It’s true that Disney brings out the kid in us all! From the most successful CEO’s to the “over-it” teenagers, Disney is the place where your inner child just can’t help but come out! With Mickey Ear hats appearing on unsuspecting naysayers and smiles for days, the magic of Disney can take you back! In my opinion, the best way to capture this magic is to do Disney with an actual kid!
I’m not a mom yet, but my nephew and niece are the next best thing and I love watching them! I love seeing Disney World through their eyes.
So, today, I’m listing my top 10 picks for rides and attractions at Disney World and I’m gearing it toward amping up the magic for you little one. We’re talking toddlers and their taking over the parks. These rides are sure to please your toddler and you! Here’s my take (in no particular order) for the top 10 rides at Disney World: toddler edition!
Let’s get started!
What’s not to love about the Walt Disney World Railroad? It takes you on a complete scenic tour around the Magic Kingdom all from the comfort of a fully functioning steam engine! Many folks have wised up and have used the train to beat the Main Street USA crowd, but not the toddler in my life; boy he could ride that thing all day if you’d let him! This is a calm ride that typically requires a short wait and is sure to please! You will see the sights and have a fun time on this ride that will make your toddler and the rest of your family smile!
- Take a potty break before riding, unless you plan on getting off at the Frontierland or Fantasyland Station.
- Boarding from the Main Street Station is typically less crowded.
- You can’t take on your stroller, so you’ll need to park it before boarding.
- Some kids are sensitive to loud sounds, packing a pair of ear plugs or muffs might be a good idea here (as the train whistle can be loud to some).
I am going to admit something here that may get me kicked out of the “Disney Addicts” group. I used to hate the Enchanted Tiki Room! How could I? I experienced as a kid and for whatever reason, I wrote it off. I’d pass that Tiki Hut without even thinking. Then I gave it another try because my sweet nephew with his innocent toddler self, insisted. Boy was I mistaken! Now I push to ride! My nephew enjoys the songs and he loves what he’s affectionately termed “the mean song”. He drums right along with the Tiki drummers and sings the cutest little version of the Tiki song. I’m in love with this attraction! Walt would want it that way!
- This ride does have some scary elements (a pretend thunderstorm, dark, and of course “the mean song”. If your little one is afraid of this kind of thing, have that in mind (although, I’ve never been in a show where kids and adults alike weren’t wide mouth with wonder).
- No strollers are permitted. Strollers can be parked in between The Enchanted Tiki Room and Pirates of the Carribean.
You’ve just got to love Dumbo. To me, it is what most Disney newbies think of when they think about Disney World rides. Take a flight over Fantasyland in your very own Dumbo. You can fly high or swoop down low on this fantastic ride. I love to watch the faces of riders, it’s like you can’t help but smile! With the new queue system, your little one can take on the circus in a truly whimsical play area.
- No strollers are allowed on this ride (duh right) or in the play area. There is a stroller area to the right of the ride’s entrance.
- You’ll get a beeper (just like you would at a restaurant) enjoy your play time until the beeper goes off and then it’s time to fly!
- This play area can get a bit…wild….and I’m a kindergarten teacher! I urge you to watch your child and get off the phone! After all, this age is only here for a limited time. They won’t be toddlers forever! Praise their flying cannonball feats, watch in amazement as they tightrope, let them know that they are in the center ring of your heart! (sorry, I’ll get off my soapbox…tissue break hear people…sniff…sniff).
I’ve listed so many Magic Kingdom rides/attractions! It’s time to pay my respects to EPCOT! What better way to do that than a quick trip into your imagination on Journey Into the Imagination with Figment! Toddlers will enjoy this fun filled ride! Figment takes over Dr. Channing’s presentation and fills it with a imagination and wonder! This slow moving ride is perfect for the whole family!
- No strollers, but you can park them just outside.
- This ride does have a few intense for the sensories parts. You’ll journey through the five sense with Dr. Channing, but Figment takes over. My nephew clasped his hands over his ears during loud portions (like at the end of the ride) and during the sound stage (the loud train was well, loud). Also, there are some moments of brief darkness, just nuzzle them up close so they know you’re still there! Over all, I think a lot of it has to do with how you react. After the loud train, I chuckled and said, “boy that was loud!” and we had a quick laugh.
- There is an imagination play area at the end of this ride. You can play conductor, play a light band, follow a pattern with Figment, and even make your own figment. This part is a lot of fun, but little ones may need to you set some boundaries. My nephew was all over the place! We had to tell him that he had to stay with us and for the most part that worked!
- This is the first ride I’ve selected that ends in a gift shop. You might want to have that discussion or develope jedi mind tricks for exiting the premises without a meltdown!
Alright, we’re taking another break from the Magic Kingdom and venturing over to Disney’s Hollywood Studios for some toddler approved fun! You know, they say that when you become a parent (and in my case a doting aunt), you give up many things. On the top of that pile, you may notice the remote control! If you can sing every word to the Jake and the Neverland Pirates, but you’d be lost pulling leads on Taylor Swift, then you might just be the parent or caretaker of a toddler! Don’t worry, there’s a convention for us. It’s called Disney Jr. Live on Stage. The next time you are sitting crisscross applesauce on the floor of this attraction, take a moment to look around. Yep, you’ll see other parents singing along with Mickey and his friends. Don’t be ashamed. It’s all for the kids…right? This ride was just breathed new life in the form of a few new friends! Join Mickey Mouse and his Clubhouse friends, Sofia the First, Doc McStuffins, and Jake and his Neverland Pirates friends as they put on a birthday for Minnie!
- No Strollers, park them in the Animation Courtyard.
- This is a scheduled show, you can check the tip board or your Times Guide or App of your favorite for the show times.
Hooray for Animal Kingdom! I don’t mean to show so much love to the Magic Kingdom, but it is just kind of the place for little ones! Finding Nemo the Musical is my absolute favorite show at Disney World. I’ve gushed over it time and time again. I love it! I love the bright colors, artistic talent, and over course, Nemo and his crew! Your little one will enjoy this show too! Sit in an air conditioned theater and enjoy the show. The soundtrack from this show can be purchased throughout the parks! Beware, you’ll be listening to this on repeat if you have kids like my nephew!
- No strollers are allowed in the theater. You can park them in the stroller coral located near the entrance to the theater.
- This is a scheduled show, you can check the tip board or your Times Guid or App of your choosing for the show times.
- Arrive about 30 minutes early to get the best seats! You really do want to be in the front section, trust me!
Okay, here’s another sing along favorite! This is one of my favorite attractions because it takes me back to my childhood days! I sing along with Ariel, Simba, Aladdin, and Lumiere and crew! The combination of this spectacular 3D show, the smells, the splashing water, and lovable tunes is just too much for my Disney heart to hold! I love it and your toddler will too!
- No strollers are allowed in the theater. You can park them infront of this attraction.
- This ride is pretty much an always walk on type of ride. In the hot months, you may seek a quick cool spot from the seats of this show!
- Watching these movies before you hit this ride is always fun! Give your little ones some background knowledge!
I’ve always loved Winnie the Pooh! There’s just something so comforting about silly old Pooh! Your toddlers will enjoy this fun filled ride that’s filled with the story of Winnie the Pooh and the Blustery Day. As an added bonus, your little ones will enjoy playing in the interactive queue. From the touch and play garden to the honey walls, this queue has got it all!
- No Strollers are allowed. Park them right outside the ride.
- You can get Fastpasses for this ride and as bonus get a Fastpass for Mickey’s Philharmagic.
- The interactive queue is fun, but challenging, especially if it is crowded. You’ll want to move your child along. If that is hard, you might end up stretching out that wait time. Hey, as long as they are having fun, what’s the harm?
The carousel is kind of a must at Disney World. Everyone can ride, the line is fairly quick, and it is fun! Located just behind Cinderella Castle, this regal carousel just begs to be ridden! I love watching faces light up on this ride! Stop by next time you are in Fantasyland!
- No Strollers are allowed. Park them just in front of the ride.
- Take your camera! Carousel pictures are some of my favorite!
The wait times for this ride say it all! There is almost always a line for this park favorite! There’s something nostalgic for me about this flight. I can remember riding it the first time! Now, I can relive that moment when I watch my nephew’s face light up as we fly over London in a pixie dusted pirate ship!
- No Strollers are allowed. You see stroller parking in front of this ride near It’s a Small World.
- Getting a Fastpass is a great idea for this ride. I’ve seen outrageous wait times and let’s be honest, who wants to wait for an hour in line with a toddler? Fastpass it and come back!
I hope you’ve enjoyed this list. I wanted to pick 10 things a toddler would love but this is by no means an exhaustive list! I really wanted to put in about 10 more, but I just worked off of my most recent trip. So, since I was only allowed to put in 10 attractions/rides, I want your help! What do you think the 11th (ps-these are in random order) ride/attraction is? List it below in the comment section!
Thanks for reading and commenting (and singing random Disney Jr. theme songs with me!)
See ya’ real soon!
- Nap Time at Disney World’s Baby Care Centers (chipandco.com)
- Walt Disney World Resort Refurbishments Update for May 2013 (chipandco.com)