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  1. #1

    Epcot with an 8 and 5 year old?

    Hi guys,

    We will have 7 full days. Thinking of having 1 or 2 'relax' non park days. We do not have the park hopper option.

    From what I've seen online about all the parks, for our first visit, I was thinking of skipping Epcot. What has been your experience with kids of that age at Epcot? It looks fun, but at their age I was thinking a second day at DS and MK would be better.

    Thoughts on Epcot with an 8 and 5 year old?

    Thanks
    J


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  3. #2

    I absolutely would not skip Epcot. There's a ton of things for kids your children's ages to do. For rides- If they are tall enough, and for sure your 8 year old should be, Soarin' (Land Pavilion), Test Track, and Mission Space (if you are concerned about the spinning version, the non-spinning version is still really cool). My younger child (she's almost 10, but the size of most 7 or 8 year olds) is timid with thrill rides, but she absolutely loves these three rides, and these are must-do's for her. There are also some really tame rides she loves-I can't tell you how many times we have done the Imagination ride with Figment, and the Nemo ride in the Seas Pavilion. There is also an interactive show with Crush that is cool. Spaceship Earth is now interactive, and there's lots to do at the end of the ride. There are lots of interactive things for kids to do, including the Kim Possible game. Every country has a kidcot table, and they can do a craft project and talk to someone from that country. Definitely do Epcot, at least one day, if not two. We always have park hoppers, so we get in early one day, to do the rides, and come back for an evening, to see the fireworks and have dinner. Personally, I would do DS for one day, and Epcot for two, if you have to choose. When my kids were those ages (they are three years apart), we always park hopped, and took rest breaks every day. We would go to one park in the morning, split after 4 hours or so, maybe after lunch, take a break at the hotel and relax, then go back for a few hours, perhaps to another park. Epcot was often our late day park, because of the dining options and evening atmosphere, but we would always go early there at some point, to get the rides in.


  4. #3

    Absolutely would not skip Epcot. Will leave others - who have kids of similar ages (mine are grown) to explain why.

    It is perfectly fine to do the parks without park hoppers - especially as you are (I believe) staying onsite. However, you should be looking at when EMH hours are at which park - and avoiding those parks.

    Also, I think you are making a classic assumption that most newbies make. You think you'll go to a park early and then leave for the day when everyone is tired.

    However, what usually happens is that most (not all, but most) go to the parks early, go back to the resort in the afternoon to swim / nap / play for several hours and then go back to the parks/Boardwalk/Downtown Disney in the late afternoon or early evening.


  5. #4

    You really should not skip it. It's great for the kids, lots of fun and educational things for them to do plus rides. My kids always loved seeing all of the different countries and what they have to offer. There are dancers and/or singers in most of the countries, plus the different foods to try. Also, the shops in Morocco, Japan, and China especially have different outfits and hats they can try on and get there picture taken. (Oooh, I almost forgot--Mexico is very cool, too.)

    In Morocco, they can get a picture with Jasmine and Aladdin. In Italy, they can get pizza and watch the performers. There is really so much to do I can't even begin to explain in a short post.


    Jenny
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  6. #5
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    Just want to second the Kim Possible Adventures and Kidcot Stations.

    Cathy

  7. #6

    We're going in December with my 8 and 6 year old and they are really looking forward to Epcot. They love the rides, innoventions, Living Seas... etc. Epcot is kind of one of those parks where there is something for every speed. Lots of places to shop if that is your thing, rides, shows, good food. For their age, there are lots of cool shops, hidden things like train exhibits and audience participation shows, and Kim Possible missions. We do Epcot the first day as our "transition" park because it is a slower day and the focus isn't 100% on rides all day. Still, I've never heard a complaint from the kids! Good rides for them: Journey into Imagination, Ellen, Test Track, Soarin, the Land, Maelstrom, Spaceship Earth, Mission Space... (am I missing any?)

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  8. #7

    Wow, thanks, I'm really surprised, glad I asked.

    Can you tell me what a kidcot station is?

    Thanks
    J


  9. #8

    We haven't done the kidcot stations, but they are stations in each Epcot country pavilion where kids can do an art project and learn something about the country. At least that's what they were when we went last time!

    As for the down time, you'd do better to do one down day, only and/or plan to do a daily afternoon down time. You'll definitely find you need down time, but I wouldn't plan on two whole days unless the kids are dying to go into the pool alot or do something off site.

