Epcot marks the second theme park built at Walt Disney World in Florida. What are the best Epcot rides there and the ones to skip?
In contrast to Magic Kingdom, Epcot presents guests with fewer theme park rides to enjoy. In fairness, Epcot offers a very different theme park style than the Magic Kingdom. That does not mean that Epcot lacks rides for your groups to enjoy. In fact, Epcot contains some of Walt Disney World fans’ favorite rides.
In this article, we will explore the best Epcot rides. Also, we will rank them against each other. Some of those rankings will be subjective. At the same time, other aspects of the rankings will focus on objective data.
Along the way, some details about the attraction will be shared. This resource will mention some factors, like whether the attraction is worth the wait time. Some thoughts will be shared about whether to skip some rides at Epcot.
For many experienced Walt Disney World visitors, a day at Epcot might often not involve the rides. Epcot attracts visitors focused on Epcot’s seasonal festivals, some alcoholic beverages from around the world, and a chance to experience many different cultures without leaving the United States.
We and many other Walt Disney World visitors love the rides at Epcot. In researching this article, we are not alone in this perspective. Epcot presents guests with some of the best rides at Epcot.
You can find thrill rides. In addition, rides that involve education and entertainment continue to enthrall guests of Epcot. Epcot contains some classic style dark rides also. Walt Disney World visitors can find their type of ride at Epcot.
Discount Disney World Tickets
Save money and have a wonderful vacation with a little bit of help from our friends at Get Away Today! They offer Disney-verified resale tickets that will be sure to save you a pretty penny. Visiting another Orlando theme park? You’ll find discount tickets for those, as well! They offer the best of the best so that you can have the vacation you and your family deserve.
Also, their wonderful customer service team is available any time of day to assist with any of your needs. They’ve been working with Disney for over 33 years, so you can always bet that anything you need will be accommodated.
Planning a trip, but don’t know where to begin? Let Get Away Today provide you with a free vacation quote! Let the team know what type of vacation you’re looking for, what experiences you want, and more. With that information and the magic of their skills, they’ll provide you with a great pricing quote for the trip.
Consider using Get Away Today for your next vacation!
Best Epcot Rides: Overview
Epcot offers guests eleven attractions that would be defined as rides. This theme park also contains incredible shopping opportunities, numerous dining options, and many attractions that would not qualify as rides. Based on the nature of theme parks, some rides will appeal to different age groups while not appealing to others. The criteria for deciding the best rides at Epcot and the ones to skip involves some subjectivity. This resource strives to present the best rides for using your time while visiting Epcot.
Epcot presents plenty of beautiful rides and other attractions. All of them provide value for your theme park day. Still, your vacation time becomes limited as you try to experience many aspects of Walt Disney World. What are the best Epcot rides for your group? Which ones should you skip if you lack enough time to enjoy all of them?
Best Epcot Rides: Must-Do Ones
Once again, we respect that some subjectivity dictates this list. However, this list also involved checking with trusted colleagues and theme park friends to gather a sample of opinions. With 11 rides to choose from, we decided to narrow the best Epcot ride list down to only six. These six qualify as “must-do” rides at Epcot. These rides are the ones you should focus on experiencing during your day at Epcot.
We must make one final disclaimer about this list of the best Epcot rides. A few snuck on this list ahead of our personal preferred rides at Epcot. After consideration and consulting others, we left those rides off this list of “must-dos.”
Best Epcot Rides: The Top Six
If you only have time for six rides during your Epcot theme park day, we think you should go with these. We included some thrills, a classic attraction, and a few more.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
The most recently added ride at Epcot also qualifies as the most desired. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind opened in May 2022. Since then, Epcot visitors have been drawn to this Marvel-themed ride. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind serves as the first roller coaster at the Epcot theme park. Guests can find this sizeable indoor roller coaster in the World Discovery area of Epcot. Experienced Walt Disney World visitors might know this area by its former name, Future World.
Guests visiting the World Discovery area of Epcot will see a giant Nova Corps spaceship located outside Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. Marvel Cinematic Universe fans will recognize this spaceship from the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movie.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind utilizes a virtual queue system. We have written a guide for acquiring a virtual queue that you should find helpful when visiting Epcot while looking to ride this attraction.
The other way to ride this Epcot ride involves purchasing an individual lightning lane. This option would allow you to select a specific time to ride the Guardians of the Galaxy roller coaster. Of course, this comes with an additional cost. There is no daily cost of Genie+ necessary to purchase an individual lighting lane. This is a separate purchase.
Cosmic Rewind- The Queue Experience
According to the backstory of this attraction, Peter Quill (Star-Lord) visited Epcot as a child. Based on the plot of the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies, Peter Quill was abducted from Earth, so he has not returned to Earth in the multi-verse Marvel timeline involved in this attraction.
Still, the Xandarian people learned of Earth from Peter Quill. Based on the audio portion within the queue for this attraction, a probe was sent out from Earth, communicating about our culture. After that, a partnership developed between Xandar and Earth. In that partnership, the Xandarians shared some of their technologies with the Imagineers of Epcot.
Guests see some of this technology early in the queue for Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind attraction in the Galaxarium section. The Galaxarium functions as a type of planetarium. Guests can learn about the interaction of Terra, the Xandarian’s word for Earth, and Xandar.
From the Galaxarium, guests follow the queue through the Xandar Gallery. Here guests learn more about the people, culture, and history of Xandar.
After this, guests enter some staging areas to move into the “Phase Chamber.” From here, guests enjoy being transported from Epcot to a Nova Corps Starcharter Cruiser flying above the Earth.
The pre-show portions of this Marvel Disney World coaster involve video appearances by Glenn Close (who played Nova Prime in the Marvel movies) and Terry Crews. However, soon after you encounter those actors, things go terribly wrong. As a result, you and some of the Marvel Guardians need to save the day. Well, you must save the galaxy…again!
Cosmic Rewind- The Ride Experience
The coaster involves a ride vehicle that turns guests towards the desired images while they ride. This coaster also utilizes a reverse launch that happens when you help the guardians save the galaxy. As a Marvel-themed coaster, several of your favorite Guardians of the Galaxy characters play prominent roles in this attraction.
This ride provides a very smooth experience. Guests adverse to bumpy roller coasters will have no issue with this one.
Nonetheless, some guests have motion sickness issues with this Marvel coaster at Disney World. Most of those issues relate to looking around too much during the ride. However, we suggest that guests look in the direction the ride vehicle points. This pattern of activity limits potential motion sickness issues drastically.
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind delights fans of this franchise with interesting queue elements. Also, the attraction’s storyline and the usual one-liners from the Marvel movie cast enhance this coaster experience.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind comes with a unique soundtrack like the “Guardians of the Galaxy” movies. In fact, the ride offers six different songs to be heard during this attraction. Each ride can feel a little different depending on which song you get. The songs are:
- “September” by Earth, Wind & Fire
- “Disco Inferno” by The Trammps
- “Conga” by Gloria Estefan
- “Everybody Wants to Rule the World” by Tears for Fears
- “I Ran” by A Flock of Seagulls
- “One Way or Another” by Blondie.
This unique song aspect captures the amusing tone of Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy.” Overall, the tone of this Walt Disney World roller coaster creates an excellent experience for guests. Though we have created a list of the six best Epcot rides, we feel this ride ranks as the best at Epcot. Of course, if you suffer from motion sickness from screen-based attractions, you will not feel the same way. However, we think everyone should give this ride at least a try.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Though we clearly feel that Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind makes the best ride at Epcot, other rides make this list, too. For example, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is one of Epcot’s newer rides. This attraction has been around since October 2021. This matches the Disneyland Paris version of this ride. The ride builds from the characters and ideas of the Pixar animated film “Ratatouille.”
The ride officially opened on October 1, 2021 – the 50th Anniversary of Walt Disney World Resort. It’s a replica of the original Disneyland Paris attraction based on the Pixar animated film Ratatouille. As you might imagine, you can find this ride in the French pavilion of Epcot’s World Showcase area.
