Epcot Through the Eyes of a Child
(It’s Not Just for Grown-ups!)
Countless times I’ve heard people ask, “Should we bother with Epcot? Our kids are little; won’t they be bored?” My daughter and I would like to do some myth-busting on this one for you!
The first time we took Lillie to Disney World she was four years old. She is almost ten now, and though her Top 10 list has changed slightly, Epcot was, and still is, her favorite park! I asked her to share the things your child should not miss. This is her Top 10 Countdown and what she loves about each (with a little commentary from mom!).
10) Storm Struck in Innoventions East
A seated 3-D adventure which shows you a video of a hurricane while you’re getting sprayed with water and blown by wind! Then the audience gets to vote on different features of a home to make it safe during a major storm, such as: should doors swing in or out? how far a tree should be planted from the house, etc. Then they show you the video again and what would happen in the storm based on your votes.
LILLIE: “This made my Top 10 because I really like the interactive part of rides, and the 3-D part is super fun!”
MOM: “From a parent’s perspective, it is great because Disney has managed to make a safety topic both informative and exciting.”
9) World Showcase Kidcot Stops
At Epcot you can expose your children to other cultures, architecture, and food without ever leaving the USA (and shhhh….they won’t even know they’re learning anything!) How? Upon entering World Showcase, find your way to the closest Kidcot Stop. There you can pick up a FREE Duffy the Disney Bear cutout, which is attached to a stick. As you make your way around the “world,” the kiddos color Duffy at each stop, all while visiting with the Cast Member who is a native of that country. Before leaving each stop, the CM will stamp the back of the stick with their country’s flag. Many of them will even write notes to your child in their native language or draw Mickey heads that incorporate their country’s flag. In Japan the CM noticed that our 16-year-old son liked Pokemon and quickly made an origami Picachu for him!
LILLIE: “The Kidcot Stops made my Top 10 because I like visiting the world without having to get on a plane! And I love seeing how most of them incorporate Mickey into their flags. I also get to color, which I love! It’s fun to talk to the cast members and hear their accents.”
MOM: “It’s great to be able to introduce your child to people from many different countries and cultures!”
8) Turtle Talk with Crush in The Land
Upon entering Turtle Talk, you will see a real floor-to-ceiling fish tank. But this isn’t any old fish tank. Suddenly, Crush from Finding Nemo appears and is quite surprised to see a room full of people staring at him! Then the fun begins as he takes questions from the audience.
LILLIE: “Duuuude! Turtle Talk is so sweeeeet that it made my Top 10 because Crush is REALLY funny! He talks to you and usually he tells you to say ‘duuuude” for the rest of the day. But let me tell you, if you ask him if he can speak whale … well, I’ll just leave you right there. You’ll have to visit Crush yourself to find out!”
MOM: “It’s amazing to see how the Imagineers have created animation that allows a turtle to interact with the crowd!”
7) Habit Heroes in Innoventions East
This interactive experience teaches the importance of healthy food choices and exercise. The attraction takes you into three different rooms. In the first room you will dance on a grid, and while doing the dance routine, you are fighting against three pestilent opponents! First, are blocker bots, which are opponents that hide healthy food choices; then sappers, the boulders that prevent people from doing exercise; and finally, scorchers, the flames that can dehydrate people without their knowledge. The next step: you can try your hand at shooting the same opponents with cannons. The final step, you dart around the room while things are trying to attack you like space invaders!
LILLIE: “Habit Heroes made my Top 10 because it’s super fun and interactive! You get to run around and try to beat the bad guys. It’s awesome!”
MOM: “You will either leave this attraction patting yourself on the back for how physically fit you are or you will walk out a sweaty mess. I won’t say which one I was! Leave it to Disney to teach health and fitness in an amazingly cool way!”
6) Living with the Land in The Land
If you would like the opportunity to get a behind the scenes look at all that goes into making Disney World look beautiful, then this is the ride for you!
