The Best Disney World Rides For Preschool To School Aged Kids

If you ask me what are the best Disney World rides? I would have to say, “for which age?”  If you have read any of my other Disney posts, you know I am a huge advocate for taking kids of all ages to Walt Disney World. I firmly believe Disney is an EXPERIENCE, not just a destination, and there is something for every age and stage in life.

And not just rides.  There are magical Disney experiences beyond rides, many of which are perfect for the preschool to school-age set.

There are pixie-dusted shows and experiences that bring Disney magic to life, and even educate kids, that are well worth the price of admission.  And let's not forget the experiential activities in the theme parks and hotels!

Starting at the preschool age, you could come to Walt Disney World year after year and enjoy a completely new Walt Disney World vacation. Here are my recommendations for the best Disney World rides for preschool to school-aged kids.

 

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IMPORTANT INFORMATION FOR CURRENT TRAVEL TO WALT DISNEY WORLD
Due to the Global Pandemic, some attractions, activities, restaurants, may not be open. Please see what changes have been made and planning ahead you may need to make, including park reservations and ticket admission. Find out what you need to know before visiting Walt Disney World Resort HERE.

 

 

The Best Disney World Rides For Preschool To School-Aged Kids

While I firmly believe there is no “perfect age” to visit Walt Disney World, preschool to school-age kids are at a great stage for much of what Disney has to offer.

Able to ride any of the “no height requirement” rides popular for toddlers and babies, as well as tall enough to try some roller coasters and shows, there so many ways this age group can enjoy Disney World.

In addition to all of the “no height requirement” rides available for toddlers and babies, here are my favorite rides and experiences for the preschool to school-aged kids.

 

disney castle with statue of walt disney

 

Why Disney World Is Great For Preschool To School Aged Kids

 

They Meet Height Requirements At Walt Disney World

At this age, from about three to 12 years old, preschool through school-age kids are now tall enough to ride new attractions.  They may also be ready for some of the fantastic starter roller coasters in the theme parks.

 

plan-a-disney-vacation-walt-disney-world-magic-kingdom-roller-coaster
School-aged kids can try starter roller coasters like the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train.

 

They Can Enjoy Educational Activities

Disney Resort Hotels often have educational and fun activities for kids.  This is especially true at Animal Kingdom Lodge and The Kidani Village, which overlook the savannah near Animal Kingdom park.

 

plan-a-disney-vacation-walt-disney-world-resort-disney-animal-kingdom-lodge-kidani-village
Each Disney Resort Hotel is uniquely themed and an experience unto itself!

 

They Can Learn About World Cultures And Try New Foods

Kids this age can embrace the education experiences at Epcot, Disney's Animal Kingdom, and they can sit for some of the longer shows.  The Epcot World Showcase is a great place to introduce your children to world cultures and foods from different countries!  It is one of our family's favorite things to do in all of Walt Disney World.

 

best things to at disney epcot china pavilion
Epcot's World Showcase is a great way to discover new countries and cultures.

 

They Can Enjoy Interactive Activities

Lastly, kids this age will have the interest and attention span for some of the fun, interactive scavenger hunt activities through the theme parks. Download the  Play Disney Parks app to see what magic awaits you.

play disney parks app

One of our favorites is Agent P's World Showcase Adventure in Epcot, which has recently closed. But it is reported to soon be replaced with a similar experience themed after Disney's Duck Tails (whoo-oo.)

 

 


 

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!

 


 

Best Disney World Rides (and Experiences) At Magic Kingdom Park For Preschool To School-Age Kids

In addition to all of the best Disney World rides in Magic Kingdom Park for toddlers that are good for ALL AGES, preschool to school-age kids would also love these attractions:

 

Experiences

 

Enchanted Tales With Belle

An interactive experience that feels like you stepped right into the Beast's castle from Beauty and The Beast, this storytime experience is a must-do for any Belle fan!

best disney world rides for preschoolers princess belle with girl

 

 

Mickey's Philharmagic

A 12-minute magical and musical 3D show, this fun experience takes you into a bit of Fantasia combined with Disney tunes, with the added mischief of Donald Duck.

best disney world rides philharmagic

 

A Pirate's Adventure

An interactive adventure looking for treasure in Adventureland is a preschool or school-aged pirate's dream come true!

 

 

Sorcerers Of The Magic Kingdom

This interactive scavenger hunt where kids can cast spells and find hidden portals throughout Magic Kingdom Park.

