Top 3 Under 3: Best Disney World Rides for Toddlers at Each Park

by | Oct 14, 2021 | WDW Blog

Taking your tot to a Disney Park for the first time? We’ve rounded up the three best Disney World rides for toddlers in each of the four theme parks.

The beauty of Walt Disney World is that there’s so much to do—no matter how young or old (or big or small!) you might be. But, of course, that doesn’t mean everyone can do everything.

Fortunately, there’s plenty to do and see for even the youngest mouseketeers. You just have to know where to look. Here are my top three recommended Disney world attractions for kids under 3 at each theme park. 

[metaslider id=”50088″]

3 Best Disney World Rides for Toddlers at Magic Kingdom

cinderella castle magic kingdom

Photo by Brett Svenson

Most would agree that Magic Kingdom offers the most attractions for Disney’s youngest guests (and those young at heart). And that’s true.

But there are a few that stand out for me as the mother of a toddler. 

[metaslider id=”40370″]

1. “it’s a small world”

small world fantasyland - best disney world rides for toddlers at magic kingdom

“it’s a small world” is an iconic attraction for small kids. Photo by Mike Billick

Some adults might grumble about the unapologetically bold opening-day attraction, but most disembark the happy little cruise happily humming the Sherman Brothers’ tune all the same

That’s because “it’s a small world” truly is a classic attraction and a favorite (although, for some, a begrudging one) for many who board it. 

It’s the perfect ride for growing minds and little ears. Aboard this merry cruise, you’ll find a catchy tune, bright and bold colors (thanks to Mary Blair flair), and a truly heart-warming message about unity and acceptance

2. Peter Pan’s Flight

peter pan's flight - best disney world rides for toddlers

Peter Pan’s Flight is a kid and adult favorite at Magic Kingdom. Photo by Cliff Wang

For one reason or another, most toddlers I know are obsessed with pirates and mermaids—and Peter Pan’s Flight offers both.

Thanks to this classic Fantasyland attraction, my daughter has been flying through Neverland long before she could walk. From taking flight in a real-life pirate ship to watching favorite characters come to life with vibrant colors and familiar swashbuckling scenes, this attraction ranks among both my own and my daughter’s must-do rides. (Plus, even the queue is magically entertaining!) 

Our October issue of WDW Magazine dives deep into the magic, history, and Imagineering of Peter Pan’s Flight. Subscribe today for just $8 a month so you never miss out on another exclusive story about your favorite Disney World attractions!

Start your subscription today!

3. Dumbo The Flying Elephant

dumbo the flying elephant magic kingdom

Fly with your favorite elelphant. Photo by Cliff Wang

On this timeless attraction, you don’t just fly; you soar.

My daughter has been giggling aboard this one for ages. As soon as she could maneuver the altitude-controlling lever, she has loved helping Dumbo fly (and making mommy queasy).


My daughter loves Dumbo, partially just because of the playground. Photo courtesy of Dani Moritz

And, with the addition of the big-top tent indoor play area, she gets to run around in air-conditioned respite while waiting for her turn to take flight. Sometimes, we even head over to Dumbo just to enjoy the playground.  

[metaslider id=”53772″]

3 Best Disney World Rides for Toddlers at EPCOT

spaceship earth lights epcot

EPCOT is an adult’s playground, but it offers plenty for kids too. Photo by Danny Shuster

EPCOT is all about exploration—exploration of science, nature, imagination, and culture—which makes it the perfect place for toddlers to play and learn. And with the new Play Pavilion slated for next year, it’s soon to be the destination for kids at Disney World.

