Disney World is of course beloved by all ages. But if you’re traveling with a baby or a toddler, or even an elementary schooler, you may be wondering what rides and experiences are appropriate for kids of a specific age. Sure, Disney World is a family friendly place, but that doesn’t make all rides at Disney World kid-friendly. (I mean, honestly I’m still not sure I’m old enough to ride Dinosaur.)
If you’re wondering what Disney World rides are appropriate for your kid, we hope this guide of Disney World rides by age will help you out! And don’t worry — there’s something for every age at every park, from babies to thrill-seeking older kids and adults. That’s what makes Disney so magical for the whole family!
Also, looking for Disney World ride height requirements? You can find a full list of every ride here.
Disney World Rides for Babies
There are plenty of Disney rides that are baby-friendly! From Dumbo to It’s a Small World, there are so many classic rides to take the littlest members of your family on. Your best bet for rides with babies are going to be at Magic Kingdom and Epcot.
Note that these are also great rides for expecting mothers.
Magic Kingdom Rides for Babies
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant — Loop around the sky in a Dumbo car that is still gentle enough for a baby.
- It’s a Small World — This boat ride with colorful sights and cheerful music is a ride your baby will love!
- Jungle Cruise — A gentle cruise through the jungle, complete with corny dad-jokes.
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin — This is almost identical to Dumbo, except in a flying carpet…and a camel that sometimes spits water on you, so be aware of that.
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh — A gentle dark ride through Pooh’s adventures. There are some gentle bumps and sways, but it’s still pretty baby friendly!
- Peter Pan’s Flight — Soar over the streets of London in this classic family-friendly ride. (It’s also one of my absolute favorites!)
- Prince Charming Regal Carousel — A classic carousel everyone will love. Includes benches you can sit on with small babies.
- Tomorrowland Transit Authority PeopleMover — This is a basically an open air tram that takes you through Tomorrowland. So relaxing.
- Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid — A gentle dark ride similar to Pooh and Peter Pan, although slightly smoother.
Epcot Rides for Babies
- Spaceship Earth — This is a slow-moving dark ride in tram-like cars through the history of humanity. Very slow and gentle (although a bit long, so be aware of that especially if you have a baby who might get fussy).
- The Seas with Nemo and Friends — Ride through the Seas pavilion in this family-friendly Nemo themed ride. Very similar to Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom (except with real fish!).
- Journey into Imagination with Figment — A dark slow ride about the 5 senses and imagination with a purple dragon named Figment. The darkness, sounds, smells and storyline are a bit more intense than something like It’s a Small World, but it should still be fine for a baby.
- Living with the Land — A gentle boat ride through the greenhouses of the Land pavilion.
- Gran Fiesta Tour — This small boat ride in the Mexico Pavilion has a similar feel to It’s a Small World.
Hollywood Studios Rides for Babies
Honestly, in Hollywood Studios your best bet for fun with your baby is going to be the shows. Stage entertainment has long been the focus of Hollywood Studios, and there are many more shows here than there are rides.
We especially love Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage and For the First Time in Forever Frozen Singalong.
Animal Kingdom Rides for Babies
- Na’vi River Journey — This dark boat ride through the Pandora forest is gentle and lovely. Like It’s a Small World, but updated and on a different planet.
- TriceraTop Spin — TriceraTop Spin is just like Dumbo, except in dinosaur cars.
- Wildlife Express Train — You can take a train ride to the petting zoo and exhibits at Conservation Station.
Disney World Rides for Toddlers and Preschoolers
Disney rides for preschool-age children and toddlers are still very gentle, with just a couple of thrills (like small drops on boat rides). Know your kids though — if they are going to completely freak-out over some loud booms or a small drop, maybe don’t expect them to love Pirates of the Caribbean. (Confession — the first time I went to Disney World when I was 3 I was so scared on Pirates that I hid on the floor of the boat.)
But most of these are rides your preschooler (or brave toddler!) are going to be able to handle! And obviously, all of the baby-friendly rides will still be rides your preschoolers will love!
Magic Kingdom Rides for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Astro-Orbiter — This ride operates just like Dumbo. But because its height and speed, it is a bit more intense than Dumbo and therefore more appropriate for preschoolers and other older kids.
- Barnstormer — This short coaster makes for a perfect first roller coaster experience for your kiddo! Height requirement: 35 inches (89 cm).
- Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin — Really this ride would be fine for babies to go on, but will be more exciting for your preschoolers!
- The Haunted Mansion — This ride is dark and gentle, but it is a haunted mansion and has some spooky stuff and flashing lights and lots of ghosts, so know how scared your kid is going to be.
- Mad Tea Party — The Tea Cups are a ride your preschooler is sure to love! And grown-ups are sure to feel queasy after!
- Pirates of the Caribbean — This dark boat ride is mostly pretty gentle, but it does have one small drop and some loud noises that might be frightening. So again, know your own kid.
- Seven Dwarfs Mine Train — A gentle coaster most kids will love! It’s a bit more intense than Barnstormer, but also smoother. For brave preschoolers! Height requirement: 38 inches (97 cm).
- Tomorrowland Speedway — Drive a car on the Tomorrowland Speedway, a favorite with kids! Height requirement: 32 inches (82 cm).
Epcot Rides for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Frozen Ever After — This boat ride in Norway will be a favorite with your Elsa and Anna loving preschoolers. It does have two small drops, but even your hesitant toddlers will be so overcome with Frozen fever they probably won’t mind.
Hollywood Studios Rides for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Alien Swirling Saucers — This quick-paced spinning ride is perfect for the toddler and preschool age group! And less intense on the spinning than the Tea Cups. Height requirement: 32 inches (81 cm).
