• Epcot Ride Strategy

Epcot Ride Strategy

Luiz Alberto H.

Created: Dec 20, 2023

Last Updated: Apr 25, 2024

Epcot Ride Strategy
  • Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
  • Test Track
  • Mission: Space
  • Journey of Water Inspired by Moana
  • Soarin’
  • World Showcase
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Living with the Land (optional)
  • The Sea with Nemo & Friends Attraction (optional)

If you plan on buying Disney Genie+, start reading this.

If you want to Rope Drop or have access to Early Entry, start reading this

If you want to check the best Kid-Friendly rides, start reading this.

Welcome to the theme park of the future. Epcot is all about celebrating planet Earth and the amazing cultures and civilizations that live here. Basically divided into two huge areas - the World Showcase and World Discovery - you are going to find something for everyone at Epcot. And guess what? This theme park only got better in the past five years or so. Way better. In fact, it is now home to what many consider the best ride in Disney World. Spoiler: it’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.

Epcot isn’t just an awesome place to ride one of the best indoor roller coasters ever, but one of the best parks to just walk around and take in the atmosphere. The World Showcase alone might take you a whole day exploring everything it has to offer. You might eat a delicious vanilla éclair in France only to walk five minutes and buy a Liverpool jersey in England. Yeah, Epcot is the only place in the world where you can literally jump from France to England in the snap of a finger.

Disney epcot ball distance spaceship earth.jpg

The World Showcase isn’t just about France and England, by the way. It features eleven countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom and Canada. So yeah, expect to find hockey t-shirts in Canada, a lot of Pokémon in Japan, some of the best ever perfumes in Norway and a whole lot of beer in Germany. 

So, what should you bring to Epcot? Let me remind you that you will be walking a lot all day, so use a pair of (very) comfortable sneakers. Depending on the season, don’t forget your sunscreen as well. Remember to also bring a backpack, a water bottle and snacks. You are probably going to be spending extra money in Epcot with so many amazing stores, so it’s a good idea to have a backpack to store all the german marzipan inside. 

Your adventure in Epcot begins before the gates open. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind uses the Virtual Queue system, so make sure to download the My Disney Experience app on your phone and start hammering the Virtual Queue button a minute or too before 7am on the day of your visit. Yes, you need to wake up early for a chance to get inside Cosmic Rewind. It’s well worth it, trust me. You can only experience Cosmic Rewind through the Virtual Queue or by buying a Lightning Lane pass, so keep that in mind.

You will get a random time slot for Cosmic Rewind once you are in the Virtual Queue, so make sure to not forget it. Also make sure to arrive in Epcot about thirty minutes before the gates open.

Ready? You might go directly to Cosmic Rewind or Test Track, depending on your Virtual Queue timeslot. Let’s say that Cosmic Rewind is your first stop, just to make this guide easier to understand. Now, get ready for a singular, amazing experience. 

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Rating: 10/10

Disney epcot guardians galay cosmic rewind vehicles.jpg

Welcome to what might be the best ride in Disney World. Even if you aren’t a huge fan of indoor roller coasters, there is a good chance you will love this one. Cosmic Rewind makes you part of the Guardians crew, together with Starlord, Gamora, Groot, Rocket Raccoon and Drax. There are multiple reasons why many consider Cosmic Rewind one of their favorite rides, shall we list them?

1 - It’s incredibly comfortable. Seriously, it doesn’t feel like you are on a roller coaster. I could very well sleep in one of those vehicles. It’s so comfy and you don’t even feel like there are the typical coaster restraints on your lap.

2 - A very fun backwards launch. So, remember that many roller coasters start with an initial launch? There are many examples, like Islands of Adventure’s The Incredible Hulk Coaster and the Rock N’ Roller coaster in Hollywood Studios. Cosmic Rewind is just like that. But backwards.

3 - The soundtrack! A random song that could very well be part of the movies always plays during the duration of the ride. Get ready to listen to absolutely bangers like Disco Inferno and Everybody Wants to Rule the World.

4 - Visual effects. Again, they are very well done, using projections on the walls to play a variety of movies and creating the atmosphere that you are flying through space. 

