Epcot Fastpass: Strategy and Tips

Epcot is one of my favorite parks in Walt Disney World, yet in order to see and ride it all, a Fastpass is a must! An Epcot Fastpass is very important to have when visiting the park to avoid long lines. Unfortunately, Epcot is one of the Disney Parks that has the tiered Fastpass system which means that you can only schedule 1/3 of the top attractions on the My Disney Experience app ahead of time. The Epcot Fastpass tiers mean that you cannot schedule Epcot fast passes for Test Track and Soarin ahead of time (since they are both extremely popular). Don’t fear! I help break down which attractions are the best to schedule Epcot fast passes for and general Epcot tips. As an annual pass holder, I have been to Disney World numerous times and can help you organize your day and save time with Epcot fast passes. In addition, I will provide what I feel is the best strategy for scheduling your Epcot Fastpass and how to time your day accordingly.

Epcot fastpass

Family Guide to Epcot Fast Passes

First of all, if you are new to Disney World vacation planning, here is a simple guide – Disney World Tips for First Timers. If you would like a general guideline or just simple advice when booking your Fastpass attractions, check out my post – Disney World Fastpass Secrets.

Epcot is undergoing major renovations for 2020. There are new attractions, dining options, reimagined spaces, new lands and pavilions on schedule for 2020. Check out the updates and rumors here. As far as the Epcot Fastpass tiers and attractions, everything mentioned here is up to date (12/19).

Epcot family

PRO TIP– ARRIVE 15 MIN. BEFORE THE PARK OPENS. If you are staying on property and Epcot has early Magic Hours, use them and wake up earlier to make it on time. If you are not staying on property, find out which park does have early magic hours and do not go to that one! If you do, you will be competing with hundreds of people who arrived an hour before you.

Epcot Fast passes
Using Your Epcot Fast Passes

What are the Epcot Fastpass Rides?

There are 11 Epcot Fastpass attractions (four Tier 1 and seven Tier 2). When booking your Epcot fast passes in advance, you can book three rides each day, and those three rides must be at the same park. You are only allowed to schedule one Epcot fast pass in the Tier 1 category, and two rides in the Tier 2 category. Alternatively, you can book three Tier 2 and no Tier 1attractions if you choose as well.

Epcot Fastpass Tiers: Tier 1 Rides:

  1. Test Track
  2. Soarin
  3. Frozen Ever After
  4. Epcot Forever (Fireworks Show)
Epcot Fastpass - Test Track
Epcot Fastpass – Test Track

Now, assuming that everyone in your party reaches the minimum height requirement – which is 40″, I highly recommend booking Soarin first. Here is why Soarin is the best fastpass for Epcot (in my opinion). There is always a line at Soarin (no matter what time), and their loading is very slow. The line at Test Track is interesting and gives people plenty to look at while you wait. I would say the same thing about Frozen. The theming in Frozen is spectacular and the line is interactive, which means if you have to wait, you might as well be entertained. If you cannot get Soarin, then choose Test Track or Frozen.

Now, when you reserve the Soarin Fastpass, I would likely reserve it for around 10:30 AM. Once you arrive at Epcot, go to Frozen first, then Test Track, and by then your Fastpass reservation time is likely up. If you cannot get Soarin, then do that first thing in the morning because the lines are long and loading is slow. By the time you are done riding Soarin and Test Track, the World Showcase will also have opened (it always opens around 11:00 AM), but be sure to check the park hours. For a nice overview of the World Showcase, check out – Around the World in Epcot.

Soarin Epcot fastpass

Soarin – One of the Best Epcot Fast Passes

Epcot Fastpass Tiers: Tier 2 Rides:

  1. Mission Space
  2. Spaceship Earth
  3. Living with the Land
  4. The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  5. Turtle Talk with Crush
  6. Pixar Short Film Festival
  7. Journey Into Imagination With Figment

After you have booked the Soarin Fastpass, I recommend getting your Epcot Fast passes for Mission Space and Spaceship Earth, as those are the only two rides that usually have a wait. Actually, Living with the Land sometimes has a wait too, but this is only during peak holiday times. Many of the Tier 2 rides do not have too much of a wait compared to the Tier 1.

