Best Magic Kingdom Attractions & Ride Guide
This Magic Kingdom ride guide reviews the best & worst attractions with numerical scores, plus info & tips for everything in Walt Disney World’s most popular park. If you’re planning a WDW vacation, you need to know which rides and shows are not to be missed, and what you can skip. (Updated February 1, 2023.)
We’ve updated this guide to Magic Kingdom attractions for 2023 now that Splash Mountain has closed and a handful of other attractions have reopened. However, it’s worth noting that a lot more is on the horizon–from the opening of TRON Lightcycle Run to the return of Happily Ever After. We’ll keep you posted on everything that’s changing in our 2023 Walt Disney World Refurbishment Calendar.
This should help give you an idea of which Magic Kingdom rides and attractions are must-see for you–which includes headliners and sleeper picks–and which ones you won’t have time to do. If you’re planning a visit to Walt Disney World in the coming year, it’s important to note that things are still changing on a weekly basis. We update this post regularly, but if you want all the latest news and updates, we recommend subscribing to our free email newsletter.
Of course, everyone’s preferences will vary. We love some classic shows that are unpopular with the general public, and you might want to skip those…or see what the quirky or irreverent appeal is. Or, you might just want an air-conditioned break from the crowds. Likewise, small kids can’t ride roller coasters, teens may not like so-called kiddie rides, etc., so we’ll also provide a brief description of every attraction to give you an idea of whether particular attractions might be good fits for your family.
Also keep in mind that this guide covers only Magic Kingdom, which is the castle park at Walt Disney World. For the other theme and water parks, consult the following:
- Epcot Park & Attraction Guide
- Disney’s Hollywood Studios Park & Attraction Guide
- Disney’s Animal Kingdom Park & Attraction Guide
- Typhoon Lagoon Water Park Guide
- Blizzard Beach Water Park Guide
If you have children, you should also consult our full list of attractions with height requirements at Walt Disney World. Several of the more popular attractions in Magic Kingdom have height requirements.
Not everything on our “Top Magic Kingdom Attractions” list is a headliner or E-Ticket attraction that draws huge crowds. We think this is a good thing–popular attractions are popular for a reason, and most people won’t need to be told that they should experience them. It’s the other, less-popular attractions that round out a day in the park, and experiencing the “right” less-popular attractions can make or break your day.
A day in the Magic Kingdom is about variety, and many attractions with short line or no waits are also exceptional–just not in a ‘knock-your-socks-off’ way. You could spend all day waiting in lines to experience the “Magic Kingdom Mountain Range” multiple times each because they are thrilling, but if all you care about is thrills, you aren’t having a well-rounded experience. Doing the sleeper attraction picks also means less time spent in lines, which is always a plus.
We recommend you have at least one full day to spend in Magic Kingdom, with 2 full days being ideal. Consult our 1-Day Magic Kingdom Itinerary and 2-Day Magic Kingdom Itinerary for a step-by-step approach to your day, beyond these reviews and tips. You may have more or less time depending on how many day tickets you purchase and whether you add on the Park Hopper option (read our Walt Disney World Ticket Guide to determine which tickets are best for you).
Now let’s take a look at the best and worst attractions in Magic Kingdom…
Top Magic Kingdom Attractions
Pirates of the Caribbean (10/10) — Pirates of the Caribbean is a boat-ride back in time to the days when pirates ruled the Caribbean. The attractions features Audio Animatronics pirates, including Captain Jack Sparrow, engaging in swashbuckling mayhem. The ride now has a re-imagined auction scene with a new redheaded female pirate.
This is great fun for guests of all ages (the darkness and gunfire might scare really young children). It contains great detail, tons of characters, a catchy song.
Haunted Mansion (10/10) — The Haunted Mansion is a slow-moving dark ride that is home to 999 happy haunts that are dying to meet you. No further explanation should be necessary.
