Looking into becoming a Walt Disney World Annual Passholder and wondering if the Epcot After 4 Pass is the right choice for you? Or maybe you’re renewing your pass and want to explore the perks of other pass types?
We’ve been Annual Passholders for years and it’s always worth taking a dive into the details of multiple pass options to see which will fit your needs best during any given year.
The Epcot After 4 Pass is an ingenious use of the park that’s best known for it’s food – especially dinner. Which is why Epcot is currently the only park out of Walt Disney World’s four theme parks to offer this kind of pass. Dive into our full explanation to compare the benefits.
IS THE EPCOT AFTER 4 PASS WORTH IT? – THE SHORT ANSWER
The Epcot After 4 Pass is definitely worth it for many types of Disney fans and it pays for itself in fewer than three visits to the park. It’s the least expensive Disney Annual Pass offered, but includes all the same extra benefits of the other pass types offered at Walt Disney World. That alone makes it worth it if you plan to visit the parks even just a few times throughout the year.
The Epcot After 4 Pass is most ideal for adults who prefer a more relaxed park experience, or those on a tight budget who love the multi-cultural food experience that Epcot offers.
Those who enjoy the cool of the evening, a leisurely walk around the World Showcase and a delicious meal followed by an epic display of fireworks in the night sky will get the most out of this pass. Epcot has also improved significantly with plans to expand in the future, promising so many more fascinating experiences for evening guests.
If passholder discounts and perks, admission to the tastiest park on property and no block-out dates for a reasonable price appeals to you, the Epcot After 4 Pass is definitely something to consider.
FULL LIST OF EPCOT AFTER 4 PASS PERKS
Thankfully, all of Walt Disney World’s passes come with a vast number of perks with purchase. The Epcot After 4 Pass is no exception and includes most of the benefits you’d receive with other more expensive passes.
This is pretty self-explanatory. Obviously, when you purchase any of Walt Disney World’s passes your main benefit is free park admission included with the pass. Where others include multiple parks, the Epcot After 4 Pass is only valid for admission to Epcot.
This is something to consider if you want to visit the other parks throughout the year. If you only purchase the Epcot After 4 Pass, you’ll have to pay for separate tickets to the other parks if you want to visit them.
The good news is that you’ll never have block-out dates with the Epcot After 4 pass. Meaning that even if there’s a special event or season like Festival of the Holidays or Epcot’s Food and Wine Festival, you’ll be able to get in any time after 4pm no matter the day or park busyness.
With Epcot, a lot of the best things happen after 4pm anyway. It typically closes around 9pm, so you get 5 hours a day (every day if you wanted) to spend inside the park. This gives you enough time to book several Fastpasses, eat dinner, catch a show and watch the fireworks at park closing.
During festivals, this gives you a whole 5 hours to hit up the festival food and merchandise stands, watch demos at World ShowPlace events pavilion, or catch a concert at America Gardens Theater which often hosts Broadway singers, headliner bands or special performances like Candlelight Processional with a celebrity narrator.
Many guests often underestimate the price for parking at Walt Disney World, but it’s very much an unexpected expense that daily park-goers undertake. On average, guests pay $25 per vehicle to park in the theme park parking lot each day of their stay.
Depending on your vehicle size and type, you could be paying anywhere from $25 per day for standard parking, $30 for over-sized vehicle parking or even up to $45-$50 a day for preferred parking at the front of the parking lot.
Your Epcot After 4 Pass includes free standard parking every day you choose to enter the park. If you only used your pass three times for the year, your savings would be at least $75 or up to $625 if you visited just 25 days out of the year.
The savings are monumental if you are a regular park visitor which, again, many people forget to think about before coming to Epcot.
Dining is the number one reason people choose to visit Epcot and should be the number one reason for your purchase of the Epcot After 4 Pass. If you enjoy Epcot enough to buy this pass, chances are high that you’ll partake in many if not most of the eateries this park has to offer throughout the year.
Epcot has an exceeding number of excellent places to get a great meal, ranging from quick service and fast casual to signature and fine dining. Depending on your mood, you could have over a dozen places to choose from in each category, all with varying cuisines and styles.
On a regular basis, Epcot has at least one quick service and one table service dining location in each of it’s 11 countries inside the World Showcase (if you haven’t visited before and are wondering which countries you’ll find in the World Showcase, see the full guide to Epcot’s countries here). Epcot also has more American themed cuisines and restaurants inside the Future World portion at the front of the park.
But the truly special part about Epcot is the multiple festivals throughout the year that highlight even more foreign cuisines in special pop-up food stands along the World Showcase Lagoon.
