What Are The Best Fastpasses For Epcot?

Best Fastpasses For Epcot

If you only had one day to tour Walt Disney World’s Epcot, one of our favorite theme parks, what would you do first? What attractions are a FastPass recommended? What would we skip? What tips do we have? So nice of you to ask! Here’s our thoughts on what are the best FastPasses for Epcot, how to navigate the tier system, how to make the most out of your one day at Disney’s Epcot, and of course, some Pro Tips.

What is a FastPass?

FastPass (or FastPass+ as it is formally called) is Walt Disney World’s “front of the line” pass. Certain rides at Disney give you the option to utilize a FastPass, which means you will get to skip the regular, standby line. At Epcot, you are allowed to choose a FastPass for three attractions, from two tiers – one from the Tier 1 attractions, and two from the Tier 2 attractions (or all three from Tier 2). After you use those three, you can choose an additional FastPass, then another one after that, etc., from any of the tiers.

If you are staying at a Disney World Resort hotel, you can pick your Epcot FastPass selections 60 days prior to your trip – for your whole trip. If you are staying off property, you can make choices at 30 days, but only one day at a time. So that extra time is a big perk of staying onsite – you might have an easier time getting a FastPass one of the harder-to-get attractions at 60 days out rather than 30 days.

What FastPasses are available for Epcot and what attractions are in each tier?

So, you might be asking yourself – what are tiers and why does Disney have them? Unlike Magic Kingdom, which doesn’t have a tier system, the other three parks (Epcot, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios) have tiers for FastPass distribution. As these parks do not have the amount of rides that Magic Kingdom has, and the big rides would always get chosen first, this allows all guests an opportunity to experience at least one major attraction.

Tier 1 usually includes the most popular rides, the ones that will have the longest wait times. You are only allowed to pick one ride out of the Tier 1 category as part of your initial first three FastPass choices. The Tier 2 category includes all the other rides and attractions we just listed, and you can pick two from that list. After you use your initial three, then you can pick any attraction, choosing one FastPass at a time.

Epcot Tier 1 Attractions

• Soarin’ Around the World

Test Track

• Frozen Ever After

• Epcot Character Spot

• Epcot Forever (Formerly Illuminations Reflections of Earth)

Epcot Tier 2 Attractions

Mission Space

• Living with the Land

• Spaceship Earth

• Journey into Imagination with Figment

• The Seas with Nemo & Friends

• Turtle Talk with Crush

• Disney Pixar Short Film Festival

Non-FastPass Attractions at Epcot

You’ll notice that there only the Character Spot has FastPass available for character meet and greets. All other Disney Character meet and greets are “standby” only.

Getting Started

Tier 1 usually includes the most popular rides, the ones that will have the longest wait times. You are only allowed to pick one ride out of the Tier 1 category as part of your initial first three FastPass choices. The Tier 2 category includes all the other rides and attractions we just listed, and you can pick two from that list. After you use your initial three, then you can pick any attraction, choosing one FastPass at a time.

What Are The Best Fastpasses For Epcot?

Since you are limited on your offerings we have broken down different scenarios that you and your family may fit into when deciding what are the best ones for you to choose from.

Test Track For The Thrill Seekers 

If you are looking for “thrill rides” at Epcot, your only real choice will be Test Track. Soarin’ has some “thrill” to it, however, it’s not really a “thrill ride”. If Test Track is a must do, and you want to ensure a FastPass, you’ll definitely want to make this a priority at your 60 or 30-day window. However, if you are not able to secure that Test Track FastPass, Soarin’ also can get some long lines – so don’t fret if you choose Soarin’ for your tier 1 – it is still a very popular ride, even for thrill seekers.

How to work Test Track into your day at Epcot if you cannot get a FastPass

So, even though you logged on and tried to get your FastPass for Test Track, but, alas, none were available. How can you work Test Track into your day? Well, there are a couple of ways, it all depends on your traveling party and whether or not you are willing to split up a bit.

