Newbie Epcot touring plan

Planning my first trip with my husband, my mother and daughters ages 6 and 4. I would be so grateful if someone experienced could look at this plan and tell me where I’m going terribly wrong :wink:

Tues Dec 5th EPCOT. Crowd level 6

  • virtual queue for GOG at 7 am and 1 pm. Probably buy LL for 2 adults.

Park opens at 9 am, early entry 8:30. Try to arrive by 8:30 from resort or uber.

  • enter park, make DAS for soarin as soon as available (likely not available until 9)

  • Explore Seas pavilion (nemo ride-10min, aquarium 20 min, turtle talk 15min, shark play area 10min)

-ride soarin using rider switch. Non rider options: sunshine seasons or living w land. ~30 min total.

-after soaring, book DAS Remi.

  • do Moana walkthrough (~20 min, have spare clothes). Could move this to end of day.

  • Pooh sometimes has character sightings next to the land cart, on walkway.

  • Go to port of entry to buy Olaf scavenger hunt ($10 per map, get prize when you buy the map so no need to go back). One adult can buy the scavenger hunt while others go to nearby bathrooms or get coffee at nearby starbucks.

  • Start World showcase ~10:45. Earlier the better.

-Tour canada. Get Kidcot supplies near gardens. See gardens, waterfall and totem pole.

-Tour UK; Visit Rose and Crown pub, take drinks to the gardens and let kids do hedge maze? Maybe see Alice (11:25), not clear if mary poppins still meeting. Kids and one adult leave by 11:35 at the latest to get to Belle meet and greet.

-tour France; meet belle at noon.

  • ride Remi. Book DAS frozen.

  • find a table to sit, relax, eat and drink. ~12:30-1:30. One adult can take kids to optional Hanakah storyteller 12:40 (11 min) and another adult takes them to meet aurora at 1:20.

-tour Morocco. Meet Jasmine at 1:50. If kids/adults need a break; take them to quiet corner for rest from 2-3pm. parents can switch off touring next three pavilions or rest or accept missing snow white. Restaurant Marrakesh is closed and a good, quiet place with seating.

-tour Japan; could see Matsuriza, visit Mitsukoshi dept store, or see Bijutsu-Kan art museum. Spend until ~2:30

  • Tour America (only if making it to 2:15 voices of liberty, otherwise skip due to time)

-Tour Italy. Eat snacks. See sergio?

-kids get to Germany for 3pm snow white. Tour Germany. Drink beer

-tour China, meet Mulan 3:30. Arrive by 3:10 bc Mulan very popular. See lion dance (or come back for this from Norway)

  • ~4 pm take a break!!

  • tour Norway, ride frozen, meet Elsa and Anna, barn santa story (4:30 or 5:30), see stave church.

-tour Mexico, ride gran fiesta tour. Break opportunity. Eat snacks.

  • Finish world showcase around ~6pm

-Test track? Green landing play space (perfect for Isla if Ingrid riding test track)

-kids play at Space Base/adv training lab with grandma watching them, while parents ride guardians.

  • leave park. Bus at 7:25p
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Is this the only day you will be at Epcot? Since this is your first ever trip, I would not miss seeing the American Adventure. Yes, it’s a bit long, but it’s very impressive with all the animatronics. I would skip VoL if you didn’t have time, AA is so much more significant than VoL. Plus, AA is a wonderful place to rest and take naps, for kids and adults.

As you walk to Germany, there is a model train running outdoors that is interesting to watch.

What’s vol?

Voices of Liberty? the acapella group? that’s a good point that AA is sitting down, I hadn’t considered that.

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Voices of Liberty.

I see that you have your lunch/rest break in France. We have personally found France to be really crowded especially when Remy is down and hard to find a place to sit that’s not on the edge of landscaping. There are quieter areas with tables behind Yorkshire Fish and Chips in UK and behind beer cart in Germany with more available seating. You would backtrack a little to see Japan and Morocco but the pavilions are not really that far away from each other, and would be easier to set up a base and then have one person leave to get food or take kid to meet and greet.

