Did you know that there are two Epcot Entrances?
Well, you are not alone! Many people have no idea that there are in fact two different ways to enter Epcot theme park.
The entrance to Epcot that most people use is the Spaceship Earth front entrance to the park.
You really can’t miss the iconic Spaceship Earth geodesic dome, which dominates the main entrance to Epcot.
At this main entrance, you will find ticket sales booths, security checkpoints, restrooms, stroller and wheelchair rentals and Guest Services.
However, what you may not know is that there is a second entrance to Epcot. Many people do now know about this – even if they have visited Epcot.
The alternative entrance is called the Epcot International Gateway Entrance.
As it is located on the World Showcase side of the park it is often known as the World Showcase Entrance, or even, rather less grandly, the back entrance.
It may be that this is a better entrance to use if you are visiting Epcot.
But there are some reasons why it may not work for you.
What Time Does Epcot World Showcase Entrance Open?
It used to be that the World Showcase entrance opened later than the main entrance. It would open at 11 am when the countries in Epcot opened.
However, those days are no more.
Usually, the Epcot International Gateway entrance opens at the same time as Epcot.
For those Disney guests who have Early Entry, you can also use the back entrance to Epcot.
Check the Disney World website or the App for opening times for the days that you are visiting.
Can You Rope Drop from the World Showcase Entrance?
Yes, you can.
What is “Rope Drop”? It is a term that is used to describe when the park actually opens.
And often is a good idea to do this. Simply because there will be far fewer people entering this way.
You are conveniently placed to walk straight to the very popular Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. Simply turn right and go over the bridge towards France.
An alternative is to go left and aim to be one of the first in the line for Epcot Frozen Ever After.
If you have Genie+ then use it for whichever of these attractions you chose not to visit first.
This strategy should mean that you have experienced two of the best rides in Disney’s Epcot in an efficiently short space of time.
The downside, however, is that these attractions and located at either end of the Epcot World showcase so there is quite a bit of walking involved.
It depends upon how far the gap of time is that you have between experiencing the first attraction and your Genie+ time. Think about whether it is the best use of your time to explore World Showcase or go into Future World.
Guest Relations at Epcot International Gateway Entrance
Unlike most other Guest Services park locations, this one is actually outside the entrance to the park.
This can make it a great choice if you need to visit Guest Services. The lines tend to be shorter here as this is such a relatively unknown entrance to Epcot.
You can rent Strollers and Wheelchairs from this location.
Epcot Skyliner at the International Gateway Entrance
One of the best relatively recent additions to Walt Disney World has been the Skyliner.
It offers guests yet another alternative way to travel between select parks and resorts.
It is an incredibly efficient system and an enjoyable experience in itself. It is a lot of fun to fly over the Disney World resort and in many places you can see a long way into the distance.
It certainly gives you a different viewpoint of the Disney World Resort and even more of a sense of just how huge the area of land that Disney World encompasses actually is.
There is a Skyliner Station near the Epcot International Gateway entrance.
The Epcot Skyliner goes directly to Disney’s Riviera Resort and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort.
You can also easily get to Hollywood Studios, Art of Animation, and Pop Century if you change at the Caribbean Beach Resort station.
Friendship Boats at the Epcot World Showcase Entrance
Another very convenient feature of the World Showcase entrance is that it is close to the Friendship Boat dock.
These Disney boats will transport you to the Epcot Resort hotels, The Boardwalk, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Again, not too many people know that you can easily travel from Epcot to Hollywood Studios if you use the Disney Friendship Boats. It is a really pleasant, relaxing trip, and it takes about 30 minutes.
Epcot World Showcase Entrance Hotels
If you are staying at any of the Epcot or Boardwalk Resort Hotels then it will always be best to use the World Showcase Entrance.
It is an easy walk from all the Disney Resorts in this area.
Disney’s Beach Club is the closest to the back entrance. In fact, it has the closest Disney resort hotel room to a Disney theme park entrance of any other in the United States.
The Yacht Club Resort is just a bit further away, and the Boardwalk is within easy reach.
The Swan and Dolphin Hotels are a bit more of a walk, but it will probably only take you 15 minutes.
For all of the Epcot Resort hotels, you can take the Friendship Boat if you don’t feel like walking.
The Downside of the Epcot World Showcase Entrance
There is one disadvantage to using the Epcot back entrance.
Even though the World Showcase Entrance opens at 9 am, most of World Showcase does not open until 11 am.
This means that you will be able to ride Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and Frozen Ever After, but not all attractions will be open until 11 pm.
Epcot Main Entrance
Most people use the Epcot Main Entrance.
There is a very good reason for this.
There is a huge parking lot in front of the Epcot Main Entrance.
Whereas for the World Showcase back entrance there is no theme park parking available. The only close by parking lots are for the Resort Hotels and Disney’s Boardwalk, none of which are to be used for theme park parking.
So unless you are staying at one of the Disney Resorts or the Dolphin or Swan Resorts you will not be able to park close by. Therefore you would have to take Disney transport, or an uber to one of the hotels to put you in the right place to use the back entrance.
Another good alternative is to take the Skyliner from one of the hotels on the route. This will put you right at the World Showcase entrance to Epcot.
You would also use the International Gateway entrance if you are park hopping from Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
The other very good reason is that the Main Epcot Entrance gets you into the Future World area of the park. From here you can easily explore such attractions as Test Track, Soarin’ and of course, Epcot Spaceship Earth.