If you are a family or group that wants to stay together, the best way to experience Test Track without a FastPass is by rope dropping it. You will want to get to Epcot about 30 mins before park opening, and once they allow guests in, make your way straight to Test Track. Using this method, you will typically wait less than 30 minutes.

If you are a family or group that is willing to split up and not ride together, using the Single Rider line might be ideal. In the Single Rider line, guests are paired up with guests from the regular lines that cannot fill a full ride vehicle. Other than splitting up your family, you will also not be able to take advantage of the “design your car” feature that other guests will. So, if splitting up and designing your car are not important, taking advantage of the Single Rider line might be your best bet to ride Test Track without a FastPass.

Now that you have your Test Track FastPass, what should you choose for your Tier 2 FastPases. Well, for the Thrill Seekers in the group, there really is not much to choose from. Honestly, there really only is one – Mission Space. Now, we have a love/hate relationship with Mission Space. The ride itself is fine. Not our favorite, but we’ll do Mission Space every couple of trips. However, how dare you Disney, get rid of the national treasure that is Gary Sinise.

Mission Space is a bit less bearable without Lt. Dan giving you that pre-boarding pep talk. But, for those thrill seekers that need to scratch that thrill itch, give it a whirl. As for our second, we would choose Spaceship Earth. Now, this is not a thrill ride, but it is probably the attraction in this group that can get the longest lines – 45-60 minutes on busy days. So, go ahead, get on and Thank the Phoenicians!

Families with Small Children

When most people think of Epcot, having a lot to do for small children is not the first thing that comes to mind. However, Epcot surprisingly has built itself into a park that can entertain small children all day long. With that, and as we have a small child ourselves, this FastPass plan is one that we utilize regularly.

Frozen Ever After

Now, even if you are not a huge Frozen fan, you will probably still enjoy this ride. It follows the same track system as the prior attraction housed here, Maelstrom, so even for the adults or older kids, you do get a small “thrill” (I won’t spoil it for you and tell you what it is. You’re going to have to go ride it yourself!!). The only other choice you really have if you are traveling with small children is to FastPass the nighttime spectacular. However, as we will discuss in our pro tips below, we do not recommend this unless you cannot get a FastPass for Frozen Ever After and cannot utilize FastPasses for either Test Track or Soarin’.

How to work Frozen Ever After into your day at Epcot if you cannot get a FastPass

If you cannot get that elusive Epcot FastPass on your 60 or 30-day mark, don’t fret. Now, you may need to get up early and make your way to Epcot, because the best course of action would be to get to the park at least 30 minutes before opening and make your way to Frozen Ever After right at rope drop. If you take advantage of this plan, you should not wait more than 30 or 45 minutes. If you just can’t get out of bed early and make rope drop, you will probably be resigned to what can be a long line during the day. If this is your fate, which is sometimes ours, we recommend watching the My Disney Experience app for wait times. If the wait gets under 60 minutes, drop everything and get over there!! Also, keep an eye out to see if the ride goes down during the day. If you can get over there right after it opens up, you might be able to catch a low wait time.

Ok, so what do you do for your Tier 2 FastPasses. For families with small children, like us, we like to recommend Spaceship Earth and Living with the Land. Now, these are not because these are great for children, we choose these because they have the longest lines out of these choices. However, if you are going at a busier time of year, we are talking around Christmastime or during school breaks, we would recommend The Seas with Nemo and Friends and Journey into Imagination with Figment. These are both very child friendly attractions that are great for children and can certainly have extra-long lines during these super busy times.

Older Adults or Those that Enjoy Tamer Attractions

Epcot certainly does have something for everyone. If you are not looking for that true “thrill ride”, and don’t want to ride Frozen Ever After, you’re in luck.

For your main attraction, you’re going to want to ride Soarin’

Take a trip around the world on this flight type simulator – fly through the arctic, past the Taj Mahal, and around the Eiffel Tower before making your way back to Epcot and some fireworks.

