So Many People Think EPCOT is JUST for Adults, But That Couldn’t Be More Wrong! Explore How to Visit EPCOT With Kids!
One of the biggest myths of Disney Lore is that EPCOT is just for adults, but that couldn’t be further from the truth! Indeed, when I was a kid, EPCOT was my favorite. Of course, almost all of my favorite rides from my childhood are long gone or drastically different (miss you, Dreamfinder), but EPCOT is STILL for kids, too! So here are all the way to Enjoy EPCOT with kids!
EPCOT with Kids – Dining
Let’s start with dining. Of course I’m starting with dining, I’m only here for the food! EPCOT has some of the best food on property. There are two character dining experiences: Garden Grill and Akershus. Surprisingly, Akershus is still closed, but, located in Norway, it usually serves breakfast, lunch and dinner, and features PRINCESSES. Generally, this is usually a more affordable option than Cinderella’s Royal Table, so hopefully it comes back soon!!
On the other hand, Garden Grill is open currently for lunch and dinner. Located in the Land Pavilion, this features Chip N Dale’s Harvest Feast. You will usually find Chip, Dale, Mickey, and Pluto here, serving up mischief and hijinks like only they can (fingers crossed breakfast returns soon because it is SO GOOOOOOOD!). The food here is served family style and it is traditional American cuisine, featuring produce grown in the Land Pavilion in the greenhouses. The restaurant revolves and is actually directly above Living with the Land.
Via Napoli, located in the Italy Pavilion, is another great option for dining with kids. They have HUGE ovens, and serve pasta and pizza. But not just any old pizza. We’re talking MASSIVE pizzas! DELICIOUS!
The American Pavilion features some great quick service dining that kids love, including hot dogs, popcorn, turkey legs, Mickey pretzels, ice cream, and BBQ!! Do your kids love tacos? HEAD TO MEXICO! Seriously, there are so many great food stops in EPCOT for everyone to enjoy!
EPCOT With Kids – Attractions
Future World has changed the most since EPCOT’s opening day, but it truly was designed to spark a child’s imagination. Furthermore, it has changed SO MUCH, it’s not even called Future World anymore! You will now be celebrating “Neighborhoods” when visiting EPCOT.
World Celebration is basically the “center” of the front of the park. And it is under a ton of construction right now! Here, you will find Spaceship Earth, a grand and miraculous spaceship. Travel through the history of our great planet, with guests of any age! Ride vehicles can also accommodate disabilities, and the attraction is offered in a variety of languages!
Imagination is a BLAST!
The Imagination Pavilion is home to Journey Into Imagination with Figment and the ImageWorks What If…? Lab. Figment is a magical purple dragon that has become the unofficial mascot of EPCOT, and has an incredible following (I LOVE FIGMENT!!!) and his ride will take you into what imagination is. You also get this great earworm that will never ever leave your brain:
In the ImageWorks What If…? Lab, kids can play in the sensory lab. Is it the coolest thing in the world? No, but it’s air conditioned and keeps kids busy! Additionally, you can occasionally meet with Joy, from Inside Out, and Vanellope Von Schweetz, from Wreck-It Ralph and Ralph Breaks the Internet! DVC Members can access the upper floors for drinks and relaxation in the DVC Lounge.
Just outside of the Imagination Pavilion, you will find the Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival! Step inside and let the kids watch some cute short films while you maybe “rest your eyes” for a little while!
Next you can pop into the Land Pavilion. The Land Pavilion has 3 attractions and 2 restaurants and is a great pavilion to be “stuck” in when there is a Florida storm. There will be plenty to do to pass the time. First up, Living with the Land. This ride is a bit on the educational side, as it talks about food and the environment, but it’s entertaining enough to keep kids occupied. DO NOT GET OFF THE BOAT TO GRAB A CUCUMBER.
The Best Ride in Epcot Is….
