Trying to make sense of Epcot’s FastPass tier system or simply looking for the park’s best rides? We’ve got you covered.
We built this guide to give you all the info you need to schedule the perfect Epcot rides for your trip. Below, you’ll find a complete breakdown of the FastPass+ tier system, followed by a ranking the Fastpass selections from best use of your time to worst.
Epcot Fastpass+ Tiers
Slightly different than in past years, Walt Disney World recently assigned Fastpass+ experiences to certain tiers based on their popularity to not only regulate the number of guests at the busiest rides, but also encourage use at less popular attractions.
The good news is that, even though the park is very popular, there are plenty of attractions at Epcot with low wait times. Matter of fact, Epcot is probably featured more on our big list of 110 Disney World Must-Do’s than any other park. So don’t stress too much over any one ride.
Epcot’s Fastpass+ tier system works like this: Guests select one attraction from Tier 1 and two attractions from Tier 2. Or, you have the option to select three Tier 2 attractions.
Guests can no longer stack their day with the best rides at each park, but not to worry! We have the full explanation of the tiers at Epcot for you to reference on your next trip:
Epcot Tier 1 FastPass+ Rides
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Test Track
- Frozen Ever After
- Epcot Character Spot
- Illuminations: Reflections of Earth
Indicated by it’s number one rank, Tier 1 is full of the top experiences and rides at Epcot. Guests are able to select one of these attractions in their Fastpass+ plans for the day.
Whether you are booking online, on the app or at a kiosk, the system will keep track of what you’ve selected. The Tier 1 section will no longer appear once you’ve chosen from that group.
If you’re not happy with your initial selection, you can choose to “modify” that Fastpass and exchange it for another Tier 1 or wait until you’ve used all three Fastpasses for the day to try booking another Tier 1 ride. Read more on how you can do this under Booking Fastpass+, “Additional Fastpass“.
We’re speculating that Guardians of the Galaxy will be slated as a Tier 1 ride upon it’s opening in 2021, possibly bumping one of these selections to Tier 2/
Epcot Tier 2 FastPass+ Rides
- Mission: SPACE
- Living with the Land
- the Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Spaceship Earth
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
Compiled of the secondary attractions at Epcot, Tier 2 experiences are much easier to book. Guests can select three of these attractions in their Fastpass plans for the day.
Concerned you may end up with all Tier 2 experiences and no Tier 1 experiences? The best way to secure Tier 1 rides is to look as far out as possible and continue checking regularly till you find your desired experience.
If you are unable to find the rides you want, the best way to avoid the longest waits are to arrive before the park opens and head to that experience first, or jump in line when the fireworks are starting.
Ranking the Best Epcot Rides for FastPass+
Below, we’ve listed every Fastpass+ experience available in Epcot, starting with the “must-reserves” and ending with the ones you don’t need to worry about getting Fastpasses for.
#1 Soarin’ Around the World (Tier 1)
We’ve chosen Soarin’ as our number one Fastpass+ pick because it’s our favorite ride in Epcot. Wait times can climb to over an hour on very busy days and it’s extremely rare to find the wait below 20 minutes.
Soarin’ Around the World is perfect for all ages over 40 in. tall and is continuously named a guest favorite. Most riders will enjoy the thrill of seeing foreign countries from a simulated high altitude.
For those of you who haven’t tried Soarin’, this classic Disney ride of genius design takes you on a flight through the perspective of a hang-glider on a 180-degree IMAX screen. You’ll experience the sights, sounds, smells and weightless feeling of gliding over 12 different countries.
Soarin’ also tops our list of best Epcot rides for adults.
#2 Test Track (Tier 1)
Test Track is probably tied for first Fastpass+ pick in our book, as many other Disney faithfuls would agree. The wait times are on par with Soarin’ on most days; sometimes rising above Soarin’ with fluctuating crowds.
Guests above 40″ can ride, but be sure your children are up for quick stops and starts, as well as flashing lights and sounds. The entire ride consists of creating your own racing vehicle and putting it through vigorous road tests.
The coolest part about Test Track is that it calculates your custom car’s abilities and rates you against the other vehicles created by guests in your group. Not to mention the thrilling speed trial that propels your simcar to 64.9 mph!
#3 Frozen Ever After (Tier 1)
We rank Frozen Ever After in third place. It’s been wildly popular since opening in 2016 and still sees wait times as high as 75 minutes on very busy days, rivaling Soarin’ and Test Track.
