Comprehensive Guide to the Best Disney Parks and Rides in Orlando for Toddlers and Younger Children
As your kids progress through each group, it’s like a whole new experience when visiting Disney Parks. When kids reach the toddler phase, they are finally starting to really understand what it is like to visit the parks and discover their favorite rides and characters. It makes the experience that much more special.
Although they will still probably have little to no memory of the trip at the toddler age, it is a great time for them to really start enjoying their time in the moment.
All of the theme parks on Disney World property are suitable and fun for people of all ages, but each of the parks does have its own specialties and, in turn, tends to cater to specific age groups a little better than the others.
This post is part of our Disney and Orlando series
Today we are going to be discussing everything you need to know about tackling Disney World Orlando with toddlers. We will cover which park we think is best suited for toddlers, tips and tricks to make it through your day, and essential items you may need throughout your visit.
- Factors to Consider When Taking a Family Trip with a Toddler
- What is the Best Disney Park for Toddlers?
- Other Rides/Attractions on Disney Property that your Toddler will Love
- Other Rides/Attractions in Orlando for Your Toddler
- More Fabulous Tips For Planning a Disney Vacation in Florida
Factors to Consider When Taking a Family Trip with a Toddler
When it comes to planning a Disney trip with a toddler, there are a lot of important factors to consider to ensure that you have a successful trip. The toddler stage is challenging because they are in the “in-between” stage, where they are starting to walk, and they are starting to become more independent, but they may also still be napping and have certain routines they are used to following.
Here are a few things to consider/remember when it comes to planning your Disney trip with a toddler:
- Age cut-off: Disney guests aged 3 and under are given free entry into the parks, so taking your little ones during their young toddler-toddler phase is a great bonus for your wallet since there is no need to purchase a ticket, depending on the number of days you plan to visit, this could be a savings of hundreds of dollars!
Bonus tip: Your toddler has to be 3 years or under on the first day of your trip, so this can also be a great way to sneak a trip in as they turning from 3 years old to 4 and may be heading into their pre-school years.
- Timing Your Trip: Choosing the correct timing for your trip is definitely something you will want to consider. We recommend visiting during the off-season and avoiding peak season when you have little ones. This allows you to enjoy your time with a little less of a crowd, and you will have a better chance to thoroughly enjoy your trip and see/do all the rides and attractions that your family loves.
- Packing the Essentials: Visiting a theme park with a toddler can be difficult. All of the walking and the long hours can be rough. You want to make sure that you are prepared and have all the supplies you need for a successful trip. We recommend packing a bag with all of your basic needs, including spare clothes, diapers (if necessary), baby wipes (great for diaper changes but also perfect for quick clean up as well), snacks, sunscreen, and more. You can even get your toddler their very own backpack and fill it with the things they love, including easy snacks, fidget toys/things to keep them busy in line, and a water bottle.
- Nap Time: We try to stick to our normal routine as much as we can, which includes a nap schedule. Don’t be afraid to take a break from the parks and head back to your resort for a nap and refresh before heading back out into the parks. If you don’t want to leave the park altogether, Disney’s baby care centers may be a good option to take some quiet time and maybe even allow your toddler to sneak a quick nap in.
- Dress Appropriately: We always recommend and stick to comfortable clothing for not only us but for the little ones too. Toddlers are getting to the age where they want to get down and walk as much as they can, and wearing appropriate clothing and shoes is necessary for that. Our go-to outfit includes comfortable shorts, a t-shirt, closed-toe, and comfortable theme park walking shoes (the last thing you want is those baby toes to get stepped on while they are walking through crowds).
- Keep a Stroller on Hand: Just because your little ones are walking now, trust us when we say they will not make it through the entire day walking around. A visit to Disney World requires a LOT of walking, and it’s often too much for even adults, so imagine those little legs and feet walking around all day as well. It’s always a good idea to keep a stroller with you (Disney dimensions approved, of course!) and use it throughout the day to give your toddler a rest from walking.
What is the Best Disney Park for Toddlers?
As I mentioned above, it isn’t that your toddler won’t have a great time at any of the Disney parks, but we have found that we tend to have the best time and the most success at Magic Kingdom during the toddler age. Magic Kingdom is the epitome of a Magical Experience at Disney World.
Magic Kingdom gives the best opportunity for toddlers to experience the most throughout their visit as this park has the most rides and attractions that are baby/toddler friendly and have little to no height requirement.