If you aren’t familiar with the premise of the Haunted Mansion, you’re probably living under a rock. In the Haunted Mansion, the ghosts are the more jovial, singing type, so it shouldn’t startle young children, but it is dark. This is another attraction that you can do whenever.
Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (9/10) – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is now several years old, but still the newest ride in Magic Kingdom. It’s also one of the most popular at Walt Disney World. The coaster’s strengths are its Audio-Animatronics, theming, and great flow. The biggest weakness is its short duration–everything about this will leaving you wanting more, and not necessarily in a good way. It’s a tad unsatisfying.
This roller coaster dark ride hybrid has a 38″ height requirement, but is very smooth and should not bother those with mild fears of heights. Do Seven Dwarfs Mine Train just before the park closes; don’t do it first thing in the morning unless you want to do exactly the same thing almost everyone else does.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (9.5/10) — A guest favorite, Big Thunder Mountain a roller coaster themed as a runaway mine train on a ride through the barren landscape of the Old West. Hang onto your hats and glasses, because Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is “the wildest ride in the wilderness!” Do it relatively early or late at night.
Space Mountain (8/10) — Space Mountain is a dark roller coaster through outer space. There’s cool theming here, a blast-off tunnel, and music to enhance the experience. It also has interesting post-show scenes in space. This roller coaster has a 44″ height requirement. Prioritize Space Mountain early in the morning or late at night.
Enchanted Tales with Belle (9/10) – An elaborate character encounter in New Fantasyland, the draw of Enchanted Tales with Belle really depends upon the guest. Everyone will be impressed by the technology utilized in it, and there are a couple of real ‘wow moments’ that make this a must do. With that said, only small children and their parents (viewing it through the eyes of their kids) are likely to enjoy the actual experience, which is a bit hokey. Nevertheless, it’s a great evolution of the meet & greet concept, and is sure to leave a lasting impression on its target audience. (Enchanted Tales with Belle reopens on February 19, 2023.)
Festival of Fantasy Parade (9.5/10) – This is the first Magic Kingdom daytime parade in a long time that I’ve loved. It is ambitious, and large in scale and scope. The parade floats are all large, detailed and have a lot of substance to them. The float that has captured everyone’s attention is the steampunk-esque Maleficent float, and this is understandable because it breathes fire.
The Brave, Tangled, Peter Pan, and Monstro floats are similarly well done. Add to this performers in costumes that have a lot of detail, a catchy soundtrack, and a great energy, and you have a parade that’s a real winner. Check out our Festival of Fantasy Parade Tips post for best viewing places and more.
Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire (8/10) – The newest Cinderella Castle daytime stage show in Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World, having debuted last spring. This is similar to past ‘smile and dance’ shows on the castle stage, and arguably a bit better. Mickey’s Magical Friendship Faire drops the pretense of a plot, and lets the show exist just for the sake of existing, as a fun festival with Mickey and various characters dancing and singing. The costuming is also pretty good, and there are seasonal variations of the show, adding to its rewatchability.
Disney Enchantment (8/10) – There is no more fitting of a way to close a day in the Magic Kingdom than with fireworks. The new 50th Anniversary fireworks show is Disney Enchantment, which replaced the beloved Happily Ever After. This is a tremendous downgrade, but at the end of the day, it’s still pyro exploding above Cinderella Castle set to memorable music. There’s only so bad that can be, and 8/10 is it.
We recommend viewing Disney Enchantment on Main Street. The specific best & worst spots are shared via color-coded map with accompanying explanations in our Magic Kingdom Fireworks Viewing Guide. There are also a few ‘hidden gem’ locations if you want to get away from the crowds. (Disney Enchantment ends on April 2, 2023.)
Country Bear Jamboree (8.5/10) – A stage show featuring Audio Animatronics singing bears from the South, Country Bear Jamboree is a love it or hate it attraction. If you surveyed a random sample of Disney guests, a good portion would probably disagree with our score for Country Bear Jamboree. They’re wrong.
