So you’re planning a trip to Disney World with your little one — what do you need to know?
Taking kids to Disney World when they’re in the toddler stage can be a challenge. Between navigating naptimes, finding food that they’ll eat, and dealing with an unfamiliar environment, there’s a lot to learn. But today we’re prepared to answer one of your big questions — which Disney World park is BEST for toddlers?
We’re going to do something unusual here, and go ahead and spoil the ending of the post right away. The answer to the question? It’s Magic Kingdom! The OG Disney World park has a lot of extras that your itty bitty kiddos will probably enjoy, and that’s what gives it the edge over the other three parks.
But just because we think Magic Kingdom reigns supreme in this department…it doesn’t mean that the other parks are lacking. That’s why we’re breaking down the best things to do with your toddler in each park!
Best Attractions for Toddlers in Magic Kingdom
Let’s kick off this list at Magic Kingdom! The park is RICH with attractions that were made for the smallest visitors, including a wide variety of options that don’t have height restrictions. Starting in Adventureland, we’ve got three popular rides that are perfect for guests of all ages and sizes — Jungle Cruise, Magic Carpets of Aladdin, and Pirates of the Caribbean. Your toddler might prefer flying a carpet to the slow-moving boat rides, but they’ll be able to ride all three nonetheless.
In Frontierland, you can take the rafts over to Tom Sawyer Island, where kids are welcome to run free and let off some steam. There are plenty of tunnels and caves to explore, as well as hidden structures and play areas. After that, take a ride around the Rivers of America on the slow-moving Liberty Square Riverboat. It’s not anything particularly exciting, but if it’s getting close to naptime, it’s a good place to relax.
While Haunted Mansion has no height requirement, you might want to be careful when taking your toddler into the home of 999 happy haunts. The pre-show is notoriously spooky, and the whole ride has a dark and eerie vibe to it. Your kid may love it…or you could end up with a meltdown on your hands.
Moving on to Fantasyland, there is a WEALTH of children’s rides over here. Peter Pan’s Flight is particularly exciting since you get to “fly” in a pirate ship through the story of the movie, and “it’s a small world” will intrigue little ones with plenty of singing dolls in fun outfits and backdrops.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a great choice, as you ride through scenes from the movie in a precious honey pot. Or, you can take a swim with Ariel in Under the Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid. That ride features all the favorite songs from the film! And of course, Mad Tea Party is a classic for those who can handle the spinning sensation.
Finally, we make it to Storybook Circus, which is basically dedicated to the kids. You’ll find a train station for the Walt Disney World Railroad here (which runs around the park and has no height requirement). The Barnstormer is a great first coaster for little ones, as it’s only about 30 seconds long and doesn’t have any big drops (the height requirement is 35 inches).
But perhaps the most well-known attraction in this area is Dumbo the Flying Elephant. It’s the OG spinner ride, where you can control how high your elephant flies. On top of that, the queue includes a full-scale playground where kids can burn off energy while they’re waiting for their turn to ride. Genius!
Finally, we come to Tomorrowland. Here we recommend Tomorrowland Speedway for the kids that can’t wait to get behind the wheel. To drive, kids need to be at least 32 inches tall and accompanied by an older passenger who’s at least 54 inches tall.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is also a popular choice in this area, as is the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover.
More Fun for Toddlers at Magic Kingdom
That’s a long list of rides that you can check out at Magic Kingdom, but what really puts the park over the top are the other offerings and attractions! For starters, there are multiple splash pads around the park — two of the most popular are in Storybook Circus and Adventureland. You might want to bring a change of clothes in case they get soaked!
Also, the Festival of Fantasy Parade and the cavalcades that run throughout the day are major highlights. With these entertainment options, your kiddos can watch their favorite characters ride through the parks, set to the tune of classic Disney songs. Make sure to check the My Disney Experience app for entertainment times on the day of your visit.
On top of that, Magic Kingdom has a TON of character meet-and-greets spread around the park. You can meet princesses at Fairytale Hall, or you can head to the Town Square Theater to give Mickey Mouse a hug. Winnie the Pooh and Tigger meet in Fantasyland, and you never know who you might see pop up in Adventureland and Frontierland.