5 - Technology. Cosmic Rewind makes use of something they call the “OmniMover system”. This means that your vehicle can rotate in a 360 angle even when the track is moving in a straight line. This is used in some awesome setpieces, from the initial backwards launch and also when the ride wants guests to look at something that’s happening on a big screen.

6 - Terry Crews. Yeah, he is there. For some reason.

What I mean by all that is that, yes, you should definitely go to Cosmic Rewind, so make sure you do not miss the Virtual Queue for it. This is also a very easy recommendation for a Lightning Lane pass, and the only way you can ride Cosmic Rewind two times a day, at least for now.

Now that we have explored the deep mysteries of space, let’s drive a Corvette and have some fun.

Test Track

Rating: 9/10

Disney Epcot test track entrance.jpg

For a long time, Test Track was THE attraction to go for all Epcot lovers. It still is a must see ride, even after its initial launch way back in 1999. Test Track is a thrill ride which puts you in the shoes of a… test dummy? Or something like that. The thing is, it’s a simulation that shows the rigorous testing procedures in your everyday car. Procedures that include how a vehicle reacts under cold/warm weather, how it handles climbing a mountain and how the Anti-Lock Braking Systems (ABS) work.

You board a vehicle for up to six guests and then it’s time to accelerate, brake and make steep curves left and right. Yeah, the testing procedures are a nice excuse to have your vehicle moving in unpredictable and fun ways. The final test is the best one: a speed test on the outside track which surrounds the whole attraction, with your vehicle reaching speeds of 64.9 mph.

Test Track is definitely a fan favorite, so queue times tend to be on the long side. Something between 40 to 60 min is definitely expected. Here is a good tip, though: the single rider queue usually works really well in Test Track, and there is a good chance you will even enter the same vehicle with a friend and a family member. 

One last thing, as soon as you exit the vehicle, you will make your way inside a showroom with a bunch of cool cars sponsored by Chevrolet. Corvettes and Mustangs are just a few examples of the machines you can take pictures or even enter if you wish.

Well, from the depths of outer space we went to a high speed racing track. Guess what? It’s back to outer space.

Mission: Space

Rating: 7/10

Disney epcot mission space entrance night.jpg

Mission Space isn’t the easiest ride to give a rating, mostly because it comes in two different styles with two different queues. You can choose either the more intense Orange Mission or the less intense and more chill Green Mission. The difference? Well, the Orange Mission features multiple-arm centrifuges which will spin your capsule around, simulating what astronauts go through to finally embark on a critical mission into the unknown. The Green Mission doesn’t spin around, so it’s more like a traditional simulator that won’t give you any motion sickness.

So, how intense is the Orange Mission? I will say it’s… more than what you are expecting, probably. Many people say that the g-forces in Mission: Space Orange Mission are way stronger than any roller coaster they’ve been to, at least in Florida. I’d have to agree. Maybe the only g-force that gets closer to it is the first drop in Sea World’s Manta, but nothing else comes close. Orange Mission is hardcore, I won’t lie. If you are prone to motion sickness, you should probably try the Green Mission. There are paper bags inside each capsule for a reason.

Just don’t let me scare you! Most people love the hardcore version, especially kids. Kids usually get out of the orange version laughing and wanting to go again, while adults just smile and nod. Strange. 

We’ve had our share of thrill rides for now, time to get in closer contact with Mother Nature.

Journey of Water Inspired by Moana

Rating: 8/10

Disney Epcot journey water moana path.jpg

One of the most recent Epcot attractions, which debuted in October 2023, Journey of Water is a walk-through, self-guided ride where guests get in close contact with nature and beautiful sights inspired by the Disney movie. You choose between two different walk-through experiences, but no need to get scared! Unlike Mission: Space, there isn’t a Moana Orange Mission where you will be spinning around the forest non-stop. You have the option to choose between a charming trail where you might get a little bit wet, or a completely dry track to just enjoy the view.

I’d definitely recommend the special trail featuring water, which is actually interactive and will answer some of your gestures, which reminds me of the magic wands in Universal’s Harry Potter lands. You won’t get soaked or anything like that, trust me, even if there are designated splash areas that kids love. The artificial forest looks beautiful and it’s an amazing opportunity to take pictures and relax after so many thrill rides in a row.  

