When planning a trip to Walt Disney World with young kids, Magic Kingdom is often the first place people think of to take their toddlers and preschoolers. Other options include Toy Story Land and Disney Junior at Hollywood Studios, Kilimanjaro Safari and DinoLand U.S.A. at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. But what about EPCOT? I am often told, “Well there’s not much to do there so we are just skipping it until they are older.”
I am here to tell you – DO NOT SKIP IT! Do NOT underestimate the power of the giant geosphere and all that is offered inside!
Navigating EPCOT with toddlers is easy and so fun if you have a plan and know about all of the hidden gems throughout the park. My kids are 8, 6, 4 and almost 2. They have all been there as toddlers and each one has things that they really enjoyed and has even asked to see or do again. We ALWAYS spend at least one day in EPCOT.
Here are some of my favorite things to do with my kids when visiting EPCOT:
Character Meet & Greets
Character Meet and Greets are one of my favorite things to do with my kids. Currently, you will find several different characters throughout Future World including Ralph and Vanellope, Joy and Sadness, Baymax, Pluto, and Mickey, Minnie and Goofy. You are able to use a FastPass to see Mickey, Minnie, and Goofy. Most of the meets in Future World are indoors or in covered locations – a great way to come inside for a little bit. Throughout World Showcase, you will find several of the Disney princesses including Anna and Elsa, Belle, Aurora, and Mulan. A few of these princesses can only be found at EPCOT and I have found that the interactions are great for even very young kids, including babies! To find more details about the locations and times for these meets, be sure to grab a Times Guide on your way into the park or check the My Disney Experience app.
Rides & Attractions
There are several rides and attractions that do not have height requirements and are great for all ages. Some of our favorites include Journey into Imagination with Figment, Frozen Ever After and The Seas with Nemo and Friends. If you are looking to sit and relax for a bit, check out the Living with the Land boat ride or the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival as well. All of these have the FastPass+ option available and have fun music and things to look at that little ones will love.
One of my favorite places to go in EPCOT is in the same complex as The Seas with Nemo and Friends. When you exit the ride, you will find SeaBase. It is an interactive area with a huge aquarium with fish, turtles, manatees, dolphins, sharks and more. We always try to go there late morning or mid-afternoon, when the Cast Members are feeding the animals. This is a great place to let your little ones explore or even sit and relax for a bit. This is also where you will find the show Turtle Talk with Crush and a play area called Bruce’s Shark World where you can grab a picture with this friendly shark!
Another “hidden gem” is ImageWorks (or the “What If” Labs), which is located in the same building as Journey into Imagination with Figment. After exiting the ride, explore this interactive play area with various sensory activities including making music, creating your own Figment and more!
If you have older kids or plan to utilize Rider Swap, there are some ways to entertain those little ones too! Near Test Track, there is an outdoor play area that is perfect for little ones to run around while waiting. If you are looking for a way to cool off in the Florida heat, head over to the water fountain and enjoy! A favorite activity of my little ones is to just run back and forth through the water!
Baby Care Center
The Baby Care Center is located between Future World and World Showcase on the left side. There is one in each park and here, you will find a place to change your little one, purchase any baby care items that you may need, and more. If you have older kids who may need a break, there is a room that usually has a movie playing and some coloring supplies. There is a private room where mothers can nurse their babies too.
Where to Eat
In EPCOT, there are many different food options that everyone in the family will enjoy! Just outside the park, in the Boardwalk area, you will find a character breakfast at Trattoria Al Forno called the Bon Voyage Breakfast. Here, you can meet Rapunzel, Flynn Rider, Ariel, and Prince Eric. It is one of my favorite character meals and is a quick walk to and from EPCOT. In World Showcase, there are countless options but a few that I found to be kid-friendly are Akershus in Norway and Biergarten in Germany. Akershus is a character meal with many of the Disney princesses. Lunch and dinner feature Norwegian-inspired food while breakfast is served family-style with favorites such as scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, and fruit. At Biergarten, you will find buffet-style dining with German cuisine. There is also a live band and kids are encouraged to go down and dance and interact with the performers. Last but not least, I will take you back to the Land Pavilion to Garden Grill. This is a family-style character meal with Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Chip, and Dale, and features food grown in the Living with the Land greenhouses.
- EPCOT is very big. A stroller and/or baby wearing is essential with little ones! Try to have a general plan of action so that you avoid running back and forth across the park to do FastPasses, meals, etc. However, be flexible with the plans you do have so that no one gets too stressed if something needs to change because with little ones, it will likely need to change!
- If your child appears hesitant about meeting Mickey Mouse or other characters in full costume, try the princesses or other “face” characters. There are so many opportunities in EPCOT to do this!
- While your toddler naps or rests in the stroller, enjoy everything that EPCOT has to offer for older kids and adults – food and drinks, KIDCOT Fun Stops, entertainment throughout World Showcase, and more.
- Consider getting Memory Maker and be sure to take a lot of pictures. Your toddler may not remember this trip but I can assure you that you certainly will!
At EPCOT, there is plenty to do and see regardless of age and toddlers are no exception! There is so much magic to be found for your little ones if you know where to find it.
Ready to experience all the magic that Walt Disney World has to offer? Let’s get started planning your next vacation! As an agent with Key to the World Travel, the official travel partner of Chip and Company, I can help you plan your trip to any Disney Destination and beyond! Contact me today at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out the quote request below. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram too for all the latest news and planning tips!
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