Where are my fellow travel lovers out there? When we rounded out our trio with our little munchkin, we realized just how much more of an adventure travel has become... parents you know what I mean :) Until we take a larger sale trip with Tallulah, Epcot’s World Showcase scratches that travel itch.
I mean you can have 11 very different cultural experiences in a day without worrying about exchange rates, language barriers, and juggling a car seat with gobs of luggage. In this post, I’m sharing our favorite toddler-approved activities in the World Showcase so you and your littles can enjoy some international flavor stateside :)
1 - Grab a sweet breakfast treat in France before the rest of the Showcase opens - This has to be the first tip because Les Halles Boulangerie-Patisserie at the back of the France pavilion is the closest taste of France I’ve had in the states. With the skyliner station, boat dock and Boardwalk hotels all converging at International Gateway, the bakery in France seems to open earlier than the rest of World Showcase, so it’s the perfect way to start the day.
(TIP - the food at Epcot in general is insanely good and as close as can be to the nations cuisine. Tallulah has really enjoyed the more authentic food she’s tried in Epcot, and we’ve had so much fun watching her try some very different flavors. Although I was apprehensive at first to order the more unique kids meal options, I wholeheartedly encourage you to have your kids try it. It impressed me so much to see her expanding her palette.)
2 - Arrive early- this seems to be a reoccurring theme in my posts, but it’s so true. Especially during festivals like Food and Wine, guests tend to arrive later in the day and stay later. Since World Showcase opens at 11am, fellow park travelers like to get the Future World rides and activities done first and that tends to bleed into the 11am hour. I personally like to get to World Showcase a bit early to walk through England and France and some of Canada before the rest opens.
All of the activities are way more toddler approved (since there’s more room to explore) in the beginning of the day. The afternoon and evening tends to be filled with more adult-only groups enjoying the drinks around the world, so the earlier the better. (Plus the lines are shorter closer to opening for you to enjoy the countries food and drinks.)
3 - Explore as much as possible - Our little adventurer is always up for running around and checking out everything she can. Each pavilion is individually contained (for the most part), so it’s the perfect opportunity to park your stroller and let that baby walk around. With the festivals taking place on the main walkway around World Showcase, the countries tend to be a bit less occupied the further back you go, so explore away :)
Morocco is the most intricately designed pavilion in my opinion.
The hidden spaces, alley ways and shops to explore, along with the incredibly authentic architecture make for a fantastic pavilion to run around and explore with your little one. Plus photos in the pavilion aren’t too shabby ;)
4 - Listen to the Voices of Liberty - This goes for everyone not just toddlers! I grew up listening to their angelic voices and tighter-than-tight harmonies and was so excited to introduce our little music fan to them :)
She couldn’t have been more excited. They even got one mid-song standing ovation from a very entertained toddler...she was feeling it. There’s also a great space for toddlers to walk around in the atrium before, during and after the performance. Plus... it’s air conditioned, and you know how I feel about that ;)
5 - Meet some unique characters in their respective pavilions - no where else in the park can you see Mulan, Jasmine, Aladdin, Mary Poppins (and the occasional Bert) in their natural element like you can at World Showcase. I love that they meet in their thematic element, usually outside which makes for more natural interactions and beautiful photos. Also, if your kids are Frozen fans, Anna and Elsa’s meet and greet in Norway tends to have a relatively short standby line, and a beautifully themed queue might-I-add.
In total, you can meet 10 characters at World Showcase (Alice, Mary Poppins, Sleeping Beauty, Belle, Jasmine, Snow White, Mulan, Anna and Elsa, and Donald Duck) with the occasional surprise-and-delight character interaction sprinkled in.
When we were exploring the UK Pavilion before the rest of World Showcase opened, Bert was just out on a walk stepping-in-time (like straight up, he was dancing and doing some incredibly dangerous high knees... it was fantastic). Tallulah wasn’t quite in the character interaction mood yet for the day but it was a neat surprise interaction.
The World Showcase is such a fun place to be temporarily immersed in unique cultures through interacting with their amazing people, enjoying their delicious foods and for exploring the sights and sounds of each pavilion.
Toddlers, children and adults of all ages can find something fun to do and to enjoy here, and I’m sure with the new offerings coming in the next few years, there’ll be more to do than ever before!
Do you have a favorite pavilion? If so, I’d love to hear what makes it your favorite in the comments!