As if the sheer number of restaurants available to you isn’t enough, Epcot After 4 Passholders get a 10% – 20% discount off their bill at most quick service and table service locations. Always ask your server if they take passholder discounts in order to access this very important perk. This discount not only covers most Epcot restaurants, you can use it at applicable Disney Springs and resort restaurants, too.
If you consider yourself a foodie and want to indulge in all the edible things Epcot has to offer, check out some of our guides to the restaurants like our Top 5 Best Burgers in Epcot, The Ultimate Epcot Breakfast Guide, or the Ultimate Dining Guide for Epcot in general.
Even though Epcot doesn’t have many rides when compared to the other parks, this perk is a fun one to take advantage of. Epcot After 4 Passholders, as with other passes, get to book three Fastpasses per day up to 30 days in advance of their trip to the park.
Epcot’s most popular rides include Soarin’ Around the World, Frozen Ever After, Test Track, Mission Space and Spaceship Earth. They also have several kid-friendly experiences on Fastpass like Journey into Imagination, Turtle Talk with Crush, The Seas with Nemo and Friends and Living with the Land.
The all-new Guardians of the Galaxy ride has been going up for years and this highly-anticipated ride is set to open in 2021; a great new edition to a park with few rides and thrilling experiences.
We built a whole guide to Epcot’s Fastpass Tier system to help you when booking fastpasses for your day at Epcot. See our Epcot Fastpass guide here to get the best out of each evening in Epcot.
Photopass is a great service that each of the parks uses to capture photos of you and your family at different points throughout the park. They are usually stationed in front of the park’s major landmark like Spaceship Earth or other beautiful locations like the France pavilion fountain.
While regular park guests have to pay to download these photos from the My Disney Experience app or pay for the Photopass Service to get the pictures included with their park tickets for the day, all passholders get to download the photos for free.
Here’s how it works: When you get your picture taken with a Photopass photographer, they will ask to scan your MagicBand, Passholder card or park ticket. This will automatically link the photos to your passholder account.
You can access these photos in the My Disney Experience App or online through your Walt Disney World account. You’ll be able to download the photos for free for an entire year before the photos filter out of the system.
This is a great perk for couples and families who don’t want to be bothered carrying around a camera, who don’t want to take selfies all day or have to stop other guests and ask them to take their picture. Simply walk up to any Photopass photographer and snap a picture.
EVENTS & EXPERIENCES
As mentioned before, Epcot has many different special events and experiences throughout the year that Epcot After 4 Passholders can be a part of in the evening.
The biggest events of the year include the Festival of the Arts, the International Flower and Garden Festival, the International Food and Wine Festival and the Festival of the Holidays. Each of these comes with a series of food carts around the World Showcase and different experiences around the park.
Some of these experiences include the Eat to the Beat Concert Series, Party for the Senses, the Candlelight Processional, Garden Rocks Concert Series, and Celebrity Chef demos. Most of these events are free on a first come, first served basis and all evening guests also get the opportunity to experience them.
With no block-out dates, Epcot After 4 Passes give you the opportunity to experience these popular festivals and happenings on bustling Friday and Saturday nights. Or you could choose to escape the crowd and see engage these events on Sunday or weekday nights.
Epcot has shopping locations scattered all over the park, featuring big stores and small shops filled with Disney’s typical park-themed merchandise and unique international merchandise around the World Showcase. Almost every one of them is open long after 4:00 PM.
You’ll find all the movie-inspired, Mickey and friends and Epcot specialty goods in the main store, Mouse Gear. This is the largest store in the park and is a great place to hit up after the fireworks since it stays open for an hour after closing time.
Around the World Showcase, choose items from multiple shops representing many different countries and cultures. In Norway, you’ll find ski gear, winter clothing and Frozen merchandise, while in Morocco you’ll find beaded dresses and scarves, henna jars and painted pottery.
There will also be pop-up shops that appear throughout the year for the various festivals and events that will carry limited edition items and festival themed merchandise only available for that season. There will even be limited releases of passholder exclusive merchandise available at these stands.
Best of all, your Epcot After 4 Pass can save you up to 20% off your purchases at most Disney stores. This discount isn’t limited to Epcot stores, it extends to most Disney Springs and Disney resort shops and stores, as well. So always ask the cast member if your pass discount applies.
If you’ve been to Epcot more times than you can count, you may want to spice things up a bit. A great way to experience additional magic is to purchase tour reservations for an inside look at Epcot’s backstage.
