You may recall the Frog Family spent a little time hop-hop-hopping around Epcot on the opening day of the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival. The blooms were spectacular, and after an icy winter around the Frog Pond, we were so thankful for the color. Lily and Tad especially loved this year's festival, and not surprisingly because there were plenty of tadpole (and kid) friendly activities for them.
If you're planning a visit to the Walt Disney World Resort between now and May 18, you definitely should plan to spend at least one day at Epcot. With Tad and Lily's help, I have compiled a list of kid-friendly tips for attending the event. Even better, most of these tips apply to visiting Epcot with kids anytime -- whether it's during the festival or not. So let's get going with tips for visiting Epcot with kids!
1. Adjust your pace
Epcot is a big park. Even without a massive event like the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival (or Epcot International Food & Wine Festival in the fall), the park takes a long time to walk let alone explore. While there is so much to see and do, we definitely recommend stopping to smell the flowers. Don't plan on seeing everything in one day. If you can spend only one day in Epcot, pick your priorities, and make sure the kids are included in the decision making.
2. Let the little ones stretch their legs.
Because of the size of the park, toddlers spend an abundance of time in strollers. Older children (and even adults!) get tired of walking, and this can lead to major meltdowns! Make sure the little ones get plenty of time to run around unencumbered. The smart folks running the Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival have made this super easy for you by creating a number of play areas around the park. Tad and Lily's favorite this year was Mike & Sulley's Monstrous Garden, a sprawling "spongey" grass area with two playscapes. There is also Mater's Parts, Plants & Play Garden near Test Track and the Backyard Play Garden between France and Morocco.
3. Keep the supplies handy.
Sunscreen is especially important. Water is too. Epcot has fewer trees than Disney's Animal Kingdom and wider concrete pathways than Magic Kingdom Park. The sun is always reflecting off of the concrete and the World Showcase Lagoon, making it seem super sunny and twice as hot as the other parks. You need sunscreen and water no matter what time of year you visit! I always pack extra snacks for Epcot too. While there are no shortage of wonderful places to eat and drink, especially at the outdoor kitchens during the festival, Tad and Lily aren't always up for trying something new. Plus, with all of that heat and walking, everyone seems to work up an appetite more quickly!
4. Go on a weekday.
Epcot gets quite crowded on weekends. The afternoons in World Showcase are especially crowded, with lines getting much longer at the outdoor kitchens. With all the people, it becomes harder to navigate with a stroller. If you can, try to visit the festival on a weekday, when the lines are shorter and there are fewer people in the park. While some of you can't avoid Epcot on a weekend, we suggest if you're traveling with young children that you visit in the morning and take a break in the afternoon. This is what we recommend during the summer months and other busier times when the weekdays become as crowded as the weekends.
5. Throw in some kid fun.
Children will enjoy Epcot International Flower & Garden Festival as much as the adults if you make sure to pack in kids activities. Now, Tad and Lily love topiary spotting as much as I do, but they love collecting passport stamps even more! Leap and I let them take turns in asking to get the Frog Family's passport stamped at each of the Flower & Garden destinations. While each of them could have gotten their own passports, we thought it was much easier to keep track of just one. When the festival isn't happening, one of Lily's favorite Epcot activities is visiting the Kidcot Fun Stops at each of the 11 World Showcase countries. There she learns a little bit about the countries from a native cast member and she gets to decorate her very own Duffy the Bear (which makes a great FREE souvenir).
What tips do you have for visiting Epcot with kids during the festival or any time? Share in comments below!
Hoppy hoppin' at Epcot!
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