LILLIE: “Living with the Land made my Top 10 because you’re in a boat (that no one is driving!) You go through a plant area and you can see cast members working and you get to learn about all the cool things that are happening around you that you never pay attention to. It’s science, the fun way!”
MOM: “This is a great ride to get you out of the heat and off your feet! And as a bonus, you get to learn really interesting things about horticulture, too!”
5) Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure in World Showcase
Join Perry the Platypus, from Disney’s Phineas and Ferb, as he tries to outwit the evil Dr. Doofenshmirtz. Become a secret agent and help the lovable platypus defeat his archenemy. Check in for your assignment at kiosks in the United Kingdom or at the bridge in Future World located just before you cross into World Showcase. Once you check in, you will be issued a cell phone and will begin to receive your missions! Solving the clues will take you through seven different countries (if you choose to do all seven … you do not have to do them all) and along the way you will experience interactive Disney imagineering at its finest!
LILLIE: “ This is soooo much fun! I loved getting to be a special agent, and carrying around the cell phone was super cool! I’m not going to tell you everything that happens, because I don’t want to spoil it for you, but that cell phone controls more things than you can imagine!”
MOM: “We have as much fun with this one as the kids do! In fact, if we go without the kids, this just might be the first thing we do!”
4) Sum of All Thrills in Innoventions East
This interactive ride, found in both Epcot and Disney Quest at Downtown Disney, allows you and your kiddos to design your own rollercoaster via the computer and THEN ride in it!
LILLIE: “Two words: math and science. Let me walk you through the process. You go into a room and it shows you a video. Afterward, you use a touchscreen monitor to design your own rollercoaster. You also have a virtual test dummy to see if you have enough momentum to get up a hill. You have two tools that do stuff, then you get on a simulator that moves and twists you based on the rollercoaster that you just designed! The best part is that there is a little hole between the two seats so you can hold your dad’s hand if you get scared. Overall, it’s a pretty ‘scienc-y’ ride and awesome ride that I like!”
MOM: “To see your child’s satisfaction at getting to experience the thrill of their own creation, is like no other!”
3) Soarin’ – The Land
A truly unique experience! This 3D ride lifts you 40 feet above a giant projection screen dome and then sends you soaring over the sweeping, gorgeous California landscape. You literally feel the wind in your hair as you fly over orange groves, snow-crested mountaintops, and waves crashing on the Pacific shores!
LILLIE: “WHEEEEE! What else can I say?!”
MOM: “I’ve always thought that hang-gliding would be exhilarating, but the chance that I would actually do it is exactly zero. But buckled safely into my seat, I can fly high with the best of them! What an incredible thing to experience with your family!”
2) Spaceship Earth – located at the entrance to Epcot
A beautiful journey through the history of communication. This slow and peaceful ride takes you up and into the Epcot ball that towers 180 feet above the park.
LILLIE: “This made my Top 10 because you go back in time and forward in time. No present. Just past and future. And you get to ride inside the iconic Epcot ball, what other icon at WDW can you do that?”
MOM: “Once again, a not-to-be-missed opportunity to sneak in some education! And when you’re finished with the ride, spend some time in the interactive area where kids (and grown-ups too!) can play fun, futuristic games and send an email postcard to Grandma and Grandad!”
1) Test Track – located in Future World
This attraction went through a refurbishment a few years ago. What was once a really fun ride in a test car is now a fully-interactive marvel. Kids can design their own test car and then race their siblings on the “real” track at speeds of up to 65 mph. Don’t worry … it’s all very safe!
LILLIE: “This ride leaves me almost speechless! The best part was that my car beat my teenage brother’s! What’s better than that?!”
MOM: “If this isn’t a great way to produce a budding engineer, I’m not sure what is!”
So there you have it! The Top 10 Countdown of Epcot experiences from the perspective of a child. In the midst of all the education and culture, Epcot is simply a fountain of pure FUN!
Have a magical day y’all!
Author: Angela Rose Wimbish