Across the four theme parks in Disney World, Imagineers have created a variety of rides and attractions to appeal to a wide variety of guests. EPCOT, the second park to open in Disney World, certainly reflects Walt Disney’s vision of a theme park where families of all ages could have fun together.
EPCOT continues to be updated and expanded to bring new attractions and rides for the modern day, such as “Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure” and “Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind.” The current overhaul of EPCOT is expansive and has already brought many changes; if you plan on visiting this park with your children, you might be wondering what rides are currently available and what might be most suitable for your family. To help you plan for your family’s EPCOT experience, read on for our recommendations for the best rides for kids by age.
When looking for rides that are suitable for you to enjoy with your baby, keep an eye out for those with no height requirements. These are typically more slow-moving, relaxing rides that can be enjoyed by anyone.
- Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros (any height) – This gentle and slow-moving boat ride though the Mexico Pavilion is perfect for little ones. Take in the sights, sounds and bright colors; and say hello to Donald, Panchito and José Carioca!
- Living With the Land (any height) – Another slow and gentle boat ride, Living With the Land takes you on a journey through the history and science of agriculture. Learn about innovative growing techniques. Little ones will also enjoy looking at the animatronic animals and live fish on this ride.
- The Seas with Nemo & Friends (any height) – Help Marlin and Dory find Nemo on this gentle ride under the sea, featuring animated and real sea creatures. This slow-moving journey ends at the SeaBase where you can see fish, manatees, sharks, turtles and more in their aquarium homes. (I recommend a baby carrier for those who will spend lots of time exploring the SeaBase with their little one! Stroller parking is outside of The Land Pavilion.)
- Spaceship Earth (any height) – Engaging scenery and music will fascinate your little one, as you learn about history on this journey through time. This 16-minute ride is a perfect relaxing break from the park on a hot day!
As your little one gets a little bit taller, more interactive rides or light thrills might be right up their alley!
- Frozen Ever After (any height) – If your little one is a fan of the “Frozen” films, this ride is a must-do! Travel to Arendelle and embark on a boat journey with Anna, Elsa, Olaf and friends. Note that there are some forward and backward short waterfall drops that provide a bit of a thrill–you may get wet!
- Journey Into Imagination With Figment (any height) – You and your little scientist can experience the Imagination Institute sensory labs on this whimsical ride with Figment, the playful dragon. There are a few dark and noisy parts of the ride, so prepare your senses!
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure (any height) – Prepare to see the world from an all-new perspective when you are shrunk down to Chef Remy’s size! This trackless ride through Gusteau’s famous Parisian restaurant offers you a thrilling adventure with 4D effects.
Grade School Kids
Your grade school-aged kids might enjoy some of the more exciting and thematic rides that EPCOT has to offer.
- Mission Space (40” or taller): Green Mission – Mission Space offers a chance to journey into outer space on a realistic and interactive spaceship launch. There are two versions of this ride, the “Green Mission” and the “Orange Mission.” The Green Mission is a “gentler, more family-friendly” adventure with less spinning and movement than its Orange counterpart – perfect for astronauts 40” or taller. Note that even this gentler version can prompt motion sickness in those that are prone!
- Soarin’ Around the World (40” or taller) – Journey through the stunning wonders of the world on this high-flying IMAX projection ride. The sights, smells and sounds of this ride are incredibly immersive, and I highly recommend the experience for those who are not scared of heights.
- Test Track (40” or taller) – Buckle up for a thrilling race around a test track that features 65 MPH speeds and plenty of twists and turns! Kids will enjoy designing their own digital concept car and seeing how it “performs” on the track.
Big Kids to Teens
EPCOT offers some high-speed, thrilling rides–perfect for your brave tweens and teens!
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind (42” or taller) – EPCOT’s newest (and arguably most popular ride at the moment) is a thrilling and high-speed chase through the galaxy. Experience a reverse launch, rotations and stunning visuals, all to a rocking soundtrack. Note that this ride can prompt motion sickness in some! Check out this helpful article on how to join the virtual queue for this popular ride.
- Mission Space (40” or taller): Orange Mission – As mentioned earlier, there are two versions of this ride; the “Orange Mission” is a thrilling, intense journey into outer space featuring G-forces and centrifugal spins and tilts. Disney advises that “Guests who wish to experience the Orange Mission should be in good health and free of high blood pressure, heart, back or neck problems, motion sickness, or other conditions that could be aggravated by this adventure. Expectant mothers should not ride either Mission.”
In addition to the many rides around EPCOT, there is an endless variety of entertainment, shows, cultural offerings and more–not to mention the many festivals that take place throughout the year. Your family is sure to find something you can all enjoy!
Featured Photo: Emily Murray.