Complete guide to Epcot

(Article last updated: September 16, 2018)

Epcot was the second park built at Disney World, and it has unique offerings you can't find anywhere else.

Whether you desire to fly above the world in Soarin', or to check out one of Epcot's many festivals (like the Food & Wine Festival), or even to drop in for a visit with Anna, Elsa, and Olaf on Frozen Ever After, you'll find Epcot has a wide variety of options to appeal to your family.

Don't try to go to Epcot without first planning your day, though. Check out these resources to help you maximize your time (and money) during your trip...

How many days should I visit Epcot?

How many days calendar 1 - Complete guide to EpcotFor most trips there simply aren't enough days to see and do everything at Disney World, so deciding how to divide your time is an important step in planning your stay.

The table below has suggestions for the number of days you should plan to spend at each park, but depending on your family's tastes and interests you may want to adjust how you allocate your time.

Suggested number of days in each park

Trip length
MK EP HS AK Water Park Other things
3 1 1 1      or        1
4 1 1 1 1
5 2 1 1 1
6 2 1 1 1 1
7 2 2 1 1 1
8 2 2 1 1 1 1
9 2 2 1 1 1 2
10 2 2 1 1 1 3

Epcot map

Epcot is home to 2 distinct areas - Future World and the World Showcase.

Future World is divided into 2 sides: Future World East and Future World West.

The World Showcase surrounds the World Showcase Lagoon and is home to 11 pavilions that each highlight a different country with themed architecture, entertainment, and restaurants:

  • Mexico
  • Norway
  • China
  • Germany
  • Italy
  • The American Adventure
  • Japan
  • Morocco
  • France
  • United Kingdom
  • Canada

Want a map you can download? Check out this PDF map of Epcot.

EpcotMap 600x273 - Complete guide to Epcot

WDW Prep Members can also get maps of each park that print out on 1 piece of paper and show when to visit each attraction.

Map 02 Epcot 1 - Complete guide to Epcot

Parking at Epcot

Thinking about driving at Disney World?

Parking is quick and painless and a good option if you'll have your car on your vacation.

All parking lots are staffed with an abundance of Cast Members that will help direct you to your spot. If you park too far away from the front gate to walk, there will be handy trams to shuttle you back and forth from the end of your row to near the front gates.

How much does parking at Epcot cost?

  • Free for Walt Disney World Resort hotel guests
  • Offsite guests $22/day
  • Passholders - Free with Passholder card and photo ID
  • Preferred Parking - $45/day

Want more tips on driving? Check out our post on using a car at Disney World.

What should I bring with me to Epcot?

Since Disney allows you to keep your bag with you on every attraction, many people find it handy to carry a bag or backpack with them into the parks.

What you pack in your backpack will vary on your age and who you are traveling with but to help you decide what you might want to bring we have an entire post dedicated to Disney World park bags.

Here are some other common questions on what to bring with you:

Can I bring food with me?

Yes! You can bring your own food items with you. The only restrictions are no glass containers (baby food is an exception) and no alcohol. Also, for the safety of the animals, no straws are allowed at Animal Kingdom.

Can I bring a cooler?

Yes, small coolers are allowed; however, the total size can't exceed 24" b 15" by 18". We recommend bringing a cooler small enough to fit into a locker or in the bottom of a stroller.

Are wagons allowed?

Items that can be pulled behind you are not allowed at Disney World, and that includes wagons.

Can I bring my selfie stick?

Sorry, but no. Selfie sticks are banned at all Disney World parks, including Animal Kingdom.

Can I bring my tripod so I can take pictures?

Tripods (and monopods) that are small enough to fit in a backpack are allowed.

I heard the lines are long. Can I bring a folding chair with me to sit in while I wait?

Folding chairs are not allowed, and we'd never want you standing in a line long enough that you'd need one! Make sure you read the touring plan information below so that you avoid standing in long lines.


Epcot rides

headerepcotsquare - Complete guide to EpcotEpcot has a lot to offer when it comes to rides, attractions, and entertainment. From Test Track and Soarin' to Frozen Ever After to the Voices of Liberty, Epcot is bound to have something that will appeal to every member of your family.

Check out this guide for attraction details, including when to visit each one, ride videos, height requirements, and more.

