Disney World has some great parks, but Magic Kingdom is definitely the best for families with small children. There are characters as far as the eye can see, the shows and fireworks are great, and almost all of the rides can be enjoyed by both those who recently learned to walk and those who only pick up speed to beat the crowd to the buffet at 4:30 p.m.
Magic Kingdom is crowded and expensive (although there are ways to save money). To make sure you maximize your day, you should research the attractions before your trip, book FastPasses (front of the line ride passes), and make a free itinerary on Touring Plans to maximize your day. If your child has to sacrifice braces for a trip to Disney World, make sure those crooked teeth are worth it.
Magic Kingdom Attractions
Magic Kingdom has six sections with unique themes. You could see the majority of the park in a day, but you really need two days to fully enjoy it. This is especially true if you are traveling with young kids who slow you down. When making your plan, try to plan for some indoor attractions in the afternoon to take a break from the humidity. Kids and hair can only take so much, after all.
Attractions in Adventureland
Jungle Cruise is an outdoor cruise down a river with a classic Disney feel. It is slow moving, so everyone can ride. It features several animatronic animals, manufactured in approximately 1928 from the look of them. Throughout the ride, a skipper who clearly visits open mic nights tells jokes. It can be pretty amusing if you get a good one. The line for this ride is long and hot. Jungle Cruise is a good candidate for a FastPass.
Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates of the Caribbean is an iconic Disney ride. It is an indoor, slow moving boat ride with a ton of animatronic pirates. The detail is really impressive. The music is fun. Everyone can enjoy this attraction, although it may be scary for some small children. It is blissfully air conditioned. The wait time is usually reasonable.
Swiss Family Treehouse
Swiss Family Treehouse is a walk through attraction. It is outdoors with a lot of stairs. You will need to carry your toddler through the different sections of a treehouse. It is nice because kids can move around freely, and there is never a wait to enter.
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin is like any other ride for small children where one sits in a car that flies in a circle. In this case, the ride vehicle is a magic carpet. Kids move slowly, so this ride is slow to load. The line can get long, and you wait in the blazing hot sun.
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room is another old school Disney attraction. Animatronic birds, seemingly manufactured shortly before the Jungle Cruise animals, sing to you. The kids don’t really get it, but it is a nice break from the sun. There is never any wait. This is a great attraction for the mid-afternoon when Magic Kingdom is at its most hot and crowded.
Attractions in Fantasyland
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Dumbo the Flying Elephant is similar to The Magic Carpets of Aladdin. In this case, you fly in a circle in Dumbo. The ride itself is not exciting, but this is one of the most famous rides at Disney World. There is an indoor section to play while kids wait. The actual attraction is outdoors. The line builds, but the waiting area usually makes it tolerable.
Enchanted Tales with Belle
Enchanted Tales with Belle is a Beauty and the Beast themed show. Select audience members participate in the show. The attraction can be disappointing for some kids if they are not selected. The wait time can also get pretty long.
“it’s a small world”
“It’s a small world” is an indoor boat ride. It is slow moving, so everyone can ride. It is very lengthy. You cruise through rooms that represent various cultures, at least as of the time the attraction was made. Again, the animatronics are outdated, but there is a ton to see. The line is usually pretty reasonable.
Mad Tea Party
Mad Tea Party is another iconic attraction. You sit in teacups and spin. The spinning will bother some people. You can control how much your teacup spins to a degree, but you cannot completely prevent it. The wait is usually pretty reasonable, particularly in the morning.
Mickey’s Philharmagic is a 3-D movie. Mickey Mouse conducts an orchestra while instruments fly into the audience. Scenes from Fantasia are featured. It is a cute movie in a nicely air conditioned theater. There is never a wait. It is a great afternoon option.
Peter Pan’s Flight
Peter Pan’s Flight is an indoor, slow moving ride. You fly over scenes from Peter Pan. There is a ton to see. The animatronics are cute. Everyone can ride. This is a great attraction, and everyone knows it. The line is long all day. Consider a FastPass.
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel is like any other carousel you have ridden. In this case, you ride on white horses. It is located near Cinderella’s castle, so the view is special. There is never much of a wait. It is a virtual walk on in the morning.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is one of the newest attractions at Magic Kingdom. It is a roller coaster with some Snow White animatronics sprinkled in. It has a 38” height requirement. If you can handle the speed, it is a fun ride. It is an outdoor attraction with a line that is long All. The. Time. Get a FastPass unless you want to hang out in a two hour line with a hot, whining child.
The Barnstormer is a mild, children’s roller coaster. It is not much different than that jerky dragon roller coaster at your local carnival. It is a good option for kids who are too short for the bigger attractions. The wait time is usually pretty reasonable.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is an indoor ride through the Hundred-Acre Wood. It is slow moving, but not necessarily smooth. The ride is cute, but it gets weird. It’s a little Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds. Kids without a “teen” in their age certainly won’t notice. The queue is great because there are play areas. The line can get long on this ride, and a good portion of the queue is outdoors.
Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid
Under the Sea~Journey of the Little Mermaid is an indoor ride in a clamshell through scenes of The Little Mermaid. It is slow moving and suitable for everyone. The animatronics are bright and fun. The line is usually reasonable, but there can be a wait.
Attractions in Frontierland
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is an outdoor roller coaster. It has a 40” height requirement. It is pretty mild by roller coaster standards. Young children who make the height requirement can easily ride. The line can get long and is located in the core of the sun.
Country Bear Jamboree
Country Bear Jamboree is an indoor show. Animatronic bears sing and tell jokes. It is an old attraction with a classic Disney feel. There is never any wait. It is a great place to rest your feet and soak up some air conditioning.
Splash Mountain is a boat ride that goes both indoors and outdoors. It is slow moving as you float by animatronics, but it ends with a substantial drop. There is a 40” height requirement. You probably want to ride this when it is warm. You will get wet. However, the line gets pretty long for this attraction, and it is at its shortest in the morning before the temperature peaks and when it is chilly. Decide if a shorter wait or comfort is more important to you.
Tom Sawyer Island
Tom Sawyer Island is an outdoor area you access via raft. The island has several areas to explore. Kids will enjoy running around freely after spending most of the day standing in lines. It is a great place to burn some energy. There is never a long wait for a raft.
Attractions in Liberty Square
Haunted Mansion is a dark ride through a haunted house. It is slow moving, so everyone who can handle the dark can ride. It is a little scary, but in kind of a cartoonish way. There is a room you enter before boarding the ride where the walls appear to stretch that is more scary. You can skip this part of the attraction upon request. The ride has a ton of detail, is a good length, and has air conditioning. The line usually moves quickly.
Liberty Square Riverboat
Liberty Square Riverboat is a large boat that cruises down a river. It moves slowly and circles the park. It is not exciting, but everyone can ride and there is never a wait.
The Hall of Presidents
The Hall of Presidents features a movie about United States history. It ends with all the presidents on stage together in animatronic form. Prior to the show, you wait indoors in a room with a lot of historical things to see. The movie is long and dry. However, it is air conditioned with no wait.
Attractions in Main Street, U.S.A.
Cinderella’s castle is the first thing you see when you enter the park on Main Street. It is stunning. The castle is not an attraction per se, but a family photo is a must.
Town Square Theater
Town Square Theater is an indoor area where you can meet Mickey Mouse and Tinker Bell. The lines for both of these characters can get pretty long, especially because other people can be less than considerate about moving their children along. A FastPass is a good option if meeting a character is a priority.
Walt Disney World Railroad
Walt Disney World Railroad is the train that takes you around the park. There are also entrances in Fantasyland and Frontierland. It is a mode of transportation, but can also be a fun ride. There is rarely a long wait.
Attractions in Tomorrowland
Astro Orbiter also flies in circles like Dumbo. This time, you sit in a rocket and go way faster. You have to go up an elevator to access the ride which spins around high in the air. You get a nice view, particularly at night. This is not the ride for you if you don’t like spinning. The ride loads like molasses. The line is usually the most reasonable in the morning.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin is an indoor shooting attraction. It is slow moving, so everyone can ride. The car keeps score as you shoot at aliens. It is a fun ride with a lot to see. There is a ton of detail. The line can get long. Consider a FastPass.
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor is an indoor show with cameras that point at audience members to mock them. The show is cute and air conditioned. The line can get long in the middle of the day.
Space Mountain is an indoor, very dark, roller coaster. It has a 44” height requirement. It has some sharp turns and moves quickly. It is one of the most popular attractions. The line definitely gets long. Consider a FastPass.
Stitch’s Great Escape
Stitch’s Great Escape is an indoor, air conditioned attraction that never has any wait. Because it’s terrible. It is only open seasonally due to its lack of popularity. During this attraction, Stitch escapes. It is supposed to be scary, but it’s honestly just stupid. It is a waste of time, but if you want to do it, it is a place to rest.
Tomorrowland Speedway is an outdoor attraction. You drive cars around a long track. Kids can drive. The line is usually pretty reasonable, but can get long.
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover is a ride on a track that runs through Tomorrowland. It is a smooth ride with a good length. It has both indoor and outdoor sections. There is never a line. It is a great break from walking.
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress is a show in an indoor theater. The theater rotates through different sets that talk about different periods in history. An animatronic family is featured. This ride makes Country Bear Jamboree look like it was developed by Apple five years from now. However, it is a classic, and it is a great place to sit down and cool off. There is never any wait. Just stroll right in.
Magic Kingdom is hot, crowded, and expensive, but it is awesome. No other park caters to families and little kids nearly as well. Try to spend two days there to fully enjoy it. Make a touring plan, book FastPasses and reserve dining prior to arrival to minimize stress and maximize your day. Visit Magic Kingdom. You will not regret it.
This fabulous post was written for us by Adriane from Put on your Party Pants.