This week we are continuing with our Disney World series. I took a short break from our WDW posts to share some of our crafts and family fun activities for the summer, but this week we are back to it! Today I am sharing the best rides & attractions for toddlers/preschoolers at my favorite park, Magic Kingdom. In case you missed my previous posts, I’ve also shared our favorite rides over at Epcot and Hollywood Studios.
Our day at Magic Kingdom started out in Fantasyland. If you have toddlers and/or preschoolers, and I imagine that you do, or else you probably wouldn’t be reading this, you should plan to spend a good amount of time in Fantasyland. We always start our day at Magic Kingdom with one of our favorite rides, Dumbo. We have done this with every visit almost by chance, but now it has become a little tradition of ours that I love. As silly as it may seem, I recommend picking a favorite ride and doing the same with your family. I love starting our day out with a special tradition.
After Dumbo we usually hit up a few more of our favorite Fantasyland rides with shorter wait times before moving onto the bigger rides. We always reserve our FastPasses+ for the popular rides. I’ll talk more about that in a future post, but here’s a quick tip – go for the rides with the shortest wait times first thing in the morning and save your FastPasses+ for the popular rides later on (10:30 AM or later). By doing this, you are maximizing your time spent in the park and you will be able to walk right on at least 3-4 rides with virtually no wait at all. Dumbo, Little Mermaid, The Barnstormer, It’s A Small World, and Winnie the Pooh are all great Fantasyland rides to hop right on first thing in the morning. Save your FastPasses+ for rides like Peter Pan, Mine Train, and character meet & greets.
If you’re looking for a quick ride to jump on while you wait for your FastPass+ window to begin, Prince Charming’s Carousel (located right behind Cinderella’s Castle), is a great option. We never wait more than 10-15 minutes. It is such an iconic ride that you won’t want to miss out on. Clearly, London is a fan!
After the hustle and bustle of hopping on and off our favorite Fantasyland rides all morning, we wanted to stop for a quick break. So, we headed over to the Castle for Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire. There’s no shade here, so to avoid the blistering Florida heat, I recommend catching this show in the morning during the 1st or 2nd performance (10:30 or 11:30 AM). It’s a great opportunity for your little ones to see their favorite characters up close. Not to mention the music and dancing is sure to hold their attention!
After a quick ride on Peter Pan (with our FastPass+), it was time to head over to The Crystal Palace for lunch with Winnie the Pooh & friends. If you’re looking for a character meal inside of the Magic Kingdom, this is the absolute perfect one for the toddler & preschooler age group. London (who was just turning 2 at the time) was completely memorized by Pooh. This was one of our favorite character meals of our entire trip. Highly recommend booking this one for breakfast or lunch!
At this point in our day we had already accomplished quite a bit, so we decided to head back to our resort for naptime. Naptime is pretty much a non-negotiable for us if we want to have any chance of making it through the evening hours at the park. If your little one no longer naps, I still highly encourage an afternoon break.
A few hours later we were refreshed and ready to head back to Magic Kingdom for the rest of the night. We just so happened to be walking back into the park at the same time the Move It! Shake It! Street Party was starting. Five minutes into this parade and I guarantee you will have all the songs stuck in your head for the rest of the day. BUT it is so worth it! The kids joined in the fun and started dancing in the street. I promise this is one thing you won’t want to miss at Magic Kingdom!
After a quick bite to eat, my 4 year old and I headed to ride the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train, while my husband took our 2 year old on Little Mermaid (for the second time that day). Keep in mind that your little one must be at least 38″ to ride this one. The Mine Train is arguably one of the most popular rides at Magic Kingdom right now, so you’re definitely going to want to snag a FastPass+ for this one. With our FastPass+ Noah & I waited no more than 10 minutes while the standby line was nearly TWO HOURS!
Oh, and in case you were wondering – you’re never too old for Mouse ears at Disney World. So, put those ears on, and just enjoy being a kid again. You won’t regret it!
We ended the night with another tradition of ours – Aladdin’s Magic Carpets. We love riding this one at night right before we end our day with fireworks at Magic Kingdom.
Since we spend a lot of time at Magic Kingdom, we save different rides for different days during our trip. A few of our other favorite rides & attractions include the Tomorrowland Speedway, Enchanted Tales with Belle, Walt Disney World Steam Train, and Mickey Mouse at Town Square Theater.
In addition to everything I mentioned above, I also wanted to mention these great rides for the older preschooler crowd:
Splash Mountain & Big Thunder Mountain (must be at least 40″ to ride)
Pirates of the Caribbean (note this ride is dark, and may scare some toddlers)
I know this is A LOT of information. And right now you might be asking yourself – how long should I plan to visit Magic Kingdom? Well, if you are visiting Walt Disney World for more than a few days, I’d recommend 2 full days at Magic Kingdom; however, if you have a shorter visit, you can still accomplish quite a bit in a day. My best advice is to make a list of all of your must-dos, and anything extra you can squeeze in is just icing on the cake!
I hope you have found this post helpful! If you’re still looking for more planning tips, then you may want to read my 2-part Disney blog series, How to Do Disney World with a 3 Year Old!
What are your favorite rides & attractions at Magic Kingdom?