The Best Disney World Rides for Toddlers
In truth, your toddler likely won’t remember your trip to Disney, but you will – and they will have a blast, regardless. There are tons of activities in the parks aimed at the very youngest visitors. Plus, you don’t have to buy tickets for kids under age 3, offering you a great way to try out the parks and find out the touring strategies that work best for you.
Follow these Walt Disney World Tips for the best rides, restaurants and activities for toddler-age visitors:
Visiting in the off-season has big benefits. Escape the worst weather back home and enjoy temperatures in the high 60’s and low-to-mid 70’s by traveling at the start of the year. By going to Disney in January, we saved over $8,000 and received several free room upgrades by asking about what was available during check-in.
When visiting the parks, it’s advisable that you take advantage of Extra Magic Hours and arrive at the parks by rope drop. Leave around 11 a.m. to take a break for lunch and a nap in your room. Head back to the parks after 3 p.m. when many families leave for the day. You’ll feel refreshed and the parks will be less crowded.
If you’re at the parks at rope drop, many of the rides won’t be open, so head left to Fantasyland instead. The Barnstormer roller coaster is open at 8 a.m. and is suited to guests 35 inches and taller.
Peter Pan’s Flight, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, It’s a Small World, and Enchanted Tales with Belle are early morning specialties. Next door in Tomorrowland, head for Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and the Astro Orbiter.
Adventureland holds plenty of fun with the Jungle Cruise, Pirate’s Adventure and the Magic Carpets of Aladdin. However, Pirates’s is a challenge for some children because of the dark and sometimes turbulent ride. After 10 a.m. head to Frontierland’s Country Bear Jamboree and Tom Sawyer Island.
This park is home to several long, drawn-out experiences that aren’t appropriate for toddlers. However, there is plenty to explore while walking around. When you first enter Epcot, head for the SeaBase where you’ll see both The Seas with Nemo & Friends and Turtle Talk With Crush. Then, skip across the pond to Frozen Ever After or Gran Fiesta (not both).
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Once you hit Hollywood Studios, beeline to Toy Story Mania! It’s one of six rides in the park, and the only one really appropriate for toddlers.
Next head to Disney Junior – Live on Stage. Your kids will see their favorite Disney Junior characters singing and dancing in 20-minute spurts … complete with falling bubbles. It’s also a large, air conditioned space to take a respite from the heat. You can also catch the Frozen Sing-a-long and Voyage of the Little Mermaid, which are sure to be a hit if your kids are familiar with the movies.
Small fry don’t have many ride options in the Animal Kingdom either, but there is plenty to see. Start with a whirl on the TriceraTop Spin and go digging for bones in the Boneyard. Get hands-on at the Conservation Station and Affection Station, and take a zoo-like walking tour through the Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail.