smoke doesn’t blow on you from the fireworks.
Time to head home
Wow that was a busy day now go back to your room and relax. Your earned it!
Well that is our attack plan for Epcot. How do you tour Epcot? Have any tips or tricks to share? Let us know in the comment section below.
- Top 5 Disney World Dark Rides (chipandco.com)
- Free Epcot Touring Plan With Kids – One Day – 11am Arrival (easywdw.com)
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