    If you're staying onsite, it might be worth it to see how much upgrading to parkhoppers is. I was surprised at how cheap it was to add a day onto my passes - - I don't think parkhoppers are too expensive. I just find it nice to be able to switch parks if one is more crowded than anticipated or if we just aren't "feeling" that park that day.

    This and all of my posts are in the public domain. I am a lawyer. I am not your lawyer, and this is not legal advice.

  10. #9
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    Kidcot stations MIGHT be a little young for your 8 year old (but I'm really not sure on that) - I think they can get stamps or 'charms' (paper) from each country on a Duffy Bear on a stick, that they can also color. (They had just transitioned from masks to Duffy last time I went, and unless Duffy was a total flop, I suspect he's still the thing.) For the older one, maybe have her/him have something to ask the CMs how to say it in their home language - Thank You, Good Morning, Good Bye, etc. Could be helpful if there's a report due at school about the trip!

    Cathy

  11. #10
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    Our then five year old granddaughter's favorite park was Epcot and not for Future World but for World Showcase. First thing she asked less than two years after that was "can we go to Epcot?" She loved the entertainment, the kidcot stations and I think just the laid back feel of it.

    Now we are going to Disney World again with her and her brother who will be five and a half and guess where her father (my son) wants to take his kids the very first day, which is arrival? Yep, Epcot. Because it's where the granddaughter wants to go and he has such fond memories of his daughter being there on her first trip.

    Check out the Epcot entertainment if nothing else.


  12. #11

    Epcot also has a lot of opportunities for "down" time if you just need to relax a bit, get out of the heat, and sit awhile, while being entertained. There are a lot of shows in the World Showcase where you can sit for 15 minutes or so. In Canada, you have to stand, but there is a little movie in France, which is a nice break. When you really need a break, try Ellen's Energy Adventure (it's near Test Track and Mission Space). Your sit and move, very slowly, and the kids won't "get" everything-it's a bit dated, but the animatronics are neat-start to finish about 40 minutes (have the kids visit the bathroom first-once you start you can't leave). Epcot involves a lot of walking-consider a stroller, even if your kids don't use one at home, and plan for sitting breaks. The heat, crowds, and stimulation, and all the walking drain energy, so plan for that. We always felt like somebody was about to "hit the wall" after four hours or so, and that somebody was as likely to be an adult as a child. We always planned a mid-day break, even if nobody naps, just relaxing and having quite time, and a swim,really helps to recharge the batteries.


  13. #12

    My kids loved Epcot, all the sights and sounds. There were 4 and 6 on our last trip and had a blast in both parts. We did have a stroller because it's a lot of walking.

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  14. #13

    The World Showcase section of Epcot does not open until 11am (the Future World section of Epcot is open at 9am). As well, Epcot - being so large - absorbs crowds quite well.

    This makes Epcot a perfect park to get to in the afternoon (hopefully after a morning spent sleeping in and playing in the pool). And it's always nice to try some different cuisine for dinner at one of the many restaurants of World Showcase.


  15. #14

    My kids have always loved Epcot!

    When they were 8 and 5 some favorite Epcot things:
    Kim Possible
    Boat Ride in Mexico
    Maelstrom in Norway
    Dancing at Biergarten in Germany
    Meeting the characters
    Trying foods from "other countries"
    Enjoying Club Cool (free drinks!)
    Spaceship Earth (and the games after the ride)
    Turtle Talk with Crush
    Everything about the Land Pavillion
    Test Track...Test Track....Test Track...Test Track!

    I definitely think you should go there!


  16. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by fleming View Post
    from what i've seen online about all the parks, for our first visit, i was thinking of skipping epcot. What has been your experience with kids of that age at epcot? It looks fun, but at their age i was thinking a second day at ds and mk would be better.

    Thoughts on epcot with an 8 and 5 year old?
    :GASP: !!!!!!!!!!!

    I can't breeaaath.... Ouch! The dagger hurts too much!!!!

    Ok, first off - an extra day at DS? There's just not that much to DO at DS.

    Epcot is EASILY a day and a half park.

    We went with our boys who were 5, 8 & 11 at the time and there was just NO way we were going to skip Epcot. It was my kids' FAVORITE PARK. (I just asked them to be sure and I didn't stack the ballot box. I just asked "What's your favorite park in WDW?")

