Epcot, the second of the four theme parks built at Walt Disney World in Florida has a cult following. While the past decades have typically drawn more adults, the addition of rides from blockbuster kids movies like Frozen and Ratatouille has attracted younger families to Epcot once again.
No longer are the days where kids say they just want to go to Magic Kingdom! Instead, Epcot has become a fan favorite not only with adults but also with children. Here we will cover a brief history of Epcot, must-know tips for Epcot rides and attractions, and some exciting additions coming soon.
Brief Epcot history
Did you know that the name of this Disney theme park is an acronym? Epcot or Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow was conceived by Walt Disney and built in 1982. Initially referred to as Epcot Center, it became known as just simply Epcot over the years. The theme parks offer an international feel with lands of countries from all over the world.
Appropriate Epcot Rides for Toddlers & All Ages
Our of ten total rides here’s a shortlist of Epcot rides suitable for all ages and have no height requirement:
- After Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Frozen Ever After
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros
- Journey Into Imagination With Figment
- Living With The Land
- The Seas With Nemo & Friends
- Spaceship Earth
In addition to these Epcot rides, there is also a new Tiana-themed playground for kids to enjoy and burn off some energy. It is located in Future World East near the beginning of the World Showcase.
12 Epcot Rides & Attractions
While many attractions at this park are of the slower type, Epcot rides often traverse time. Here are some of my top favorite Epcot rides and attractions.
1. Ratatouille Adventure (World Showcase)
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is the latest and most popular ride at Epcot, consisting of a trackless dark ride in the French Pavilion.
On this 4D experience, you will follow Chef Remy as he dashes and darts through a bustling kitchen and the walls of Gusteau’s famous restaurant in Paris. This ride is fun and keeps you moving until the very end.
2. Frozen Ever After (World Showcase)
Frozen Ever After is currently the second most popular family ride available at Epcot. For those that grew up going to Disney, you will recognize the old Norway Viking ride from years past that has been refurbished into a newer and more exciting experience. The boat still moves forward and backward and down mini waterfalls that disperse a light splash of water.
This ride tends to have high wait times, slightly behind Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. It is eligible for an Individual Lightning Lane (ILL) purchase.
3. Soarin’ (World Nature)
This journey will make you feel like you have wings while seeing some of the most spectacular scenery in this world. Soar over Australia’s Sydney Harbour, the Great Pyramids of Egypt, the Great Wall of China, and more. You won’t want to miss these views!
Soarin’ uses a 180-degree, 80-foot IMAX digital projection dome to feature aerial footage of all these locations. Plus, it also captures the scents of these locations, so you feel like you’re right in the midst of the action.
While Soarin, you can play a ride-related trivia game with family and friends by using your mobile device.
4. Test Track (World Discovery)
On this ride, you will start at the Chevrolet Design Center to get first-hand experience on how cars are built. Next, the ride heads out for a test drive on the high-speed test track.
Your car will reach up to 65 MPH along straightaways and 50 MPH on turns with varying weather conditions and terrains. Upon completing the test drive, the computerized board will advise how your vehicle performed on the track.
5. Mission: SPACE (World Discovery)
This thrill ride is divided into two different experiences – Green or Orange Missions. The Orange Mission just provides a more extreme motion experience. If you are prone to motion sickness, best to stay with the Green Mission. The Orange Mission also tends to have slightly longer wait times.
6. Spaceship Earth (World Celebration)
This oldie but goodie is the flagship attraction at Epcot. Located in the geosphere, it is the signature symbol of the park. You will see firsthand the landmark moments of innovation that made our current technology possible on this ride.
Narrated by Judi Dench, this ride takes you from the beginning when Earth was created and after our time here on this planet. It runs surprisingly 16-minutes long.
Following the ride, you will exit through the Ideas of Tomorrow. Enjoy playing the driving simulation game, see digital human body technology, and more.
7. The Seas with Nemo & Friends (World Nature)
Head under the sea with Nemo & friends in this slow-moving ride dark-ride experience. See Bruce the shark, jellyfish, and more. This is a great ride, especially for kids.
Afterward, head into the spectacular aquarium to see live sharks, dolphins, stingrays, and other sea creatures. You may be surprised to learn this is the second-largest aquarium in the United States, following Atlanta’s Georgia Aquarium.
8. Turtle Talk with Crush (World Nature)
Enjoy a 15-minute live animated chat in the Turtle Talk Theater with Crush. He communicates directly with guests on any topic, so each interaction is a different experience. Children and adults alike have fun chatting with this fun character.
9. Grand Fiesta Tour (World Showcase)
The Grand Fiesta Tour is a beautiful boat ride located at the Mexico pavilion. The Three Caballeros, who are Donald Duck, Jose, and Panchito, take you on a musical journey showcasing the country. This is one of the older Epcot rides, but it is still a good time for all ages.
10. Living with the Land (World Nature)
This is another slow-moving boat ride located in the Land pavilion. Here you will tour inside a greenhouse and see some of the fantastic agriculture feats being done to promote a more environmentally conscious environment. You will see fish farms, fresh produce, science labs, and more.
