Epcot FastPass+ selections can be difficult to navigate. In this Epcot FastPass+ Strategy Guide, we’ll be taking a look at all of the FastPass+ options, weighing the benefits for selecting each attraction, and then giving you our own strategy for which FastPass+ selections to make.
If you are brand new to FastPass+ Reservations, please check out our FastPass+ 101 Guide – Everything you need to know about FastPass+.
Epcot is a Tiered attraction park, which means there are two tiers of attractions for making FastPass+ Reservations. Guests can select one FP+ from the Tier 1 attractions and two FP+ from the Tier 2 attractions.
Tier 1 Attractions
At Epcot, there are five Tier 1 attractions to choose from, which makes your selection process all that more difficult, since you can only pick one for your FastPass+ selection. There are pros and cons to picking each attraction, but it largely depends on what kind of experience you are hoping to have and who is in your travelling party.
Frozen Ever After
Aboard a Nordic boat to travel to visit Arendelle and see Olaf, Sven, Kristoff, the trolls, Marshmallow, Snowgies and, of course, Elsa. This musical journey is full of brilliant animatronics and one short drop where you could get a little wet.
Illuminations: Reflections of Earth
Running until September 30th, 2019, this is Epcot’s Nighttime Spectacular. Celebrating life on Earth, this 12-minute firework show has a memorable soundtrack and a 350,000-pound spinning globe, all taking place in the middle of the World Showcase Lagoon. A FastPass+ reservation guarantees VIP viewing, though the show may experience delays or cancellations in the event of inclement weather.
Soarin’ Around the World
40″ Height Requirement
A relaxing, breezy airborne adventure as you fly on a hang glider around some of the world’s most breathtaking sites. A sensory overload with smells in the air as the wind blows across your face. It’s not a 3D film, but it does simulate flight so some guests with a fear of flying or heights may not enjoy this experience.
40″ Height Requirement
Design a virtual concept car and then test out it’s abilities on the sim-track. Twists and turns with small drops, the pinnacle of this attraction is the speed test portion of your test drive as the sim car reaches up to 65mph, making it the fastest attraction at Walt Disney World.
Our Tier 1 FastPass+ Strategy
The 3 most popular attractions on this list are Frozen Ever After, Soarin’ and Test Track. They’re also the attractions with historically the longest standby wait times, so you really have to figure out your strategy for using a combination of a FastPass+ reservation and good planning.
The Big 3 Epcot FastPass+
When Frozen Ever After first opened in Norway, it had the longest wait time at the park, but now that a couple of years have passed, that wait time is a little more manageable (still long, but manageable). Similarly, Soarin’ used to have a long wait time, back when they only had 2 concourses. Now, however, they have 3 concourses to load guests into, which gives the attraction a higher capacity and a relatively lower wait time. This puts Test Track as the current front runner for longest wait time. Because of that, we typically suggest using your FastPass+ reservation for Test Track later in the late morning/early afternoon and then try to do both Soarin’ and Frozen Ever After shortly after the park opens, when the crowds are a little lighter.
What about Illuminations?
Illuminations takes place in the World Showcase Lagoon and there really isn’t a bad spot to view the show, so using a FastPass+ reservation really only gives you a guaranteed perfect view. Unless you’re planning on taking pictures with a tripod, we would recommend passing on this FastPass+.
For parents with small children, Frozen Ever After is a good choice for the family (or anyone who is a huge Frozen fan). Chances are good that when Frozen 2 comes out in theatres, this attraction may see a resurgence in the wait time.
Tier 2 Attractions
Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
Experience three Disney and Pixar short films in 4D. However, we can comfortably say right now, do not use a FastPass+ reservation on this attraction. Shows run 18 minutes and are never full.
Journey Into Imagination With Figment
A slow moving dark ride through the laboratories of Dr. Nigel Channing (Eric Idle), showcasing how the 5 senses spark imagination. This musical adventure is made more endearing with the whimsical purple dragon Figment running amok throughout.
Living with the Land
Take a slow boat ride through the history of farming and then glide through the incredible greenhouses where horticulturalists showcase their innovative growing techniques, giving you a glimpse into the future of agriculture.
Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot
Typically, you can find Mickey, Minnie and Goofy hanging around the Epcot Character Spot, though characters are always subject to change. A FastPass+ reservation gives you priority access to see all three characters within the building.
40” (Green) or 44” (Orange) Height Requirement
A simulated NASA-style space mission with roles and responsibilities for each guest. The Green Mission is a less intense mission to orbit the Earth in a light motion simulator. The Orange Mission is a higher intensity journey to Mars that uses a centrifuge that spins and tilts to simulate G-forces.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
Climb aboard a slow-moving clamshell as you join Nemo and his friends through a journey under the sea. This includes seeing the characters projected into the 5.7 million gallon aquarium which houses hundreds of real life sea creatures.
Enter into the signature symbol of the Epcot park – the geosphere. Inside, Judi Dench narrates a slow-moving 16-minute tour through the history of human communication from the stone age, to the computer age.
Turtle Talk with Crush
Crush, everyone’s favourite sea turtle, answers questions from the audience and chats about some totally tubular friends of his. This 15-minute show is completely improvised, so it’s different every time. Definitely geared towards younger guests, but everyone can appreciate this unique experience.
Our Tier 2 FastPass+ Strategy
There’s a little more flexibility in FastPass+ strategies at Epcot because it really depends on where your interests lie and your overall plan for tackling the park. Of course, we’ll reiterate, you do not need to use a FastPass+ for the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival. Even when it was Captain EO, you never needed to skip the line…it’s a large theatre.
Almost Always Spaceship Earth
Our general rule is to use a FastPass+ reservation for Spaceship Earth, because the line can get a little longer during the day and you want to make sure you at least ride it once. It’s a great use of a FastPass+ since it’s such an iconic attraction in the park.
Epcot FastPass+ for Thrill Seekers
Mission: Space is a good option because the lineup can grow, but it depends on the time of day and whether you wish to try the Orange or Green Mission. It’s a safe bet to ensure you at least experience some extra thrills during your day, but if you have a FastPass+ reservation for Test Track, try to book your Mission: Space FastPass+ for around the same time (eg. 2-3pm Test Track, 3:15-4:15pm Mission: Space). That way, you’re not traveling all the way back to Future World East just for one attraction.
Epcot FastPass+ for Families
Turtle Talk with Crush may seem like a good use of a FastPass+, but with shows happening so often, it’s easier to wait around for the next show while checking out the incredible sights throughout the rest of the Seas pavilion. Time is not wasted exploring the depths of the Seas, but using a FastPass+ reservation may be a bit of a waste here.
Similarly, the Seas with Nemo & Friends can be a good option, but chances are good that sometime during the day, that stand-by wait time is going to go down to something reasonable. Instead, try something a little different and aim for Journey Into Imagination With Figment. It’s not worth waiting more than 20 minutes for this attraction, so bypass the possibly longer stand-by line with a FastPass+ selection.
If meeting Mickey, Minnie and Goofy would really bring a smile to your child’s face, then a FastPass+ reservation for the Epcot Character Spot is a great choice. There can be lower wait times (early morning or later in the evening) and at least the building is air conditioned if you choose to wait stand by, but bypassing this line is a good use of your FastPass+.
Epcot FastPass+ for the Green Thumb
We’ll admit a bias here, but we love Living with the Land. It’s such a relaxing, beautiful ride that offers so much to look at. That being said, it’s never worth a 20+ minute wait, so if you happen to visit on a busy day, either wait for the stand-by wait time to go down, or just book a FastPass+ reservation and be on your merry way through this wonderful testament to Disney innovation.
The Bottom Line!
Here’s what we would choose for these three categories:
Thrill Seekers: Pick Test Track, Spaceship Earth and Mission: Space
Families with young children: Pick Frozen Ever After, Spaceship Earth and either Journey Into Imagination with Figment or Meet Disney Pals at the Epcot Character Spot
For everyone else: Pick Test Track, Spaceship Earth and one of Figment, Mission: Space or Living with the Land
If you’d like to check out any of our other FastPass+ Strategy Guides, you can find them here:
Or check out everything you need to know about FastPass+ with our FastPass+ 101 Guide.
Ready to book your Epcot FastPass+ reservations? You can make your selections here.
What are your FastPass+ Strategies at Epcot? Let us know in the comments below!