10 Best Rides at EPCOT: Ranking the Top Rides at Disney World

by | Jul 3, 2022 | EPCOT, WDW Blog, WDW News

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Find out our ranking of the very best rides at EPCOT, from Spaceship Earth to Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.

For many, a day at EPCOT is not about the rides. This Walt Disney World Park attracts tourists who are often after a culinary experience, a delicious cocktail, and a calm day exploring art and culture. With near-constant festivals and the legendary World Showcase, EPCOT is a park that you can enjoy with queueing up for a single ride.

But that doesn’t mean there aren’t attractions worth your consideration. In fact, EPCOT has some of the best rides at Walt Disney World. Those who enjoy stomach-churning thrills can check out Test Track, Mission: SPACE, and EPCOT’s newest ride, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. If you’re after something a little more educational, check out Spaceship Earth or Living with the Land. And to be immersed in your favorite Disney classics, you can’t go wrong with Frozen Ever After or Gran Fiesta Tour.

With such a diverse lineup of rides and attractions, an official ranking of the best rides at EPCOT would look different for almost every person. That said, I feel confident that my ranking of EPCOT’s top rides will stand the test of time—even if most would think it crazy to put Gran Fiesta Tour so high.

What Are the Best Rides at EPCOT?

  1. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind
  2. Soarin’ Around the World
  3. Spaceship Earth
  4. Test Track
  5. Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros
  6. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  7. Living with the Land
  8. Frozen Ever After
  9. Mission: SPACE
  10. Journey Into Imagination With Figment

1. Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind

guardians of the galaxy cosmic rewind - best rides at epcot - shuster

Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind is not only the newest ride at EPCOT—it’s the best. Photo by Danny Shuster

  • Location: Wonders of Xandar Pavilion, World Discovery
  • Opening Date: May 27, 2022
  • Ride Duration: About 4 minutes
  • Height Requirement: 42 inches

No surprises here: The newest ride at EPCOT is also the best ride at EPCOT. While fans of the old EPCOT may struggle with this massive injection of Marvel IP into the park, I think Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind feels right at home in World Discovery. The roller coaster (or, as Disney calls it, “storycoaster”) sits on the same spot where guests used to pal around with Ellen at the Universe of Energy in Future World East.

Cosmic Rewind is the thrill ride that EPCOT needed. Make no mistake: This isn’t a harrowing 300-foot-plus coaster like you’d find at Cedar Point. It doesn’t go upside down, and its top speed is nowhere near that of Test Track. (It’s actually more comparable in speed to Slinky Dog Dash.) But this family-friendly coaster, with its reverse launch, spinning cars, and unique music playlist, is one of the most immersive theme park experiences I’ve ever encountered.

The queue is an attraction itself, the star-studded pre-show builds excitement brilliantly, and the ride—oh, the ride—is a smooth, exciting masterclass in storytelling.

How to Ride Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind at EPCOT: There is currently no standby line for Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind. You will either need to enter the virtual queue for a chance at earning a Boarding Group (as we once did for Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance), or you’ll need to purchase an Individual Lightning Lane entry, which are limited in number (and expensive).

2. Soarin’ Around the World

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You can explore World Showcase on foot … or the world itself by hang glider at Soarin’ Around the World in EPCOT. Photo by Laurie Sapp

  • Location: The Land Pavilion, World Nature
  • Opening Date: May 5, 2005
  • Ride Duration: About 5 minutes
  • Height Requirement: 40 inches

Soarin’ is less than half as old as EPCOT, yet for many guests, it’s one of the most iconic EPCOT experiences. In fact, Soarin’ has likely sat at the head of many visitor’s lists of the top EPCOT attractions until good, old Guardians came along.

This unique ride system lifts guests from the ground to three separate levels, where each person individually feels as if they are hang gliding around the world, from the Swiss Alms and Mount Kilimanjaro to Fiji’s Lau Island and that slightly wonky Eifel Tower.

