Ask It: Best Boat Ride in Epcot

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Happy Wednesday! Time for another round of Ask It.

Last week we asked you:

What is your favorite Epcot boat ride?

All I can say is wow…. people really love boat rides in Epcot. With more than a thousand votes, there was one boat that left all others struggling in its wake.

Here’s the final results in order from least to greatest.

World Showcase Friendship Boats (3%)

Frozen Ever After (20%)

Gran Fiesta Tour (25%)

Living with the Land (52%)

Friendship Boats

Poor Friendship Boats. Not a lot of love for these boats, although considering that they are more transportation than attraction, at least they did get some votes. Running from Mexico to Germany and from Canada to Morocco, unless you happen to be the last person to jump on before they cast off, it is almost always faster to walk. That said, they’re a comfortable way to get out of the sun or rain and to conserve some walking strength at Disney’s most walking-intensive park.

You can do a lot worse than having a seat on a Friendship for a ride across World Showcase lagoon.

Frozen Ever After

With a nod to the handful of people who said they would vote for this if it were still Maelstrom, Frozen Ever After has a solid following, especially if you have children (or are a child at heart) who have a bit of Frozen Fever still going on. Wait times have gone down from the multi-hour queue death march when it first opened (of course that means no more free snacks while you wait), and the ride does seem to be a bit more stable. Some of the special effects are delightful to see, and the ride is just the right length–not too long to be annoying, but not feeling quite as abrupt as the Little Mermaid ride in Magic Kingdom. Even if it isn’t on your list to do every time, it is worth doing every now and then.

Everyone takes pictures of Anna, Elsa, and Olaf–but what about poor Marshmallow?

Gran Fiesta Tour

Alas, Donald Duck is not #1 here. Recently, I dug up an old video of the original Mexican boat ride, El Rio del Tiempo, to show my daughter. Nostalgia is a very powerful force, because looking at it, I had forgotten how campy it was. And although you can argue a bit about how Gran Fiesta Tour only features one character from Mexico, it’s fun and gives a very brief overview of a tourist’s view of Mexico. Adding the Three Caballeros audio animatronics to the end of the ride really was a wonderful idea. It is great to see them in use, and for people who have ridden the ride in the past, there’s audible gasps when they see that for the first time. But probably my favorite part of the ride has remained intact from the original–the view of the pyramid on one side and the restaurant on the other. It’s so tranquil and relaxing there. Speaking of food and drink, a few people said that they could have their votes swayed to this one if you could bring margaritas on board the ride…. all in the name of theming, right?

But the big winner, with more than half of all the votes, plus additional votes in the blog comments and on Facebook is:

Living with the Land

This ride changes more frequently than any other in Epcot, due to the changing crops in the greenhouse section, and it has had other minor changes as sponsors have come and gone. But fundamentally, this ride is the same as it was when Epcot first opened. You learn about the land, and then you tour a greenhouse. And yet, it is that classic Epcot “edu-tainment” vibe that makes this attraction so incredibly popular. You see new things and you learn things, whether you are five, fifty, or ninety-five. Coming off the ride, you are wholly convinced that you could set up your own hydroponics farm in your backyard and maybe throw in some fish farming (or aquaculture) on the side. Even if you don’t like plants, there’s just something cool about this that makes them exciting to see. I think that if there is a time to revisit Future World, Living with the Land provides a good template of what people want to see. You don’t need every ride to be technologically advanced or full of thrills. You just have to get people feeling involved in some way with a ride that has something for everyone.

And that wraps up this week’s Ask It. Agree? Disagree? Feeling sorry for the Friendships? Feel free to sound off in the comments. In the meantime, here’s next week’s poll, now live on Twitter.

We’re off to Magic Kingdom for this what if question:

If you could visit only one land in Magic Kingdom for a full day, which land would you visit?



Frontierland/Liberty Square


The attractions…the food…the best napping places. What’s your pick? Vote now on Twitter, Facebook, or in the comments here, and we’ll have your results next week on Ask It!



Julia Mascardo

Freelance writer and editor, living the dream in Central Florida with my husband, cats, and spirited eight-year-old daughter.

25 thoughts on “Ask It: Best Boat Ride in Epcot

  • March 15, 2017 at 11:14 am

    Fantasyland 🙂

  • March 15, 2017 at 11:15 am

    I have to go with Adventureland for but one reason: Dole Whip. Although riding Jungle Cruise on an endless loop actually doesn’t sound too bad, either.

  • March 15, 2017 at 11:41 am

    Frontierland/Liberty Square, no contest! You can get everything you need: classic rides (HM & BTMRR), thrills (SM & BTMRR), great food options (Columbia Harbour, Pecos Bill, Liberty Tree Tavern) and low-key, nostalgic shows for when you need a break (Hall of Presidents, Country Bears).

  • March 15, 2017 at 12:26 pm

    Frontierland/Liberty Square. Columbia Harbour House is one of the best in-park counter service dining options on property, and The Muppets Present Great Moments in American History is one of the most entertaining additions to MK in years.

  • March 15, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    Adventureland! Pirates, Tiki Room, jungle Cruise, spurring camels… I haven’t been to the Skipper Canteen yet but I would love to eat from that menu and soak in the atmosphere.

  • March 15, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    My choice actually surprises me but Frontierland/Liberty Square! It has some of my favorite rides, Big Thunder, Haunted Mansion, and my all-time favorite Splash Mountain. I LOVE the new Muppets show, and it has my favorite quick service, Columbia Harbour House, and a solid sit down restaurant, Liberty Tree. My mornings at Magic Kingdom always consists of getting a waffle and iced coffee from Sleepy Hollow and sitting next to the Castle. Plus Hall of Presidents makes for a great break/nap.

