As a reader of the TouringPlans blog, I’m going to assume that you like to spend some time planning your Walt Disney World vacations. And if you’re anything like me, you might spend a lot of time planning (okay…obsessing) about all of the details that go into a perfect day.
So what is an uber-planner to do when they find themselves in Epcot with no Fastpass+ or dining reservations booked? No need to panic! I’m going to share with you my favorite personalized Epcot touring plan that requires no Fastpass+ or advance dining reservations, but still allows you to experience all that Epcot has to offer.
Please read on to see my touring plan in action!
Arriving At Epcot
On most days Epcot opens at 9:00am and on days with Extra Magic Hours it usually opens at 8:00am. Plan to arrive at the park at least 30 minutes before park opening. If you are visiting during a busy season like spring break or the holidays, adjust accordingly and arrive 60+ minutes early. This is critical and will allow you enough time to get through security and in line to be one of the first guests in the park. If you have young children that can make waiting difficult, take this time to feed your kiddos breakfast or a morning snack. If you are in need of a coffee or breakfast pastry, Joffrey’s has a stand conveniently located on the far left of the waiting area. Be sure to have your group queue up first and then send a runner back for breakfast. There are also restrooms available near the far right gates if you need them; just remember to leave the majority of your group in line. This is also a perfect time to apply everyone’s sunscreen if you haven’t already done so.
Future World Touring
Once the gates open, head immediately for Soarin’. It is located in Future World West on the bottom floor of The Land Pavilion. When you enter the park, stay to the right of Spaceship Earth. Once you reach the World Fellowship Fountain, take a right through the breezeway and The Land Pavilion will be directly in front of you. Enter The Land and take the escalator down to the Soarin’ stand-by line. Everyone in your group that is at least 40″ tall and is comfortable with heights, can hop into line to experience the attraction. Anyone that “doesn’t measure up” or is unable to ride can check out Mouse Gear for some souvenir shopping, Club Cool for free samples of Coca-Cola flavors from around the world (watch out for the Beverly!), or Fountain View to grab a Starbucks coffee. All of these options are surrounding the World Fellowship Fountain.
After Soarin’, next up is Test Track. It is located in Future World East next to Mission: SPACE. Head out of The Land Pavilion, back through the breezeway, past the fountain (meeting up with group members that opted out of Soarin’), and through the next breezeway. Mission: SPACE will be directly in front of you and Test Track sits just to the right of it. For this attraction, guests must be at least 40″ tall, comfortable with speeds up to 65mph, and in this instance at least 7 years old, because everyone will be riding alone. Members of your group that meet these requirements, can get in the single rider queue for Test Track. Anyone that doesn’t qualify can still enjoy some Test Track fun. Ask the cast member at the entrance to the attraction to direct you to the ride exit which is around the right side of the building. Enter through the exit doors into the gift shop to check out some unique souvenirs or to have a Test Track driver’s license made. Just beyond the shop are new cars that you can sit in and fun interactive games to play. You can design a car, make a commercial, take themed photos and more while you wait for your riding group members.
Once those experiencing Test Track have exited the attraction, next up is Mission: SPACE. Head out of the Test Track building and right next door to Mission: SPACE. For this attraction, guests must be at least 44″ tall and comfortable with motion and extremely tight spaces. For those interested in experiencing the attraction, pick up a pass for the green (milder and shorter wait) side and hop into line. Similar to Test Track, just because you aren’t riding doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the action. For anyone in your group not rocketing off to Mars, head in through the exit doors to have a “blast” playing interactive space-themed games while you wait. There is even a small indoor play area for the little ones. Once your group’s riders have exited, meet back up before heading to the next attraction. For the remainder of the touring plan there are no more height restrictions, so everything else will be able to be experienced by the entire group.
Next up is Journey Into Imagination With Figment. Head out of Mission: SPACE, through the breezeway, past the fountain, through the second breezeway, and you will see The Imagination Pavilion to the left of The Land. After experiencing the attraction, spend a few minutes checking out the interactive games and the shop. Create you own Figment, conduct an orchestra, or purchase one of those purple cuties to take home with you!
Next up is The Seas with Nemo & Friends. Head out of The Imagination Pavilion, past The Land, and you will see The Seas in front of you. Don’t forget to stop and take a photo with Nemo and the gang as you pass by. After the attraction, take a couple of moments to explore the aquariums and the play area. By this time with all of the zig-zagging across Future World, everyone is bound to be hungry.
Exit The Seas and head next door to Sunshine Seasons inside The Land Pavilion. This food court is massive with tons of seating and plenty of food choices even for the pickiest of eaters. My favorite part? The desserts, of course! I love the Chocolate Mousse Cake and the Mickey Mouse Whoopie Pie. Yummy!
Once you’ve finished your lunch, hop in line for the relaxing Living with the Land attraction located by Sunshine Seasons.
