How to tour EPCOT with (and WITHOUT) Genie+

How to tour EPCOT with (and WITHOUT) Genie+

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Continuing our park touring series, a couple members of our team recently toured Epcot with AND without Genie+. Here is how it went. Good morning. It's Felicia and Heather here. We're on our way to Epcot to test out touring plans. Heather will be testing with Genie+.

I'll be testing without. It's a little after seven. Right now we are already on the Skyliner, on the Epcot leg of it. So we started out our morning.

We got to the Skyliner at 6:45. They started boarding and letting us go to Caribbean Beach at seven. While we were on the Skyliner, we, um, were able to book our Virtual Queue- You are now traveling along Buena Vista Drive. This roadway and the city of Lake Buena Vista were established in 1969 when Walt Disney World Resort was first being developed. They are both named after Buena Vista Street in Burbank, California, where the Walt Disney Company headquarters are still located today. Okay, joined the Virtual Queue for Guardians.

I got a return group 27. And then Heather bought a Guardians of the Galaxy Lightning Lane for this afternoon, and then she also booked her first Genie+ selection for Test Track. So our plan is to start at Remy's and then walk around to Frozen Ever After, hopefully before the park officially opens, and then we will split up from there. I'm videoing Felicia videoing. It's just kind of meta.

Good morning from a nearly empty Epcot. So got to Epcot at 7:13. Security opened at 7:45 and then the tapstiles opened at eight.

So we were here in plenty of time, but, and even though we had to wait a little bit, I think it was worth it because we wound up at the very front of the pack of people heading over to Remy's, which was perfect. We got into line at Remy's at 8:13 and they held us back for a little bit and then we were actually off the attraction by 8:29 before Early Entry even started. So that was fantastic. Now we are heading to Frozen Ever After.

We should be finished with that one before Early Entry is over as well. Since I have just a little bit of time here, before I need to head off to my next attraction, I wanted to talk about why we selected what we did for Early Entry this morning. We are staying at Art of Animation, which uses the Skyliner to get to Epcot.

So other resorts that use the Skyliner, which are Pop Century, Riviera, Caribbean Beach, and then all of the resorts that are at the Boardwalk area. So Boardwalk Beach Club, Yacht Club, Swan, Dolphin, Swan Reserve... all of those resorts use the International Gateway when they enter the park. At the International Gateway, which is back in between France and UK, the closest major attraction is Remy's Ratatouille Adventure. It's very close. The international Gateway is right next to France, so it makes sense to make Remy's the first choice for rope dropping in the morning because it's very simple to get from the International Gateway to France for Remy's without much of a hike.

If I was coming in at the front of the park. So it's all other resorts: resorts that use buses, if you're driving, if you're getting dropped off by Lyft, Uber, Minnie Van... I would recommend that you rope drop Test Track. You make Remy's your first Genie+ selection of the day, and then you either make Frozen your second one, your second Genie+ selection of the day, or if you were like us this morning and you were able to get done with your first attraction during Early Entry, go ahead and go from Test Track over to Frozen and jump in line over there and get that knocked out before the main park opens to the rest of the guests, or at least get in line before the rest of the guests enter the park. That has always worked really well for us, and I probably can't go wrong with either of those strategies if you're using Genie+ at Epcot. Conveniently located barf bags.

Okay, I'm gonna hold this close to me cuz it's gonna be a little loud cause I'm right outside Test Track. Just did Mission Space. As I expected, it was a complete walk on. I did the Green Side because I am a weenie and I, everything makes me sick. I did mention, but also on Remy's, that one tends to make me a little ill as well, but I just closed my eyes on that one. Close my eyes on Mission Space and I do just fine on that one as well.

Now I have about 15 minutes until I can use my Genie+ reservation at Test Track. I went ahead and I'm opting to go ahead and do the single rider here and ride Test Track twice instead of going to a different attraction just because I don't wanna leave this area. It's a long walk to go any place else. Makes sense just to stay here. Single riders hang out in a line right here next to where everybody else is boarding. And when they have an empty space, they'll just call for you.

Cause you have to be paying attention. So as you work your way through your different options, you can change how it looks, what your engine's like. You can do all these things and then when you're happy with it, there's an arrow you can get.

I just like to skip ahead to the fun part, which is the decoration, some pixie dust. And then tell you how much time you have left. You have about four minutes from start to finish, and so if you still have time left.

