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12 Absolute Best Epcot Rides & Attractions

As an avid traveler, Epcot has always been one of my favorite theme parks at Walt Disney World resort.

Many visitors write it off as boring or not worthy of a full day’s exploration, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.

If you’re not sure what to do at Epcot, I’m here to help. 

In this post, I’ll outline the best Epcot rides and attractions, explain a bit about the best rides, and tell you whether they’re worth reserving on Genie+ or making an individual lightning lane purchase.

Let’s dig in!

Frozen Ever After

Photo of the exterior of the Frozen Ever After ride in Epcot's Norway pavilion.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

This slow boat ride takes guests through a Frozen-themed journey in the dark, complete with familiar tunes and your favorite Frozen characters, like Anna, Elsa, and Olaf. 

Frozen Ever After opened in 2016 and replaced Maelstrom, which was themed around vikings and Norwegian mythology.

A lot of Epcot fans were upset about this update, but I think this version of the ride is better!

This ride has proven to be so popular that it is set to be rebuilt at 3 additional Disney theme parks around the world: Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, and Walt Disney Studios Park in Paris.

  • Location:  Norway in World Showcase
  • Height requirement: All heights welcome
  • Lightning Lane?: Yes, as part of Genie+, but no individual lightning lane.
  • Duration: approximately 5 minutes

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

Photo of the Galaxy pavilion courtyard, home to Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind ride at Epcot.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

Although it just opened in 2022, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind quickly became one of the best rides at Epcot.

It is available via virtual queue, rather than a regular standby line. Personally, I’m a fan of virtual queues, so I hope this sticks and isn’t just part of the opening rollout.

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind was originally supposed to open around Walt Disney World’s 50th anniversary celebration in October 2021. However, its opening was delayed to May 27, 2022.

It is the first Marvel ride at Disney World, as well as the first roller coaster at Epcot.

This thrill ride doesn’t include any inversions, but has been known to cause motion sickness.

Aside from that, it’s also well known for it’s soundtrack! Each ride is set to a single song from a set list of 6 – kind of like one of Peter’s mix tapes!

  1. Conga by Gloria Estefan
  2. Disco Inferno by The Trammps
  3. Everybody Wants to Rule the World by Tears for Fears
  4. I Ran (So Far Away) by Flock of Seagulls
  5. One Way or Another by Blondie
  6. September by Earth, Wind and Fire

This has led to a fun challenge of sorts, where guests aim to get all 6 songs at least once.

And YES, I’m absolutely playing! So far I’ve gotten Disco Inferno, One Way or Another, I Ran (So Far Away), and September. How about you?

  • Location: World Discovery
  • Height requirement: 42 in. or taller
  • Lightning Lane?: Yes, this ride is available for individual lightning lane but not available as part of Genie+.
  • Duration: Approximately 4 minutes
  • NOTE: Virtual queue or individual lightning lane only. No standby line or Genie+.

Journey into Imagination with Figment

Photo of the attraction signage for Journey into Imagination ride at Disney World's Epcot theme park.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

In this slow ride, guests learn about the 5 senses: sight, smell, sound, taste, and touch. 

The ride is hosted by a purple dragon named Figment, who is a cult-favorite among Epcot fans. 

So much so that when the ride was updated in the late 1990s with barely any inclusion of Figment, there was a ton of backlash from guests.

So much so that it caused the ride to close after just 2 years so it could be reimagined to add him back again!

Journey into Imagination with Figment reopened in 2002 with everyone’s favorite purple dragon properly restored as mascot and host of the ride.

This is a simple and slow ride, but a great chance to rest your feet and get some AC. But for some of us, we love to see the silly purple dragon, too!

  • Location: Imagination pavilion in World Celebration
  • Height requirement: All heights welcome
  • Lightning Lane?: Via Genie+ only. But it’s not usually not needed for this ride.
  • Duration: 6 minutes

Figment Meet-and-Greet

Photo of a family posing for a photo with Figment, the purple dinosaur character at Epcot.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

Speaking of that silly purple dragon, you can now meet him inside ImageWorks, which is where his ride drops you into afterward.

This is actually the 3rd iteration of a Figment Meet-and-Greet, so if you’ve ever dreamed of getting his autograph and snapping a few photos, now’s your chance. You never know when he’ll disappear again!