Here is where they will also get the opportunity to meet their favorite characters such as Mickey and Friends, Classic Disney Princesses, Chip n Dale, and more. Some of the rides and attractions that toddlers will love at Magic Kingdom:
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant: Dumbo is a classic Magic Kingdom ride that your toddler will love! You will climb into your very own flying elephant, and you get the option to choose to fly at ground level or raise yourselves up and fly high. Toddlers love this one because it gives them a chance to control the ride, and they get to be involved in the fun.
- Prince Charming Regal Carousel: What toddler doesn’t love a carousel? This is a great ride for toddlers because it almost always has a fairly short wait time, and it isn’t a ride that is too overwhelming or scary. While it’s not the most innovative or unique ride, it is always a classic and reliable option.
- Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid: If the Little Mermaid is a popular movie in your household, your family will love this ride! You climb into your own seashell and ride through as you see Ariel and her friends, including Flounder and Sebastian.
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Winnie the Pooh was always one of my favorites growing up, and it still holds up as a favorite amongst the kids and toddlers of today. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is another ride-through type of ride that tells some of the adventures of Pooh and his friends. It puts your right inside a storybook!
- Enchanted Tales with Belle: If you have a toddler that loves the story of Beauty and the Beast, you will not want to skip on the Enchanted Tales with Belle attraction. This attraction gives you a chance to hear a condensed version of the story of Beauty and the Beast, and you get the opportunity to meet and have your picture with Belle herself.
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin: It may be difficult for your toddlers to score big with their laser as they make their way through this ride, but with the special effects and the spinning of your ride car, toddlers still tend to have a great time on this attraction!
Other Rides/Attractions on Disney Property that your Toddler will Love
While we believe that Magic Kingdom is the best-suited park for toddlers, that’s not to say that they won’t have a good time at the other Disney parks and throughout the property.
Other attractions that your toddlers will love include:
- Frozen Ever After
- Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
- The Sea with Nemo & Friends
- Kilimanjaro Safaris
- TriceraTop Spin
- It’s Tough to Be a Bug
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
- Toy Story Mania!
- Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy
To prevent any name confusion, you might want to dig into our guide to Universal Studios vs Hollywood Studios – both have toddler attractions but you’ll get a quite different experiences at these two Orlando theme parks
Disney Springs can be a nice break away from the main theme parks, with plenty to keep the littlest members of your group amused.
- Bippidi Boppidi Boutique
- Playing in the Splash Pad
- Marketplace Carousel and Train Ride
Other Rides/Attractions in Orlando for Your Toddler
Disney is not the only place to have a good time with your toddlers in Orlando! There are so many great attractions and things to do in the area if you are looking for something fun to do during your vacation.
Some of those activities include:
- SeaWorld Orlando: SeaWorld is great for families; it is a cross between an amusement park and an aquarium bringing you up close and personal with ocean wildlife. Additionally, SeaWorld is home to Sesame Street Land, a portion of the park that is filled with fun rides, shopping, and character meet-ups based on the Sesame Street cast that your toddlers will love.
- Central Florida Zoo: The Zoo is always a popular attraction amongst toddlers, and one of our favorite things to do on vacation is visit the local zoo. It’s always nice to see the animals, and toddlers tend to love getting the chance to see such a variety of animals.
- The Crayola Experience: If your toddlers are big into arts and crafts, the Crayola Experience is an excellent way to spend the day. Here they have the chance to learn about how Crayola products, such as crayons and markers, are made. They can complete a variety of arts and crafts and even make their very own crayon.
- Universal’s Island of Adventure: We think that Universal very unfairly gets a bad rap for being unsuitable for toddlers; yes, there are many more thrilling rides and water rides suited to tweens and teens, but we think you can still have a great day at Universal with a toddler, just plan your day carefully understanding height limits for many rides.
If you are looking for a fun vacation spot with your toddlers, a Disney family trip is a great option. Orlando is a great area, and in addition to Disney, there are so many great places and activities to enjoy with your family.
I hope that this guide has provided you with some useful information and knowledge to make a successful Orlando trip for your family. If you have any additional information or tips to share, feel free to share them with other readers and us in the comments below.
Have fun, and I hope your vacation is full of fun and magic!
More Fabulous Tips For Planning a Disney Vacation in Florida
- The best places to stay in Orlando with a shuttle to Disney & Orlando
- Fun activities for keeping kids busy in line at Disney
- Are Disney Magic Bands still worth it?
- Our pick of the best Disney accommodation for larger families
- Planning a winter trip to Disney World
- What to do when it rains at Disney
- Why you may prefer to fly into Sanford airport for your Disney trip
- Discover these incredible beaches close to Disney World
- Planning a family trip to Universal Studios in Orlando
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