Epcot touring plan challenged

I have been playing with my tour plans for Epcot but am still not satisfied. I am doing fine with my TP’s for the other parks.

We plan to spend 2 separate days at Epcot. We have DD10, DD8, DS6, and DD3.

What general strategies would you recommended for breaking up Epcot over 2 days? Nations in the morning and then future world in the evening?

Generally we are taking a 3 hour break in the afternoons. EM hours are in effect the 1st day so we will head over to Soarin first thing.

We leave for Orlando tomorrow and start our adventure Monday!

World Showcase doesn’t open until 11 AM, so doing the Nations in the morning won’t work too well.

For me, I like dividing the park into left side and right side and doing one side on each day, but I’m not sure how that will work for you.

I typically spend 2 days in EP myself. I do FW from RD until early afternoon, and spend the rest of the afternoon/evening in WS. Same for both days. WS rarely has lines for anything (and as mentioned above does not open until 11:00), so use RD to take advantage of shorter FW lines, and then enjoy a much more “unstructured” PM in WS. If you plan on taking mid-day breaks, do FW before the break and WS after the break.

Get FPPs for Soarin’ on day and TT the other day, then hit the one you DON’T have FPPs for right at RD; that way you’ll be able to do both on both days. The only thing about WS that requires some advanced planning is which of the live shows you may want to see. Not all shows perform every day, so look at the schedules for the two days you will be there, identify the shows that you want to see, and then fit the pavilions around the show schedule.

I just reread you post, and saw that you are leaving tomorrow, and have made no mention of FPPs. Have you made any? If not, the chances of getting them for Soarin’ or TT this close in, during a busy season, are very slim. In this case, you need to hit Soarin’ RIGHT AT RD on one day and TT on the other. There will be lines for pretty much everything in FW, and they will build quickly. I would plan on being at the gates AT LEAST 45 min before they open; if you get there “right on time”, there will be hundreds of people ahead of you waiting to get through the turnstiles - this could significantly impact your waits for the first few rides.

Are you planning any TS meals? Do you have any ADRs? EP has arguably some of the best food in WDW, but walk-ups for most to the TSs are difficult to come by and usually require an extended wait. There are many good QS options as well, but you’ll be missing out on a major aspect of EP without a TS meal or two.

1 Like

@bswan26 is a fount of knowledge on this one. I just want to emphasize what he said: without FPP, you should book it to Soarin’ or Test Track on each morning, and you should definitely arrive early. If you get to the park 45 minutes before opening, you’ll be at the front of the herd. It’s incredible how much of a difference that will make! Good luck!

1 Like

Thanks for all the help! Great ideas.

We do have FPPs and have scheduled Soarin’ for 12:25 on the first day. And a TT FFP scheduled on the 2nd day. We do have some nice ADRs! On the first day we are at Via Napoli for lunch and then Akershus for a character breakfast the 2nd day.

Also the first day (next Tuesday 6/9) is an EM hours DAY with Epcot opening at 8 am and we are staying onsite at FW cabins. Crowds are projected at a 10 for that day. So we have TO get moving early. Is 7:30 a safe arrival time?

So we will concentrate on FW in the mornings and the Nations in the afternoon/evenings.

Here are my current TP’s. My plan is to is to use them as a guide but will also factor in your strategies.

Here are my current touring plans.
Day 1 - http://touringplans.com/plans/print?id=1427852
Day 2 - http://touringplans.com/plans/print?id=1373971

Yes, be at the gates by then.

I am confused by your first plan, is the time for your Soarin FPP wrong? You have it at 12:25 but are riding in the morning? Also you have the Seas at 12:25 but are riding it in the evening.

I was off in my earlier posts. Here are my actual FPP times:

Mission: SPACE® 9:20 AM - 10:20 AM
The Seas with Nemo & Friends® 12:15 PM - 1:15 PM
Soarin’® 2:25 PM - 3:25 PM

BUT TP doesn’t use the 2nd two and instead has us riding at different times for a more optimized TP.

I don’t use the optimized TP’s, only evaluate and have had great success. This will use your FPP’s where you put them. Personal preference. We don’t like to backtrack as Epcot is huge. And hot this time of year. I would tweak those plans and use your FPP. Soarin must have the most boring and slow loading line in all of WDW. When we do 2 days we do the same as mentioned above, right side and left side, but we always ride Soarin and Test Track on both days so head to whichever one we don’t have FPP for first. As for your break, I assume you are leaving through the International Gateway to go to BC/YC or one of the hotels there? Otherwise you are leaving and returning from the Main gate which is going to eat into your break time as it is quite a haul from American Adventure to the front gates. Oops, reread and I see above you are staying at the cabins, you are going to have about an hour to rest. Allow an hour each way if using Disney buses. I do think there can be a better flow to your day so keep tweaking. It is a lot of work to get the perfect plans, but you will be thankful when you are in the parks!
Also, if this is a 10 day expect everything to take longer. We just did a 10 day there on Good Friday, the lines for Soarin and Test Track were posted over an hour, 15 minutes after opening. The Soarin time is underestimated in my opinion. Use that FPP!

Yeah, I was a little worried when you said that you had a 12:25 FP for Soarin’ and then also were doing Via Napoli that day for lunch – it’s a pretty hefty walk to get between the two.

Looking over Day 1, unless you’re totally psyched about environmentalism or absolutely in love with Lion King-based shows, I’d skip Circle of Life. I think your time will be better spent by spending a few minutes in the post-ride area for Journey Into Imagination and the jumping fountains, especially for DS6 and DD3.

The other thing I might do is try to move Ellen later in the day, maybe even first when you come back from your rest break. It’s a real people eater, so even on a crowded day, you shouldn’t end up with a huge wait. I just think that in the morning, that’s a lot of time that you can squeeze in other things that early, and it is a great place to beat the heat or wait out a rainstorm.

I’d also make sure to add some time for the tanks over at The Seas. You can easily burn a half hour or more in there. You don’t have to go through the ride to get in there, so if you need a place for some a/c or to avoid rain, that’s also a good option.

I am tweaking my plan. Dropping Circle of Life and moving Ellen. Both are good ideas. Also will build in time for the tanks at The Seas.

Thank you for this post. I can’t add anything since I am a first timer but I am working on a one day plan for Epcot.

The other thing to think about….how important are character meet and greets in World Showcase? Belle is in France, Snow White is in Germany, Aladdin and Jasmine are in Morocco, Aurora (and sometimes Philip) are occasionally in another part of France, Alice or Mary Poppins are in the UK. If those are important to you, then you’ll want to budget a bit of time in for that as well.

I definitely need to build in time for character meet and greets. Also need to consider the logistics of the mid-day retreat. We will be driving our car to the park so I wonder if that can help us get in and out faster. We are dining at Via Napoli. If I exit from the international entrance, can I get to the parking faster vs. walking all the way to the main entrance? My DD8 loved Mary Poppins when we were here back in 2011 and she was 4.

Thanks for the reminder about the difference between optimized vs evaluate. I need to be using the evaluate mode in tweaking this plan.

1 Like

Yes, this will help. We always drive to the parks. I would make your morning time end with using your Soarin FPP, as this will get you closer to the front of park. International Gateway will not help you at all unless going to one of those resorts. Unfortunately you will need to head back to the front to get to your car.

Thanks for posting your question. I was having the same problem you are. I like the idea of doing one side of the park at a time.