Next up, one of the BEST rides at Walt Disney World, Soarin’ Around the World. There is a height requirement, but there is nothing “thrill” about this ride for those that are tall enough. A word of caution, though, this is not good for people that experience motion sickness. You sit in a seat with a seatbelt on a “glider” that will fly you around the world. The seats raise up and you “fly” around the world (a BEAUTIFUL film on a massive IMAX screen). We LOVE this ride and with the addition of the third theater, the wait times are rarely as long as what is listed. Still, if you have antsy guests, you’ll want to get there early in the morning, before the lines get too long.
If you want to sit down and maybe grab a little nap (I’m not judging, I love Disney naps), head up to see the film Awesome Planet. It’s a 10-minute film about, well, the planet. The second restaurant (not named Garden Grill) is Sunshine Seasons, and has something literally for everyone. They are known for slightly healthier choices and a great food allergy selection.
Fish are friends, Not Food
The Seas with Nemo and Friends is the next Pavilion on this side of Future World. Here, you can ride the clamshell ride “down” to the bottom of the sea with Nemo and Dory and friends. At the end of the ride, visit the MASSIVE aquarium. We once spent over two hours in here during a storm and we never got bored! There is also a self-guided scavenger hunt available near the exit where you can “Find Dory” and her friends in the aquarium. And don’t miss Turtle Talk with Crush! (Yes, “he” really does talk to you!)
Mission: Space is next. There is a height requirement and a less intense side of the ride, but this one is not for everyone. Still, if you have a daredevil that meets the height requirements, the Green side is worth it! (The Orange Side is INTENSE and I would suggest researching it for yourself to see if it’s right for your family! It is as close to a real NASA simulator as a civilian can get!)
The NEWEST Walt Disney World ride is now open and running. Enjoy Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind with your bigger, more adventurous Terrans! Basically, World Discovery is the “big kid” section of EPCOT! This brand new coaster is one-of-a-kind, for SURE!
The final stop in World Discovery is Test Track. There is a height requirement, so be prepared. If your child is not tall enough, they can still play in the post-ride area and “drive” the cars! Should you have a kid too small for Test Track AND a kid (or other adult) that wants to ride Test Track, there is a Splash Pad just outside the entrance to the ride, perfect to pass the time! A word of warning, Test Track closes when it rains, as part of the ride experience is outdoors.
Most people immediately dismiss World Showcase as “just for adults,” but that could not be farther from the truth! There are only three rides, so kids can easily get tired of World Showcase after those are done. But you can definitely find ways to keep them entertain, engaged, and FED!
You should head to Mexico first, and head into the pyramid. (ONLY appropriate to start in Mexico if you are NOT drinking around the world!) Inside, you will find the Art of Coco and some great “street shops.” In the back corner of the Pavilion on the left hand side, you will find Gran Fiesta Tour featuring the Three Caballeros. It is a small world-type boat ride featuring everyone’s favorite birds of a feather, Jose Carioca, Panchito, and, of course, Donald Duck. Guests will ride through Mexico searching for Donald on your way to the concert the Three Caballeros are having. It’s great. It is completely my favorite!!! But I’m biased, because Donald is my FAVORITE character!
Somehow, the next stop on the world tour is Norway, home of Frozen Ever After. People, indeed, do wait in this ridiculously long line. Just let it go. At this point, the kids will start to revolt. In the interest of your sanity, things to keep your kids interested include meeting characters, like Donald Duck in Mexico, Anna & Elsa in Norway, Mulan in China, and MORE princesses in their “home” countries around the world.
You can also stop in the American Adventure and catch the Voices of Liberty! The trains in Germany are great fun, too! France features the new Remy Ratatouille Adventure ride, as well as the Beauty and the Beast sing-a-long film!
Every country has a Kidcot Fun Stop, too!
Where to Find Kidcot Fun Stops
- Mexico Pavilion (near Mexico Folk Art Gallery)
- 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 Art of Disney)
- 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 Canada Far and Wide in Circle-Vision 360)
Each Kidcot Fun Stop has a FREE (YES FREE) activity or craft for your kid to make and take with them. They can also get their passport stamped! So perhaps a compromise can be reached where for every grown up kid activity you get to do (or drink) they get to do a fun activity!
So what kind of person are you? Do you skip EPCOT when you’re with the kids or do your kids LOVE going to EPCOT? Let me know!