Advice on Planning a Visit to Epcot with Preschoolers
We visited Walt Disney World last September with our almost 3 year old son and our 4 year old daughter. Our traveling party consisted of my hubby and I, Buddy (3), Boo Boo (4), and my parents. As I’ve mentioned before my hubby and dad are not big Disney fans (how is this possible??? I’m not sure!) but Epcot is the one park they enjoy.
I love Epcot – it is where I worked on the Disney College Program.
It is also the one park that I feel has less to do for preschoolers so I was hesitant to plan a full day there. We ended up compromising and doing Animal Kingdom in the morning, heading out for a midday rest time and heading into Epcot for the afternoon and evening.
Our group ended up splitting in two. Epcot’s International Food and Wine Festival was happening and we learned they also include a Brew’s Around the World. My husband and father split off and headed to the World Showcase to sample beers. My mom, my great aunt (she is from Florida so she met us and brought one of her grandsons), the kids and I stayed in Future World for most of our visit.
10 Tips for Visiting Epcot with Preschoolers
- DO Bring Ponchos (this was September we visited and it rained A LOT! In Florida you never know when a storm will happen so better to be prepared with dollar store ponchos from home then spending a ton of money in the park when you already are soaked)
- DO Bring a stroller (or rent one) – especially if you plan to walk all the way around the World Showcase (it is 1.2 miles around the Showcase Promenade) – little legs get tired quickly
- DON’T Over-Schedule your Day – things happen when you have kids – you and they will be much happier if you have a somewhat flexible agenda
- DO schedule Fastpass+ – this might seem counterproductive to number 3 but its not – the 3 fastpasses you can schedule would be for the rides that you do not want to miss
- DO take advantage of Rider Switch – at Epcot this is available on Mission: Space, Test Track, and Soarin’ (this allows you to swap adults and not have to wait in line twice)
- DON’T miss Turtle Talk with Crush – all young children seem to absolutely love this (I do too!). Interacting with Crush is pretty special.
- DO take advantage of Kidcot Fun Stops – if you are traveling around the World Showcase make sure you stop and do some kid focused activities at the Kidcot Fun Stops
- DO ride the Gran Fiesta Tour in Mexico – this is a fun ride for kids – very slow moving with fun music and Donald Duck!
- DO plan to accommodate children that do not like loud noises – we stayed for Illuminations and found out my son is scared of the loud sounds that fireworks make. For future trips we will be prepared with ear plugs for him. If you know you have a child that is sensitive to loud noises plan accordingly
- DO take advantage of the special character meet and greets offered – Epcot offers meet and greets with a lot of characters you may not meet elsewhere. If your kids have characters they love and you don’t want to miss make sure you check the schedule and plan accordingly as some characters have very limited times that they are out.
Our visit went well – we were prepared for the rain with our ponchos and had even fashioned a stroller cover from a dollar store shower curtain (it worked if the wind wasn’t crazy – so maybe 30% of the time). During our visit we went to the following places:
- Spaceship Earth – Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future
- The Epcot Character Spot – Meet Disney Pals
- Turtle Talk with Crush
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends
- Sea Base at the Living Seas
- Gran Fiesta Tour starring the the Three Caballeros (in Mexico)
- Maelstrom in Norway (this ride is now closed – I had to ride it one last time)
- Illuminations: Reflections of Earth
After I realized my dad was going to come to Epcot with us I tried to get a last minute reservation for us at the Biergarten Restaurant in Germany but couldn’t for a party of 6. Since my dad and hubby had gone to sample the Brews Around the World they happened to walk by Germany and asked if there was space and they lucked out. My mom, my great aunt, the kids and I ate at the Electric Umbrella.
We had a great visit and it worked well for us to split into two groups. Epcot is the best park in my opinion for non-Disney lovers as it provides more “adult” options.
Make sure you visit the Walt Disney World website ahead of time so you have an idea of what you would like to see during your visit to Epcot.
Do you have any tips for visiting Epcot with preschoolers? Please share them in the comments!