Epcot is sometimes known as the Disney park that doesn’t have a lot to offer kids, but I couldn’t disagree more! In addition to the popular rides, Future World has Innoventions, which is a fun interactive play area that can keep kids entertained for a few hours!
One well known activity for kids in the World Showcase is the Kidcot stops, where kids can color a character on a wooden stick (Duffy Bear or Agent P) and then take their character to each country and get a stamp, along with a special hand-drawn symbol representing that country.
Kidcot Fun Stop at Epcot
Agent P Epcot
It’s fun for younger kids, but not always exciting enough to keep an older kid’s attention. However, on our last trip, we stumbled upon a new fun way for kids to explore the World Showcase – the Epcot Passport. For around $10, the stores sell an authentic-looking passport that comes with stickers that look like stamps – including the flag of each country and a few of the sights from each country of the World Showcase.
By now I think everyone has heard of the insanely long lines to meet and greet Anna and Elsa from the movie Frozen in the Norway pavilion of Epcot. I did not wait in the line, but my sister and her family did (4 hours with 2 kids) and I started to think of ways for families to pass the time while waiting in the line. During my brainstorming, I had a breakthrough and I think I actually invented a new game! Well, not technically new, but a Disney-fied version of the old favorite Rock, Paper, Scissors.
I call it Snowball, Snowflake, Carrot.
Snowball, Snowflake, Carrot
The rules are the same as Rock, Paper, Scissors, but in case you don’t know here they are: Continue reading
In a place as well known for being expensive as it is for Mickey Mouse, it’s easy to spend a fortune on souvenirs at Disney World. I’ve read lots of articles on strategies for saving money on souvenirs, such as buying items outside of the parks, giving each child (or adult) an allowance that they can spend however they want, and waiting until the last day to purchase all souvenirs so that the items don’t add up to a huge expense a little at a time over the course of the week.
After visiting the parks many times, it’s easier for us to cut back on souvenirs, but even so we probably spent $75 on the last trip. My husband got a new visor and (several) Minnie’s Bakeshop cookies to bring home and I got a scarf plus a few antenna toppers. My daughter’s tastes are a little less expensive. We gave her a $50 gift card to spend however she liked and it was split between pins for her pin trading and Goofy’s cherry sour balls (those are addictive!)
Since we’ve been to Disney several times over the past few years, sometimes we get to the point of been-there-done-that, which takes away some of the magical feeling we love about Disney. It doesn’t happen all the time, but it most recently happened on a long holiday weekend trip where we didn’t plan our daily itinerary very well and we ended up wandering around aimlessly and left disappointed. When planning our latest vacation, which we had the luxury of staying for 8 days, we knew that we needed to plan some new experiences to keep us excited and engaged in the parks for an entire week. My husband has always wanted to search for hidden Mickeys and we figured that was a good way to see something ‘new’ in the places we’ve seen many times.
So before leaving on our trip we purchased Hidden Mickeys: A Field Guide to Walt Disney World’s Best Kept Secrets by Steven M. Barrett. I was excited because it was the newest version including the new Fantasyland – little did I know when I bought it, Fantasyland would be where we found the best one!
One of the major events that Disney World hosts each year is Star Wars weekends. It’s usually in the spring but this year it’s from May 17th – June 9th. We didn’t plan our Disney trip around this event, but it was one of those unexpected ‘magical’ experiences that happen so often in the bubble. We happened to be at Disney World during Star Wars weekends a few years ago when it fell during the same time as spring break and I’m glad we got to experience it. This event takes place at Disney’s Hollywood Studios and requires admission to the park.
Star Wars Weekend
Hollywood Studios has a few Star Wars-related attractions year round, but the atmosphere just feels different when you see Storm Troopers patrolling the streets and hear the menacing voice of Darth Vader. What’s more eye catching are some of the lesser known life forms that seemingly appear out of nowhere and make you wish you had your light saber! Continue reading