Top 5 Attractions for Young Children at EACH Disney Park

Ever since our twins were 4, we’ve been visiting Walt Disney World every summer. Why?  Well, honestly, because there is something there for all of us to enjoy.  The parks are clean, the employees {aka Cast Members} are extremely polite, the resorts are wonderful.  And, to be honest, for the 5 of us to enjoy a week at a beach house in the summer, or even another destination, we’d be spending just about the same amount of money.  So, we choose to go to Walt Disney World for all the reasons I’ve mentioned here, and so many more.  I want to share the Top 5 Attractions for Young Children at EACH Disney Park!  If you’re traveling with young children, these are the 20 NOT TO MISS attractions while at Walt Disney World-at least in my opinion.

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There isn’t a “magic” age for your child’s first Disney visit. No matter what, with a little planning, your child can enjoy him or herself from a very young age. Here are my suggestions for the best rides for little ones at Magic Kingdom.

 1. Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Keep in mind, this is a popular ride at Magic Kingdom. A good time to hit it is either right away in the morning or during a parade. These tend to have lower wait times for this popular ride.  Now, there are two Dumbos to ride in Storybook Circus, and the interactive queue makes it so much more fun!

2. It’s a Small World. Even though the line may appear long, in my experience this ride loads very quickly. It’s so fun to point out the cute dolls from each country and listen to the sweet tune while you ride.

3. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. As you make your way along in your honey pot, your little one is sure to giggle and smile at Pooh and all his friends. One thing we like about this, with little ones, is the waiting area. There are some interactive “toys” in Pooh’s garden to entertain the kids. Also, this ride is very well lit on the inside, so no being scared of the dark.

4.  Prince Charming’s Carousel. Our kids have loved this ride from a VERY young age. This is located in Fantasyland, directly as you exit Cinderella’s Castle.  If you’re lucky, sometimes a wicked stepsister, the wicked stepmother, or Cinderella herself will join you!

5. Aladdin’s Magic Carpets. Much like the circular motion of Dumbo, this attraction can be fun for the littles in your family. The wait can be kind of long, so we hit it first thing in the morning.

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At first glance, Disney’s Animal Kingdom may seem like an overly large zoo or animal wildlife preserve. But if you explore it, you’ll find there are some great rides and attractions for even the youngest member of your travel party.

1. The Boneyard. Here, your child can dig his or her way around a giant dinosaur boneyard. They’ll discover bones, fossils and tons of fun in this shaded area. In fact, it’ll be hard to get them out! Worried they’ll be a sand covered mess? No worries! Disney has laid down a nonstick sand on a cushy floor for your children to dig and play in. You can sit in the shade and enjoy watching your child dig, go through tunnels, down slides, and travel the maze.

2. Triceratops Spin. Much like Aladdin’s Carpets and Dumbo at Magic Kingdom, this ride has an up in the air spin feel to it. You get into a four person dinosaur, and you’re taken up in the air for a few spins around Dino Land.

3. Wild Express Train. Every three to five minutes, you can board a rustic train in the Harambe Africa area of Animal Kingdom. On this ride, you’ll see how the behind the scenes action of Animal Kingdom keeps everything running smoothly. You exit at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, and can catch the train here back to Harambe, Africa. You’ll learn about conservation, as well as the animals and their care at Animal Kingdom.

4. Affection Section. After exiting the WIld Express Train at Rafiki’s Planet Watch, your little one can encounter some animals up close and personal. This is the only place on Disney property where you can interact with animals this closely. Llamas, chickens, goats, and sheep are waiting for your little one to give them some love and attention.

5. Character Meet and Greets. I know, you can meet characters at EVERY park. But in our experience, we’ve found more characters more often at Animal Kingdom. Along the walking trails, you’ll see Baloo and King Louie, Flick on the other side of the Tree of Life, and many more.  Also, Donald and his pals make an appearance at Tusker House-if you’re looking for a good character breakfast or lunch, you’ll want to check it out.

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Disney’s Hollywood Studios is easily one of our favorite parks. It’s full of shows, and “relaxing” attractions. We work a day in at Hollywood Studios in the middle of our trip because it’s an easy park to get through, and there are attractions there that are super fun to do over and over again.

