Update, 9/1/2012: Due to construction at the France pavilion and changes to the quick service dining there, the France Kidcot station has moved. See below for details.
Many people with kids, when they start to consider what they will do when they visit Epcot, wonder how their children might react to spending time in the World Showcase. There is a common concern that kids might find the area boring. In reality, there’s so much that kids of just about any age can learn on a trip through the World Showcase, but sometimes it’s helpful if there’s a “hook” you can use to make them more excited about visiting each pavilion and seeing all they have to offer. Kidcot activity stations are one tool Disney provides to help pique the interest of their younger park visitors. Kidcot is also an activity that can be fun to pursue on a very busy day at Epcot when you are trying to have fun but also avoid the long queues at the attractions.
Each pavilion in the World Showcase has its own Kidcot station, manned by a Cast Member from the host nation for that pavilion. Kids are given (hey, a free souvenir at WDW!) a cardboard Duffy the Disney Bear at whichever Kidcot station they visit first. They can then use the Sharpie markers provided at each station to color in their Duffy and make theirs unique. You can also get your Duffy stamped (on the carrying stick) at each pavilion. Cast Members can answer questions about their home country and perhaps even teach you how to say a word or two in their native language. In Morocco, China, and Japan, you can see how your name would be written in each of those languages, and also in China, you can find out what your Chinese zodiac sign is.
It’s an excellent opportunity for kids to interact with people from different cultures and hopefully become interested enough to want to explore more of the World Showcase. Plus, they get a free souvenir and a chance to sit down for a few minutes and color, which is sometimes just the break they need after the excitement overload of riding rides.
Ah, but I promised you station locations, didn’t I? You do have to poke around a bit to find the stations if you’re wandering through on your own, as many of them are tucked away off the beaten path. While I do encourage you to explore the nooks and crannies of the World Showcase, I also know that sometimes that’s just not in the cards. So if you are just on a do-or-die Duffy completion speed run, here is where you should go.
Oh, but first, a tip. As I noted before, the coloring materials provided at the stations are Sharpie brand markers. Those are permanent markers and if your kids are in clothes you don’t want them to potentially stain with ink, you may want to tuck some crayons or washable markers into your park bag before you head out to Epcot.
All right, now let the walk-through begin! I’ll start in Mexico, but of course the stations can be visited in any order. Please note: All directions are given as though you are standing on the walkway with your back to World Showcase Lagoon, looking toward the pavilion.
Station #1: Mexico
Head up the stairs and into the pyramid using the door on either side and follow the path around, looking for the Kidcot station just inside the pyramid. This one is pretty easy to find, hard to miss once you’re inside the pyramid.
Station #2: Norway
The Kidcot station here is inside the Puffin’s Roost shop, which is across from Akershus. The station is halfway through the shop, between the front and the rear of the pavilion.
Station #3: China
On the left side of the pavilion, behind the table service and quick service restaurant, you will find the House of Good Fortune shop. There are several doors that take you inside the shop, but the door closest to the Kidcot station is the middle one. Go inside the shop and then immediately turn right to see the Kidcot station.
Station #4: Germany
The Kidcot station in Germany is on the right side of the pavilion, inside the Der Teddy bar shop, at the rear of the shop. Head into the pavilion as though you are headed to Biergarten, look for Der Teddy bar on the right, enter the shop, turn left, proceed to the back.
Station #5: Italy
Italy’s Kidcot station is out in the open on the right side of the pavilion, about halfway back. Enter the pavilion as though heading to the rear toward the table service restaurants, then look to the right until you see the Kidcot signs.
Station #6: The American Adventure
The Kidcot station here is on the far right side, at the very back of the pavilion. It is to the right of Heritage Manor Gifts, under a covered patio. This pavilion has one of the larger seating areas for coloring. If you’ve found the other stations too crowded to let your kids color, you’ll have an easier time getting them some room here.
Station #7: Japan
Walk straight to the back of the pavilion. You’ll pass the pavilion’s shops and restaurants on your right and left. You’ll come to a bridge. Cross the bridge and go through the double doors. The Kidcot station will be on the right just inside the doors.
Station #8: Morocco
Head straight into the pavilion, watching the walls on the right for the sign for The Brass Bazaar. Go through the doorway just past the Brass Bazaar sign and look for the Kidcot station in front of you. It is one of the smaller stations and perhaps the hardest one to find.
Station #9: France
Head directly for the entrance to the Impressions de France movie building. The Kidcot station is located inside the lobby, just inside the doors and to the right.
Station #10: United Kingdom
Walk toward the back of the UK pavilion and look for a shop called The Toy Soldier. Go inside, past the Beatles and Alice in Wonderland merchandise, and head toward the rear of the store. The Kidcot station table will be on your right.
Sometimes, this station is not manned. If you reach the Kidcot table and you don’t see a Cast Member sitting there, you can go to the cash registers at the very front of the Toy Soldier shop (near the Beatles and Alice merchandise) and receive your United Kingdom stamp there.
Station #11: Canada
Look for the check-in desk for Le Cellier (located under the large metal archway featuring a Le Cellier sign, pictured above.) Walk under the archway, down the path, past Le Cellier and the walkway to the entrance for the O Canada Circlevision 360 movie on your left, and continue to follow the path. You will come to the covered area at the exit for the O Canada movie. The Kidcot station is there. This coloring area is also one of the larger ones, and on a crowded day it might be one of your better options for finding a space for your kids to use to color their Duffy bears.
Good luck, and have fun coloring and learning about the nations of the World Showcase.