The author Katie Lusnia with her toddler son on a Skyliner in Disney World

Disney World With Toddlers (A Local Mom’s Essential Guide)

Most parents dream of the day when they can bring their kids to Walt Disney World. However, many wonder if it is worth it to visit Disney with toddlers. Will it be too much for them? Will they have fun? 

Luckily, the Walt Disney World Resort ensures that there is endless fun for all ages, including those challenging little ones. 

My son is almost 2 years old, so we are in full toddler mode. Now that I am visiting Disney World with a little one, I can confidently share the best activities and attractions for toddlers. I also throw in my best tips for making the most of your time at Disney World with toddlers. 

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Best Walt Disney World Attractions for Toddlers, by Park

Magic Kingdom with Toddlers

People enjoying spinning in the Mad Tea Party
Toddlers can control the spinning on Mad Tea Party

By far, Magic Kingdom has the most toddler-friendly attractions of all the Walt Disney World parks. If you only have one day to visit Disney World with toddlers, the Magic Kingdom park will provide the most fun. 

A majority of the attractions at Magic Kingdom do not have height requirements and are calm enough that most children enjoy riding them. Plus, kids love seeing their favorite Disney princesses and movie characters around the theme park. 

Best Magic Kingdom Attractions for Toddlers:

  • Astro Orbiter
  • Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
  • Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • Enchanted Tales with Belle
  • “it’s a small world”
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • The Magic Carpets of Aladdin 
  • The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Mickey’s PhilharMagic
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Pirates of the Caribbean
  • Prince Charming Regal Carrousel
  • Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover
  • Tom Sawyer Island
  • Under the Sea ~ Journey of the Little Mermaid
  • Walt Disney World Railroad

Epcot with Toddlers

View of people outside the Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure and a water fountain in front of it
Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure has no height requirement, so all guests can ride

Epcot has historically had a reputation of being more geared towards adults and not having enough activities for young children. In my opinion, this is still true, but the Walt Disney Company has put in a lot of effort to add kid-friendly experiences to the park. 

Best Epcot Attractions for Toddlers:

  • Advanced Training Lab at Mission: SPACE
  • Frozen Ever After
  • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
  • Journey Into Imagination With Figment
  • Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure
  • The Seas with Nemo & Friends
  • Turtle Talk With Crush

Disney’s Hollywood Studios with Toddlers

View of the Cruz Ramirez from the Cars in Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy
See Lighting McQueen and his friend Cruz Ramirez at the Racing Academy

Hollywood Studios has the fewest toddler-friendly attractions. Most of the rides have height requirements that young ones won’t be able to meet. However, the park has several locations to meet their favorite Disney characters. 

The Disney Junior dance party is a fun place to let toddlers run around and hang out with Disney Junior characters. Also, young kids love playing in Toy Story Land because of the fun, colorful decor. 

Best Hollywood Studios Attractions for Toddlers:

  • Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage
  • Disney Jr Play & Dance!
  • For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration
  • Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy
  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Muppet*Vision 3D
  • Toy Story Mania! in Toy Story Land

Disney’s Animal Kingdom with Toddlers

People enjoying the TriceraTop Spin attraction in Disney World
TriceraTop Spin lets toddlers fly high above Dinoland USA

It’s no secret that most toddlers love visiting the zoo, and Animal Kingdom is a mix of a zoo and a theme park. There are several toddler-friendly attractions in addition to seeing the animals. The walking trails in Africa, Asia, and Discovery Island allow toddlers to explore and see animals at their own pace. 

Best Animal Kingdom Attractions for Toddlers:

  • Affection Section
  • The Boneyard
  • Conservation Station
  • Festival of the Lion King
  • Finding Nemo – The Musical
  • It’s Tough to be a Bug!
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Na’vi River Journey
  • TriceraTop Spin
  • UP! A Great Bird Adventure
  • Wildlife Express Train

Things to Do With Toddlers at Disney World

Play Areas

A small playground in Disney’s Caribbean Beach Resort
Caribbean Beach Resort has

Three Disney World parks have designated play areas: Magic Kingdom, Epcot, and Animal Kingdom. In Fantasyland, toddlers can even play in the splash pad next to Pete’s Silly Sideshow in Storybook Circus. Plus, most Disney resort hotels have playgrounds or green spaces for kids to get out their energy. 

Kidcot Fun Stops (Epcot)

Adults love to explore the World Showcase in Epcot, especially during one of the many festivals. I’ve seen how bored young children can get at this Disney World park. Luckily, Kidcot Fun Stops are conveniently located in every country pavilion. Parents can enjoy their food and drinks while the little ones get to color and collect small souvenirs. 

Festival Scavenger Hunts (Epcot)

Throughout most of the year, there is a special festival running at Epcot. Each festival has a themed scavenger hunt around the park. For example, the Food & Wine Festival has Remy’s Ratatouille Hide & Squeak. 

The map and stickers can be purchased for a small fee. Once you’ve found all the items, toddlers can collect a festival keepsake. 

Meet Characters

The Doc McStuffins mascot in Disney Junior Dance & Play
Toddlers love to meet Doc McStuffins outside Disney Junior Dance & Play!

