As a former Cast Member of Walt Disney World Resort and someone who has taken kids to Disney since they were three months old, I am often asked about the best Disney World rides for toddlers. If you've been debating about whether or not to bring a toddler to Walt Disney World Resort, let me share this – TODDLERS LOVE MICKEY MOUSE AND FRIENDS.
Disney is made for kids of all ages. Not only do toddlers love seeing Mickey and pals, but they also love to have fun. And, there is so much for toddlers to do and amenities for parents, it is a fantastic place to vacation with a toddler.
And, they WILL enjoy it. Especially if you take them on some of these awesome Disney World rides perfect for toddlers.
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The Best Disney World Rides For Toddlers
Before we get to which are the best Disney World rides for toddlers, let's talk about why these rides are perfect for toddlers.
Walt Disney World Height Requirements
For one thing, these Disney World rides for toddlers have no height requirement. In fact, Walt Disney World Resort has more than 100 rides in its theme parks with no height requirement!
Age Appropriate And Themed For Toddlers
Second, they aren't too scary. For example, I wouldn't put a young toddler on one of the starter roller coasters, but I would take them on “it's a small world.” I also wouldn't take a toddler to Haunted Mansion, as despite it being adorable it might scare the youngest of Mouseketeers.
Best Disney World Park For Toddlers
While undoubtedly, Magic Kingdom has the most rides for toddlers, the reality is toddlers can't do a long day. So, you really could visit any of the theme parks and enjoy plenty of activities.
They also need lots of snacks and nap breaks (the strollers are great for this), and some lines may be longer than others. So you could fill a day at any of the theme parks, depending on when you start your day.
If you have an early riser, be sure and check out the Extra Magic Hours if you are staying at one of the Walt Disney World Resorts, a benefit exclusively for onsite guests. Not only will you enjoy a lot more before the crowds, but you will also be out and about while your toddler is awake and able to enjoy the parks!
Lots For Toddlers at Walt Disney World
If after these rides, your tots are begging for more, you can always take them on the monorail or one of the transportation boats. My kids loved these as toddlers and let's face it – do they really know the difference? Not at that age!
There are also many amenities for families of toddlers and babies at the theme parks and the resorts. It's a great place for a family vacation.
First trip to Disney or need some expert tips? Check out my Walt Disney Resort For Beginners: A Complete Guide To Plan A Disney Vacation for my ultimate planning tips!
The Best Disney World Rides For Toddlers By Theme Park
Now that you know that you can bring your toddler or baby to Walt Disney World Resort, let's talk about the best rides. While there are many more than what is on the list, this list represents my favorite Disney world rides for toddlers in each of the four theme parks.
Best Rides For Toddlers: Magic Kingdom
Dumbo The Flying Elephant
Kids can fly high above the sky with this fun-loving elephant. In addition to controlling their height, kids spend the waiting time in a play space underneath the circus tent, while parents get a buzzer that will alert them when it is their turn for the ride.
Pirates Of The Caribbean
Yo ho, yo ho, it's a pirate's life for toddlers! Little ones step inside a boat for a ride into the pirate scenes from Pirates Of The Caribbean. One note – the cave is dark, so if your little one gets afraid, you may not love this one. But my kids always loved the boat ride and seeing the pirate scenes!
Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin
Toy Story fans will step right into this life-size video game where you shoot at targets to earn points as you try and defeat the Evil Emperor Zurg. Little ones many not score many points, but they will enjoy the moving space ship and pulling the button on the blaster in this fun Galatic space battle.
Under The Sea ~ Journey of The Little Mermaid
Head under the sea to see Ariel and friends while onboard your clamshell vehicle. Sing along to the familiar songs while enjoying scenes that come to life from the movie. Any mermaid-loving toddler will cherish this ride!
Prince Charming Regal Carousel
Who doesn't love a carousel ride? This treasure themed after Cinderella is not just a treat fit for royal tots, but it is also an authentic treasure over 100 years old. A very special ride for any toddler.
The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh
Climb on board a large honey pot and step inside the story of one of the tales of the beloved Winnie The Pooh. Toddlers love this ride because of its fun and colorful characters. But there is also interactive activities to do while waiting in line, including climbing inside Pooh's treehouse!
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Similar to the Dumbo the Flying Elephant Ride, fly high above to see a whole new world on a flying magic carpet. Themed after the Aladdin movie, this ride is loved by toddlers as they can control how high they go.
it's a small world
One of my (and my kids') absolute favorite rides in all of the Disney Parks, discover the children of the globe in this boat ride around the world! See colorful scenes and costumes of many countries around the world while the boat takes you there, with the iconic children's song playing overhead. A must for any trip to Disney World.
