Planning a visit to Walt Disney World and think your kids are too young for Epcot? Think again! Not only is Epcot home to the ONLY Frozen ride in all of Disney World, it is also home to the amazing World Showcase. With eleven countries represented this is an educational and fun experience for the entire family. You can expect character interactions, Kidcot stations, amazing food and more!
4 Tips for Exploring the World Showcase With Kids
On our first trip to Walt Disney World I was convinced that the World Showcase was too adult for my kids, who were only 2 and 4 at the time. We only planned to spend half a day in Epcot. By the end of the few hours we were there we knew we had made a mistake and knew we needed to make Epcot a focus for our next trip. The varied landscape of Epcot is wonderful for families of every age group. It is easily my family’s favorite park. Sometimes even outscoring Magic Kingdom! Here are 4 tips for exploring the World Showcase with kids!
1 -Give Yourself Enough Time
It is important to note that the World Showcase is enormous and giving your family enough time to thoroughly explore it can change your experience entirely. The first time we visited the World Showcase we had no idea you could actually enter the pyramid in the Mexico Pavilion. We walked up to it, took a picture, and moved on. And we missed so much!
Each country has so much to keep you and your children busy, and it is important to give yourself enough time to take it all in. From unique shopping to unique shows, each country has a life all its own, two even have rides! With all the activities throughout the World Showcase, you can easily spend days exploring. It seems like we have been conditioned at theme parks to move our families from one activity to the other as fast as possible, but here is where you want to slow down and take your time. Let your kids set the pace!
DIStracted Tip: If you have children who love to color, or you like free souvenirs, you will love the Kid Cot stations that are in each country. Each KidCot station is staffed with a cultural representative Cast Member. As your children color their free Perry the Platypus (other options are sometimes available). If you want to take it to the next level you can pick up an Epcot Passport at Showcase Plaza. Your kids will love getting their “passport” stamped in each country, getting their name written in different languages, and decorating it with stickers. At around $11.00, I find it a great value!
2 – Take a Look Beyond
Since each of the eleven countries that are represented have unique landscapes to tell you about their culture and history, take your time exploring them. The World Showcase is filled with hidden gems, you just need to take the time to explore.
While I could easily write pages on what my family has found, the fun is exploring them for yourself. Disney is very good about making “backstage” areas inaccessible to guests. If you see a walkway that doesn’t say “Cast Members Only”, chances are you can go down it. Of course keep to official walkways!
In addition, the buildings are not just there to look at, they house everything from unique shops to incredible CircleVision movies about the countries.
DIStracted Tip: Your kids are sure to love the acoustics in the Temple of Heaven in China. Try dividing up and standing around the room (and in the middle) and whispering to each other. The near perfect acoustics carry your whispers!
3 – Take an “Adventure”
My son’s go-to activities at Walt Disney World are those he can get personally involved in and Epcot’s World Showcase has his favorite! Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure is a scavenger hunt around certain pavilions in the World Showcase. The game is available on a “F.O.N.E.” picked up at the entrance of the World Showcase. I can now even be played on your own smart phone. Consequently, I understand that following your kids around while they crisscross a pavilion might not be your idea of a great time, but it is a great way to explore the pavilions in a fun way for your kids, and learn a bit in the process.
DIStracted Tip: If you only have time for one adventure, I recommend heading to Germany. Not only are the special effects our favorite, but the location is smaller and there is less unnecessary walking! So head on over and start your adventure!
4 – Enjoy the Culture
Finally, the best part of the World Showcase is the the cultural entertainment and exhibits filling each pavilion. My kids sure do enjoy watching entertainers play the Japanese Taiko drums! Most countries have unique entertainment throughout the days you can find more information in the times guide. Pick up one with your park map as you enter Epcot.
In addition to the entertainment, the food and gift shops in each country are unique! Try picking a pearl in Japan, or munching on a German pretzel!
So even if you only have a day at Epcot, make sure you don’t skip the World Showcase. You won’t regret it and your kids will love it!