Best Epcot Attractions and Ride Guide

Best Epcot Attractions and Ride Guide

The Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow — also known as EPCOT — is one of the four theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida.

The basis of this Disney World park is to educate guests not only on some of the world’s most beautiful countries and cultures but also to spark their imagination about the advances in modern technology and science. The concept of a ‘community of tomorrow’ was Walt’s vision for the EPCOT center to continuously grow, change and move forward — continuously reaching for tomorrow as modern science and technology changed in the world.

Credit: Disney

The park is constantly changing and is implementing new concepts that were announced at the D23 Expo in Anaheim in 2019. Part of this renovation is to change the current areas of the park — Future World East and West and the World Showcase — into a new more cohesive grouping of neighborhoods. Thomas Smith — Editorial Content Director with Disney Parks Blog — spoke on the new neighborhoods saying:

Epcot will be unified with four neighborhoods that each speak to important aspects of the world and its people: World Showcase, World Celebration, World Nature and World Discovery. These neighborhoods will be filled with new experiences rooted in authenticity and innovation that take you to new destinations, where the real is made fantastic in a celebration of curiosity, hands-on wonder and the magic of possibility.

There are various rides, attractions, interactive experiences, and eateries throughout the park that are worth visiting! Below, we’ve created a guide towards some of the best EPCOT attractions and rides and have split them into the following categories.

    Popular Thrill Rides at EPCOT
    Best EPCOT Family Attractions/Rides
    Educational Attractions/Rides/Experiences at EPCOT

Hopefully, this guide will help you with your planning as you gear up for a fun and magical day at EPCOT! We’ve included the official Walt Disney World ride descriptions so you can see which seem like the best fit for everyone in your party.

Credit: Disney

Popular Thrill Rides at EPCOT

EPCOT is a park known for it’s cultural theming and educational focus, so there aren’t many high-intensity thrill rides. However, if you’re looking for a ride with a little more speed and excitement, you’ll definitely want to check out the following.

Scoring a FastPass for at least one of these is a must! Keep in mind that while there aren’t too many attractions within the EPCOT theme park that have a height requirement, the more popular thrill rides are a few of the ones that you’ll want to check for.

If you’re visiting the park with a toddler, these may not be the best rides for you. Definitely be sure to check out the popular family attractions in the park below!

Mission: SPACE

Credit: Disney

Speaking from personal experience, this ride is not a great idea for anyone prone to even the most remote motion sickness. The simulator feels like a real-world space launch and although I applaud the accuracy of the experience, I’ve seen both the orange and green mission leave even the biggest thrill-seeker feeling nauseous.

The official Disney description reads:

Blast off on a thrilling simulated NASA-style mission to Mars—or orbit the Earth on a more gentle ride through space. Journey to Mars with the more intense Orange Mission. Or, orbit the Earth with the less intense—but still exhilarating—Green Mission.

Orange Mission

Hurtle through space on an out-of-this-world experience thrill-seekers will love. The Orange Mission uses a centrifuge that spins and tilts to simulate the speed and G-forces of a spacecraft launch and reentry. Orange Mission offers astronauts 44” and taller a more intense experience.

Guests who wish to experience the Orange Mission should be in good health and free of high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure. Expectant mothers should not ride either Mission.

Green Mission

Take flight on a family-friendly adventure that’s sure to excite. The Green Mission offers a gentler, more family-friendly adventure for space explorers 40” and taller. It uses a motion simulator that offers light movement and doesn’t spin—so it’s less likely to cause motion sickness.

This experience is optimal for those prone to motion sickness or uncertain about which level to choose. Expectant mothers should not ride either mission.

Soarin’ Around the World

Credit: Disney

Soarin’ is an incredibly cool experience for anyone who is tall enough to ride it. The IMAX imagery mixed with the carefully crafted ride technology truly gives you the feeling of hang-gliding around the world. This is a great opportunity to provoke your wanderlust and will make you want to pack your bags and travel abroad ASAP.

