EPCOT often gets the reputation of being an “Adult Park” that doesn’t have enough to keep small children entertained. But my five-year-old twins consider EPCOT to be their favorite of the Disney Parks, and we’ve visited it more than any of the others! Here are ten reasons for the littlest explorers to love EPCOT.
1. KidCot Stops
The World Showcase in particular gets the reputation of being an experience for grown-ups, but there is so much for small children! One of the best is the KidCot Stop program. Located in each World Showcase pavilion, KidCot Stops give kids a chance to meet an international cast member, get a passport stamp, and decorate their own Duffy Bear puppet. The puppets are provided at no cost, and the cast members will embellish the back with the child’s name in their language or a fun symbol of their country. They’ll also put the country’s stamp on the stick handle (so no need to spend money on a passport book!). Each stop has a small seating area and markers, so your little artist can decorate the front of his or her Duffy Bear.
2. Play in the Fountains
There are three sets of fun fountains that encourage the littlest EPCOT visitors to cool off on a hot day. Two interactive fountains along the Futureworld walkways (one in Futureworld East and one in Futureworld West) allow kids (and adults) to walk right in and get soaked by the spray! The fountains outside of the Imagination! pavilion aren’t ground level, but you can stand under the jumping water or try to catch the bouncing water balls. A very fun way to cool off on a hot day!
The entire Imagination! pavilion is great for little kids. While I am still mourning the loss of the original Journey Into the Imagination ride with Dreamfinder, my kids don’t know what they’re missing and love the new ride experience. Figment is a silly and loveable character, and the ride has no height limit and rarely a line. The interactive experiences in ImageWorks are silly fun for all ages.
4. Advanced Training Lab
This area attached to Mission Space may not be your first thought for small children, since Mission Space is an intense thrill ride. But you can still visit the Advanced Training Lab even without riding. There is a play structure there for little kids to explore, buttons to push, and seats in the air conditioning for their grown-ups. It’s a fun stop, especially if your child is obsessed with space!
5. Magic Paintbrushes in Color Our World
My family just discovered this hidden gem on our last Epcot visit, and it was so much fun! In the Innoventions pavilion in Futureworld is a group of exhibits called Colortopia all about – you guessed it – color. While all of the activities can be fun for little kids, Color Our World is truly outstanding. A cast member gives everyone a magic paintbrush. Then you are set free in room with blank wall murals. When you dip the magic brush into a color and touch it to the objects on the wall, not only do they change color, they come to life! What’s more, the object can change based on what color you choose. Paint the truck red and it’s a fire truck; change it to yellow and it’s a school bus! Your time is limited, but you get the chance to email your mural home. You can also download the Colortopia app, which extends the fun activities. It’s definitely a new favorite for us.
6. Living with the Land
Living with the Land is a gentle boat ride that takes you through EPCOT’s greenhouses. It’s great to show little kids about how fruits and vegetables are grown. Be sure to look out for some hidden Mickey’s in the greenhouses, and some fun and unusual foods! It’s also great to go visit one of the restaurants in The Land pavilion like The Garden Grill, as the foods grown in the greenhouses are served there! Sunshine Seasons is a quick service restaurant with a great selection of healthy kids’ meals, too.
7. The Seas with Nemo and Friends
The Seas with Nemo and Friends is one of the best places in Epcot for small children, as everything there is great for them! The ride of the same name is a fun trip with their favorite characters from “Finding Nemo.” Turtle Talk with Crush is a chance to ask their favorite sea turtle all about being a turtle, and give him some information about the human world (plus kids get front-row seating!). The aquariums themselves are full of incredible sea creatures, and even the tiniest of explorers enjoy watching them swim by. The Coral Reef Restaurant is a fun place to eat and lets you view the incredible aquarium while you enjoy your meal. Be sure to visit this pavilion with your small fries!
8. Spaceship Earth
This may not be the first attraction that comes to mind when you think about small children, but Spaceship Earth has always been a huge hit with my kids! The novelty of getting to go up inside that big silver ball is pretty exciting. The line is rarely very long, and the ride has no height restriction. While the darkness might be a little scary for some sensitive kids, the scenes showing the history of human communication are full of amazing details. Be sure to look for the sleeping monk and the smell of the burning library! The end of the ride gives you a chance to learn about the future in a very personal way that is delightful for small children.
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9. Frozen Ever After
Does someone in your house love Frozen? Have you been treated to endless performances of “Let it Go” in full Elsa costume? Then your family needs to take a trip to Frozen Ever After. The newest ride in Epcot is located in the Norway pavilion and gives your Frozen fan a chance to go on an adventure with favorite characters from the movie. Be aware that this ride is new and very popular, so the lines can get very long. Try to get a coveted FastPass+ reservation or make a beeline to Norway when the park opens to avoid a very long wait.
10. Gran Fiesta Tour with the Three Caballeros
The Gran Fiesta Tour with the Three Caballeros is located in the Mexico pavilion in the World Showcase. This gentle boat ride is fantastic for little world travelers. The Mexico pavilion itself is fun for kids, instantly transporting you from a sunny Florida day to twilight in Mexico. After traveling past the Mayan ruins and volcano (this might be a touch scary for some young kids) you are greeted by José Carioca (a parrot) and Panchito Pistoles (a rooster) who are looking for their friend Donald Duck. Children will love watching José and Panchito try to find Donald as he gets into crazy mishaps all around Mexico. The silly antics and fun music make my kids as to ride again and again. And because there is usually no line, we can say yes!
While EPCOT is a great park for grown-up fun, there is plenty there to have a great time with small children as well. Don’t make the mistake of skipping this park because you have little ones; there is so much fun to be had!
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