Viator

Check out: Disney Springs for Kids

What are the Best Epcot Fast Passes?

Now that I have shared the Epcot Fastpass tiers, many people always ask what are the best rides at Epcot for fastpass? The answer is always the Tier 1 attractions. Soarin, Test Track and Frozen are the best Epcot fast passes because the wait times are always the longest. If you get a chance, book these in advance! The new Epcot Forever fireworks show does offer a Fastpass, but I would not recommend it unless you have no interest in riding Soarin, Test Track or Frozen. If you are looking for a sample itinerary for one day at Epcot then look at this 1 day Epcot Touring Plan.

Epcot Fastpass Strategy Ideas

One of the biggest mistakes people make is not planning for their Epcot fast passes in advance. If you are staying on Disney property, you can book your Epcot fast pass up to 60 days in advance. I highly recommend setting an alarm for 7:00 AM and trying to organize your Epcot Fast passes 60 days to your check-in date.

Possible Strategy 1: Epcot Fastpass

  • 9 AM – ride Frozen
  • 9:30 – ride Test Track
  • 10:00 – 11:00 Fastpass – Soarin
  • Ride Living with the Land ( it is next door)
  • 11:00 – 12:00 Fastpass – Mission Space
  • World Showcase for lunch and exploring the countries
  • 4:00 PM Spaceship Earth and any other attractions you missed in the morning
  • Epcot Forever (Fireworks Show) – if you want better viewing and the lines aren’t long at Spaceship Earth, change it to this if you can

Here is another part of my Epcot Fastpass Strategy. Once you are in line for your last Epcot Fastpass and have tapped your magic band, click on the My Disney Experience app and check to see which Fastpass is available the soonest. Remember that Disney only lets you get one Fastpass at a time, so pick the attraction closest to your current time, so that you can get another right after. There are many other Epcot Fast Passes you can choose no matter what “tier” it was in. You can even choose a Fastpass at another park if you have purchased a Park Hopper. You are not limited to the same park after your first three Fastpasses are done.

Frozen ride Epcot Fastpass

Be sure to get an Epcot Fastpass to Frozen

Possible Strategy 2: Epcot Fastpass

  • 9 AM – ride Soarin
  • 9:30 – ride Test Track
  • 10:00 – 11:00 Fastpass – Frozen
  • Ride Living with the Land ( it is next door)
  • 11:00 – 12:00 Fastpass – Mission Space
  • 12:00 – 1:00 Fastpass – Spaceship Earth
  • World Showcase
  • Ride any attractions you missed and explore pavilions
  • Epcot Forever (Fireworks Show) – if you want better viewing and the lines aren’t long at Spaceship Earth, change it to this if you can

Check out: How Much Does a Disney Cruise Cost?

Getting Double: Epcot Fast Passes

Check out this option on how to get more Epcot Fast Passes if you are traveling with a baby. The Disney child swap allows parents the opportunity to both ride the “big” attractions, while the other stays with the baby/toddler. If you want to do it all, schedule 3 Epcot fast passes for yourself, and three other fast passes for your significant other. You, your partner, and the baby walk up together to the Epcot Fastpass line and say you would like a baby swap. The cast member will ask you to tap your magic band and add it. Then you ride while your partner stays with the little one. Once they come out, you switch baby duty and go in the Fastpass line. Boom – one Epcot Fastpass – two rides! To read more about the exact rules and how to use this feature, check out my Rider Swap Disney post.

Epcot Rides for Toddlers

There are plenty of Epcot rides for toddlers. Here is my list:

  1. Frozen Ever After
  2. Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros
  3. Journey Into Imagination With Figment
  4. The Seas With Nemo & Friends
  5. Spaceship Earth
  6. Living With The Land

If you are traveling with little ones, and no one in your group wants to book a Fastpass for any rides, I would recommend walking into Frozen first and experiencing the line, and then reserving the Epcot Character Greeting around 10:30 AM, as you get a picture with each of the main characters (Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and sometimes Pluto) individually. Update: As of 9/19, there are no longer Fastpasses for the Character Spot as it moved locations. This is likely to change sometime in 2020.