Peter Pan's Flight
And away we go with this high-flying adventure! Travel in a boat that travels above scenes from the iconic Peter Pan story.
Swiss Family Treehouse
If your toddler has always loved the idea of living in a treehouse, then they'll be impressed by the Swiss Family Treehouse. Living or playing in a treehouse is every toddler's dream and this attraction will make that dream come true.
On this slow boat ride that lasts approximately 9 minutes, you'll be taken through the jungle that showcases pieces and bits from different parts of the world. Toddlers will enjoy spotting different animals from lions, elephants, tigers, and many more.
Mad Tea Party
Give your toddler a laugh of their life as they pour themselves in a teacup and spin around in a mad tea party. Most toddlers love it but for some reason, it's a split between my kids; one enjoys it so much and the other doesn’t care for it that much!
The Best Rides For Toddlers: Epcot
The Seas With Nemo And Friends
Head under the water to find Dory, Nemo, and familiar scenes from the iconic film in your moving clamshell. Kids will love looking for Nemo together and even peek into real-life tanks with real coral reefs! Afterward, the ride ends at the Coral Reefs: Disney Animals where they can observe aquarium tanks with manatees, dolphins, and tropical fish.
A fascinating ride through the big silver ball, this ride is great for toddlers. While they may not get the information that is shared as it travels through the timeline of human civilization, it is a quiet ride with interesting scenes. It's also a good place for a break while adults enjoy history.
Frozen Ever After
Fans of Frozen will love this simple boat ride experience in the Norway pavilion as they travel to Arendell for a song-filled adventure. With scenes from the iconic film, toddlers will love “letting it go” on this experiential ride through their favorite Disney film.
The Great Party Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
A festive boat ride through the Mexican pavilion, toddlers will love the sights and sounds of Mexico on this traveling fiesta. They will also enjoy the Three Caballeros, the feathered friends from the old-fashioned cartoon that lead them on the adventure.
Remy's Ratatouille Adventure
The long-awaited attraction has finally come to Epcot and I can't be more excited! Well, my kids are more excited about it but I am right behind them!
Based on a famous restaurant owned by Gusteau in Paris, this ride follows the story of Remy as he leads you into his world in the kitchen and shows you how he makes the famous Ratatouille dish.
Your toddler will enjoy the idea of being shrunk into a rat as they follow Remy from the dining room, under the tables to the kitchen! It's such a fun ride altogether. But be sure to watch the Ratatouille movie before you take them to fully enjoy the ride.
Moana’s Journey of Water
Here is a new addition to EPCOT that toddlers will love! Based on the hit movie, Moana, this attraction will take them on a journey of interacting with living water in ways they never thought possible. The set is expected to be beautiful and calming — perfect for calming the little tots down while taking a break from all the rides!
The Best Rides For Toddlers: Animal Kingdom
While technically not a ride, toddlers love zoos, and Disney's Animal Kingdom is kind of like a big zoo, and I would argue one of the best zoos in the USA. Walk the trails, which are stroller friendly, to see many of the favorites like elephants, lions, giraffes, gorillas, and more!
Wildlife Express Train
All aboard for this seven-minute train ride to Rafiki's Planet Watch, an area dedicated to conservation and preservation of animals. There is also a petting zoo at this stop, an outdoor discover center, an adventure trail, and a lot of educational experiences for all ages.
Similar to the Dumbo The Flying Elephant Ride, toddlers can fly high in the air at their own controls get a view from above! Tots will love climbing aboard their own dinosaur and taking a spin.
One of the best rides at the Animal Kingdom, toddlers will love hopping on board a safari van as they tour the savannah in an open-air vehicle. See animals in their habitat, get up close and personal if you are lucky, and discover the 34 animals that roam free on this 110-acre plain.
Also not a ride, but a toddler favorite is a great play area themed after a dinosaur excavation site. Great for stretching those toddler's legs, there are places to climb, fossils to excavate, and a great place to run and play.
Na'vi River Journey
Toddlers will love this easy journey through the bioluminescent forest of the land of Pandora. Watch as this extraordinary landscape unfolds before your eyes!
Festival of the Lion King
With all the safaris and exploring in Animal Kingdom, your toddler will need to slow down at some point and the Festival of the Lion King show is the perfect place for that.
The show tells the story of the Lion King in a fun and entertaining way while putting on a great display of cute costumes, fun songs, and acrobats. There is no doubt your toddler will love it!
The Best Rides For Toddlers: Hollywood Studios
Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway
Toddlers will love hopping into Mickey and Minnie's sporty roadster for an unexpected cartoon adventure! As things go a bit awry, whacky twists and turns are afoot, making this a fun-filled adventure for tots and fans of all ages.
Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy
An absolute fan favorite of all super racers, this show though not a ride is a must for any Lightning McQueen fan. Step into the panoramic screen racing center and experience life on the highway (or racetrack).
Toy Story Mania
Step inside Andy's room and enjoy a 4-D experience of a live video game. Travel along in your game car as you shoot at various targets and try to rack up the high score. Tots love being in a real life game in the thematic setting with toys bigger than they are!
Alien Swirling Saucers
Join the intergalactic aliens from Toy Story on a spinning adventure! Enjoy the fun, futuristic ride with these fun-loving space creatures!
Muppet Vision 3D
Join Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzy Bear, and the gang for a movie-theater experience that comes to life! Though a bit dated, it's a great place for toddlers to take a break, enjoy the muppet friends, and have a giggle, and was always a favorite of my kids!
Tips For Enjoying These Rides with Your Toddler
Now that you know the best rides in Disney for toddlers, there are a few tips that I want to share with you to maximize your visit!
Make Use of the of Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane Services
We both know that navigating Disney with a Toddler can get chaotic sometimes especially if you're trying to run from one attraction to the next one with no actual planning! But luckily for you, Disney has come up with new exciting features that will make your visit more enjoyable for both you and your Toddler!
Introducing… Disney Genie, Disney Genie+, and Lightning Lane Services!
I have to tell you I was a little disappointed when they took away the old Fast Pass+ system but I had no idea they'll be bringing something even cooler!
Accessible via my Disney Experience app, these services will be like your new personal and professional guide around Disney!
But before you start wondering what all these are, give me a minute and I'll explain how every service works!
How Disney Genie works
Disney Genie will help you create a customized itinerary for the day depending on what rides you and your toddler are interested in!
All you need to do is select the attractions, say Buzz Lightyear's Space Ranger Spin, or a general theme like Animal Experiences and Genie will come up with a personalized itinerary! Now you can say goodbye to running from one place to the next with no real plan.
And guess what, Genie will also give you recommendations of attractions to check out throughout the day depending on what you mentioned you were most interested in!
But Genie just doesn't stop there! No, Disney thought of everything! Besides showing you where to go, Genie will also show you the current wait times for each attraction so that you know exactly when to go to that particular attraction!
Wait, there is more! All this is FREE! You and your toddler will get to enjoy a personalized experience without spending a dime!
Disney Genie + Service
I know Genie Service is exciting and all but wait until you hear what Disney Genie + can do!
At just $15 per person per day, you get to enjoy all the features of Disney Genie and much more! Yes, it's a paid service but it's so worth it. Here's what you can expect to enjoy with the Disney Genie+ service.
Disney Genie + will help you save time waiting in line by giving you the option to choose the next arrival window to over 40 attractions in all the Walt Disney World theme parks for the new Lightning Lane entrances.
Plus, you'll also be able to access the Disney PhotoPass Lenses and Audio Tales features with Disney Genie+.
With the Photopass lenses, you'll be able to enjoy new and exciting augmented reality effects while the Audio Tales feature will give you cool fun facts about the park and take you behind the scenes; all this can be enjoyed on your phone throughout your visit. No doubt, the most magical place on earth has just become more magical in my opinion.
A Quick Overview of How Disney Genie+ Works
Agreed, all this is exciting but unfortunately, you can't pre-book arrival windows for all the day's attractions at once! You can only do it for one attraction at a time starting at 7 am on the day of your visit.
And when you're done visiting that one attraction or if your pre-booked window expires, that's when you can book another one and the cycle goes on until the end of the day! Kinda like how the old Fast pass system used to work.
Lightning Lane Service
While Disney has some fun activities available to toddlers as they wait in line to keep them entertained, this is however not available at all attractions! This means that at such attractions, it's inevitable for your toddler to get tired or even lose his/her excitement!
But that's no more with the newly introduced Lightning Lane Service.
This service will grant you fast entry to 2 attractions in a day! If you're still a bit confused, don't worry, I am going to explain how it works in detail!
A Quick Overview of How Lightning Lane Service work
Some people usually confuse Lightning Lane Service with Genie + but these two are completely different. In fact, the Lightning Lane Service is just an additional feature. This means that you can have one without the other or even have both of them at the same time.
For example, you can just use the Genie service (which is free) and add the Lightning Lane Service but only at the most popular attractions! You can find the participating attractions here.
But even if you pay for Genie+, you'll still need to pay for Lightning Lane Service separately if you want to take advantage of its features.
Now let's talk pricing! Unlike Genie + which costs a standard fee of $15, there is no specific amount to pay for the Lightning Lane Service. The amount to be paid entirely depends on the type of attraction, the theme park, and the time of the year. Simply put, you can only know how much you'll pay after selecting the attraction and the day of your visit.
Also, note that you can only book the lightning lane for a specific attraction once! If your toddler enjoyed the ride so much and wants to go back, unfortunately, you'll have to queue normally.
Take Your Toddler to Space by Dining at the Newly Opened Epcot's Space 220 Restaurant
New and exciting features never stop coming at Disney and this time around, they've introduced something out of the ordinary! Who am I kidding; there is nothing ordinary about Disney but this right here is what they call outdoing yourself!
Yes, Disney has opened a new Space restaurant in Epcot called Space 220! If your toddler loves space as much as my kids do, then they'll be beyond excited to dine at this place!
It's not just a restaurant but rather an experience of a lifetime! Dining at this restaurant will be like dining in space while being treated to stunning views of EPCOT or planet earth in this case!
The most interesting thing that I think your toddler will love the most is the moment you'll enter the special space elevator and ascend through the stars — you can be sure they'll talk about that all day.
And it gets better, you get to enjoy both daytime and nighttime views of the earth! How insane is that! It's simply just out of this world.
But don't wait too long, you'll need to make reservations early to be able to get a table. And also, note that you can't just come to dine at the restaurant, you'll need to have a theme park ticket as well.
And while you're there, you'll be treated to various space-themed dishes and some delightful desserts!
I can guarantee that you and your toddler will love everything about Space 220 restaurant.
Enjoy the 50th Anniversary Celebration with Your Toddler
There is no better time to enjoy Disney than now when it's celebrating its 50th anniversary! With an 18-months long celebration, Disney has come up with cool features, new attractions for your toddler, and above all, new looks for Toddlers' favorite character, Mickey plus his friends!
The celebrations will be in all 4 parks so you can choose whichever has the most attractions you want your toddler to enjoy.
But forget the usual attractions as you know them, there will be spectacular shows from cast members, amazing fireworks, Disney music, and a whole lot of awesome stuff.
And to help you plan and know what to expect, I am going to share with you some of the cool new attractions, features, and entertainment that you and your toddler will love during the 50th-anniversary celebration! Below are some of them!
- Remy's Ratatouille Adventure: I've already mentioned this in the previous section and you can find it in Epcot.
- Disney Enchantment: Your toddler will be amazed by the spectacular display of fireworks in Magic Kingdom.
- Disney Kite Tails: With the sky full of kite-themed characters and non-stop Disney music performances in Disney's Animal Kingdom, you kid won't stop laughing and dancing.
- Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind roller coaster: Located in Epcot, this is expected to be one of the longest indoor roller coasters not only in Disney but in the world. It might not be suitable for toddlers since we anticipate it to have a height requirement of around 44″ based on other similar rides! (Disney hasn't come out to state the exact height requirement so this is just my speculation)!
- Moana: Journey of Water: This is another attraction coming to Epcot! We already looked at it in the previous section.
- Fab 50 Color Collection: To celebrate 50 years, 50 gold statues of various characters are spread across all 4 theme parks! Your toddler will love interacting with them!
- Rose & Crown Fireworks Dining Package: Enjoy fireworks with views of the Harmonious while dining at the lakefront patio in the English pavilion of the World Showcase.
- Magic Kingdom 50th Fireworks Dessert Parties: I don't know any toddler who doesn't love pastries and fireworks so this attraction will be a real hit with your toddler too.
- Beacons of Magic: Watch each of the four theme parks' icons light up in the evenings as they send out “beacons of magic” inviting everyone to come celebrate the 50th anniversary. This is however available in specific parks every night.
- MagicBand+: Disney has introduced MagicBand+ to replace Magic bands, but with more cool features. On top of the pros that came with it, with MagicBand+, you and your toddler will be able to interact with the 50 golden statues we talked about earlier and also find virtual bounties in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge. Plus, it will sync well with the colors of the fireworks at night creating a breathtaking moment.
- Disney Harmonious: This is one of the largest nighttime spectaculars ever seen in Disney. With spectacular fireworks and enchanting songs, there is no better way to celebrate 50 years than this!
These are some of the new attractions and entertainment you can expect to enjoy with your toddler!
Final Thought About The Best Disney World Rides For Toddlers
Walt Disney World has so much for toddlers to enjoy, so they are definitely not too young for Disney! Better yet, the many attractions at Walt Disney World grow with your kids.
At each age and stage, there is something new for them to discover, making each Walt Disney World vacation unique and different. I highly recommend bringing your toddler to Walt Disney World, and enjoy the magic and sparkle in their eyes while bringing out the kid in you!