Five Things You Don’t Want to Miss When Visiting Epcot

We all have our favorite things to see, eat, and drink at each of the theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort. We consider these our "must do" attractions or dining destinations and we can't miss them or our trip won't be complete.

And so today, we're going to explore five "can't miss" things at Epcot.

Five Things You Don't Want to Miss When Visiting EpcotFive Things You Don't Want to Miss When Visiting Epcot

We'll start our "must do" adventure at the front of the park. If truth be told, most of us will walk (run?) past Spaceship Earth and head straight to Soarin', if only to get in the FastPass line.

(Of course, this FastPass fun run might be a thing of the past very soon as the legacy FastPass system will be replaced by FastPass+. But for now, we'll live in the "old" FastPass world.)

Soarin' is the ultimate can't miss attraction at Epcot in my very humble opinion.

Between the beautiful California scenery, the smells of evergreen and orange blossoms, and the amazing score by Jerry Goldsmith, Soarin' is quite possibly one of the most magical attractions in all of Walt Disney World. And this is probably why many people break into applause at the end of the ride. It's just that amazing.


The next must-do item on our list actually includes three attractions and we'll call them 'The Must Do Boat Rides at Epcot.'

You know what I'm talking about here. No trip to Epcot is complete unless you take at least one cruise on the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros, Maelstrom, Living with the Land, and the Friendship Boats.

While these are all lumped into the boat ride category, each is special in its own way. The Gran Fiesta tour is amusing, Maelstrom is exciting, Living with the Land is educational, and the Friendship Boats are the best way to rest your feet as you tour World Showcase.

Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three CaballerosGran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros

If you're looking for something with a bit more excitement for your must-do list, perhaps Test Track is more your speed. The redesigned attraction opened in December 2012 and features an updated queue, a chance for guests to design their own custom virtual concept car, and of course an updated ride experience.

While the entire attraction is fun and has some heart-pounding moments, the best part of the attraction has to be the final section when the ride vehicles end up on the outdoor portion of the ride track and reach speeds of 65 mph.
If all the excitement of Test Track has you craving a little relaxation, you'll love the next item on our list.

There are two can't-miss beverages at Epcot and they are the Grand Marnier Orange Slush and the Grey Goose Citron Lemonade Slush in France. These are two of the most popular drinks at Epcot and you don't want to miss out.

The Grand Marnier Orange Slush is like an orange fruit smoothie combined Grand Marnier liqueur, and the Grey Goose Citron Lemonade Slush is just as refreshing but with a lovely lemony twist.

These incredible frozen concoctions can be found at the Les Vins des Chefs de France kiosk, located across from Chefs de France.

Grey Goose and Grand Marnier SlushesGrey Goose and Grand Marnier Slushes

And of course no day at Epcot would be complete without a viewing of IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth. Once you've enjoyed your Grand Marnier Slush, it's time to find a great viewing spot around the World Showcase Lagoon and prepared to be amazed.

IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth tells the story of the past, present, and future of Earth through flames, fireworks, and lasers. The nighttime spectacular features the Inferno Barge, a liquid propane mechanism that launches balls of fire into the night sky and the 35,000 pound Earth Globe which is the world's first sphere display system.

And listen closely to the narration of IllumiNations. The voice you here is none other than Jim Cummings, the voice of Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and other Disney characters.

5 Things You Don't Want To Miss At Epcot5 Things You Don't Want To Miss At Epcot

These are just a few of our favorite things at Epcot. Ask us on another day and we might have a completely different list, but we guarantee that Soarin' and Grand Marnier Slushes will still be on it.

We extend our thanks to Topazlaydgem for sharing her fantastic image of Soarin' through Creative Commons. Thanks also to Kristen K. and our friends at the Disney Food Blog for use of their photos!

What are your must-do items when visiting Epcot? Leave us a comment and let us know!

Ellen wrote on Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:14:

Ellen's picture

Tutto Gusto is a MUST for us now!

bperpics wrote on Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:21:

bperpics's picture

My husband and I had dinner at Via Napoli. It was delicious. We were celebrating our 25th anniversary and our waiter treated us extra special! We will definitely go back to eat there again.

Disneynut82 wrote on Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:42:

Disneynut82's picture

One of my "must-do's" at Epcot is Captain EO. It's part of my childhood and great for kids, too.

Barry Hoover wrote on Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:43:

Barry Hoover's picture

The best time to see illuminations is at the Christmas season when Walter Cronkite narrates part of it.