 

Rides

 

Astro Orbiter

An oldie, but goodie, this is a great ride for any space cadet who doesn't mind a high-flying circle ride!

best-disney-world-rides-for-preschoolers-to-schoolage-kids-astro-orbiter
Photo credit: © Jshanebutt | Megapixl.com

 

Haunted Mansion

One of my favorite rides from my childhood, this ride through a semi-scary haunted house with the cutest ghosts you've ever seen is great for kids ready for this experience.

best disney world rides haunted mansion

 

Tomorrowland Speedway

Any Cars fan would love to feel like they are on the speedway with this fun car driving ride for kids 32″ and taller!

best-disney-world-rides-for-preschoolers-to-schoolage-kids-tomorrowland-speedway
Photo credit: © Viavaltours | Megapixl.com

 

Roller Coasters

 

The Barnstormer

A great junior roller coaster ride with the great Goofini, this is a great starter roller coaster for kids 35″ and taller.

best disney world rides for preschoolers and school age kids
Photo credit: © Wisconsinart | Megapixl.com

 

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

For kids ages 40″ and taller who are ready for a bit more of a higher speed adventure, this is a great family roller coaster experience.

best things to do at disney world with teens - big thunder mountain

Photo credit: Renato Mitra/Unsplash stock image

 

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Another fantastic junior roller coaster ride on the mine train from the Seven Dwarfs, this one is great thematic fun that will have your kids singing “hi ho” the rest of the day.

best disney world rides for preschoolers and school age 7 dwarf's mine ride snow white in house
Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

 

 

Space Mountain

Another Disney classic and a rite of passage for most kids, this fun roller coaster in the dark is suitable for kids 44″ and taller.

best things to do at disney world with teens space mountain
Photo credit: Bon Voyage With Kids

 

Splash Mountain

Another big roller coaster for kids 40″ and taller, this log ride with a sizeable drop is great for elementary age kids and up who are ready for this splash-heavy water roller coaster.

best things to do at disney world with teens - splash mountain
Photo credit: @ VIAVAL/depositphotos.com

 

Check out my post for more of the best Disney World rides for all ages.

 


 

Best Disney World Rides (and Experiences) At Epcot For Preschool To School-Age Kids

In addition to all of the best Disney World rides in Epcot for toddlers that are good for ALL AGES, preschool to school-age kids would also love these attractions:

 

Experiences

 

Epcot's World Showcase

Every country in Epcot's World Showcase is great for kids to explore. Through experiences, movies, shops, and restaurants, as well as the Kidcot Fun Stop, this is great to introduce kids to world cultures.

plan-a-disney-vacation-walt-disney-world-epcot-international-pavilion
My kids love learning about other cultures and countries in Epcot's World Showcase.

 

Kidcot Fun Stop

This is an amazing way for kids to meet Cast Members from other countries and learn a little about World Cultures.  Kids go around the world to the countries in Epcot's World Showcase to a designated spot and collect a card or memento from each country they are visiting.

 

best things to do at disney world cards from Kidcot

 

Turtle Talk With Crush

Everyone's favorite “dude” turtle interacts with “little dudes” in this fun experience under the sea.

best disney world rides for preschoolers and school age turtle talk with crush
Photo credit: © Jshanebutt | Megapixl.com

 

Advanced Training Lab

Space cadets will love this interactive experience to prepare for a mission to Mars in a high-tech play area featuring space-themed games!

best-disney-world-rides-for-preschoolers-and-school-age-space-base-advanced-training-lab-in-mission-space

 

Rides

 

Journey Into Imagination With Figment

Kids will love this ride into the Imagination labs with Figment, the little playful dragon.

 

Mission Space (Green Mission)

For astronauts 40″ and above, this kid-friendly version (meaning it doesn't spin) will put kids in the driver's seat to blast off to outer space!  Kids 44″ and taller can try the Orange Mission, but for anyone that gets motion sickness, the Green Mission is the option to choose.

 

best things to do at disney world with teens mission space

 

Test Track

It's not Lightning McQueen, but this fun experience allows guests 40″ and taller to create your own car by touch screen while you wait for your turn to hit the track!

