One of the first things I did before taking my son to Disney World was to make a list of all the appropriate rides! Nothing can ruin a Disney vacation faster than a child getting very upset on one. My heart always breaks for those kids and their families! Thus, here are my top 10 Disney World rides for kids.
Just a disclaimer, this list comes from a mom with a child that scares easily! You know your child best, so feel free to pick and chose from this list.
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a break from the kids and want to enjoy a date night, be sure to check out Part1 and Part 2 of our ideas for an epic evening in Animal Kingdom!
Magic Kingdom definitely has the most kid friendly rides on this list, so we will begin there!
1. “it’s a small world”
I bet you’re not surprised “it’s a small world” is on the top of my list! This classic attraction is a slow moving boat ride around the world featuring adorable singing audio-animatronic children. The figures dance and sing that classic tune that will surely be stuck in your head for the rest of the vacation (if it isn’t already!). The ride is slow and the colors very vivid, so there is plenty for your little one to admire! You can usually snag FastPasses for this ride, unless you are visiting on a very busy day.
2. Dumbo the Flying Elephant/The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
Located in Fantasyland, Dumbo the Flying Elephant is an extremely popular ride at Disney World! So much so, that Disney had to add another ride system and a virtual queue to accommodate the daily volume of pint-sized fans! Your little one will be thrilled to board their own flying elephant! This slow, spinning ride can be controlled to move up and down. It usually is not busy first thing in the morning, but if you want to visit later in the day, then I recommend obtaining a FastPass.
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin is Adventureland’s version of Dumbo the Flying Elephant (which is why I grouped them together). Instead of boarding your own elephant, you ride on top of a magic carpet! There are two rows per carpet (whereas Dumbo only has one row). The front row can control whether the carpet flies up or down and the second row controls the tilt of the carpet (forward to backward). FastPass is available and recommended for this ride!
3. Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid
Located in Fantasyland is Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid. You and your little one will board a slow-moving clam shell and delight in classic scenes from the animated film. This ride is filled with colorful fish and all of the favorite characters from the movie. There is a scene with a giant Ursula animatronic, but, for some reason, my son is not scared of her! We go to this ride first thing in the morning, so there isn’t much of a line. However, if you’re planning on riding later in the day, then I’d recommend a FastPass.
4. Peter Pan’s Flight
Peter Pan’s Flight absolutely has to be on my top 10 Disney World rides for kids list! This attraction is extremely popular and always has a long line. Always. Be sure to get a FastPass for this one! This is another slow-moving attraction where you board your very own pirate ship that sails through popular scenes from this animated classic. It is on the darker side (lit with black lights) and does have a couple of tiny dips/dives (nothing big at all). My son didn’t even notice these as he was completely enthralled with the animatronics!
Pro Tip: The regular queue is highly interactive and a lot of fun to go through! While waiting to ride, you walk through the Darlings kids’ room and even come across a fiery little fairy. Check out the wait time while the fireworks or parades are happening. The queue tends to be shorter then!
Now on to the next park… Epcot! There are some more adult thrills here, a few made our top 10 Disney World rides for kids!
5. Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros
Affectionately referred to as the “Donald Duck Ride”, my son adores the Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros. Located within the Mexico Pavilion in World Showcase is this slow-moving boat ride. Passengers are transported to Mexico in search of Donald Duck, the third Caballero! There is catchy music, vibrant colors, and more of those audio-animatronic dolls (similar to the ones in “it’s a small world”). This ride does not have the FastPass option (and you probably won’t need one!).
6. Living with the Land
This is another slow-moving boat ride located in The Land pavilion in Epcot’s Future World. I honestly though my son would be bored on Living with the Land, but he wasn’t! This attraction is all about the history and future of farming in America. My son thoroughly enjoyed the animal animatronics in the beginning of the ride. He even enjoyed looking at all of the plants! Check for a FastPass before you get in line. Chances are you’ll be able to get one and not wait a minute!
Pro Tip: Enjoy a character dining experience with the kids at Garden Grill. Located just above Living with the Land, Garden Grill features the fruits and vegetables grown right on Disney premises! It is my favorite character dining experience in all of Walt Disney World (read why here).
7. Spaceship Earth
Located within the iconic Epcot “golf ball” is Spaceship Earth. This is another slow mover, but has a lot to look at! Your little one will enjoy the animatronics and you will enjoy learning about the history of communication. There is a dark scene in the beginning featuring a huge projection of cave men and wooly mammoths. It’s relatively short and my son didn’t even flinch at it! Additionally, it is likely this attraction will be down for a couple of years for a complete overhaul. I’ll reassess once experiencing the new version! But, for now, it’s pretty tame for a pint-sized passenger :). We usually schedule a FastPass for this ride!
Animal Kingdom is more of a thrill-seeker’s park, but there are some rides that are absolute must-do’s for my little guy!
8. Kilimanjaro Safaris
We all love this ride! Kilimanjaro Safaris is quintessential Animal Kingdom. You and your family will set off on a safari adventure in an open-air vehicle! You will get to see some of the most amazing animals and vegetation. The bonus is that every ride is different as the animals are alive and moving!! I’ll never forget seeing a baby while rhino nurse from its mother. It was awesome! Your little one will love seeing the animals. It can get a bit bumpy at times, but your child can sit on your lap. Be sure to snag a FastPass as this is a very popular ride!!
9. Wildlife Express Train
Passengers board the Wildlife Express Train in Africa (adjacent to the Kilimanjaro Safaris exit) and travel to Rafiki’s Planet Watch. This train ride is an attraction in and of itself as it gives you a glimpse of behind-the-scenes happenings of the safari! Rafiki’s Planet Watch is a must-do for any aged guest. You and your little one can meet animals up close at the Affection Section and learn about veterinary procedures at the Conservation Station. This ride does not take FastPass.
Hollywood Studios is a park featuring some of the biggest thrill rides on property! However, there is currently one ride that I recommend that is appropriate for any age. Once Galaxy’s Edge and Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway open, I’ll update my selection (if needed)!
10. Toy Story Mania!
Located within Toy Story Land expansion is Toy Story Mania!. This is a 4D, interactive ride where you shoot at different game screens and earn points. Now, the younger kids will have difficulty playing along. If they do, that’s OK as they can always observe! This is a very colorful attraction and features the beloved characters of the Toy Story movies. I strongly recommend FastPasses to experience this ride!
Bonus: The Monorail
My family and I absolutely consider the monorail a ride! This is fun for all ages and can transport you around Disney World property. Check out my ultimate guide to Walt Disney World transportation to learn more!
Those are my top 10 Disney World rides for kids! I hope this helps you when deciding which are best for your pint-sized mouseketeers!
Until next time! Cheers!!