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A Complete Guide to Epcot with a Baby or Toddler

A Complete Guide to Epcot with a Baby or Toddler

One of the best Disney World parks is Epcot because it is less crowded and more slow-paced. It also has something fun for all ages. Therefore, Epcot with a baby or toddler is the best!

Despite being a more adult-friendly park, several attractions and places make it baby-friendly. Moreover, bringing a baby or toddler is probably a safe way to pace yourself through all the food and drinks at the World Showcase.

This guide to Epcot with a baby or toddler has everything you need to know. It includes tips about the park, the best rides, attractions, and things to do.

More importantly, if you doubt you cannot visit Epcot with a baby or toddler, this guide will surely inspire you that it can be done and be so much fun!



Things to Know about Epcot with a Baby or Toddler

Preparing for Disney World is no easy feat, especially when traveling with kids. So here are a few helpful things to know when visiting Epcot with a baby or toddler.


Epcot is Perfect for Adults and Kids

Epcot is well-known as one of the more adult-friendly parks in Disney World. With that said, it is also one of the best parks to visit with a baby or toddler.

Your baby or toddler is probably not fully aware they are at the happiest place on earth at this stage in life. Therefore, they are just along for the ride (no pun intended) and will enjoy almost everything you will.

Moreover, there are plenty of no height requirement rides for kids. And trust me, you will want to mix in some relaxing rides in-between drinking and eating your way through World Showcase.


You Can Bring Outside Food

One of the best policies at Disney World is that guests are allowed to bring outside food and nonalcoholic beverages into the park. The only major stipulation is that food and drinks cannot be stored in glass containers, except small baby food jars.

Furthermore, if you pack your food, especially for your little one, it should not require any reheating. If your food needs to stay cold, I recommend packing a cooler with ice packs (loose ice is not allowed). For more information, please check Disney’s property rules.

Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash


FREE Admission

We all know children are expensive, but luckily at Disney World, children under three years old get in FREE! Please read carefully, children under three years are free. Therefore, if you take your child on their third birthday, they would not have free admission.

There is a small loophole for going to Disney World on your child’s third birthday. To my knowledge, if you purchase more than a one-day pass, and a child is two turning three during your vacation, then Disney accepts the age by what they are on the first day of vacation.

That’s not all! When dining at Disney World, children under three years old are also free. This applies at an all-you-care-to-enjoy restaurant or a character meal. At a la carte restaurants, the only time a child under three years old would pay is to order something additional for them, i.e., their own plate of food.

For reference, there are two character meal restaurants at Epcot: Akershus Royal Banquet Hall and Garden Grill (all-you-can-enjoy). If you are lucky, Mickey makes frequent appearances at the Garden Grill.


Strollers

A stroller is a must when spending a day at Epcot with a baby or toddler. Guests can either bring their stroller or rent one at the park.

All strollers are permitted inside the park unless it is larger than 31” (79 cm) in width and 52” (132cm) in length. Furthermore, stroller wagons, such as the Wonderfold Wagon, are also not permitted (but I have heard and seen some families still use them inside the park).

If you need to rent a stroller, Epcot offers single and double strollers near the Main Entrance and International Gateway. For more information on stroller rentals, such as price, please refer to the Disney website.

Having a stroller at Epcot with a baby was a life-saver. Moreover, we were thankful we brought our own because it has a sizable under-seat basket where we kept all of our essentials and souvenirs.

There will be plenty of times when you have to leave a stroller in a designated “parking lot” to enter an attraction or ride. Therefore, remember never to leave your personal belongings in an unattended stroller.


Baby Care Centers

One of the best things about Disney is their attention to detail for all ages. Parents will be thrilled to learn that Disney parks have Baby Care Centers to help with all their child’s needs. The Baby Care Center at Epcot is located at the Epcot Experience right before the Mexico pavilion.

The Baby Care Center is fully staffed, well-maintained, clean, and includes several different amenities for parents with babies and toddlers. Here are a few amenities included at the Baby Care Center:

  • Private nursing room with rocking chairs 
  • Changing room with tables
  • Feeding area with highchairs 
  • Kitchenette with a microwave and sink
  • Main room with tables, chairs, and a TV
  • On-site shop offering formula, baby food, juice, diapers, wipes, sunscreen, over-the-counter medications, and clothing for purchase

In a worst-case scenario, it is important to know that if a child becomes separated from their parent inside the park, a Cast Member will escort the child to the Baby Care Center. A staff member will take care of the child until a parent comes to claim the child.


Use Rider Switch

I love how Disney World makes it easy to enjoy the park as an adult with your children. Cue in the Rider Switch feature.

What is Rider Switch? Rider Switch allows one adult to wait with the non-rider (or riders) while the other party enjoys the attraction. Once the ride is finished, the adults switch roles. The adult that enjoyed the ride stays in line with the non-rider (or riders) while the other adult goes on the ride. This all occurs without having to wait in the regular line again!

To use the Rider Switch, check in with a Cast Member at the attraction. The Cast Member will help direct and instruct your party to use the Rider Switch properly. For further information, please see Disney’s page here.

Epcot has four rides to utilize the Rider Switch – Frozen Ever After, Mission: SPACE, Soarin’, and Test Track.



Best Rides at Epcot with a Baby or Toddler

Epcot might be the park to visit for a trip around the world through food and drinks, but it also has a lot of rides and attractions for all ages.

My list of the best rides at Epcot for babies or toddlers includes six rides. In my opinion, the first four rides listed are fun and engaging for a baby or toddler. Two rides have no height requirement but are still enjoyable for all ages. Then the last ride I mention is merely to let adults be informed and aware of the attraction.


Frozen Ever After

The outside of Epcot's Frozen Ever After ride.

Frozen Ever After is one of the best and most popular rides at Epcot. Therefore, I recommend you visit this ride first to beat the long waiting line!

The attraction is a beautiful and magical boat ride that takes guests through a celebration of Frozen’s favorite characters and songs. Just be aware of a slight drop during the ride.


Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros

On this ride, guests embark on a boat and gently cruise down the Rio Grande to follow two of the Three Caballeros as they attempt to find Donald Duck. Along the way, you pass iconic landmarks and cities in Mexico while listening to fun mariachi music.


The Seas with Nemo & Friends

Oh no! Nemo is lost again, and you must climb aboard a “clamobile” to search the seas and help Marlin and Dory find him. Even though we were stuck on the ride for a brief time, as an adult, this was one of my favorite rides at Epcot.

This fun and interactive ride take guests “underwater” through some mesmerizing scenes of a jellyfish field, swimming with turtles, encountering Bruce the shark, and more. In addition to the animated sea life scenes, the ride also takes guests through the aquarium to see real fish and sea life.


Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure

Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash

One of the newest rides to Epcot is Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure. Guests “shrink” to the size of a rat by entering a rat mobile to zip through Gusteau’s restaurant walls of the kitchen and dining room.

This ride is a 4D experience that truly immerses guests by touching all five senses. There are several different sensory elements during the ride where you can actually smell freshly baked bread and cheese.


Spaceship Earth

Unlike the previous rides, Spaceship Earth may not be the most engaging and colorful attraction for a baby or toddler. Nevertheless, it is still a ride with no height requirement for all ages.

As the flagship attraction of Epcot, Spaceship Earth is inside the famous Epcot geosphere. The ride travels guests through time, sharing the history of human communication. At the end of the ride, guests create their vision of tomorrow through a quick questionnaire and take home a fun souvenir.


Living With The Land

A mom and dad at Epcot with a baby - holding their son and pointing to the greenery at the Living with the Land ride.

Again, this ride may not be aesthetically pleasing with Disney characters, but if your child enjoys the outdoors (like mine), then they are in for a treat. Living with the Land is a gentle boat ride that tells the history of farming.

The best part about Living with the Land is going through Epcot’s greenhouse. Guests get to see first-hand the innovative work of Disney World’s horticulturalists. In fact, the fresh herbs, fruits, and veggies you see in the greenhouse are used in the restaurants inside the park.


Journey Into Imagination With Figment – SKIP!

Before our visit, when we researched the best rides at Epcot for a baby or toddler, many people recommended Journey Into Imagination With Figment. In our experience, I would highly recommend you do not take your baby or toddler on this ride.

We understand this ride is a beloved classic to many Disney fans, but it is a bit dark and has a scary moment of surprise for young children. Seriously, the ride made us adults jump and our one-year-old son cry. So although there is a no-height requirement, I would suggest parents and young children skip this ride.



World Showcase at Epcot with a Baby or Toddler

It’s not every day that you can take a trip around the globe in one day on foot. Well, at Epcot, you can! Hence why, the World Showcase is the main reason people like to visit Epcot.

The World Showcase features 11 different countries around the lagoon. Each country (pavilion) embraces its culture with authentic cuisines, souvenirs (actually imported from the country), and more. It is genuinely the closest feeling you can get to visiting the country itself.


Epcot Food and Wine Festival

A flower garden featuring Epcot's Food and Wine Festival.

The best time to visit Epcot is during the famous Food and Wine Festival. The annual festival typically runs for four months, from July through November.

During this time, the World Showcase has culinary booths representing a specific country and its traditional cuisine. For example, the Bavarian booth includes fresh pretzels, bratwurst, and beer.

So what makes visiting Epcot with a baby or toddler during this culinary event exciting? The constant exposure to Disney’s well-executed authenticity to each country.

As I said before, a trip to Epcot might be more geared for the adults, but it’s a great place to take a baby or toddler. In one day, we were able to expose our son to so many cultures and cuisines.

Moreover, in this stage of life, babies and toddlers are a sponge just soaking everything in. I know our one-year-old son enjoyed his trip to Epcot because he tried so hard to stay awake. He didn’t want to miss anything! He was absorbing everything in sight and snacking on all the delicious bites of food from around the world.


Kidcot Fun Stop Stations

In addition to the cuisine, another fun thing is the Kidcot Fun Stops. The Kidcot Fun Stops are little stations in each country (pavilion) for children to collect activity cards. This activity is more ideal for toddlers and older children, but as parents, we still enjoyed helping our son collect his cards.

Italy activity cards from Epcot in the shape of Mickey Mouse ears.

The activity cards are two-sided. The back of the card is a fun coloring page featuring the country and Disney characters.

The front of the card includes the country, the capital, the flag, and a brief paragraph about the country. There is also a little blank section for the Cast Member representing the country to write “hello” or the child’s name in the country’s language. Please note that due to COVID, not all countries have a Cast Member representing the country. 

A Kidcot Fun Stop Ziploc suitcase bad with stickers and activity cards in the background.

Kids can begin their adventure around the world in any country. A Cast Member will provide a complimentary Ziploc® bag at a child’s first destination. The bag looks like a suitcase and is a vessel to help kids keep the cards safely inside.

Each kid also receives a sticker, essentially a “passport stamp,” to represent each country. Then kids can showcase their stickers by putting them on the suitcase!

Of course, our son was too young to understand the fun activity, but we still like to believe he enjoyed it. Children 18 months and older would benefit the most from the Kidcot Fun Stop stations.



Other Things to Do at Epcot with a Baby or Toddler

In addition to the rides and World Showcase, there are more fun things to do at Epcot with a baby or toddler. From the famous character meet and greets to fun indoor activities and the famous nighttime show – here is a list of other things to do at Epcot.


Playgrounds

One of the best things to do at Epcot with a baby or toddler is to take them to the playgrounds! There are several playgrounds to choose from at Epcot – one outdoor playground and three indoor play areas.

Personally, I think the two best playgrounds for a baby or toddler at Epcot are the “WALL-E” Green Landing Family Play Zone and Space Base. Therefore, I am going to focus on these two play areas.

For reference, the two other play areas are at Sea Base & Bruce’s Shark World (Seas with Nemo & Friends ride exit) and ImageWorks – The “What If” Labs (Journey Into Imagination with Figment ride exit).

Epcot's WALL-E outdoor playground.

The “WALL-E” Green Landing Family Play Zone is an outdoor playground that is frequently re-themed. It is located behind Creations Shop and across from Test Track. The “WALL-E” Green Landing Family Play Zone has fun interactive play areas and a jungle gym for kids to enjoy.

Space Base is a fun indoor playground that is perfect to beat the heat or stay dry from the rain. It is located at the exit of Mission: Space in the Advanced Training Lab (you do not have to ride Mission: Space to access this play area).

If you have children of all ages, you may find yourself here for hours because there are two areas. One area has a large interactive space-themed playground with lots of tunnels to climb through for small children. The other area has several fun digital games for older children to enjoy.


Turtle Talk with Crush

I do not know about you, but one of my favorite characters from Finding Nemo is Crush and Squirt. Therefore, Turtle Talk with Crush is a great activity to enjoy for all ages! Especially when you need to rest your legs or spend some time indoors.

Turtle Talk with Crush is located at The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavillion. It is a 15-minute improvised show that uses technology to bring Crush and his friends (Marlin, Nemo, Squirt, and more) to life. Guests can ask Crush almost any question on their mind about his “turtle world.”