1. The Seas with Nemo & Friends

children watching dolphin at the seas with nemo and friends

Such a serene place to bring your tot. Photo by Laurie Sapp

In addition to Nemo’s underwater attraction being an exciting ride in its own right, what really makes this ride special is the underwater world it’s a part of

The Seas with Nemo & Friends Pavilion features an incredible 5.7-million-gallon saltwater aquarium where children and parents can explore the ocean together. My daughter loves spotting turles and rays on the observation deck and hanging with Bruce in Bruce’s Shark World. Getting her to leave the pavilion, though, now that’s a challenge …


My daughter Sagan and her papa watching her auntie dive through the EPCOT Seas Adventures DiveQuest experience. Photo courtesy of Dani Moritz

Want to learn more about The Seas with Nemo & Friends? Dive into our June 2021 issue all about water at Walt Disney World. It’s available on our site now for just $12 + shipping.

The Wave Joffreys Coffee WDW Magazine June 2021 Issue

Order your copy today. Photo by Rain Blanken

🐠 Dive In With Your Copy

2. Journey Into Imagination With Figment

Journey into the imagination with figment - best disney world rides for toddlers in epcot

Figment is my daughter’s favorite. Photo by Judd Helms

While this particular attraction has caused its fair share of controversy over the years, Journey Into Imagination With Figment remains one of my toddler’s favorite attractions. In fact, Figment (or “fitment” as she calls him) is among her favorite characters, and she’s absolutely obsessed with the sleeping Figment plush her auntie bought her.  

RELATED: Find out where to find the gold Figment Fab 50 statue in EPCOT

She loves the catchy tune (another Sherman Brothers masterpiece) and is intrigued by learning about her senses—especially her imagination.

3. Grand Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros

gran fiesta tour featuring the three caballeos - best disney world rides for toddlers in epcot

The Gran Fiesta Tour featuring The Three Caballeros. Photo by Cliff Wang.

While there are other more recent hits I considered for this piece (like Frozen Ever After and Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure), those can be a little too wild for the under three crowd. A musical cruise down the Rio Grande with Donald Duck and his amigos, however, is a great choice for tots who are sure to be mesmerized by Donald’s familiarly silly antics.

Experience the magic of Gran Fiesta in our special World Showcase back issue of WDW Magazine, available now in our shop.


Order today. Photo by Rain Blanken

3 Best Disney World Rides for Toddlers At Animal Kingdom 


My daughter Sagan and her grammy during her first visit to Animal Kingdom. Photo courtesy of Dani Moritz

Another park that’s all about edutainment, Animal Kingdom features several height-restricted thrill attractions, but there’s also plenty to do for those who aren’t quite ready to brave the Yeti.

1. Kilimanjaro Safaris

While I was apprehensive of taking my then-infant on the Kilimanjaro Safari at first (I’m the kind of mom who imagines a lot of horrifying what-if scenarios), I’m so glad I did.

Giraffe on kilmanjaro safaris - best disney world rides for toddlers in animal kingdom

Watching the giraffes eat can entertain all day. Photo by Laurie Sapp

As long as your tiny tot is tucked safely in the middle of a safari bench seat, this African safari introduces explorers to extraordinary animals through up close and personal encounters you just don’t find anywhere else.

Watching my daughter’s eyes grow wide as she spies giraffes grazing from the treetops just feet away is nothing short of incredible. 

Looking for more tips from parents like you for your big trip to Disney World? Subscribe to our monthly magazine for our recurring “With Kids” column that takes you into the lesser-known park experiences that most visitors don’t even know about!


Subscribe for expert family tips at Disney World. Photo by Julie de la Fe

Start Your Subscription Today

2. Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail


The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail is the perfect way to take it easy with kids. Photo by Laurie Sapp

The Gorilla Falls Exploration Trail is definitely an underappreciated gem. This easy-to-navigate African trek features more opportunities for children to see and learn about animals

Among my daughter’s favorites on the trail are the hippos, gorillas, and the absolutely adorable meerkats who just might rival her own endless energy.

