Since the very beginning, Disney parks have been built around the idea of having something for everyone, as exemplified by the famou tale of Walt Disney initially conceiving of Disneyland while sitting on a park bench waiting for his daughters to finish a carousel ride and dreaming of a place where parents and children could have fun together.
However, just because the parks are built for everyone doesn’t mean some don’t serve certain audiences better than others. Take, for example, the four parks of the Walt Disney World resort. All four (Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom) serve each potential member of the family, but only one of them can be called the best Disney World park for toddlers.
Before we detail which park is best for toddlers, let’s look at the ones that fall ever-so-slightly short: EPCOT and Animal Kingdom. Both of these parks are arguably geared more towards older groups of guests overall.
EPCOT is currently best known for its array of food and drink options around the World Showcase — many of which don’t appeal to the younger, often pickier, pallet. It’s also a mix of edutainment rides (Living With the Land, Spaceship Earth) and thrill (Test Track, Guardians of the Galaxy: Cosmic Rewind) attractions.
Meanwhile, Animal Kingdom is no slouch in the thrills for the older demographics department, headlined by Avatar Flight of Passage, Expedition Everest, Dinosaur, and Kali River Rapids.
Now, that’s not to say that EPOCT and Animal Kingdom don’t have any attractions and areas geared towards younger kids: the former features child-friendly attractions like Frozen Ever After, Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure, Gran Fiesta Tour Starring the Three Caballeros, The Seas with Nemo & Friends, and Journey Into Imagination With Figment, while the latter is home to Kilimanjaro Safaris, Rafiki’s Planet Watch, the Wildlife Express Train, and The Boneyard play area, all of which are sure to thrill young animal lovers. They’re simply not built around them.
With two down, we have two to go. First, the perhaps surprising runner-up: Disney’s Hollywood Studios.
While we don’t blame you for thinking that the Studios is simply a haven for thrill seekers thanks to attractions like Tower of Terror, Rise of the Resistance, Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run, Star Tours, and the Rock and Roller Coaster, the park also boasts some of the most toddler-friendly major attractions on the property including Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway, Muppet Vision 3D, and Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy. Then there’s the park’s toddler-friendly ace-in-the-hole: Toy Story Land.
Dominated by gigantic figures of Woody and Buzz, Toy Story Land will blow the minds of young kids who’ve watched the Toy Story films way too many times on Disney+, and includes attractions like Alien Swirling Saucers, the always kid-pleasing Toy Story Mania, and — for those on the slightly older/taller end of the toddler spectrum –Slinky Dog Dash.
So with all that going for it, why is Hollywood Studios simply the runner-up for best DisneyWorld park for toddlers? Well, sometimes you can’t beat the classic.
That’s right, in a not-so-shocking result, we’d say the best Disney World park for toddlers is the tried and true Magic Kingdom.
Not only does Walt Disney World’s original park feature some of the best toddler-friendly attractions and shows ever built – including It’s a Small World, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Peter Pan’s Flight, Prince Charming’s Royal Carrousel, Journey of the Little Mermaid, The Magic Carpet of Aladdin, and Jungle Cruise, Mickey’s Philharmagic, The Country Bear Jamboree and Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room just to name a few — it also features some of the best play areas for younger kids in any Disney park, with the likes of Tom Sawyer Island at the center of the Rivers of America and the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station in the Storybook Circus area.
Beyond all that, Magic Kingdom is Walt Disney World’s most toddler-friendly park because it’s simply that: magical. Between the magic realms of Fantasyland, the beauty of Cinderella Castle, and the sheer thrill of being able to meet Disney characters seemingly around every corner, there’s something about the way the park appeals to children that simply has to be seen to be believed.
For more information on taking your kids to Disney World, make sure to check out our age-by-age itineraries!
- The Best Disney World Itinerary for Toddlers
- The Best Disney World Itinerary for a 2-Year-Old
- The Best Disney World Itinerary for a 3-Year-Old
- The Best Disney World Itinerary for a 5-Year-Old
- The Best Disney World Itinerary for a 6-Year-Old
Do you agree with us that the Magic Kingdom is the best Disney World park for toddlers, or have we missed the mark? Let us know in the comments below.