All the Disney parks have character meet-and-greets. You can use the My Disney Experience app to find nearby characters and see wait times. 

Lines can get pretty long for popular characters, like the princesses. One of the best ways to meet characters is to get advanced dining reservations for character meals. 

👉 Pro Tip: If you’re looking to meet Mickey Mouse himself but don’t want to wait in a long line, dine at Chef Mickey’s at Disney’s Contemporary Resort. Try to book breakfast there and then head next door to the Magic Kingdom. 

Wilderness Explorers – Animal Kingdom

View of the Wilderness Explorers booth on Discovery Island
You can find Wilderness Explorers Headquarters on the bridge to Discovery Island

If you’ve seen the movie Up, you already know about the Wilderness Explorers. Disney World brought this group to life at Animal Kingdom. Toddlers and children can explore the park and earn badges for learning about animals and the environment. 

Recreation Activities

If you are spending your Disney World vacation at one of the Disney resorts, then you can take advantage of several recreational activities. Every Disney hotel has a pool and several have a kid’s splash area. 

Throughout the day, recreation cast members will have special activities, including evening campfires. After spending time with the crowds at the theme parks, your toddlers will enjoy being able to let off steam and play freely. 

📚 Related Reading: Looking for other things to do with your children? I put together an article with the Top Things to Do with Kids in Orlando

Tips for Visiting Disney with Toddlers

Use the Baby Care Centers

All the parks have a Baby Care Center, equipped with a nursing area, changing room, restroom, feeding area, and small kitchen. There is also a small seating area with a television. If your toddler is getting overwhelmed or overheated, this is a great spot to relax and regroup.

Don’t Miss the “Adult” Rides

Just because you’re visiting Disney World with toddlers doesn’t mean that you need to miss out on the thrill rides. Rider Switch is offered at most of the attractions with height requirements. Ask a cast member how the service works at each attraction because the protocols can be different. 

Get the Right Stroller

Disney World offers stroller rentals, but I would skip them if you can. They are made of hard plastic and only have a small shade piece, so kids can easily get overheated. You’ll want to have a compact stroller that is easy to maneuver. A large shade or a rain cover will most likely come in handy with the Florida weather. 

👉 Pro Tip: Several companies offer stroller rentals in Orlando. If you have a rental car, you can pick up the stroller at the airport. They can also drop the stroller off at your hotel. 

Stay at a Fun Hotel

The author's husband holding their son while recreating one of the scene from the Lion King movie
Marsden doesn’t understand the scene we are recreating but he loves all the characters at the Art of Animation Resort

Since there are several different Disney hotels, make it a special family vacation by choosing one geared toward children. 

For toddlers, I recommend staying at Disney’s Art of Animation Resort. The rooms are themed with classic Disney movies. The pools are amazing and toddlers will love riding the Skyliner. 

Watch the Fireworks From Outside of the Parks

Oftentimes, the fireworks are too loud and stimulating for toddlers. Since they are part of the Disney magic, most families still want to find a way to watch the show. There are several places around Disney property where you can watch the fireworks. 

The best location is the beach at Disney’s Polynesian Village Resort because you have a direct view of the show and they play the corresponding music. 

Use the Minnie Van Service

If you are staying at Disney World with toddlers, you need to know about the Minnie Vans. The service is a partnership between Lyft and Disney World, with Disney cast members operating the ride-share vehicles. 

Every single Minnie Van comes with two car seats! These are especially helpful when you are traveling between two resorts or don’t want to wait for Disney transportation at the night’s end. 

📚 Related Reading: Using the Minnie Vans is one of my top Disney tips. Check out my other 48 Disney World tips!

Bring Snacks and Entertainment

The Disney resort allows you to bring food to the theme parks, water parks, and Disney Springs. Add your toddler’s favorite snacks to your Disney packing list so they won’t get hungry throughout the day. I also recommend bringing small toys (that you don’t mind losing) for entertainment. 

Don’t Visit During the Summer

Summer in Orlando is hot and crowded. With toddlers, you should also skip spring break and the winter holidays. The best time to visit Disney World with toddlers is January or October. If you do visit during the busier or hotter season, take breaks and find time to get away from the crowds.

Purchase Memory Maker

Most families have one parent that takes all the photos and ends up in none themselves. When you purchase Memory Maker, you get access to all the photos taken by PhotoPass photographers. Remember, no Disney vacation is complete without an iconic family photo in front of Cinderella Castle. 

Visit Before Toddlers Turn 3

Children under the age of 3 do not need theme park tickets during your Disney trip. If you have a toddler close to turning 3, consider visiting before their birthday to save a lot of money by not purchasing them a Disney park ticket.

📚 Related Reading: There are plenty of ways to save money on a Disney vacation. I put together a whole article with my best tips for Disney World on a budget

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I love visiting Disney World with my toddler and I hope these Disney tips have you ready to enjoy Disney World with toddlers too!

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2 Comments

  1. Hello, i was wondering if you have an Instagram or tiktok etc account for all these helpful WDW things, i have never been before so need all the help i can get 😁

  2. Currently planning a trip to Disney for my son’s 3rd Birthday and your post on this has truly helped me narrow down a lot. Thank you so much for all of this information.

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