You’ll see famous spots from around the globe come to life across the 180-degree, 80-foot IMAX screen as the ride quite literally blows wind in your face, sprays immersive scents at you, and serenades you with an original score. Yep, Soarin’ hits on four of the five senses while you’re riding (five if you scarfed down something from Food & Wine beforehand and have mild indigestion).

Soarin’ is a classic EPCOT attraction because it exposes you places all around the world, a cultural showcase that is the hallmark of Disney World’s second park. It doesn’t hurt that it’s indoors and air-conditioned and spits you out by multiple food options (Sunshine Seasons Food Court and, if you have an ADR, Garden Grill) and Living with the Land (another can’t-miss ride).

How to Ride Soarin’ at EPCOT: Soarin’ has a standby line that can get quite long on busy days (but at least it’s indoors!). That makes Soarin’ a good candidate for your rope-drop ride, especially if you enter EPCOT from the main entrance. You can also use the Lightning Lane via Genie+.

3. Spaceship Earth

Spaceship Earth is impressive from the outside, but just wait until you ride inside the geodesic sphere. Photo by Laurie Sapp

  • Location: World Celebration
  • Opening Date: October 1, 1982
  • Ride Duration: About 15 minutes
  • Height Requirement: N/A

Spaceship Earth is not a sexy, new ride with projection mapping, A-1000 Audio-Animatronics, and trackless vehicles. It’s not fast, and it’s actually educational. But it’s absolutely one of the best rides at EPCOT.

Guests travel through time while aboard Spaceship Earth, witnessing the evolution of communication since the dawn of humankind. The ending is still a bit dated—it’s difficult to imagine Spaceship Earth featuring Audio-Animatronics filming videos for TikTok—but it’s still a nice, relaxing break from the hustle and bustle of a park day with peak festival crowds.

The massive geodesic sphere is Disney World icon; it’s cool just to know you’re riding inside. And though Spaceship Earth has always been a beaut to gaze at (without needing to wait in line), it’s extra stunning now that Disney has outfitted it with its new lighting for the 50th Anniversary Celebration.

How to Ride Spaceship Earth at EPCOT: Standby lines for Spaceship Earth can get long but never too outrageous. You can skip the standby queue by using Genie+ Lightning Lane access, but there are busier, more popular attractions for which to save your precious Genie+ reservations.

4. Test Track

test track - best rides at epcot - wang

Take a spin on Test Track for a unique EPCOT experience. Photo by Cliff Wang

  • Location: World Discovery
  • Opening Date: March 17, 1999
  • Ride Duration: About 4 minutes
  • Height Requirement: 40 inches

Famously one of Walt Disney World’s most expensive attractions, Test Track is also one of the best rides at EPCOT. This car-themed thrill ride maxes out at 65 mph during the final sprint around the outer ring of the titular test track, but half the fun is designing your car while in the queue. Test Track challenges kids and adults alike to consider the attributes that will make their test car the most successful; after making their selections, guests get to see it all play out on the track.

Chevrolet branding abounds at Test Track in a place you’d rather see Mickey Mouse (or maybe even Vanellope von Schweetz). But this is America, so what do you expect?

Pro Tip: Queue up for Test Track at night. If you time it right, you could be launched outside for your high-octane sprint just as Harmonious is firing away over World Showcase Lagoon, which makes for a cool way to experience the fireworks. (Plus, the line should be shorter just before fireworks.)

How to Ride Test Track at EPCOT: You have three options for experiencing Test Track: Wait in the traditional standby queue, use the Lightning Lane via Genie+ (a wise choice), or use the shorter single-rider line. A caveat: You won’t be able to design your own car if you use the single-rider line.

5. Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros

The Gran Fiesta Tour inside the Mexico Pavilion at EPCOT

The Gran Fiesta Tour at EPCOT is a much better ride than most guests give it credit for. Photo by Laurie Sapp

  • Location: Mexico Pavilion, World Showcase
  • Opening Date: April 6, 2007
  • Ride Duration: About 7 minutes
  • Height Requirement: N/A

Let me say this loudly for the people in the back: Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros is one of the best rides at EPCOT.  Yet so many people skip this ride altogether.