The interaction between Crush and the audience will have both kids and adults laughing out of their seats!


Caribbean Coral Reef Aquarium

A mom and dad holding their son's hand in front of the Epcot aquarium.

Also located at The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavillion is the magnificent 5.7-million-gallon Caribbean Coral Reef Aquarium. This aquarium is one of the largest man-made ocean environments on the planet and home to over 4,000 sea creatures from over 60 species.

On the second floor of the aquarium is a circular, window-lined observation deck where guests find themselves completely surrounded by marine life. It is truly a special place for a baby or toddler to experience.


Meet and Greet Characters

Of course, one of the best things to do at Disney World is meet all of the beloved characters. Adults and children alike love to get their pictures taken with their favorite Disney characters.

When you think of character meet and greets, most people think of Magic Kingdom as the best park to have this Disney experience. That may be true, but Epcot also has its fair share of meet and greet characters.

In fact, almost all of the countries in Epcot’s World Showcase have a princess to meet and greet. Additionally, you can find classic fan-favorites such as Goofy and Pluto at the entrance of Epcot. Please note the meet and greet character opportunities are limited due to COVID.

Here is a list of places you can find characters at Epcot:

  • Joy inside ImageWorks
  • Vanellope inside ImageWorks
  • Alice in the United Kingdom
  • Anna and Elsa in Norway
  • Belle in France
  • Donald Duck in Mexico
  • Mulan in China
  • Jasmine in Morocco
  • Snow White in Germany
  • Disney Pals near Epcot Main Entrance


Collecting the First Disney Trip Pin

An orange 1st Visit Disney Park pin in front of a kids Disney hat.

This is not necessarily an activity for babies and toddlers to enjoy at Epcot per se. However, this could be the beginning of a fun hobby for them – it’s called Disney pin trading. Disney pin trading is when guests collect Disney pins and trade the pins with cast members at Disney parks or other park guests.

If it is your first visit to a Disney park, you can receive a complimentary “1st Disney Visit” pin at the front desk of Disney resorts and merchandise shops inside the parks. We helped our son collect his first Disney pin at Epcot, and it will be a cherished souvenir for the rest of his (our) lives. So make sure you get your baby or toddler their first Disney pin too!


Harmonious Nighttime Show

Disney parks are iconic for their nighttime firework shows. It is definitely an attraction you cannot miss. Therefore, if your baby or toddler can make it through the night and does not get scared of fireworks, I highly recommend you stay for the show.

Epcot’s current nighttime firework show is Harmonious. With that said, the show is much more than impressive fireworks. It also features choreographed water fountains, colorful lights, lasers, pyrotechnics, and LED screens on floating set pieces.

Keeping with the Epcot World Showcase theme, Harmonious is a spectacular show celebrating the cultures and stories of the world that have inspired Disney films and music for over 50 years. Guests will hear some of their favorite songs reinterpreted in different languages by 240 artists and musicians worldwide.



Tips for Epcot with a Baby or Toddler

Here are a few tips we found helpful during our full day at Epcot with our one-year-old son.

A mom and dad at Epcot with a baby (kissing their son) in front of geosphere.


Stroller Cover

The weather in Orlando can be unpredictable, so you should come prepared and pack a stroller cover.

When it rained, we would wear a rain poncho and cover the stroller for our son. Then we would continue walking and enjoying the park – he loved it! Only when it poured down rain did we search for cover, and that’s when the stroller cover really came in handy!


Milk at Coffee Kiosks

If your baby or toddler is like our son and loves milk, then I think you will enjoy this tip. Instead of packing milk in a cooler and trying to keep it cold all day long, you can purchase milk at coffee kiosks. Moreover, we would ask the baristas for steaming hot water to pour into the baby bottles to help clean and sterilize them.


Make Time for Play

There were a handful of times when we would let our son stretch and run around inside different areas of the park. This definitely helped him stay happy because he would begin to get antsy sitting in the stroller for long periods. Happy baby equals happy parents.


Pack Extra Clothes and Diapers

This might be a part of your daily routine when traveling with your baby or toddler, but just in case, here is your friendly reminder to pack extra outfits and plenty of diapers. Between the humidity and rain, you might find yourself needing to change your baby or toddler more often than usual.

I hope you have found my guide to Epcot with a baby or toddler helpful and inspiring. We had the most magical day at Epcot with our son and think it’s the perfect Disney park to visit as an adult with a young child.