What resort?

I wouldn’t say terribly wrong. It will be December and hopefully a cooler December day. :sunglasses:

If you used the touring plans did you set your walking speed to the slowest? This helps allow for the unforeseeables.

Perhaps the next best thing to think about is that touring Epcot provides a lot of info. Absorbing that info can be tiring.

With that in mind, less may be more. Maybe walk past Canada, looking at the gardens as you walk.
Maybe in UK do the hedge maze or get a beverage. Anything you’re buying could involve a line wait. (Especially Starbucks)
In France, if you’re waiting for Belle, an adult could get a beverage there.

There is a bit of a walk, uphill (over a water way) to get to France. Tho I’ve visited Epcot many times the distances and time still surprise me.

The department store in Japan is a busy place and can be overwhelming. I’d recommend looking at the koi pond, listening to the drummers and wandering on.

The American Adventure is amazing tho with your daughters, it’s likely to be a nap time. This attraction is more attractive to adults.

Your time may be happier spent staying longer at Germany, with Snow White and beer. And the trains.

The store is China has always been a kid magnet for our family. It’s not as congested as the store in Japan. If the eggroll cart is open by the waters edge, this has been a good snack stop.

Based on your daughters’ interests a reasonable plan - time wise - might be to spend more time in every 3rd country. Or be very disciplined in your time management.

With a 4 and 6 year old I’d be curating stops geared to their interests, with walk bys elsewhere. To avoid info overload.

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There’s a good chance guardians won’t have a virtual queue by December. If it still does you could get a boarding group for your whole party (or 4 of you) and both adults could ride twice. This might be slow on a busy day but if got an early BG and you were able to do in the first hour of park opening you’d have very low wait (<15 min based on our experience) and save money on ILL. If it’s a regular queue I’m not sure how it’ll be at 7 pm but you could track how crowds evolve as your trip gets closer.

I’ve done Epcot with kids that age and there are frequent character meets near the international gateway. We’ve yet to make it around the world showcase in one day (having done 2 trips where we spent 2 days each in Epcot) so I think you may be overly ambitious with your plans there. We’ve tended to spend more time on rides and pavilions in the front of the park though.

Good luck!

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Typically you can only obtain a BG EITHER at 7 OR at 1, but not both…


I kind of wish my family was slower so we could enjoy at your family’s pace! We get grooving along the path and don’t stop in the countries as much as I plan, except for beer and shopping. Last trip was first trip completely stroller-less with DD8 and DS5. Finding pin trading boards was a highlight, but otherwise we booked it around way faster than my TP! (I was just pleasantly surprised that my kids legs held up… because I am NOT carrying anyone back from the America pavilion.)

All that to say, to each their own, @tova_iceberg_846280, and you could have grand plans to be leisurely and find yourself in the slip stream of traffic and book it to the opposite end of World Showcase before you know it, like my fam, or struggle to make it past IG with all there is to see like @stompin_pt. No wrong way about it and you will have a great time!!


That’s a great suggestion. It’s worth it to us to walk a little further to have a more relaxing break.


I don’t know how many trips we’ve made to Epcot. We apparently like World Showcase too much as we’ve never managed all the way around in one day.

Back in the old days - before 2010 or thereabouts - we’d do Epcot every evening during a week’s stay. Good times. :blush:

This is for sure - no wrong way to do Disney, Epcot, World Showcase or whatever. Our plans always change and we figure we had fun, either way.

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Wow, you’ve clearly done your research, this is so thorough! That said, it is very thorough, and I worry that you’ll spend a lot of time trying to check off every step rather than hitting the highlights/must-dos and enjoying whatever the moment inspires. For my first trip (I was 8 and my brother was 11), my mom used Touring Plans and tried to (rather militantly) follow it to a T…and quickly realized that the kids were unhappy and exhausted, so she threw it out the window and we just did whatever from then on. Granted, that was 1993 and things are, well, different now, but same principal applies.

