Disney’s Epcot FastPass+ Strategy, Tiers & Tips for 2020
Epcot is unique from the other three Disney World parks in the sense it has two very distinct sections — Future World and World Showcase. While both sections feature an assortment of attractions and other forms of entertainment, Future World opens earlier and boasts more rides and Epcot FastPass+ (FastPass Plus or FP+) opportunities. For that reason, we recommend doing Future World in the morning and World Showcase later in the day.
This post will discuss Epcot FastPass ride tiers, timing, strategy, rope drops, and other helpful tips. For our full FastPass+ series, see our guide on Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park, the Magic Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
How Do I Book FastPasses at Epcot?
You can book your FastPasses 60 days (for qualified Disney hotel guests) or 30 days (for non-Disney hotel guests) in advance (starting at 7 a.m. EST) using the My Disney Experience App or online at Disney’s website. If you cannot use the My Disney Experience App or the website, you can use one of the three FastPass+ kiosks located inside Epcot.
- Future World West (not far from Seas with Nemo & Friend and The Land)
- Future World East (near Test Track)
- International Gateway
If you are looking to save time and be more efficient, we recommend skipping the kiosks in favor of your phone to book and modify all FastPasses at Epcot.
How Does Epcot’s FastPass+ Tier System Work?
As with Disney’s Hollywood Studios and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Epcot has a tier system for its FastPasses. The most popular attractions are in the Tier 1 category, while everything else is in Tier 2. You can book a total of three FastPasses in advance, but only one of the three can be from the Tier 1 list. So you will have either one Tier 1 FastPass and two Tier 2 FastPasses, or you will have three Tier 2 FastPasses.
The Vacationer Tip
Book your Epcot FastPasses at least 60 days in advance for the best chance of getting an ideal time for Frozen Ever After or Test Track.
Epcot Tier 1 FastPass Rides and Attractions
As of May 2020, the following four rides and attractions are Tier 1
|Epcot Forever (fireworks show)||World Showcase|
|Frozen Ever After||World Showcase (Norway)|
|Test Track (single rider line available)||Future World|
Best Epcot Tier 1 FastPass Picks
1. Test Track (if you do not use the single rider line
2. Frozen Ever After
4. Epcot Forever (never recommended as one of your first three picks)
While you cannot go wrong choosing Test Track, Frozen Ever After, or Soarin’ as your Tier 1 FastPass+, you should not pick Epcot Forever. If you are not familiar with it, Epcot Forever is a fireworks show taking place at the end of the night in World Showcase. The FastPass affords you a better viewing area, but there are many great viewing areas throughout World Showcase. You should also be able to pick up an Epcot Forever FastPass later in the day after you have already used your first three, so do not waste it early.
Choosing between Test Track, Frozen, and Soarin’ is going to come down to a few factors.
Test Track – Go with Test Track if your party does not want to use the single rider line. We also strongly recommend choosing Test Track if you are entering from the World Showcase entrance at International Gateway. The walk to Test Track from International Gateway is long, so it is tough to get there early in the morning before the line starts to get lengthy. Even if you are entering the park from Epcot’s main entrance, Test Track can still be a solid choice for your Tier 1 FastPass, but you have more flexibility since you can rope drop it easier.
Frozen Ever After – Located in the Norway Pavilion, Frozen Ever After regularly sees lines of 60 minutes or more making it a solid choice for your Tier 1 FastPass. We recommend choosing Frozen Ever After if your party will be using the single rider line for Test Track and you wish to rope drop Soarin’.
Soarin’ – In 2016, Epcot added a third theater for the hugely popular Soarin’. While wait times can still go over 100 minutes during busy times, the additional theater has cut down on the average wait. We recommend Soarin’ as your Tier 1 FastPass if your party will be using the single rider line for Test Track and you rope drop Frozen Ever After.
Epcot Tier 2 FastPass Rides and Attractions
As of April 2020, the following seven rides and attractions are Tier 2
|Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival||Future World|
|Journey Into Imagination With Figment||Future World|
|Living with the Land||Future World|
|Mission: SPACE||Future World|
|The Seas with Nemo & Friends||Future World|
|Spaceship Earth||Future World|
|Turtle Talk with Crush||Future World|
Best Epcot Tier 2 FastPass Picks
1. Mission: SPACE
2. Spaceship Earth
3. Living with the Land
4. Everything Else
The only Tier 2 FastPass attractions at Epcot that see any significant wait times are Mission: Space, Spaceship Earth, and Living with the Land. We recommend prioritizing Mission: Space followed by Spaceship Earth. After going through your first three FastPasses for the day, there is a good chance you will be able to get a fourth FastPass for many of their Tier 2 attractions.