[metaslider id=”50088″]

3. Na’vi River Journey

Na'vi River Journey best disney world rides with toddlers at animal kingdom

Explore the Na’Vi River Journey. Photo by Laurie Sapp

A departure from the real natural world, the world of Pandora is jaw-dropping and awe-inspiring for adults and children alike. When I introduced my then early two-year-old to the bioluminescent river, she couldn’t take her eyes off it and was completely mesmerized by the sights and sounds of the soothing and exotic forest. 

3 Best Disney World Rides for Toddlers at Hollywood Studios

Toy Story Land with kids

Photo by Brett Svenson

A Hollywood actress in the making, my little diva fits right in at Hollywood Studios—which welcomes its young guests to become the star of the show. It’s the perfect place for kids to become immersed in some of their favorite films and find themselves right in the middle of the action.

1. Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway


While a little wild, Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is a great option for smaller mouseketeers. Photo courtesy of Dani Moritz

While I don’t think I’ll ever accept the demise of The Great Movie Ride, my daughter is fascinated with its replacement, fondly referring to it as the “Goofy crazy driver ride.” This whimsical, whirlwind attraction features the Sensational Six in a captivating and thrilling adventure.

Keep in mind, though, while this is a tot-friendly attraction, it can get a little bumpy. Hold on tight to your little one—especially when Daisy’s dance studio comes into view.

[metaslider id=”40370″]

2. For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration

This is a much more tot-friendly way for little ones to experience Arendelle than Frozen Ever After in EPCOT.

If your child is a fan of Elsa and Anna (and what child isn’t?) you cannot miss this Frozen sing-along experience. Led by Arendelle’s royal historians, this enchanting show invites your little ones to sing along to their favorite Frozen tunes while providing a splash of adult humor for their grown-up entourage


My daughter is always dazzled by For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration. Photo courtesy of Dani Moritz

And if you’re not a fan of the world-famous musical hits, well … you best just let it go

3. Toy Story Mania!

While younger fans can’t fully experience the arcade-style attraction and might need assistance with the 4D glasses the ride requires, they can still enjoy this Toy Story-themed experience.


Toy Story Mania! is perfect for the next generation of Toy Story fans—even if they aren’t quite ready for the arcade-style games. Photo courtesy of Dani Moritz

Having watched all four Toy Story films approximately 1 billion times each in her three years, my daughter especially enjoys seeing her favorite characters come to life and likes to spot some of her favorite games in Andy’s room.

And whether she’s actually capable of playing the games or not, she’ll tell you she won

One Final Ride 

Finally, if you play your cards right, there’s one final ride your tot can experience—the ride home. Whether you’re hopping on the monorail, soaring on the Skyliner (my daughter’s new favorite ride), or boarding a ferry boat, your last ride to your resort or car can absolutely be one last magical attraction

What did you think about our choices for the best Disney World rides for toddlers? Does your little one like something different? Share with us on Facebook!

How to Introduce Kids to Disney Fireworks: A Guide for Little Mouse Ears

Becoming a Disney Mom: 3 Tips for Navigating the Transition from Childless Adult to Disney Parent

[metaslider id=”53772″]

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter

All things Disney, delivered weekly to your inbox.

Latest Posts

Posts by Dani Moritz

Dani has been visiting Disney Parks since she was two years old. She’s part of a DVC member family, a WDW annual passholder and former Cast Member, and the kind of Disney fan who still cries when she watches the Magic Kingdom fireworks. Since having her daughter, though, her favorite Disney title is Disney mom, and she’s loving sharing her love of the mouse with her toddler—who almost loves Walt Disney World as much as she does.

Authored by
Dani Moritz

Dani has been visiting Disney Parks since she was two years old. She’s part of a DVC member family, a WDW annual passholder and former Cast Member, and the kind of Disney fan who still cries when she watches the Magic Kingdom fireworks. Since having her daughter, though, her favorite Disney title is Disney mom, and she’s loving sharing her love of the mouse with her toddler—who almost loves Walt Disney World as much as she does.
    Your Cart
    Your cart is emptyReturn to Shop