1. Toy Story Mania. Although this attraction can have a VERY long wait, there are so many fun things to look at while waiting in line. As soon as you pass through the entrance, you’re immediately surrounded by “Andy’s Toyroom”….life size toys, and you almost feel like the toy itself. You’re surrounded by “life size” Candyland, a fun Mr. Potato Head who talks to you, Monkeys in a Barrel, and Lincoln Logs. This ride is great for younger children because it is fairly slow moving, and even without the 3D glasses on, it’s fun to ride.

2. The Great Movie Ride. Another slow moving ride, you are taken back in time and history of the movies. At the beginning, it’s a little loud while they are acting out the scene. But, with so many fun things to look at, including the munchkins from Wizard of Oz, it’s a wonderful attraction with little ones.

3. Disney Junior Live on Stage. If you have a toddler or preschooler in your travel party, you’ll not want to miss this! While enjoying their favorite characters from Disney Junior, you can dance, clap, and sing along with your child. Little Einsteins, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and Handy Manny are fun entertainment for the little ones.

4. Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure. Looking to give your kids some play time? Are they tired of waiting and line and just need to run to get some energy out? Stop by the Honey I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure. I mean, who doesn’t want to play amongst huge Playdough cans, go down slides of huge filmstrips, and be cooled off by a leaking water hose?

5. The Voyage of the Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage. Even the adults and older kids in your travel party might enjoy these two shows. Both fairly short, about 20 minutes or so, you can relax in the air conditioning, and enjoy the classic movies as they come to life on stage. I would suggest sitting toward the back, and maybe on the end of the row, just in case you need to exit during the show.

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With its history as being Walt’s “future world”, EPCOT holds some fun rides for the little ones as well. You might think your child will be bored during a stroll through World Showcase, or not enjoy the fun of Innoventions. Think again!

1. The Living Seas with Nemo and Friends. Our family favorite because ALL of us can enjoy it together. While riding in your clam shell, you experience all the highlights of Finding Nemo. We find this is a great ride for the hot afternoons. Another great time to ride is “eating” time. While my daughter was still on bottles, we rode this so I could hold her and feed her in the air conditioning, yet our family could enjoy this one together.

2. The Land. Again, another fabulous ride for the hot afternoons. In our experience, our wait time here has been minimal. Our young children love seeing the plants, and unique flowers growing in The Land.

3. Imagination with Figment. Figment, the cute purple dinosaur, pops up when you’ll least expect it. He’s so fun to watch out for, and the song will be in your head all day!

4. World Showcase. When it is naptime, we put the sunshade on the stroller, and my husband and I enjoy a leisurely walk through World Showcase. If the kids are awake, we do the Three Cabelleros in Mexico. World Showcase is also a great place to meet characters. We’ve seen Belle and Beast, Snow White, Mary Poppins, and some of the Aristocats in this area. The kids might enjoy the “show” on the German cuckoo clock and the small train moving through the gardens in Germany.

5. Innoventions.  Innoventions East and Innoventions West both have exciting activities for the kids.  My three year old daughter LOVED the Great Piggy Bank Adventure, and visiting the fire safety house.  Also, you can try to smash a tv, create your own ride, and even star in your own video game.  The kids love it!

So, there you have it.  My Top 5 Attractions for Young Children at EACH Disney Park!  If you have questions, please feel free to ask, or add some to the list!  I’d love to hear what you and your family have enjoyed on your Disney trips.

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Carrie (887 Posts)

Carrie is the author and founder of A Princess and Her Pirates. She likes to share her Disney travel tips, crafts, recipes, and ways that she finds JOY everyday in her life! She believes that everyday brings new joy, and that everyone needs to have a little happiness in their life! She is the wife to a sweet pastor, and mom to three kiddos-twin boys and a princess girl. Carrie is a travel agent with Destinations in Florida, where she enjoys making MAGICAL vacation memories for everyone! Contact her today at carrie@destinationsinflorida.com to start YOUR vacation planning!


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