11. Journey into the Imagination with Figment (World Discovery)
Journey into Imagination with Figment is a family-friendly attraction that is one of the original Epcot rides. Over the years, it has been updated and reintroduced with new features. Enjoy this dark ride that explores the five senses with Dr. Nigel Channing and Figment.
12. The American Adventure (World Showcase)
Head around the world to the American Pavilion near the back of the park. Here you will find a variety of exhibitions, including paintings, flags, and artistic and historical artifacts in this 5-story Colonial mansion. Learn a history lesson on the critical events that shaped the United States into what it is today.
The American Adventure Show is one of Walt Disney World’s best stage productions. It is impressively narrated with audio-animatronics with key American figures. They rise from the stage and present historical facts in the first person.
Epcot Rides with Genie, Genie+ or Lightning Lanes
Each Walt Disney World park requires a valid entry and reservation before using the Disney park passes system. It’s possible to personalize a Disney experience by using Genie.
To avoid confusion, Genie and Genie+ are two separate programs. Genie exists in the My Disney Experience App and is free to use and navigate theme parks.
Disney Genie + is a ride reservation system that replaced the free FastPass+. This system becomes available for all guests to book at 7 am the day of your arrival at the park. However, you will want to ensure you have installed My Disney Experience App beforehand since coveted Epcot rides and other parks’ rides can book fast. The cost is currently $15 per person.
Another perk of paying for Genie+ is that it includes tips and planning services for free. As a result, you can theoretically avoid long waits at select Epcot rides and better plan your day by utilizing this program. Still, people have had various levels of success securing ride reservations with this system.
There are 9 Epcot rides available for guests on Genie+:
- Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Mission Space
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Spaceship Earth
- Test Track
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
In addition to Genie+, there are Individual Lightning Lane tickets (also known as ILL) for select Epcot rides. Lightning Lane tickets are an added cost, and pricing varies from $7-$20 per ticket. Two rides are not eligible for Genie + at each Disney theme park. Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is the Epcot rides included.
Just to clarify, you don’t need Genie+ for an Individual Lightning Lane. You can purchase these two Epcot rides without purchasing Genie+. They are available individually for purchase.
One perk is the 30-minute advantage of early access to their parks when staying at a Disney premium resort. So enjoy the park and all the most popular Epcot rides before the crowds start or after most people go home. They also offer extended hours on particular dates for Disney Deluxe & Villa Hotels. This may reduce the need to purchase Genie+ or Lightning Lanes for the most popular Epcot rides like Frozen Ever After.
Check out the spectacular Disney Beach Club & Villas and Yacht Club hotel properties. They are the closest hotels to Epcot. For those that love being on a Florida beach, you will fall in love with the sandy bottom pool and the shipwrecked pirate ship beach.
My Disney Experience App Issues or Not Working
If you experience technical difficulties with My Disney App, it is best that one user manages the experience in your party to avoid login challenges. Face ID to enter your password does not always integrate, and it may be best to type in your password manually. If this does not resolve the issue, contact Disney support at (407) 939-7765.
Epcot World Showcase & Harmonious
Epcot rides and restaurants are just the beginning of this park. Epcot experiences can be the center of your whole Orlando trip. The World Showcase hosts eleven countries from around the globe. These countries include Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Mexico, Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States.
Each country highlights its most prominent attributes, including food, beverages, shopping, and entertainment. The World Showcase also offers performances by well-known performers, works of art, and short films.
Another favorite pastime in the Epcot World Showcase is drinking around the world. Guests can try a variety of beverages, including tequilas in Mexico, sake in Japan, beer in Germany, and a moonshine cocktail from America. This becomes even more popular during the Annual Food & Wine Festival in the Fall with limited-time drink offerings.
Before leaving the park, you must see the spectacular fireworks show Harmonious. One of the largest nighttime events ever created for the Disney World theme parks. This fantastic show brings to life the World Showcase lagoon with fireworks, lasers, moving fountains in a 360-degree view with music to add to the ambiance. Make sure to arrive early before the 9 pm show, and find a water view around the World Showcase lagoon.
Epcot Rides & Attractions Coming Soon
Never before has there been a roller coaster in Epcot. This new and exciting addition to the list of Epcot rides is expected to debut at the end of May 2022. The Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind ride will be located in the space portion of the World Discovery neighborhood.
Guests are still anticipating the Moana-inspired Journey of Water attraction to open later this year. Disney officials stated this “first-ever experience inspired by the Walt Disney Animation Studios’ hit film [and] will let guests interact with magical, living water in a beautiful and inspiring setting.”
With the many new Epcot rides and attractions, you will have your future trip planned before leaving the theme park.
The Epcot festival calendar includes four major activities: International Art Festival, International Flowers Festival, International Food & Wine Festival, and the International Holiday Festival.
The park is transformed throughout the year by themed food & drink outlets, festive decor, limited-edition merchandise, and many live shows.
The theme park is broken into four main neighborhoods: World Showcase, World Nature, World Discovery, and World Celebration.