Country Bear Jamboree is a nuanced, sharp, and irreverent show that many guests and kids will appreciate. It loses a point here is because the show was shortened to remove the best jokes and because of the bears’ condition. Do Country Bear Jamboree whenever.
Jungle Cruise (8.5/10) — Jungle Cruise is a boat ride through the rivers of Adventureland that encounters hippos, lions, and piranhas, etc., along the way. The real highlight here is the non-stop zingers of the skippers who pilot the boats. If you don’t appreciate dry, intentionally corny, or self-aware humor, you may not like Jungle Cruise. We’ve seen a number of guests exit the Jungle Cruise with confused looks on their faces. It is highly skipper-dependent. If you get a poor skipper, this could be a 4/10 ride–our 8.5 rating assumes a good skipper. Do this earlier in the day.
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room (8/10) – Enchanted Tiki Room is a 15-minute musical serenade from Audio Animatronics birds in a theater-in-the-round. You’ve probably heard these catchy songs before; the fun music of this attraction, and its history, makes it an attraction not to be missed. The theater is dark, but it should be fine for kids.
Peter Pan’s Flight (9/10) — This attracts some of the longest lines in Magic Kingdom; arrive right at park opening or right before park close, you might consider skipping Peter Pan’s Flight. It’s iconic because it takes guests in “flying” ships above London and Neverland, which is what makes this attraction magical. However, it’s older and needs both a track replacement and scene modernization. The new interactive queue does help make the long wait in line more bearable.
‘it’s a small world’ (8.5/10) — The iconic attraction featuring the children of the world and that song. Again, unless you live under a rock, you’re familiar with it. Lines are never all that long, it’s good for guests of all ages, and is a relaxing boat ride. Experience this whenever.
Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid (8/10) – This Little Mermaid dark ride is one of the most popular rides in the park, but high capacity and its location prevent lines from ever getting too long. There are a couple of cool scenes and Audio Animatronics, and the queue is really cool, but it doesn’t quite deliver on the potential of a modern dark ride. Do this early-on after other Fantasyland dark rides, or towards the end of the day.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant (7/10) – Relocating and doubling the iconic Dumbo spinners has considerably eased wait times. It’s a classic and rite of passage for all kids, but thanks to enhanced lighting and short waits, it’s now a fun night-time attraction for guests of all ages.
Mickey’s PhilharMagic (8/10) – A 3D montage film mostly from the “Disney Animation Renaissance” cleverly tied together with Donald Duck. Children of the 90s are sure to love this film, but really, anyone should enjoy it. Do it whenever–we recommend it as an escape from afternoon heat.
Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover (8/10) – This is here because it’s a no-wait, slow-moving diversion that offers nice views of Tomorrowland, pure and simple. It makes for a good rest, and for most people, that’s it. If you’re looking for an attraction that’s more of an engaging experience, go elsewhere. We love it, but we’re not the norm. Note that it does go through Space Mountain, so a portion of it is in the dark, which might scare kids. Do this whenever–it’s best at night when the neon of Tomorrowland is lit
Monsters Inc. Laugh Floor (7/10) – A screen-based show during which monsters interact with and tell jokes to guests. Laugh Floor can be hit or miss, largely depending upon guest interaction quality. Kids will laugh at the “standard” jokes told by the monsters, adults will laugh at the interactions between monsters and kids (and adults). Shy guests may not like it due to uneasiness about being picked on. Do this whenever.
Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress (8/10) – An Audio-Animatronics stage show with scenes in different eras showcasing technological innovations. This is one of our favorite attractions (a must-do for us) in the Magic Kingdom, so it pains me to put it on “the rest” list, but we enjoy it for nostalgia’s sake. The last scene is woefully outdated and Carousel of Progress probably won’t appeal to average guests–although older guests will likely enjoy the trip down memory lane.
Walt Disney World Railroad (8/10) – A relaxing train ride around the Magic Kingdom, albeit with not a ton to see. Needs some dinosaurs, but then again, doesn’t everything?!
Other Magic Kingdom Rides
Astro Orbitor (6/10) — Spinner ride similar to Dumbo. Elevated location makes this a fun diversion, especially at night if lines are shorter.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin (6.5/10) — Buzz Lightyear enlists your help in an interactive and competitive game-attraction to save the universe in this blast-em-up, ride-through adventure. It’s like a ride-through video game, and is fun. Lines fluctuate greatly for this and can be very long, but generally aren’t too bad at the end of the day.
Tomorrowland Speedway (4/10) — Kids might like it as it gives them a chance to drive; save for that, it’s really not a good attraction. The smell of exhausting and loud puttering of engines can both be very off-putting.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (6.5/10) — An okay dark ride, but there’s a good chance kids will have more fun playing in the queue than on the actual ride. This is a popular attraction, but is not worth a long wait time; do it early or late in the day when lines are short, if at all.
Barnstormer (4.5/10) – A roller coaster only for kids who want to prove themselves on a coaster, but are too short for other coasters. Everyone else should avoid this due to long waits, short duration, and lackluster visuals. It has a 35″ height requirement.
Mad Tea Party (5/10) – A fun and iconic diversion, although there’s really nothing more to this experience than a similar one at a local fair.
Prince Charming Regal Carrousel (4.5) – Ordinary carousel. Okay at night if there’s no wait and you have time to kill.
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin (3/10) – Yet another spinner. Do Astro Orbiter or Dumbo instead.
Liberty Square Riverboat (7/10) – Relaxing way to float around Frontierland, but like the Tomorrowland Transit Authority or the Walt Disney World Railroad, it’s justa an ambiance ride.
Swiss Family Robinson Treehouse (7/10) – Fun area that can be quickly explored as a nice change of pace from doing rides. Never any waits, do it whenever.
Tom Sawyer Island (7/10) – An entire island play area for kids that harkens back to a bygone area. It’s really well done, and a great place for kids to blow off energy. Adults may enjoy the tranquility of the island, too. Doesn’t feel like a theme park.
Hall of Presidents (7/10) – Hall of Presidents is a stage show featuring Audio-Animatronics of all United States Presidents, plus a ‘preamble’ video. The revised version of this attraction features the current POTUS making a speech. Regardless of your feelings about him, he’s just a small part of a larger show about the office of president. All things considered, Hall of Presidents is a powerful and educational attraction. It’ll make you feel less guilty about pulling your kids out of school for a Disney trip! 😉
This leaves out random pieces of entertainment, character meet & greets, and a few other seasonal offerings, but it should cover every attraction on a Magic Kingdom park map. If you have the time, try as much as you can, as you’ll likely disagree with us on at least a few of these attractions.
If you are unsure of how to tackle planning for Walt Disney World, we recommend contacting a no fee “Authorized Disney Vacation Planner” (basically, Disney’s term for a travel agent) to get a quote and to help you plan. They get their commission from Disney, so none of the authorized (key word) planners will charge you for booking their trip and helping. Here’s one such recommended Authorized Disney Vacation Planner.
Planning a Walt Disney World trip? If you’re interested in learning more about hotels, our Walt Disney World Hotels Reviews page is a good place to start. For where to eat, try out our Walt Disney World Restaurant Reviews page. If you want to save money on tickets or determine which type you should get, read our Tips for Saving Money on Walt Disney World Tickets post. OurWhat to Pack for Disney Trips post takes a unique look at unconventional things you should take on your trip. Once you arrive at the parks, our Walt Disney World “Ride Guides” are great for determining what to do and when to do it. For overviews of all of these topics and so much more, the best place to start is our comprehensive Walt Disney World Trip Planning Guide to make the most of your experience!
Which Magic Kingdom attractions are your favorites and which do you skip? Do you agree or disagree with our ratings? If you haven’t visited Walt Disney World yet, which Magic Kingdom attractions are you most excited about? Hearing from you is half the fun, so please share your questions and thoughts in the comments!
