Planning a Day in Epcot With Toddlers

by Kylie Chamberlin, contributing writer

At first look, Epcot might seem like an older child park. In fact, I know of many families who skip Epcot until their children are older, even elementary-school age. However, with some planning and preparation, Epcot can be a magical experience with your toddler.

There are so many great things to do in Epcot with toddlers, but keep in mind that the park can be overwhelming, even for adults. It's important for families to remember it's alright to relax, sit, people-watch, and just take your time to feel and experience Epcot at a toddler's pace. I see too many families hurrying from one thing to the next and missing the special feel and experience Epcot has to offer.

Thinking about your toddler's needs before planning the day is key. Will you need to go back to your hotel to accommodate an afternoon or mid-morning nap? When are the best times to try to eat? Try to keep your toddler on a small schedule, at least, to avoid meltdowns and allow plenty of rest time, as well.

It's also important to pack a bag with the essentials. This isn't a time to try to condition yourself to carry a playroom on your back or in your stroller, but be sure to have sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, diapers, wipes, sippy cup, and whatever else your toddler will need to be comfortable. Don't panic if you forget something. The Baby Care Center, located near the Mexico Pavilion, sells food, diapers, formula, and other necessities, such as baby Tylenol, as well as offering a quiet and air-conditioned place for families to change or feed. They have an oven, a seating area with a television, a sink, and many other conveniences that are a life saver when traveling with toddlers.

Future World

In Future World, toddlers with a little more attention span, or who enjoy movies or shows, might enjoy the Disney and Pixar Short Film Festival. The ImageWorks "What If" Labs and the Journey Into Your Imagination With Figment attraction are also somethings toddlers can enjoy, though Journey Into Your Imagination does have some dark moments, which some toddlers might find scary. While "What If" Labs are geared for a little older children, most toddlers will still have fun exploring and trying the activities.

Innoventions is also geared for a slightly older child, but many activities are easily adapted for toddlers. It's also an air-conditioned place where toddlers can walk, run, play and burn off a little energy if they are antsy after sitting in strollers.

Another attraction toddlers can enjoy, since there is no height requirement, is Living With the Land. Keep in mind that it is a slow ride, and while you look at plants and produce (including a huge Mickey-shaped pumpkin) it might only be appropriate for the toddler who doesn't mind sitting and looking around, or one with a longer attention span than most.

Ellen's Energy Adventure is great for any height. It is a slow-moving ride, though it has many "scary" elements, such as dinosaurs, darkness, and loud noises.

The Seas With Nemo and Friends is aimed at the younger set. While there is one part of the ride where it is dark and a fish jumps out, the attraction has lots of singing, bright colors and, of course, Nemo and Friends. The Seas and the Sea Base are excellent options for toddlers, who can look at the fish, stingrays, sharks, and other aquatic creatures. Turtle Talk With Crush is geared for the child who enjoys interacting and talking back to Crush, but most toddlers, even those who aren't quite verbal yet, will enjoy it.

World Showcase

In the World Showcase, there are plenty of toddler-friendly options. The Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros in Mexico is a fun, silly ride with lots of bright colors and music. Young Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fans will enjoy seeing Donald, as well.

The KidCot Fun Stops are a great activity for toddlers in the World Showcase. They will get the opportunity to talk to a cast member in each country, get a stamp, and color. When I traveled with a toddler (not mine, but a relative), he really enjoyed the interaction of the KidCot fun stops and even wanted to go around the World Showcase to "do it again" as soon as we were done.

American Adventure, O Canada!, and Impressions de France are attractions for any height, though they might not hold the attention of toddlers. Curious toddlers will enjoy exploring each country and seeing the gardens, buildings, shops, and elements at each country.


Epcot entertainment also offers a lot to interest toddlers. The JAMMitors put on shows in Future World East at various times throughout the day and make music using custodial items (or kitchen or gardening items, seasonally). While toddlers might not understand the banter, they enjoy seeing the JAMMitors play unconventional instruments and sing. They can be loud, so if your toddler is sensitive to noise, you might want to stand a little farther away or skip it. IllumiNations: Reflections of Earth is the "good night kiss" at the park, and toddlers who enjoy fireworks, and don't mind darkness or loud noises, will love it.

