Thursday, January 9, 2020

Disney Rides and Attractions For Kids Ages 0-5

A common misconception that I see a lot of people have about Disney are about the rides. A lot of people are under the impression that their little ones can't do the majority of the rides at Disney and it's actually the exact opposite. Most of the rides at Disney are for all ages which makes a family vacation to Disney a great option since everyone can have fun! Today I want to discuss all of the rides at Disney World but I especially want to highlight the rides I think are best to do if you have young kids, ages 0-5.
A lot of people ask about FastPasses. What are they, how do they work and what should I use them for? In short, a Disney FastPass allows you to reserve a ride, character meet and greet, or show in advance. You have a one hour window to use your FastPass (your reservation so to speak) and your FastPass allows you to skip the regular line and walk right onto your ride, character meet, or show without having to wait in line. Three FastPasses are included with your Disney tickets and you can book them 30 days in advance if you're staying off site and 60 days in advance if you're staying on site. If you're staying in a club level room at a Disney resort, you have the option to book your FastPasses 90 days out and purchase 3 additional FastPasses for an extra $50 per person, per day. The advantage of being able to book them as far in advance as possible is ensuring you get to reserve the attraction you want a FastPass to and doing it at the time you prefer. Think of it as a dining reservation--the longer you wait, the chances the restaurant you want will be unavailable and/or there won't be good dining times. You can still go to the restaurant and stand by in the hopes you'll get a table and you probably will, but who knows how long you'll have to wait for it. This is exactly how the Disney FastPass system works.
So. What rides should you choose to use your FastPasses on? It depends. When we go to Disney, we want to be able to do all rides together as a family. This eliminates a few rides that the kids can't do. Some rides we really want to do so we'll take advantage of Rider Swap. Rider Swap is a system that allows parents with young children who aren't capable of riding a ride, to wait with the child while one parent rides, then the other parent can get on the ride without having to wait in line. Scott and I don't really prefer to do that because we like doing everything together as a family but it's definitely a nice option and we have taken advantage of it!
Some rides 100% do not need to be wasted with a FastPass. They never have a wait or if they do, the wait is very short like 5 or 10 minutes. Some rides have a 120 minute wait so you would want a FastPass for those so you won't have to wait in line that long. During less busy times, the chances of you being able to do each of these rides is very high. We went in May one year and did nearly every single one of these rides and never waited longer than 20 minutes. But when we went in December, the wait times were so long we pretty much only did rides we had FastPasses for and thankfully we were staying Club Level so we had 6 FastPasses. And finally, if you don't like the idea of waiting in line for even 20 minutes, get to the park when it opens. The parks don't start filling up until around 9:30 so if you get there at 8:00 you'll feel like you have the whole park to yourself for over an hour. We did this when we went at Christmas, their busiest time of the year, and even then we were able to literally walk right onto several rides with zero wait time. Totally worth waking up early and getting to experience the park with no one there!!
I'm going to put two ** by the rides that always have the longest wait times (therefore you would want a FastPass) and a * by ones you might want a FastPass for if you're going during a busier time. Popular times to be at Disney are holidays, school breaks (spring break, fall break) and summer. Christmas through New Years is the absolute busiest time at Disney World.
Magic Kingdom Fast Pass Attractions
**Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
*Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
*Enchanted Tales with Belle
*Haunted Mansion
It's A Small World
*Jungle Cruise
Mad Tea Party
Mickey’s PhilharMagic
Monster’s, Inc. Laugh Floor
*Pirates of the Caribbean
**Peter Pan’s Flight (my favorite ride at Disney World!)
***Seven Dwarfs Mine Train --most popular ride at MK (aka longest wait time without a FP)
**Space Mountain
**Splash Mountain
The Barnstormer
The Magic Carpets of Aladdin
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
*Tomorrowland Speedway
Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid

Magic Kingdom is the largest park with the most attractions and we always start and end our vacation at MK, therefore we do two full days here--and we need it. If I could only pick three attractions to do at Magic Kingdom I would pick Peter Pan, Mine Train and Enchanted Tells With Belle...yes Belle, even though I'm a boy mom. My boys love Enchanted Tells With Belle and I do too! Out of all of the attractions above, there are only six that my 11 month old was not capable of doing--Big Thunder Mountain, Mine Train, Space and Splash Mountain, The Barnstormer and Tomorrowland Speedway. My 5 year old was tall enough for all of them and my 3 year old was tall enough for all but one.
Hollywood Studios Fast Pass Attractions
**Slinky Dog Dash
**Toy Story Mania
**Alien Swirling Saucers
**Rock N Roller Coaster
*Tower of Terror
Beauty and The Beast Live
Disney Jr Dance Party
For The First Time In Forever: A Frozen Singalong
*Star Tours
Indiana Jones Epic Stunt
Muppet Vision 3D
Voyage of the Little Mermaid

My favorite ride at Hollywood Studios is Toy Story Mania. So, so fun. My second favorite is Star Tours. Amazing! Slinky Dog is awesome and the longest wait at HS. It has a 38" height restriction and is a pretty big coaster so if you or your kids don't care for thrill rides, don't use a FastPass on this. The Disney Jr Dance Party was a blast and I highly, highly recommend it for young kiddos!! We also loved The Frozen Singalong. I have always wanted to see the Fantasmic show but it's a night show and doesn't start until my kids are in bed so that's on our "we'll get to it one day" list. Hollywood Studios is a blast and a park you absolutely need to see and do if you're going to Disney. Toy Story Land is perfection and the vibe of Hollywood Studios in general is laid back and fun. If I could only book three FastPasses I would choose Toy Story Mania, Star Tours and Disney Jr Dance Party. I'd replace one of those with Slinky Dog if you like thrill rides.
Animal Kingdom Fast Pass Attractions
**Na'Vi River Journey
**Avatar Flight of Passage
**Killimanjaro Safari's
**Expedition Everest
*Meet Disney Pals
*Festival of the Lion King Show
*Kali River Rapids
*Primeval Whirl
Finding Nemo The Musical
It's Tough to be a Bug Show
Up! A Great Bird Adventure Show
Rivers of Light Show

We love Animal Kingdom. It's so beautiful. Animal Kingdom feels different than any of the other parks. You're surrounded by beautiful trees and wildlife everywhere you look. The three FastPasses I recommend for Animal Kingdom are Avatar, Killimanjaro Safaris, and Festival of the Lion King. Avatar is really hard to score a FastPass for so if you can't get that (plus it has a height restriction of 44') I'd recommend Na'vi River Journey--a ride, along with my other two FastPass recommendations, the entire family can enjoy!
Epcot FastPass Attractions
**Frozen Ever After
**Test Track
*Spaceship Earth
*Mission Space
*The Seas with Nemo and Friends
Disney Pixar Short Film Festival
Journey Into Imagination with Figment
Living with the Land
Turtle Talk with Crush

Epcot is more adultish. It is a very unique park and Scott and I want to go back on our own sometime without kids. Haha!. Pro's: amazing food, beautiful sights. Con's: Not a lot of entertainment for kids. If you can't make it to one of the parks, skip Epcot. The only rides we did in Epcot were Frozen Ever After and Soarin. Soarin was incredible but there is a height restriction. Frozen Ever After is really fun and there is no height restriction. Epcot is the only place where you can meet Elsa and Anna so if you have a huge Frozen fan then Epcot is probably a must. You can see Elsa and Anna in the parade at Magic Kingdom but you cannot meet them there.
I hope this was helpful information when it comes to the Disney Attractions and FastPasses. Some of my must-do rides at Disney typically have a short wait like Winnie the Pooh, Under the Sea, and the Teacups. So don't assume that because you may not need a Fastpass for it, it's a lame ride because it absolutely is not! And don't think if you decide to book a last minute trip to Disney you won't be able to do anything. The thrill rides are the rides with the longest wait times so if you're traveling to Disney with small children, rest assured the rides you'll want to do with them will typically be very easy to get on without much of a wait. When at Disney, a must have is the MyDisney Experience App. You can get on the app and see updated wait times for a ride. This eliminates so. much. waiting. I am constantly on my Disney app while I'm at Disney, checking to see what the wait times for rides are. If I see a ride only has a 5-10 minute wait, I'm going to head straight there because in an hour the wait time may suddenly be 30-60 minutes. It's constantly changing all day but the app stays up to date by the minute so you can have a better chance of riding every ride with the least amount of waiting possible. It's a fantastic tool and mind boggling to me when I am talking with people at Disney and they have never heard of the app. Your Disney experience will be one million times better with the app!! I'm looking at the app right now and the longest wait time for a ride at Magic Kingdom at this moment is Mine Train at 105 minutes! The shortest wait time for a ride right now is the carousel at just 5 minutes. If I was there now, I would head straight to Meet Rapunzel because her wait time is currently just 15 minutes--and I love Rapunzel!!

1 comment:

  1. Your trip looked so fun! I can confirm that Epcot as an adult sans kids is the best! We love Expedition Everest at AK but obviously it has height restrictions too. We won't go this year but will probably go next year and get an annual pass and (hopefully) fit in 2-3 trips before we have to start paying for a 3 year old!