As far as shows go, you don’t want to miss Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire with Mickey and pals, plus characters from Frozen, Tangled, and The Princess and the Frog. And to cap off the night, stop and watch Disney Enchantment for a fireworks show that features a variety of fan-favorite characters and songs.
Basically, Magic Kingdom has seemingly endless activities for you and your toddlers, and it might take even more than a day to do them all!
Best Attractions for Toddlers in EPCOT
But what about the other parks? In EPCOT, there are a few kid-friendly attractions spread around the park. In World Celebration, you’ll definitely want to stop and go inside the “EPCOT ball” to ride Spaceship Earth. It’s essentially a world history lesson, but kids will love the animatronics and unique ride system.
Moving over to World Nature, The Seas with Nemo and Friends is MUST for families with young kids. Not only is there a slow-moving dark ride that goes through the story of Finding Nemo, but the ride ends in the SeaBase, where there are multiple aquariums with all kinds of underwater creatures! While you’re there, don’t forget to watch the Turtle Talk With Crush show, where kids can ask Crush questions that he answers in real time.
Also in World Nature is Journey Into Imagination With Figment! The ride travels through the five senses with a mischievous purple dragon named Figment. Once you get off the ride, the exit area is home to interactive games and meet and greets with characters from Wreck-it Ralph and Inside Out.
Once you get to World Showcase, there are several more options. In Norway you’ll find Frozen Ever After and a meet and greet with Anna and Elsa, Mexico is home to Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, and France has the newer ride Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure.
Some people may write EPCOT off as a park that’s not meant for kids, but there are definitely plenty of activities for them to do!
Best Attractions for Toddlers in Hollywood Studios
Since the park is themed to a variety of movie franchises, Hollywood Studios has quite a few attractions for toddlers. Starting in the front of the park, we’ve got the adorable Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway, where you step into a Mickey Mouse cartoon. It’s bright, colorful, has a catchy theme song, and there’s no height requirement.
Nearby on Echo Lake, you won’t want to miss For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration if you have Anna and Elsa fans. It tells the story of the movie through song, and Disney even sprinkles in some hilarious jokes for the grown-ups. Afterward, check out the Olaf meet and greet next door!
Toy Story Land is home to some great toddler-friendly attractions like Alien Swirling Saucers and Toy Story Mania. Slinky Dog Dash might also be a good option if your kiddo can handle coasters and they’re at least 38 inches tall.
Off of Sunset Boulevard, you’ll find two kid-friendly shows. The first is Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage, which tells the story of, you guessed it, Beauty and the Beast. The other is behind Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster — it’s Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy, and it features a really awesome Lightning McQueen animatronic.
And finally, you’ll want to stop at Animation Courtyard, where you’ll find the Disney Junior Dance Party. This short show features multiple characters from Disney Junior series, and encourages kids to bust a move and burn off some energy.
Throughout the day, Disney Junior characters will also be meeting in the courtyard itself. You can also check out the Disney Junior character breakfast at Hollywood & Vine.
Best Attractions for Toddlers in Animal Kingdom
Finally, let’s go to Animal Kingdom. In Pandora, Na’vi River Journey doesn’t have a height requirement. It’s a slow-moving boat ride that shows off the bioluminescent flora and fauna, and it’s very pretty, but you might not want to wait an excessive amount of time for it since the ride itself is relatively short.
One of the highlights of the park is Kilimanjaro Safaris, where you can see live animals from the comfort of a safari truck. You’ll get fun facts about those animals along the way, and it’ll definitely be a highlight for the kids.
As far as shows go, there are three options that your kids will probably find interesting. Festival of the Lion King and Finding Nemo: The Big Blue…and Beyond are both Broadway-level productions with spectacular singers, actors, and dancers. In Asia, the Feathered Friends in Flight show is a great choice if your toddler loves birds.
In Dinoland U.S.A., TriceraTop Spin is a Dumbo-like spinner ride that’s a crowd-pleaser. And of course, be on the lookout for the character flotillas that ride around the Discovery River — you might spot some rare friends!
That’s a full guide to the best Disney World park for toddlers. If you only have one park day, we recommend Magic Kingdom, but otherwise, there are plenty of things to see and do at all four parks. Disney is made for kids of all ages!
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Have you ever been to Disney World with a toddler? What’s your best advice? Tell us in the comments!
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