Journey of Water isn’t offered on Disney Genie+ and there isn’t an individual Lightning Lane for it, so you just have to face the standard queue. Done? Great, let’s continue checking some beautiful sights.

Soarin’

Rating: 8/10

Disney Epcot the land soarin.jpg

Soarin’ is a fan favorite, pure and simple. In theory, it’s a very simple ride: you board a flight motion simulator, lift off and watch a movie while your seat slowly twitches to simulate a hang glider. It’s fun! Soarin’ launched back in 2005 and featured beautiful sights from California only, but in 2016 it expanded to include locations and landmarks from all over the world. You fly near the Great Pyramids in Egypt and the Taj Mahal in India, for example, and even get to soar over Epcot!

As I stated before, Soarin’ is a fan favorite that the entire family can enjoy, so expect queue times to be anywhere from 30 min to 60 min. It might even be a good idea to come back here after you are done with the World Showcase, so keep that in mind in case queue times are way too high for your taste.

Speaking of the World Showcase, it’s time to walk around the world in record time.

World Showcase

Rating: 10/10

Disney Epcot World Showcase morocco.jpg

Yes, I know, this isn’t exactly what the dictionary would call “a ride”. It’s more than that! The World Showcase is the heart and soul of Epcot, a massive area featuring eleven countries where you can find fun attractions, live shows, awesome stores to spend your hard earned dollars and amazing restaurants. Speaking of which, it’s probably time for lunch, right? If you are feeling some sushi, head to Japan and enjoy your food prepared by an authentic Japanese Chef. Want some pasta? Go to Italy and order a delicious lasagna. Bellissimo! 

You can spend hours and hours walking around the World Showcase, which is the main reason that Epcot is a theme park where you should come at least two times, one of them just to take your time going from country to country. As you make your way around the world, remember to stop in France and visit a friendly mouse for our next must-go ride.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Rating: 8/10

Disney Epcot Remy Ratatouille Adventure ride.jpg

Yeah, we are not talking about Mickey Mouse, but Remy, the star of one of the most charming Disney movies… ever? Ratatouille Adventure is a 3D trackless dark ride, which is a little bit reminiscent of Magic Kingdom’s Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway. You board a vehicle and follow Remy in chase sequences and set pieces across a kitchen, a restaurant and other locations all while you have your 3D glasses on to see that beautiful rat from a whole new angle.

Ratatouille Adventure is pretty fun and a major success at Epcot. It’s also a recent attraction, which debuted in 2021 and it’s incredibly popular with kids. You know what that means, right? Big, big queue times. It’s pretty normal to wait around 60 min to experience Ratatouille Adventure. Waiting times might be a bit lower late in the evening, so you might want to complete a whole lap around the World Showcase then come back here before you are ready to head to Frozen Ever After or Spaceship Earth.

Frozen Ever After

Rating: 7/10

Disney Epcot frozen ever after elsa.jpg

Ohhh, a Frozen ride! That means beautiful songs, amazing visual effects, Let it Go and big waiting times. Frozen Ever After is a dark boat ride featuring animatronics and awesome visual effects that help tell the story of the “Official Summer Snow Day”. I had to read a little bit more about that special event, it’s apparently the day that Anna saved Elsa from an assassination attempt? I don’t remember that from the first movie, but there you are, your little bit of lore for the day.

What I do remember is that Frozen Ever After has all your favorite songs as you travel along the river, from Do You Wanna Build a Snowman to For the First Time in Forever and, yes, also that song. It’s a very charming ride, and a must go for young guests. If you aren’t that big of a Frozen fan you might want to skip it in case queue times are way too long, or try to save it for the evening.

For now, we go back to the park entrance to finally ride an all time classic.

Spaceship Earth

Rating: 8/10

Disney Epcot Spaceship Earth entrance 2.jpg

Phew, here we are! We finally made it to the Big-White-Ball-In-the-Middle-of-the-Park. Spaceship Earth might have massive waiting times in the morning, but you should only face a 5 minute queue if you arrive late in the afternoon, since guests have moved from the space near the park’s entrance and are now walking around the World Showcase or are stuck in Test Track. 