Elizabeth Bancroft wrote on Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:45:

Elizabeth Bancroft's picture

My Must dos at Epcot are:

Attraction ride:
At Front of Park: Journey Into Imagination with Figment (I love Figment's song!).
World Showcase: Gran Fiesta Tour (I wish there were more things Donald Duck!).

Restaurants: (Have to pick two.)
Germany and Marrakesh. (Great food!)

Snacks: Japan's Shaved Ice! (Tangerine and Honey melon = Yum!)

Attraction show:
The American Adventure (Great live show before, and awesome theme song!)

darla wrote on Mon, 01/20/2014 - 23:53:

darla's picture

Illuminations was wonderful! beautiful watching the globe change and show so many places and animals actually brought a tear to my eyes. The fire works were like pink champagne exploding. First time I ever went to Walt Disney and It might have rained and was cold but that was magical!

Debbie wrote on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 00:21:

Debbie's picture

everything that you said and then taking time to visit each of the nations there and the hospitality that each extend. it would be great to have meals in everyone of the countries...always have to leave a couple for the next time back..though. I haven't done the friendship boats will have to try that too next time. of course you mentioned Spaceship Earth that all run do have to remember to go back and do that at some point in the day. and YES by far - SOARIN is my favorite ride at Epcot! and Illuminatins is to not miss.. this past week we were there when the temps dropped and it was in the 30's temperature a cold night to watch but wouldnt have missed it no matter what! oh and I missed the grand marnier and grey goose more for next time.

Karen M wrote on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 00:26:

Karen M's picture

I love all these must do's for Epcot.

Ana Kurland wrote on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 00:33:

Ana Kurland's picture

I never miss Club Cool. Free drinks in the hot Florida sun.

Ron H wrote on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 02:00:

Ron H's picture

Harmed Kutchen in Norway for a snack

Don wrote on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 02:04:

Don's picture

German beer garden is my favorite thing at Epcot.

alicemouse wrote on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 02:31:

alicemouse's picture

This is an excellent list. Two of my can't miss foods at EPCOT are the churros with the caramel dipping sauce in Mexico and the caramel apples in Germany.

Mitch wrote on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 04:05:

Mitch's picture

You left out Mission Space. No trip to EPCOT would be complete without a ride on Mission Space!

Erin B wrote on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 05:35:

Erin B's picture

Grand Marnier Slushes is a MUST along with the Crepes (snack credit!) I look so forward to the Flower and Garden Festival every year! So many wonderful exhibits!

Lori wrote on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 15:41:

Lori's picture

A trip to EPCOT is not complete without an amazing steak dinner at Le Cellier at the Canadian pavilion. My favorite after dinner drink is the Banfie Rosa in Italy which they serve with a piece of chocolate, yummy!

Terry Gouldrup wrote on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 18:37:

Terry Gouldrup's picture

The Candlelight Processional is truly amazing!

dheaton wrote on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 19:49:

dheaton's picture

Wow, I would not be the Grand Fiesta Tour on any must-do list. I do like the boat rides, though.

Here are five things I have to do at EPCOT:

Spaceship Earth
Living with the Land (reminds me of the glory days of Future World)
Have a beer and walk around World Showcase at night

crazycatperson wrote on Tue, 01/21/2014 - 22:46:

crazycatperson's picture

The Food and Wine Festival. Nearly every trip we've taken to WDW has been during the festival because it is hands down our favorite thing at Epcot. And if we can't go during the festival, we still hit several of the World Showcase restaurants. So for us, the one can't miss thing at Epcot is the FOOD.

Soarin', on the other hand...I definitely want to miss that so I won't ruin my day with motion sickness issues.

Eileen Weeks wrote on Wed, 01/22/2014 - 04:33:

Eileen Weeks's picture

I loved Soarin'. What an amazing ride. Test Track, Living with the Land and Finding Nemo. These were all great rides. Still haven't gone on Maelstrom, definitely next time.

JayA wrote on Sat, 01/25/2014 - 00:46:

JayA's picture

We always make sure to see Miyuki making candy animals in Japan. We try not to go to Epcot on her day off.

CLHS2005 wrote on Sun, 01/26/2014 - 18:02:

CLHS2005's picture

Fish and chips!

Pamela wrote on Thu, 02/06/2014 - 22:33:

Pamela's picture

I am the happiest at EPCOT when I am listening to Off Kilter while drinking an ice cold beer. Wish I could be there now!

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