Disney’s EPCOT is a haven for foodies and Disney fans. This one-day itinerary will help you to experience the best things to do at EPCOT for adults!
My sister-in-law, her sister, and I recently visited Walt Disney World’s EPCOT park.
In the itinerary below, I outline exactly what we were able to do in one day at EPCOT.
I’ve also included my “lessons learned” to help you as you plan your own visit to EPCOT.
I hope this itinerary and my “lessons learned” allow you to experience the best things to do at EPCOT for adults!
Where to Stay for EPCOT: Disney’s Grand Floridian
For our trip to Walt Disney World, we stayed at Disney’s Grand Floridian.
Staying here was like stepping back into 1900s luxury. White wooden buildings with red roofs give the property a surreal, historic appearance.
As an added bonus for staying at a Disney resort, we got to enter the parks 30 minutes early. Plus, at 7AM, we were allowed to enter Virtual Queues and reserve Individual Lighting Lane passes. Other Disney World guests had to wait until the parks opened.
These are awesome perks when considering how crowded Disney World gets!
You can read my full review of Disney’s Grand Floridian here.
Genie+, Lightning Lanes, and Virtual Queues
We went to Animal Kingdom the day before (see our itinerary here). And had gotten a crash course on Disney terminology: Genie+, Lightning Lanes, and Virtual Queues.
This is what we learned (which I hope helps you to sort through the terminology!):
You need to download the Disney Experience app.
The app allows you to book passes to get on rides faster (called “Lightning Lanes”) and make mobile food orders.
In the app, the “Tip Board” in “My Disney Genie Day” gives you all the info you need.
This area is kind of hidden in the Disney Experience App. This is where you need to go to get Lightning Passes and make mobile food orders.
Genie+ Lighting Lanes:
There are a number of rides grouped within the Genie+ Lightning Lanes. If you purchase Genie+ through the app, then you can reserve a Lightning Lane in advance for a ride. Disney changes the cost of Genie+ based on demand. It cost $20-$22 per person per day for us. You decide each day if you want to buy it.
Individual Lightning Lanes:
Disney also has some rides that are even more popular than others. These rides are not part of Genie+. If you want to use Lighting Lanes for these rides, you have to pay a separate amount per person per ride. I saw prices of around $11-$15 per person for these rides.
There are some super, super popular rides that have Virtual Queues. Disney resort guests can enter the queue at 7AM to try to reserve that particular ride for the day. Disney changes which rides are in the Virtual Queues, but the Disney Experience app will tell you which rides currently have a Virtual Queue (such as Guardians of the Galaxy and Tron).
After we figured out all the Disney terminology, we were much better equipped to plan our day at EPCOT.
Planning our day at EPCOT
We learned some valuable lessons the prior day at Animal Kingdom on how to plan our day.
The key lesson was to decide in advance which rides we wanted to go on. Then we needed to make reservations for those rides on the Disney Experience app at 7AM the day of our visit.
For EPCOT, we decided we wanted to see Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. We had already gone on the Soarin’ ride, so opted not to go on it for this visit to EPCOT. But I highly recommend going on this ride, if you haven’t had a chance to go on it yet.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind – Advance reservations:
The Guardians of the Galaxy ride had two advance reservation options: Virtual Queue (free) and Individual Lightning Lane (paid). We got on the Disney Experience app at 7AM to enter the Guardians of the Galaxy Virtual Queue. But we didn’t have any luck securing advance reservations through that method. So we bought Individual Lightning Lane passes instead for $15 per person. Our reservations were for 10:45AM.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure – Advance reservations:
The Ratatouille ride was part of the Genie+ Lightning Lane passes. On the Disney Experience app, we bought Genie+ passes for the day at $20 per person. We then made a Lightning Lane reservation for the ride. Our reservations were for 9:30AM.
After making these reservations at the hotel, we left the hotel and headed to EPCOT.
Transportation to EPCOT
The Grand Floridian is on the monorail, which is a huge perk.
In less than ten minutes, we were able to walk from our hotel room and be on the monorail, headed towards EPCOT.
You do need to switch lines to get to EPCOT from the Grand Floridian. The Disney monorail team members were able to give us directions on where we needed to switch.
It took us about 30 minutes to get from the Grand Floridian to EPCOT on the monorail.
And then we were at EPCOT!
We got there around 9AM and our Lightning Lane passes for Ratatouille were for 9:30AM.
So we took a few pictures as we entered the park, but didn’t have a lot of time to look around. We had to walk to the far side of EPCOT for the Ratatouille ride in the France Pavilion of EPCOT.
Lesson Learned: Because of the location and timing of our ride reservations, we had to rush to opposite ends of EPCOT a couple of times. We didn’t have a lot of control over this, given the reservation times we were assigned. But I do wish I had worn better shoes. I was wearing broken-in, comfortable shoes. But they didn’t have a very supportive sole. So my feet were feeling pretty awful at the end of the day. Next time, I’ll wear more supporting shoes!
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure – Best things to do at Disney’s EPCOT
We walked pretty quickly through EPCOT to get to the Ratatouille ride in time for our 9:30AM Lightning Lane pass reservations.
The Lightning Lane was pretty short, so we were on the ride fairly quickly.
This was a really fun ride. It’s a mix of 3D and a “real” ride. We rode in a little car shaped like a mouse. Our car whisked us through a giant-sized land, giving us a mouse’s perspective.
I loved this ride. I highly recommend putting this ride on your “must-see” list for EPCOT.
Opening times at EPCOT
We finished the Ratatouille ride around 9:45AM.
Our next ride reservation was at 10:45AM for Guardians of the Galaxy. This ride was nearly opposite of where we were in EPCOT, so we almost immediately started heading in that direction.