Just went to MK today, and found the fast pass recommendations to be spot on. The Dwarf ride is definitely one to fast pass reserve early (just like Space Mountain). We wanted to ride it a second time because it was awesome, and because both our 3 and 8 year old kids loved it, but doubt I would have made it through the 120 minute line with a smile on my face while carrying my youngest and after 11:00 there was no more fast pass availability. We kept checking throughout the day, because sometimes FP availability changes, but no luck. Anyway-thanks for the good advice! I was a bit overwhelmed before going today, worried about planning everything and getting the best experience for my kids, but they were so happy to be there and all together as a family–honestly there are cool things to do and see everywhere, it’s hard NOT to have a great time!
thank you for saying this. I have just spent hours trying to understand what we’d like do and when and I feel defeated! Hour post was encouraging.
thank you for saying this. I have just spent hours trying to understand what we’d like do and when and I feel defeated! Your post was encouraging.
I have read your article. I have been to MK already but did not plan well. This time around I want to plan it to the last detail especially which rides to go to. Thank you so much for the guidance.
Thanks for your comment! I am going there in next week with my wife and 21 months baby. I want to know best attarctions/rides which should I take for him.
Eatable things which should I carry.
Fast tracks where and how should I use
And attraction best for adults too
I have just been to the mnsshp and I’m pleased I paid all that extra money to go, as it certainly had a good atmosphere. However the parade was disappointing and I never realized you had to queue (!!!!) to get sweets. The castle lit up was really nice and the fireworks were spectacular viewed on the mine train! The mine train had no queues so we got to go on this 7 times and space mountain 5 times.
Thank you so much for this blog. We have 3 kids ages 6, 10, and 11, and will be going to Disney in April for Spring Break, (late, 3rd week of April). Due to heavy crowds, I was planning on doing 3 days in MK and skipping HS. I was trying to do it all. But last year, we went to Universal Studios for my daughter’s 5th birthday in August and she rode everything except for the big roller coasters and one of the Harry Potter Rides. She is a bit tall for her age. She was so pumped up and excited, more so than her older brothers. At that point I realized that she is done with kiddie rides. Everyone is different. All of my kids were unimpressed with Universal’s “Men in Black II” and “E.T.” rides, which I understand are similar to Disney’s Buzz Lightyear and Peter Pan rides, respectively. Since they are both big headliners, I’d planned on doing a 3rd day, just to fit those in with FP+. But after reading this blog, it validates my suspicion that it would be OK to skip them, and that it is also OK to skip some of the kiddie rides with long waits. I love the idea of doing the Carousel of Progress, Tom Sawyer Island, Tiki Room, Philharmagic, and WDW Train, (my son is obsessed with trains!), and adding these things into our schedule allow me to have a less stressful, Fast Pass/Wait time obsessed trip, running from ride to ride. This will be very important given the heat and the crowds. Thank you so much for this blog. I feel like this article fits the needs of my family perfectly.
To be fair Disneyland is nowhere near as exciting as Universal, or SeaWorld or even Hollywood Studios, Disneyland is really for under 5’s.
My son (3 years old) loves Mickey Mouse (MM) and watches the MM Clubhouse every morning before going to the Day Care. I took him to the Magic Kingdom (MK) Orlando Florida the first week of September 2016 so the he can see the Clubhouse (as is shown on the TV show) and take pictures with MM or his friends (including toodles) inside the club, but the park does not have the clubhouse as part of its attractions. My son did not get a chance to see MM (or take a picture with him) except in one the shows and parade. I visited the MK many years ago and there was a MM clubhouse where kids would go inside and take pictures with him and his friends. What happened to it? I guess my mistake was not checking the website and see that MM clubhouse is not part of the MK attractions. I think that it would probably be a good idea to have the MM Clubhouse as one to the attractions as many kids watch the TV show and would enjoy seeing live.
