EPCOT with Kids: Seven Reasons You Shouldn’t Skip This Disney Park

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Is EPCOT fun for kids?

This is a question I see and hear all the time from people visiting Walt Disney World Resort for the first time. For some reason, a lot of the time the answer is NO, it's Disney's adult theme park. People seem to think Epcot isn't for kids, especially younger kids and are inclined to skip the park altogether. This train of thought drives me crazy. Why?

Because it's not true.

I'm here to change your mind and tell you why I think Epcot is PERFECT for kids. And I mean that 200%. My kids have loved Epcot since they were small children. It's the first Disney Park they want to visit and the park we go to the most every Walt Disney World trip because they have so much fun!

Epcot Ball Walt Disney World Resort at Night
The Epcot Ball at Night

Epcot is fun for young kids, older kids, and even your inner child. It's also age-appropriate for young children, educational, and has enough activities to keep the entire family entertained for a full day, if not longer!

Here are 7 reasons you shouldn't skip Epcot with kids especially if this is their first trip to Disney Parks!

Epcot Center Sign at Walt Disney World Resorts
Welcome to Epcot Center

EPCOT is educational

Not in that boring, OMG, we have to sit and listen to someone lecture way. and this is before you even get into the World Showcase to learn about other countries and cultures (we'll talk about that in a few minutes).

Epcot stands for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow and was built to educate the way kids actually learn through interactive fun, hands-on learning, and play. Future World is full of interactive areas with a focus on technology that serves as a fabulous backdrop for engaging education fun for kids of all ages from babies to toddlers to preschoolers to school-age children to teens, tweens, and even adults.

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Kids can learn about marine life in The Living Seas Pavilion with Nemo and Friends. Here you will find manatees, dolphins (yes, Disney has dolphins), and other marine life. Kids can also learn about ocean life and sea turtles with Crush at Turtle Talk with Crush.

The Land Pavilion at Epcot at Walt Disney World
The Land Pavilion features Soarin'g Around The World, Living with the Land, and Awesome Planet.

Over at The Land Pavilion, Living with the Land teaches kids about sustainable farming and where their food comes from. Older kids can explore the world on Soarin' Around the World. Take a break and watch Awesome Planet, a ten-minute film that tells the story of life on our planet and why it’s vitally important to care for it.

A history lesson on communication can be found on Spaceship Earth which is the ride inside the giant golf ball! Be sure to hold your nose as go past scenes of the fall of Rome. At the end of the ride, you can learn about how technology is going to advance communication in the future!

Over in the Mission Space little kids can train for a mission to Mars in this spaced theme interactive play area while waiting for older siblings.

And with the new Play Pavilion and Journey of Water with Montana opening in the next few years, learning at Epcot will be more fun for the whole family.

Spaceship Earth aka the golf ball aka Epcot Ball at Walt Disney World
The Epcot Ball, home of Spaceship Earth

Explore Twelve Different Cultures at Epcot's World Showcase

Since more of us are never going to be lucky enough to take a trip around the world, Epcot's World Showcase offers us a great way to learn about twelve different cultures and counties with a mini world trip!

The World Showcase is filled with mini versions of eleven different countries: Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Morocco, Japan, France, the United Kingdom, and Canada, plus the African Outpost.

Not only is the World Showcase educational but the pavilions are full of some of the best rides, popular attractions, and best table service restaurants in all of Disney World! Plus most of the cast members that work in the country pavilions are native to that country, and in my experience, love talking about life back home.

Japanese Torii Gate in the Japan Pavilion at Epcot World Showcase at Walt Disney World
Japanese Torii Gate in the Japan Pavilion overlooking the World Showcase Lagoon.

Don't forget to stop by the Kidcot Fun Stops or Kidcot Stations in each country to color a picture and learn more about that country. And during special events and festivals like the Food and Wine Festival or the Flower and Garden Festival, the whole family can go on a scavenger hunt to win prizes!

Florida and Garden Festival at Epcot at Walt Disney World Resort
Epcot Flower and Garden Festival at Sunset

You will also find activities, live entertainment, and food in each country that teach you about the country. Learn about the Day of the Dead in Mexico, see the trolls and learn about Norweigan Mythology in Norway, watch the acrobats in China, watch the candy maker in Japan, see a performance in the United Kingdom, learn about Canada with the film “Canda Far and Wide (FYI this is a great place to rest), explore American art at the Amerian Heritage Gallery. During the Festival of the Holidays, you can learn about how each of the counties celebrates the winter holidays and meet Father Christmas, Papa Noel, and Santa! I could go on and on but I think you get the picture of how educational the World Showcase Pavilions are for everyone!

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Santa and Mrs. Claus at Epcot at Walt Disney World in the America Pavilion
Santa and Mrs. Claus at the America Pavilion in the Epcot World Showcase
Festival of the Holidays at Epcot at Walt Disney World
Mickey Santa topiary and Father Christmas (UK Pavilion) during Festival of the Holidays at Epcot

Tons Of Attractions At Epcot For Kids

Outside of Magic Kingdom Park, Epcot has the most kid-friendly rides and attractions. YES, more than Animal Kingdom and Disney's Hollywood Studios. Because Epcot is full of the most popular rides at Disney world, there tend to be long lines. Be sure to check your My Disney Experience App for wait times.

Best Attractions for Preschoolers and Toddlers at Epcot:

These rides have no height requirements making them perfect for small kids and children of all ages!

