Each Disney Park has so many attractions that guests can enjoy as an entire family. In fact, I can think of more in each theme park that young children CAN ride versus what they cannot. 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!
There isn’t a “magic” age for your child’s first Walt Disney World visit. No matter what, with a little planning, your child can enjoy themselves from a very young age. And, when it’s time for a nap in the stroller, the older children and adults can enjoy some attractions just for them! In the Disney Parks, it is so easy to find a balance for your whole family!
Disney’s Magic Kingdom
In my opinion, Magic Kingdom is the best park when traveling with young children. This theme park has SO many attractions as it is, and so many you can enjoy as an entire family. Magic Kingdom has 28 attractions that you can enjoy as a whole family!
Dumbo the Flying Elephant. Dumbo the Flying Elephant is located in Storybook Circus. When Walt Disney World added Storybook Circus to Magic Kingdom, they also added a second Dumbo attraction, so there are two side by side. Also, there is a fun circus tent play area. If you choose to play in the area while you wait, the Cast Members give you a buzzer, and let you know when it is your turn to ride. This is a total “win win” when traveling with young children!
‘it’s a small world’. ‘it’s a small world’ is located in Fantasyland, and is at the top of my list of the best Disney attractions for young children at Magic Kingdom. Even though the queue 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. This is also a great attraction to sit and rest, and enjoy some air conditioning in the middle of a hot Florida day.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. This attraction is also located in Fantasyland. 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 interactive queue. 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.
Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel. This attraction for young children is located in Fantasyland. Our kids have loved this ride from a VERY young age. In fact, even to this day when we take our “mommy and me trips”, my 13 year old and I still take a ride on the carrousel. 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!
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. Aladdin’s Magic Carpets is located in Adventureland. Much like the circular motion of Dumbo, this attraction can be fun for the littles in your family. If your children are a bit older, they can help you tilt the carpet and make it go up and down while you ride. This attraction has GREAT views of Adventureland, and you may see Aladdin and Jasmine as you exit in their Agrabah meet and greet spot. Since the wait can be kind of long, try to hit it first thing in the morning.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park
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.
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.
Triceratop 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.
Wild Life Express Train. Every three to five minutes, you can board a rustic train in the Harambe Africa area of Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park. 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 then catch the train back to Harambe, Africa after you’re done exploring. You’ll learn about conservation, as well as the animals and their care at Animal Kingdom. Rafiki’s Planet Watch is also home to the Animation Station, where guests can learn to draw a favorite Disney character.
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.
Character Meet and Greets. I know, you can meet characters at EVERY park. But in our experience, we’ve found more characters so many times 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. Chip & Dale, Kevin, and Moana are also greeting guests at Animal Kingdom, and don’t miss Mickey and Minnie in their safari costumes!
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
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.
Toy Story Midway Mania. Although this attraction can have a VERY long wait, there are so many fun things to look at while waiting in line. Thankfully, if you do need to wait standby, the queue is SO fun for kids. It’s decorated like Andy’s play room, is large, and has great air conditioning. 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.
Alien Swirling Saucers. Alien Swirling Saucers is one of the best Disney attractions for young children in all of the theme parks. It is a classic spinning ride, and it does actually have a 32 inch height requirement. It is one of the BEST attractions at Disney’s Hollywood Studios for young children. The theming is adorable, the movement is fun, and young children will love it!
Disney Junior Play and Dance. If you have a toddler or preschooler in your travel party, you’ll not want to miss this cute Disney attraction for young children! While enjoying their favorite characters from Disney Junior, you can dance, clap, and sing along with your child. Characters in the show change, based on the popular Disney Jr. Series showing on TV at the time. We have seen Little Einsteins, Handy Manny, Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sofia the First, etc. Young children are sure to see a favorite character in this show! This makes it a favorite of the Disney attractions for young children!
Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway. This is located in the Chinese Theater, and replaced the Great Movie Ride. Side note, I am not sad about that. Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway is my absolute favorite attraction in ALL of the Disney theme parks. All young children recognize Mickey and Minnie, and this attraction takes it their classic cartoons to a whole new level! The best part of this attraction is the dancing with Daisy!
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.
With its history as being Walt’s “future world”, EPCOT holds some fun rides for young children as well. You might think your child will be bored during a stroll through World Showcase, or not enjoy the fun of all that EPCOT has to offer. Think again! I have SO many guests who consider skipping EPCOT when traveling with young children, but then they go and are SO glad they did! EPCOT is full of Disney attractions for young children!
The Seas with Nemo and Friends. This is our family’s 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. After you exit, be sure to take time to explore the tanks and aquarium exhibits!
Living with the Land. Living with the Land is so perfect for young children. Not only is it a slow moving ride, it also has educational points, and so much to look at! Guests will see unique plants, vegetables, and growing environments while they ride on a boat through “the land”. In our experience, our wait time here has been minimal, and it’s excellent for taking a break from the stimulation of the theme parks. Young children love seeing the plants, and unique flowers growing in “The Land”.
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! Also, when you exit, you exit into ImageWorks, where you can meet characters. We have seen Joy, Venellope, and Wreck it Ralph in the area as we exit
World Showcase. First, World Showcase is a great place to meet characters. We’ve seen Belle and Beast, Snow White, Mary Poppins, Mulan, Donald Duck, and Alice in World Showcase. World Showcase is also home to attractions for young children, such as Frozen Ever After, the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Cabelleros, and Remy’s Ratatouiille Adventure.
While there is a festival, there is often an exclusive “scavenger” hunt for kids. You can purchase a scavenger hunt map, collect stickers along the way, and turn it in for a prize at the end. Also, during seasons such as Easter, it’s fun to look for the character Easter eggs around the World Showcase.
Spaceship Earth. This iconic park attraction is a MUST when you have young children. Spaceship Earth is a slow moving attraction, and a great place to rest and recharge while your family enjoys an attraction. Spaceship Earth goes through the cycle of Earth, from its early years to the present time. It’s beautiful and educational for young children!
These are 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.