I recently posted a guide for planning which parks to visit on your 4-1/2 day Disney World vacation, providing a “one-size-fits-most” itinerary for each age group. Epcot doesn’t make it in the preschool itinerary and is only a half day on the school age children itinerary, but it finally gets a full day on both the tween and teen itineraries (two days of Epcot are included on the adult itinerary). My family (with tweens) would tweek the tween itinerary a bit and plan two days at Epcot, because we feel like we’ve barely scratched the surface in a one day visit.
With the two distinct areas of Future World and World Showcase, Epcot is certainly large enough to warrant a two day visit. If you are a family who enjoys a more education focused theme park, two days at Epcot may be a winner. Here are ten benefits to spending two days at Epcot instead of one.
- Scheduling two “Group A” FastPass+ reservations. Disney currently allows only one FastPass+ reservation per day for the Group A attractions at Epcot, which are Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, Soarin’, Test Track, and Living with the Land. My family wouldn’t miss Soarin’ or Test Track, so by adding a second park day at Epcot we can secure a FastPass+ reservation for Test Track one day and Soarin’ the other. Short lines are great!
Experiencing another day of Epcot dining. Epcot has great food options, largely due to the restaurants that are located in the different countries of World Showcase. My family enjoys dining all over Disney World, but we have found that the food quality at Epcot is top notch. Two international dining experiences instead of one ranks high on our list of benefits.
- Really taking time to tour the countries. I don’t mean just glancing over as you pass by on your way to Maelstrom (this reference is already obsolete, sniff sniff). I mean actually going into the buildings, checking out the architecture, walking into the gift shop to get a feel for the culture of each country. Eleven unique countries is a lot to experience in one day, especially since World Showcase opens later than Future World. With two park days, you can split the countries in half(ish) and focus on only 5 or 6 per day. It feels much less rushed.
- Taking a moment to watch the performances. The Taiko drummers in Japan, the new lumberjack show in Canada, acrobats in China… there is always a lot to see around World Showcase. It’s nice to have time to stop for a few moments to watch.
Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure. Undoubtedly, this benefit is most focused toward tweens. Using a hand-held device (a FONE), you can help Agent P stop Dr. Doofenschmirtz’s diabolical plots as you solve puzzles and interact with different elements in the countries. Each round takes about 20 to 30 minutes, time which can easily be found in a two-day schedule. It is a fun way for tweens to explore the countries.
- Club Cool. Amazingly, in all the times we had been to Epcot my family hadn’t taken time out of the schedule to experience Club Cool prior to this past summer. With two days at Epcot, we took time to experience Coca-Cola’s beverage tasting room (located outside Innoventions West). We had a great time sampling the eight flavors from around the world, which included gagging down the infamous “Beverly” from Italy.
- Ellen’s Energy Adventure. This is an attraction whose daunting 45 minute time commitment is a tough one to make when you’re only at Epcot for one day. With more time at Epcot, you can laugh it up with Ellen DeGeneres and Bill Nye the Science Guy.
- Innoventions. These two pavilions near Spaceship Earth are filled with hands-on exhibits. On a one-day itinerary, it is tough to squeeze in time at Innoventions. With the luxury of two park days, you can really take the time to experience the many exhibits inside. My kids especially love Sum of All Thrills, an attraction that lets you design your own rollercoaster and then hop into a simulator to try it out.
Taking tours. There are a lot of great tours available at Epcot, such as Epcot DiveQuest, Epcot Seas Aqua Tour, or Disney’s Dolphin’s in Depth for a look at the sealife housed at Epcot. On our recent trip to Epcot, we sent my Imagineer-envious husband on the unDISCOVERed Future World tour (happy Father’s Day to him), and our whole family took the Behind The Seeds tour in The Land Pavilion. These are two experiences I would highly recommend, but only if you have the extra time allotted by a second day at Epcot. The unDISCOVERed Future World tour itself took four hours.
- The mid-day break. I have always been a proponent of taking a mid-day break when experiencing a long day the Disney parks. During the hottest time of the day, when everyone is their crankiest, I find a trip back to our hotel for a swim or a nap to be the perfect rejuvenator. When you only have one day at Epcot, it is easy to convince yourself to skip this break in favor of seeing more of Epcot. With a two day plan, you have plenty of time to take a break both days if you like.
Those are ten benefits to adding a second day at Epcot into your itinerary. Do you have others to add? Will you be trying a two-day Epcot plan?