Nemo and Turtle Talk with Crush are also great Epcot rides for toddlers. After the ride, the whole family will enjoy the giant aquarium and see dolphin and plenty of fish. Figment is another great Epcot ride for toddlers as there are silly things that Figment does (be aware that there is one loud dark part). After the ride, there are so many interactive games and play areas for kids. Plan to stay for a bit exploring the music, and creating your own Figment character.

Spaceship Earth is also a fantastic Epcot ride for toddlers. While the slow ride through history may not be that exciting, it allows for the kids to be interactive with the screen (with parental help) at the beginning and near the end of the attraction. After the ride, there are many game stations that toddlers will love. Plan at least an extra 30-45 minutes here to play around.

Your one “adult” Epcot fast pass should likely be Test Track. Then, head over to the World Showcase and be sure to go to Mexico and ride the boat ride (Grand Fiesta with the Three Caballeros). Each country also has a coloring station at Kidcot where children can color a bear and receive a stamped “passport” from each country around the world.

Epcot Fast Passes with Toddlers
Epcot with Toddlers

Epcot Fast Passes with Toddlers

If you are traveling with toddlers, this Epcot Fastpass strategy may work well for you:

  • 9:00 ride Frozen
  • 9:30 – 9:45 Ride Nemo and Friends
  • 10:00 Fastpass Test Track or Soarin and do the Child Swap
  • Ride Living with the Land, walk to ride Figment and watch the Pixar Short Films (18-minute 3D show of Disney and Pixar short films)
  • 12:00 Fastpass Spaceship Earth and then lunch at World Showcase and a nap in the stroller (hopefully)
  • Visit Kidcots and color (explore the unique elements in each country and take pictures with characters)
  • 3:00 – 4:00 Fastpass Turtle Time with Crush and watch the fish in the aquarium
Disney World Book

Epcot’s World Showcase

Here are the basics about the World Showcase and how much time to allow to walk around and visit the countries. First of all, World Showcase usually opens a few hours after the park opens (hours vary by day). This means that you’ll have time in the morning to knock out some of the attractions before heading over to World Showcase. The only two attractions in the World Showcase with that you can use your Epcot Fastpass are the night time show, Epcot Forever, and Frozen Ever After.

There are 11 countries in the World Showcase, which you can easily spend 30 minutes at each just browsing and watching a show or a movie. If you stop for snacks or drinks at each, you could spend an hour at each easily. Soon more attractions are coming to the World Showcase, specifically to France with the addition of the Ratatouille ride in 2020.

Epcot World Showcase Map
Epcot World Showcase Map

Epcot Food and Wine Festival

Also, note that during the Food and Wine Festival in September, October, and early November, Epcot experiences a lot more park attendance. This is a very popular event that draws crowds. If you’d like some ideas about planning, check out these tips on the Epcot International Food and Wine Festival. For tips on some great places to eat, check out the 12 Best Bites at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival.

fastpass epcot food and wine

Epcot also has many other festivals throughout the year that add food kiosks and special events such as:

  • November 29 to December 30 2019- The International Festival of Holidays
  • January 17, 2020 to February 24, 2020 – Festival of the Arts
  • March 4, 2020 to June 1, 2020 – Flower and Garden Festival

Other Disney Tips

Going to Disney doesn’t have to break the bank. Check out these tips on how to do Disney on a budget, and read these reviews on the Disney Value Resorts and Disney Moderate Resorts to make your decision about where you’re going to stay. It may make sense to stay off-site, if you are considering staying nearby, check out these options on the best family resorts in Orlando. If you are looking for what items to bring on your next Disney adventure, check out my Disney packing list.

If you are visiting the other parks during your Disney World trip, here are some other sample ideas of Fastpass schedules I have used. Click below:

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Best fast passes for Epcot pin cover

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7 thoughts on “Epcot Fastpass: Strategy and Tips”

  1. Great tips for FP+! With a 9am opening, we typically fast pass Mission Space for 9am, ride Spaceship Earth standby first, Test Track for 10am, and then whatever other Tier 2 FP we can get for right after Test Track (and we usually don’t use it). We’ve found that it’s easier to get Soarin’ as a 4th FP+ than Test Track, so we’re usually able to get that one for later in the day since we used up our first three nice and early.

  2. Awesome FP tips, Epcot is my favourite of the parks, really hoping to head back soon and these will be so helpful

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