The official Disney description reads:

40” (102cm) or taller

An Exhilarating Aerial Expedition! Feel the thrill as you’re raised high in the air and swept from one scenic locale to the next. See the world’s wonders—natural and manmade—like you never have before. No mountain is too high. No landscape is too far. Your journey begins as the clouds part above the majestic Swiss Alps. Next, you’ll visit polar bears in icy Greenland, swoop past sailboats on Australia’s iconic Sydney Harbour and weave between elephants marching toward Mount Kilimanjaro. Glide above marvels like the Great Wall of China, the Great Pyramids of Egypt and the Taj Mahal in India. Cruise over Monument Valley, Fiji’s Lau Island and thundering Iguazu Falls in South America. Look down on the Eiffel Tower as it sparkles like a jewel in the night, surrounded by the lights of Paris.
This must-see attraction will leave your heart soaring!
A Triumph for the Senses

The 180-degree, 80-foot IMAX digital projection dome, spectacular aerial footage, pleasant scents and graceful motion raise the soothing sensation of flight to incredible new heights.
Throughout your flight, you’ll be treated to the uplifting musical score, adapted by composer Bruce Broughton from the attraction’s unforgettable original score written by Academy Award-winner Jerry Goldsmith.

Test Track

Credit: Disney

If you’re looking for speed and excitement, this is your attraction! Test Track puts you in the middle of the action when it comes to designing and testing out your own car. It gives you all the thrill of a drag racing experience, with the safety of a track! I would say that this attraction is definitely worth the wait.

The official Disney description reads:

40” (102cm) or taller

Design a virtual concept car and put it to the test on this thrilling, high-octane attraction. Cruise over to the gleaming Chevrolet Design Center to create your own virtual concept car. When you’re done, buckle up in a 6-passenger “SIM Car” and take it for an exhilarating spin on the test track.

Rev through rough terrain and obstacles along the winding circuit. Accelerate through straightaways, maneuver switchbacks through inclement weather, hug curves banked at 50-degree angles and scale hills up to 3 stories high.
Reach speeds of up to 65 miles per hour as you put your car through its paces. After each test, check the scoreboard to see how your vehicle performed!

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Best EPCOT Family Attractions/Rides

There are so many amazing family attractions and experiences at Disney’s EPCOT, which is another reason that this park is great for guests of all ages. Everyone can find something to enjoy while visiting this theme park! These rides are calming and typically follow the fun and musical storylines throughout, adding that magical Disney touch that we all enjoy.

Frozen Ever After

Credit: Disney

If you love the Frozen films, you’ll definitely enjoy this ode to their heartwarming story! Filled with familiar songs and lovable characters, you’ll feel like you’re taking a boat straight through the movie. This ride is not a fast-moving water ride, so although they have to let you know that you’ll get wet — the amount is minimal at most.

The official Disney description reads:

Voyage to Arendelle aboard an ancient Nordic vessel as you take a musical tour of the wintery world of Frozen. Find a seat aboard your boat and let the lapping waters take you through a frozen willow forest. Soon, you’ll be rubbing shoulders with some “boulders”—a.k.a. Kristoff’s family from Troll Valley—before bracing for the cold. High up in the icy blue world of the North Mountain, Queen Elsa’s enchanting ice palace awaits. Behold the wonder… and keep an eye out for Anna, Olaf and a few more Frozen friends. This enchanting “Summer Snow Day” celebration—complete with many of your favorite Frozen tunes—is sure to melt even the coldest hearts!

Know Before You Go
This song-filled journey is a slow-moving boat ride with backward and forward plunges down short waterfalls. You may get wet!

Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros

Credit: Disney

You’ll have this upbeat and catchy song stuck in your head all day, but it’s absolutely worth it! This is one of my favorite family rides at EPCOT because it is full of vibrant colors, upbeat tunes, and takes you through the very aesthetic Mexico Pavilion in the World Showcase.

The official Disney description reads:

Take in the sights of Mexico and the antics of 3 feathered amigos on this gentle boat ride through the Mexico Pavilion.