How to work Soarin’ into your day at Epcot if you cannot get a FastPass

I probably sound like a broken record at this point, but if you cannot get a FastPass for Soarin’, you’re ideally going to want to get to Epcot about 30 minutes prior to opening so you can rope drop Soarin’. Now, luckily for you, most people will either be taken by the beauty of Spaceship Earth and stop there, or will be going left after Spaceship Earth towards Test Track or Frozen Ever After. That leaves you and maybe a few of your closest friends heading towards Soarin’. If you rope drop Soarin’, you probably won’t wait more than 30 minutes.

For your Tier 2 choices, we recommend choosing Spaceship Earth and Living with the Land. Out of these options, these two attractions will have the longest wait times at Epcot during the day. Spaceship Earth is a classic Epcot attraction and is located right as you enter the park. Living with the Land is located in the Land Pavilion right next to Soarin’, so guests either choose to ride right before or after they ride Soarin’ or, if Soarin’ goes down, many guests choose to take a tour through the greenhouses of Living with the Land.

Pro Tips

  1. Make sure that you are making your FastPass plans for the recommended attractions at either 60-days (if you are staying in a Disney resort) or 30-days (if you are not staying at a Disney resort) out as Tier 1 attractions like Frozen, Soarin’, and Test Track go fast.
  2. Make plans to ride multiple attractions (including your FastPass selections) in the same section of the park. This will allow you to maximize your plans while minimizing the amount of walking. Epcot is a big park and you’ll thank us as you don’t want to waste precious time and energy zigzagging your way back and forth across the park.
  3. If you can’t get a FastPass for the time you want, try to snag one for later in the afternoon/evening and then utilize the Modify feature in the My Disney Experience app to try and get it for the time you really want. Worst case, you just don’t have the FastPass for the time you want. But you still have one, so Huzzah!!
  4. Use Parent Swap. Disney has this program where if you have a child that can’t or won’t ride a ride, one adult can get in line and ride while the second adult is given a FastPass to ride. When the first adult is done, the second adult can ride. Also, if you have multiple people in the party, the Cast Member can give passes for up to 3 other people. These passes will allow other members of your party to potentially enjoy the attraction more than once.
  5. Unless having a FastPass for Epcot Forever (formerly Illuminations Reflections of Earth) is an absolute must, don’t get one. Having a FastPass for the show will not only use a Tier 1, but having it will not allow you to make additional selections, as you cannot get your 4th, 5th, etc. until you use your 3rd – which would be for the nighttime show.
  6. When riding Soarin’, when you are being sent to your assigned section (A, B, or C), ask the Cast Member to sit in Section B, and Row 1 if possible. This way, you are in the center of the screen (no curved Eiffel Tower – YES!!) and will be seated highest without having to see dangling feet in front of you.
  7. If you are staying at one of the Epcot Resorts, make plans to use the International Gateway entrance. This is always less busy than the main entrance, and depending on how far the Cast Members allow you in, might be a shorter walk to the attraction of your choice.

Wrapping it up

As you can see, Epcot has a lot for everyone. And we did not even get into the attractions and pop up shows that happen throughout the World Showcase. You can spend a good part of your day simply walking from pavilion to pavilion in World Showcase taking in the shows. So, there is certainly something for everyone in your traveling party to enjoy, so make plans to take in the culture around World Showcase.

You might be asking yourself, you have not recommended the Disney Pixar Short Film Festival as one of the best Fastpasses For Epcot. Well, that is because the Disney Pixar Short Film Festival simply holds a lot of people and there really is no need. It is a great place to take a break during a hot day and enjoy some entertaining shorts, but for us, not worth a FastPass selection.

After all is said and done, that is how we would make the best use of FastPass in a touring plan at Epcot for different types of groups. Obviously, you will want to modify this to suit your family’s wants and needs.

There is lots to do at Epcot and how to make the most of your plans all depends on what you want to accomplish and how you want to spend your time. Over the next couple of years Epcot will be going through a major overhaul with new rides and attractions (hello Guardians of the Galaxy and Ratatouille), and it has the potential to become an even greater park than it already is. We’re very much looking forward to all the upcoming changes at Epcot, and we can’t wait to come up with new FastPass strategies!

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If you enjoyed this article about Epcot Fastpasses, be sure to check out our other content like the Best Quick Service Restaurants at Epcot.


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