After entering a queue themed to France from the perspective of the Pixar film, guests join Remy on an adventure. Rides will participate in a 4D-style journey through a relaxing setting. After that, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure takes guests through a hectic French kitchen, a challenging adventure into an upscale dining restaurant area, and then into the actual walls of Gusteau’s.
This ride uses a trackless vehicle system carrying guests around. The ride vehicles look like mice for a reason. You are transformed in this attraction into a mouse to see what a fictional day in Remy’s life looks like. The trackless ride system allows for many misadventures along the way.
A huge positive of this ride involves who can ride. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure has no height requirement. So, everyone can ride this attraction together. Still, we advise some caution with smaller children. Our colleagues report that smaller children may be scared by some of the visual effects during this ride.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure does develop a lengthy queue via the Walt Disney World standby lane. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure is a part of the attractions available via Genie+. However, the timeslots for this vanish quickly for this attraction faster than other Epcot Genie+ options.
Still, if you stay on-site at Walt Disney World, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure operates during the early theme park entry period. If you can enter the International Gateway entrance to Epcot as a Disney hotel guest, you will have a huge head start to ride this attraction during the early entry time.
The next attraction on our list of best Epcot rides used to be the top thrill ride at Epcot before Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind entered the scene. In the World Discovery area of Epcot, Test Track provides some thrills for guests. In fact, this attraction offers the fastest speed of any ride at Walt Disney World.
Test Track operates like a simulated test drive. Guests will be taken through some of the many testing procedures of Chevrolet’s concept cars. Of course, that explains why Chevrolet sponsors this attraction.
Before entering the ride vehicles, guests enter the “Chevrolet Design Center.” In this area, guests design their own virtual vehicles.
Following that, participants move to a six-passenger ride vehicle. These ride vehicles will reach speeds close to 65 miles per hour. Riders will feel the wind as they race around the outdoor portion of the track.
Test Track has a 40-inch or taller height requirement. This ride is popular. A single-rider queue can be utilized. Based on the ride vehicles, this queue moves efficiently. Test Track is part of the Genie+ attractions. If you want to ride this, we suggest trying earlier in the day since rainy weather will cause it to shut down temporarily.
Soarin’ (Around the World)
An excellent display of a screen-based ride happens in The Land pavilion at Epcot. The current Soarin’ attraction resides in the World Nature area of Epcot. This indoor attraction provides guests with a beautiful experience of “soaring” over exquisite visuals and special effects.
At the time of writing, this attraction has converted to the “Soarin’ over California” version. This went in place under the premise that it was part of the 100th celebration of the Disney Company. This replaced temporarily the standard version of this ride at Epcot, “Soarin’ Around the World.” We do not have a date of return of the “Around the World” version as of the date of writing. Nevertheless, I feel that the California-themed version makes for a better experience.
This ride has flaws, especially the “Around the World” version, with some awkward and leaning visuals. Still, this ride at Epcot takes guests on a hang-gliding simulated experience. First-time guests often exit this ride being impressed.
If visiting while the California version operates at Epcot, guests should expect longer queues for this attraction. Based on that, this makes a reasonable Genie+ selection now.
Frozen Ever After
Depending on your group, another of the best rides at Epcot resides in the Norway pavilion of the World Showcase area. This attraction received a retheme to “Frozen” from its former identity, Maelstrom. This addition of intellectual property came with some drama, as many things do at Walt Disney World.
Also, with the addition of the “Frozen” characters, Frozen Ever After has grown in popularity. It now makes a reasonable Genie+ selection for your day at Epcot.
Your entire group can ride this slow-moving dark ride. Everyone can enjoy seeing Anna, Elsa, and Olaf without height requirements.
Nevertheless, Walt Disney World’s website states, “This song-filled journey is a slow-moving boat ride with backward and forward plunges down short waterfalls. You may get wet!” Though we would not be too concerned with guests getting wet, some small drops happen on this Epcot ride.
In addition to taking guests out of the Florida sun, this ride provides a relaxing time. With limited time to visit Epcot, we would prioritize this attraction, especially if “Frozen” fans are a part of your group.
One ride that guests cannot miss seeing is Spaceship Earth. The large silver globe seen as the icon of Epcot houses Spaceship Earth. This ride uses a narrative describing where human communication started and where it is going.
Spaceship Earth contains some beautiful settings guests pass by during this indoor ride. The merging of the sets, audio-animatronics, and narrated storyline causes this attraction to be one guests should not miss.
The ride starts by going upward slowly past all the different audio-animatronics. Guests will see the well-designed sets on both sides of the ride vehicle. Spaceship Earth shows off classic Disney dark ride design.
After traveling upward, taking a journey in time, the ride vehicle turns back downward. While taking the downward path, the ride vehicle screens allow guests to “create your own future.” A photo of riders early in the attraction becomes part of a video shown to guests after answering a few questions. By answering the questions, guests decide how they want their future to play out. The video plays, putting the answers to the questions into video form. Guests will see a cute yet basic video with their photo being used to act out the future.
Though this ride needs to be updated, Spaceship Earth invites all guests to reflect upon the history of communication. Of course, this ride reminds us to thank the Phoenicians too. Experienced Walt Disney World visitors love to share the magic of Spaceship Earth with younger visitors of first-time visitors.
Epcot Rides to Skip
The Epcot experience at Walt Disney World involves much more than just rides. Epcot offers excellent dining as well as seasonal food festivals. Numerous shows of all styles happen at Epcot, too. Epcot’s World Showcase area allows guests to experience many different cultures without leaving Florida. If you only have one day at Epcot, you cannot do most of the fantastic aspects of this Walt Disney World theme park.
Unfortunately, sometimes you must decide which aspects of Epcot are most important to you. This means some things must be skipped. We have a few suggestions for skipping rides if you have limited time to enjoy Epcot. For the record, we enjoy most of these “skippable” rides. For full disclosure, we rode three of these “skippable” rides several times over the last few weeks. Two of these Epcot rides we avoid (or skip) at all costs.
Living With the Land
Living with the Land is conveniently found in the Land pavilion at Epcot. This old-school ride will not impress any theme park fans looking for a thrill ride. Despite that, this ride has devoted fans. If you want an exciting, fast-paced ride, then Living with the Land qualifies as skippable.
However, if you think of a relaxing air-conditioned indoor boat ride, Living with the Land might appeal to you. Living with the Land takes guests behind the scenes to view some of the unique methods used to grow food served in Epcot restaurants. Also, guests view some groundbreaking innovations in agricultural techniques.
The classic Epcot idea of merging entertainment and education occurs with this attraction. For those looking for that, Living with the Land makes a great choice. However, we often hear how dull Living with the Land is for many guests. In fact, we admit to yawning on this ride last week. That was after working a late-night covering news at another Orlando area theme park. Still, we understand the claim that this ride can be boring.
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
Another slow-moving dark ride that many consider skippable is The Seas with Nemo and Friends. If you love “Finding Nemo,” then you need to try this ride. This dark ride takes you through various scenes featuring the characters from “Finding Nemo.” Guests get to see Nemo, Dory, Crush, and many more characters from the movie. To enhance that aspect, guests will see live fish from the aquarium in this pavilion while they ride this attraction.
On the downside, this ride does qualify as short. Nothing spectacular happens during it. Though we enjoy the “Finding Nemo” retheming of this classic ride, most guests will find it cute but not much else.
Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros
To complete our run of slow-moving boat rides on the potential list of rides you might want to skip in Epcot, we venture to the Mexico pavilion in World Showcase. The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros takes guests on a ride through the river of time. The current version of this indoor boat ride involves Panchito Pistoles and José Carioca, two of the Three Caballeros, searching for the third group member, the one and only Donald Duck.
This boat ride consists of a trip by the San Angel Inn Restaurants, small excellent scenery pieces, and numerous video screens. The current version of this boat ride makes it a relaxing experience. However, the storyline of the Gran Fiesta Tour lacks anything special, except for Donald Duck fans enjoying the search for him on this boat ride.
Kids will enjoy this boat ride. Also, this ride allows guests to enjoy a seat and some air-conditioning. Besides that, nothing special happens during this attraction.
