Tips and Notes
Epcot



Many people go to WDW for the excellent selection of attractions, but Epcot is different. Beyond the rides and shows, there are a plethora of rejuvenating sites that get missed. If I could recommend one thing, it would be to take a Journey of Discovery beyond the queues. Look up, look down, look all around, see with your ears, and listen with your heart. There are gardens, music, technology, history, et al everywhere waiting for you. Once you make one discovery, you begin to understand the beauty that makes Epcot a favorite park. (Andrew Della Vecchia)

Epcot is about experimenting and learning - try foods and listen to entertainment you normally would not do at home.

If you want to ensure you dine at an Epcot restaurant for dinner and don't have a Priority Seating, make sure to make one early in the day. The popular restaurants fill up early during the busier seasons.

Epcot was packed in the front. The lines were out of the doors for everything. We went to the countries where theaters were half full. In the late afternoon we went back to the front of the park and had no lines for anything. (Mark Valentine)

It has gotten a bit harder to see Disney Characters in Epcot. Be sure to check the Guide Map for times and locations.

Some of the best memories are made at trivial things - the fountains at Epcot, for instance. (Jen Kitchen)

It's much easier to walk to World Showcase through the International Gateway than to park at the entrance or even take the bus or monorail from anywhere else. We like it so much, the only resort we stay at is the Boardwalk! (Becky in Delaware)

During Epcot's International Food and Wine Festival -- instead of a traditional sit-down dinner; feast your way around World Showcase sampling all the goodies!

You will only move at the pace of the slowest person in your group. Accept this, be patient, and do what you can to help that slowest person - under certain circumstances, it might be you! (Jen Kitchen)

FUTURE WORLD


The first thing we do when entering EPCOT is to get the Fast Pass at Test Track. As you know, that line starts growing right away and never stops. Then it's off to Universe of Energy or Wonders of Life to tour in uncrowded surroundings until our time comes for Test Track. At most, we've waited 5 minutes before boarding. (Carol Mikrut)

Next to innoventions, there is a Coca-Cola cooling station that not many people are aware of. When you walk in, there is a room where it snows. When you continue forward, there is a store with tons of Coca-Cola products. There are about five stations where you can sample soft drinks from China, Mexico, Japan and so on. This is a great place to cool off and quench your thirst. (Melanie)

We toured Epcot in July and the best tip I can give is go to Future World around 3:30 - 4:00 p.m. We were very worried since we were going in July. To our amazement when we started our touring, we met ZERO waiting times and at most ten minutes on most of the attractions. The only one that had a line is Test Track. It seems people do Future World in the morning and then go over to the World Showcase. We were pleasantly surprised. (LuckyCharm)

Take a snack break while watching the short concerts throughout the park. Our kids particularly liked the "Garbage Can Guys". (Iris Csimbok)

Have kids wear bathing suits and T-shirts so they can cool off in the splash fountains. Watch out! Sometimes Goofy joins you in his funky bathing suit! Bring dry clothes to change into. (Iris Csimbok)

Get free Coca Cola products by visiting Ice Station Cool in Epcot's Future World. As you come into the park, it's on your right side across from the Fountain of Nations. Go through the igloo and come out in a Coca Cola store and a place to sample Coca Cola products from all over the world! I'm sure everyone in your group can find something they like to drink, and best of all it's free for all the samples you and your family want. Grace

WORLD SHOWCASE


Without a doubt, our children's' favorite thing about the World Showcase is the character meetings...we were able to see more characters here than at any other location at WDW. They (ages 6 and 9) also enjoyed El Rio del Tiempo in Mexico. (Bob Terry)

Mary Poppins and Alice in Wonderland hold an impromptu pretend tea party in the United Kingdom. This was a lot of unexpected fun. (Iris Csimbok)

Our 2 1/2 year old daughter couldn't wait to go on "the boat to see the trolls" at Norway. When it was time to get out, she was so upset, more than just about any other attraction. She cried for the longest time so we had to promise to return. (Vicki)

The World Showcase has always been the favorite section of WDW for our entire family, including our two children who are now 13 and 18. I think it's something about the wide, relatively uncrowded walkways or something. Our children always enjoy the street shows and looking around the stores,especially the huge department store in Japan. Young children enjoy using the 'passport' one can buy to take to each country, or looking for the same type of item in each country; e.g., hats (take a picture of him/her trying it on in each country), candies, pins, etc. (Teresa Anderson)

You can find some of the more random characters like Friar Tuck, Prince John, etc. near International Gateway at Epcot in the afternoon.