Hi, I just wanted to ask what you meant when you said you can get a day of bonus (4th) fast pass when you were talking about Pirates of the Caribbean?
After you use the first 3 FastPasses that you likely/hopefully selected well in advance of your arrival at Disney, you are allowed to select additional (4th, 5th, 6th, etc- but only one at a time) FastPasses if they are available. So if you’ve used all your FastPasses for the day, you could check while you are at the park that very day to see if there are more available for Pirates of the Caribbean (or whatever ride). You would select that 4th “bonus” FastPass the “day of” your visit.
Thank you! That makes a lot more sense.
Great blog! Well written, funny and wonderful tone. Thank you for doing all the research that benefits first time travelers like myself. In the middle of our first trip with our 3 kids and loving it. Still checking the blog for recommends as we move the ought the park. Thanks for the info and including caveats for kiddos!
The Pirates of the Caribbean ride is totally inappropriate for children. My children, their three year old son, and my husband and I took the Pirates of the Caribbean Ride. The boat ride was fun. A few minutes into the ride, my son-in-law said, “Who picked this ride? It is totally inappropriate.” He was responding to four scenes The first was a man with a rope around him being dunked into a well. There were shackled prisoners waiting to be tortured as well. One could say that this was Disney’s version of waterboarding. The second was a group of women waiting to be sold as wives/slaves while one was being displayed by herself. This is no joking matter. The New York Times headline of March 13, 2016 tells stories of ISIS’ system of rape and sale of teenage girls captured two years ago. There was a scene of women chasing men attempted to hit them with brooms. Again, domestic abuse either of men or women is a serious matter and not some joke. Pirates are shown sitting drunk with their bottles. Our society is trying to contain alcohol abuse. I understand that is may be a realistic Disney portrait of pirates – but it is not appropriate for young children to whom we are trying to teach values.
The pirates are not meant to be role models for children. I think this ride does a descent job of teaching children values. The scenes and section of the ride you’re describing show chaos and destruction brought on by “bad pirates” who are later shown incarcerated. As someone who rode this ride many times as a child; children understand that pirates do bad things and should not be imitated.
I totally agree with you!
You are so stupid, that it pains me. I truly hope you are trolling.
Calling someone stupid because you don’t agree is rather immature.
I took my sons on this ride at early ages and they, now in their 40s, never had a drinking, torturing, abusive with women, etc. problem. Both are well educated, in happy marriages and sober. If you take it this seriously, you shouldn’t ride it. But don’t think your children will be permanently maimed by going through it. If you react to the contents in front of your children, you will be placing importance on things that, at an early age, will totally escape them while they get lost in the music, the water, the action, etc. Unless you point stuff out, it will totally go over their heads. Lighten up.
I totally agree with you
Actually it’s the former comment I agree with
Unfortunately if you are so easily insulted then I am afraid you should not step out of your front door. The little mermaid is definitely Octopusist and I understand the league of Octopus activists are organising a protest against the despicable image it portrays of honest hard working Octopuses/Octopi, indeed some Octupi are not black, they are greeny brown, I understand that the league of Octupi are also incensed by the stereotyping Disney promotes that all Octopus are black fat and female. Some Octopi are Black thin and male and some DO NOT SING!!