Next up, head back to the front of the park for a ride on Spaceship Earth. If you like the pictures that were snapped of you on the attraction, be sure to look for them on the big screen in the interactive area after you exit. You can even use one of the kiosks to email yourself or friends back home a postcard made with the photos. Take a few minutes to test out some of the games before moving on.
Next is Ellen’s Energy Adventure. Leave Spaceship Earth and make your way back to the fountain. Take the breezeway on the left and you will find The Energy Pavilion directly to the left of Mission: SPACE. A couple of things to keep in mind before entering the attraction; it is approximately 35 minutes long and once you are on there is no way to exit. If you need to make a pit stop before you go in, the nearest restrooms are located near the breezeway.
Congratulations – you’ve now completed the Future World portion of my personalized touring plan!
World Showcase Touring
Depending on how quickly you’ve been moving and the length of the lines, it should be about mid-afternoon. Now it’s time to head to World Showcase. Make your way out of The Energy Pavilion and walk towards Test Track. There is a shortcut to World Showcase around the right side of the building. Follow the pathway past the Odyssey Center and across the bridge. Then turn left towards Mexico. For the remainder of the evening explore each of the World Showcase pavilions.
In the Norway Pavilion, explore the shops or stop into Kringla Bakeri og Kafe for their specialty – School Bread. This tasty treasure is a sweet cardamom bun filled with vanilla crème custard and topped with toasted coconut.
In the China Pavilion, watch Reflections of China for breathtaking scenery. While you’re waiting for the show to begin, check out the incredible detailing of the Tomb Warrior sculptures that are on display.
Next up, try your hand at some drums as you pass the African Outpost.
In the Germany Pavilion, visit Snow White, shop for an authentic stein, or sample a strudel.
In the Italy Pavilion, try a gelato or glass of wine as you stroll through the pavilion admiring the detailed architecture or watching a colorful and lively flag throwing performance.
In the America Pavilion, be sure to see The American Adventure – a touching and patriotic retelling of the history of the United States.
In the Japan Pavilion, spend some time exploring the massive Mitsukoshi department store. This place has an amazing variety of merchandise including toys, collectibles, artwork, housewares, clothing, food, and more. While you’re there, try your hand at picking a pearl or get yourself a sample of sake.
In the Morocco Pavilion, check out all of the nooks and crannies of the pavilion for unique merchandise or try the sweet, flaky baklava. Yum!
In the France Pavilion (my favorite), take a break for a few minutes and watch Impressions de France. After the show, stop in Les Halles Boulangerie & Pâtisserie for a decadent dessert. My top pick: the chocolate mousse – “très magnifique”!
In the United Kingdom Pavilion, let the kiddos run wild exploring the hedge maze or snap a family photo with an iconic red phone booth.
Sometime during your touring of World Showcase, if snacking isn’t enough, you may want to stop for dinner. There are many fantastic options even without an advance dining reservation. Places to consider:
- La Cantina de San Angel in the Mexico Pavilion
- Lotus Blossom Café in the China Pavilion
- Sommerfest in the Germany Pavilion
- Tutto Gusto Lounge in the Italy Pavilion
- Liberty Inn in the America Pavilion
- Katsura Grill in the Japan Pavilion
- Tangierine Café in the Morocco Pavilion
- Yorkshire County Fish Shop in the United Kingdom Pavilion
If you’re touring with children, be sure to visit the Kidcot Fun Stops. The kids can color a Duffy Disney Bear that they can then have signed and stamped by a cast member in each country pavilion around World Showcase.
After you’ve finished touring World Showcase or around 8:30pm (whichever comes first), pick a spot to view IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. A few of my favorite locations are on the bridge between the France Pavilion and the United Kingdom Pavilion, in the Showcase Plaza at the front of World Showcase, or on the bridge near the Mexico Pavilion. Try to select a place where you can see the globe in the center of the lagoon and with the wind at your back.
After enjoying the heart warming nighttime spectacular, take your time walking towards the exit. There is no rush to get out of the park. You’ll only find yourself in a line for a bus. Instead spend this time taking in the lighting and effects only visible at night. Be sure to snap some photos of the World Fellowship Fountain and Spaceship Earth as you leave.
Well, there you have it folks – my favorite personalized touring plan of Epcot without using Fastpass+ or advance dining reservations. Remember you can enter this plan into your own TouringPlans account so that you can optimize it on-the-fly while you are touring the park.
Here it is in simplified form for your convenience:
- Test Track (single rider line)
- Mission: SPACE (green)
- Journey Into Imagination
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Living with the Land
- Spaceship Earth
- Ellen’s Energy Adventure
- Mexico Pavilion (Gran Fiesta Tour)
- Norway Pavilion
- China Pavilion (Reflections of China)
- African Outpost
- Germany Pavilion
- Italy Pavilion
- America Pavilion (The American Adventure)
- Japan Pavilion
- Morocco Pavilion
- France Pavilion (Impressions de France)
- United Kingdom Pavilion
- Canada Pavilion (O Canada!)
- IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth