East Coast, USA, Family Travel, Forida, Most Recent Travel, Orlando Theme Parks, Walt Disney World

Epcot: Park Itinerary, Festival of the Arts & Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind, 2023

My top reason for this visiting Epcot his year was to ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind for the first time, and I splurged for individual Lightning Lane instead of chancing it with the Virtual Queue. “With a three-day ticket, we used our park hopper to divide our Epcot visits over two days. This was our second visit since the introduction of Disney Genie+ and we had forgotten that Park Hopper only allowed guests to visit a new park after 2pm, ending up with some “down time” at the Polynesian Resort after leaving Magic Kingdom at lunchtime.

Disney Genie+ wasn’t as helpful as it had been at other parks, in part because we were using Park Hopper, arriving at Epcot after 2pm. It did allow us to get a Lighting Lane (LL) for Test Track in a late afternoon, and save a little time on Soarin’. By 4pm each day, Test Track, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, and Frozen Ever After were all closed for Lightning Lane, so we couldn’t really use it. Park guests should plan to utilize the system as much as possible in the morning, then enjoy World Showcase later.

View of Epcot from the Monorail, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, 2023

Day 1: Sunday, January 29

Festival of the Arts, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, 2023

Festival of the Arts is my second favorite Epcot seasonal event, after the International Flower & Garden Festival in the spring. In 2023, the offerings were nearly identical to 2022, with chalk art, food kiosks, photo opportunities, and live performances.

The vegetarian snacks at the kiosk are about 50/50, with very few vegan options. The highlight for us was the Rainbow Cake with Freeze-dried Skittles.

  • 2:30pm Arrived at Epcot and rode Spaceship Earth (5 minute wait). The short line was our first indication that the parks would have low crowds for the remainder of the day.

    Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, 2023
  • 2:50pm The Seas with Nemo and Friends (no wait) followed by some time in the Aquarium

  • 3:15pm Snacks at the Festival of the Arts kiosks

  • 3:45pm Test Track LL (Standby would have been 40 minutes)
    After entering the Test Track queue we were able to snag a 6:30pm LL for Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway at Hollywood Studios

  • 4:10pm Mission SpaceOrange (no wait)- Mission Space: Orange is the more intense ride- if Alice was with me I would have chosen the Green line.

    Mission Space, EPCOT, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, 2023
  • 4:30pm Cosmic Rewind LL (The virtual queue was 360 minutes, and the line inside was also long. By purchasing the Lightning Lane I was able to ride within 10 minutes).

    Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind, Epcot, Walt Disney World Resort, 2023

Day 2: Tuesday, January 31

Disney Genie+ Lens, Walt Disney World Resort, 2023

Cosmic Rewind now ties with Flight of Passage as my favorite WDW ride. The storyline was presented on video in the queue. The ride combines the best parts of all of the other coasters: the darkness of Space Mountain, the immersive soundtrack of Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, and the smoothness in acceleration of Slinky Dog. Then it adds large screen videos and a bit of Mad Hatter Tea Cup spinning. For some this combination might be a recipe for motion sickness, but I loved it.

  • 2:30pm Arrived via the Skyliner to the World Showcase Entrance.

  • 3:00pm Soarin’ LL in The Land Pavilion (standby would have been a 40-minute wait)

    Epcot Festival of the Arts, Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, 2023
  • 3:30pm Living with the Land LL (standby would have been a 10-minute wait)

  • 4:00pm Figment of the Imagination LL (LL wasn’t needed; there was no wait). When leaving, we encountered Winnie the Pooh wandering around in the grass catching insects. We weren’t sure if it was Disney-intentional or a rogue Times Square lookalike.

  • 5pm-8:30pm We spent the evening in World Showcase, shopping and dining from the Festival of the Arts Kiosks

  • 8:30pm Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure– The ride had hovered around a 90-minute wait all day, and by near closing it was down to 30-minutes. We knew we would miss Harmonious, but had seen it the previous year.

  • 9:30pm Skyliner Attempt Leaving the Epcot France section at closing on a busy night proved be much more difficult than arriving by Skyliner. Because people returning to all five accessible resorts were trying to leave simultaneously, the line wrapped along the boardwalk to the Beach Club Resort Villa section. We didn’t want to take our chances with the wait, and opted for a $10 Lyft from the Beach Club.

More Posts about Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando

Leave a Reply