See and Do Everything With Our EPCOT One Day Itinerary for 2024

One Day at Disney World

Only have one day to do EPCOT in Walt Disney World on your next vacation? No problem! This EPCOT one day itinerary is your guide to doing everything that the theme park has to offer from open to close.

From the newest roller coaster to brand-new attractions, restaurants, experiences, and nighttime shows, plus recommendations for those who purchase Lightning Lane Multi Pass, and how to tackle the park in a day whether you’re staying at a Disney World hotel or not, this one day itinerary covers it all without the stress of having to plan it all yourself. Let’s get to it!

Disney World rope drop

EPCOT Overview

EPCOT has undergone some major changes over the past few years and there are so many new things to see and do. And, we can’t forget all the classic attractions and, of course, World Showcase! Now the park is divided into four different “neighborhoods” including World Celebration, World Discovery, World Nature, and World Showcase with each offering its own unique attractions, dining options, and more.

Some of the newest additions to EPCOT include a new Moana-themed walk-through attraction, an epic roller coaster that takes you on an adventure with the Guardians of the Galaxy, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure where you travel through Gusteau’s, new meet-and-greets with fan-favorite Disney characters, and an entirely new nighttime fireworks show. But, with so much to do, we often get the question, “Can you do EPCOT in one day?” And, the answer is YES! You will need a full day to do it, though, and a plan for how you’re going to tackle it all. That’s where we can help!

With so much to do, there may be some attractions that you want to prioritize or skip based on who you’re traveling with. To help you decide, here’s a breakdown of what rides are best for kids and adults in Disney World.

Best Rides For Kids

EPCOT often gets a reputation for being an “adult park,” but that’s simply not the case anymore! There are so many rides that kids will enjoy, including attractions that are based on some of the most popular Disney movies in recent years. If you find yourself short on time and can’t get to all of the rides in one day, here are the top attractions to prioritize with kids.

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Journey Into Imagination With Figment
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Journey of Water – Inspired by Moana (note that this is a walk-through experience)
Disney World Height Requirements

Best Rides For Adults

If you’re on an adults-only Disney World trip, EPCOT is one of the best theme parks to visit…and not just because of all the eating and drinking you can do around World Showcase. EPCOT is home to some of the most popular Disney World attractions and you’ll definitely want to prioritize these during your day since lines can get long.

  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
  • Test Track
  • Soarin’ Around The World
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Rides To Prioritize With Lightning Lane Multi Pass in EPCOT

If you’re visiting during a particularly busy time of the year or just prefer not to wait in long lines, you may be considering purchasing Lightning Lane Multi Pass. This new service replaced FastPass+ in 2021 and enables guests to skip the line at select attractions throughout the theme parks for an additional price on top of your park ticket.

It’s important to note that you don’t need Lightning Lane Multi Pass to have a great day in EPCOT, as a standard standby line is available at all of the attractions in EPCOT (aside from Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind which has a free virtual queue option). However, this add-on can save you a lot of time during your park day, giving you more time to enjoy World Showcase and the seasonal festivals.

EPCOT one day itinerary

If you do choose to buy Lightning Lane Multi Pass, you can book your Lightning Lane selections up to 7 days prior to your trip if you’re staying at a Disney World Resort hotel or up to 3 days prior to your trip if not.

But, don’t just choose any ride! Select rides in EPCOT are much more popular and can “sell out” of return times quicker than others, so we suggest using our priority list below to help you strategically choose your attractions in an order that will help you do more during your day.

What Rides To Book First With Lightning Lane Multi Pass

Start with the priority 1 rides if you see return times available and then move to priority 2 rides. Once you’ve ridden these, you can then move on to selecting Lightning Lane return windows in the priority 3 category.

First Priority

  • Test Track
  • Soarin’ Around the World
  • Mission: SPACE Orange
  • Frozen Ever After

Second Priority

  • Spaceship Earth
  • Mission: SPACE Green

Third Priority

  • Living with the Land
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Disney-Pixar Short Film Festival
Journey of Water | Inspired by Moana

Note that Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is a Lightning Lane Single Pass. This means that it is not included in Lightning Lane Multi Pass and Lightning Lane entrance can be purchased at a separate cost on the day of your visit.

The Ultimate EPCOT One Day Itinerary

It’s time to head to EPCOT! This EPCOT one day itinerary was created for anyone who is hoping to squeeze all that the park has to offer into a short visit. The itinerary does have alternative options for those who have access to Early Theme Park Entry and those who do not. If you choose to purchase Lightning Lane Multi Pass, we recommend taking the Lightning Lane priorities listed above and adjusting your itinerary accordingly. You may also need to skip rides that have height limits if you’re traveling with young children.

7AM on the day of your visit

As you plan your EPCOT one day itinerary, it’s important to know that at least one person in your party will need to be awake before 7AM on the day of your visit. This is because guests with a valid EPCOT ticket can access the virtual queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind in the My Disney Experience app starting at 7AM on the day of their park visit.

The virtual queue system allows you to “get in line” for the ride without having to physically wait in line for hours on end. This means you can enjoy other attractions and experiences in the park while you wait for your turn to ride (you’ll be notified through the My Disney Experience app when it’s time). Just keep in mind that spots in the virtual queue are limited and there are only two opportunities to join at 7AM and 1PM. If you are unable to secure a spot in the virtual queue you will need to purchase Lightning Lane entry (which is an additional cost) or forgo riding the attraction altogether.

Park Opening

To make the most of your day at EPCOT, it’s important to arrive at the park early. If you’re staying at a Disney World hotel, you can take advantage of Early Theme Park Entry which gives you entry to the park 30 minutes before it officially opens to all guests. We recommend arriving at the park 45-60 minutes before park opening so that you can make the most of the extra time.