Frozen Ever After is ideal for families and children wanting to experience the highly advanced, life-like animatronics in iconic settings from the movie Frozen. It’s a fairly slow river ride, with one very short drop that shouldn’t be any concern for most.
Guests who came to Epcot a decade or more ago remember Maelstrom, a flume ride in the Norway Pavilion of the World Showcase. The movie Frozen released in 2013 and inspired the revamping of Maelstrom to reflect the world of Arandelle.
After you’re done with Frozen Ever After, we highly recommend stopping at Kringla Bakeri og Kafe and getting a Rice Cream. It’s definitely one of our Epcot desserts of choice.
#4 Epcot Character Spot (Tier 1)
Epcot Character Spot is fourth on our list, seeing wait times as low as 15 minutes and as high as 75 minutes. It rotates meet and greets with Mickey and friends, but doesn’t guarantee which character will be available.
Seeing Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse or Goofy is appealing to almost every guest young or old, but you may want to forgo booking this Fastpass if meeting them is not your top priority.
We recommend getting this Fastpass experience if you haven’t met one of these characters or if it’s an extremely busy day. Chances are, you’d prefer a Fastpass at one of our first experiences mentioned.
#5 Mission: SPACE (Tier 2)
Epcot’s classic outer-space ride Mission: SPACE offers the unique opportunity to simulate training as an astronaut through multiple tests. We’d love to rank this ride higher, but the wait times are fairly low, around 15-30 minutes on average.
Mission: SPACE is definitely more appealing to adults, older children and teenagers as the G-force simulations can be extreme for even the strongest of people. It’s recommended that you don’t eat immediately before boarding your shuttle.
Due to the nature of the tests, the ride is split into two categories: Green (less intense training) and Orange (more intense training). You’re assigned a roll – Navigator, Commander, Pilot or Engineer – and help control the simulation from takeoff on Earth to landing on Mars.
#6 Illuminations: Reflections of Earth (Tier 1)
We place Illuminations: Reflections of Earth viewing spot Fastpasses at number six, because you can honestly find a great view of the fireworks anywhere along the World Showcase Lagoon no matter how busy Epcot is.
But if it’s your first time seeing this show or you want a guaranteed great spot, a Fastpass will secure this for you. The viewing spot is located in between the Disney Traders and Port of Entry shops at the front of the World Showcase.
Illuminations is great for all ages, but guests with breathing problems may want to skip this Fastpass and stand farther away from the show. The viewing spot is so close to the water that smoke and debris can float down to guests in this area – spoken from experience!
#7 Spaceship Earth (Tier 2)
Spaceship Earth is Epcot’s most unique ride, taking you on a journey through time inside the “Big Golf Ball” that sits at the front of the park. You can find out all sorts of cool stuff about Spaceship Earth in a post we made specifically for the ride.
It’s a very long ride with 152 continuously moving ride vehicles for guests to hop in. Therefore, the wait times are usually less than 15 minutes, climbing to around 20-30 minutes (unless things are crazy) at most.
Spaceship Earth is probably most appealing to adults and teenagers; adults for the history lesson and teens for the “future generator” at the end which compiles your lifestyle choices into a short movie depiction of how your future will look.
#8 Living with the Land (Tier 2)
Living with the Land is an inspiring ride about farming achievements around the world. It’s enjoyable every few visits to Epcot and we find the wait is between 10-20 minutes most times. Even on busy days, the line queue is quite easy to walk through.
It’s great for all ages, with the exception of small babies or children who may get bored with the length of time and lack of visual and physical stimulation offered. It’s perfect for pregnant women and older adults.
The slow-paced boat cruise lasts about 20 minutes and is perfect for cooling off and resting your feet while learning about the cultivation of plants and vegetation grown for Disney’s restaurants using techniques from around the world.
#9 the Seas with Nemo & Friends (Tier 2)
The Seas building hosts many fun activities and learning stations for kids and holds one of the nation’s largest saltwater aquariums. The ride inside typically has a 5 minute wait but can rise to 20 minutes at most.
Children and adults will like the cool, dark atmosphere in the Seas with Nemo & Friends. Small kids will probably enjoy this ride the most, but adults will appreciate the views of the aquarium in between the ride’s movie scenes.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends has life-like scenes and characters projected on the aquarium walls as if they’re swimming through the ride with you. It’s a very happy ride, using Nemo and his friends to teach about ocean preservation.
