Even though my children are grown now, I can remember visiting Walt Disney World when they were toddlers, and there were not as many rides and attractions then as there are now. Today there are more rides and attractions that parents and their young children can enjoy together. This list includes only those rides and attractions which have no height requirements and are appropriate for very young children. There are some rides I did not include, even though there is no height requirement, because the ride or attraction may have some scary scenes which might frighten a younger child. Also, some attractions or rides might not be of interest or entertaining to younger guests.
1. Boneyard — Animal Kingdom
Young children will enjoy this open-air play space designed to look like a dinosaur dig with rocks to climb, rope bridges, twisting slides, and a sandpit where they can dig up the bones of a prehistoric Wooly Mammoth. Even though there are numerous thrilling rides and attractions, children are always attracted to a playground, even if its prehistoric.
2. Conservation Station — Animal Kingdom
At this conservation station, you and your young children can learn about animal habitats from around the
world through informative interactive exhibits and a viewable on sit research facility. There are more than 10 care areas and Disney themed experiences for your entertainment and learning pleasure. Helpful experts are always on hand to answer any questions you may have. Conservation awareness is important for us all, and at the Disney Conservation Station, learning and enjoyment go hand in hand.
3. Enchanted Tales with Belle — Fantasyland — Magic Kingdom
Based on the Disney classic feature length film, “Beauty and the Beast”, this visit to a world of fantasy begins with a visit to Maurice’s cottage, and from there, you are transported into Beast’s Library for a storytelling adventure. You’ll meet and spend time with Belle, and you may even be invited to play a part in the story. So, enjoy this “Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme, Beauty and the Beast”.
4. The Magic Carpets of Aladdin — Adventureland — Magic Kingdom
Take flight on a magic carpet ride vehicle that you control by grabbing a lever making your enchanted flying carpet go up and down, if you’re in the front seat, and if you’re in the back seat, you can press a magic scarab which will tip your magic carpet forward or backward. As you are leaving the area, take a look at a giant, golden camel. Stand a few feet in front of it, wait a minute or two, and “Surprise!”, he spits a stream of water at you.
5. Innoventions East and West — Epcot — Futureworld
Innoventions encompasses two pavilions offering a multitude of fun interactive games, exhibits, and activities for all ages.
East–Features games and exhibits explaining the different ways our world continues to change. You will be able to experience being in the midst of a perfect storm, and learn about green living, health and wellness, and even ride engineering (design your own roller coaster). West–The focus here is the importance of finance, computer technology, and fire safety. For those younger children, there is a “play it safe” maze, a 30-foot fire truck to climb on, a “gesture wall” for dancing, playing, or posing while watching their shadows, or enjoy a video game playground where they can enjoy a one-of-a-kind adventure with some of their favorite Disney characters. Parents can join their children at any exhibit!
6. Journey Into Imagination with Figment — Epcot — Futureworld
Climb aboard your ride vehicle and get ready to experience many surprises as you travel through Dr. Channing’s sensory labs. You and your children will be laughing and learning about the five senses-sight, sound, smell, touch, and taste, on this quirky journey with Figment, an adorable magical petite purple dragon. After the ride, enjoy an interactive play area, where your imagination can run wild!
7. Honey, I Shrunk the Kids Movie Set Adventure — Hollywood Studios
Like the Boneyard at Animal Kingdom, this is an elaborately themed playground designed to look like an oversized backyard, with 30-foot tall blades of grass, a 52-foot long leaking water hose, a gigantic bumble bee, huge anthills, enormous spider webs(ropes), and many other fun props and physical structures for your children to climb, slide, and play around in. This attraction has a tendency to make parents wish they were kids again.
8. Kidcot Fun Stops—Epcot — World Showcase
Epcot’s World Showcase can be somewhat boring for “little travelers”, but at every international pavilion, look for the “Kidcot Fun Stop”, where your children can collect stamps and create a personalized souvenir of each World Showcase craft station. At each station, your child will receive a cardboard cutout of Duffy the Disney Bear to decorate and personalize with the supplies provided from that particular country. It’s a wonderful, entertaining for your youngsters to learn about different countries and their cultures.
9. Tom Sawyer’s Island — Frontierland—Magic Kingdom
Tom Sawyer’s Island is a giant playground for the kid in all of us. You and your children can romp around this Tom Sawyer/Huckleberry Finn themed island with its wobbly suspension bridges, old mining caves with secret passageways, floating barrel bridge, and many more pioneer style activities. There’s even an old western fort to explore. I would recommend visiting Tom Sawyer’s Island when the rest of the Magic Kingdom is overly crowded.
10. Dumbo, the Flying Elephant — Fantasyland—Magic Kingdom
Walt Disney World now has two sets of rotating elephants, moving in opposite directions as they fly through the air. The Dumbo ride vehicle is very roomy, and usually one adult and one child fit comfortably. With the movement of a handle inside the vehicle, Dumbo will soar high or fly low. Parents can sit there and let their young pilots choose Dumbo’s flight plan. At Walt Disney World, it’s always a good day to fly!