Tinki, grow up, this is not the forum for politically correct nonsense, comparing Disney to ISIS just makes you look silly for saying it. And whilst I feel it necessary to rant, the depiction of women on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride shows a true but stylised image of the past. Protecting you children from these images is every bit as damaging as showing them to them. If you close your eyes to the way things are in two thirds of the world then your children will be unprepared for adulthood and will get eaten alive. The real world can be cruel and can be unfair and does not have added sugar, telling your children anything else is bad parenting unless of course you are deliberately setting your children up to fail in adulthood. When the world does not live up to their expectations children become depressed and depression is one of the main causes of drug addiction. Disney should be commended for showing images of women in chains, it helps prevent ignorant parents produce drug addicted children. Long live the green Octopi. Rant over
Furthermore I would like to point out that I am a greenish grey septopus. I lost a tentacle in the Mermaid incident of 06 and was expelled from the league of Octopi. They have discriminated against me ever since. I firmly believe my addiction to Clown fish began when I was denied access to the Pirates Of the Caribbean ride as a child. Being force fed sugar infused BS by my parents is according to my Octopist therapist the reason for my addiction. These days whenever I slither past a tank containing Clown fish I have an unstoppable urge to burst into song. Thanks Mom, if only we had gone to Eyerack or Afegarn on holiday to see the women in chains exhibits, my therapist says I would have grown up to be a well adjusted Octopus and might even have landed my own spin off series. When I think how different my life could be, I could have made a revealing video and married a rap artist, instead all I think about are Clown fish.
THANK YOU for recognizing Country Bear Jamboree on your list. As a kid I thought everyone loved the show as much as I did. When friends spoke poorly of it I just dismissed them as having poor taste and no imagination. When I returned to MK last year as an adult I could not wait to see CBJ again and was shocked to see empty seats. A Cast Member even made a joke about people being there just for the AC. Whatever, we had a great view and the show was just as amazing as I remembered. How can you beat singing bears and a talking buck head? The music is great too! The song “Bear Band Serenade” is on my Disney Spotify playlist.
Our family ranging from 65 to 7 is coming to DW over Memorial Day week (2016) and am wanting to know if Thunder Mountain is going to be closed that week as read in an earlier post?
Parents, if your child stills poops in a diaper and must be pushed do not bring them. We saw hundreds of kids that made others miserable. If you cannot put your phones down for the trip,especially while at the park stay home. Saw a lot of folks walking texting and missing out on the Disney experienc.
I’ve seen a LOT of people advise to leave toddlers and babies at home, so I just wanted to weigh in. My son will be taking his third Disney trip (2 Disneyland, and this will be his first Disney World) just after his 2nd birthday. Each time I’ve worried that I might be crazy – when he was a baby (6 months) I worried he might get sick or stressed out, and when he was a toddler (19 months) I worried he would just be so overstimulated and it would be a disaster. But my worries were totally unfounded and ill-advised! He had a blast at both ages!! Disney has PLENTY of access to clean changing stations, so diapers were not a problem (I’m thinking much preferable to the newly potty-trained.) And pushing him in a stroller was a super bonus, because it gave us the ability to pack all sorts of supplies and extra clothes (and not just his!!) in the storage underneath without having to carry a backpack. And he adored the rides each time, the shows absolutely captivated him, and the whole environment clearly is exciting for him! Just don’t put too much pressure on your kid – take breaks when you need to, encourage stroller naps (if it’s hot, buy a cheap battery-operated clip-on fan), and enjoy through their eyes rather than your own! I wholely disagree with anyone who says you should leave babes and toddlers at home 😉
Glad to see your email. I am going next week here and going with family, wife and 21 months old son. I want to know which rides, attractions will best for him!
Want to also know eatable things should I carry with him. And where can I get fast tracks and how should I use ?
Best among attactions which you recommend for adults too!
Ah, Disney World. The meaning for my existence. I am so lucky I grew up with Disney World who loved(and still love) Disney World as much as I do. Returning for my 16th time August 2016. I can go on all of the top recommended rides hundreds of times in one day (if the lines are decent enough!)
haha – did that once when the park cleared out at the end of the night and I was so excited about no lines; and I literally knocked my equilibrium out of whack. Felt like I was sleeping on a boat for days. But I don’t regret it! Rides are so fun!!
I read on a trus5ed Disney site that Big Thunder Mountain Railroad would be closed for an extended refurb from 04/16-07/16. I’ve only seen this info posted on that one site and am really hoping it’s wrong as we will be visiting WDW in 05/16 and it’s one our favs. Has anyone else heard this rumor?