Please note, Spaceship Earth will be undergoing refurbishment starting May 26, 2020. When that happens, your second Tier 2 FastPass pick should be Living with the Land.
Entering From International Gateway or The Main Entrance May Affect Your FastPass Strategy
You can enter Epcot from either the main entrance or from International Gateway located in World Showcase. Guests staying at hotels near Disney’s Boardwalk (Disney’s Boardwalk Resort, Disney’s Swan and Dolphin, and Disney’s Yacht & Beach Club Resorts) and guests staying at a Skyliner resort (Disney’s Riviera Resort, Disney’s Art of Animation Resort, Disney’s Pop Century Resort, and Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort) will enter through International Gateway. All other guests will arrive via bus, monorail, or car and enter through the main entrance.
As mentioned above, Test Track is a pretty far walk from the International Gateway entrance and many people go to it first thing in the morning. Because of that, it makes sense to get a Test Track FastPass and rope drop Frozen Ever After or Soarin’.
Guests entering from the main entrance have a better chance of rope dropping Test Track and seeing a shorter wait time. In that case, it makes sense to go with Frozen Ever After or Soarin’ as your Tier 1 FastPass.
The Vacationer’s Ideal Epcot FastPass+ and Rope Drop Strategy
This strategy assumes you are booking three FastPasses in advance as well as arriving at rope drop. It also assumes you are taking advantage of every single rider line available
Rope Drop Attraction – Frozen Ever After
Single Rider Line – Test Track
FP Tier 1 – Soarin’
FP Tier 2 – Mission: SPACE
FP Tier 2 – Spaceship Earth
This strategy will almost guarantee minimal waiting for the majority of Epcot attractions.
The Single Rider Line for Test Track Can Save You Time But It Has a Drawback
In addition to not being able to ride with the rest of your party, Test Track’s single rider line does not give you the option to design your car. While you may not care about this feature, it can be fun to do at least once. Design your car stations are located in the traditional line for standby guests as well as those with FastPasses.
The Vacationer Tip
Using the single rider line for Test Track can save you a ton of time. It will also allow you to use your Tier 1 FastPass on Frozen or Soarin’ and rope drop the other.
Check Height Requirements Before Finalizing Your FastPass Plan
Before booking any FastPasses at Epcot, you should be aware of the height requirements if children are in your party. This list is subject to change, but here is the current list as of April 2020.
Rides/Attractions With a Height Requirement
Before booking any FastPasses at Epcot, you should be aware of the height requirements if children are in your party. This list is subject to change, but here is the current list as of May 2020.
- Mission: SPACE – At least 40 inches / 102 centimeters
- Soarin’ – At least 40 inches / 102 centimeters
- Test Track – At least 40 inches / 102 centimeters
Rides/Attractions With No Height Requirement
- Frozen Ever After
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
- Journey Into Imagination With Figment
- Living with the Land
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Spaceship Earth
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Shows & Other Attractions – Advanced Training Lab, The American Adventure, etc
Suggested FastPass Times
Unlike the Hollywood Studios, Epcot is not overly crowded in the morning. For that reason, we recommend booking your FastPasses between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. This allows you to enjoy the early morning hours with minimal waits for popular rides. It also allows you to finish your first three FastPasses early enough in the day where you have a chance of obtaining a fourth one.
A Smart FastPass Strategy Will Allow You To Enjoy World Showcase At Your Own Pace
As mentioned earlier, World Showcases generally opens a few hours after Future World. That means you are going to want to complete Future World in the morning or early afternoon so you have as much time to explore the countries in World Showcase as possible. A good FastPass strategy will let you do that, so we highly recommend using the tips above.
Depending on whether you are snacking, drinking, or just browsing, your time at each country will vary. Canada, China, France, and The American Adventure all have videos, so you should take that into consideration when planning. Mexico has a ride, while Frozen Ever After is located in the Norway Pavilion. A deep dive in each country could take over an hour, while 15 minutes in each may be enough for you.
Test Track, Frozen Ever After, Soarin’, and Epcot Forever
You can book three Epcot FastPasses in advance. After using your third one, you may book more.
60 days for Disney hotel guests. Otherwise, 30 days.
No, FastPasses at Walt Disney World are free.
Test Track is the only ride at Epcot with a single rider line.
We recommend doing Future World in the morning and World Showcase at night.
Test Track and Frozen Ever After.
The Vacationer’s Final Thoughts
A smart FastPass strategy is essential for you to see Future World early in the day and have enough time to see all of the countries in World Showcase after. If possible, get a Soarin’ FastPass, rope drop Frozen Ever After, and use the single rider line for Test Track.
Featured Image by flynn_chris via Pixabay
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