Sure, it’s a lazy boat ride that follows a story from an unpopular Disney film (The Three Caballeros) that’s nearly 70 years old, and it’s close by a much more popular boat ride (what’s up, Frozen Ever After?) that pulls guests out of the Mexico Pavilion altogether. But there’s so much to love about this ride. Here’s why it’s one of my favorite rides in EPCOT:

  • It’s peaceful. The Mexico Pavilion is such a cool place to be. The low light, the cool air, the architecture itself. Plus, it’s air-conditioned. Now imagine you’re on a slow-moving boat with lots of cool scenery and festive music.
  • It stars Donald Duck. If you’re after classic Disney at EPCOT and are a little overwhelmed or turned off by the recent additions of Frozen, Pixar, and Marvel, Gran Fiesta Tour is your ticket to one of the most iconic Disney characters of all time.
  • It’s in Mexico. If you’re drinking around the world at EPCOT, Mexico is one of the best spots. It’s often the first stop of the day, so you can get your marg and sip it lazily while you wait in line for the ride.
  • The line is short. Oh, speaking of lines: You won’t spend too long in a line for Gran Fiesta Tour. And if you do, it’s air-conditioned with easy access to another marg, should your cup runneth empty.

Fun Fact: Gran Fiesta Tour replaced El Rio Del Tiempo, an opening-day attraction. Some fans are hoping for a Coco retheme in the coming years, but Disney has given no official word that it will do as much.

How to Ride Gran Fiesta Tour at EPCOT: The standby queue is your only option for riding Gran Fiesta Tour.

6. Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

remys ratatouille adventure ride vehicle - ecpot attractions - chiu

Get shrunk down to the size of a rat on Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. Photo by Tina Chiu

  • Location: France Pavilion, World Showcase
  • Opening Date: October 1, 2021
  • Ride Duration: About 5 minutes
  • Height Requirement: N/A

Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure marked the expansion of EPCOT’s France Pavilion and brought the magic of trackless ride technology to EPCOT. An immersive, thrilling attraction, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure shrinks guests down to the size of a rat and lets them explore Gusteau’s restaurant.

As a new ride, Remy’s represents Imagineering at its finest. In addition to trackless ride technology, the ride showcases stunning architectural tricks, screen technology instead of Audio-Animatronics, and plenty of 4D elements (like heat, water, and the smell of cheese).

How to Ride Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure at EPCOT: You can use the standby queue for Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, but you’re better off paying for the Individual Lightning Lane Selection. Sometimes, however, like at the time of publishing, Disney makes this ride unavailable as an Individual Selection and adds it to the Genie+ lineup, to help with heavy crowds.

7. Living with the Land

living with the land - top epcot rides

Though it started with a slightly different name, Living with the Land is an EPCOT opening-day attraction. Photo by Cliff Wang

  • Location: The Land Pavilion, World Nature
  • Opening Date: October 1, 1982
  • Ride Duration: About 15 minutes
  • Height Requirement: N/A

Though it originally opened as Listen to the Land, Living with the Land is considered an opening-day attraction. The gentle boat ride is educational, taking guests on a tour through EPCOT’s vision for the future of farming. You’ll see hot houses, fish farms, and massive vegetables. Just please stay in the boat …

My favorite time to ride Living with the Land is during Festival of the Holidays, when there’s a special Christmas overlay for the attraction.

Fun Fact: While the ride now boasts pre-recorded narration, Living with the Land once had a living Cast Member as the tour guide.

How to Ride Living with the Land at EPCOT: The standby queue should move quickly, but if you have Genie+, you can use the Lightning Lane for Living with the Land.

