Updated: May 21, 2015
Epcot for Kids:I just returned from a weeklong vacation (February 2009) in Orlando, Florida with my wife and 2 children. We were a little hesistant to visit Disney Epcot but we decided to do it anyway. Our daughter is 7 years old and our son is almost 4. All the books and reviews written on Epcot talk about how boring it is for kids and that children won't like the World Showcase area that really has no rides. I decided to write this article to clarify a few points and let all parents know that taking their toddlers and preschoolers to Epcot isn't the worst experience. Sure, there probably isn't enough to keep them busy all day long, but we found more than enough to do throughout the day. Firstly, many of the rides in the Future World section are probably not for youngsters. Skip Mission Space, Test Track, Soarin, and Spaceship Earth. We were able to get through Epcot from noon to 8 PM which allowed us to get up late that day and make sure we were able to see the Illuminations show at 9 PM. Illuminations was great, but getting out of the park afterwards was a real traffic jam so if your kids are tired, leave the park early and avoid the headache come 9:20PM when everyone is trying to get to the exits.
The best way to start your day at Epcot is with a simple ride like The Seas with Nemo and Friends. You sit in a clamshell vehicle and go through underwater scenes where Nemo, Marlin and other characters from Finding Nemo appear. My 3 year old loved it and wanted to ride a 2nd time. When the ride is done you get out into an area with aquariums full of colorful fish. Kids like this type of attraction where they can walk around freely and not be confined. The big shark exhibit was a hit with our kids - you can get into the mouth of Bruce the Shark from the Nemo movie. There is also a Turtle Talk with Crush interactive show that is adjacent to the aquarium and play area. Next we went to the Innoventions pavilion where the kids got to see a huge firetruck and watch robots at work. After that we did the Imagination Pavilion and watched the Honey I Shrunk the Audience 3D film. We had good time and our kids enjoyed it, but other families left the movie since their little ones were a little scared. Use your best judgement on this one. Lastly, we went to the Epcot Character Spot across from the Innoventions West building and waited in line to see Goofy, Mickey, and Minnie Mouse. If you end up waiting in a long line make sure you reward the kids with an ice cream or treat and tell them you appreciate their patience. I always try to remind my kids that we will take breaks throughout the day and enjoy a treat. As you make your way up to the World Showcase there are lot of visually exciting things to look at so let your kids just enjoy the scenery as you stroll along.