  • Location: Imagination pavilion in World Celebration
  • Height requirement: All heights welcome.

Journey of Water ~ Inspired by Moana

Photo of the entrance to Journey of Water ~ Inspired by Moana at Epcot, with Spaceship Earth in the background.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

Are you ready to embark on a journey of water inspired by one of the most beloved Disney films of all time?

Journey of Water, based on the adventures of Moana, is one of the latest edutainment attractions at Epcot, and it’s bound to become a favorite – especially in the hot and humid Florida weather.

This walk-through experience takes guests on a mystical journey through the lush landscape of Te Fiti, where they’ll discover the importance of water and its role in creating life.

Whether you’re a die-hard Moana fan or just looking for a fun and informative experience, Journey of Water is a must-visit attraction at Epcot.

  • Location: World Nature
  • Height requirement: All heights welcome.
  • Genie+: To be determined.
  • Duration: This is a walk-through trail in which you can go at your own pace.

Living with the Land

Photo of a Mickey Mouse head shaped tree as seen in the greenhouse section of the Living with the Land ride at Epcot.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

In this slow moving boat ride, you learn about the history and future of agriculture. The best part is the behind-the-scenes look through a working greenhouse at Walt Disney World.

It’s so cool to see the different fruits, vegetables, plants, and fish (yes, fish!) that are grown at Disney World and used at their restaurants.

  • Location: The Land pavilion in World Nature
  • Height requirement: All heights welcome
  • Lightning Lane?: Via Genie+ only. But it’s not not needed for this ride.
  • Duration: 15 minutes

Mission: SPACE

Photo of the entrance area of the Mission Space ride at Epcot.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

On Mission: SPACE, guests can choose between 2 missions, each with a unique experience. It’s kind of like 2 rides in 1!

The Orange mission simulates a mission to Mars. It is super duper intense and hits up to 2.5G force. 

After riding the Orange mission once, I swore I’d never ride again – and I haven’t. 

That’s not to say others shouldn’t ride it as well, but if you have any kind of health condition, don’t.

Otherwise, have at it – it’s unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, but once was enough for me.

That said, in 2017, the Green mission was added, which simulates an orbit around Earth. It’s far less intense, but still thrilling!

  • Location: World Discovery
  • Height requirement: 40 inches or taller for Green mission & 44 inches or taller for Orange mission
  • Lightning Lane?: Via Genie+ only. Hit or miss as to whether you need it. If it’s a busy day, then yes. If not, you likely won’t have to wait.
  • Duration: ~10 minutes

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Photo of the exterior of Remy's Ratatouille Adventure ride at Epcot.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

In this ride, guests see what it’s like to be the same size as Chef Remy (the rat of our dreams 🎶) as they are chased through Gusteau’s restaurant.

This ride first debuted at Walt Disney Studios Park at Disneyland Paris in 2014. 

  • Location: France in World Showcase
  • Height requirement: Not yet known, but my assumption is that all heights will be welcome.
  • Lightning Lane?: Yes, via Genie+. HIGHLY recommended for this ride.
  • Duration: Just under 5 minutes

Soarin’ Around the World

Closeup of guests riding Soarin Around the World at Epcot.
Photo courtesy of Disney.

My favorite of all the rides at Epcot: Soarin’ Around the World!

In this ride, guests board a flight simulator ride that takes them around the world to places like:

  • Great Wall of China
  • the Taj Mahal in India
  • the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France
  • Australia’s Sydney Harbour
  • the Great Pyramids of Egypt
  • Kilimanjaro National Park in Tanzania

Soarin’ was initially implemented at Disney California Adventure in 2011 and took guests through different landscapes of California. The same experience opened at Epcot in 2005.

The current ‘Around the World’ experience debuted in 2016 at Epcot and Disneyland.

Similar versions of Soarin’ can be found at Shanghai Disneyland and Tokyo DisneySea.

  • Location: The Land pavilion in World Nature
  • Height requirement: 40 in or taller
  • Lightning Lane?: Via Genie+ only. Usually a good pick, unless it’s a low crowd day.
  • Duration: Just under 5 minutes

Spaceship Earth

Closeup of the Spaceship Earth Epcot ball at night, light up with blue and turquoise lights.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

First up is the iconic Spaceship Earth, affectionately known as the “Epcot ball ride.”