8. Frozen Ever After

Anna, Elsa, and Olaf on Frozen Ever After at EPCOT

Frozen Ever After marked major advances in Audio-Animatronics. Photo by Cliff Wang

  • Location: Norway Pavilion, World Showcase
  • Opening Date: June 21, 2016
  • Ride Duration: About 5 minutes
  • Height Requirement: N/A

I expect to catch some flack for rating Frozen Ever After so low on my list of the top EPCOT attractions, and I get it. Frozen Ever After is a good dark ride. The music is catchy, the Audio-Animatronics are well designed (if not a little creepy, thanks to the all-electric faces), and the actual boat ride has some thrills.

I’m just a little salty that they took out Maelstrom for this new attraction. That said, Frozen Ever After is near Kringla Bakeri Og Kafe, where you can grab some School Bread to snack on while you wait in line.

How to Ride Frozen Ever After at EPCOT: Like with the Remy ride, you can use the standby queue for Frozen Ever After, but if you have just one day at EPCOT, consider paying for the Individual Lightning Lane Selection. Sometimes, however, like at the time of publishing, Disney makes this ride unavailable as an Individual Selection and adds it to the Genie+ lineup, to help with heavy crowds.

9. Mission: SPACE

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Choose from two different experiences on Mission: SPACE at EPCOT. Photo by Rich Ramos

  • Location: World Discovery
  • Opening Date: August 15, 2003
  • Ride Duration: About 6 minutes
  • Height Requirement: 40 inches (Green Mission) or 44 inches (Orange Mission)

Mission: SPACE is a unique experience that simulates the experience of going into space. Those who are sensitive to motion sickness should choose the less intense Green Mission (or just skip this attraction altogether), which takes riders into orbit around Earth via a motion simulator.

But if you want real thrills, sign up for the Orange Mission, which uses a centrifuge to simulate a mission to Mars. Just be ready for some stomach-churning spins while aboard.

How to Ride Mission: SPACE at EPCOT: You can sign up for either mission via Genie+, but on slower days, it’s probably safe to ride Mission: SPACE via the standby queue.

10. Journey Into Imagination With Figment

Journey into the imagination - top epcot attractions

Figment is the star of Journey Into Imagination. Photo by Judd Helms

  • Location: Imagination! Pavilion, World Celebration
  • Opening Date: June 2, 2002
  • Ride Duration: About 6 minutes
  • Height Requirement: N/A

Last on my list of EPCOT’s best rides is Journey Into Imagination With Figment, the third iteration of this classic EPCOT attraction. Fans of the original experience have never been quite satisfied with the later versions, and Figment the dragon is quite the divisive character, even on WDW Magazine staff. (But that didn’t stop people from waiting 7 hours for a Figment popcorn bucket.)

This dark ride takes guests on a journey into, well, imagination as they explore the five senses. It’s certainly worth your time if you’re over in this part of World Celebration, but it’s a ride I often skip, especially on festival days, when my main mission is food and drink.

How to Ride Journey Into Imagination With Figment at EPCOT: You can use the standby queue or Genie+ Lightning Lane for Journey Into Imagination.

Written by Timothy Moore

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Boom baby! Timothy Moore is excited to serve as a WDW Magazine contributor and resident Disney Renaissance expert. When he's not drinking around the world at EPCOT or gobbling down Mickey Waffles for breakfast, he can usually be found with his partner hiking and kayaking the great outdoors, putting off writing his novel by playing Nintendo Switch, or telling his dogs Goomba and Blooper that they're the best boys in the world ad nauseam (because they are).
Timothy Moore

Written by Timothy Moore

Boom baby! Timothy Moore is excited to serve as a WDW Magazine contributor and resident Disney Renaissance expert. When he's not drinking around the world at EPCOT or gobbling down Mickey Waffles for breakfast, he can usually be found with his partner hiking and kayaking the great outdoors, putting off writing his novel by playing Nintendo Switch, or telling his dogs Goomba and Blooper that they're the best boys in the world ad nauseam (because they are).
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