While our three “skippable” suggestions above offer merit for many groups, the last two should be skipped by a more significant percentage of people visiting Epcot. If you only have one day to visit Epcot, we highly recommend not prioritizing this attraction or the last one.
During Mission: Space, guests enter their own spaceship (a theme park version) to pilot it and experience a glimpse of being an astronaut. If you are interested in space travel, this ride offers some merit.
However, anyone with potential motion sickness issues or a tendency to feel claustrophobic should avoid this ride.
Mission: Space offers two different versions, the green side and the orange side. The ride vehicle for either version is tiny. If anyone in your group fears enclosed spaces, they should skip Mission: Space.
Green or Orange
The most significant difference between the two versions relates to the orange side being far more intense. The orange side version moves more aggressively. At some points on the ride, it spins rapidly to simulate the experience of an astronaut. Guests without motion sickness issues struggle at points during this version.
If you think the green side will be easy, please reconsider. While green does not spin or even move around as much, guests still report facing issues while riding this simulator-style attraction.
We would not encourage younger riders or anyone with health issues to ride Mission: Space. Sure, Disney technology works great with Mission: Space. The ride concept shows incredible skill in design. Still, this ride is not for everyone.
Journey Into Imagination with Figment
Oh, how the mighty have fallen, as they say. The adorable yet naughty dragon known as Figment still stars in this ride. However, Journey Into Imagination with Figment has undergone many changes over the last few decades. Time has not been kind to the Figment and his ride. In the era of sponsored rides, Journey Into Imagination with Figment lost some of its luster from the early years.
Before you think that Walt Disney World fans do not like Figment, please think again. One excellent example involves the queue to meet Figment when the character returned to do a meet and greet after a long absence. On the first day that Figment returned to meet guests in the wild, the queue to meet Figment became lengthy very rapidly. Though some sources reported having to wait over five hours to meet Figment, those of us there timing the wait know it was a few hours shorter than that.
Despite that, the queue to meet Figment regularly averages about 15 minutes. So, if Figment is so popular, why is the ride so skippable?
This issue comes down to a lack of a consistent storyline within the current attraction. With the loss of Kodak as a sponsor many years ago, Journey Into Imagination with Figment has been refurbished but not improved. Is the ride bad? We would say no to that query. However, it fails to live up to its former glory. Far better options exist at Epcot for guests to enjoy if they have limited time.
The current version of the Figment ride involves guests entering a ride vehicle for a slow, dark ride. Guests are urged to use their imagination. In fact, you might leave this ride with a song about that stuck in your head. Figment, the whimsical purple dragon encourages riders to explore their creativity. The ride involves some animatronics, the previously mentioned song, and some antics by Figment.
This dark ride functions as a relaxing indoor ride with a few distractions along the way. The current version of the ride does embrace the original feeling of the ride. Still, the modern version feels dated and does not stand up against better, newer rides. However, if you have time, go see Figment and enjoy some time sitting down and being entertained on Figment’s ride.
When is Your Next Walt Disney World Vacation?
Are you looking at taking a trip to enjoy Walt Disney World? The staff at DisneyDose visit Walt Disney World and other theme park resorts regularly. They provide the latest information about the theme park. We have placed a few additional articles below to help you plan your Walt Disney World vacation.
Also, did you know you can sign up for a free Deals newsletter that updates breaking news and ways to save on your vacation? You can subscribe to the email newsletter to avoid missing out on any theme park news.
- Walt Disney World Roller Coasters
- Epcot Operating Hours
- Genie+ Guide
- Worst Times to Visit
- Epcot Changes
Mission: Space is considered the most intense ride based on the high percentage of motion sickness incidents on that ride.
Epcot has 11 rides ranging from thrill rides to slow, dark rides.
Epcot has a few thrill rides that we recommend. Those are Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind and Test Track.
Test Track travels nearly 65 miles per hour at one point, making it the fastest ride at Epcot and the other three Walt Disney World theme parks.
We would recommend rope drop Test Track if entering Epcot from the main entrance. We suggest starting with Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure if entering via the International Gateway entrance.