There is no need to skip Epcot when traveling to Walt Disney World with preschoolers. Learn how to enjoy a full day at this park with kids of any age.
Not only is Epcot a fabulous park for all ages, it’s a must do park in Walt Disney World. Offering rides, shows and shopping, there is much for kids to learn and experience when visiting Epcot. I often cringe when people say “No we won’t be going there this trip”. It is then up to me to help change their minds and talk up all this great park offers. Usually they are amazed at how much more there is to Epcot other than booze and food.
Before you skip this park take a look at all it offers your little ones for a fun-filled day.
In order to enjoy Epcot, especially on the weekend, arrive when the park opens. Be sure to pack plenty of sunscreen as there is not a lot of shade in this park. And as you already know, you should pack a stroller. The World Showcase promenade is 1.2 miles going one way; little legs will get tired fast. Heck, even I get tired after a few laps around Epcot.
Upon arrival into the park, skip the “golf ball” ride. Everyone rushes to that as soon as they enter. The line will be much shorter when you leave the park and it will be the last attraction you can enjoy for the day. Instead, head past Spaceship Earth (that’s the golf ball) and to the right towards The Land and The Sea Pavilions. These areas offer a ton of fun for your little ones in Epcot.
When your little one gets hungry, check out one of these spots for great snacks on a budget:
The Land Pavilion is home to Living with the Land, a fun and educational attraction. Have your kids ever seen a nine pound lemon? The Land is also home to the Garden Grill where your little ones can dine with Mickey, Chip & Dale and a few other Disney pals. You need reservations in advance to dine at The Garden Grill; be sure to make those if you plan on visiting by calling 407-WDW-DINE.
When you are done exploring the Land, it is time to explore The Seas with Nemo and Friends. Kids can spend hours in this area looking at all of the fish tanks and playing in the kids play area. You can even take a voyage with Nemo in your own shell. Turtle Talk with Crush is a fun interactive attraction perfect for silly little ones. This is all indoors so it is a great escape from the Florida heat for the little ones.
Once your little ones have had their fill of Nemo and friends, head to Journey into the Imagination attraction. Little ones will love learning and laughing about the five senses – sound, sight, smell, touch and taste – on this musical tour with Figment. Afterward, be sure to head to ImageWorks, an interactive play area where you can use your imagination to make music, digital pictures and more.
If you are visiting Epcot in the warmer months pack a change of clothes for your kids. There are two water play areas in Epcot where they can stomp and play.
When you are finished in these areas of Epcot, it will be time to explore the World Showcase. Touring the countries of World Showcase is possible with kids, especially if you pace yourselves. Inside the World Showcase, you will find plenty of Disney characters in their countries of origin (Winnie the Pooh and Tigger in England, Belle and Beast in France and many more). Don’t skip the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros in Mexico. Or, as my kids call it, The Donald Duck ride.
Many of the countries in the World Showcase offer shows as well. The acrobats in China are amazing and a family favorite, and the street performers in France will have your little ones in awe. Check your daily times guide or My Disney Experience to find out when the shows are during your visit.
Also, little kids will love the Kidcot Fun Stops in every country where they will have a chance to rest and color their “passports.” One of my daughter’s favorite things is to learn how to write her name in another language.
See the Cast Member at any Kidcot Fun Stop to get a complimentary cardboard Duffy the Disney Bear, Mickey’s teddy bear for your child to decorate and personalize with the supplies provided at each station. Your friendly Cast Member will share insights about his or her native land and give your child a stamp of Duffy in each country. Visit each Kidcot Fun Stop in every international pavilion to collect them all.
Where to Find Kidcot Fun Stops
- Mexico Pavilion (near Animales Fantasticos)
- Norway Pavilion (at The Puffin’s Roost)
- China Pavilion (near the exit of Reflections of China)
- Germany Pavilion (at Volkunst)
- Italy Pavilion (outside, near La Bottega Italiana)
- American Adventure Pavilion (outside, near Heritage Manor Gifts)
- Japan Pavilion (in the Bijutsu-kan Gallery)
- Morocco Pavilion (at the Marketplace in the Medina)
- France Pavilion (at Souvenirs de France)
- United Kingdom Pavilion (at The Toy Soldier)
- Canada Pavilion (at the exit of O Canada!)
If your kids can make it until 9 p.m. at Epcot, be sure to see Illuminations: Reflections of Earth, the nightly presentation. Behold the past, present and future of Earth at this stunning fireworks show that celebrates the spirit of humanity.
Should you happen to be visiting Epcot in the Spring during the Flower and Garden Festival, there are playgrounds available for the kids as well as fun topiaries of their favorite Disney characters. For an additional fee of $6.95 kids can do an Easter Egg hunt around the World Showcase. Once completed, they get a fun prize. This event is sure to bring a full day of exploration with these additional attractions.
Epcot is a treasure for parents and kids alike, with enough to keep you going all day long. With attractions for adults and kids, as well as delicious food options all around the park, this park is a must do for every family.
Do you have tips for families of little ones visiting Epcot?
This post was written by Jennifer Greene.