11. It’s A Small World—Fantasyland — Magic Kingdom
Audio animatronic children from all over the world welcome guests of all ages to climb aboard a special boat and set sail along the Seven Seas Waterway on a whimsical, musical journey. Guests will pass by several delightfully picturesque countries where children dressed in their native costumes are dancing and singing that well-known tune, “It’s A Small World After All”. Before your voyage ends, the children get together for a grand finale’, wearing their gorgeous fanciful native costumes, while bidding everyone a fond farewell!
12. Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse — Adventureland—Magic Kingdom
This attraction was inspired by the Disney classic live action movie, “Swiss Family Robinson”, about a family marooned on a tropical island in the East Indies. The Robinson Treehouse is recreated here in Adventureland with many replicas of the props seen in the movie. A wrap around walkway made of handcrafted wooden stairs takes you in and around the living quarters of the Robinsons, and every room is filled with elegant furniture and unique articles salvaged from the shipwreck. Take a break from the afternoon hustle and bustle and visit this most magnificent treehouse.
13. Kilimanjaro Safaris — Animal Kingdom
Climb aboard an open-air safari vehicle for a guided tour of the African outback, where guests will be introduced to wild animals, such as elephants, alligators, giraffes, lions, cheetahs, white rhinos, gazelles, and many more. Since these wild animals are living in their natural habitats, they are free to eat, sleep, and roam as they please; therefore, every expedition is a unique and unforgettable experience.
14. Mad Tea Party — Fantasyland—Magic Kingdom
Step into a giant teacup, and get ready for some spinning fun! As the entire floor rotates, each guest can grab the steering wheel in the center of their teacup and turn it for a fast or slow spin. I recommend a slow spin if you have even a slight problem with motion sickness. The harder you turn the handle, the faster you will spin. It’s also a good idea to experience this ride on an empty stomach, if you know what I mean!
15. Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover — Tomorowland—Magic Kingdom
The PeopleMover is a very popular ride, especially if you are ready for a little rest period. You step onto a moving conveyor belt which take you up to another conveyor belt where you board a moving tram. Sit back and enjoy this leisurely behind-the-scenes look at some of the more popular rides, attractions, and shops of Tomorrowland. Try the PeopleMover at night when Tomorrowland is illuminated with brightly colored neon lights on and around every building. It’s a truly magical vision!
16. Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room — Adventureland—Magic Kingdom
Step inside a Polynesian ceremonial house, take a seat, and prepare yourself for an enchanted menagerie of exotic birds, flowers, and Tikis singing and warbling a series of gleeful island songs celebrating the South Seas beauty and harmony. As the lights dim, birds and flowers begin performing their soothing melodic tunes, while the Tikis join in later with their rhythmic drumming. As the show progresses, the musical extravaganza becomes louder, while the appearance of lightning, thunder, and rain from outside is heard. As the storm subsides, the music and singing grows softer, and eventually all the birds, flowers, and Tikis bid farewell to the audience, and invite them to return here on their next visit to Adventureland.
17. Tricera Top Spin — Animal Kingdom
How about a ride on a dinosaur in the sky? Well, these 4-person supersize Triceratops rotate around a multi-colored, twirling tin top toy. Much like Dumbo and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, you control your movements; if you’re seated in the back, move the lever up and down for high or low heights, and if you’re in the front seat, move the joy stick to tip your dinosaur forward or backward. Have a “blast from the past”!
18. Mickey’s PhilharMagic — Fantasyland — Magic Kingdom
This amazing stage performance takes place in the beautifully elaborate Fantasyland Concert Hall. Just before entering the concert hall, you are given a pair of 3-D “opera glasses”. As the lights dim, the highly entertaining show begins. Donald Duck, against Mickey’s warnings, puts on the magical Sorcerer’s Hat, and the fun begins. The Disney Imagineers have outdone themselves using spectacular screen and audio animatronic special effects to bring the audience into this creative adventure. You are transported into a 3-D dream world of classic Disney animated musical sequences. Every special effect is child-friendly, and this grand stage show is one you don’t want to miss!
19. It’s Tough to be a Bug — Animal Kingdom
The winding walkway just to get under the base of the Tree of Life is itself an adventure. Along the way you will find images of an assortment of animals carved into the roots. Once inside, every guest is given a pair of 3-D glasses before entering the Tree of Life Repertory Theatre. As you watch a 3-D film, you will find yourself smelling, dodging, and feeling different special effects that occur in a bug’s life. It’s so funny to watch members of the audience dodging and screaming with delight over the 3=D affects, and it’s the best way to learn about the importance of bugs in our daily lives.
20. Jungle Cruise—Adventureland — Magic Kingdom
Take a cruise aboard a canopied tramp steamer on an exciting voyage traveling down four rivers, the Nile, Amazon, Congo, and the Mekong, while venturing through Asia, Africa, and South America. Your pilot is generally very informative and can be quite humorous with imaginative stories throughout your journey. As you travel down these meandering rivers, you will encounter audio animatronic African elephants, crocodiles, huge hippos, lions, and other exotic species. There may even be some surprises along the way.
21. Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin — Tomorrowland—Magic Kingdom
Board an XP-37 star cruiser, equipped with movable space cannons that you can take aim and fire an invisible infrared laser at a constellation of “Z” insignias, while battling the evil “Zurg” and his army of revolting robots. Your star cruiser also comes equipped with a joystick which can turn your vehicle 360 degrees in any direction. It’s like a scene right out of the Disney feature length film, “Toy Story”. You score points for each target you hit, and at the end of the ride, your points are tallied, and you find out what level of Space Ranger you have earned. As Buzz would say, “To Infinity and Beyond”!
22. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh — Fantasyland—Magic Kingdom
This is a delightful little ride that the whole family will enjoy. It is so simple and sweet, and the audio animatronic figures are so realistic, like they stepped out of a Winnie the Pooh feature length film. The giant honey pot ride vehicle slowly rocks up and down as you travel through the Hundred Acre Wood on a typical Pooh and Friends adventure. Sometimes simplicity can be a refreshing change of pace.
23. Walt Disney World Railroad — Main Street—Magic Kingdom
“All aboard”! Embark on a relaxing round trip tour of the Magic Kingdom onboard an authentic steam-powered train. The train stops at Frontierland and Fantasyland, or you can ride it all the way around the Park and back to the Main Street station. The open air passenger cars make your trip even more enjoyable, as you pass by some of your favorite rides and attractions. These trains are also a convenient way to travel from Main Street to Frontierland or Fantasyland. Walt’s love of trains can be felt as you ride the rails of these marvelous old locomotives.
24. Peter Pan’s Flight — Fanasyland — Magic Kingdom
The new interactive queque to this magical ride is fantastic, and now it is almost totally indoors, so the summer heat has no affect on guests waiting in line. The ride itself is one of the most popular in the Magic Kingdom, and it is the only one where your ride vehicle (flying ship) is suspended on a track located on the ceiling. The airy feeling of flight combined with the realistic, colorful scenes from the Disney classic animated feature length film, “Peter Pan”, make this ride even more special. As Peter says, “Second star to the right and straight on ‘til morning”.
25. The Seas With Nemo and Friends — Epcot — Futureworld
Board a clamobile and descend below the waves into a “Big Blue World” where Nemo and his friends swim around coral reefs and and gently swaying seaweed. It’s a beautiful world underneath the ocean, and as your clamobile slowly glides along, many of the scenes and music from the Disney animated film, “Finding Nemo”, are brought to life. After your voyage, you disembark and are invited to stroll through the “Nemo and Friends” pavilion and gaze upon the massive 5.7 million-gallon salt water aquarium filled with a large variety of sea creatures from across the continent. Parents and children can also enjoy hands on activities in the main exhibit area.
26. Prince Charming Regal Carrousel — Fantasyland—Magic Kingdom
This magical, beautifully decorated carrousel is the center piece of Fantasyland and sits under a vibrant medieval tent. There are 90 wood-carved ornately decorated horses to choose from, and a specially carved chariot for guests who would rather sit than mount a horse. An old-fashioned organ plays while you and your little prince or princess holds tight to the reins of their regal steed. Parents can ride a horse or stand next to a very young child as an added caution for the child’s safety. As the carousel slowly turns, the royal horses gently rise up and down, up and down, until it glides to a stop, and its time to dismount and continue your journey through the Magic Kingdom.
27. Under The Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid — Fantasyland — Magic Kingdom
Step into a colorful clamshell for an enchanted ride into the undersea world of Ariel, a Mermaid who wishes to be human. The audio animatronics and musical tunes on this ride are extraordinary. It’s as if the movie, “The Little Mermaid” has come to life, and all the guests traveling in the clamshells have been invited to join in the merriment. As the daunting figure of Ursula appears, little ones may be a bit uncomfortable with her huge figure, but soon the scene with Ariel and Prince Eric on their wedding day erases all memories of the
evil villain. Ariel and her Prince live happily ever after!
28. Toy Story Midway Mania — Hollywood Studios
Based on the Disney “Toy Story” films, this ride begins with a walkthrough of Andy’s room, where all the toys are gigantic. It is a wondrous sight; extra large crayons, board games, dominoes, and many other classic super sized games and toys. As you get closer to the boarding area you pick up your 3-D glasses. The ride vehicle holds 4 guests, 2 in each seat, back to back, and comes equipped with four special spring-action shooters, which are used to hit targets as you spin around and come to a halt in front of a carnival game. Take aim and try to shoot as many targets as you can. Your car then spins and turns until you reach the next game, and you shoot again. There are also very unique special effects on some of the games. You accumulate points, and at the end of the ride, the winner’s score is digitally displayed on a monitor as you exit the carnival area. This ride is very popular and you will want to return again and again!
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Photo courtesy of Disney Photo Snapper