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway — A trackless dark ride the whole family will love! It’s a bit fast-moving for babies, but should delight your preschooler.
- Slinky Dog Dash — If you have a brave preschooler, this kid-friendly roller coaster is perfect! Height requirement: 38 inches (97 cm).
- Toy Story Midway Mania — A dark ride that takes your through a series of virtual 3D carnival games.
Animal Kingdom Rides for Toddlers and Preschoolers
- Kilmanjaro Safaris — The only reason Kilmanjaro Safaris didn’t make our baby list is because it can get a little bouncy over the rough roads. Otherwise, the whole family will love it!
Worried about staying dry at Disney World? Check out our Guide to Disney Water Rides!
Disney World Rides for School-Aged Kids
Once you get into elementary school-aged children, the lines of what rides are appropriate gets a bit more blurred. You might have a kid that is still to scared too go on Barnstormer, or you might have a child who is all in on Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster.
For this list, we’re going to stay pretty middle of the road — kids who want a few thrills but aren’t quite ready for going upside down on a roller coaster yet.
Plus, obviously everything on the baby and preschool lists still applies here — they all have family-wide appeal!
Magic Kingdom Rides for School-Age Kids
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad — A perfect coaster for kids who have graduated from Barnstormer and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train. Faster and more intense, but not too intense! Height requirement: 40 inches (102 cm).
- Space Mountain — If they love Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, they might also be ready for Space Mountain. Make sure they won’t be afraid of riding a coaster in the dark though! Height requirement: 44 inches (113 cm).
- Splash Mountain — Splash Mountain is 100% tame…until the big drop at the end! Most brave elementary school kids will love it. Height requirement: 40 inches (102 cm).
Epcot Rides for School-Age Kids
- Soarin’ Around the World — Feel like you are flying over the world in this motion simulated ride. Gentler than Flight of Passage (see below). Height requirement: 40 inches (102 cm).
- Mission: SPACE Green — Mission: SPACE Green is a space shuttle simulator that is much less intense than the Orange counterpart. There is some motion simulation, but brave kids should be fine. Height requirement: 40 inches (102 cm).
- Test Track — A ride that simulates auto tests, from swerving roads to sudden stops. The favorite is always the 65 mph racetrack at the end. Height requirement: 40 inches (102 cm).
Hollywood Studios Rides for School-Age Kids
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run — Get into the cockpit of the Millennium Falcon in the motion simulated and interactive ride. Height requirement: 38 inches (97 cm).
- Star Tours — A simulator similar to Smugglers Run, but less intense and in a more auditorium like vehicle than a small cockpit. Height requirement: 40 inches (102 cm).
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance — Everyone says this ride makes you literally feel like you are in a Star Wars movie, so if you have a kid that won’t be afraid of some laser beams being shot at them and a short drop, they’ll be fine! Height requirement: 40 inches (102 cm).
Animal Kingdom Rides for School-Age Kids
- Avatar Flight of Passage — A 3D motion simulator that has you riding on your own banshee through Pandora. Absolutely magical, and if you kid loves Soarin’ they can try this next. Height requirement: 44 inches (112 cm).
- Kali River Rapids — The raft in this ride is circular and spins around on the track, meaning you never know who will get soaked! Height requirement: 38 inches (97 cm).
Disney World Rides for Older Kids
Here’s where we get into the more intense rides: the single Disney roller coaster with an inversion and some rides that I don’t even like to ride. These are the rides for the thrill-seekers in your family!
Magic Kingdom Rides for Older Kids
Congratulations! You’ve hit the thrill limit of Magic Kingdom!
Honestly, there’s nothing in Magic Kingdom that isn’t appropriate for elementary school-aged kids. The most intense rides you’ll find are the Mountains (Splash, Thunder, and Space), but most kids ages 6-10 will still be fine on these.
This might change once Tron opens though…
Epcot Rides for Older Kids
- Mission: SPACE Orange — This ride is known to be THE most intense ride at Disney World. It’s a space shuttle simulator with 2G forces, and is known to make many an adult queasy. Height requirement: 44 inches.
Hollywood Studios Rides for Older Kids
- Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster — This coaster has the claim to fame of Disney World’s only inversion. It also starts out with a burst of speed — reaching 60 mph in under 3 seconds. Height requirement: 48 inches (122 cm).
- Twilight Zone Tower of Terror — Enter this haunted hotel with an elevator that drops you into free fall over and over again. (Honestly, I hate drops so this is one I refuse to ride. I did it once in my life and that was enough for the rest of eternity.) Height requirement: 40 inches (102 cm).
Animal Kingdom Rides for Older Kids
- Dinosaur — This is a dark ride that moves through a land of dinosaurs until an incoming asteroid becomes…a problem. The ride vehicle is a Jeep, but there are plenty of bumps and scary situations to make this a true thrill ride. Height requirement: 40 inches (102 cm).
- Expedition Everest — One of my favorite coasters. Ride up high into the Himalayas until you encounter a yeti, and have to escape backwards. Height requirement: 44 inches (113 cm).
A Note About Disney World Shows
Almost every single show at Disney World is going to be appropriate and enjoyable for all ages.
The one exception to this rule is Animal Kingdom’s It’s Tough to Be a Bug. This is a 3D show inspired by the movie, complete with smells and feels (including things that poke you from your seat). There are also spiders that drop down from the ceiling at one point.
I think It’s Tough to Be a Bug is supposed to be family friendly, but I have legitimately seen families get up and leave the show with crying children in the middle, so I wouldn’t recommend it to young kids or for anyone who is afraid of bugs.
Need more help planning your Disney trip? See our Guide to Planning Your Disney Trip!