I am a former member of the Disney Parks Moms Panel and have been on some complimentary press trips at Walt Disney World, but all opinions are my own.
I’ve always loved Epcot, even when I was a young kid and it was called EPCOT Center. It often has the reputation of being more educational than fun, but I love how it manages to be both. While the culture of the countries in Epcot, as well as the delicious Epcot restaurants, make it a perfect destination for families, there are also some great Epcot rides and attractions.
If you are planning a trip to Walt Disney World, make sure you include a visit to Epcot in your plans. Wondering which Epcot rides to check out? Here’s our guide to Epcot rides and attractions.
A Guide to Epcot Rides and Attractions
When you visit Epcot, you’ll find that there are two distinct sections of the park. Future World, which is in the front of the park, typically opens earlier than the World Showcase. When planning your Epcot vacation, you’ll want to make sure that you take that into account.
Epcot also has a back entrance – the International Gateway. This entrance is most convenient for those walking to Epcot from the Boardwalk or Disney’s Yacht and Beach Clubs. It’s open even when the World Showcase is closed. If you are planning to visit Animal Kingdom or the Magic Kingdom after Epcot, you’ll want to go through the front entrance, while the International Gateway is closer to Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
Future World Rides
Have you asked, “What is the golf ball in Epcot?” The first ride you’ll see as you enter the front entrance of Epcot is Spaceship Earth, located in the “huge golf ball”. This icon of Epcot is also home to a fun ride through time. Learn about communications technology as you travel in a slow-moving ride vehicle. At the end, you’ll get to experience some fun technology. Spaceship Earth tends to be busier earlier in the day, so if you don’t have a FastPass+, go later in the day, before the ride closes. I definitely recommend riding on it during your Walt Disney World vacation.
I get motion sick and vertigo, so admittedly, I haven’t been on Mission:SPACE. It’s one of the few rides I haven’t been on, but I know it would make me sick for the day. Guests who do want to ride have the option of two missions – Orange or Green. If you, like me, choose to skip the ride, there’s also a training lab you can visit at the end of the attraction.
Consistently one of the most popular rides at Walt Disney World, Soarin’ is an experience like no other. A third theater was recently added, alleviating some of the perpetually long queue. The theme was also changed from California to the World, so if you haven’t recently visited, it’s time to head back. When booking FastPass+ allocations, I’d recommend choosing Soarin’ as one of your picks. It’s one of the attractions that I feel I have to ride each time I visit Walt Disney World.
Living With the Land
I have such fond memories of riding this fun boat tour with my family when I was a kid. Although my own children are teens/tweens now, they still love taking this boat trip through the greenhouses of the Land pavilion. It’s a great way to learn about how food is grown. The line is typically short, so it’s definitely worth riding. It’s also a great way to get out of the sun and rain during your day.
Journey Into Imagination With Figment
This is another one of my kids’ favorites, featuring that lovable purple dragon, Figment. In the ride, you’ll learn about how imagination works along with the five senses. At the end, there’s a fun imagination lab that my kids love. This ride is good for younger kids, but even older ones may love it (my kids do).
The Seas With Nemo & Friends
Hop into a clamshell for this family-friendly ride through the story of Finding Nemo. It’s definitely great for younger kids, because it’s a gentle movement and a familiar story. At the end, you’ll be able to explore the world of the ocean and sea. Kids will especially love Turtle Talk with Crush, which is located in a theater in the pavilion. This ride is another spot where you can get out of the sun or rain during the day.
Test Track is another exciting ride in Future World. Create a simulation (SIM) car and then ride it through different conditions to test maneuverability, speed, and more. At the end, there are more opportunities to learn about cars. It’s very popular, so you may want to get a FastPass+ reservation, or choose the single rider line.
World Showcase Rides
Gran Fiesta Tour
It’s a fairly simple ride, but the Gran Fiesta Tour is still one of my favorites. Featuring the Three Caballeros, take this boat trip through Mexico to find the missing Donald Duck. It’s inside the Mexican pavilion, and is great for kids of all ages. This ride doesn’t typically have a very long line, so it doesn’t take much time to ride. While you are in the pavilion, check out the shops featuring authentic Mexican souvenirs.
Frozen Ever After
One of the newest experiences at Epcot, Frozen Ever After replaced the Maelstrom in the Norway pavilion. The base of the ride stayed the same, but now you can see Elsa, Anna, Olaf, and your other favorites from Frozen in this boat ride. As a new ride (and because of the popularity of Frozen), expect to wait in a long line. You can, however, get a FastPass+ for this attraction.
Eating at Epcot is almost an attraction of its own, so be sure to visit the various restaurants and kiosks throughout the World Showcase.