  • Spaceship Earth inside the Epcot Ball
  • Living with the Land the boat ride inside The Land Pavilion
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends from Finding Nemo
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Journey into Imagination with Figment
  • Imageworks – The What If Labs
  • Pixar Short Film Festival
  • The Advanced Training Lab by Mission Space
  • The American Adventure
  • Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure
  • Frozen Ever After at the Norway Pavilion
  • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros aka the Mexican Boat Ride in the Mexico Pavilion
  • Harmonious the nightly fireworks and light show around the World Showcase Lagoon
  • Beauty and the Beast Sing-Along in the France Pavilion
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure als int he France Pavilion
  • A new Mary Poppins-themed dark ride is supposedly coming to the UK Pavilion in the next few years!
Child playing at Imageworks – The What If Labs at Epcot at Walt Disney World
Playing at ImageWorks: The What-If Labs, an interactive exhibit located at the Imagination! pavilion at Epcot aka “where Figment lives”

Best Attractions for 6-10 yr olds, Tweens, and Teens at Epcot

Big kids will still love the rides and attractions that are perfect for small children. But they will also love these thrill rides that can only be found at Epcot Center. These rides do have a height requirement, so be sure to check before you ride.

  • Soarin' Around the World
  • Mission Space
  • Test Track
  • Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind
Mexican Boat Ride at the Mexican Pavilion Epcot World Showcase Walt Disney World
Grand Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros aka the Mexican Boat Ride

ALL The Disney Princesses

Some of the most popular characters meet and greets at Walt Disney World are the Disney Princesses and you can find them at Epcot! Not only can you dine with them at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall, in Norway, but you can meet them in their home countries around the World Showcase Lagoon. In fact, the only other Disney Park with this many princesses is Magic Kingdom.

Meeting Elsa at Epcot Walt Disney World Norway Pavilion
Meeting Elsa

Disney Princesses at Epcot:

  • Frozen Fans will find Elsa and Anna in Norway
  • Mulan in China
  • Snow White in Germany
  • Jasmine in Morocco
  • Aurora and Belle in France
Meeting Disney Princesses (Anna and Mulan) at Epcot
Meeting Disney Princesses at Epcot

Meet More Characters at Epcot

Not only can you meet almost all the Disney Princesses, but you can also meet other Disney characters, some of whom you can't meet anywhere else. Character greetings take place throughout the day, so be sure to pick up a Times Guide at the front of the park or in a gift shop so you know when you can meet your favorite Disney characters!

Characters at Epcot:

  • Mickey Mouse inside the Disney Pixar Short Film Festival
  • Minnie Mouse at the World Showcase Plaza
  • Goofy and Pluto at the Epcot Main Entrance
  • Donald Duck in Mexico
  • Daisy Duck near Future World East
  • Joy in the Imagination Pavilion across from Ralph and Vanellope
  • Ralph and Vanellope in the Imagination Pavilion in ImageWorks
  • Alice in Wonderland in the United Kingdom
 Meeting Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse at Epcot
Donald Duck and Mickey Mouse at Epcot

Epcot has Play Spaces and Splash Pads

Little ones need to run and play, and Epcot is the best place for them to do just that.

During Festivals like the Flower and Garden Festival, you can find play spaces geared for children. There is a great one behind Mouse Gear. There is also a small maze in the Garden of the UK Pavilion.

Also, there are some indoor play areas too. Kids can play at the Mission Space Training Lab Advanced, Project Tomorrow at the exit of Spaceship Earth, Test Track Design Studio, Seabase, and Image Works.

Splash pad for kids to play in at Epcot Center at Walt Disney World
Epcot Splash Pads are a perfect place to cool off on a hot summer day!

Bring a towel and change of clothes because, on hot days, the kids will want to play in the splash pads. They can be found by Test Track and on the bridge between Future World and the World Showcase. These are great spots to cool off on a hot summer day!

PLUS don't miss the jumping fountains by Image Works.

Jumping Fountains at Epcot Walt Disney World
Taking a break to watch the water and jumping fountains in Future World at Epcot Center at Walt Disney World Resort

Food At Epcot

One of the best things about Epcot is the food. Even if you don't have adventurous eaters, there are a ton of food options for them.

For those with adventurous eaters, try and do an eat around the world challenge where you try one food from each country. My kids, who happen to be picky eaters, even love this! Epcot is where I can get them to try new things. We now have a list of food we must get each trip, like the sushi in Japan and the Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwiches in France.

Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwich in France and Sushi in Japan at Epcot Walt Disney World
Our two favorite gluten-free foods at Epcot! Strawberry Macaroon Ice Cream Sandwich in France and California Rolls in Japan.
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Princess fans will love dining with the princesses at Akershus Royal Banquet Hall.

Three other Epcot table service restaurants kids will LOVE are:

  • Garden Grill is a character meal located in The Land Pavilion where they can meet Mickey, Pluto, and Chip and Dale. The restaurant slowly rotates, which adds more fun to the meal.
  • Coral Reef Restaurant I mean, who wouldn't love eating next to a giant six-million-gallon aquarium?
  • Biergarten in Germany. Celebrate Oktoberfest all year long with German cuisine and entertainment. Kids will love dancing the chicken dance during lunch or dinner.
Kid Friendly Restaurants at Epcot Walt Disney World
Children of all ages will love meeting their favorite Characters like Pluto and Mickey Mouse at the Garden Grill and the entertainment at Biergarten in Germany.
Pictures by Katy at Northshore Parent

There is so much food at Epcot, so so much food. I personally think some of the best food at Walt Disney World is at Epcot. I have friends who agree and will book every meal at a different restaurant at Epcot.

Epcot at Sunset during Flower and Garden Festival
Epcot at sunset during the Flower and Garden Festival

Did I change your mind about Epcot? Did I prove to you that it's the PERFECT place for kids to play, learn, and enjoy? There is so much here, and I know if you give Epcot a chance, you will LOVE it, and it will become a favorite park for your family. Don't forget to grab some Disney Gift Cards for your trip!

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