Best days to visit Epcot

monthlydashboardheader - Complete guide to EpcotFor every park at Disney World, some days are better (read: less crowded) to visit than others.

We have put together crowd calendars that use an easy-to-understand, color-coded rating system. These handy crowd calendars also include park hour and entertainment information, and they can be found on the Monthly Dashboard that corresponds to your travel dates.

Epcot touring plans and FastPass+ suggestions

epcottouringplans - Complete guide to EpcotWith the 3 main headliner rides, many families struggle with trying to figure out how to best plan their day at Epcot.

And since Epcot (like Hollywood Studios) uses a tiered-based system for their FastPasses, it makes it extra important for families to plan ahead before their trip. Don't know which attractions you should pick? Check out the information in the section above first to see which will work best for your family.

Epcot dining

prosconsepcotrestaurants - Complete guide to EpcotEpcot's World Showcase provides the best selection of dining options of all 4 of the Disney theme parks. And while you can still find traditional theme park food like funnel cakes, you'll also find plenty of Table Service and Quick Service options that highlight the countries represented in the park.

Epcot-area dining

prosconsepcotarearestaurants - Complete guide to EpcotEven though the food inside of Epcot is fabulous, there are also many fantastic options within walking distance of the park. Whether you are looking for a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the theme park, or you just want to explore the Epcot resort-area while grabbing a meal, this post will give you all your nearby dining options.

Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

foodandwine - Complete guide to EpcotThe Food and Wine Festival is held at Epcot every fall for several weeks and includes special events, food booths, celebrity chefs, and more. Aside from some special sessions the festival is largely included in the price of your admission. Check out this post to find out what to expect if your vacation dates overlap with the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival

Epcot Flower and Garden Festival

flowerandgardensquareheader - Complete guide to EpcotMost people will agree that Epcot never looks better than it does during the Flower and Garden Festival. Like the Food and Wine Festival, the cost for most of the festival activities are included in the price of your admission. Check out this post to see what you can expect to find if you find yourself vacationing at Disney World during this annual springtime event.

How to get to Epcot

howtonavigatesquare - Complete guide to EpcotGetting around Disney World property can be intimidating if you've never visited before, but we lay out all your options for traveling to and from Disney's Animal Kingdom.

We've included information on Disney World buses and boats, Uber and Minnie Vans.

Did we leave anything out? Let us know your questions in the comments below.

Ready to book a trip for 2018 or 2019?

The handpicked team of agents at Perfect Story Travel can help you out. Fill out the info below to get started.

Leave a Reply

1 Comment threads
1 Thread replies
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
2 Comment authors
newest oldest most voted

Interesting that you mention all the best restaurants and all the best rides, but no mention of each “country” by category and what the best things to see/do is in each one of the world showcase locations? Also, I’ve seen countless blogs about drinking around Epcot, but can’t seem to find many current ones about snacking around Epcot – specifially using snack credits!

Hi, Jennifer – Hard to cover everything in 1 post, but we do try to cover as much as we can. This info should be helpful.

Animal Kingdom Epcot Hollywood Studios Magic Kingdom Water Parks
Behind the Seeds tour
How the Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot works
Early Morning Magic - fantasyland
A guide to Early Morning Magic – Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom
foodandwine 300x215 - Food and Wine Festival has begun! Here's an overview.
Food and Wine Festival has begun! Here’s an overview.
Planning Process Overview Step 1: Pick a Date Step 2: Lodging Step 3: Make a Daily Plan Step 4: Dining Step 5: Park Touring Step 6: Extra Magic
Behind the Seeds tour
How the Behind the Seeds Tour at Epcot works
Disney World short trips Short trips to Disney World
Our best tips for planning a short trip to Disney World
Disney World Thrill Rides (1)
Top Disney World thrill rides in each of the parks
Babies and Toddlers Characters General Reference Group Travel Luxury Saving Money Special Needs Technology Transportation
Everything you need to know about MagicBands
How MagicBands at Disney World work
Tips for planning disney world arrival and departure days 300x215 - How to plan Disney World arrival and departure days
How to plan Disney World arrival and departure days
Tips and tricks for booking flights to Disney World | WDW Prep School
Complete guide to flights for your Disney World trip