FastPass+ Guide : Epcot

Spaceship Earth at Epcot
The Iconic Spaceship Earth

Which FastPass+ selections should I make for my next trip to Epcot? This might be the most popular question I get around Disney World planning. The quick answer is : It depends. If you are still wondering what a FastPass is, you can also check out Disney FastPass+ : Skip the Lines! for a breakdown of this Walt Disney World service.

Epcot FastPass+ Options

Before you can determine which one you need to schedule, you need to know your options. Epcot is one of the parks that separates FastPass+ options into groups. You can choose one option from Group A and then two options from Group B. They do this to try to avoid everyone picking the really popular rides and to spread out the ability to ride. Unfortunately, this means you aren’t going to get a FastPass for every popular ride in a single day. The groups are:

  • Epcot FastPass+ Group A (Choose 1)

    • Frozen Ever After
    • IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth
    • Soarin’
    • Test Track
  • Epcot FastPass+ Group B (Choose 2)

    • Disney/Pixar Short Film Festival
    • Journey Into Imagination With Figment
    • Spaceship Earth
    • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
    • Turtle Talk with Crush
    • Epcot Character Spot
    • Mission: SPACE Green
    • Mission: SPACE Orange
    • Living with the Land

Types of Attractions

If it’s the first time you are visiting, it’s important to know a little about each one of these attractions and whether it will fit your preferences.  Walt Disney World’s website has a full description of each attraction here, but I put them in a few different categories:

  • Fast Rides / Motion Rides

    • Test Track – Lots of jerks/acceleration as you “test” your car design
    • Mission Space Orange – Lots of centrifugal force and motion
    • Soarin’ – Lifts you very high in the air and over a huge screen for an immersive experience
  • Experiences / Non-Ride

    • IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth – Premier seating for the fireworks show
    • Epcot Character Spot – Pictures with Mickey, Minnie, Goofy
    • Disney/Pixar Short Film Festival – Movie-theatre style viewing of Short Films
    • Turtle Talk with Crush – Auditorium style interaction with Crush from Finding Nemo
  • Slow Moving Rides

    • Spaceship Earth
    • The Seas with Nemo & Friends – Clamshell ride
    • Journey Into Imagination With Figment
    • Mission Space Green – Same as Orange, but doesn’t spin so you don’t get the centrifugal force
  • Boat Rides

    • Living with the Land – Boat Ride
    • Frozen Ever After

Recommendations

Your FastPass+ selections really do depend on your preferences. I’ve put together a few different recommendations based on different types of trips and ages.

First Trip Kids Under 3 years old Thrill Seeker Classic Adults Only
Soarin’ Frozen Ever After Test Track Soarin’ Soarin’
Spaceship Earth Epcot Character Spot Mission Space Orange Spaceship Earth Mission : Space Orange
The Seas with Nemo and Friends The Seas with Nemo and Friends Epcot Character Spot Living with the Land Spaceship Earth

Thoughts behind these recommendations:

  • Spaceship Earth is located inside the Epcot ball. It’s the classic representation.
  • Soarin’ is a one-of-a-kind experience.  There isn’t another ride like it at other parks.
  • Epcot Character Spot is the only Character FastPass+ with 3 guaranteed classic characters in all the parks.
  • Several attractions have a height requirement of 40 inches. These include Soarin’, Test Track, and Mission Space.

“Wasted” FastPass+

There are some rides that I have never waited in line for. There are also some you are getting a “premier seat” with your FastPass+ and could be a “waste” of a FastPass+. I do believe, however, that if one of these is a favorite of your family’s, it is never a “waste” to secure a FastPass+ and know you will get to experience the attraction.

  • Illuminations – Reflections of Earth : You can see the fireworks from many places around the park. If getting the “best pictures” is important to you or you don’t want to have to worry about looking over someone’s head, this could still be a good choice.
  • Disney/Pixar Short Film Festival : I’ve never seen this one unavailable, and the preferred seating doesn’t add a huge advantage.
  • Journey Into Imagination With Figment : this is a classic for us, but the wait is almost always very reasonable compared to other rides.
  • Turtle Talk with Crush : Same as with Pixar, this is an open seating experience and you are using a FastPass+ just for a different location.
  • Mission: SPACE Green : As the tamer ride, you can usually get on this with a relatively short wait.
  • Living with the Land : This ride moves fairly quickly as a constant boat ride. The wait is usually very tolerable.

    Illuminations - World at Epcot

    Enjoy the Illuminations Fireworks show at Epcot without a premium seat

Fun without a FastPass+

Epcot is actually my favorite park for fun without a FastPass+. There are so many things you can do without a pre-determined plan here, including walking the world showcase. You can visit 11 countries with a pleasant stroll around Epcot. Check out the shows in several of the countries, like the O’Canado or ride The Gran Fiesta Tour with The Three Caballeros boat ride in Mexico. Exploring each pavilion is enough to fill an entire day! If you love characters, you can also meet Anna and Elsa in the Norway Pavillon!

Serveur Amusant in France Pavillion at Epcot

Enjoy shows around the World Showcase like Serveur Amusant without a FastPass

Summary

FastPass+ selections really depend on your preferences. There are some hard and fast rules, like height restrictions, but the rest is up to you! Also, never underestimate the fun you can have at Epcot just touring the pavilions. It has more to do without a FastPass+ than most parks, and more attractions to come like a Ratatouille Ride in France and a Guardians of the Galaxy experience. I’ll be sure to update once those come out!

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