Epcot After 4 Passholders can save up to 15% on select guided tours, and Epcot has many unique tours to choose from that aren’t often advertised. For instance, the Backstage Magic tour gives you a 7-hour experience into the inner workings of the park.
The Behind the Seeds tour, as well as the Gardens of the World tour, gives you an inside look at Epcot’s Living with the Land and other garden areas around the park where expert horticulturists and gardeners use local and foreign techniques to grow food and herbs for Disney restaurants.
During the holidays, you can sign up for the Holiday D-Lights tour to get a spectacular family-style barbecue meal at Whispering Canyon Cafe in the Wilderness Resort, backstage access to Cinderella Castle in Magic Kingdom, score priority seating at Epcot’s Candlelight Processional and finish with Epcot fireworks.
The most interesting tours take place in Epcot’s Living Seas pavilion. Tours include Epcot’s Seas Adventure Aqua Tour which is a snorkeling experience with reef creatures, Epcot’s DiveQuest which takes licensed and experienced scuba divers on a tour of the big aquarium tanks and Dolphins in Depth, a 30 minute interaction with the resident dolphins.
Throughout the year, Disney will promote certain passholder perks that aren’t always available. For instance, you could receive an email notification with special rates on resort hotels, new restaurants, or events like RunDisney. Even if your pass is only good for Epcot with the Epcot After 4 Pass, you are included in the passholder umbrella.
Therefore, you could get exclusive access to water park discounted tickets when available or discounts on Mickey’s Not-So-Scary-Halloween Party or Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party in Magic Kingdom. These are special ticketed events that don’t require a pass or daily ticket.
Other special offers come in the form of passholder merchandise at these events or festivals going on inside Epcot. Often, you’ll find a passholder table filled with merch that you can purchase for that season.
Expect special offers to occur randomly and be on the lookout for emails from Disney. Most of the time when emails are sent with discounted rates on events, they book up quickly. Discounts on shopping, dining and resort stays don’t require as quick of a response time.
All passholders, no matter the type, have exclusive access to their own passholder hot line with Disney. This phone line will get you in front of a cast member more quickly than the general line will and they are there specifically to help passholders.
This is the Passholder Support line for Walt Disney World Resort: (407) WDW-PASS or (407) 939-7277
In addition to this, there are passholder stations located inside the park where you can talk to someone in person. Epcot’s station is located in the Guest Relations area inside Innovations East, the Main Entrance and the Lobby at International Gateway (between France and UK pavilions).
Another service that some passholders don’t realize is the ability to pay for your pass on a monthly basis instead of paying it all up front. Paying monthly on your pass costs the exact amount as paying in full and this can be very helpful for guests on a budget.
Lastly, you can find a lot of park details and passholder information on your My Disney Experience app while on the go, or login to Walt Disney World’s website to look at what special offers are available to you each month.
Not only can you access support on the phone and in the park, but you’ll receive communications from Disney on a fairly regular basis regarding park updates, passholder benefits and new additions to the park or your pass.
The first form of communication is in the form of direct emails from Disney. Often they’ll promote seasonal events and special offers that you can take advantage of. Occasionally, they’ll announce the opening of a new experience or give you the chance to access discounted tickets to events and tours.
The other form of communication is the Mickey Monitor. This cute little digest magazine is filled with Disney parks’ seasonal events and experiences, mixed with interviews from cast members that make them possible. There’s a calendar included with the Mickey Monitor so you don’t miss event start dates or even movie releases.
By now you probably realize how extremely valuable an Epcot After 4 Pass can be. It is by far the least expensive pass available and you get the same discounts, benefits and opportunities as every other pass type. The only downside it that this pass only grants access to Epcot.
As we mentioned before, this pass type is very ideal for more relaxed couples or families with grown children who aren’t looking for the fast-paced, thrilling experiences of the other theme parks, but rather enjoy the exquisite food, intriguing experiences and nightlife of Epcot.
This pass is even good for the person who eats out regularly and doesn’t particularly love all things Disney, but loves a good time out with friends or family, a little exercise in walking to each dining location and maybe some fun rides or holiday festivities throughout the year.
If you want to be able to visit the other parks, though, we suggest looking at other passes that Walt Disney World offers. Each pass has loads of benefits with savings that will quickly pay for the pass, with different park experiences and admission.
PLANNING A TRIP TO EPCOT?
If you secured your Epcot After 4 Pass, you might need a few suggestions on where to begin your experience! We’re here to help with our guides to Epcot Tips & Secrets, Epcot Experiences for Adults, and the Best Epcot Rides for Adults.