We almost skipped Epcot when we were planning our first trip to Disney World with our toddler twins. I thought the park was geared toward adults and they wouldn’t be able to enjoy anything there—I was so wrong! We all had so much fun at Epcot.
If you haven’t already, read my first post with 7 Tips for Disney World with Toddlers.
As an event planner, nothing brings me joy quite like an airtight, efficient timeline. Sometimes we deviate from the schedule, but it’s always nice to have a plan to fall back on. There’s nothing worse than wasting time at the park trying to figure out what to do next, especially with impatient toddlers.
The below itinerary worked great for us on a moderately busy day at Epcot and we never waited in line for more than a few minutes. If you go on a day with heavy crowds you might experience some longer waits. Epcot is very large and spread out, so this plan minimizes walking by splitting the day into two parts: Future World in the morning and World Showcase in the evening.
- Arrive at Epcot 15 minutes before opening. (A lot of guide books tell you to arrive 30-45 minutes early and that will definitely get you to the front of the line to enter the park, but we found on a less crowded day that was too long to stand around with toddlers. 15 minutes was just about right for us.)
- As soon as the park opens, ride Soarin’ in the Land Pavilion. (Note you’ll have to park your stroller outside the building before entering.) This is the one ride toddlers won’t be able to go on with you because of height restrictions, but you can use the Rider Switch option which allows one adult to ride while the other waits with the children. Then the second adult can ride any time in the next three days with a special pass to skip the line. There are lots of tables and chairs in the Land Pavilion for the parent who is waiting with the toddler(s), or you can walk right across the atrium and take them for a ride on Living with the Land.
- Ride Journey Into Imagination with Figment (There’s an interactive play area after the ride that’s fun for kids.)
- Meet Mickey and friends at the Epcot Character Spot using FastPass+ (10:00-11:00am recommended time). Or better yet, if you are a Disney Visa cardholder, you can meet Mickey and Minnie with almost no line at a special location in the Imagination Pavilion. (It doesn’t open until 1:00pm, though.)
- Take a quick break at Club Cool to try the free soda samples. Our toddlers loved trying the all the “juice!”
- Ride The Seas with Nemo. (Note that this ride is dark and my toddlers both got a little scared when the piranha and shark with bared teeth appeared.) Check out the fish and dolphins in the Sea Tanks after the ride.
- Ride Spaceship Earth using Fastpass+ (11:00am-12:00pm recommended time).
- Eat lunch. Sunshine Seasons in The Land Pavilion is a good option for quick food.
- Leave the park by 12:30pm for an afternoon break. We usually let our toddlers swim for a bit, then put them down for a nap while we rest.
- Arrive back to Epcot by 4:00pm.
- Head to Mexico in the World Showcase. Ride the Gran Fiesta Tour if you have time.
- Ride Frozen Ever After using a FastPass+ (4:30-5:30pm recommended time). If the wait is short, meet Anna and Elsa nearby in Norway after the ride. No FastPass+ is available, but if meeting them is a must, sometimes the line lessens during lunch and dinner.
- Finish touring the World Showcase. You’ll find interactive “Kidcot Fun Stops” at each country with tables for kids to color and do crafts, and there are lots of other fun distractions as you walk around, like drums to bang on near the China pavilion and a model train near Germany that my son could have watched for hours. You can also find special characters to meet, like Snow White in Germany. If the Wine and Food Festival is happening, mom and dad can grab a glass of champagne at one of the kiosks.
- Eat dinner. (You’ll need an advance reservation for a table service restaurant.) We’ve had good luck taking our toddlers to Rose & Crown (United Kingdom), Via Napoli (Italy), and La Hacienda de San Angel (Mexico).
- Grab ice cream for dessert at L’Artisan des Glaces in France.
- We aim to leave the park by 7:30pm so we can get the kiddos to bed. But if you feel your toddlers can handle a late night, stay until the park closes to watch IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth.