Best Rides & Attractions for Preschoolers at Disney World – All Four Parks

In front of Dumbo ride.

My daughter waiting to ride Dumbo.

I’ve been to Disney World many times. The majority of my visits were when I was young, but I have been several times as an adult. I remember the rides I loved as a kid. They stand out in my mind and bring back great memories. There is nothing like being a child and going on the classic Disney rides for the first time. It truly is magical.

When taking little ones to Disney World (or Disneyland), it is important to check the height requirements for all of the rides in advance so you’ll know which rides they will be able to get on.  To simplify this task for you, I’ve put together a list of the best rides for preschoolers.  Some of these rides are quite tame, so even the youngest kids can ride.  Others are more for youngsters that are already thrill seekers.  You may want to take the time to read up on the rides to see which ones will be best for your kids.  If your kids are afraid of the dark, some of the “dark” rides may not be suited for them.  (Dark rides are usually boat rides that are in the dark with the scenes of the ride lit up for you to see.)

We’ve taken our daughter to Disney World twice now.  Once for her 3rd birthday, and once for her 4th birthday.  She is a thrill seeker, so she will go on any ride that she is tall enough to go on.  I do not recommend pushing your child to go on any ride that they are not ready to go on because it may instill a fear of rides in the future.  Tell your kids about the rides, show them videos online before your trip, and let them have some input on what rides they want to go on.

Here is my list of the best rides and attractions for preschoolers at Disney World.

Magic Kingdom

– Dumbo

– It’s a Small World

– Peter Pan’s Flight

– PeopleMover

– Winnie the Pooh

– Mad Tea Party

– Regal Carrousel

– Jungle Cruise

– Magic Carpets (just like Dumbo, but with Aladdin’s carpets instead)

– Railroad

– Buzz Lightyear

– Enchanted Tales with Belle (not really a ride, but still cute)

– Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid

– Mickey’s PhilharMagic (3D show)

For more daring preschoolers, like my daughter, there are even more options. Some of these have height requirements, so make sure your little ones are tall enough. I am focusing on rides that are for kids 5 and younger.

– Astro Orbiter

– Big Thunder Mountain (40 inches or taller)

– Barnstormer (35 inches or taller)

– Haunted Mansion

– Pirates of the Caribbean

– 7 Dwarfs Mine Train (the newest family roller coaster, 38 inches or taller)

– Splash Mountain (40 inches or taller)

There are all types of attractions for youngsters to enjoy at the Magic Kingdom. The parades and fireworks are pretty amazing, especially if it’s your first time.  Some of my favorite attractions as a kid were the Enchanted Tiki Room, Country Bears, and Carousel of Progress (which is also great for getting out of the heat).  I also loved the Electrical parade at night.  It’s a beautiful parade with lights and music.

Magic Carpets

Magic Carpets

Mickey's Philharmagic

Mickey’s Philharmagic

IMG_8033 IMG_8537 IMG_8539

Mad Tea Party - Tea Cups

Mad Tea Party – Tea Cups

It's a Small World

It’s a Small World

Regal Carrousel

Regal Carrousel

Epcot

– Spaceship Earth

– Journey into Imagination with Figment

– Gran Fiesta Tour (World Showcase, Mexico)

– Seas of Nemo and Friends

– Soarin (40 inches or taller)

– Test Track (40 inches or taller)

– Turtle Talk with Crush

There are other rides/attractions for the little ones to do, but some of them may not hold their interest very well. We actually used Ellen’s Energy Adventure to put our daughter down for a nap two years ago. She stayed awake up until she saw the dinosaurs, then she fell asleep on my lap. It’s a nice relaxing air conditioned ride for adults, but it can be a bit long for the kiddos.  Kids enjoy the kidcot fun spots, where they can do projects and color. It can keep the kids entertained while adults and older kids check out the shops.

Journey into Imagination with Figment

Journey into Imagination with Figment

Kidcot Fun Spots

Kidcot Fun Spots

Animal Kingdom

– Dinosaur (40 inches or taller)

– Kali River Rapids (38 inches or taller)

– Kilimanjaro Safaris

– TriceraTop Spin

There are a lot of shows, trails to see animals, and areas to keep the kids busy at Animal Kingdom. This was my husband’s favorite park because it’s more laidback. Not as many rides. It’s a great park for the nature lover. It also has an educational aspect to it.

Kilimanjaro Safari

Kilimanjaro Safari

Hollywood Studios (MGM to those of you that haven’t been there in years.)

– Great Movie Ride

– Star Tours (40 inches or taller)

– Toy Story Mania

– Tower of Terror (40 inches or taller)

Hollywood Studios is a great place to see lots of shows for the little ones. They have the Muppets, Disney Junior, Beauty and the Beast, and Voyage of the Little Mermaid. Hollywood Studios doesn’t have as many rides as some of the other parks, but the shows and atmosphere make it worth it. As of 2014, they have a Frozen Sing Along that will delight all the little Frozen fans.  My daughter loved it.

Toy Story Mania

Toy Story Mania

Disney World’s four theme parks are definitely geared towards kids and families. They have plenty of rides for young kids, with just enough stuff for older kids and adults to stay interested. I hear parents all the time worry about taking kids under 5 to Disney World because they think the little ones won’t have enough to do. Believe me, there will be more than enough stuff to keep your little one entertained at the World. It’s well worth the money.

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