Welcome to a brand new idea here at DADventure Disney – a round table of some of my favorite Disney Fan Parents on Instagram.
Every week, I will work alongside this merry band of Disney fans to find our Top 10 favorites in all things Disney.
This week, the Disney Mega Fans are: @dad_at_disney, @daddingatdisney, @disenchated.dad, @disneybaby4life, @disneymagicmam, @disneymommingsohard, @disneyparksmom, @milehighdisneymom, @suburbandisneymom, @the_pixie_mom, @truedisneymom, and yours truly @dadventuredisney.
Our topic this week: Top 10 Rides For Toddlers!
We’re talking about rides for kids in first grade or younger. Not attractions (Sorry Tiki Tiki Room), not shows (No Nemo the Musical here), but the get on a ride and move attractions in the Disney parks. I asked our round-table to include rides in any of the parks.
Our Disney Mega Fans submitted their own Top 10 to me, and I used a special DADventure-tastic scoring system to get us our consensus Top 10.
Where do we love to ride with the kiddies? Let’s look at the park breakdown. The Magic Kingdom had 16 rides on our ballots. 5 at Hollywood Studios and 3 at Epcot. 2 rides in Animal Kingdom were nominated, too. There were also a few Disneyland specific rides (both parks share quite a few), but not enough to make it into our Top 10.
On to the list – let’s go!
The Jungle Cruise
The Magic Kingdom
Top 10 Score: 2.00, nominated on 4 of 12 ballots.
This boat ride is 7 minutes filled with #DadJoke humor, animatronic animals and a fun story. This ride is a classic. It opened at Disneyland on July 17, 1955 and at Disney World on October 1, 1971. At full capacity is can ferry 1,800 riders per hour.
Fear Level: The real little kids may not like the “animals” or the dark tunnel. Skittish kids may not like the possibility of driving into a waterfall. But overall this is a very tame ride.
Slinky Dog Dash
Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios
Top 10 Score: 3.36, nominated on 4 of 12 ballots, 2 first place votes.
Relatively new in our lives, Slink has been around since June 30, 2018. He has a height restriction of 38″. You zoom around up to 40mph and the ride lasts about 2 minutes.
Fear Level: If your little ones are tall enough, it could be quite the thrill for them. The speed of the ride may turn some more timid kids off.
Frozen Ever After
Norway Pavilion at Epcot
Top 10 Score: 3.45, nominated on 8 of 12 ballots.
If you’re still upset The Maelstrom is gone… LET IT GO! (Sorry, I’m a Dad, I had to make that joke.) Elsa, Anna, Olaf and the hang took over Norway on June 21, 2016 and the line is still long. They can accommodate up to 1000 riders per hour and it lasts about 5 minutes.
Fear Level: It’s a dark ride, goes backwards and has 2 minimal drops. Also, the giant snow monster from the movie – Marshmallow – makes an appearance and may startled the little ones.
Toy Story Mania
Toy Story Land in Hollywood Studios
Top 10 Score: 3.55, nominated on 6 of 12 ballots.
This was HUGE before Toy Story Land opened and is even bigger now. One of the best queue line areas in all of the parks and a ride the whole family loves. You are in a virtual 3-D midway playing all kinds of fun games with the Toy Story gang for around 5-6 minutes. It opened at Disney World on May 31, 2008 and at Disney’s California Adventure on June 17, 2008.
Fear Level: It’s a dark ride and loud, but mostly family friendly. Have your kids watch Toy Story before hand so they are comfortable with the characters.
Africa Section of Animal Kingdom
Top 10 Score: 3.50, nominated on 7 of 12 ballots.
Forget all the animatronics – these animals are REAL! Elephants, giraffes, zebra, lions and more. This 22 minute drive through Disney’s version of an Africal wildlife safari is a must see – especially first thing in the morning when more animals are up and about before the heat of the day sends them for shade.
Fear Level: The animals can get close (not the man-eating kind) and there’s a scenario with a broken bridge. However most kids are just enamored with seeing the animals all around them.
Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin
Tomorrowland in Magic Kingdom
Top 10 Score: 3.58, nominated on 8 of 12 ballots, 2 first place votes.
Fight Evil Emperor Zurg as you ride through space in a vehicle with a laser-tag cannon on it. Buzz arrived at Disney World on November 3, 1998 and at Disneyland on March 17, 2005. The battle lasts around 5 minutes as then you compare scores – always the best part!
Fear Level: Again, dark and loud, but the kids should love zapping all the targets throughout.
Peter Pan’s Flight
Fantasyland at Magic Kingdom
Top 10 Score: 4.17, nominated on 9 of 12 ballots, 2 first place votes.
One of the most popular rides in the parks, there is always a wait. However the queue line is now interactive a fun in its own right. Another classic from 1955 at Disneyland, it appeared in Disney World in 1971.
Fear Level: You are dangling from the ceiling in a small pirate ship, so a bit of a height fear is possibly. Also, the Croc or Captain Hook may startle the little ones.
It’s A Small World
Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom
Top 10 Score: 4.33, nominated on 8 of 12 ballots, 1 first place vote.
This is as classic a ride as they come, being a Disney exhibit at the World Fair that started it all. It debuted at Disneyland in 1966 and joined Walt Disney World on opening day – October 1, 1971. A 12-15 leisurely boat ride around the world of singing children. What’s not to love?
Fear Level: Simply, the terror of not getting the song out of your head.
Under The Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid
Fantasyland in the Magic Kingdom
Top 10 Score: 4.73, nominated on 9 of 12 ballots.
As parents get into their 30s and 40s, The Little Mermaid is no doubt in their top 5 Disney movies of all time. Of course we want to share that with our kids! Your ride in clam shells for a little over 6 minutes through the story of Ariel, Sebastian and gang. it debuted in Disneyland as Ariel’s Undersea Adventure on June 3, 2011 and in Walt Disney World on December 6, 2012.
Fear Level: It’s a dark ride and Ursula the Sea Witch makes an appearance. But the happy music should solve all.
Dumbo The Flying Elephant
Fantasyland in Magic Kingdom
Top 10 Score: 5.08, nominated on 8 of 12 ballots, 2 first place votes.
Classic, classic, classic. We rode on it as kids. Our parents probably did too. Now, our kids will. It’s fun for everyone. The waiting circus play area at Disney World is almost more fun than the ride itself. Dumbo showed up in Disneyland on July 17, 1955 and at Disney World on October 1, 2012.
(If you can’t get on these, try Aladdin’s Flying Carpets in Adventureland or TriceraTop Spin in Animal Kingdom.)
Fear Level: Only kids with a severe fear of heights would have issue with this ride.
Some favorites JUST missed the Top 10 – Pirates of the Caribbean, Winnie the Pooh and Seven Dwarf Mine Train didn’t make the cut. Some BIG rides were nominated by fans with VERY adventurous kids – Tower of Terror, Soarin’ and Star Tours.
But, there you have it! Our Top 10 Disney Rides For Toddlers. What did you think of our list? What would your remove? What would you add? Let us know in the comments below.
Thanks to ALL our round-table Disney fans. Please be sure to click their names at the top and follow them on Instagram.