You can go back and make some changes. Okay, it's time. Let's go see how mine did- my pink, sparkle car. This right hand side. Right hand side is regular.

Single riders are over here in this line. Pink Sparkle Car was number two. If you can't tell by my hair, just got off riding Test Track for the second time. I had about 15 minutes to spare before I could use my Genie+ reservation for Test Track. And I didn't wanna leave the World Discovery area simply because there wasn't anything really close by that I wanted or needed to do right then. So it made sense to just kind of hang out.

But I didn't wanna just sit. So I did get myself a Diet Coke, had that, had a snack, and then I rode Test Track the first time through using single rider. From the time I entered the line until I boarded, it was four minutes total, so very, very quick.

And then as soon as I got off, I went through and rode it again using my Genie+ reservation. Took a bit longer because you have the full section where you can design your car. You can do that in the single rider line too.

I chose not to because I knew that I was gonna do it again just a couple minutes later. So it does take a little bit longer using just Genie+ or the regular line because of the designing your car and all of that. But still, it was very quick. So while I was in line after I tapped in for the second tap point for my Genie+.

I snagged a Soarin' Genie+ spot and that is actually open right now, so I am going to head over there next. I'm gonna try to do Soarin' and then Living with the Land. Long queue or longest queue? Okay, it is 11:07 and I just got off of Soarin'. I used Genie+ there.

It was about a 12 minute wait total, which wasn't too bad. While I was on Soarin', after I tapped in, I went ahead and grabbed a Genie+ for Living with the Land. There was no line, zero line when I went in, but I just wanted to make sure that I didn't have to wait when I got off of it because absolutely have to ride Living with the Land. Soarin' is very gentle for the thrill rides. Out of all the different thrill rides that are at Walt Disney World, I would consider Soarin' relatively gentle. And as someone who gets motion sick, very easy.

This one has never made me get sick. Things that make me sick are things that tend to spin. Those are what usually are a little bit rougher for my stomach. Definitely think you should give it a try if you're worried about it, because it's a thrill.

Uh, it, it is very gentle. There is some height involved, so if heights are something that are difficult for you, you may not enjoy that part. But other than that, I think it's good for most people and even for little ones who meet that height requirement.

As I'm standing here in The Land, I can look over and see the wait time that's posted for Living with the Land and it's now 25 minutes. So I'm very glad that I snagged that Lightning Lane. So I'm gonna go over, use my Lightning Lane for that, and then I think I'm gonna head over and do Figment. I think that's where I'm headed to next.

No promises though. This is a tour you can do. It's Behind the Seeds Tour and they get to go walk through the greenhouses here and learn about how everything is done. It's a really fun tour. It's quick, inexpensive, and it's really cool to go and see everything up close. Just finished up Living with the Land.

I waited a total of three minutes. It was a basic walk on. I didn't really have to wait at all. The posted wait was 25 minutes. There was a decent line there, but I don't think it was anywhere near 25 minutes.

So I was glad though that I did have the Genie+ reservation. Absolutely love Living with the Land. I would not miss a trip on it, on a visit to Epcot.

It's one of my favorite things here. It's kind of the quintessential Epcot attraction of old. So definitely, definitely recommend it for all ages. Now, I'm at the point of the day where it's getting really easy for me to just churn Genie+ reservations. So as soon as I tapped in for Living with the Land, I snagged my next Genie+ reservation, which was over at Figment.

So I'm heading there next. The return time was immediate, so as soon as I tap in over there, I'm going to snag a Genie+ reservation for Nemo. And the return time should be just about immediate as well.

The wait times for the standby lines are only hovering at about 20 minutes at both of those, but I would much rather wait three minutes in a Genie+ line than spend 15 minutes at Figment and 15 minutes at Nemo and Friends. That saves you, you know, a 30 minute chunk of your day and gets me out of the crowds and moving into something else a little bit sooner with a lot less stress. So that's where I'm heading now, over to Figment and then hopefully over to Nemo's. This is the current standby line for Figment, so it's not truly that bad. Just got off of Journey into Imagination with Figment. As I was hoping.

It was basically just a walk on with my Genie+ reservation. There was a little bit of a standby line, but it wasn't too bad. I would guess people were probably gonna wait maybe 15 minutes. I think the posted wait was 20 or 25, so not bad at all. There is no height requirement here, but there are a couple elements in it that could be scary for little ones.