So that said, I will offer very high-level advice, but I don’t know how DAS works so maybe none of this will even apply to you:

  • For Early Entry (if you’re staying at a hotel/resort that is eligible), to really get the most bang for your buck, plan to be there AT LEAST 30 minutes BEFORE Early Entry, ideally an hour. Early Entry is the time rides/attractions start running and not what time the park opens. So, Cast Members will start walking people in around 8 and you can get in lines.

  • I see the scheduled 4pm break - consider at least one more earlier officially scheduled break! Disney is exhausting, and I have seen lots of kids just melting down even by lunch time. The popular advice (from people who have taken young kids, which is not me) is to take early afternoon resort breaks, so go back and have naps, showers, pool time, whatever, then go back to parks for the evening. But this depends on where you’re staying and the transportation schedule.

  • With your current morning plans, starting the showcase at 10:45 is, to me, very ambitious. It looks like your plans before then add up to about 2 hours, if my math is right, and that is assuming nothing takes longer than you’ve scheduled.

  • Do you have dinner plans? I love how many times “eat snacks” is sprinkled in here :slight_smile: Are the kids going to survive not having dinner until after you get back to the hotel? Garden Grille is a character dinner in the Land Pavilion and it’s incredibly fun, and Coral Reef is cool because one whole wall looks into one of the aquarium tanks so you can see all the fish and sharks while you eat. Both are at the front of the park.

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I don’t consider myself an Epcot expert but I’ve been with kids of that age and think your plan sounds amazing - mine would have had an awesome day with this itinerary! And first week of December will be a lovely time to go.

In chronological order of your plan:

  • Our kids loved going on Soarin as soon as they were tall enough, which I believe was around age 4 - if yours are both 40 in, you might actually be able to avoid RS there? It’s a gentle and fun ride, one of our families’ favourites. Pro tip here is to ask to wait for row B1, which has the best/most centered and least distorted view.
  • Living with the Land is a great alternative (or add on), especially with the Christmas Light overlay (though it’s even prettier at night if you happen to be walking past that are on your way out). If you detect a need for everyone to sit and rest for 20 min around this time, I would also consider the Pixar Film Festival - fun, kid-friendly 3D shorts. My kids adore the Pixar short “Piper”, so this was a big hit for them. Another pro tip is that there is a Mickey Meet & Greet in the Film Festival pavilion where the line is rarely longer than 5 min cause no one knows about it!
  • I don’t see dedicated lunch plans, and think it’s probably wise not to have an ADR that limits your flexibility. We did lunch at the Festival booths last Christmas and loved virtually everything on the menu of Nochebuena Cocina and Mele Kalimkimaka, both of which are near Port of Entry, if you’re looking for solid lunch options around that time. We hear the Canada booth is also consistently good, but did not get to try it.
  • Just because I have seen others recommend it: I would probably skip American Adventures at those ages unless you really want a quiet place to sit (and nap), or an adult really wants to see it - young kids are likely to get bored.
  • Your princess meet and greets all sound like fun, if your kids are into them (ours were, but every kid is different so may be worth going in with low expectations and adapt if it turns out that yours don’t love characters? Hopefully they will.)
  • Kidcot is a also great idea! I love WS, but I find that besides the few rides - and many good snacks - there is not a huge amount to hold little ones’ attention in most of the country showcases (ours would not watch music acts or performances for more than 5 min at that age). Besides doing the Kidcot, it sounds like you’ll have time to just stop and stroll at will, which is important. I agree with those who recommended seeing the little trains in Germany and koi pond in Japan/any water feature. Ducks and squirrels are also an endless source of entertainment for ours, even now at 7 and 9. And adults can admire the beauty of the showcases in the meantime.
  • I’ve never used DAS, but had the impression from this forum that you could prebook a couple of rides per day, if that helps? Others will know better that me.
  • Finally, also agree with others that I’d be ready to buy ILL for GotG as VQ may be gone by then, and even if not your wait time would likely be significantly longer with VQ than with ILL.

Have a great trip!

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This is true, plus you get your one at a time as soon as you enter the park.