Epcot Trip Chronicles

A Family of 5’s Day at Epcot

Epcot is one of Walt Disney World’s four theme parks. Epcot has two major areas: Future World and World Showcase. In Future World you’ll find attractions about space, the sea, the land and imagination. In World Showcase you can explore pavilions that replicate the country it’s representing. On our most recent vacation to Walt Disney World, January 2020, we opted to head to Epcot for 2 of our 6 park days. Epcot is a huge park and on our last vacation we felt we rushed through many areas of the park. This trip we wanted to spend time combing through the knock and crannies of World Showcase, while stile enjoying the exciting and fun attractions found in Future World. In this post we’re going to go into detail on our most successful park day of our vacation and that was our 1st Epcot park day. We’re not going to look at our 2nd Epcot park day because this day was also my husband’s marathon day and was by no means most guests “normal” park day experience.

Our family consists of a 7 year old daughter, a 5 year old son and a 1 year old son. This was our fourth family vacation to Walt Disney World, my husband and Is eight vacation to Walt Disney World. We are proud DVC members. The Epcot day we’re looking at was the very first day of our vacation. We had plans to be there from before park open until park close. The park opened at 9am and was closing at 9pm. We quickly changed this plan because we wanted to be at Hollywood Studios the following day for their 7am open which meant an earlier end to our Epcot day. No problem because we knew we would be heading back to this park later in our vacation. Our day started early because we had breakfast reservations at Garden Grill, located at The Land.

This breakfast reservation was for 8:10am, which got us into the park 50 minutes before the park opened. Not only did it get us into the park that early but it also got us right next to Soarin’, one of the most popular rides in Epcot. Our breakfast was delicious and memorable. This is a character meal, that hosts Mickey, Pluto and Chip n Dale. The meal was quick and filling. Leaving us nourished for a full day ahead. We were done our meal and paid our check by 8:45am. At which point we headed down to Soarin, MacKenzie and I were in line and one the ride by 8:55am, 5 minutes before park open. A fantastic way to start the day.

After the two of us rode, Jeff, Lincoln and MacKenzie jumped on while I hung out with William in the lounge. This gave him a chance to wander around and for me to charge my phone. There were many other family members waiting for their parties here. It shocked me how many people were surprised that this ride had a height requirement. Be sure to check this info before you plan your trip, friends. For details on height requirements, click here. Next up was Living with the Land, a quiet boat ride that tours you through The Land’s greenhouse. The kids loved the ride, we ended up riding it again on our 2nd Epcot day.

We opted to keep to Future World for our morning and early afternoon. We had FastPasses planned for The Seas with Finding Nemo around 10, Spaceship Earth around 11 and FastPasses for Test Track around 1. This gave us time to check out Journey into Imagination with Figment, a great ride for the whole family.

It has slow moving vehicles that the whole family can sit in together. After the ride you disembark in a play area, where we spent some time exploring the few activities that each of the kids were able to participate in. On the 2nd floor of this building is a DVC member lounge, a place where we can unwind, drink some coffee, recharge our derives. We headed up there for a little break in our morning.

We then set off for our Seas FastPass, another great attraction for the whole family. This ride takes you on a journey with characters from Finding Nemo searching for Nemo. After the attraction we spent time at The Seas, which we’ve never spent time with the kids before. They loved checking out the different aquariums with the multitude of sea creatures. We even saw a demonstration with dolphins showing off some cool tricks.

MacKenzie and Jeff decided to go head back to Soarin’ for one more flight. While we waited, Lincoln and William and I went back into The Seas and Lincoln played in Bruce’s Sub House. This is a little play area located in The Seas. There’s pictures with facts about sharks, a ship of sorts to explore and a video game that teaches kids, and in this case a Mom, about sharks.

Once we got tired of this section we made our way to Spaceship Earth to grab our FastPass reservation. This is a FastPass that is key to any day at Epcot. It’s in the 2nd tier, the cue is outside and this line is long from 10am onward. Spaceship Earth is another ride that the whole family can ride. Jeff took the two boys with him in his row and I rode with MacKenzie. The ride takes you through the development of society as we know it today, and the whole ride goes in and through Spaceship Earth, the big ball you see as the focal point of Epcot.

