If your travel party for your Walt Disney World Holiday includes some Under-5s, you may be worried about what rides and attractions your Preschooler can do and enjoy. After all, a Disney Holiday is for all of the family and it’s important to get the right blend of activities so that everyone in your party will enjoy their days at the Theme Parks. There are plenty of attractions with no height restriction at all, making them the perfect choices for the whole family to enjoy; however, the picky and fussy 3-5 year old category has discerning (and most of the time illogical) tastes. It can sometimes take some forward thinking to find just the right attractions that your preschooler is able to ride, while still being entertaining enough and yet not too scary or overwhelming at the same time.
Have a look at our Height Restriction Generator to figure out what rides your children can ride; your preschooler may be tall enough for some of the main thrill rides (provided you feel they won’t be too scared of them!). I took a look at all the attractions with no height restriction or a restriction of Under 100cm, and then, with some input from my 4 year old, I compiled a list of the 10 Best Preschooler Rides in Walt Disney World.
The Many Adventures of Winnie The Pooh
At the back of the Castle in Magic Kingdom, Winnie the Pooh is a brilliant attraction for all young children as there is no height restriction. The ride itself is reasonably gentle, but there are a few ‘bouncy’ bits which should keep your preschooler entertained and giggling. One of the best parts about Winnie The Pooh however, is the interactive ride queue. With 4 areas of fun and games to keep practically everyone amused while waiting for your turn on the main attraction, our preschooler admitted to enjoying the wait as much as he enjoyed the attraction itself! You can get a FastPass+ for this ride, but the interactive queue is so good I would recommend making this one of the attractions you wait in line for.
Peter Pan’s Flight
Another Magic Kingdom attraction, located not far from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Peter Pan’s Flight is another ride with no height requirement. Flying high over London and heading off to NeverLand in a ship, most children love the mild thrill of flight in Peter Pan’s Flight. Our son loved peering out at the scenes from Peter Pan, particularly the ones involving the Pirates. However, Peter Pan’s Flight is immensely popular and queue for this attraction can become very long very quickly; I would recommend using a FastPass+ allocation to ensure your preschooler doesn’t miss out on this beloved attraction.
Turtle Talk with Crush
A must-do at Epcot, Turtle Talk with Crush is an interactive experience where your preschooler will get to talk to and ask Crush their questions. Each 15-minute show is different as they’re all improvised, but we’ve always found them funny, engaging and entertaining. Make sure you check out the times guide to work out show times; but if you’ve some time to spare before or after the show, make sure you explore The Seas pavilion. Along with is housing a Finding Nemo Ride (another perfect pre-schooler attraction!), you can also explore the large aquariums, which are perfect for teaching your inquisitive Under-5 about sea life.
Festival of The Lion King
One of the highlights of Animal Kingdom, Festival of the Lion King is a 30 minute show filled with fantastic performances of the music from The Lion King. With live singers, puppets and acrobatic performers, this show is one of our preschoolers favourite Walt Disney World attractions. With no height restriction, the whole family with find the show entertaining; and with the theatre being air conditioned, it’s the perfect choice for those looking for a break from the heat of the day. However, some younger children may find the noise of the theatre a bit scary; I would recommend finding a seat near an exit so someone can slip out with a younger kid if the show proves to be too much for them.
Not the obvious choice as a perfect ride for preschoolers, the Safari attraction in Animal Kingdom is nonetheless a brilliant fit for the curiosity and sponge-like minds of the Under-5 group. Giving you a taste of what a real safari would be like, your preschooler will love being able to spot wild animals they really only ever get to see in books. The facts about these animals imparted by the driver is a brilliant way to keep little minds active and curious – although I would recommend a little swatting up before you go if you’ve got a particularly curious child who will ask lots of questions! Kilimanjaro Safaris has no height restriction, however it is a bumpy ride, so please check any health warning signs to ensure the attraction is suitable for your whole party
Dumbo The Flying Elephant
Refurbished during the New FantasyLand expansion, Dumbo the Flying Elephant offers you the chance to soar high above Magic Kingdom. While the ride itself is fairly generic (it is replicated in the Astro-Orbitor and Magic Carpets of Aladdin in Magic Kingdom alone), it is a fun attraction most preschool age children will enjoy. What makes Dumbo a better choice than the others is their new queuing system; you are handed a pager which virtually keeps your place in the queue and will buzz when it’s time for your party to board the attraction. In the meantime, your young children can play in an indoor (air conditioned!) playground, complete with slides and climbing nets. Our son really loved the playground, and its a perfect way to keep kids busy so that they don’t realise how long they’re queueing for.
Toy Story Midway Mania
By far one of the most popular attraction in Walt Disney World, Toy Story Midway Mania is a virtual 4D shooting gallery, allowing you to compete with your party to see who can get the highest score. This attraction, based at Hollywood Studios, is loud, fun and interactive and is a real hit with players of all ages. We’ve found the ‘guns’ are easy enough for a 3 year old to aim and shoot, and the array of 3D surprises will have you all giggling your way round this ride. Queues for this attraction can easily hit 90-120 minutes which is a long wait for an Under-5, so FastPass+ reservations are strongly recommended if you wish to ride Toy Story Midway Mania.
There are many 3D cinemas throughout Walt Disney World, but Mickey’s PhilharMagic in Magic Kingdom is by far the best option for groups with young kids. Join Mickey Mouse and friends for a tour of some of the most memorable Disney songs, all combined with fun special effects which makes this show perfect for young children. As with all 3D cinemas, you can expect effects to include bursts of air and splashes of water (not enough to soak you), which our preschooler found incredibly funny! Of all the shows like this one, I think Mickey’s PhilharMagic is the best for younger children; it best follows their interests without being too frightening for them.
Mission: Space Advanced Training Lab
If your preschooler is anything like ours, they’ll be annoyed that they’re not yet big enough for the ‘grown-up’ rides. Our little one sulked each time our group headed towards anything with a meter stick outside it! So when we hit Mission: Space in Epcot, it was brilliant to find there was a perfect interactive area at the exit of the main ride which is perfect for those who can’t (or won’t!) ride. With a soft play area and plenty of computer games (including a cool group game which is the main feature), the Advanced Training Lab really is an attraction in itself and is perfect for keeping your party occupied while members of it are on the rid
With a height restriction of 89cm, The Barnstormer in Magic Kingdom is a mild roller coaster that most kids should be able to ride from around 2 1/2 (if you feel comfortable letting them on it!) Most preschoolers love being able to finally get on a ‘big kid’ ride, and our son in particular took great joy in finally standing beside a meter stick that he passed the restriction mark on. It is worth bearing in mind that this is a roller coaster, and as such there are a few drops and you do get mildly thrown about; it is ultimately up to your and your child to decide when they’re ready to first ride it!