My family moved to Central Florida when my twins were almost 14 months old. They’re 4 years old now, and we’ve been taking them to the Walt Disney World theme parks weekly (or more) since we arrived. Walt Disney World offers so many activities for families with toddlers. Here are some of my children’s favorites.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – Magic Kingdom
My twins loved this ride since the very first time they rode it when they were just 14 months old. It’s still their favorite, and in order to avoid a twins revolt, we’re required to ride it each time we visit the Magic Kingdom. They love riding in a honey pot and seeing Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, Piglet, and all the characters from A.A. Milne’s classic story.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – Magic Kingdom
There is so much action during this ride that I was afraid the first time my twins rode on it they would be afraid. I was very wrong. They’re only now starting to play with the laser guns and joystick that spins the car, but from the beginning, they have enjoyed Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin. Recently, they watched the “Toy Story” movies, and now, this ride is in even higher demand when we visit the Magic Kingdom. They recognize the characters and get so excited to see them throughout the ride.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant – Magic Kingdom
What child doesn’t love this ride? I know I did. My children have never seen the “Dumbo” movie, but I don’t believe that makes them like this ride any less. Flying through the air is thrilling for them especially when Grandma is on the ground waving.
Playhouse Disney Live on Stage – Disney Hollywood Studios
Over the past year, my twins have really grown into this attraction. Before they knew who Bear in the Big Blue House, JoJo, Stanley, and Winnie the Pooh were, they enjoyed this attraction for the music and puppetry. Now that they know who these characters are, it’s like they’re visiting their friends when we see this show. They dance and sing along (as best they can) and have a great time. Toward the end of the show, bubbles fall from the ceiling, and my kids go wild with enthusiasm.
The Seas with Nemo and Friends in the Living Seas Pavilion – Epcot
This is a new ride, which my children took to immediately. Guests ride in a shell under the sea to help Marlin and Dory find Nemo. My kids love this movie and adore seeing their fish friends on this ride. Afterward, they love to explore the fish tanks within the Living Seas Pavilion. My husband and I point out Mr. Ray, Crush, Bruce, and other fish in the tanks that are featured in the ride and movie. My twins get extremely excited during our exploration and have learned an extraordinary amount about sea life at the Living Seas.
Cinderella’s Golden Carousel at the Magic Kingdom
Every time we visit the Magic Kingdom, my kids ask to ride the horses. I’m not sure if they think they’re riding a real horse or not, but you’d think they were in the Kentucky Derby based on their enthusiasm for this ride. Just last week, my son determined that he no longer needs me to hold him while he’s riding his horse. I’m sure his brother and sister will make this claim soon. Next, they’ll be mandating which specific horse they must have in order to ride. They grow up so fast.
It’s a Small World – Magic Kingdom
When you leave, the song will be stuck in your head for days, but small children go wild for this ride. My kids are no exception to this rule. There are so many stimuli through music, colors, and movement on this ride, that it’s not hard to understand why toddlers love it. My twins have been on this ride so many times that they now know which dolls or other features they like to find in each room and get excited as we approach them. I should add that this is a great ride for parents to catch their breath and cool off in the air conditioning, so there are benefits for the whole family.
Journey into Imagination with Figment – Imagination Pavilion at Epcot
This is a great ride that introduces children to the senses with experiments on sight, sound, and smell as they travel through the Imagination Institute. Figment makes periodic appearances throughout the ride and takes center stage at the end with a big performance. Following the ride, guests can explore many hands-on experiments in Imageworks. My kids love to find Figment during the ride, but even more so, they love to run around Imageworks when the ride is over. It’s a great place for young children to let off a little steam (with parental supervision). I always have a hard time convincing my kids to leave this pavilion.
Jungle Cruise – Magic Kingdom
My children love the adventure of boarding a boat and entering the jungle wilderness. My husband and I really play this ride up and try to make it a lot of fun for our kids. They think the animals are real and go crazy when they see the elephants and hippos.
I have no idea why the kids love this ride. It’s one of the least popular at the Magic Kingdom, but you’d never know that if you watched my kids when they ride on it. They scream with joy as we ride over the Tomorrowland Indy Speedway. They shout with anticipation as the train heads into or out of a tunnel, and they jump up and down continuously for the entire ride. My husband and I like this ride to take a rest (and there is a nice view of Tomorrowland), but my kids just plain like it.
This list is not in a specific order. It simply lists ten of my toddlers’ favorite Walt Disney World attractions within the four theme parks. It’s evident from this list that the Magic Kingdom has the most to offer toddlers. I always recommend that families visiting Walt Disney World with small children do not try to experience everything that the resort has to offer.
First, it’s nearly impossible. Second, it’s not all appropriate for small children. For a successful vacation to Walt Disney World with toddlers, families should plan to spend the majority of their time at the Magic Kingdom with a few brief stops to other areas of interest. That’s what keeps families coming back to Walt Disney World year after year. There is always something new or different to do.
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – Magic Kingdom
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – Magic Kingdom
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant – Magic Kingdom
- Playhouse Disney Live on Stage – Disney Hollywood Studios
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends in the Living Seas Pavilion – Epcot
- Cinderella’s Golden Carousel at the Magic Kingdom
- It’s a Small World – Magic Kingdom
- Journey into Imagination with Figment – Imagination Pavilion at Epcot
- Jungle Cruise – Magic Kingdom
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority – Magic Kingdom
- Final Word