Not all little ones, but there is parts of it that are dark and loud noises. So something to be aware of if you are traveling with a small child or somebody who might be sensitive to those kinds of things. I am now going to head over to The Seas with Nemo and Friends because that is where I have my next Genie+ reservation. And hopefully I'll be able to grab one for Spaceship Earth. And then after I do that, I will have basically knocked out all of the attractions except for Grand Fiesta Tour and Turtle Talk with Crush and both of those things I think I will say for this afternoon, and I'll probably just take a break after I get done with Spaceship Earth, so definitely very easy today to churn Genie+ reservations and not have to wait in hardly any lines at all.

All finished with the The Seas with Nemo and Friends. Again, another walk on. It's kind of nice to use Genie+ here cause you don't have to go through the really, really long queue. This one is adorable and very rarely has very long lines. I think the posted wait was 20 or 25 minutes when I walked in. So it's not bad and it's very rarely as long as what it says.

So that's a good little thing to know that the queue is continuously moving, so it's, the waits here usually aren't that bad at all. A good second attraction to do inside of here is Turtle Talk with Crush, but I am gonna go ahead and hold off on that and maybe do it this afternoon. It's a fun, interactive kind of show experience, and it's indoors and it's air conditioned, so it's kind of a good one to do in the afternoons because you can not only see that, but you can spend some extra time exploring around The Seas pavilion looking at all the fish and checking everything out. So it's a great way if it's raining or if it's really hot outside to kind of get indoors and get comfortable. So now I have my Genie+ reservation that is open for Spaceship Earth. So I'm gonna head over there and give it a whirl.

Okay. Just got off of Spaceship Earth. The posted wait was, I think, 20 minutes, and for me it was basically just a walk on.

Even though that posted wait was 20 minutes, I would guess the actual wait was closer to 10. It wasn't a very long line at all, and that line is continuously moving, so it wasn't a bad wait I'm sure for those people in standby. But I really did enjoy not having to wait at all. My best advice for Spaceship Earth is to save it for later in the afternoon or to use Genie+ on it.

So ride like two o'clock or later. What happens is, is because it's the very first thing that the people at the front of the park see when they come in to Epcot, they oftentimes stop here and just jump on it cuz it's the first ride that they see, which means that first thing in the morning, and up until about lunchtime, early afternoon, the lines can be kind of inflated and a little bit longer than what you're gonna see in the middle of the afternoon. So ride it any time with Genie+. But if you're gonna ride it standby, which isn't a bad deal either, save it for later in the afternoon, two o'clock or later is probably a good bet.

Now it is time for a break. I'm going to go ahead and grab me some lunch, much needed bathroom break, get something to drink, figure out about my rest of the day. Okay, just wrapped up eating, had some more Diet Coke, feel a lot better than I did about 45 minutes ago. So if I were continuing to tour the park today, I would definitely head over and watch Turtle Talk with Crush, do Pixar Pals Short Film Fest, spend time in the World Showcase, enjoying the entertainment that's here because there's so much fantastic entertainment, spend some time visiting the festival booths- there's always a festival going on, visit characters, maybe take a break and then come back this evening after it cools off a little bit more. So there's lots and lots to get done. I will say, looking back now, I think I could have had a very successful day touring Epcot without Genie+, but having Genie+ here made it very, very easy.

I don't think you have to spend the money on it here though. That was my thought going in. That had always been my experience and after another day of testing things out, I really don't think you have to spend the money on it here, but I will tell you, if you do choose to, I think you will have a very easy experience touring the park.

It makes it easier to reride things if you have a favorite. For example, like this morning when we rode Remy's and Frozen Ever After, I could have tried to get a Genie+ reservation for those in the morning when they were still around, cuz they do go kind of quickly, but they were around for a while. And I could have possibly ridden them twice. So definitely something to think about. If you're on the fence about it, you can probably save your money- if you're smart, you show up for Early Entry, you get here and you're way far at the front of the pack.

If you can do that, I think you'd be okay without Genie+. So all in all, I had a really great, great day. There weren't many things that I didn't get done this morning that I still wanna do this afternoon or that would be difficult to do this afternoon. So I feel very, like I accomplished a ton and I'm a little bit tired, but it was very much worth it.

It was a fantastic day. I'm videoing Felicia videoing. It's just kind of meta. Okay, so it's a little bit after 8:30 now.

I've already gotten off Remy's Ratatouille Adventure. Had a very good start to the day again. So the official park opening is nine o'clock, Early Entry's at 8:30. We arrived at Epcot close to 7:15, just on that first set of Skyliner gondolas to get there. We were second in line at security, and so they held us there until like 7:45ish, and they let people start going through security and then held us again at the tapstiles until eight.

At eight o'clock, we were able to go through the tapstiles, and then we're entering in the International Gateway since we took the Skyliner. So whenever you go into the park, there's the bridge that goes over to France. So right there, they held us for a couple minutes. That's where they scan your MagicBand to make sure you're an onsite guest to be able to use Early Entry. So we scanned in a couple minutes after eight, walked over the bridge, and then right to the entrance to the France Pavilion is where they held us next. And so we stayed there for about 10 minutes and then they walked us into France, held us by the Crepery for another couple minutes, and then right around 8:15, they started walking us through the queue.

So we were in the first group of cars to go on the attraction, like little, the little rat cars. We got off right at 8:29, so technically before the start of Early Entry. Great use of our time. And now we're headed over to Frozen Ever After. Just finished riding Frozen Ever After.

Got over there around 8:42 to get in line. It said the estimated wait time was 25 minutes. We waited closer to 15, so it was pretty good.

Got off the attraction right at nine o'clock, which is when regular park opening is. There are two different options I could do here, and again, I don't have Genie+ today. So I could head to Test Track.

It said the wait time right now is 25 minutes. If I wasn't by myself and I was with my family and I cared about being able to ride together, that's what I would be doing right now. Not going to prioritize that. I'm going to head to Soarin' instead and get that out of the way because Test Track has a single rider line and Soarin' does not.

And so I could ride Test Track pretty much anytime of day through the single rider line and not have very long of a wait. I'm gonna head to Soarin' now. Shows the wait time right now is 10 minutes, and I assume it'll be something like that when I get over there- even though the main park guests from the front of the park that were just let in at nine o'clock will beat me over there, I still don't anticipate the wait being all that long.

So I ended up riding two attractions since the last time I recorded. I went over to Soarin'. The posted wait time was 10 minutes, and that's about how long I waited. It was just actually waiting to get into the theater. There wasn't like I had to wait up the hallway or anything like that. Took me a while to walk the queue and then to get down there, but I was almost immediately given a number and an area to stand before you go into the theater.

After that, I got off and I just immediately walked over to Living with the Land. It, there was no wait there. It was a complete walk on, so I was able to accomplish those.

Now it's right around 10 o'clock and I got called for my Guardians of the Galaxy Virtual Queue boarding group, so I'm going to head over there. If I hadn't had that called right now, my plan was to go over to The Seas with Nemo and Friends and ride that attraction that goes into the aquarium area. And then after that, I was gonna stay and do Turtle Talk with Crush. But since my boarding group did get called, I'm gonna head over and ride Guardians. And my plan right now is to then hop over to Mission Space since it's over there as well.

And the wait right now isn't super long, but we'll just have to see how long it takes at Guardians. So unfortunately, I'm continuing my bad luck with attractions that I had yesterday. It's continuing into today. So I walked over to Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind.

I tapped in for my Virtual Queue, waited for about 20 minutes in the queue, and they came over and said that the attraction was down and they had to exit. So I turned around and exited. Was told by cast members that we would not get automatic, like the ability to reride once it's back up again automatically. That you needed to go to either guest relations or one of the guest relation tents that are around the park.

Umbrellas, not tents. The first umbrella that I passed had probably 60 or 70 people already waiting in it. So if you had a Lightning Lane, you'd have to be there to either request a new one or be refunded, or if you had a Virtual Queue, you would have to wait through that to request another opportunity to ride. At least that's what the cast member said. I am going to be done touring after lunch.

Like we're just testing for the first half of the day, so I'm not going to spend my time in the guest relations line. If I was, I'd probably wait an hour or two and let that kind of clear out and then go over there and explain the situation and ask then. I wouldn't wait in that hot line right now. Based on that though, there were a lot of people headed over to Mission Space and Test Track that were exiting Guardians since it's right over in the same area.

