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Old 09-30-2012, 10:01 PM   #1
ImpossibleOfMe
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Epcot w/4yo - what to do?

Hey DISers,

Now that the trip is finally getting close I am more into the planning.

I've seen on many boards that Epcot is a must-do for a lot of families with toddlers and preschools, and a skip for others.

What exactly is there to do for a 3, turning 4 year old (38 inches tall)?

I have been a few times and don't find much excitement in Epcot personally, so I'm not too familiar with the attractions aside from Nemo and the World Showcase.

Thanks!
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:07 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by ImpossibleOfMe View Post
Hey DISers,

Now that the trip is finally getting close I am more into the planning.

I've seen on many boards that Epcot is a must-do for a lot of families with toddlers and preschools, and a skip for others.

What exactly is there to do for a 3, turning 4 year old (38 inches tall)?

I have been a few times and don't find much excitement in Epcot personally, so I'm not too familiar with the attractions aside from Nemo and the World Showcase.

Thanks!
I have to agree with you, I dont find Epcot to have much for younger kids. Our DD is 4 1/2 and has been to Disney 3x and we only spend 1/2 a day in Epcot. We liked Nemo & Turtle Talk with Crush, the Malestorm and boat ride in Mexico with Donald Duck and thats really about it for us.
DH really likes Epcot & I dont mind it, looking at all the different countries, but for her age IMO nothing really to do. We love MK!!
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Old 09-30-2012, 10:16 PM   #3
graceesmom
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Well, I see that you still have 4 months to go, so that 3 almost 4 year old may hit the 40" mark before you go. I know my little girl at that age grew almost 5 inches in a year. IF your child is 40 inch, then Soarin will be a must do.

BUT -- even if you are not at the 40" mark, then here's a list of attractions that my daughter has always loved at Epcot.

1) Spaceship Earth -- she just loves this ride and looking at the stars at the end. If you ride this, then make sure to hold your child up for the picture in the beginning (make sure you can see your child's face in the camera) At the end, my daughter loves to watch herself in the video that you make.

2) Finding Nemo

3) Turtle Time with Crush

4) Enjoying all the fish, sharks and dolphins in the Aquarium

5) Living with the Land. My daughter loves looking at the huge vegetables at the end.

6) Figment of Imagintion

7) Image Works (it's where you end up when you get off of Figment)

8) Maelstrom in Norway

9) Grand Fiesta Ride in Mexico

10) Character Spot

11) Princesses and Characters in World Showcase

12) Kidcot stations at each country where they can get passports stamped or Duffy Bear and they can color the bear

13) Phineas and Ferb Missions (formerly Kim Possible)

14) Watching the jumping fountains

15) All the shows in World Showcase (Chinese Acrobats, etc.)

16) Games at the End of Spaceship Earth

17) Play area at the end of Mission Space (you don't have to ride Mission Space to go to the playground)
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Old 10-01-2012, 01:28 PM   #4
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My kids liked Epcot, I think because it was more a more relaxed atmosphere than Magic Kingdom. We could take our times between rides (we skipped Soarin because the kids were too little) and just enjoy the little things, like jumping fountains. My two loved the Land ride through the greenhouse. And the Seas had amazing aquariums!

Two things to note:

Finding Nemo scared the crap out of my 3yo. We were expecting a happy little ride about a fish. But there was a significant amount of time spent in the dark being attacked by sharks. It was a great ride, don't get me wrong, but just were not prepared.