#10 Journey into Imagination with Figment (Tier 2)
The purple and orange dragon, Figment, has more or less become the mascot for Epcot, specifically in the Imagination! pavilion of Future World. Journey into Imagination has typically less than a 10 minute wait most times of the year.
The ride is best suited for younger children and can seem hokey for adults who don’t connect with Figment’s character. It involves silly humor with a British scientist trying to control Figment’s behavior on the tour.
In the ride, Figment takes you on an open house through a science lab testing human senses and imagination. It can be fairly nostalgic for adults who remember the original attraction “Dreamfinder”.
#11 Turtle Talk with Crush (Tier 2)
In Turtle Talk, Crush answers various questions through the magic of the hydrophone – similar to Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor in Magic Kingdom. The wait times are very low for this show, often 5-10 minutes long.
The theatre seating offers a relaxing atmosphere for adults. But children will more than likely enjoy this attraction the most, since Crush will seem more life-like to them, answering any question they choose to ask.
During the show, Crush, along with various friends from Finding Nemo as well as Finding Dory, will “choose” members of the audience and engage with them in real time.
#12 Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival (Tier 2)
We rank Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival dead last. The attraction showcases short films produced by Disney and Pixar, located in the Imagination! pavilion. The wait times here are almost always only 5 minutes long.
Adults and teens may find exhibits amusing before entering the theatre, but young children will undoubtedly enjoy the experience more. The 18 minute movie projection uses three popular short films projected in 3D, and the features can change seasonally.
We prefer to watch Disney & Pixar short films at home on our own time. Epcot is huge (seriously, it’s massive) and there are a lot of more exciting things to do. Please don’t waste a Fastpass reservation on this one!
Honorable Mention: Gran Fiesta Tour, Starring the Three Caballeros
It may come as a surprise to many that you can select Turtle Talk with Crush or Journey into Imagination for Fastpasses, but Disney leaves the Gran Fiesta Tour off the Fastpass+ experiences entirely!
Thankfully, the wait times here are extremely low – maybe even less than 5 minutes on most days. The entire journey lasts a little less than 10 minutes, taking you through the streets of Mexico as residents prepare for a “Gran Fiesta”.
Children and adults will enjoy the boat cruise as it takes through the inside the Mexico pyramid. The hosts, the Three Caballeros, are looking for Donald Duck amidst preparations for a Gran Fiesta in the streets of Mexico. It’s one of the only rides in the World Showcase section of Epcot.
Most of us remember the paper Fastpass system Walt Disney World had back in the day, which still exists at Disneyland. If you’re unfamiliar with booking Fastpass+ nowadays, we’ve compiled a little guide to help you along.
Once you have your tickets or annual passes to Walt Disney World, your My Disney Experience account allows you to begin booking Fastpasses 30 days in advance, or 60 days in advance if you are staying on Disney property.
To book online, be sure you’ve connected all members of your party to your account. From there, you can select the day, the park, the time and the ride. It’s pretty easy to manage, but the site can get buggy at times.
On the App
You can use the website to book Fastpasses or you can download the My Disney Experience app to reserve them. We recommend downloading the app for your trip, as it’s a useful tool for seeing daily wait times and booking experiences on the go.
Whether you choose to use the website or the app, finding the Fastpasses you want can be difficult. We suggest you stay diligent to refreshing the feed and checking at multiple times throughout the day as Disney will release new Fastpasses for popular attractions at random.
At the Kiosk
Walt Disney World does not have Fastpass kiosks in front of each ride as they did in the past. Now, the kiosks are in designated locations throughout each park for guests to use.
Epcot has three Fastpass Kiosks. Two stations are located in Future World – at the Epcot Character Spot, near the Land, and at Innoventions Breezeway, across from the MouseGear shop.
The third location is located in the World Showcase, between the United Kingdom pavilion and the France pavilion. You’ll find it off to the side on the walkway to the Epcot area resorts at International Gateway.
As a rule, Disney only allows you to book three Fastpass+ experiences at one park each day. However, if you have used all three Fastpasses for the day, you can book a fourth one. Once you’ve used that one, you can book a fifth one – and so on and so forth until the park is closed.
If you’re looking to be in one particular park for a full day, we recommend you book your first three Fastpasses before 5pm and check the app for additional Fastpasses while you eat dinner to continue the fun into the night.
Looking for More Epcot Tips?
We recommend starting with our big list of 60 Things to Do in Epcot’s World Showcase. It covers everything from rides and entertainment to favorite snacks and restaurants in all 11 Epcot countries.