It seems this question keeps popping up on Facebook a lot lately: Can I do a Half Day at Epcot?? I get it. Disney World tickets are expensive and guests are trying to squeeze the most out of shorter trip. And so people want to be able to fit Epcot into a half day and then head either to Disney Springs for Dinner or Hollywood Studios for Fantasmic. Personally, I find Epcot to be an amazing full day of exciting attractions and incredible dining choices (especially if you are visiting during a festival!). I usually plan a full day at Epcot, but maybe you only have 3 days or you have small kids that you know you need to go take a break mid-day. So to answer the question of can you do Epcot in a half day? Yes....but its going to be pretty tough to see it all. My advice: break it down into an Morning trip around Future World (mostly) or a PM trip around the World Showcase. Need a touring plan? Take a look:
Morning in Future World
If you are a thrill seeking family and you want to get the most rides or attractions out of Epcot that you can, I suggest hitting Epcot right at rope drop. (What's Rope Drop, you say? Find out here!) Being at Epcot waiting in front of Spaceship Earth for Rope Drop will allow you to head immediately to one of the top tier attractions without the need for a Fast Pass. Epcot has a tiered fastpass system that only allows you to prebook a fastpass for 1 top tier attraction per day. So at Rope Drop head immediately to Test Track or Soarin'. Those are going to be your longest lines you will want to avoid.
Another option here for families who have a Frozen obsessed kid (or adult...no judgment) is to go right to Frozen, ride that and then swing into the line for the meet and greet with Elsa and Anna. From there I would then head back into Future World since the World Showcase does not open til later in the day.
After you've hit that first ride with little to no wait time, I recommend trying to get one more big ride. The line will have grown a bit, but most Epcot queues are indoors so at least you're not roasting in the sun! Soarin' is a good choice for this one because it lands you near The Land and Nemo if they are next on your to do list.
Now hopefully its around 10:30 - 11:00am and you can now use those fast passes! After that, I would head for lunch and stroll around the World Showcase until time for you to head to your next park or back to your amazing vacation rental (Adventureland Villa or The Turquoise Palms...just throwing those out there!).
Afternoon at The World Showcase
What about if you want to eat dinner at Epcot or enjoy any of the food booths during a festival? Well then I would say Epcot is a perfect half day park for the afternoon/evening. If you can book a fastpass at an attraction around the time you plan to arrive at Epcot, get that done first. Then head towards the World Showcase. From there you are free to walk, taste, sip and enjoy the different countries at your own pace without worrying about Fastpass times. Attractions in the World Showcase are fairly limited at the time being. Frozen in Norway is incredibly popular and you can anticipate a long line for that if you don't have a fastpass. In Mexico the Three Caballeros ride is a family favorite. Sometimes I am shocked by the length of the line, but a lot of times its fairly empty. And soon there will be a new Ratatoille ride in the France pavallion...Don't know the opening date for this yet, but once it opens expect to be fighting the crowds for those fast passes.
Once you have soaked up the World Showcase, check the times for the Fireworks show. Right now that is still Illuminations, but it was just recently announced that it will be changing soon! I usually try to head back towards the bridge that leads to Future World and watch the fireworks from there. You can beat a lot of people to the parking lot!
So, do I think Epcot can be a "Half Day" Park? Yes. But you have to make a choice as to what kind of day you want it to be: Mornings for riding rides and the thrilling attractions or evenings for exploring the pavilions. Which Epcot do you prefer?? If you'd like a bit more help on touring plans or just have a quick question, message me! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Instagram at @glam_disney_vacay. I'm always happy to help!
Tara is a Disney-obsessed Mom of two active boys!