After this we were starving for lunch. We made our way to the Electric Umbrella, a quick-service restaurant that serves salads, flatbreads, chicken nuggets and cheeseburgers. I had the Chicken Proscuitto Sandwich, the kids shared Chicken Nuggets and Jeff had the Energy Salad. Because we weren’t on the dining plan we skipped the drinks for ourselves, drinking from the water bottles we brought with us.

Shopping was next on the agenda, but we were so disappointed to find Mouse Gears was moved due to renovations. It’s smaller, temporary location left much to desired. MacKenzie did find a pair of Minnie Ears she purchased, they look like Lollipops and she wore them for the majority of the trip. We were planning on buying some Band-Aids here because MacKenzie’s foot was developing a blister. The kind cast members wisely told us to forgo buying the Band-Aids and head to the First Aid station. Jeff and the boys went to the First Aid Station while MacKenzie and I went on Test Track. The thing you need to know about Test Track is the first part of the attraction is building a test car. You’ll spend ten minutes designing a car that you’ll test throughout the attraction to see how it functions under different scenarios. The testing is the actual ride. You climb aboard a Chevy, three to a row, six to a car and go through testing your car. There’s sudden stops, sharp turns and a quick jump to high speed. It’s a fantastic ride, but it is very dark, so warn your smaller travellers.

After we rode on Test Track we did a bathroom break while Jeff took Lincoln on the ride. While we waited for them to complete the experience we hung out in the area exiting Test Track. There’s all kinds of interactive spaces that were great time wasters. We made commercials, raced cars and took a look at some of the newest Chevrolets. The next and final attraction on our list for the day was Mission: SPACE. There’s two versions of this ride, orange and green. Green has a shorter height requirement and is less intense, whereas orange requires guests to be 44 inches and taller and has future astronauts training to explore Mars. Lincoln opted not to ride either, which I was fine with because he has major motion sickness and know this ride can trigger nausea. So Lincoln, William and I hung out while Jeff took MacKenzie on the Orange Mission: SPACE. There’s a very cool area to pass time at the exit of Mission: SPACE but Lincoln didn’t want to hang here because he found it too dark and too loud. But what he really wanted to was eat the Lollipop that he’d bought. Can’t blame the kid.

With the rest of the afternoon open, we put the two boys in the stroller to crash while MacKenzie and I took the boat over to World Showcase. There’s two boats that go from Showcase Plaza to Morocco and to Germany. The only one open in January was the one to Morocco so that’s the boat we took. While we took the boat, Jeff walked to Morocco and solidified a stroller nap for the two boys. When in Morocco we explored the marketplace and took some fun pictures. While here we began the kids Kidcot Fun Spot scavenger hunt. At each pavilion the kids collected a postcard with a sticker. Some of these spots were very hard to find and we had to wander through deep parts of the pavilions. It was a great thing to do as a family.

We wandered over to France to grab a delicious snack from Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie. I grabbed a Chocolate Tart and MacKenzie chose a Raspberry Mouse Cake. We also grabbed some macarons for the boys. We weren’t the only ones with this idea, the place was packed. But the wait was well worth it, we sat and enjoyed our delicacies before hitting up the Kidcot spot in France.

The boys woke up in time to discover the Kidcot spot in Japan, which was quite the hunt. While we were here we walked through the gallery which was very educational. Our next stop was the American Adventure, where we easily found the Kidcot spot near the restrooms. Italy came next. I love going through this pavilion and taking in the beautiful pieces they’ve put into replicate the incredible architecture found in this country. By this time we were all getting pretty tired, we had flown in late the day before and were running on fumes. We decided we would grab a quick bite at the Germany counter service restaurant for dinner before heading back to our resort. We picked up some sausages at Sommerfest found at the back of the Germany pavilion, wandered their few shops and then made our way back to the Epcot entrance to pick up our resort bus.

It was such a successful day. We loved our day at Epcot and we felt like we got to experience so much. Everyone behaved well, we had some great food, and discovered some parts of the park we’d never explored before. We can’t wait to go back. For an overview of our whole trip take a look at this previous post here.

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