Walt Disney World Touring Plan: EPCOT updated with Genie+

Please note: Walt Disney World operations continue to be in a state of flux. For recommendations about visiting Walt Disney World right now please visit WDW Prep School.

Although a visit to Walt Disney World is a vacation, it’s like no other vacation you’ve ever taken. Considering the expense, the last thing you want to do is spend your days waiting in lines. Having a solid touring plan for each park is a must. That way you can prioritize your “must sees” and get the most bang for your buck.

That said, if you are someone who likes to go with the flow and be more casual about planning, Disney’s new free Genie tool will help. Or you can use the excellent TouringPlans system which costs $18 for full features for a year. In essence for either system you put in your “to do” list and it optimizes your plans based on walking, wait times, and real time crowds. I seriously cannot endorse TouringPlans enough and wouldn’t go on a Walt Disney World trip without it. Their app’s wait time accuracy is unmatched, whereas Disney’s free wait time system is often wrong.

Generally, avoid lines means arriving at the parks early. Being there at park opening aka “rope drop” allows you to squeeze in some top attractions before lines build. Conversely, you can usually get on some high demand rides with minimal wait very late in the day right before closing, or during fireworks presentations. These tactics are tried and true regardless of what system is currently in place for Disney park guests. Please note that many parks open upwards of 45 minutes ahead of the posted time, and if you stay on property you can enjoy an additional half hour early entry to any park each day. That means an even more early arrival (I know, groan).

EPCOT is my favorite park, and is currently undergoing a serious makeover and expansion. I like to think of the park in two. The first being the front which is very ride focused, and the second being the World Showcase in the rear of the park. The former is what most think of when they are looking to do amusement park attractions, and the latter showcases different countries around the world with music, food, shopping and other cultural highlights.

There are only a few attractions that garner long wait times in EPCOT. They are:

  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • Soarin’ Around the World

Living with the Land and Gran Fiesta Tour can also get long, but in my experience it’s just a matter of timing. I’ve ridden both several times in a row late at night. Spaceship Earth, since it’s the first ride everyone sees, is very busy in the morning. However, by mid afternoon there rarely is a long wait. Hit it on the way out of the park.

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is a brand new attraction that opened in October 2021. Just like any new ride, expect major delays. I experienced this myself when Frozen Ever After opened.

To cut down on wait times, Disney has implemented a virtual queue strategy. Essentially, you put your slot in line virtually and come to the attraction when your time slot is called. Virtual queues have usually opened day of via the MyDisney Experience App at 7 a.m. EPCOT, like all parks, will be implementing the new Genie+ premium line jumping feature.

Attractions included in the Genie+ pass program at a cost of $15 per person, per day include:

  • Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Living with the Land
  • Mission: SPACE – Green
  • Mission: SPACE – Orange
  • Soarin’
  • Spaceship Earth
  • Test Track
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Turtle Talk with Crush

In addition, two top tier attractions not included in the pass you will be able to purchase a line skipping option that is based on surge pricing.They are:

  • Frozen Ever After
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

My recommendation is attempt to get in the virtual queue for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure when it becomes available via the My Disney Experience App at 7 a.m. or try again at 1 p.m. If you are unsuccessful, spring for the line jumping pass on this one. Upon park opening I would head directly to Frozen Ever After. It is a hike – at the rear of the park. If you have zero interest in this ride do Test Track or Soarin’ Around the World instead. The rest in my opinion can be managed throughout the day with use of TouringPlans or the Genie app. It’s also noteworthy to mention that Test track offers a single rider line, which if you are willing to ride alone can significantly shorten your wait time on this ride.

Here’s a full round up of attractions at EPCOT:

  • Spaceship Earth – Slow moving dark ride that takes you up in the golf ball. A family favorite.
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends – Go under water in a clamshell and visit with Nemo and real fish.
  • Aquariums in the Seas
  • Turtle Talk with Crush – Interactive animated Crush the turtle tells jokes and give educational facts to the audience.
  • Living with the Land – Ride a boat and learn about agriculture by going through greenhouses. My daughter absolutely loves this and we went on it three times at last visit, but it’s boring to some.
  • Soarin’ Around the World – Flight simulator. Takes you up 3 stories. Pretty mild thrills.
  • Mission to Mars – Space flight simulator. Intense.
  • Test Track – Hop in a car that takes you through vehicle testing ending with a 60 mph curve. Mildly thrilling. 
  • Journey to Imagination with Figment – an EPCOT classic
  • World Showcase – Visit countries from around the world, most experiences open at 11, but rides open earlier. You may want to purchase a passport which allows you to go up to cast members, who are from the respective countries, who will sign and stamp your passport and tell you about their culture/language. There is also a free color a Bear project for small children.
  • Frozen Ever After – A boat ride to Arendale. Mild backwards flume. 
  • Grand Fiesta Tour – A boat ride following Donald and his friends in Mexico 
  • American Experience – Animatronic historical show – good nap/rest spot
  • Several other displays and films in world showcase – all skippable.
  • Take time to explore the pavilions and shop. One key experience is to pick a pearl in Japan. It is done with much fanfare.

Shows:

Voices of Liberty – Excellent singers at the entrance to American Experience

Various cultural performances – Chinese acrobats, drummers in Japan – great if you catch them

End of Day – HarmoniUS shown on the lagoon.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s