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Rafiki

Toddlers present a unique challenge for families visiting Walt Disney World. While they’re old enough to have an opinion about what’s going on around them, they can't yet distinguish what’s imaginary from what’s terrifyingly real.

The following attractions are all free of height restrictions so you’re welcome to take children of any age. However, as you’ll quickly find, not all experiences that are open to small children will be enjoyable for them.

The Best Attractions for Toddlers...

1. Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Magic Kingdom

Dumbo the Flying Elephant is a classic attraction that guests of all ages are welcome to fly on. Dumbo was so popular that it spawned a twin in the New Fantasyland. Walt Disney World visitors today will find two identical Dumbo attractions spinning side-by-side.

The best part of this attraction is hidden from sight, though. Inside the circus tent you’ll find an interactive indoor playground for children to enjoy midway through the queue. Even if your little ones don’t want to take to the skies, they can still pop in here and play to their heart’s content.

2. Tom Sawyer Island, Magic Kingdom

Whitewashed Fence

Tom Sawyer Island isn’t a ride, but it still qualifies as an attraction because you’ll find plenty to do and explore. It’s an ideal spot for little ones to explore, run, and burn off energy. You can’t walk to Tom Sawyer Island. Look for the small raft dock in Frontierland near Big Thunder Mountain.

3. Conservation Station, Disney's Animal Kingdom

Conservation Station is another open area where children can stretch their legs and explore. At first glance, this spot looks a little dry for the younger set. There are a lot of science exhibits that will go over their heads. However, with the right adult, this becomes a thrilling place to see wildlife up close. Many of the habitats have windows that are low to the ground so toddlers can peer right in. Rafiki is here for a meet and greet as well.

Don’t miss the Song of the Rainforest rooms at the back where you relax on soft benches, put on headphones, and listen to a presentation from Grandma Willow. Even if your children don’t listen, this is a great place to quietly breastfeed or give your child a bottle while you enjoy the peace and quiet.

4. Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, Epcot

Image: Disney

The Gran Fiesta Tour is inside the Mexico pyramid in Epcot’s World Showcase. The line is rarely long, so your impatient preschoolers won’t have to wait long for the adventure. The slow-moving boat ride is bright and colorful so there’s lots to see. Even the smallest visitors can stay engaged from beginning to end.

5. Disney Junior – Live on Stage, Disney's Hollywood Studios

Image: Disney

Disney Junior – Live on Stage is a puppet show starring popular characters from Disney Junior cartoons. If your child is familiar with Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Sophia the First, Doc McStuffins, and Jake and the Neverland Pirates, they’ll find lots of familiar faces here. The only drawback is that everyone – including parents – has to sit on the floor, so longer legs can easily fall asleep before the end of the show.

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Comments

I was recently at Epcot for Food & Wine with two friends, and one had a toddler. Her favorite ride is the Seas with Nemo. The whole ride she gleefully pointed and said "fish, fish, Nemo, Nemo". She found the smaller fish tanks in the area formerly known as Seabase Alpha fascinating as well.

I would also like to add that Stitch's Great Escape in MK is not a good ride for toddlers or an autistic child. Just like with the Bug's life there are things poking, spraying, and hissing near you but you can't see them because it is VERY dark almost no light.

I have a tip, for the little ones on the dark rides.
Bring a glow stick and put it on the floor so they don't get scared.

My boys love the show for Disney Junior but are always frustrated that they can not see. The stage is high and the puppets come out of the floor of the stage making it very hard for little ones and even adults to see the full show. We have sat in many different areas and always have the same issue. Little ones want to stand up and dance but sitting is strictly enforced by cast members and this also creates frustration with little ones. It would be nice if the space could be reconfigured a little for better viewing.

My little one loves the alien scene at the Great Movie Ride too! She giggles at the hissing Xenomorph! And here I was thinking she was just a weirdo....

Although her favorite FAVORITE thing at WDW is the teacups. Which she calls "the mugs" because she's hilarious.

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