Disney with the Kiddos: Must Do’s

By: Amy Kawa

Just call my Stacey!  Like for reals… that’s my dream job.

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Depending on the ages of those you’re traveling to Disney with, there will undoubtedly be different things on your must do list.  Teens will want to hit up Space Mountain, while toddlers will want to take a flight to Neverland on Peter Pan’s Flight.  Both attractions usually have the longest waits in the Magic Kingdom.  So, you will have to prioritize some attractions over others to please the majority in your traveling party.

Here is a list of must do’s – not just attractions, but attraction-like hidden gems – for the kiddos and families that travel with them.  Anything denoted in blue references something that you can’t necessarily ride, but still deserves to be checked out, whether that may be a character interaction, cool area in the park, or experience to try!

Magic Kingdom

The holy grail of all parks for kiddos, the Magic Kingdom has no shortage of things to do for people of all ages, but especially for the small people in your party.

Main Street, U.S.A.
  • Walt Disney World Railroad
  • Sorcerers of the Magic Kingdom
Adventureland
  • Jungle Cruise
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
  • A Pirate’s Adventure: Treasures of the Seven Seas
Frontierland
  • Country Bear Jamboree
  • Walt Disney World Railroad
Fantasyland
  • It’s a Small World
  • Mad Tea Party
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Peter Pan’s Flight (Fastpass + recommendation) 
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
  • Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • The Barnstormer featuring Goofy as The Great Goofini
  • Casey Junior Splash ‘n’ Soak Station
  • Pete’s Silly Sideshow
  • Walt Disney World Railroad
  • Seven Dwarfs Mine Train (Fastpass + recommendation) 
  • Princess Fairytale Hall
Tomorrowland
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Monsters, Inc. Laugh Floor
  • Tomorrowland Speedway (Fastpass + recommendation) 
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
  • Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

Epcot

Epcot is usually the least favorite park for most kids.  World Showcase is a lineup of countries that feature amazing architecture, exhibits, cuisine, shops, and shows.  Sounds amazing, right?  Of course, but maybe not for someone under the age of 12, and when World Showcase makes up half the park and thrill rides like Test Track and Mission Space make up the other half with few other tamer attraction options, Epcot might be a half-day park for the young ones.

Future World West
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends (Fastpass + recommendation) 
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • Living with the Land (Fastpass + recommendation) 
  • Journey Into Imagination with Figment
  • Disney & Pixar Short Film Festival
  • The Leapfrog Fountains
  • Epcot Character Spot
  • Meet Joy & Sadness and Baymax
World Showcase
  • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
  • Frozen Ever After (Fastpass + recommendation) 
  • Kidcot Fun Spots (make masks/decorate pictures of Duffy the Epcot Bear in the different countries around World Showcase)
  • Agent P’s World Showcase Adventure
  • Toy Soldier in the UK
  • Miniature Model Train Display in Germany

Hollywood Studios

I feel like a broken record on this blog, but we all know Hollywood Studios is down and out right now.  However, with the opening of Toy Story Land this summer and Star Wars Galaxy’s Edge in 2019, the park is on the verge of a renaissance.  In the meantime, most of the park’s attractions are kid-friendly in nature, with really the two main E-ticket attractions down Sunset Boulevard being the ones to stay away from – Tower of Terror and Rock n’ Roller Coaster.

  • Meet BB-8 at Star Wars Launch Bay
  • Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage (Fastpass + recommendation) 
  • Celebrity Spotlight: Meet Olaf
  • Disney Jr. – Live on Stage!
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-along Celebration
  • Jedi Training
  • Star Wars Launch Bay
  • Meet Chewbacca at Star Wars Launch Bay
  • Meet Mickey and Minnie in Red Carpet Dreams
  • Muppet*Vision 3D (Fastpass + recommendation) 
  • Star Tours: The Adventure Continues (Fastpass + recommendation) 
  • Star Wars: A Galaxy Far, Far Away
  • Toy Story Midway Mania – down to one track currently with no Fastpass option 

Animal Kingdom

On the surface, Animal Kingdom might look like a really amazing zoo with a few rides mixed in there, but it is so much more than that!  Animal Kingdom brings African and Asian cultures to life in a way many Disney visitors have never experienced before.  The animals in the park are not just there to be stared at by guests, but rather the park is their home, and as close to a natural habitat as possible.  Kids love the Animal Kingdom because they know what to expect: “Hey, it’s like a zoo.  I’ve got this.  I’ve been here before.” It takes a little bit of the unknown away that comes with the other Disney Parks, which is oftentimes why Animal Kingdom is listed as a Walt Disney World favorite for kids.

  • The Boneyard
  • Chester & Hester’s Dino-Rama
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Finding Nemo – The Musical
  • Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris (Fastpass + recommendation) 
  • Maharajah Jungle Trek
  • Na’vi River Journey (Fastpass + recommendation) 
  • Oasis
  • Pandora – The World of AVATAR
  • Rafiki’s Planet Watch
  • Tree of Life Trails
  • TriceraTop Spin

Nighttime Shows

Magic Kingdom

  • Happily Ever After (fireworks and castle projection show – the coolest one ever!)
  • Once Upon a Time (castle projection show)

Epcot

  • Illuminations: Reflections of Earth (fireworks, lights, and lasers show)

Hollywood Studios

  • Fantasmic! (nighttime extravaganza with Disney characters, water screen projections, pyrotechnics, and more!) (Fastpass + recommendation) 
  • Star Wars: A Galactic Spectacular Fireworks (fireworks and projection show on the Chinese Theater set to iconic Star Wars music)

Animal Kingdom

  • Rivers of Light (nighttime show that takes place on the water with beautiful floats, music, lights, and fountains) (Fastpass + recommendation) 

 

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