You might think that World Showcase has little to offer young children besides the mask-making stations (Kidcop Fun Stops). You might expect kids to be bored while their parents tour and shop through the world, but you would be wrong. There are many fun things to grab young children’s attention, especially if you know what you are looking for. This blog is the first in a 3-part series about the fun my children, then 6 and 8, had in their first tour around the world.
As a prerequisite, I should explain that our first day in Epcot was spent exclusively in Future World and our second day in World Showcase. On our World Showcase day, we made sure that the children knew that we could do a few attractions in Future World, but when World Showcase opened, it would be our focus. I had read up on what to see and do in each country and felt prepared to be able to engage the boys and help them get the most out of the various countries.
We started with Norway and the Kim Possible Adventure. The boys completed the first adventure in Norway, but were not keen on doing another Kim Possible. I had hoped that the Kim Possible Adventure would teach the kids something about the country we were in, but it didn’t, so I was not disappointed when the boys did not want to continue that adventure in other countries. Instead, we made our own adventures.
Norway is easily entertaining because The Maelstrom is there. It is a fun flume ride for the whole family. There is also a giant troll statue in the gift shop. We all put on horned helmets and had a family picture taken with the troll, which was a lot of fun and made a nice memory. We walked through the old church, and the boys were more interested in learning about Norway than I had expected. Next time we go, I want to sample some of the fare in the bakery.
Mexico is just before Norway in a counterclockwise tour of the world, and is also kid-friendly because there is a boat ride inside the pavilion. The ride is called The Grand Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros. As you ride “through Mexico” you join two caballeros in their search for the third one—Donald Duck. This ride turned out to be one of my 6-year-old’s favorite attractions. The boys also enjoyed getting their picture taken while trying on sombreros in the shops.
Past Norway is China. The Wonders of China is a movie presentation, which is interesting, but not riveting for young ones. But there is so much to see in China! It is like a museum of the country. When we were there, they had a visiting display of the terracotta army from the Qin Dynasty. It was truly amazing, particularly for little boys. The kids were also fascinated by the giant golden Buddah and other statues and objects in the waiting area outside the theatre. One of our best pictures from that trip is a picture of my older son surrounded by stuffed pandas in the gift shop. The boys also had fun playing with the marionettes at one of China’s street vendors.
The nice thing about touring the countries in World Showcase is that there is no rush. You don’t need to “hurry up and get in line” for many attractions. It is a time to slow down and enjoy the exploration of the different countries.