As we walked, we thought we would stop and grab something to eat along the way. But we found that a lot of shops and food stops didn’t open until 11AM.
Lesson Learned: Given that many spots didn’t open until 11AM, I would change my tickets in the future so that I started the day at another park. Then I would park hop in the afternoon to EPCOT.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Remind – one of the best things to do at Disney’s EPCOT
We reached the Guardians of the Galaxy ride in time for our 10:45AM Individual Lightning Lane pass reservations.
We waited in line for about 20 minutes.
Tip: At a friends’ recommendation, when we reached the ride, we asked the Disney team member if we could sit in the back. The Disney team member kindly obliged, leading us to a short waiting queue off to the side.
We were seated pretty quickly in the last car. And we were in for quite a surprise! If you haven’t gone on this ride yet, I don’t want to spoil the surprise. But it was a lot of fun.
This was a cool roller coaster. It has great visuals, a good storyline, and I loved the 1970s and 1980s music.
I highly recommend it!
After we finished the Guardians of the Galaxy ride, it was around 11:30AM. At that time, all the shops and food stalls were open.
Thus began our food tour of EPCOT!
There are so many amazing places to eat at EPCOT. We didn’t get a chance to eat at all the places that were recommended to us, but I’ve included those recommendations below for your own enjoyment!
Canada, United Kingdom, and France
The first three stops of our food tour were at the Canada, United Kingdom, and France pavilions:
At the Canada pavilion, we immediately went to the Refreshment Port and ordered two traditional poutines for the three of us. It was incredibly good. We ate every bite!
For the United Kingdom pavilion, we wandered through the really cute shops. Alice in Wonderland and Mary Poppins were both sighted here!
We didn’t stop to eat in this pavilion but saw that the line for fish & chips at the Yorkshire County Fish Shop was really long. So if you have a craving for fish & chips, get in line early for this spot!
Our next stop was the France pavilion, where we headed to Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie. A big name for a fairly small shop!
We all ordered soup or a sandwich here, plus some kind of dessert.
I got lobster bisque and an almond pastry. I thought these were okay.
I missed the real winner at this stop, which was the frosé. This drink had frozen rosé, vodka, and peach. I saw lots of people walking around with this drink. I asked a couple of people if it was good. The answer was an ecstatic “yes!”
There aren’t a lot of places to sit at Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie. We ended up standing, huddled around a small piece of table.
Lesson Learned: I would recommend stopping by Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie just to get the frosé. But go someplace else to get food.
Morocco, Japan, and America
We then headed to the Morocco, Japan, and America pavilions:
At Morocco, we stopped by Oasis Sweets & Sips.
I got kataifi, a super sweet almond pastry, and frozen mint tea.
The frozen mint tea was amazing! It tasted very similar to the hot tea that you get in Morocco. And just as sweet! This was one of my favorite treats of the day.
The kataifi was a little too sweet for me. This is a big statement coming from someone with a huge sweet tooth! It was good for a couple of bites, but a little too sugary to finish the whole pastry. I recommend splitting one with several people.
In Japan, we headed to the gift shop. They had a lot of great toys, candy, and beverages there from Japan. It’s a feast for the eyes.
Next time I’m at EPCOT, I’m definitely eating at the Japan pavilion. We had heard the food was great here but we opted to eat at some other places during this trip to EPCOT.
At the America pavilion, we stopped for coffee at Joffrey’s. I love their strawberry-dipped mocha latte. One of the best coffee drinks I’ve ever had.
Italy, Germany, and Outpost
The Italy pavilion is home to Via Napoli Ristorante e Pizzeria. Make sure to stop here if you love good pizza!
Our next stop was the Karamell-Küche bakery in the Germany pavilion.
Here, you will find a decadent caramel and gingerbread sandwich cookie. It has two gingersnap cookies, with delicious frosting sandwiched in between. One was enough for three of us to split, it was so big and so decadent.
For those wanting to try Dole Whip, the delicious pineapple-flavored soft serve, you can find it at the Refreshment Outpost at Epcot. This treat is so refreshing on a hot day.
Norway, China, and Mexico
In Norway, we started with the Frozen Ever After ride. This ride is decent, but I probably wouldn’t wait in line for it. I would ride it only if you have Genie+ and can get a reasonable time for a Lighting Lane, which is what we did.
After the Frozen Ever After ride, we noticed that everyone was walking around with what looked like a coffee dessert beverage.
We learned it was Frozen Viking coffee, from the Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe.
It was getting pretty hot out, so I happily got myself a cup of this beverage. It was wonderful.
The Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe also sold lefse, which is a flatbread with cinnamon, sugar, and butter. It’s one of my favorite Norweigan treats.
We were feeling pretty full and tired and this point, so elected not to try any of the food at the China pavilion.
At the Mexico pavilion, we went inside the pyramid to go on the Gran Fiesta Tour ride. We were able to walk on this ride with no wait. This is another ride that was decent, but I would skip it if there’s any wait.
Creations Shop & Snack Cart
Our next stop was the Creations Shop, which is a huge Disney shop.
We spent a lot of time here because there were so many cool souvenirs to consider!
After we finished at the Creations Shop, we stopped at the snack cart between the Creations Shop and Test Track.
They had Mickey pretzels!
I was excited to try one. These are not your average mall pretzels. Very tasty.
End of the day
After getting our Mickey pretzel, it was about 4:30PM and we decided to call it a day at EPCOT.
It was a great day, full of wonderful food and fun rides.
I hope that our itinerary and “lessons learned” help you to plan a trip where you experience the best things to do at Disney’s EPCOT! Have a wonderful trip!