Previously, you didn’t go to EPCOT for the rides. At least, you didn’t go just for the rides.
Guests arrived for World Showcase pavilions to enjoy the festivals and sample food, drink and culture from exotic locales brought to Central Florida.
They went for the attractions, half educational and half entertaining. Families went for character meet and greets and the overall experience of a theme park that’s different from the typical experience.
Today, through a series of smart choices, EPCOT is more well-balanced. In addition to the educational and worldly aspects, it’s taken a lot of queues from successful ideas in other Walt Disney World Resort parks.
Now, there’s at least one great coaster, a couple of good rides in the World Showcase and a better balance of things to do.
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Are there any roller coasters in EPCOT?
Yes, there is one true coaster.
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is a dark ride coaster that ranks among the best rides in Walt Disney World, Orlando and maybe the country.
But that’s not to say EPCOT doesn’t have other rides that offer some thrills or go fast.
What are the best thrill rides in EPCOT?
Let’s rank them. But note that these are ranked on thrill level, not overall ride quality.
4. Soarin’ Around the World
It may be pushing it to call this classic motion simulator in the Land Pavilion a thrill ride.
It’s a little dated. And yes, that is Patrick Warburton – aka Puddy from Seinfeld. According to IMDB, he filmed those scenes back in 2001. It’s still a great ride though.
And since I’m afraid of heights, I found it pretty thrilling. But thrill ride or not, it’s a must-do at EPCOT. It simulates flying where you can see landmarks all around the world.
After all, you came to EPCOT to see this awesome planet from the Great Wall of China to the Taj Mahal and beyond.
3. Mission: SPACE
This ride has two options. One offers a thrilling simulated NASA-style mission to the planet Mars. You can also orbit the Earth on a gentler ride through space.
The Orange Mission uses a centrifuge that spins and tilts to simulate the speed and G-forces that astronauts experience inside a spacecraft launch and reentry.
The Green Mission uses a motion simulator that offers light movement and doesn’t spin, so it’s less likely to cause motion sickness.
If you aren’t sure about your own thrill ride tolerance, I’d start with the Green Mission.
2. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
On this ride, travel with Marvel heroes Star-Lord, Groot, Rocket and more at this indoor coaster. An Individual Lightning Lane is a must.
It’s an indoor spinning coaster with a reverse launch that is meant to make you feel like you’re zipping through space on a free-floating craft. So, the ride launches both forward and backward while each car rotates on its own axis.
This ride may cause motion sickness for some guests. But it’s easily the best (and newest) ride in the park.
1. Test Track
On this ride, guests an design their own virtual concept car then hop in the six-passenger SIM car and take it for a spin.
The ride reaches speeds up to 65 mph as you accelerate through straightaways, maneuver switchbacks, hug curves banked at a 50-degree angle and scale hills up to three stories high. While it’s not a coaster, it’s often considered the most thrilling in the park.
As a bonus, this ride has a single-rider line.
Does EPCOT have any shows?
Sure, EPCOT has shows ranging from the Beauty and Beast Sing Along to Reflections of China – which is a great place to get some air conditioning. You can also check out the Pixar Short Film Festival and Canada Far and Wide – presented in Circle-Vision 360°.
If I’m being honest, most of EPCOT’s shows are skips for me.
There are only so many hours in an EPCOT day and I really don’t want to spend it watching tourism videos and doing something so educational. I can do that at home.
What are the best rides at EPCOT overall?
While the below rides are not thrill rides, they are still worth your time at EPCOT. But I’ll start with the ones that could be potentially skipped if you’re running low on time.
It turns out a geodesic sphere makes for a good park centerpiece but not so much a good ride host.
This EPCOT ride is a slow track that carries riders through the history of human communication.
Gran Fiesta Tour
This ride provides a nice break from traditional theme park excitement.
But overall, this sleepy, Small World-style boat ride through Mexico starring Donald Duck’s buddies the Three Caballeros should be on every Imagineers’ target list for replacement.
The Mexico Pavilion would be much better served by a Coco-themed ride.
Journey into the Imagination with Figment
This ride is worth trying once, but maybe only once.
The ride shows its age and is increasingly buggy. I assume this World Celebration ride is going to have to be refurbished or replaced at some point.
Living with the Land
This ride is an educational boat tour through the greenhouse in the World Nature neighborhood where you can “discover the surprising history of farming.” Seriously.
Frozen Ever After
This ride is a case of a very successful retheming. Disney was anxious to do something with the massively popular “Frozen” movie and found a way to bring the characters from the theater screens to the Norway Pavilion.
Maelstrom was shut down, the ride was re-themed with Anna, Elsa, Olaf and the crew into a massive hit.
This ride is a good candidate for a Lightning Lane through Genie+ if you can get it. The standby lines of Frozen fans can be long.
The Seas with Nemo and Friends
This Finding Nemo-based ride is fine, but it’s the aquarium and its animals that are the real stars of the show.
The Turtle Talk with Crush show is a fun addition as well.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
This export from Disneyland Paris gives the France Pavilion more than baguettes, escargot and the mini-Eiffel Tower.
Overall, it’s a great ride – one of Disney’s trio of trackless dark rides. Certainly, it’s worth making the trip to France.
Are there any more rides in EPCOT’s future?
Journey of Water, Inspired by Moana is opening in 2023. It will be an interactive educational walk-through experience that teaches kids about the cycle of rain while they splash around. It’s not a ride, but it should be an interesting attraction.
Nothing else has been announced for EPCOT in terms of rides. Both Guardians and Remy’s are still new so it may be some time. Surely the rides I mentioned that are ripe for retheming or remodeling have to be on the discussion table somewhere.
Disney CEO Bob Iger indicated $17 billion in planned projects could potentially be on the table for the parks.
Would you like to see more roller coasters at EPCOT? Let us know in the comments!