On Spaceship Earth, guests ride through the history of communication and technology, from cave paintings to the internet and beyond.

My only complaint? This ride is sorely overdue for a refresh. It was scheduled for one in recent years, but put aside in favor of other projects. Hopefully it will pan out in the next few years.

  • Location: World Celebration, by the main park entrance
  • Height requirement: All heights welcome
  • Lightning Lane?: Via Genie+ only. But it’s not usually not needed for this ride.
  • Duration: 16 minutes

Test Track

Closeup of the entrance for the Test Track ride at Epcot.
Photo by Meg Frost, all rights reserved.

In this Epcot ride, guests create their own concept car, and then get to ride a test car based on their build. 

Your car is tested in varying weather conditions, hills, speeds, and more. With a different ride possible nearly every time, it’s clear why Test Track is an Epcot favorite.

  • Location: World Discovery
  • Height requirement: 40 inches or taller
  • Lightning Lane?: Via Genie+ only and worth it if you’re interested in this ride.
  • Duration: 5 minutes
  • NOTE: A single rider line is available for this attraction.

Turtle Talk with Crush

In Turtle Talk with Crush, guests have a chance to chat with Crush, the surfer dude-like turtle from Finding Nemo. 

This attraction is super cute and fun to watch – plus there’s air conditioning and a chance to rest your feet. 

It’s excellent for kids, especially younger ones who will be mesmerized by Crush interacting with them.

This attraction has done so well that it has since been duplicated at Disney California Adventure, Hong Kong Disneyland, Tokyo DisneySea, and the Children’s Hospital of Orange County

Yes, that’s right – it’s also at a California hospital that was co-founded by Walt Disney himself!

There’s also a modified version on Disney Cruise Line’s Disney Dream and Disney Fantasy cruise ships.

  • Location: SeaBase building in World Nature
  • Height requirement: All heights welcome
  • Lightning Lane?: Via Genie+ only. But it’s not needed for this ride.
  • Duration: 10-13 minutes

Lightning Lanes & Genie+ at Epcot

Closeup of the Epcot ball during the day set amidst cloudy skies.

Not all of Epcot’s attractions and rides are available with Genie+ and only 1 is available for purchase as an individual lightning lane. Genie+ and individual lightning lanes can be purchased via the My Disney Experience app.

Check out the table below to get a full list of each attraction and ride that is available with Genie+, as well as which ones are available for purchase as an individual lightning lane pass.

In my opinion, most of the rides and attractions at Epcot don’t need Genie+. However, if you’re pressed for time, you may still want to get Genie+ for Epcot.

The top attractions I would consider getting Genie+ for are:

  1. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  2. Frozen Ever After
  3. Soarin’
  4. Mission: SPACE
  5. Test Track

If you can’t get the free virtual queue spot for Cosmic Rewind, I definitely recommend getting the individual lightning lane for it.

Ride or attractionGenie+?Individual Lightning Lane?
Disney and Pixar Short Film FestivalYesNo
Frozen Ever AfterYesNo
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic RewindNoYes
Journey into Imagination with FigmentYesNo
Living with the LandYesNo
Mission: SPACE – GreenYesNo
Mission: SPACE – OrangeYesNo
Remy’s Ratatouille AdventureYesNo
Soarin’ Around the WorldYesNo
Spaceship EarthYesNo
Test TrackYesNo
The Seas with Nemo & FriendsYesNo
Turtle Talk with CrushYesNo
Epcot Genie+ and Lightning Lane Availability

List of all Epcot rides and attractions

Illustration of the Epcot theme park map with highlighting showing where the new Epcot Worlds will be and their names: World Showcase, World Nature, World Celebration, and World Discovery.
Illustration courtesy of Disney.

Epcot has historically been more of a learning experience, with many galleries, interactive play spaces, and films making up the bulk of attractions. 

However, over the years, Epcot has expanded to include some of my favorite rides at Disney World.

For a full list of the best Epcot attractions and rides sorted by the 4 neighborhoods, World Celebration, World Nature, World Discovery, and World Showcase, see below.

