When visiting Walt Disney World with children many people overlook spending time at Epcot Center. There’s no crazy rides, in fact there aren’t many rides at all. However, if you want to expose your children to other parts of the world (without needing to buy an around the world flight) there’s no place better! Epcot used to be thought of as an adults only park but today, things have changed. Not only will children have a great time visiting, they’ll be learning while having fun.
Visit 11 Different Countries
There are eleven pavilions at Epcot, representing different countries. These include; Mexico, Norway, China, Germany, Italy, the United States, Japan, Morocco, France, United Kingdom, and Canada. Each one of the pavilions features architecture and design elements that are special to these places. The staff for each stop also come from these countries so they are able to give insight to their home countries. Children can learn a few phrases in each language, or learn how to write their name in a different alphabet.
Duffy the Disney Bear
Epcot has its own mascot – Duffy. He’s Mickey’s bear, made by Minnie especially for global travel. Kids visiting can get their own cardboard Duffy (for no cost) at each of the stops or purchase a stuffed Duffy and passport to take on their travels around the world pavilion.
Each country has a Kidcot station where there are small activities for children to participate in at no cost. Pick up a cardboard Duffy or Perry the Platypus if you prefer a platypus “spy” at each stop. Children can then personalize each to reflect the country they are in. They also can get a stamp either on their Duffy or in a passport book. World Showcase Passport books come with a Mickey Mouse button and stickers for each country. If you don’t want to purchase one on site, you can make your own at home and bring it with.
Eating Around the World
There are few places that you can visit where there are so many options to eat great international food. Each country has a counter service restaurant and a sit down restaurant. Foods served are representative of national cuisine and often prepared by chefs from the represented nations. You’ll find many kid friendly options (that aren’t chicken nuggets and French fries), allowing kids to taste different foods from around the world.
From the end of November until the end of December Epcot presents Holidays around the World. A special video, Reflections of Earth is shown nightly. One of the most celebrated traditions is the candlelight processional. This retelling of the Christmas story occurs nightly by a celebrity guest and is accompanied by a 50 piece orchestra and mass choir. Each country also hosts a storyteller each day during the celebration. They tell specific cultural holiday stories to visitors.
Each country also has a gift shop with many unique items from each of the countries represented. You’ll also find Disney themed items with an international twist! Of course Disney characters can be seen all over Epcot as well. If you can’t take your children around the world just yet, a visit to Epcot may be the next best thing.
Have you experienced educational travel at Epcot?