    There's too much to list:

    Club Cool
    Nemo
    Innoventions
    Each.and.every.Pavillion.
    Test Track
    Mission: Space
    Spaceship Earth
    Maelstrom (Yes, they thought it was fun!)
    We didn't ride Soarin because we have it in California but we LOVE that ride and it is also in Epcot.

    All three of my kids liked the Kidcot mask thing, Drince! Even the 5 & 8 year olds.

    We ate several meals in Epcot. I can think of at least 3 dinners we had there (we were at the parks for 11 days and had park hoppers so that affected our meal choices.)

    Oh and we did that show in the US Pavilion, too. OH! And the Oh Canada movie with Martin Short AND we watched the China 360 movie, too.

    Ok, I have to stop. But yeah, there's NO way I'd miss Epcot. You couldn't pay me enough to skip Epcot, even with my kids.
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  17. #16
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    As mentioned above with many wonderful tips and comments....DO NOT SKIP EPCOT. It's wonderful! It's our favorite park!!! My kids no matter what age have loved Epcot thru the years. The kidcot is also great!!! It makes for a nice break for you while the kids are having fun.

    Have a magical vacation!




    Stephanie

  18. #17
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    Gotta do it - collect pressed pennies from every country and then get a special one once you've completed it - DS 12 loved this and it kept him busy (we spent a couple of days there). Both kids (DD 16) really enjoyed this park - there's so much there and it is definitely more relaxing!

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  19. #18
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    Like everyone else~Don't skip EPCOT. It is so wonderful and different. Our girls have been going since birth and September 21st marks the first day of our 5th annual trip. Even at preschool and now kindergarden age, they love it.

    Besides the kids stuff, the dining, scenery, beverages. Oh yeah!

    Mikala

  20. #19

    I would add, for your first trip, and "only" seven days-I'm sure it seems like a lot of time for you, but it's not, really, it's not-a plan to not set foot in a park for one or two days will leaving you feeling like you missed a lot. And you have-we have been to WDW at least a dozen times with our kids, and there is still a lot we haven't done. There is fun "non-park" stuff to do, sure, but you will find that you feel rushed on your park days if you don't go every day, at least for a few hours. You don't have to "go commando"-park opening for hours non-stop, but if you plan "some" park activities every day, you will actually feel more relaxed at the end of it, because you can pace yourself. Each day, after day three, that you add to your passes is very cheap-buying a five or six day pass, versus a seven day pass, won't save you much money. You can stagger your days, so that you do a late evening one day, then get a late start the next. You may think that at say, 7:30 you are done for the evening, but there's a lot of cool stuff that happens at night-fireworks, parades, and some of the rides feel a lot different at night. That's why you take that break, even getting a nap in, mid-day, so you won't be too tired to do the evening stuff.


  21. #20

    ^ nice post mom22gls. I especially liked this part:

    ...You don't have to "go commando"-park opening for hours non-stop, but if you plan "some" park activities every day, you will actually feel more relaxed at the end of it, because you can pace yourself....

  22. #21

    I think Epcot is two different parks for children. Future World I think all would like, World Showcase I think depends on the child. Reality is, despite all the above posts, I'm sure lots of them find it boring. At 5 and 6 my daughter was happy to go around the countries making her mask, at 8 she was not interested at all. My son has entertained it with reasonably bad grace at ages 8, 9 and 11.

     

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  23. #22
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    We took our daughter to Epcot when she was 8 and again at 10, and she loved it. Both times were during the Christmas rush - in fact the first time we went it was the first Christmas season for Epcot and the place was JAMMED! Even so, we all had a great time. She enjoyed the World Showcase, too. Our daughter is now pushing 40 and she still has very fond memories of those trips. So naturally, I'd vote the same as everyone else.

    Stan

  24. #23
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    I'm not gonna dog pile.....yes I am.....Go to Epcot!!!!! We go there more than ANY other park.

    Working hard for that next WDW trip!

  25. #24

    ok got it, don't skip Epcot. Its back on my list.

    thanks for all the replies.

    Next challenge question for my Disney experts:

    What time would the light/fireworks/laser show thing start in early November at Epcot?

    It gets dark earlier then obviously, but with a 5 year old especially, we cant stay out too late.

    Thanks

    J


  26. #25
    Quote Originally Posted by fleming View Post
    What time would the light/fireworks/laser show thing start in early November at Epcot?
    I actually just looked up the times for Illuminations today for our trip in early November. They currently have it scheduled for 9pm Sun - Thu and 10pm Fri & Sat.
    Melissa
    "Fire at will!" Which one's Will?

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