I think it’s fair to say that Disney World’s Magic Kingdom is where dreams come true for children from around the world. Every attraction and experience seem to exist to bring magical moments to kids (of any age). Hollywood Studios and Animal Kingdom may not carry the exact same level of drama as MK, but they are still places where kids could spend endless hours making their fantasies a reality.
But, what about Epcot? An aging “Future World” and a “World Showcase” seemingly targeted to those 21 and up? Should my young family even spend a day at Epcot?
Even with it’s shortcomings, Epcot is still phenomenal… Period. Yes, the adults in the group may get more out of it, and even the teenagers can probably appreciate some of the more mature experiences like learning about different cultures and tasting different cuisines.
That still doesn’t answer the questions about what you can do with younger kids to give them a great time at Epcot while you appreciate it on a different level. Here are 5 things that will give your kids a great experience at Epcot:
5. Innoventions– This is a small part of Future World but is somewhere young kids can spend a long while exploring. It’s setup almost like an interactive science fair with different areas that teach you about the technology of today and tomorrow.
The displays change often so it’s hard to say what will be there in the next 12 months or beyond. Some of the creative experiences have been things like: what the future “smart-home” will look like, or going on a journey with a piggy-bank to try and learn about smart financial decisions. All done with the excellence and fun of Disney. Also, if you have a Disney Visa Card, you can access an exclusive meet and greet spot in Innoventions that is probably my favorite in all of WDW!
4. Character Dining– No matter where you are in WDW, kids always love to have characters roam around them when they are dining. Epcot has two such experiences: “Princess Storybook Dining” at Askerhaus in Norway, and the “Chip and Dale Harvest Feast” at the Garden Grill in The Land. Both of these opportunities provide wonderful character experiences to keep the little ones smiling from ear to ear.
3. “Hidden” Experiences– While it may seem like the World Showcase is only stylized buildings, restaurants, and gift shops…
Several countries also have experiences that are enjoyable for the whole family. There is a fun boat ride in the Mexico Pavilion, and another Frozen themed ride coming soon to Norway. There is a little garden maze tucked away in the back of the U.K. area and the wonderful model train/town near Germany. There are also many shows throughout Epcot that will keep you and your kids mesmerized at the talent of performers from around the world.
2. Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure– This is a huge hit with kids starting about age 5. Based out of the hit Disney show Phineas and Ferb, “Agent P” leads you on a journey through the world showcase using a F.O.N.E. (Field Operative Notification Equipment). You can pickup this handheld device at one of four kiosks in the World Showcase and use it to help you find clues “around the world” at stations in Mexico, Norway, China, Japan, France, Germany, and the U.K. Each country has a different mission that needs to be solved. The kids will love this!
1. Future World– So, this is the easy answer… but it’s TRUE! Future World has the vast majority of attractions that will be appealing to children. Most of my favorites sit over in the area with The Seas and The Land.
- The Seas has a cute Nemo ride and one of my favorite places to just sit and relax while the kids have fun: The Aquarium (in the Air Conditioning!). Don’t miss “Turtle Talk with Crush” which is a live interactive show that the kids will love.
- The Land has several options for kids… but “Soarin'” has to be one of the more popular rides in all of WDW. It’s especially great because it doesn’t scare most children, but makes them feel like they are on a “big ride” (closed for Spring of 2016 but opening back up in Summer).
- “Innoventions” and “Spaceship Earth” are always a hit with our kids and can be a nice relaxing moment for parents with sore feet!
Pro Tip: World Showcase doesn’t open until 11AM so most people don’t even head over there until lunch or later. Do a few things in Future World in the morning and then head over to world showcase right when it opens. You can beat some of the crowd this way and then come back over to Future World later if you’d like.
In conclusion: DO NOT exclude Epcot from your plans if you have small children. Sure, the adults may appreciate the essence of Epcot more, but there is plenty to give the kids a great time while everyone else is taking in the wonderfully unique place.
Do you agree or have a different perspective? Please comment below and add to the conversation!