  • March 15, 2017 at 1:39 pm

    I miss Maelstrom. The map of places the Vikings had been was my guide to places to visit someday.

  • March 15, 2017 at 1:51 pm

    fanstasyland. It was my favorite when I was little, and still is.

  • March 15, 2017 at 1:58 pm

    Tommorowland! It’s not my favorite land, but I could definitly spend a whole day here in the city of the future. Lots of rides and shopping, and the atmosphere is very exciting! (I would have picked Main Street if that was an option though 😉

  • March 15, 2017 at 2:16 pm

    Had to pick Frontierland/Liberty Square: Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Country Bear Jamboree, decent quick service food, but mostly Tom Sawyer Island. We could literally spend a whole day there.

  • March 15, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Frontier land/Liberty Squares wins that hands down for rides and food.

  • March 15, 2017 at 3:49 pm

    Frontierland/Liberty Square for sure. Can’t beat the ambience with the Steamboat and Rivers of America. Great rides, great food, great shops. It has it all!

  • March 15, 2017 at 4:10 pm

    I would have to pick Fantasyland. It’s just pure Disney and I have the most memories of it as a kid. But Adventureland and Frontierland are tied for second.

    Best place to nap: Hall of Presidents. It’s just too soothing. I was completely irritated at my husband, who fell asleep in it on his very first trip to WDW. It turned him into a narcoleptic.

  • March 15, 2017 at 5:03 pm

    Adventureland!! Jungle cruise, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, and Dole Whips!!

  • March 15, 2017 at 5:16 pm

    Yikes. Okay, I’m going to go with Liberty Sq/Frontierland combo because of the number of attractions and food options. The attractions have a high re-rideability quotient – Haunted Mansion, the Riverboat, 2 mountains and TS Island and Hall of Presidents for resting (the rocking chairs overlooking Thunder Mountain is about the most peaceful place I’ve found in MK).

    In second place, I’d have to put Adventureland just for Jungle Cruise, Pirates and Dole Whips. Skipper Canteen doesn’t hurt either.

    Third place would be Fantasyland. I know there’s a lot of attractions there but few of them have re-rideability and if they do, the wait is too long.

    Fourth place is Tomorrowland, even though I could ride Space Mountain all day long. The problem is, that’s the only reason I go there now. Every time I ride the Peoplemover it breaks down.

  • March 15, 2017 at 6:08 pm

    The best one is the fireworks cruise aboard “The Breathless” wooden boat. (It was in Dick Tracy and the wooden boat that was crushed in Indiana Jones.
    It’s also insanely expensive now.
    They also have a pontoon boat for rental, which is good for a group.
    About 370 I think for that one.

  • March 15, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    I’ll have to go with all day in Liberty Square (and Frontierland as a bonus). I’d happily spend all day puttering around Columbia Harbour House.

  • March 15, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    ” Coming off the ride, you are wholly convinced that you could set up your own hydroponics farm in your backyard and maybe throw in some fish farming (or aquaculture) on the side.”
    Um, I *did* start growing vegetables hydroponically after riding Living with the Land and taking the Behind the Seeds tour. Which is why Epcot is unlike any other theme park, despite Disney Parks’ efforts to remove those aspects.

  • March 15, 2017 at 8:17 pm

    I would have to choose Tomorrowland for purely nostalgic reasons. My parents took me to Disney World when I was 5 (when the Magic Kingdom was the only park that existed!) and we got in line for Space Mountain, not knowing what it was. When we got to the front and my parents realized it was a roller coaster, they almost bailed, thinking it would be too scary for me. But they decided to give it a try, and I LOVED it! I have been a roller coaster-loving, thrill-seeking theme park rider ever since, and my husband calls Space Mountain “The ride that created the monster!” I could never set foot in Magic Kingdom without a ride on Space Mountain.

  • March 15, 2017 at 8:42 pm


  • March 15, 2017 at 9:03 pm

    With Haunted Mansion, Big Thunder, and Splash Mountain, not to mention Hall of Presidents, it’s an easy choice for Frontierland/Liberty Square. And we haven’t even seen there since the new Muppets American history show…

  • March 15, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Main Street, USA 🙂
    I would just sit and watch people and parades, the flag ceremony and the Dapper Dans all day.

  • March 15, 2017 at 11:35 pm

    Another write-in vote for Main St.

  • March 16, 2017 at 10:19 am

    What a fun question to think about! My daughter and I both say Fantasyland. Now with New Fantasyland and the circus area there are lots of rides and food options. We love Be Our Guest, Gaston’s Tavern, the snacks in the circus tent, the view of the fireworks from this area, even the Tangled bathrooms. As we think about passing an entire day in Fantasyland we think about our favorite early morning EMH times at sunrise in January or February when its so peaceful and a little chilly having a cinnamon roll at Gaston’s and riding our favorite rides when it isn’t so busy. We think about lunch at Be Our Guest and early afternoon at Philharmagic, the teacups, and riding the train. Shopping in all the cute themed shops like Sir Mickey’s and Hundred Acre Goods is fun. We always take an afternoon break then return, so an evening supper at Pinoccchio’s, riding all our favorites again, the carousel all lit up and the circus area riding Dumbo in the dark and watching the fireworks while eating a delicious caramel apple. Only 69 days ’till we can do all this again! Love it!

  • March 20, 2017 at 9:42 am

    Fantasy Land is my pick. There are so many things to do an see. Pinochio Village flat breads are a solid lunch pick, Be Our Guest for sit down. Philharmagic is my favorite theater show. There are shops all around the castle, Character meet and greets in the big top and the princess hall, 7 dwarf mine train, Peter pan, Pooh, dumbo, the carousel, tea cups, and lots of great people watching!

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