KID TIPS


I think the most important thing for families with young children is to go to Epcot first, so that little Mickey-obsessed toddlers won't be comparing it to the Magic Kingdom. (Teresa Anderson)

Our kids are absolutely not adventurous eaters. Since it's vacation, I let them '"reverse dinner" if we want to try something from World Showcase. We order them a drink and desert while we eat our meal. They will get a real dinner back at the hotel. (Iris Csimbok)

My son just turned 2. When we went to WDW in December we must have spent an hour at the train display next to Germany. He was absolutely enthralled by it! (Pam Teixeira)

For us, it takes two different days the visit Epcot. If you try to capture it in one day, you will be on information overload and the children will simply be bored. Our days at Epcot are planned to be relaxing days. We usually head there on the third day of our trip. We take it at a much slower pace than the other parks. Future World seems to empty out in the afternoon as more people are touring World Showcase. When is nearing dark, we return to World Showcase. This area seems to take on a new life after dark. It is now much different than when we toured during the day. The entertainment is out and now we have the parade and IllumiNations. (Mary)

This year while at EPCOT during the Flower & Garden Festival, my 6 year old daughter had a blast stopping at all of the Kidcot Stations in World Showcase. She decorated a mask on a stick at Norway and went to each country (backtracking to Mexico) adding one more detail at each stop and receiving a stamp from that country. We set aside one day to do just this working through all of the countries. At each stop I took a picture of her working on the mask and with the cast member. When we reached Canada late in the afternoon, the young girl working wrote a personal note on her mask saying, "You made it!" My daughter is very proud of the mask and had a great time going to each of the countries. (Lloyd & Suzanne Payne)

My 8-year old's visit to Epcot was enhanced significantly by a two special Millennium features, the World Passport and the Family Fun sponsored mark making project. The Passport replicates a US passport. It contains two pages for each country plus Millennium Village. At a cost of $9.95 your child gets a few stickers (of somewhat poor quality -- they don't come off easily and the child will need adult assistance to remove properly) for each country and the opportunity to have a personal written message from a representative at each country. The messages may be written in the language of country but each message is verbally repeated to the child. This is a great idea! The child is very motivated to visit each country and every exhibit at Millennium Village (we spent 3 hours just at that location). Parents will have the opportunity for a complete visit throughout Epcot with no complaints and the child has a special souvenir.

The Epcot passport was a big hit with my daughter on one Disney trip. She enjoyed affixing the stickers from each country represented in the World Showcase, and she had many interesting conversations with cast members from around the world while getting their autographs in her "passport." It was a wonderful cultural and educational experience, as she learned some vocabulary from many different languages, heard some stories about different countries, and made some new friends. (Michelle Green Jimmerson)

The mask making project can begin at any world showcase attraction. Each country has a special item for attachments, i.e., Italy has feathers, Morocco has sparkles, etc. Decorative items are added to the mask at each country and the mask's wood handle is stamped with a "visa" showing which places were visited. Again this is a way to visit all the attractions with interested children at a Disney park where younger children may not be as entertained as they are in the parks with rides. (MVvega)

When we went December 1999, our son was 6 and our daughter was 3. The kids were very interested in how the different countries celebrate Christmas and their version of Santa Claus. I was worried that they would be bored at being at Epcot all day, but between the countries and then Tapestry of Nations, then the Candlelight Processional, topped off with Illuminations, it was a fantastic day. One of my favorite memories of our trip was walking out of Epcot at 10:00pm with our daughter asleep in the stroller and our son walking ahead, just listening to the music and watching the Christmas lights and the fountains. Breathtaking!!! (Kris)


THE KIDS SPEAK.....


My name is Devon, and I am 9. My mom told me you want to know what kids' favorite things are in Epcot. My first trip was last year and my favorite thing was to get a passport and have it stamped at all the countries. What made it really fun is before we went, I learned some phrases in each language so i could talk to the people in each country. I learned Hello, Goodbye, My name is Devon, Thank you and Please in French, German, Norwegian, Spanish, Japanese, Arabic,and Italian. I also tried to count 1-10. The people were happy that I learned some of their language and in France they said I spoke it like a native! I had a lot of fun, trying to learn so many languages, and speaking to people from all over. It was hard to start because I am kinda shy, but the people were all very nice to me, and helped me if I didn't pronounce a word right. I hope other kids will try this. Devon & Melissa Rinn

Here are some tips for you from my son Sean (10 yrs. old) and daughter Megan (7 yrs. old). Take advantage of the early opening days. First, head straight to Test Track, then Spaceship Earth. I was not impressed with Body Wars ride inside the Wonders of Life. Skip the ride. Universe of Energy is a good ride with dinosaurs. The movie was funny too. Head over to the other side of EPCOT and go to Living Seas. It's ok, needs more interesting sea life like octopus, squid, deep sea fish. Take the boat ride at the Land. I learned a lot of interesting facts about plants. If you are hungry, stop at the Sunshine Food Fair. Good food choices for kids. The ride, Journey into your imagination, is iffy. The Mexican boat ride is a nice ride. Sort of like Small World. In Norway, do the boat ride Maelstrom. We ate in Norway for dinner. I enjoyed the macaroni and Norwegian meatballs. And yes, they are Norwegian meatballs, not Swedish as they will tell you this with a smile. The country China has a 360 degree movie. It bored me. The American Adventure has a show. The show is about the history of the United States. It was a very good show. It also gave mom and dad a chance to rest their feet in comfort. The last country is Canada. The movie in there is excellent. Canada also has a really good snack called Trapper Bob's Beaver Tails. I had the strawberry with whip cream. Mom and Dad had the cinnamon that they shared with my sister. Illuminations at night is great. Don't miss it. (Sean and Megan Klodnicki)

For other tips, see the individual pavilion pages.

If you have comments or tips to share with others about touring Epcot, please email me. Thank you.