¿Dónde Está Donald Duck? Donald’s disappeared south of the border, and it’s up to the other 2 cabarellos from the musical trio—Panchito, the Mexican charro rooster, and José Carioca, the Brazilian parrot—to find him. Cruise down the Rio Grande on a dark boat ride past some of the most famous sights and cities in Mexico. Is that the missing mallard climbing a Mayan pyramid in Chichen Itza?
Hilarity and hijinks ensue as the birds go in hot pursuit of their wayward friend throughout this fun-filled ride for all ages.

A Very Animated Experience
Inspired by the 1944 Disney film The Three Caballeros, your adventure comes to life against a backdrop of live-action footage, hand-drawn animation and the jaunty musical score from the movie.

Journey Into Imagination With Figment

Credit: Disney

Figment is a lesser-known, but classic EPCOT character, and his ride is one that has sparked imagination among guests for years. The concept of letting your imagination run wild is truly the backbone of this ride, and you can continue on your imaginative journey even as you exit the ride into the Image Works lab. This lab is an interactive fun spot for guests of all ages and you can learn more about it by scrolling down to the educational attractions and experiences category!

The official Disney description reads:

Figment the playful dragon is your guide on this delightful ride through the sensory labs of Imagination Institute.

The Institute’s beleaguered chairman Dr. Nigel Channing (played by Eric Idle) sets out to prove how the 5 senses capture the imagination—but he’s upstaged by the mischievous Figment! Prepare for surprises galore as you travel through a series of vivid, whimsical sensory labs. Learn about all 5 senses as Figment turns the lab upside down and causes quite a stink in the Smell Lab.
Let your imagination run wild on this marvelous, madcap musical adventure!

The Seas with Nemo & Friends

Credit: Disney

The Seas with Nemo and Friends is a fun ride that takes you through an underwater retelling of Finding Nemo. You get to follow along on this journey featuring Nemo, Dory, Marlin, and all of our favorite deep-sea friends.

If you’re a fan of the movie Finding Nemo and plan to visit Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, you may also be interested in checking out the live adaptation of Disney’s Finding Nemo the Musical.

The official Disney description of this attraction reads:

A Fin-tastic Adventure

Board a “clamobile” and descend slowly below the waves, where Nemo’s friends flit through brightly colored coral reefs and gently swaying anemones. Dodge stinging jellyfish, underwater mines, a toothy anglerfish and an even toothier Bruce the shark.

Catch a ride on the righteous East Australian Current with Crush the sea turtle and his little dude, Squirt. But where’s Nemo?

Just keep swimming til you find him!

Explore the Aquarium

Once your underwater adventure ends, encounter an ocean of fun in The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion. Get close up with clown fish, sharks and more in the massive 5.7-million-gallon saltwater aquarium they call home.

Fun “fins-on” activities teach your guppies about marine biology, sharks and more.

A Complimentary Scavenger Hunt

Help Dory find her friends during a self-guided scavenger hunt through the aquarium! Solve clues and collect stickers to complete this fishy mission—and learn fun facts along the way.

Pick up your complimentary scavenger hunt booklet near the exit to The Seas with Nemo & Friends attraction.

Turtle Talk With Crush

Credit: Disney

This is truly a must-do on your EPCOT day. Because it’s improv, the show is absolutely unique every single time and is played to the audience. It’s fun, interactive, and really does feel like Disney Magic at its best.

The official Disney description reads:

Gather around a window to the ocean for a conversation in real time with your favorite totally tubular sea turtle.

Got a burning question for Crush? During this live 15-minute chat, you may get to ask it.
Take a seat at Turtle Talk theater and watch as the turtle from Disney and Pixar’s Finding Nemo swims up close. Through the amazing technology of the hydrophone, he can communicate directly with land-based dudes and dudettes about almost anything that’s on their minds. Ask him about marine biology, his friends from the sea, his favorite foods, life on the East Australian Current—it’s totally up to you! He may also introduce you to his pals Marlin, Nemo and Squirt—plus new friends from Disney and Pixar’s Finding Dory. The show is improvised, so it’s different every time. It’s an ocean full of laughs for all ages!

Know Before You Go

Check the Entertainment Schedule, My Disney Experience app or the Times Guide at Epcot to find out exactly when you can catch Crush.

Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival

Credit: Disney

The Disney and Pixar short film festival is the perfect way to take a break during your Epcot park day. You can still soak in the magic while sitting down in an air-conditioned theatre and experiencing some of the popular Disney and Pixar shorts.

The official Disney description reads:

Experience popular Disney and Pixar short films—in amazing 4D.

Don a pair of 3D glasses and settle in for the 18-minute festival, featuring 3 dazzling short films and some incredible in-theater effects. Before entering the main theater, be sure to take a look at the exhibits showcasing the creative process behind these beloved stories and characters.

Academy Travel agents’ specialized knowledge can help you with booking park tickets including special or seasonal events, discounts, and so much more.

Educational Attractions/Experiences at EPCOT

Funnily enough, my favorite EPCOT ride doesn’t fall into the thrill ride category of attractions within the theme park. I happen to truly enjoy the calm, yet exciting experience of the educational attractions — more specifically Living with the Land and Spaceship Earth!

All Disney World rides provide guests with a different kind of magic, and that doesn’t stop here. Within Disney’s EPCOT park, guests of all ages can learn new things, explore the exciting areas of their imagination, and get up close and personal with different science simulators and processes.

Living with the Land

Credit: Disney

Cruise past greenhouses on a gentle boat tour and discover the surprising history of farming.

A Taste of the Future
See firsthand how Walt Disney World horticulturalists are using innovative growing techniques and cross-breeding high-yield crops to help feed a growing planet. Discover a cornucopia of fruits and veggies from around the world—some modified to jaw-dropping effect. Feast your eyes on edible food crops from around the world. Glimpse hybrid striped bass, tilapia, catfish and freshwater shrimp in our fish farm. On this eye-opening tour, you’ll be inspired by a hopeful vision of farming’s future.
Sample the Fruits of our Labor
Enjoy a meal at Sunshine Seasons or the Garden Grill Restaurant in The Land Pavilion, both of which serve fresh produce and seafood grown right here.

Behind the Seeds Tour

Interested in learning even more about the amazing work that Disney does with their sustainable farming methods? You can sign up for an up-close and intimate tour of their Living with the Land garden by calling the reservations line at (407) WDW-TOUR. This tour is $29 per person for both adults and children and is called Behind the Seeds! Keep scrolling for more information on what to expect from this unique EPCOT experience.

Credit: Disney

Explore the future of agriculture and get up-close and personal with the critters of The Land Pavilion on this walking tour.

Like the Living with the Land attraction at Epcot? Then you’ll love Behind the Seeds! This one-hour tour of the fish farm and 4 greenhouses that make up The Land Pavilion is perfect for anyone with an interest in gardening or natural sciences.

On it, you’ll:

    Visit the fish farm and see what it’s like during feeding time.
    Behold gigantic fruits and vegetables and unusual crops from around the world.
    Discover the latest plant-growing techniques, including hydroponics—look, Ma, no soil!
    Take home a handout with some great ideas for your own garden.

Know Before You Go
View important information including recommended attire, tour content and cancellation policies.

You’ll be on your feet for the whole hour of this walking tour. With that in mind, make sure you wear comfortable shoes.
Riding Living with the Land prior to the tour will give you a preview of what to expect. Please be aware that the tour highlights listed above are subject to change.
Please check in on the lower level of The Land Pavilion near the attraction exit 15 minutes prior to the start of your tour. You will forfeit the entire price of your tour if you no-show or cancel within 2 days of your reservation.

For more information on the Behind the Seeds tour, visit Disney’s website here.

Spaceship Earth

Credit: Disney

This ride is great because you get a chance to learn about prominent moments in early world history, while also relaxing in a dark and air-conditioned ride setting. The narrator’s soft-spoken approach makes it perfect for a calm ride to break up a busy park day!

The official Disney description reads:

Travel through time and explore the remarkable history of human communication from the Stone Age to the computer age.

Back to the Beginning

Witness the landmark moments of amazing innovation that made today’s spectacular communications technology possible.