Non-Disney hotel guests should aim to arrive 30 minutes before park opening to avoid long lines at security and to get a head start on the day.

Best Snacks at EPCOT

Once inside the park, it’s time to head to the attractions that traditionally have the longest wait time throughout the day. If you’re entering through the entrance at the front of the park, we recommend going to the Norway Pavilion first and riding Frozen Ever After. If you’re entering the park from the back into World Showcase, we recommend starting your day at the France Pavilion for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.

Morning

Once you’ve tackled the first ride of the day, it’s time to head to the next one! If you started at Frozen Ever After, head to the France Pavilion and ride Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. If you started with Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, head to the Norway Pavilion and ride Frozen Ever After. The lines for both may be longer by this time, but you’ll still be beating a lot of the crowds by riding early.

After these two popular attractions, make your way to the World Nature neighborhood near the front of the park. You’ll be walking around World Showcase to get there, so feel free to stop for an early morning snack or coffee at any of the food booths especially if you’re visiting during an EPCOT festival season.

When you arrive in World Nature, ride Journey Into Imagination With Figment and stop to see Disney-Pixar Short Film Festival nearby. This is also a great time to squeeze in a meet-and-greet with Figment while you’re there!

EPCOT one day itinerary

For the rest of the morning, head into The Land Pavilion and ride Soarin’ Around The World and Living With The Land.

Lunch

After a busy morning of exploring EPCOT, it’s time to refuel with a hearty lunch. One great option is Connections Eatery, located in the heart of the park. This quick-service restaurant is new to EPCOT and offers a variety of options, from burgers and sandwiches to salads and bowls. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are also available.

To save time, we recommend using the mobile ordering feature available through the My Disney Experience app. This allows you to place your order in advance and skip the line when you arrive at the restaurant. Simply select your desired items, customize your order, and pay using the app. When you arrive at Connections Eatery, you can pick up your food at the designated mobile order pickup area.

Afternoon

If you’re feeling brave after lunch, head over to Mission: SPACE. This ride simulates a trip to Mars, and you have the choice between the Orange or Green version. The Orange version is more intense and can cause motion sickness, so if you’re not sure you can handle it, opt for the Green version instead.

After your space adventure, take a leisurely stroll through Journey of Water – Inspired by Moana, and then head over to The Seas with Nemo & Friends. After the ride, explore the aquarium and see if you can spot any of the sea creatures from the movie.

EPCOT one day itinerary

Then it’s time to head back into World Showcase! As you make your way around, be sure to stop and try some of the snacks and drinks from the different countries and festival booths. You can also catch shows or check out the exhibits in the various pavilions. If you’re traveling with kids, EPCOT offers Kidcot Fun Stops where they can make crafts in each pavilion or you can participate in a scavenger hunt if a festival is going on. Both are a great way to keep the little ones entertained while you explore the park.

Dinner & Fireworks

After a long day of exploring, it’s time to grab a bite to eat and watch the nightly fireworks show. There are many dining options available in EPCOT, so you’re sure to find something that suits your tastes.

If you’re looking for a quick service option, consider checking out the various food booths located throughout World Showcase. These offer a variety of snacks and small meals, perfect for a quick bite before the fireworks show. Alternatively, Regal Eagle Barbeque in the American Adventure Pavilion is a great option for picky eaters and offers mobile ordering for added convenience.

For a more formal dining experience, consider making a reservation at one of EPCOT’s many table service restaurants. Biergarten Restaurant, Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria, and Space 220 are all popular choices among visitors. However, be sure to make a reservation in advance as these restaurants can fill up quickly.

EPCOT one day itinerary

Once you’ve finished your meal, it’s time to find a spot to watch the fireworks show. The show usually starts between 8-10PM, but it’s always a good idea to check the My Disney Experience app for the official time. There are many great viewing areas around World Showcase Lagoon, so try to arrive early to secure a good spot.

Evening

As the sun sets and the crowds begin to thin out, it’s the perfect time to experience some of EPCOT’s most popular attractions without the long wait times.

Immediately after the fireworks show, we recommend riding Test Track. This is often when the line is at its shortest of the day. And, after you go on your high-speed car ride, make your way to the front of the park and ride Spaceship Earth.

World Celebration

End your evening by hanging out near the park entrance to see the light show on Spaceship Earth. This new addition to EPCOT has quickly become a fan favorite and the perfect way to cap off your busy park day.

Late Night Transportation

After a long day, you may be wondering how to get back to your hotel. Fortunately, there are several transportation options available to you.

If you’re staying at one of the Disney resorts located around the BoardWalk area, you can take a leisurely walk back to your hotel. Disney’s BoardWalk Inn, Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club, Walt Disney World Swan & Dolphin, and Swan Reserve are all located within walking distance of EPCOT. Boat transportation is also available to these hotels if you prefer.

For those staying at other Disney World hotels, the Disney bus and monorail system runs until one hour after park close. And, if you drove yourself, you can make your way back to your car. Just note that parking lot trams also stop running one hour after park close as well.

The new Disney Skyliner system also provides transportation to some of the resorts, including Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort, Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. The Skyliner stops running one hour after park close.

And, there you have it – a full day in EPCOT! While one day is certainly enough to do it all, you just might find yourself excited to come back again…after some much-needed rest.

Comments

What rides and shows are on your must-do list when you visit EPCOT? Let us know in the comments your best memories from the park and what things you always include in your EPCOT one day itinerary!

Pin this:

2 comments