World Celebration

  1. Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
  2. ImageWorks – the “What If” Labs
  3. JAMMitors percussion group
  4. Journey into Imagination with Figment
  5. Meet Disney Pals near Epcot Main Entrance (usually Minnie Mouse & Goofy)
  6. Meet a Favorite Pal at Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival (usually Mickey Mouse)
  7. Meet Figment Inside ImageWorks
  8. Meet Joy from Inside Out Inside ImageWorks
  9. Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future
  10. Spaceship Earth

World Discovery

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
  2. JAMMitors percussionists
  3. Mission: SPACE
  4. Mission: SPACE Advanced Training Lab
  5. Test Track

World Nature

  1. Awesome Planet film
  2. Bruce’s Shark World
  3. Journey of Water ~ Inspired by Moana
  4. Living with the Land
  5. Moana Meet-and-Greet
  6. The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  7. SeaBase aquarium
  8. Soarin’ Around the World
  9. Turtle Talk with Crush

World Showcase

Before you make your way into the individual country pavilions, you can meet Pluto near the World Showcase Plaza several times throughout that day.

Next, through December 4, the nighttime show, Epcot Forever, closes out the park most nights and can be viewed around the World Showcase Lagoon. Starting December 5, a new show, Luminous: The Symphony of Us, will take its place.

Lastly, you can do the Disney’s DuckTales World ShowCase Adventure scavenger hunt using the Play Disney Parks app while at Epcot.

Here’s what else you can find for rides and attractions throughout the day in World Showcase:

Canada Pavilion

  • Canada Far & Wide in Circle-Vision 360° Film
  • Musical entertainment at Canada Mill Stage

China Pavilion

  • House of the Whispering Willows gallery, featuring an exhibit about Shanghai Disneyland
  • Meet Mulan
  • Reflections of China film

France Pavilion

  • Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along
  • Impressions de France film
  • Meet Belle from Beauty and the Beast
  • Meet Princess Aurora from Sleeping Beauty
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Germany Pavilion

  • Meet Snow White
  • Musical entertainment at the Germany Gazebo

Italy Pavilion

  • Sergio the mime and juggler

Japan Pavilion

  • Bijutsu-kan Gallery
  • Matsuriza drummers

Mexico Pavilion

  • Gran Fiesta Tour starring The Three Caballeros
  • Mariachi Cobre folk music
  • Marimba de las Américas
  • Meet Donald Duck
  • Mexico Folk Art Gallery

Morocco Pavilion

  • Gallery of Arts and History, featuring The Berbers – Thriving in the Sahara, Marathon of the Sands, and Rally of the Gazelles
  • Meet Princess Jasmine from Aladdin

Norway Pavilion

  • Frozen: Ever After ride
  • Meet Anna & Elsa at Royal Sommerhus
  • Stave Church Gallery

The American Adventure

  • The American Adventure
  • American Heritage Gallery
  • Voices of Liberty a cappella group

UK Pavilion

  • Command Performance British rock group
  • Meet Alice from Alice in Wonderland
  • Meet Winnie the Pooh
  • Rose & Crown Pub musician

What are your favorite Epcot rides and attractions?

From iconic rides like Soarin’ Around World to newer attractions like Journey of Water, Epcot is full of countless moments of magic awaiting your visit.

Whether you’re an old-time fan or discovering its wondrous sights for the first time, there are plenty of delights that come with putting on those Mickey ears and hopping onto one of this park’s legendary rides.

I hope you have a great time visiting Epcot!

Leave a comment below and let me know what your favorite Epcot rides and attractions are.

For more tips on planning your park days, check out these posts:

  1. Best Attractions & Rides at Animal Kingdom
  2. Best Hollywood Studios Rides & Shows
  3. Best Attractions & Rides at Magic Kingdom
  4. Roller Coasters at Disney World: Everything to Know
  5. Epcot Festival of the Holidays Guide & Tips
  6. Epcot Food and Wine Festival Guide & Tips
  7. Epcot Festival of the Arts Guide & Tips
  8. Epcot Flower and Garden Festival Guide & Tips
  9. Disney Genie, Genie+ & Lightning Lane Guide

About the author

Photo of Meg Frost on Buzz Lightyear: Space Ranger Blast at Disney World's Magic Kingdom.
Photo by Meg Frost, All rights reserved.

Meg Frost is the creator of The Park Pixie, where she covers Disney World, Disney+, and Disney fandom.

She holds an M.A. in Journalism from Northeastern University and B.S. in Communication & American Studies from University of Miami in Florida.

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This post was originally published June 14, 2021. It was last updated October 16, 2023.

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