If you’re taking a trip to Walt Disney World, you can’t miss out on the triumph that is Epcot. It’s a theme park that celebrates achievement, innovation, discovery, and culture.
Epcot is a massive park with lots to do, but the amount of choice can be overwhelming for first-time visitors who know little to nothing about it.
What Not To Miss at Epcot
Below, I’ve made a list of Epcot’s must-do attractions for first-time visitors, so you don’t have to wander around the park not knowing where to go (though, for some, exploring is part of the fun).
Epcot has so many attractions for guests of all ages. Here is our advice about what not to miss at Epcot.
If you want to learn more about where to eat in the park here is our Guide to the Best Epcot Restaurants
Impressions de France at Epcot
One of our favorite attractions can be found in the France Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase.
An 18-minute film on a 200-degree widescreen encapsulating the romance, enchantment, and beauty of France. There’s lovely music, high-quality videos of France’s most iconic sites, and lots to discover about French life.
It might just sound like a glorified documentary – well, I guess it is, but trust me when I say the music, huge wide screens, and majestic French theater make for an amazing experience.
Some might not enjoy it that much, but you can probably tell if you’ll like it or not just by reading the description.
Still, even if it’s not your thing, it’s a great place to take a break and have a sit down in the air-conditioning!
Keep in mind that showings alternate with the “Beauty And The Beast Sing-Along.”
“Beauty And The Beast Sing-Along” closes in the evening and “Impressions de France” opens soon after (see opening times on Disney World website here or on the app). From then on, “Impressions de France” showings run continuously.
Side note: while I haven’t seen it myself, I’ve only heard bad reviews of “Beauty And The Beast Sing-Along,” so you can skip that one.
Reflections Of China
Journey to China is an immersive short film displayed on a 360-degree widescreen. Visit the Great Wall of China, the Huangshan mountain range, Shanghai, and much more on this one-of-a-kind tour.
You can’t miss Reflections of China. For one thing, the architecture of the theater is beautiful, especially in the waiting area.
Even if you don’t want to see the film (though you really should) it’s worth stepping inside and having a look (ask a Cast Member and they’ll be happy to show you where the exit is).
The 360-degree screen is very unique and makes the experience very cinematic. Since the screen is so big, there’s always something new to see each time you watch the show.
When you have finished the show, make sure you spend some time in the China Pavilion store – it is one of the best in Epcot.
Living With The Land
A gentle boat ride in the Land Pavilion’s massive working greenhouse full of all kinds of growing fruits and veggies. You won’t believe how big some of them get!
You’ll also sail through different artificial biomes – desert, American prairie, and tropical rainforest. They aren’t necessarily realistic or immersive biomes, but they are very atmospheric. Especially the tropical rainforest with a moody thunderstorm.
Touring the greenhouse is actually lots of fun and you’ll learn lots about how they farm the food.
Like “Impressions de France,” some people might find this a little boring. Again, you can probably tell if it’s for you just by reading the description.
Usually, it only has a five-minute wait, so that’s not long to wait for such a great attraction.
Keep in mind that the attraction is almost 20-minutes long, so it is a little lengthy.
Frozen Ever After at Epcot
A boat ride in a snowy willow forest where you’ll see your favorite characters from the movie Frozen, including Anna, Elsa, Olaf, and many more.
This is like a traditional Fantasyland dark ride, except it’s much more technologically advanced. The audio animatronics look incredibly realistic and the effects (especially the projection mapping) are just like magic.
Plus, it has two small drops, including one that goes backward. Don’t worry, they’re not intense. They’re really small. If you can handle the drop in “Pirates of the Caribbean,” you can definitely handle this.
It’s a perfect attraction for families. Kids will love seeing their favorite characters brought to life and adult will appreciate all the effects.
However, be aware that this is one of the most popular attractions in the whole of Walt Disney World. You will be standing in line for this attraction!
Epcot Test Track
Test Track is a ride you will not want to miss at Epcot. Whilst some may argue that there really aren’t any thrill rides at Epcot we would say that Test Track is most definitely in that category.
Design your own car then test it out on a high-tech, Tron-like driving course. You’ll test its braking, handling, efficiency, and responsiveness.
Be prepared for a final speed test where you shoot out of the building and see just how fast your car can go (hint: it’s pretty fast).
There’s also a competitive aspect, as you go up against your friends and family to see who can make the best car. Whoever gets the best score after the course is finished, wins!
This is perfect for people wanting a thrill but doesn’t want anything too intense.
Test Track is fast, but it never goes upside-down and the drops are small (fair warning: you do get lifted off your seat).
I used to love this when I was smaller, though as I’ve grown older and been on more intense thrill rides, this ride has become a little tame for me.
I’d say it’s not even quite as intense as Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. Nonetheless, it’s lots of fun and everybody can enjoy it!
Soarin’ Around The World
A relaxing hand glider ride over some of the most famous places in the world, such as the Eiffel Tower, the Great Wall of China, the Taj Mahal, and much more.
This is not only one of the best attractions at Epcot, it’s one of the best attractions at Walt Disney World.
It perfectly replicates the feeling of flying, complete with wind effects and even some of the scents from the places you’re flying over.
World Showcase is a supreme world’s fair.
It features themed sections based on these 11 countries:
- America (titled the “American Adventure” on the map)
- United Kingdom
Each has dining, entertainment, and buildings themed after their respective country.
Keep in mind that making your way around all of World Showcase can really take it out of you.
The good news is they have boat transportation . There are four docks – two of which are between Canada and Mexico, one is in Germany and the last is in Morocco.
Still, I’d take it easy and maybe aim to do half the countries in one day and the other half some other day.
Which ones to go to first? It’s up to you!
Epcot Spaceship Earth
Located in the giant geosphere at the park entrance, Spaceship Earth is an epic journey that takes you through the history of communication. It starts in the prehistoric era when cavemen used cave paintings to communicate with each other and end with the computer age.
This is a personal favorite of mine. It perfectly encapsulates what Epcot strives to be, which is both educational and fun.
The ride might sound like a boring history lesson, but the way the huge sets and the grand orchestral music make it an epic, cinematic experience.
Plus, it has one of the coolest attraction buildings I’ve ever seen, with it taking place in a massive sphere. Learn more about this amazing attraction at Epcot Spaceship Earth.
Do you agree with what not to miss at Epcot? Which are your favorite Epcot Rides?