Oh, what has become of the experimental prototype at Walt Disney World? That loaded question causes many Disney veterans to elaborate for hours. EPCOT endures as favorite Walt Disney World theme park for many. Still, some others view it as their least favorite. Recently, EPCOT functions as the festival park. What if you desire to maximize your time at EPCOT? If so, rope-dropping (being at the park before park opening to be first for attractions) demands some discussion.
What is best way to rope drop EPCOT?
This question lacks simple answers. The first variable involves which entrance you are going to use. Epcot offers a main entrance near Spaceship Earth. Also, many resort guests start their Epcot day via the International Gateway entrance. This world showcase entrance formerly opened at 11am. Now, this entrance opens at same time as the main entrance. The entrance you use influences best suggested rope dropping strategy. Remember, the point of rope dropping revolves around trying to enjoy attractions with shorter wait times. A rope drop veteran focuses early on attractions that develop long queues as day progresses.
Like other articles I have written about rope dropping (AK and DHS), I will break down the options based on having early theme park entry or not. Moreover, this analysis divides again based on which entrance selected. As always, plan to arrive at least 45 minutes before your available time to enter the park. The earlier you arrive then the less people who will be in front of you in queues.
RESORT GUESTS WITH EARLY PARK ACCESS ENTERING FROM MAIN ENTRANCE:
- Test Track should be your first stop. Based on this attraction’s reliability issues (mechanical and weather), the priority from this entrance increases.
- If things move properly, you should race to Frozen Ever After next. If you get lucky, you will beat all the non-resort guests there.
- You should then back-track to Soarin’ Around the World. The wait time for this attraction will increase slower than previous two. However, one of the frustrating parts of rope dropping Epcot involves all the time used simply walking. If you prioritize less walking while rope dropping, you can switch to this attraction after Test Track. You do risk a much higher wait time for Frozen Ever After that way though.
- You should do all other attractions before Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure if entering from main entrance. So far during a short amount of time to gather data, your wait time saved heading to Remy’s first from main entrance pales in comparison to time saved compared to these suggestions. Yes, this means you will most likely experience a standby queue wait time over an hour for Remy’s. As you can see, the individual paid access lightning lane for Remy’s offers value.
RESORT GUESTS WITH EARLY PARK ACCESS ENTERING VIA INTERNATIONAL GATEWAY:
- If, and only if, you are in first 200 or so people entering here, you should go to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. If you fail to arrive early enough, you may use all your early park entry time waiting in a queue for Remy attraction. This will cause you to fall behind non-resort guests for rest of morning. Now, if you must ride the Remy attraction or your day is ruined, do it now. However, this fails to maximize your valuable rope drop low attraction queues. Often, the math encourages us do things that seem wrong. This suggestion meets that criterion.
- If you bypassed Remy attraction, go to Frozen Ever After. You should beat guests coming from main entrance.
- Head to Test Track next followed by Soarin’.
GUESTS LACKING EARLY THEME PARK ENTRY:
- Your best options most days remains Test Track. Frozen Ever After should be avoided until later in day if possible.
- Soarin’ makes a reasonable next choice. Since you are at least a half hour behind resort guests, your short queue options stay limited. However, crowd level varies at Epcot so you might be able to enjoy a few shorter wait times with everyone racing to Remy attraction.
- If visiting on a lower crowd level day, you might be able to enjoy Frozen Ever After in first hour of park opening with a short wait.
- EPCOT features only four attractions with potential for long queues most days. Whatever you do, start with one of them before you wait in long line for coffee.
- Obviously, buying individual lightning lanes and Genie+ makes this easier.
- Wait times for most attractions at EPCOT drop noticeably for last three hours of park operation. So far, we lack enough data about Remy attractions since it recently converted to standby queue with no more boarding passes. I suspect wait times drop but not significantly. If spending all day at Epcot, you should be able to enjoy some of top attractions later in day with a far shorter queue.
- Attractions in world showcase area tend to be busier than attractions in other area of EPCOT after 4 pm each day.
- In fairness, these suggestions require reassessment after Guardians of Galaxy attraction opens.
If visiting Epcot only one day on your Disney vacation, then consider these suggestions. Every park day brings new challenges. Hopefully, you will experience low attractions waits and beautiful weather when you visit Epcot. Have fun!
Pirates & Princesses (PNP) is an independent, opinionated fan-powered news blog that covers Disney and Universal Theme Parks, Themed Entertainment and related Pop Culture from a consumer's point of view. Opinions expressed by our contributors do not necessarily reflect the views of PNP, its editors, affiliates, sponsors or advertisers. PNP is an unofficial news source and has no connection to The Walt Disney Company, NBCUniversal or any other company that we may cover.