EPCOT is the Disney park that allows guests to visit the world in one day, spring forward into the future, and enjoy an exclusive festival all year long. EPCOT is also a park that a lot of families with young children shy away from. They think it is geared toward adults, there are not enough attractions for kids, and their family will be bored.
On the contrary, EPCOT is fantastic for families, and one of the Disney parks where I feel as if there is truly something for everyone. Let’s dive into all the reasons why you need to visit EPCOT with kids.
Whether you enter EPCOT from World Showcase and find yourself in France, or through the main entrance with Spaceship Earth welcoming you, you are immediately taken into another time and place.
Guests who stay at one of the EPCOT resorts – Yacht/Beach Club, Boardwalk Inn, or the Swan and Dolphin – are wise to use the World Showcase entrance, located just past the Skyliner station. Similarly, those who chose to stay on the Skyliner route and take the Skyliner to EPCOT will also use this entrance.
Guests who arrive from offsite, one of the other Walt Disney World Resorts, or who choose to bus over instead of Skyline will use the front entrance.
This brings you into the front of the park, with the beautiful Spaceship Earth waiting for you! From here, you walk through Future World and then eventually make your way to World Showcase.
1. Where Can I Find Great Dining Options for My Family at EPCOT?
Garden Grill – While EPCOT only has two character dining options, Garden Grill is the best, in my opinion. Guests will find Chip and Dale, along with Mickey and Pluto at this experience. The food is amazing. The restaurant is so nice, and quiet. And it slowly revolves around the Living with the Land attraction, so guests dining can see those who are riding the attraction, and vice versa. It is so much fun! Garden Grill is wonderful for meeting classic characters, and the food is very family friendly. Read the Garden Grill reviews here.
Via Napoli – You will find Via Napoli in the Italy Pavilion in World Showcase. This is a great location to enjoy with your family because the portions are large and you can share entrees. This also makes it budget friendly! Most kids love pasta and pizza, and adults have many good menu selections here as well. The atmosphere is very classic Italian, and it is fun to watch the food in the huge, wood fire ovens. If you do not have adventurous eaters, but still want a nice meal, this is a solid option. Read Via Napoli reviews here.
EPCOT is not very strong in the Quick Service location options. So as an alternative, we tend to snack a lot in World Showcase, enjoying the Germany pretzels, some ice cream from L’Artisans de Glace, or even an apple strudel from Sommerfest in Germany.
Beaches & Cream, located at the Yacht and Beach Club Resorts, is a quick walk from the International Gateway, and serves yummy burgers, fries, and other family favorites. It is considered Table Service, but it is economical if paying out of pocket and has good “diner” type food.
2. What Characters Can We Find at EPCOT?
EPCOT is a great park to find unique characters. One thing we LOVE is finding the princesses in their World Showcase pavilions. For example, we can find Mulan in the China Pavilion. Another fun character is Belle in France. We have seen her in both her yellow ball gown and her blue “commoner” clothes. Rarely, but sometimes, Beast will be with her as well. EPCOT is also the home to the Anna and Elsa meet and greet.
World Showcase is also home to Mary Poppins, Alice in Wonderland, and sometimes even Marie from the Aristocats! Finding characters unique to their country is so much fun in World Showcase. And while he’s not a princess, sometimes you can find Donald Duck in Mexico with his sombrero on!
Aside from World Showcase, you can also find classic and some more contemporary characters in Future World. For example, EPCOT is the only place you can meet your Inside Out friends, Joy and Sadness. Baymax is also in the same building. Plus, guests can find Wreck it Ralph and Vanellope after enjoying the Figment attraction.
Guests who want to find their classic favorites can enjoy the EPCOT Character Spot. This is where you are able to move from one classic character to another, and see several at once! Mickey, Minnie, Goofy, and Pluto are often found here. That is one thing I really appreciate about EPCOT’s meet and greets…the fact that they often house three or four in one place and you can meet several one after the other, instead of going all over the park to do so.
3. What are the Best Shows and Rides for Kids at EPCOT?
At the top of my list for attractions in EPCOT are Frozen Ever After and The Seas with Nemo and Friends. These are my absolute favorites! However, there are quite a few others your family will enjoy.
Frozen Ever After is located in the Norway Pavilion in Epcot’s World Showcase. Themed after Disney’s super popular FROZEN film, this attraction is so much fun for all the people in your family! You take a ride on a ship, journeying through Anna and Elsa’s story, and you get to see your film favorites along the way.
The Seas with Nemo and Friends is located in The Living Seas pavilion in Future World. Guests can climb aboard a super cute clam shell and ride the waves with Nemo and his friend on their adventure. The characters are projected on a real aquarium, adding an extra magical touch. Then, when you disembark, you can even see some live sea animals in the tanks. We love spending time here, wandering around and seeing our favorite sea animals. It is a nice break from the heat!
Another great attraction for kids is Journey Through Imagination with Figment. This attraction is like THE classic attraction at EPCOT. It is a must do, no matter what your age! This attraction begins as a lab tour, exploring the five senses. Soon, Figment himself starts to make appearances, throwing the story off course. So cute! Younger kiddos will enjoy the cute purple dragon, and older kids may enjoy the sarcastic humor along the way!
Soarin’ is my favorite attraction at EPCOT. This is definitely geared toward older kiddos, think about age 8 and up. But, they do have smaller, child friendly harnesses for those on the shorter side who meet the height requirement and still want to feel safe riding. This attraction takes guests “soaring” over the world. You’ll see famous landmarks, historical sites, and take in all the views and smells ~ literally ~ along the way!
Overall, EPCOT is a well rounded park for families with kids of all ages. Learning experiences in World Showcase, classic characters in Future World, and fantastic attractions all work together to make this park awesome for everyone!
BEST THINGS TO DO WITH KIDS AT: