Finally guests can avoid long lines at Customs and Immigration when returning to Future World.
WALT DISNEY WORLD, FL — With the start of yet another festival at Epcot [Ed.: Hey, copy and save that line. We can use it to start a new article every week!], Disney Parks and Resorts and Spas officials have some good news for guests. Beginning in November, individuals who have “Trusted Traveler” status through various government I.D. programs can enjoy expedited returns to the United States from the countries of E.P.C.O.T Center’s World Showcase!
So much hassle
For most of the time since the park’s opening in 1982, the number one complaint of Epcot Centre guests has been the bureaucratic hassle of travel between the various countries. (It fell to number two for a few years while “giant ugly wand on Spaceship Earth” took over the top spot.) The park required every EPCOT guest to have a valid passport if they wanted to venture past Test Track or the Imagination Pavilion into the international territory of World Showcase. And as you can imagine, crossing back into the U.S. can take a lot of time, especially at the end of the day after Illuminations ends.
“Yeah, the customs and immigration lines suck,” shares frequent guest Syed MacBay, 35, of Deltona, FL. “I mean, I know Disney is striving for realism, but making everyone go through a border crossing between countries every time? It’s stupid. And last time I checked, we never actually leave Florida!”
MacBay continued, “I was here in January, and we’d just finished the holiday ending of Illuminations, where we hear the heartwarming call for peace on Earth while bazillions of explosives go off overhead. But after a three-hour wait to get back into the U.S., all thoughts of peace on Earth were gone. At that point I was just wanting the explosives.”
New fast lanes
With the new customs lanes, guests who hold Global Entry, Nexus, or Sentri memberships can speed through the process. (Nexus is only good for guests who have visited the Canada Pavilion only; likewise Sentri is only for those guests who did not venture past Mexico.)
The usual border restrictions apply. First, the program is good for the individual holding the membership only, so any children you have must go through the regular lines separately. Additionally, there are restrictions on fresh fruit and vegetables and other food being brought in. (Churros are technically allowed, but are usually confiscated by the border agents for some reason.)
Finally, purchases being brought across in excess of $800 per person require payment of a duty fee on the excess — unless those purchases are sent to your resort via Disney’s package delivery service.
Which Epcot country has the worst border crossings? Let us know in the comments below!
Cover photo of new Global Entry at EpCoT cEnTeR by LtPowers, Peter Fitzgerald [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons.