Epcot and Kids – FUTURE WORLD
As someone who helps people plan vacations, one of the questions I sometime hear is “What’s in Epcot for Kids?” The answer is PLENTY! Rides, shows and characters abound in Epcot. You just have to get IN to those buildings to find them.
From the time my children were little, Epcot has always been our go-to park for food, crowd escape, just strolling around. As a large space Epcot soaks up crowds well. It can be described as two parks: Future World and the World Showcase. This was a park designed to educate and entertain, and its twice the size of the Magic Kingdom. You really can’t do Epcot justice in just one day, as this is a place where you really need to explore what is in the buildings you see. In this post I’ll discuss the FUTURE WORLD part of Epcot.
The front of Epcot is Future World and the back is the World Showcase. In Future World you will find FUTURE WORLD EAST which includes:
- Spaceship Earth : slow moving ride in the big ball, with some interactive features, that discuss the history of communications. The end of the attraction has an area with games, and it can really eat up a lot of time. Avoid this first thing in the morning as it will have a line.
- Universe of Energy: Hosted by Ellen DeGeneres (and filmed about 20 years ago!), you can journey back to the era of dinosaurs. For us this has always been a great place for a rest, or a location to escape rain during the summer.
- Mission Space: Tap into your inner astronaut as you blast into space. Orange is intense and Green is mild (no spinning.) After the attraction is an interactive game area.
- Test Track: A mild coaster where you sit in a car and become ‘crash test dummies.’ This is the longest and fastest attraction in Disney history.
Innoventions: Disney says that Innoventions is “a 2-building pavilion and interactive play space for kids of all ages where you can imagine, invent, inquire and be inspired while exploring amazing innovations that make our lives better.” Of course they’re right – there is a whole lot to do in Innoventions.
In Innoventions East you will find:
- The Sum of All Thrills: Build your own rollercoaster and climb into a robotic simulator and ride it.
- Storm Struck: Experience the perfect storm and learn how to protect your home and family. Its 3D and very realistic and loud.
- Test the Limits Lab: shatter, drop and impact a TV. Really!
- Environmentality Corner: Learn about protecting and preserving our environment, and even make some paper.
Innoventions West includes:
- The Great Piggy Bank Adventure: This is a whole lot of fun and I love it. Teaches (in an entertaining way) the importance of financial planning.
- Smarter Planet: Shows how advances in computer design can reduce energy use. Then you create an avatar and experience a video game.
- Videogame Playground: Disney’s ‘commercial’ for their games.
Heading out of Innoventions West you’ll go to Future World West. Located here is:
The Living Seas has a huge aquarium with varieties of sea life and some attractions too.
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends: Board a ‘clamobile’ and see if you can find nemo. Bet you’ll be humming that song for a while!
- Turtle Talk with Crush: Inspired by Crush from Finding Nemo, enjoy conversation while wondering “how do they do that?” Send the younger kids to the front and be prepared to laugh.
- Coral Reef Restaurant: Seafood, steaks and more. Table Service location; Reservations required.
In The Land you will find
- Soarin’: Free flying hang gliding over California.
- Living With The Land: Slow moving boat voyage through the greenhouses in Epcot. The produce grown in this area is actually used in Disney restaurants. There is also a relatively inexpensive tour you can take of the green houses. Sign up at the desk outside of Soarin’.
- Circle of Life: Short film featuring Timon, Pumbaa and Simba.
- Sunshine Seasons: Probably the ‘best’ quick service location in any of the Disney parks with soups, salads, sandwiches, and wood fired specialties. We love the salmon and rotisserie chicken.
- Journey Into Imagination with Figment. Meet Figment… a purple dragon. But hold on to your hats and sunglasses!
- Captain EO: A 3D film that follows Captain EO and his crew on a mission to rescue the planet through the gift of music, dance and light. See Michael Jackson in the peak of his career.
Epcot Character Spot: Meet Mickey and his friends in their own ‘toon’ versions of Innoventions and get photos and autographs.
Food in Future World includes some snacks like ice cream and popcorn, the Fountain View Ice Cream store (featuring Edy’s ice cream), Electric Umbrella (burgers and sandwiches). Over by Test Track is Cool Wash (you’ll get the pun during the warmer weather, but its themed as a car wash), and there’s also a pizza cart open during select hours.
Typically Future World is open until 7pm. During the busier seasons it will have extended hours. This place is a huge time eater–expect to stand in lines and be entertained, and you are likely to be side tracked by something else to do. If you have only one day to do Epcot, you’re going to need to decide what you’re going to skip. Visiting characters in Epcot is usually a good plan because it is so very efficient to go to one place and get five or six (or more) in one spot.
On a side note: Future World can very loud. Lots of interactivity and people actually ‘doing’ things means more noise.
In a future post I’ll take you through the World Showcase.