And the Kidcot stations, oh my gosh, are coloring with Sharpies. Sharpies! Permanent Sharpies! My kids saw the Duffy bear on a stick and insisted on coloring one. And thereby completely ruined their shirts. Seriously, I do not know why washable markers would be such a hard thing to stock at those stations.
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Old 10-01-2012, 02:42 PM   #5
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Ahhh...the jumping fountains! My LO loved this when he was 3. I think Epcot could be a bunch of fun at Epcot. You could always take the boat across the water in the world area as well. Enjoy : )
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Old 10-01-2012, 10:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by aliceg View Post

And the Kidcot stations, oh my gosh, are coloring with Sharpies. Sharpies! Permanent Sharpies! My kids saw the Duffy bear on a stick and insisted on coloring one. And thereby completely ruined their shirts. Seriously, I do not know why washable markers would be such a hard thing to stock at those stations.
Sharpie sponsors Kidcot. FWIW at this point -- alcohol will generally get Sharpie out of clothes. Surprisingly we've never gotten sharpie on our clothes at Kidcot. Now I have had to get it out of my couch, upstairs carpet and my daughter's dress she had on for our family pictures.
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Old 10-02-2012, 08:43 AM   #7
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We went last month to celebrate our little guys 4th birthday and he enjoyed Epcot (the Furture World section, none of us was too thrilled with the World Showcase). He loved Soarin' and rode it multiple times. He also enjoyed The Nemo area. The Figment area was one of his favorites, we stayed there over an hour after the ride while he played around.

The Land area was really nice as was the jumping fountains.

There's a lot to do in Epcot, we spent a whole day just in FW followed by the best meal of our trip at The Garden Grill.
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Old 10-02-2012, 10:47 AM   #8
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Our DD was 3 when we went last October and Epcot was probably her favorite park. And she didn't really go on rides. Same as pp, Nemo scared the crap out of her and that did it for the rides for her. She loved the World Showcase and we saw a number of princesses and characters in Epcot, both in WS and FW. We were also there during F&W, and I was surprised at how tolerant she was of the crowds. Although in the end, people watching may have been her favorite thing to do. There is just more to see in Epcot in a much more relaxed atmosphere, so I think it gives their little brains a break for a while, which is nice.

We're planning at trip back Nov 2013 and we're trying to decide between staying at FWL or BW, with BW being a hop, skip, and a jump to Epcot - literally!

Have fun!
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Old 10-02-2012, 11:56 AM   #9
laceemouse
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Originally Posted by graceesmom View Post
Well, I see that you still have 4 months to go, so that 3 almost 4 year old may hit the 40" mark before you go. I know my little girl at that age grew almost 5 inches in a year. IF your child is 40 inch, then Soarin will be a must do.

BUT -- even if you are not at the 40" mark, then here's a list of attractions that my daughter has always loved at Epcot.

1) Spaceship Earth -- she just loves this ride and looking at the stars at the end. If you ride this, then make sure to hold your child up for the picture in the beginning (make sure you can see your child's face in the camera) At the end, my daughter loves to watch herself in the video that you make.

2) Finding Nemo

3) Turtle Time with Crush

4) Enjoying all the fish, sharks and dolphins in the Aquarium

5) Living with the Land. My daughter loves looking at the huge vegetables at the end.

6) Figment of Imagintion

7) Image Works (it's where you end up when you get off of Figment)

8) Maelstrom in Norway

9) Grand Fiesta Ride in Mexico

10) Character Spot

11) Princesses and Characters in World Showcase

12) Kidcot stations at each country where they can get passports stamped or Duffy Bear and they can color the bear

13) Phineas and Ferb Missions (formerly Kim Possible)

14) Watching the jumping fountains

15) All the shows in World Showcase (Chinese Acrobats, etc.)

16) Games at the End of Spaceship Earth

17) Play area at the end of Mission Space (you don't have to ride Mission Space to go to the playground)
All of the above and more!!!

My oldest is 21 and her first trip to WDW she was 4. She has always said it is her favorite park, 17 year old son agrees. They also love the movies in Canada and China, the American Adventure show, and trying foods from other lands. Teach her a little bit about the countries, the style of their buildings, the kinds of foods they like, how they dress, and what they do for fun. You can teach her to say "hello" in each of the languages. A 4 year old is plenty old enough to enjoy and appreciate the things she can learn there.

My youngest is 14 and was always a dinosaur nut. She loves Ellen's Energy Adventure. In fact, even before she was old enough to ride Dinosaur at AK she loved EEA at Epcot, loves the dinos

Also, none of our kids are huge but at 4 they were all tall enough for Test Track and Soarin'.