 

best things to do at disney world with teens test track
Photo credit: @ Jshanebutt/depositphotos.com

 

Soarin'

Another magical experience for kids 40″ and taller allows you to soar high above the wonders of the world and experience the sights, sounds and smells along the way.

best disney world rides for preschool to school age kids
Photo credit: © Jshanebutt | Megapixl.com

 

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Best Rides (and Experiences) At Animal Kingdom For Preschool To School-Age Kids

Preschool-age to school-age kids can enjoy all of the best rides and animal attractions at Animal Kingdom for toddlers that are also good for ALL AGES.  And, they will also love these attractions:

 

Experiences

 

Stage Shows

There are quite a few enjoyable stage shows in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Our favorites include:

  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Finding Nemo – The Musical
  • Donald's Dino-Bash this age group will enjoy!
best disney world rides for preschool to school age
Photo credit: © Wisconsinart | Megapixl.com

 

Wilderness Explorers

An interactive experience kids will love as they follow in the footsteps of Russell from the Disney movie “Up” as they earn adventure badges around the park.

 

See  The Best Disney World Rides For Toddlers for additional rides and experiences with no height requirement that preschoolers and school-age kids will also enjoy!

 

Rides

 

Avatar Flight of Passage

For kids 44″ and taller, kids climb onboard their own banshee for a 3D experience over Pandora's landscape.

best disney world rides for preschoolers and school age Pandora ride
Photo credit: © Sainaniritu | Megapixl.com

 

Dinosaur

Kids 40″ and taller will enjoy this ride back in time. Become a paleontologist and try to rescue a dinosaur before the meteor strikes.

best disney world rides for preschoolers and school age dinosaur in front of dinosaur ride in Animal Kingdom
Photo credit: © Wisconsinart | Megapixl.com

 

It's Tough To Be A Bug

Little ones interested in nature will enjoy this 3D experience into a bug's world.  Feel the sights, sounds, and smells of life as a bug!  *Note that it is dark inside the theater.  Kids afraid of the dark or creepy crawlies may not love this experience.

 

Kali River Rapids

Kids 38″ and taller will love getting wet on this white water adventure through Asian river rapids!

disney animal kingdom river rapids water ride
Photo credit: © Viavaltours | Megapixl.com 


 

Best Rides (and Experiences) At Hollywood Studios For Preschool To School-Age Kids

Preschool and school-age kids can enjoy the very best Disney World rides for toddlers, AND add these attractions too!

 

Experiences

 

Stage Shows

There are several stage-shows preschoolers and school-age kids will love. My favorites include:

  • Beauty and The Beast
  • Disney Junior Dance Party
  • For The First Time In Forever Frozen Singalong
  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
  • Jedi Training
  • Voyage Of The Little Mermaid

 

best disney world rides beauty and the beast stage show in Hollywood Studios
Photo credit: @ VIAVAL/depositphotos.com

 

Rides

 

Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run

What 38″ or taller Star Wars fan wouldn't love the chance to drive the Millennium Falcon on this interactive mission!

 

best things to do at disney world with teens star wars ride
Photo credit: @ Jshanebutt/depositphotos.com

 

Star Tours

This 3D space adventure takes guests 40″ and taller on a galactic journey to legendary places from Star Wars. 

 

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Star Wars Datapad

An interactive adventure on the Play Disney Parks app, this experience is great fun for all Star Wars super fans!

 


 

Star Wars Rise Of The Resistance

You might be part of the resistance but Star Wars fans can't resist this super cool experience! If you are 40″or taller, you can battle against the First Order on this exciting ride.

 

Tower Of Terror

My eight-year-old twins were the perfect age to try this oldie but goodie through the Twilight Zone elevator drop! Guests 40″ or taller are ready for this ride if they are okay with stomach jumping thrill ride!

plan-a-disney-vacation-walt-disney-world-disney-hollywood-studios-tower-of-terror

 

Roller Coasters

 

Slinky Dog Dash

For kids 38″ or taller, this junior roller coaster takes you on a ride with slinky, over Andy's backyard.

 

plan-a-disney-vacation-walt-disney-world-resort-toy-story-land
Photo credit: Bon Voyage with Kids

 

Final Thought On The Best Rides For Preschool To School-Age Kids

I always say that my kids literally grow WITH Disney.  As they grow physically and developmentally, there are new experiences to be had at each age and stage.

Not only can preschool and school-age kids learn things at Walt Disney World.  They also experience all of the pixie dust and magic that is Disney.

 


 

Like This Post? You May Also Like These!

Walt Disney Resort For Beginners: A Complete Guide To Plan A Disney Vacation

9 Ways To Celebrate Easter At Disney World

The 17 Best Disney World Rides For Multigenerational Families

The Very Best Things To Do At Disney For Teens And Tweens

The Best Disney World Rides For Toddlers

18 Expert Tips For Visiting Walt Disney World With A Toddler or A Baby

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