Walt Disney World is packed with fun rides designed to thrill visitors of all ages, but a few stand out as being particularly appealing to young children. The best rides for kids feature a story that is easy to understand, no unpleasant motions or surprises and relatively low wait times. Most of the best rides for young children are in the Magic Kingdom, so you can see several in a single day.
5. Dumbo the Flying Elephant (Magic Kingdom)
Dumbo has long held the top spot on the list of kiddie rides at Walt Disney World. The only drawback was that the line moved very slowly, thanks to the limited number of “Dumbos”, and the loading process. Disney has changed this as part of work to expand the Magic Kingdom’s Fantasyland area, and in 2012, you can expect a streamlined loading process and double the Dumbo fun. The new Dumbo has partially debuted; one ride is already open, while its twin and some innovative new ride queue activities will open later this year.
4. The Seas with Nemo and Friends (Epcot)
The Living Seas pavilion in Epcot was given a Finding Nemo-themed makeover a few years ago, and now boasts scenes and characters from the movie alongside real marine life. Kids will enjoy the fun seashell ride vehicles and the whimsy and humor of the Finding Nemo gang.
Parents should note that there is a scene featuring the scary angler fish from the movie – it passes very quickly, but some sensitive toddlers could be scared by his appearance. This ride lets out into the aquarium, and there are plenty of fun exhibits in the pavilion, including the innovative and interactive Turtle Talk show.
3. Prince Charming’s Regal Carrousel (Magic Kingdom)
Timeless and classic, the carrousel is the first ride you see if you enter Fantasyland from Cinderella’s castle. This is a fun ride for little ones, and there are horses of different sizes, and even a stationary seat or two. People tend to run right past this to get to other attractions, so there is almost never a long line, making it a good first ride for little ones.
2. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (Magic Kingdom)
The beloved plush bear and pals are the stars of the show on this sweetly charming ride. Thanks to some recent upgrades, the line area is almost as fun as the ride itself, so be sure to stop and play, even if you have Fastpasses. Little ones can play in Pooh’s treehouse, pick vegetables in Rabbit’s garden, or make art on revolutionary touch screens in this area. The ride itself is a fun frolic, and not to be missed. You can often catch Pooh, Eeyore and Piglet characters in person in this are, too.
1. Kilimanjaro Safaris (Disney’s Animal Kingdom)
Kids will adore the opportunity to see some of the most interesting and exotic animal species in the world. If your little one enjoyed the Jungle Cruise in the Magic Kingdom, he will love the real life denizens of Kilimanjaro Safari. Don’t be surprised if you have a close encounter – giraffes, antelope and ostriches roam the savannah freely and are not afraid to approach the ride vehicles. You can turn this into a learning experience by referring to the animal identification cards in each vehicle, and may want to bring a kid sized pair of binoculars or a kiddie camera for extra fun.
All photos © Disney
Samantha McNesby writes for Theme Park Tourist, along with a variety of other online publications. Check out the site for a comprehensive Disneyland Paris guide and a wealth of information on theme parks all over the world.