Spaceship Earth is Epcot’s main landmark and a major milestone that has existed for ages. It also went through multiple updates through the decades, which modernized the vehicles and made the ride more fun for guests that have been going to Epcot for years and years (also known as: us).

Each vehicle now has its own personal LCD screen, where guests can answer a few questions about what they want for the future and click where they live in a digital world map. When you finally exit the ride, you are led to a huge indoor space full of minigames and a model of planet Earth where you can spot where most visitors come from. Certainly a nice touch that creates a sense of community.

So, is the ride fun? I would say that it’s okay, but you are going to Spaceship Earth primarily because… it’s Spaceship Earth. You board a vehicle and go through a 15 minute ride which talks about the history of human civilization, from ancient times in Egypt all the way to what we can expect for the future. It’s cute and it’s also informative, full of animatronics that can teach us something about human history. It’s also nice that you can select from a handful of language options, from Korean to Portuguese, Spanish and English. 

Well, we listed all the main rides when it comes to Epcot. The World Showcase takes a lot of time to explore, so expect to stay there for a good while. You should also buy a Lightning Lane pass and ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind once again, and have extra time to go to Test Track at night.

You can also try some of the optional rides in our guide. They aren’t as exciting as the main stars of the show, but they can still be fun and educational, especially for kids.

Optional Rides

Living with the Land

Rating: 6/10

Disney Epcot Living with the Land ride.jpg

Oh, another ride that basically exists to teach guests about our planet and how it’s important to take care of our land. See? That’s basically the name of the attraction, right there. Living with the Land is a 15 minute informative boat ride that teaches us humans to take care of our forests and soil through cutting edge agriculture techniques, which is definitely what’s happening year after year.

The coolest part about Living with the Land isn’t even the multiple animatronics or the history class, but the greenhouse tour near the end of the ride. Yes, you go inside a real greenhouse to see vegetables, fruits, plants and crops from tropical forests from all over the world. Examples include banana, cacao, papaya and many more. You even enter an area featuring shrimps, american alligators and a variety of fishes.

Is Living with the Land a must go ride? No, especially since it takes too long, but it’s still a nice option if you want to relax a little and show young guests how food leaves farms and reaches the comfort of our homes. 

The Sea with Nemo & Friends Attraction

Rating: 6/10

Disney Epcot Nemo Sea friends ride vehicle.jpg

Join Nemo, Dory and the rest of the party in a typical and cozy dark ride which tells the story of the first movie. This means that you will relive the traumatizing event when Nemo goes missing and his father almost has a heart attack. Spoiler alert: Marlin indeed finds Nemo and they all live happy in the end, so no need to get sad.

The Sea with Nemo is fun, especially for kids. You get to see almost every character from the movies and enjoy a few songs during the 5 minute ride, including fan favorite In The Big Blue World. One complaint is that the vehicle moves in a straight line, so you are always looking in the same direction as the screen goes by. Visual effects are limited to projections in front of you and there are no animatronics. It all looks very cute, but also very simple.

The best part is actually when you exit the ride and enter The Sea with Nemo & Friends pavilion. This is a wide area dedicated to oceanic life in all its forms, with beautiful aquariums featuring colored coral reefs and rare fishes like the dangerous Lion Fish, different specimens of sharks and even some eels. 

Closing Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed our Famvia guide and learned a little bit more about Epcot. 

Epcot doesn’t have as many rides as, say, Disney’s Hollywood Studios, but the good ones here are definitely a must-go. Please, please, please, don’t forget to save your spot at the Virtual Queue for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and make sure to ride Test Track multiple times. Also remember: the Single Rider queue is a good alternative when you want to ride that “Chevrolet” over and over again.

Have fun and make sure to come here at least twice. This means riding Guardians four times in total! One of your visits can be aimed mostly at the World Showcase, so get ready to do some shopping and save some extra space in your backpack. 

Share
Rewards Pass = Travel Rewards

Rewards Pass = Travel Rewards

Have you checked out our Rewards Pass yet? Earn up to 5% on each trip! Redeem for cruise stateroom credits, gift cards, deposits and more.

Rewards Pass
Vacation Mode Playlist

Vacation Mode Playlist

Our Vacation Mode playlist for this summer just dropped on Spotify! Listen and let us know what songs you'll have on repeat all summer long!

Spotify