Would it be worth it to only take the kids to the Spooktacular celebration in place of a day at the park? Do you get in early enough to enjoy the rides? We are trying to expose our girls to Disney on a budget.
Do you mean the Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party? They’ll let you in as early as 4pm as long as the park’s not at capacity (which it likely won’t be.) I’m going to the Very Merry Holiday Party, and we aren’t going to be in park that day until our party ticket takes effect. You can still schedule FP+ between 4 and 7, and after 7 the rides supposedly have SUPER short lines. So yes – I think that’s a perfect way to do Disneyworld on a budget!
Thanks for your insightful blog. We had a nice trip to MK last week with an infant and a 5 yr old. Because I read your blog so much to plan our trip I just couldn’t resist sharing our experiences at MK with you and your future readers.
So here’s what we did:
Meet Princess Cinderella and Rapunzel: Dressed up our little girl and got some lovely clicks that make beautiful childhood memories. Would highly recommend a Princess meet up FastPass for any family with a little girl.
Haunted mansion: Great technology show. And not at all scary. I hate spooky and scary. Still did this one going by your input. Would say this was a good FP choice. The standby line was sure scary.
Enchanted tales with Belle: Totally worth the Fastpass. Great technology. But the play they put-up was much shorter and less interactive than I expected. Got a feeling that they were trying to hurry up to make the lines move fast.
Splash mountain: Pretty and Fun. Worth the FastPass. What a view of the castle before the big drop! But since our younger one was not allowed on the ride, we used rider swap. My husband and 5 yr old daughter went first. I ended up doing it alone as she was too scared to repeat.
Dream along with Mickey: Great show to see lots of characters without Fastpass and long waits.
Peter-pan, Winnie the Pooh, Under the Sea: Nice, but all three are nearly the same in terms of design and technology. Anyone pressed for time should do any one.
PhilharMagic: Fun 3D show. But so glad I didn’t use a Fastpass on this one as the theatre was big enough to accommodate most people waiting for the show.
Small World: Did it for its historical value. Cute. Ten minute wait on a very busy day.
Dumbo: Did it in the evening. It looked beautiful. Got a top-up Fastpass for this one. Nice way to end our visit at MK.
Astro-Orbiter and Magic Carpets: Daughter saw the Globe and wanted to be on it. There was a 30 mt wait. What a waste of time, but she says she liked it :). Same story with Magic Carpets!
Regal Carousel: Not a long wait and daughter is still counting being on the horse as one of the best experiences.
Electrical Parade: Pretty Glittery parade. Do watch if you are in the park at show time.
Celebrate the Magic, Castle projection Show: Nice, but Fatasmic in Hollywood Studios was a much grander projection show I’d say.
Wishes: Beautiful fireworks. But was it worth waiting till 10 PM with sleepy kids and struggling in the mad rush to exit the park. Not too sure.
Festival of Fantasy: Boo hoo hoo hoo……it got cancelled the day we visited. We just got to see a small rainy day parade. Do check the weather forecast if you are keen on any of the outdoor shows.
Hey Tom, Thanks for the detailed review.nice clicks…May I know the camera and lens configuration you have…
I personally don’t care for Seven Dwarfs Mine Train
its a long wait for a short ride, and the safety bars are horrible. If you have any thickness to your legs it pinches them. your legs have to fit into the pull down safety bar making this ride extremely uncomfortable. I don’t know why they wouldn’t of just done a straight bar across the top, its not like this is a fast thrill ride. It could of been something spectacular but instead we all felt underwhelmed and very unhappy with it.
Can an 11 year old, that’s almost 5 feet tall, ride alone?
I will stand in line until the last minute, I just get motion sick! Ugh!
Which attractions should we avoid with non english speaking visitors? I speak english but not the 3 others i will be travelling with. I guess the Presidents, Bears and Monsters? Any other one?