Thinking of planning a trip to Walt Disney World that includes a young child? Whether your travelling party consists of a multigenerational crew or just your small nuclear family, it’s likely that you have a few different factors to consider when it comes to who will ride what. This becomes an especially important consideration when it comes to ride height requirements. You’re best served by knowing what your family members are willing to ride and what rides the younger kids (and even babies) can experience before you arrive to avoid any confusion, stress, or meltdowns.
Many parents receive lots of unsolicited advice about the appropriate age to take a child to Walt Disney World. This may not bother some parents, but others may be talked out of their vacation by well-intentioned family and friends. If this sounds familiar, check out: Ignore the Naysayers! Take Your Little One to Disney
People are often surprised at the number of attractions babies can ride at Disney World- I know I was, when I first visited with my then 17-month old little guy. You’ll find that the long list of rides that the entire family can enjoy results in a vacation where parents, older kids, and little ones can all experience Disney magic. Rider switch also makes it possible for adults and older kids to experience a favorite roller coaster or thrill ride on their Disney vacation without any headache.
Ready to get into the details on what even the littles members of your family can enjoy? Get excited, because there are lots of attractions your entire family can enjoy, as Walt Disney intended it- together.
When it comes to determining which rides even infants can go on, it comes down to the height requirement of each ride. If a ride has no height requirement, then anyone can ride it- yes, even your newborn can ride on your lap.
For a complete list of height requirements by park, visit Disney’s Height Requirements page.
The Magic Kingdom
The Magic Kingdom has the most attractions without height requirements. In fact, there are only a handful of rides at the Magic Kingdom that babies can’t ride, and these attractions offer Rider Switch. The mountains- Splash Mountain, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and Space Mountain- are obviously not baby-friendly. Another small coaster- The Barnstormer- has a height requirement, which means no little ones. The final ride that won’t allow babies is the Tomorrowland Speedway. Even the Astro Orbiter, which terrifies many adults and has no real restraint despite flying you through “space” at great heights, allows infant passengers.
It’s a lot more fun to list all of the attractions babies can ride, so here we go!
In Fantasyland, arguably the most kid-centric areas of the Magic Kingdom, everyone can enjoy Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Enchanted Tales with Belle (currently closed), “it’s a small world”, Mad Tea Party, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, and Mickey’s Philharmagic.
The classic dark ride, Peter Pan’s Flight, is another favorite that everyone can enjoy. Casey Jr. Splash ‘N” Soak Station, Prince Charming Regal Carousel, Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid, and the Walt Disney World Railroad (currently closed; it can be accessed from multiple lands in the park) round out the Fantasyland list. That’s a ton of attractions in just one land that your entire family can do together!
In Tomorrowland, the entire family can enjoy Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor, two great spots of babies to nap or nurse: the Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover and Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress.
Across the park in Adventureland, babies can be carried through the Swiss Family Treehouse, fly on the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, and sail the high seas on Pirates of the Caribbean (just hold that baby tight for the drop). They can also delight in Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room and the Jungle Cruise.
In Frontierland, you can take your little one to explore Tom Sawyer Island. Or, your baby can experience Country Bear Jamboree, but do you really want to subject them to that? (Just kidding- we actually love this rowdy show!)
Finally, your whole family can watch the show in the Hall of Presidents (another cool nap-inducing location), be spooked in the Haunted Mansion, and sail on the Liberty Square Riverboat together.
Disney’s Hollywood Studios
Disney’s Hollywood Studios is not the Disney park known for having a lot of children’s rides. It’s a bit more limited in terms of attractions without height requirements; in fact, only Muppet Vision 3D, Toy Story Mania, and Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway will accommodate infants. Luckily, with more shows coming back, like Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage and the Frozen Singalong, there are still fun things to do as an group that includes a little one. Still, toddlers might enjoy exploring Galaxy’s Edge and Toy Story Land while older and taller family members experience the rides in those lands.
At Epcot, you’ll find lots that you can do with your baby. Only Test Track, Soarin’ Around the World, and Mission Space have height requirements. That means that you can bring your baby or little toddler-aged Frozen fan on Frozen Ever After, as well as the Gran Fiesta Tour, Spaceship Earth, The Seas with Nemo and Friends, Living with the Land, and Journey into Imagination. There are also a few shows in Epcot’s World Showcase which would also be fine for the entire family, such as the Beauty and the Beast Singalong and the American Adventure.
Young children can find lots of room to stretch their legs at Epcot. At times, kiddos seem to appreciate the playgrounds, fountains, and kid-focused play areas at Epcot more than any individual attraction.
Disney’s Animal Kingdom
Finally, at Disney’s Animal Kingdom, your tiny Disney Fanatic will only have to sit out for Kali River Rapids, Everest, Dinosaur, and Avatar Flight of Passage. It’s actually a wonderful park for little nature lovers to explore. Between the Maharajah Jungle Trek and Gorilla Falls Exploration walking trails, the many shaded nooks and crannies to discover around the park, and the Kilimanjaro Safari ride, there’s just so much for a young child to observe.
Little guys and gals will also love the Wildlife Express Train, which takes you to Rafiki’s Planet Watch and the Affection Section (where your little one can brush a living and breathing goat or sheep). Need a break? Consider sitting down for a showing of Festival of the Lion King or Disney Kite Tails. The entire family can also enjoy the soothing Na’vi River Journey and the Dumbo-esque Triceratops Spin. A word of caution about It’s Tough to Be a Bug- there’s no height requirement, but this 4-d show scares young children and middle-aged moms regularly.
Other Considerations for Babies and Toddlers
At the end of the day, if a day in the park becomes difficult, you can always go back to your resort for a swim. Remember to pack your patience and temper your expectations, and you’re sure to have a magical time with young ones in tow!
Some parents are also pleasantly surprised to learn that each theme park has a Baby Care Center, First Aid Center, stroller rental, and other conveniences that make travelling with young children completely manageable.
For more information about travelling to Walt Disney World with an infant or toddler, you may want to read Disney’s Planning for Preschool Kids and Little Ones page
Were you surprised to learn that your favorite ride made the list of rides that even babies can enjoy? Have you taken a young child to Disney and been surprised at either how hard or how easy it felt? We’d love to hear your experience!
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