Hey! My family is going to Epcot in June. We have been before, but I am not as familar with this park as MK. What is recommended for a family with kids that are 8,6,4? Is there a book that can help me learn how to cover this park in 2 days? Any tips for ya'll? How do ya'll approach this park?
The Unofficial Guide is always good for touring plans
don't know if these will help
Which unofficial guide? When I went to the bookstore, there were like seven of those
You could try the "Guide to WDW with Kid's." Barnes and Noble's sells it.
AllEars.net is also a great resource. My kids at that age liked everything in EPCOT if your 4 year old is tall enough for Soarin. Be sure to hit Turtle Talk with Crush and have the kids sit up front. Have them wear bright colored shirts or unusual hats to help be one of the kids picked to as Crush a question.
When I took my 5 year old last summer we made sure there was enough interesting stuff for him, he enjoyed the Kidcot stations and had fun with the Passport, having it signed and stamped in each country. He loved Mission Space and Test Track so we spent a lot of time there, Nemo is great too. He enjoyed looking at the trains going around in Germany and even enjoyed the Koi fish in Japan. Maelstrom frightened him a little bit but he was a trooper. Oh the pressed pennies was another fun thing that kept him interested in going from one place to another. If I think of more stuff I will come back and post it, hope this helps!
Personally,I would not use a book as my guide,but gather as much info from this site,through other threads in the vacation tips section.Pay a lot of attention to what others say about their experiences.This thread here that you started may help tremendously,I hope.
Anyway,let me see if I can help you some.First of all,we started going to WDW,with my two girls in 1998.Then,they were 7&4.No matter what other people may say,those ages are NOT too young to spend a full day in the parks.We did it and it was fine.Make sure you rent a stroller,get a double sized,because you may need extra space to put things,or your 6 yr old may want to sit down at times.The strollers are covered,so that keeps the sun off of the younger ones.
Keep them hydrated with a lot of water;please,don't do the sodas,it will have an adverse effect on them,no matter if they do ask for them.Plus,it really saves a lot of money.
Now,as for the park,if you get there at opening,your only choice will be Futureworld until 11:00.Worldshowcase doesn't open until 11:00am.Early birds get the worm,so when you get there and get inside the park,head for one of pavilions past Spaceship Earth,go past that,and go through the two Innoventions buildings breezeways,to the different attractions on either side of them.But!! If Spaceship Earth has no line when you get in,go ahead and ride that first.Otherwise,you'llneed to wait to late in afternoon or evening.
I'd head to Mission Space first.Go through the Innoventions bldg on your left.Then after that,hit Test Track right next to it.
Another option,is to get a fast pass for test track.Your time to come back to ride it will be probably no more than 2 hours away.But! Don't go back during that time frame mentioned.You can go back and use the fast passes anytime after your designated time listed.This will allow you to head to the opposite site of futureworld,and do theLiving Seas,(where the Nemo ride is),The Land(where soarin' is),and Journey Into Imagination ride.
personally,I would not even go in the Universe of Energy attraction.It takes too long and it's not as exciting as some may think.
By this time,if you've done most of Futureworld,it's lunchtime.Maybe a little before,maybe a little after.Now,I'd head to the Worldshowcase and eat lunch at the Mexico Pavilion to your left.Eat at the outside fast food Mexican cafe.It's called,Cantina de San Angel Inn.Very reasonably priced and very good Tex-Mex.
Basicly from there,I'd just start visiting all of the countries around the showcase.Take your time though and really explore each country.Don't miss anything,and afterward,you'll find you had a very pleasurable vacation.
Finally,if you have the time,and if you have an extra day on your tickets(depending on what you purchase),go back to Epcot a second day,and write down the areas that you missed the first day and do them first.Then backtrack and do the most enjoyed things a second time.Don't forget the two boats out in the lagoon.They can save you a lot of wlking from section to section,if you decide to backtrack some.
Hope I've helped.
My big tip when it comes to Epcot:
The minute you arrive, go get a FP for Soarin'. Even during the slow season, the FP's go really quickly and the wait for the stand by can go well past an hour. And, that's an hour you can spend going on other attractions or walking through world showcase.
Definately be at the World Showcase one evening preferably with dinner ressies. Walking around WS is great and Illuminations is worth it
Inovations has some fun, family activities on fire safety and recycling that your family can do together. I would advise using your FP at the time indicated. Not every CM over-looks the times and you'd hate to be refused entry after you were expecting to be admitted. Several countries in World Showcase have craft activities for kids to do that are free; Mexico and Norway for sure. Soar'n and Test Track usually have the long waits.
I recommend Soarin' first if your 4 year old is tall enough. If not take advantage of the parent swap. One parent can ride with the other two kids while one stays with the toddler but the cool thing is you can get up to three fastpasses to ride once the others are done. Then when the first group is done the parent who waited can go on and take the other two!
I, also, highly recommend getting the penny press booklet and pressing pennies in all of World Showcase. Your kids will love it and you are getting inexpensive souvenirs that they will always look at. The first time we took our kids they were 12 & 10 and they are now almost 18 & 16 and they still love their pressed pennies.
There are so many fun things for 4-8.
The four-year-old side:
The ride in Mexico's plaza with the three amigos
Nemo and the aquarium
Imagination hands on stuff
The Cool station with sodas from around the world
The Land ride
Don't miss the fireworks
I agree with most of the above, although personally I really like the Universe of Energy. Its a decent attraction and a nice long break off your feet and out of the sun. Worth it for that reason alone...as long as your 4 yr old can take the dinosaurs and dark. :)
Personally, I don't think you're crazy for doing a whole day at Epcot. There are a lot of little extras there like the fountains, the train in Germany, etc that kids really enjoy. We're taking our 2 and 4 year olds in January and we've planned 2 days in Epcot to allow us plenty of time.
Now to add another question in...
I didn't know about the penny thing. Where do you get the penny books? Are there stops in each country or just a few? Maybe I should start a separate post on that? I've heard brief bits about the pennies in WDW in general, but hadn't heard of the world showcase ones...