Travel back to the dawn of humanity, when early man painted on cave walls. Watch new ideas spread like wildfire with the invention of Gutenberg’s printing press. The wheels of time turn ever faster as we enter the modern age of media, from newspapers announcing the end of the Civil War to the televised broadcast of the moon landing—and beyond.

All of these great moments are brought vividly to life using elaborate sets and advanced Audio-Animatronics figures during this inspirational, 16-minute, Omnimover-style attraction.

Credit: Disney

Forward into Your Future

Once you’ve returned to the present day, you’ll have a chance to design the kind of future you want to live in using the touch screen inside your vehicle. Answer several brief questions and get ready to see what your tomorrow looks like!

The Story Behind the Spaceship

It’s the flagship attraction of Epcot and the signature symbol of the park. To create the experience inside the iconic geosphere, Disney Imagineers assembled some of the world’s greatest talents.

The all-star roster includes Academy Award® winner Judi Dench as the narrator and Emmy® winner Bruce Broughton, who conducted a 63-piece orchestra and 24-voice choir for his musical score. If you listen closely, you’ll notice that the music for each scene features styles and instruments appropriate to the era, transitioning seamlessly into the next—no small feat.

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Kidcot Fun Stops

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The official Disney description reads:

Pick up an international memento at any or all 11 of these World Showcase stations.

Discovery Fun for Little Ones
Participate in a fun discovery experience collecting activity cards at each country throughout World Showcase! Pick up a memorable memento with facts and activities featuring the culture and traditions of each country. You’ll find a Kidcot Fun Stop in every international pavilion at Epcot.

Where to Find Kidcot Fun Stops
Mexico Pavilion (near Mexico Folk Art Gallery)
Norway Pavilion (at The Puffin’s Roost)
China Pavilion (near the exit of Reflections of China)
Germany Pavilion (at Volkunst)
Italy Pavilion (outside, near La Bottega Italiana)
American Adventure Pavilion (outside, near Art of Disney)
Japan Pavilion (in the Bijutsu-kan Gallery)
Morocco Pavilion (at the Marketplace in the Medina)
France Pavilion (at Souvenirs de France)
United Kingdom Pavilion (at The Toy Soldier)
Canada Pavilion (at the exit of Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360)

ImageWorks – The “What If” Labs

Credit: Disney

The official Disney description reads:

Let your imagination run wild in a creative play space where little ones can explore their senses.

Music, Sounds, Color… and Dragons
After your Journey Into Imagination with Figment, stay and play with sensory activities and games that spark creativity.
Lead an orchestra by waving your arms in the air, create a symphony of sound by jumping on “Stepping Tones,” record yourself in super-slow motion and design your own dragon and email it to your friends.
What if… every day could be this fun?

Advanced Training Lab

Credit: Disney

The official Disney description reads:

Train for your next Mars mission at a high-tech play area featuring space-themed games and activities for all ages.

Calling All Space Cadets

Get ready for your next space mission by virtually “flying” over the surface of Mars in a jetpack. Race against other players to send a rocket into space. Make and send video postcards from the very edge of space. The smallest space explorers will be inspired to reach for the stars as they crawl through wormholes in a fun interactive playground, while older cadets play digital games that prep them for future missions.

Everyone has a blast at this lab!

Credit: Disney

Upcoming Attractions at EPCOT

Journey of Water

Credit: Disney

The official Disney description reads:

Journey of Water, Inspired by “Moana” will be the first experience inspired by the hit Walt Disney Animation Studios film. This lush exploration trail will invite you to meet and play with magical, living water. The water will have a life of its own – just like Moana’s friend, the ocean – and you’ll learn about the importance of the natural water cycle.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Credit: Disney

The official Disney description reads:

Based on Disney and Pixar’s hit film, “Ratatouille,” this family-friendly attraction will invite you to shrink down to the scale of a rat for a culinary adventure with Chef Remy.

You’ll race across Gusteau’s kitchen floor aboard special trackless ride vehicles, which you can see in the image at the top of this post – just released today – as Disney Imagineers work on bringing this attraction to life.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is one of several new experiences coming to Epcot as part of the park’s historic transformation already underway.

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Which EPCOT attraction is your favorite? Comment below and let us know! 

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