Surviving FastPass+ at EPCOT During Christmas Week

The tiered system makes planning your FP+ a bit more difficult at EPCOT and Hollywood Studios. For my family, EPCOT is all about the food and drinks. While I love the rides, I’d much rather spend my time going pavilion to pavilion sampling the country’s customary food and drinks. We’ll usually head to EPCOT two or three times (not counting New Year’s Eve), making it easy to hit everything.

Here’s how the tiers breakdown and what I’d recommend:

Tier 1 (Choose 1):

Illuminations

Soarin’

Test Track

Living with the Land

Tier 2 (Choose 2):

Captain EO

Figment

Mission: SPACE Green

Mission: SPACE Orange

Spaceship Earth

The Seas with Nemo & Friends

Turtle Talk with Crush

EPCOT Character Spot

Looking at Tier 1, the only two rides I’d recommend are Soarin’ and Test Track. If you had one day at the park and had to choose between the two, I’d go with Soarin’. Test Track will see a long wait time, but nowhere near as long as Soarin’. I’ve seen the Soarin’ wait time go as long as three hours! Test Track will most likely hit 90 minutes, maybe a little longer. You can easily hit Test Track at Rope Drop or morning EMH and wait around 30 minutes. Everyone will head to Soarin’ at rope drop, though, and the wait time will continue to build from then.

From Tier 2, I’d go with Spaceship Earth and the EPCOT Character Spot. Mission: SPACE is an anomaly. When it first opened, it was an extremely popular ride, but now the novelty has worn off. It’ll still see a decent wait time, but based on personal preference, I wouldn’t use a FP+ for it. Spaceship Earth will usually have between a 60-90 minute wait, although I’ve seen it go longer. I’d label it as a “cult favorite” at EPCOT. It’s not a thrill ride by any means, but people love it and it continues to be a huge draw at Disney. I’d also recommend the character spot, as it’s the one place to meet all the main characters. This is probably the best photo opportunity in all of Disney. You can meet Mickey, Minnie, Donald, Goofy and Pluto. The wait will often go anywhere between 60 minutes to 2 hours.

What I’d Avoid

I’m not a huge fan of using a FP+ for fireworks, so I’d skip Illuminations. You can easily find a spot if you plan correctly. Areas like France and the bridge between France and the UK pavilion are awesome spots to watch the fireworks from. Captain EO is a show that seats a lot of guest at once, and Figment rarely has a very long line. Living with the Land and The Seas with Nemo & Friends are both continuous-load rides that shouldn’t have long standby lines.

Ultimately, the goal would be to spend at least two days at EPCOT. On day one, I’d reserve a FP+ for Soarin’, Spaceship Earth and the Character Spot. The second day, I’d reserve Test Track, The Seas with Nemo & Friends and Figment – however, I think you can easily get all of this done in one day.

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