World Showcase entertainment you might want to enjoy with your toddler includes Mariachi Cobre (a mariachi band in Mexico), Sergio in Italy, and the Jeweled Dragon Acrobats in China.

Epcot also offers a lot of character meet and greets. If your toddler enjoys meeting characters, it's great to check out Epcot Character Spot, especially for the Mickey Mouse Clubhouse fans. Mickey and his friends also meet guests at Legacy Plaza West. In the World Showcase, Mulan, Mary Poppins, Donald (in a sombrero), Snow White, and Alice meet friends. Some other characters can be found sometimes wandering around the World Showcase, so it pays to check the daily guide when you get to the park.

Overall, Epcot is a great park for families, and there is much more for toddlers to do at this park than most guests realize.



  1. By Dave1313

    I'd maybe add a brief note that the Ellen Energy Adventure is quite long. This is definitely a "do a bathroom break before getting on" scenario I think.

    I've only done this attraction once, but I want to think it is nearly 45 minutes from when you first enter until you are off the ride?

  2. By mkelm44

    I'm a Florida Resident passholder with a 3 year old and a 1 year old. Epcot is actually frequently our "weeknight" park with them as I can pick them up at daycare around 4:45 and have them in the park by 5:30, since unlike Magic Kingdom the parking is much much closer, plus at MK you always have to figure at least a half hour to get the stroller loaded- walk from the parking to the TTC and then cross the lake either on monorail or Ferry, then having to go through security and entering the park. The parking is closer on Epcot and security I find is much faster than at MK (not sure why- fewer kids maybe?).

    Once we're in the park, the Three Callaberos ride at Mexico is a big hit as is the Living Seas- fun fact for the living seas is that you can go left and enter through the gift shop skipping the clam ride with Nemo. Also, my kids actually like the boat ride in the Land, plus I find the foodcourt there to be a great place to pick up meals. They have a dedicated kid food portion and a good selection of sides for the kids and the adults. Plus because of how it's laid out, it's easier to get the right mix of sides (apple slices, milks, etc) than at most counter service restaurants since they're on display, instead of trying to figure out what's included with each meal. We haven't hit the kidcot funsports too much, but the country's entertainment- especially in Canada and China is usually pretty good.

    Right now during the flower and garden festival is a great time to take kids, as my boys loved the butterfly pavilion as well as burnt off some energy at the age 2-5 playground over by the imagination pavilion (ther

    Another thing about Epcot is that the character lines tend to be shorter than at MK (again the fewer kids thing). Donald is usually at Mexico, Pooh and Tigger have their own spot in the back of England that I've virtually never seen a line for (although Pooh's availability isn't the greatest since "Christopher Robin is off playing with him in the wood right now"). Belle can be found in France, Snow White in Germany, Mary Poppins and Alice in Wonderland also show up in England. Also, I found out that Epcot is where Disney trains a lot of its characters, so expect random sightings all the time. We've had encounters with Pluto over by the Epcot mural towards the exit, as well as Captain Hook, Tigger, and Goofy on various side streets at Epcot.

    Lastly, I can't heap enough praise on the baby changing room at Epcot, which I think may be my favorite of the four parks. Located over on the side of the old Odyssey building, it's not only a great service that they provide, but out of the way enough that it's a good place to put yourself together as you get ready to head out for the day. Unlike some of the others there is also a small adult bathroom there (the MK weirdly enough has a womens but not a mens room in their baby center). With four changing tables, supplies such as diapers, wipes and medicines, a place with actual high chairs to feed little ones as well as to nurse, and a quiet room that usually has Disney Junior or an age appropriate movie on as well as some books. It's a nice quiet oasis to regroup, do changings and feedings, or as we do- put on pajamas at the end of the day.

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