The original vision of EPCOT, as the Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow, has definitely been altered in the current iteration. As the resort celebrates the recent 40th birthday of EPCOT, there have been even more changes in store for Disney World’s second theme park.
The two original lands of the park, Future World and the World Showcase, have been expanded to four lands. While the World Showcase remains the same, Future World has been split into three lands – World Celebration, World Nature, and World Discovery. Even more changes are expected in the park in the upcoming months, including a new nighttime show.
While EPCOT was initially thought of as a more educational park, rather than one with thrilling rides, that has changed as the park has evolved. Now, EPCOT is home to some of the best, most exciting rides at Walt Disney World. Here are some EPCOT thrill rides you can enjoy during your next family vacation.
Disclosure: We’ve received complimentary and discounted admission to Walt Disney World over the years, but we have also paid our own way many times. All opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links and a purchase/click through one of these links may result in a commission paid to us at no cost to you.
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EPCOT Thrill Rides for Attraction Lovers
While not all of these are thrill rides in the traditional sense, they are exciting and unique rides that will definitely provide some thrills. Because of that, they are very popular. Keep in mind that you’ll likely wait in long standby lines for the best rides, especially if visiting during a peak time.
Disney’s Genie+ is a paid option that can help you save time, by allowing you to book a return time to go back to the ride and go through the lightning lane. The wait times in that line should be dramatically less than if you were waiting in the regular line.
Another option that is offered for only the most popular rides is the individual lightning lane. This is a separate paid option that allows you access to the lighting lane for specific rides. At EPCOT, there is one attraction offering an individual lightning lane – Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.
The following EPCOT rides offer Genie+ lightning lane. Each of the theme parks has a list of attractions that offer it.
- Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival
- Frozen Ever After
- Journey into Imagination with Figment
- Living with the Land
- Mission: SPACE – Green
- Mission: SPACE – Orange
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Spaceship Earth
- Test Track
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends
- Turtle Talk with Crush
While it isn’t required, Genie+ can be a great way to save time. Just keep in mind that it does cost extra, so you’ll want to budget for it when planning for your vacation.
Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind
Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is the newest EPCOT attraction. It’s located in the prior location of Ellen’s Energy Adventure, and it’s the most exciting EPCOT thrill ride.
Cosmic Rewind is a coaster offering a reverse launch and 360 spins. It’s unlike any ride I’ve been on and is so much fun. During the ride, you’ll see some of the most popular Guardians of the Galaxy characters. However, you don’t have to be a fan of the movie series or even of superheroes to enjoy this attraction.
As the newest ride at EPCOT, it’s very popular, and there is no standby line. Instead, you’ll have two options – either purchase an individual lightning lane or opt to try for the virtual queue. To enter the virtual queue, you’ll need to login to the My Disney Experience app at a select time and request a boarding group.
Throughout the day, various boarding groups will be called, and you can enter the regular queue once your boarding group is called. Although it’s subject to change, right now, the two times for virtual queue entrance are 7 am and 1 pm (and sometimes 6 pm when there are extended hours). This is always subject to change.
If you want to try for the virtual queue, keep in mind that you’ll want to have the latest version of the app downloaded, and will need to have your valid park admission and reservation added to your profile. Do this prior to the virtual queue times, because boarding groups fill up quickly. You’ll also want to have fairly flexible plans because you won’t know when your boarding group is going to be called.
Located in World Discovery in EPCOT is Test Track, sponsored by Chevrolet. In Test Track, you’ll be able to create a virtual “SIM” car as you go through the queue. Then, you can test your creation on the track, which includes obstacles, rough roads, and other test conditions. The thrilling part of the attraction, however, is when you test the vehicle at 65 miles per hour – the fastest attraction speed at Walt Disney World.
The Test Track vehicles accommodate six people, and there is a single rider line. If you don’t mind splitting up your group, this can be a great way to save time.
The height requirement is 40 inches, so it’s not appropriate for small children. While the end is thrilling, it isn’t too scary, and kids will love building their cars.
Soarin’ Around the World
Soarin’, located in the World Nature area of the park (in the Land pavilion), is not exactly a thrill ride. It is exciting though, as guests enter an airport-themed queue and board a hand glider-inspired ride vehicle. You’ll really feel like you are soaring over some of the most popular world attractions, including the Eiffel Tower and the Taj Mahal.
Even though Soarin’ opened years ago, it’s still an extremely popular attraction at EPCOT. It’s recommended that you get in the standby line early, or use Genie+ to get in the individual lightning lane. The height requirement is 40 inches, although kids on the shorter side will need to use a separate waist belt for more security.
As someone prone to motion sickness, I’ll admit that I haven’t ridden Mission Space. It does offer two separate options – the intense Orange mission, or the slightly milder Green mission.
In this ride, you’ll get to blast off to outer space in either mission. The orange mission spins and tilts, and has a height requirement of 44 inches. The green mission is more gentle, doesn’t spin, and has a height requirement of 40 inches.
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
Another new attraction at EPCOT is Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, a dark ride located in the France pavilion at the World Showcase. This is the same attraction that is located at Disneyland Paris. It opened in 2021, and is one of the newest attractions at Walt Disney World.
In Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, you’ll board a vehicle in the shape of a rat. Then, you’ll go through a 4D experience as you are “shrunk” down to the size of Remy, and experience his perspective as he tries to avoid kitchen obstacles in his quest to cook the perfect ratatouille.
This ride offers both Genie+ and a regular standby line, and there is no height requirement. It is a fun ride but doesn’t have sharp drops or super-fast speeds.
Other popular rides
There are other popular rides at EPCOT that you can enjoy – especially if traveling with younger kids who may not fit the height requirements of the other rides. These include:
- Journey into Imagination With Figment
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros
- Living with the Land
- Spaceship Earth