When researching Disney World vacation planning tips people with a toddler often focus on the Magic Kingdom. Epcot is often seen as more of an adult park and gets ruled out because people are unsure of what to do in Epcot with a toddler. The fact is though that there is actually a lot to do in Epcot with a toddler.
What to do in Epcot with a Toddler
I have always been a huge Epcot fan. There has always been something about that park that called to me. In fact I have loved it so much that I got married there. It’s probably no surprise then that my son Nick also loves going there and has since his first trip at two and a half.
Epcot (which originally stood for Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow) is a park dedicated to teaching us about our past, future, and cultures. This may not sound very exciting, especially for little kids, but this is Walt Disney World. With Disney you know it’s going to be fun.
Epcot is broken up into two different sections. The front area with Spaceship Earth (or the big ball as Nick calls it) is future world and the back area that features countries from around the world is World Showcase. Both areas have lots for kids of all ages to see and do. Let’s take a look at the things to do at Epcot with toddlers including rides and activities.
Future World Attractions
The big ball that you can’t help but miss as you enter the park is home to the slow moving time travel ride called Spaceship Earth. This is one of my favorite rides, and Nick’s as well, in all of Walt Disney World. The focus of the ride is about how humans have communicated from the start of time through the future.
Kids love the end of the ride where you use an interactive touch screen to look at what your future could be like. Kids especially love it when they see their picture put on a character that is on the screen. The ride will take your picture for this part at the start of the ride. Make sure that your toddler is in a seat by themselves and have them sit up real tall when you’re told to look up for your picture. If the ride isn’t able to capture the picture then a cartoon face will appear on the computer screen instead.
It is important to note though that some ares of this ride can get quite dark, so you may want to bypass this one if your toddler is really scared of the dark.
The Seas with Nemo & Friends
You start by riding the actual ride. For this you will board a giant clam shell and tag along as Marlin and Dory look for Nemo. During the ride you’ll visit all of the the different characters from Finding Nemo.
When you get off the ride you’ll find yourself in “The Seas” which is a very large aquarium. In fact it used to hold the record for the world’s largest salt water tank. Although it lost that record in 2005. The aquarium is also home to more then 6,000 sea creatures. There are two floors of exhibits and viewing locations where you can watch and learn about many different animals that are found in the ocean.
Before you leave The Seas with Nemo & Friends be sure to see the show Turtle Talk with Crush. This is actually a very cool show. It is a chance for kids to not only see Crush, but they have the opportunity to actually talk and interact with him.
Living with the Land (Inside of The Land Pavilion)
Living with the Land is a nice and relaxing boat ride that explains how people live and work with the land. You start by traveling through different land scenes (rainforest, dessert, etc.) and learn about how they work and their importance. Then you’ll travel through large green houses to learn about food production and about how scientists are researching new ways to grow crops. It’s really quite interesting because they are actual working green houses and the food there is served in Disney restaurants.
Journey into Imagination…with Figment
It is important to note that some areas of this ride are very dark (in fact at one point completely dark) and it can also get quite loud. Nick is very sensitive to loud noises so I have always covered his ears in the loud parts (yes, I know the ride that well). If your toddler is also sensitive to noise I highly recommend bringing a pair of headphones with you. We did on our most recent trip to Disney and my only regret is that we had never gotten any for Nick sooner! They were awesome.
At the end of the ride you’ll enter ImageWorks. This is a fun play areas where there are interactive activities that your toddler can play with. Nick’s favorite one is the instrument floor where kids jump on lighted squares to make different instrument sounds.
Liquid Layer (Water Play Area)
There are actually several water zone play areas in Epcot for your toddler to play in. The main one is on the bridge connecting Future World to World Showcase. There is also a somewhat smaller one in Future World near Mission Space. That’s a great one if you’re baby swapping for Mission Space or Test Track.
It is important to note that in these play areas the water is constantly being recycled. That means that little ones that aren’t fully potty trained should be in a swim diaper to play there. These swim diapers were always my favorite to use when Nick was little.
Now, the leaping fountains are a bit different from the water play areas, and they are pretty cool. These fountains can be found outside of the Imagination Pavilion. They are made of water pads in multiple different planters. Spurts of water “leap” from water pad to water pad.
Kids have a bast following the water spouts around and waiting for the stream to jump out. While you certainly won’t get soaked at these fountains you can get a good splash as it jumps from one planter to another.
World Showcase Attractions
Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros! (Inside the Mexico Pavilion)
This ride is located inside the Mexican Pavilion and it’s all the way in the back left corner. Many people don’t even realize it’s there, so it often has little to no wait. In fact Nick is such a fan of it that we often get off and walk right back on. We sometimes do it three times in a row!
Frozen Ever After
If your toddler is a Frozen fan then this is a must do ride for you! Even if your toddler isn’t a Frozen fan this is still a fun ride for most little ones. Nick is in the not much of a fan group (although he does like Olaf), but he still enjoys this ride.
The story for the ride is that Queen Elsa is embracing her powers and creating a Winter in Summer celebration for all of the people of Arendelle. For the celebration she’s also opening her ice palace for everyone to see. Of course during the ride you’ll get to see all of your favorite Frozen characters!
The wait times for this ride can get quite long, so I highly recommend choosing this as one of your FastPass+ rides for the day. It’s also normal find that all of the Fast Passes allowed daily are given out weeks in advance, so snag your Fast Passes for this one as soon as you can!
Kidcot Fun Stops
Check out this post to find the specific Kidcot Fun Stop location in each country.
These stops are not only fun, but educational as well. When kids collect their cards, and color the scenes, they have the opportunity to talk to the Cast Members working the Kidcot Fun Stop stations and to learn about the country those Cast Members are from. All of the Cast Members that work at the lands in World Showcase must be a native from that land.
On one trip when Nick was almost 3 he found that he really liked playing the drums. I mean really liked play them. In fact it was all that we could do to get him to leave them so we could go do something else!
Model Train Set
The train tracks are placed within a large village that is made to scale for the trains. The village is so large that there is actually a bridge that stretches across it so you can get into the middle of it for a better look.
For kids that like riding boats this is a fun little adventure. It’s not always a fast adventure though, so skip riding the boats if you’re in a hurry to get to get to your next destination.
World Showcase is a large area, so this is a great time to let your little one have a rest or (if you’re lucky) take a nap in the stroller. You can walk around for quite awhile without needing to take your child out of the stroller or even stop much. Take the time to walk all around the pavilions, go in the shops, and even try some amazing food.
There are a lot of great adult things to do in Epcot, but that doesn’t mean young kids and their parents can’t have a great time there too. These activities, on top of all the great character meet and greet locations around the park, can easily fill up your entire day there. Plus they’ll certainly take away the question of what to do in Epcot with a toddler.
More Disney World Vacation Planning Tips
- 5 Tips for Preparing for your Walt Disney World Vacation
- Disney Junior Play ‘n dine at Hollywood & Vine
- Fort Wilderness – Walt Disney World Fun Beyond the Theme Parks
- Start Your Planning with these Free Walt Disney World Planning Videos!
- Walt Disney World Dining Plan: Is it Worth the cost?
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