We have always spent 2 days in Epcot, eating in the countries is so fun, we love Illuminations too
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Old 10-02-2012, 01:15 PM   #10
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All of the above, plus innoventions. DS could have played for hours at the firefighting display thingy. He was mesmerized by a lot of the different displays in innoventions, and it's usually not very crowded at all.
We definitely fall into the "epcot is awesome for little kids" camp.
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:27 AM   #11
ImpossibleOfMe
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Thanks for all the advice everyone.

I didn't realize there was really so much to do there.

The last time we went I was pregnant and all the walking may have been enough to put me off of Epcot at the time. I remember stopping just to sit A LOT and being disappointed only DH could taste the beers around the world...but I'm sure willing to go back in with an open mind!
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Old 10-04-2012, 10:38 AM   #12
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All of the above and more!!!

My oldest is 21 and her first trip to WDW she was 4. She has always said it is her favorite park, 17 year old son agrees. They also love the movies in Canada and China, the American Adventure show, and trying foods from other lands. Teach her a little bit about the countries, the style of their buildings, the kinds of foods they like, how they dress, and what they do for fun. You can teach her to say "hello" in each of the languages. A 4 year old is plenty old enough to enjoy and appreciate the things she can learn there.

My youngest is 14 and was always a dinosaur nut. She loves Ellen's Energy Adventure. In fact, even before she was old enough to ride Dinosaur at AK she loved EEA at Epcot, loves the dinos


Also, none of our kids are huge but at 4 they were all tall enough for Test Track and Soarin'.

We have always spent 2 days in Epcot, eating in the countries is so fun, we love Illuminations too
Totally agree, we had much the same experience. Epcot was the first park we took our boys to, MK the last after DS & AK. There is so much to love about Epcot, so much to learn. To this day, my 22 yr old and 18 yr old still consider it their favorite park. We were told, and I agree based on experiences by many people I talked to that it is a good thing to share Epcot/DS/AK with your children before MK. MK is such a different experience than the other parks, more noise, high stimulus. If they go there first it makes it hard for them to appreciate the other parks. Have a wonderful trip!
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Old 10-04-2012, 11:39 AM   #13
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Was never a lover myself of Epcot (aching feet are to blame not Epcot). But going with a 2 year old has changed my mind. He had a blast we were lucky that we go during flower & garden so they had some great play structures dotted around the park and extra activities but that aside i feel it's safer than MK to let them run as far less crowded.

One tip don't let a juice obsessed toddler who hasn't napped into Cool Station. He was like some crazed drunk, more more more. Then buzzing like a loon...memories are priceless
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:06 PM   #14
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One thing a lot of people forget about are the Innovention buildings. My kids could spend all day in those alone!

We hesitated to go to Epcot the first time around, when our oldest was barely 3 years old. We did - and were pleasantly surprised. There was so much more than we had realized. So much, that it quickly became his favorite park. We have three kids now - and Epcot is the favorite for all three of them! We've done four with-kids trips. On our last trip, our 2.5 year old was only 38" so he couldn't do the 40" rides and still - more than enough. Our next trip has 6 Disney days and we're doing 3 of them at Epcot - and likely still won't get our fill completely!

*My kids have not seen Illuminations since it's too late for them. (They drop naps by 2 years old which means Wishes is about as late as we can go and have to plan that carefully). We do Fantasmic since it's 6:30 when we go vs Illuminations 9:00 for our time of year.
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Old 10-04-2012, 07:08 PM   #15
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Finding Nemo scared the crap out of my 3yo.
Same here. We did Living with the land right after that and that helped calm him so much. Nemo was the very first ride at Disney he ever did. He picked it and I had forgotton that there was a possibly scary part in it. Ooops. He loved Captian EO too - which isn't exactly geared towards kids. You'd think Nemo would go over better than Captian EO. Nope.
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