Epcot Rookie

Discussion in 'Theme Parks Attractions and Strategies' started by blackwo1, Oct 12, 2017.

  1. blackwo1

    blackwo1 Earning My Ears

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    I am starting to put together a plan for Epcot for Jan 30. I am a little overwhelmed just because of how spread out it is. I'll be with my 4 yo and 8 yo DDs and DH. We have Akershus reservations at 8:30am and Rose & Crown dinner at 7:50pm.

    1) How/when to best do WS for the kids- I'm expecting some whining about the walking and lack of rides, etc.

    2) Are there any specific parts of WS we need to hit? I'm thinking the adults would enjoy some adult beverages and snacking but anything we need to hit for the kids?

    3) Logistically, what is the best route to take? We are starting in Norway for breakfast, then thinking of heading to FW.

    4) Any character meet & greets we should not miss? The kids will def want to do Joy & Sadness. Any others? Is there a special Disney Visa character meeting?

    5) Should I plan on a stroller for the 4 year old?

    Sorry for the lengthy post. TIA!
     
  2. pitpat

    pitpat Mouseketeer

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  4. tlmadden73

    tlmadden73 DIS Veteran

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    Epcot is spread out .. it probably has the most walking distances in all the parks between attractions. Just walking within the pavilions themselves is a lot!

    1) Never. :) I consider Epcot not a very pre-schooler friendly park. So I avoided it when my son was 2 and 3 .. and finally decided to go to it when he was 4 (and thus big enough to go on ALL the rides there). When we went there this last March we stepped into WS (up to England) a bit to check out some Flower and Garden sculptures, but didn't venture far in and turned around as the day was coming to a close. When I was a elementary age child, I remember the long, hot, boring walk around WS and didn't want to subject him to it after a long day in Future World. It just isn't that exciting to most kids ..it's shopping and food .. most things kids HATE to do.
    We'll get around the world, just not yet. It will be a lot more appealing once they have that Ratatouille ride to help break up the long walk.

    2) I didn't hit it, but I am sure the kids would love the Frozen ride. That's probably it, depending on the temperament of your kids, of course.

    3) I would eat a quick breakfast if you can and hit Frozen right after breakfast, then Test Track (as it is nearby) and then work your way around Future World in a counter-clockwise way. If you really want to hit WS, hit it in the late afternoon/early evening before dinner. Get your Tier 1 Fast Pass for Soaring since you can hit Frozen and Test Track near the opening of the park.

    4) Meet and Greets? Depends on the kids .. I'd hit Joy/Sadness and Baymax just due to their convenient location in the middle of Future World. Probably some other ones around WS, I'd just plan to hit any you come across if you have a flexible afternoon.

    5) Yes .. we got a double stroller at Epcot for my 5mo and 4yo son. Epcot is HUGE distances between things. He enjoyed being able to just sit and be pushed around despite being big enough to walk. Besides .. even though they can walk . .they just have short legs .. they just don't move fast. My friend and I had to pick up our sons and hoofed it across Future World from Test Track to barely make our FP time at Soaring. WHEW .. (My wife had the stroller elsewhere).
    Plus a stroller is always convenient to hold your stuff even when they aren't using it. Just don't store food in the bottom of the stroller .. squirrels!
     
  5. cgattis

    cgattis DIS Veteran

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    I would totally have a stroller. Epcot is huge. We've never managed to hit every country in one day; my kids have always gotten bored. They like the movies, they loved the China acrobats (but I think they're gone), they like poking around in Mexico, they like to stop and bang on the drums in Africa, they like briefly looking at the miniatures in Germany, and that's about it. Oh, and they love the store and the Kawaii display in Japan. Otherwise, they really only care about the snacks. They (now 15&13) still think Illuminations is boring (and I pretty much concur--that stupid glove needs to be about twice as big, too). But if you do just a few things, plus maybe a couple meet and greets, and poke around a couple of shops, that can easily take an afternoon.
     
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  6. hiroMYhero

    hiroMYhero I'm satisfied with my care... Moderator

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    With your 8:30a Akershus Reservation, you can enter the park a little before 8:00 and will be seated at Akershus as soon as you arrive.

    If you’re able to finish breakfast by 8:45 (pay for your meal as soon as you are seated) head to FEA.
     
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  7. Oneanne

    Oneanne DIS Veteran

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    The countries around WS have Kitcot stations where they can do little activities and meet CM's from the country... that would be a nice engaging way to break up the walking. And there's a passport they can get to record where they've been.
     
  8. jjjones325

    jjjones325 Tar Heel Born and Tar Heel Bred

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    When my DS was 8, he loved the Passport because the CMs would write a phrase in the native language. He really enjoyed the Chinese writing.
     
  9. hllb

    hllb DIS Veteran

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    First trip, my kids were 5 and 6. They hadn't used a stroller for years. We bought two high weight capacity umbrella strollers and the kids loved it. Gave me a place to keep my stuff too.
     
  10. disneyvoice

    disneyvoice DIS Veteran

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    When my son was young he didn't really Epcot. Then Agent P came along and he suddenly LOVED it - like we had to go to Epcot on additional days because he loved it so much. I would recommend having your kids do Agent P. My son was never all that interested in the Kidcot Fun Stops in each of the countries.
     
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  11. disneycountrygirl

    disneycountrygirl Mouseketeer

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    Yes to the stroller for sure!!! And yes to Agent P. It was Kim Possible when we were there last, but the Kim Possible missions made it jump from a 1/2 day park for us to a 1.5 day park :-). A win for us adults who love Epcot!!
     
  12. ajwolfe

    ajwolfe DIS Veteran

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    My kids have always loved Epcot so I'm always surprised when I see folks say to skip it with kiddos. There's the Agent P game to play, the rides in Mexico and Norway, movies in several of the countries, a show in America and the kidcot stations were always a huge hit with my kids - they've kept several of them and the occasional meet and great. They also enjoy looking the shops and little museums - like in Japan - we try candy or snacks from several of the countries and just take it slow. And of course a few drinks around the world for the adults in the group. Don't make it a race, just make it a nice relaxing stroll for the day.
     
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  13. Gehrig1B

    Gehrig1B Mouseketeer

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    My girls are adults now and they still do all the Kidcot stations! We started them on Epcot when they were 6 yrs. old. It is a favorite of theirs still today and we visit multiple times on each of our annual holidays. I think it's all in how it is presented to the children. Mine have traveled a lot of the world from an early age and love to talk with the CM's from other countries. The meet and greets were fun as well but much easier to do back then!
     
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  14. MickeyWaffles

    MickeyWaffles DIS Veteran

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    I have great memories of World Showcase from growing up. Trying foods, exploring the countries, etc. My parents gave me a small World Showcase allowance to buy trinkets, jewelry, candy, etc in the countries. Yes, it cost money but it really kept me engaged! I still have many of the things I picked up as a kid. I loved getting my little envelope of Disney dollars for my treasures! So sad Disney dollars are gone.

    I would try to do World Showcase things with them. I would hit Frozen Ever After after breakfast if possible then head to FW and do rides. Then change the pace and head back to WS and do the ride in Mexico, O Canada circle vision in Canada, American Adventure, etc. American Adventure is a nice place for a rest on a long Epcot day. Yes, your kids might think AA is boring, but I think it’s a nice place to recharge. And as a kid I thought the circle theater in Canada was neat.

    My parents made us do these things on every trip and we never fought it. Maybe I was a weird kid, but I really enjoyed them even as a young child. My kids (1 & 2.5) slept through most of World Showcase in the stroller this time because we hit it during naps. I am looking forward to exploring WS with them as they get older! I hope they have an appreciation for it like I did.
     
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  15. Aflyingbuttress

    Aflyingbuttress Mouseketeer

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    I'm actually looking for something like this. Do you mind sharing the brand?
     
  16. hllb

    hllb DIS Veteran

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    Well, I'll look, but those two kids are 13 and 14 now LOL. I got them from Walmart for around $35. But I probably ordered them so let me check my email.
     
  17. kniquy

    kniquy DIS Veteran

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    I feel that will be a very long day for the 4 year old. With an early arrival to the park this means you are probably getting up to catch the bus by 7:15. You might consider a mid day break - tour future world in the morning after breakfast and FEA, leave for a resort break around noon and just relax in the room, nap or a little pool time. then you could head back around 5pm to tour the countries and your dining reservation. It really depends on your 4 year old and what kind of child they are. I know my 4DD would probably be over tired, exhausted by early evening and might not do well with a long TS dinner - stroller or not. Either way kids do put a little damper on really touring the countries the way you want because they do tend to get bored.
     
  18. hllb

    hllb DIS Veteran

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    They were Evenflo XSports. But I see they're discontinued now.
     
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  19. FortForever

    FortForever Disney since Day 1

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    Get a stroller. Kids hate WS. There will be whining. The only time it may stop is on the Frozen ride and in the gift shops at Japan and Mexico.
     
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  20. Aflyingbuttress

    Aflyingbuttress Mouseketeer

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    Aw. thats too bad. But thank you.
     
  21. marcyleecorgan

    marcyleecorgan DIS Veteran

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    Soooooo much walking. If you are going to go stroller-free, DO NOT do it at EPCOT.

    I truly believe that was a large portion of why my DD did not enjoy Epcot as much as we did (at first) ; she was hot, she wanted more rides, and she needed to do something else that wasn't a forced march through the heat and humidity. Adults have the lucky incentive to have a beverage :drinking1but kids have limited M&G's and few rides (less if they are smaller), lack of theming, and some scavenger hunt activities, plus coloring. The second day of EPCOT went much better than the first, but that was after she realized that Mickey wasn't around every corner and that it was a massive food and culture festival.
     

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