I didn't wanna get caught in that. So now I walked back over to World Nature to do what I had planned on doing before: The Seas with Nemo and Friends and probably Turtle Talk with Crush. So right now those waits say 10, like 10 ish minutes. Didn't seem very long. I'll do that and yeah, bummer about Cosmic Rewind. All right.

I just finished doing two different attractions. I did The Seas with Nemo and Friends, which is the attraction that brings you into The Seas area, like the aquarium. That posted wait time was 10 minutes. That's how long it took me. It's a cute, quick little attraction. And then after that, right at the exit of that, there's the entrance to Turtle Talk with Crush.

It's just a few steps away. So the wait time on that one said it was 15 minutes. It ended up only being five minutes. I was just waiting till the next time, like showtime, to start. And so that attraction...

you're just sitting in a room and there's a screen with Crush on it and he interacts with the audience, particularly with kids. Adults sit on benches in the back and then in the front there are the kids sitting on the floor. He mostly interacts with the kids, but then he'll talk to the adults a little bit too. It's now. 11:18. I could have spent some time in there like exploring the aquarium and stuff like that.

I wasn't really interested in doing that today. It's also easy to do for filler, like in the afternoon when it's hot or wait times are longer. I looked at wait times right now and Mission Space says it's only 15 minutes, so I'm going to head over and try to hop on that. Whenever I got over to Mission Space, the wait time listed was 10 minutes for the Orange, more intense, Side and five minutes for the Green, less intense, Side. That's usually how it works out, that the more intense Orange Side has the longer wait than the Green Side.

I did the Orange Side. That attraction doesn't bother me like it bothers a lot of people. If you have issues with motion sickness or things like that, it's not good. I don't have that problem. So I went ahead and did the more intense side. It took about 10 minutes to get to the pre-show area.

I'm off that now. It's almost noon. I'm right next to Test Track, so I'm gonna go ahead and knock that out with the single rider line like I had brought up earlier.

And then after that, I might be done touring for the day. It will be close to lunchtime, so, If that is my last attraction, then I will update on what I would do for the rest of the day. Okay, so the wait for the single rider line at Test Track, it took me about 20 minutes to board.

And part of that is cuz the ride went down five or six minutes whenever I was waiting in line. Uh, they didn't make everyone exit the queue and so once it came back up we were able to hop in line for it. Now I'm going to head over to Spaceship Earth.

The wait time right now says it's 10 minutes. We usually recommend that you ride that later in the afternoon because people's inclination whenever they come into the front of the park is to hop in line for it because it's the first attraction you see. So usually early in the day when people are still arriving, the wait can be longer. And then if you just wait until later in the day. But short wait right now, and it's only one of three actual rides I have left.

I also have Journey into Imagination with Figment and then Grand Fiesta Tour in the Mexico Pavilion. So gonna go ahead and get in line for that. Knock it out, and then I'll probably be time for lunch.

All right. I'm now finished touring for the day. I did Spaceship Earth last. The posted wait time was 15 minutes. It was closer to 10 minutes. It was very quick.

I was able to just wait in the shade, which is great. At this point we have lunch and other plans, so I'm not going to continue touring. But it's still early. It's only one o'clock. So there's lots of options to finish out the day.

The only actual rides I didn't go on was Journey into Imagination with Figment and Grand Fiesta Tour. Both of those are known to have very short waits throughout the day. They're generally not hard to get into. So after lunch, if I was going to continue touring, I would hop on those anytime I saw the wait kind of low. And then there are also a few shows and stuff that we could do.

Awesome Planet in The Land. Throughout the World Showcase, like there's the Beauty of the Beast Singalong in France. There's a Pixar Short Film Festival over by Journey into Imagination.

So I would just spend some time doing that. There's a festival going on, check out the festival booths, all those sort of activities. And then just in general, exploring the World Showcase.

I will say that sometimes it's nicer to walk through the World Showcase in the evening when it's a little cooler. If you do it right in the afternoon and it's sunny, it's very, very hot. There's not a ton of shade, but... Overall, that's what I would do for the rest of my day. It's been a successful day.

It's been fun. I hope you enjoyed following along. Maybe learned a thing or two and you’re able to make a decision about Genie+ for your trip. If you have any tips or questions, feel free to share those in the comments. Thanks for watching!

2023-07-22 15:50

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