When to go to EPCOT

When to go to EPCOT

EPCOT stands for the Experimental Prototype Community Of Tomorrow.  This Disney park provides two distinctive areas with the front part of the park featuring Future World, a series of rides and attractions that expose people to technological innovations.

The second half of the EPCOT features World Showcase which highlights the culture and cuisine from 11 different countries around the world that include: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada.


Best time to go to EPCOT

After having the opportunity to explore EPCOT on multiple times during different times of the year, it is easy to recommend the best time to go. EPCOT delivers the Disney magic any time of the year and is masterful and finding something or reasons to celebrate all the time. However, there is no season more magical at Disney than the Christmas season. Christmas decorations, holiday lights, and a seasonal transformation of the Disney World parks creates one of the most incredible holiday celebrations.

EPCOT transitions into the holiday celebration at the beginning of November. Although not as prevalent as Magic Kingdom nor Hollywood studies, Christmas and the holiday season arrive in the early part of November.  Even though you will have a similar experience November through mid December, the best time to go is during the first three weeks of November. The crowds are minimal, rates are lower, and you have a greater chance of better weather.


When to go to and When Not to go to EPCOT: Crowds

The best time to go to EPCOT to avoid the crowds is during the month of November and first couple weeks of December, April through most of May, and the months of January and February. Each of these periods have the least number of visitors with shorter lines. This gives you and your family the best chance of experiencing more rides. (See below for reasons to not go in Jan and Feb).

The high season for EPCOT  includes the months of June and July and August. These months represent the season where most Americans take their family vacations. The crowds can be extensive which makes it a challenge to try and complete a comprehensive experience of what EPCOT offers all in one day.  It is common for visitors during the busier seasons to break EPCOT up into tow days with a focus on Future World one day and then World Showcase the next.  You can still use the Fast Past to help but the number of rides that use it are limited.


When to go to and When Not to go to EPCOT: Weather

When it comes to weather, the good news is that Orlando, Florida has fair weather year round. The most comfortable weather occurs during the months of April, May, and October. Although November is usually comfortable during the day it can easily be too cool at night or to cold for enjoying the water parks. However, the cool evening temperatures of November add to the magical Christmas and holiday celebrations.  The darker hours arrive earlier in November and December allowing you to experience the magic of Disney’s light celebrations.

The summer months can be out right hot. This can make standing in lines uncomfortable, however Disney seeks to help with this by using fans along with covered or indoor lines. When it comes to weather, the most vulnerable time to go is during the months of August and September. This is the season when hurricanes and tropical storms or more possible.


When to go to Disney World: Park Hours

EPCOT is open year round. The best time to go to Disney World for the park hours is during the summer months and the last two weeks of December for the Christmas holidays. During these periods, EPCOT will be open until 10pm, 11pm and even midnight.  Some of these extended hours are to offset the crowds and long lines, but as expected Disney turns on the magic at night with light celebrations of different kinds.

Disney’s parades of light, holiday light decorations, fireworks and more make nighttime a spectacular event in and of itself. EPCOT comes alive at night and one of the most spectacular firework and light celebrations .


When to go to EPCOT: Rides and Attractions

Of course this information is based on preferences.  Ideally you will have the time and resources to do EPCOT in 2 days.  This makes it easier to split the park in half with one day focused on the rides and attractions of Future World and the next day focused on the experiences of World Showcase.  Another option is to leverage two days with rides in the morning and early afternoon followed by half of World Showcase in the evening.  The second day will be leverage to hit rides and attractions that you missed or repeat favorites followed by the other half of World Showcase in the afternoon and evening.

If not, you want to start your day in Future World with the rides and attractions for two reasons.  First the lines will get longer as the day goes on making the probability that you experience each attraction or even your favorites less likely.  Second, you will want to be in World Showcase during the evening anyway for the spectacular fireworks and light celebration as the evening sets in.

Two of the most popular rides are Test Track and Soarin with both offering FASTPASS.  What many people will do is send one member of their party with all of the tickets to one or the other of these two rides to get FASTPASS tickets for everyone while the others head to get inline for the other ride.

Two popular rides for families with small children are Living with the Land (FASTPASS) and The Seas (no FASTPASS).  Again, send someone to get FASTPASS tickets from Living with the Land while others head to get in line for The Seas.  This makes it easier to check off both of these rides.


When to Go or When Not to go to Disney World: Events and Schedules

Although January and February have lower rates, decent weather, and shorter lines, this is the part of the year where EPCOT may schedule a ride or attraction closure for routine maintenance.  The park will be open and most rides will be open, but there will be closures of some attractions for maintenance.


Candlelight Processional

This amazing holiday celebration occurs on special evenings throughout the Christmas and winter holiday season.  Featuring a celebrity narrator and a 50-piece orchestra and mass choir, it is a spectacular celebration of the Christmas story.  Combined with other holiday highlights, this is a reason to go to Disney and EPCOT all on its own.


International Flower & Garden Festival

An event presented by HGTV, the IFGF provides visitors with foods and refreshing tastes in special Garden Marketplaces throughout the World Showcase part of EPCOT.  Check Disney for more detailed schedules, but this festival targets the early part of March through mid-May.  Some of the activities or features of the festival are scheduled for the weekend only.


International Food and Wine Festival

This annual culinary adventure takes place in November adding to the benefits of going during the Christmas and holiday season.  Visitors will experience a taste of culture from the various countries featured throughout World Showcase.  There are visitors who come to EPCOT for this experience alone.  A possible tip for a better experience.  Don’t plan for a lunch or dinner, but rather plan to snack throughout the day as you tempt your tastebuds with treats from the various exhibits.


Gay Pride Week

It is important to note that this is not a Disney sponsored event.  However during the early part of June, Gay Pride Week is an annual occurrence at Disney World bringing a greater number of people from the gay and lesbian community.  For some this is a reason to go, whereas for others it may be a reason to avoid the parks.   For those that want to avoid this, but it is the only time period you can go, there is good news.  The gay and lesbian community only targets visiting EPCOT one day of the week.  This makes it easy for you to select EPCOT on a different day.  Whether this is a reason to go or a reason to not go,  detailed schedules are accessible through Google search.


When to go and Not to go to EPCOT: Rates

Disney has done a tremendous job of evaluating when people come. To help encourage more people to come during off periods, the rates get lower. Disney actually has six different rate seasons. You have to take the recommendations from above and add them to the rate considerations noted below:


Value Season:

January through mid-February and August through most of September. These are when prices are the lowest. But please note the first represents the greatest chance of ride closures for maintenance and the later represents the greatest chances for tropical storms and hurricanes.


Regular Season:

Mid-April through most of May, This is one of the best times to go based on other considerations like weather and crowds.


Summer Season:

June through first part of August. This is the busiest and most crowded time of the year.


Fall Season:

Different weeks in September, October and November.  These weeks in October are great times to go for weather and crowds, however November is better because of the Christmas and holiday celebration additions.


Peak Season:

Several weeks from mid-February through early April. These weeks are usually associated with spring break weeks across the country.


Holiday Season:

The last two weeks of December and various holiday weeks throughout the year. Although the last two weeks of December are crowded, Disney Christmas and holiday celebrations are truly magical.

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