Best Rides at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom for a Toddler
Some people worry that there’s nothing for their toddler to ride at Disney World, but you will probably struggle to do it all! I know I do!
Magic Kingdom is definitely the park with the most options for rides that toddlers can ride.
Here are all rides for a 2 year old at Magic Kingdom! I have put stars by my top favorites!
Fantasyland – This land was made for the little kids!
Peter Pan – Good Fast Pass Option – Always a long line! This is a short ride too.
*It’s a Small World – fast moving line
The Carousel – short wait
Mad Tea Party
Journey of the Little Mermaid – Great Fast Pass Option for those littles that love Ariel!
*Jungle Cruise – good option for Fast Pass
*Enchanted Tiki Room – A great break in the air conditioning! Grab some dole whip too! They now let you bring it inside!
*Pirates of the Caribbean
*Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin – Good fast pass option
*Astro Orbiter – Good Fast Pass Option
*Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress – a short wait and a relaxing time in Air conditioning
Tomorrowland Transit Authority – Short line and fun ride for a break
Monster’s Inc Laugh Floor
Tomorrowland’s Speedway – must be 32 inches (one of the shorter height restrictions)
*The railroad!- No, not big thunder, but the railroad around the park is so fun and can help you avoid extra walking. NOTE: The train was currently closed for refurbishment at the end of 2019 and they said it could be 1-2 years before it is back and running, but it is available for photos.
Cinderella’s Castle is a great thing especially for little girls that love princesses!
Fireworks shows and Parades are also great entertainment. People often wait for hours to get the best spot. That is not worth it to me with a toddler, but you can put them on your shoulders for a better view for them!
We have a couple of Disney trips planned with Leo as a toddler. We just came back from our first trip, and here are my top tips for visiting Walt Disney World with a 2 year old!
Schedule in Nap/Rest time
I debated trying to push through and just try and have my son sleep in the stroller, but rest is for us too! I love Disney World, but it is hot and full of people. I love laying in a clean air conditioned hotel room and maybe even taking a nap myself!
Disney World Fast Passes!
Toddlers do not have patience, and with nap times and snack times, our time in the park is valuable! If you are staying on Disney Property (or a Disney Neighbor hotel), then you can book these 60 days out. If you stay on property, you can book them 30 days out. You can still grab really great fast passes 30 days out, but the top couple of rides at each park might already be taken!
Disney World Buffets
Honestly, I hate buffets. But, I want my son to see all the characters. Character meals are a great way to do that without waiting in long lines and using up fast passes on character meets. We ate at Chef Mickey’s lunch buffet. This restaurant is on the monorail at the Contemporary Hotel. After lunch, we ubered back to the room for some rest before heading back out for more Magic Kingdom fun. Dining reservations can be made as early as 180 days out. Dining reservations are good to have as some places fill up early, but I still found some good reservations booking a few months out. It depends on when you are going and how busy the park will be too! Avoid Park HoppersWe are always a family to stay on property and buy Park Hoppers, but with a toddler everything moves slower. This is the first trip we are staying off property and not getting a park hopper. This is how we able to fit in this weekend trip before a longer trip in 2020 by cutting back.
Magic Kingdom is your best friend
I always love Magic Kingdom because it is so classically Disney World. IT HAS THE CASTLE! But, this is also the best park for toddlers. I love the other parks, especially Epcot. There’s not as much to do in Epcot for toddlers. I love Animal Kingdom too, but there’s a lot of walking in that park which can take a lot of time as well. One day, I definitely want to bring Leo to stay at the Animal Kingdom Lodge, a great place for a toddler that loves animals!
Take Advantage of Rider Swaps!
If you want to ride roller coasters, make sure to use Rider Swap options. When someone has to hang back and watch the child that can’t ride, you can use a rider swap card for two fast passes to ride after the person waits.
Disney Park Baby Changing Rooms
Even though Leo isn’t a baby anymore, I still use the baby rooms when we are nearby. They have diaper changing tables and air conditioning! This is a great escape for a clean changing or feeding place for the little ones. Also, it is okay if there is something YOU want to do at Disney too. I rode some of my favorite rides the Leo isn’t old enough to ride yet! These are my top tips for going to Disney with a Toddler!
Check out this blog on my favorite rides for a toddler.
We just returned home from a family vacation to Big Bend with our almost two-year-old. I was concerned about what we would do and if the little one would be safe, but we had a blast with no injuries reported.
My best hike recommendations when hiking with a toddler are:
Santa Elena Canyon – Full disclosure: This hike was closed due to unexpected wildfires, but I was really looking forward to it. You do have to hold onto your toddler during portions of this hike though. It involves low water in the Basin and some steep drop offs with no side.
Chiso Mountain Basin Hike to see the Window – This is where the above family photo was taken
The Rio Grande Village Nature Trail – We saw wild horses drinking out of the river on this hike, and we saw over the border to Mexico.
Ross Maxwell Scenic Drive
This is a great long drive down to the Santa Elena Canyon. We loved to see the variety of Terrain, and there are also some hikes from here, as well as Scenic Overlooks.
I was not expecting much from this, but I was looking for something to do, and I loved this exhibit. It was really well done, and my toddler loved playing inside the dinosaur mouths. Yes, I am that Mom.
Go to Mexico!
If you have your passport, go over to Boquillas, and let your Toddler ride on a burro for a little! Full disclosure- We weren’t able to do this, because my Dad didn’t have his passport. We talked to Border Patrol, and they said it is extremely safe and give you tips on what you can bring back through. There is supposed to be an awesome family owned Mexican restaurant there as well. In the summer, you probably want to pay for someone to drive you into town, but I think the little one would love to see/ride the Burro as well.
My Toddler was a little scared outside at night, but was able to say “Star” and “Moon”, so it was fun to be able to show him so many!
We stayed at the Chisos Mountain Lodge for 3 Nights in Cottage 101. I enjoyed this little cottage. There is another Cottage, I think 100 that has a slightly bigger yard. My Mom reserved our Cottage on New Years Day 2018 for our stay May 2019 and had to wait through other called
Wear hats and sunscreen. It was super hot, and there was not a lot of shade!
Food Options are challenging. The Lodge is not great, and has a pretty bad smell inside. You can’t make a bonfire, and I didn’t see any Grills around. There aren’t a lot of stores around, so hit the nearest HEB or Wal Mart before you come, and fill up with Gas when you get a chance.
There is a lot of driving, so we had a new block toy from our stop at Wal Mart, Crayons, A New Sticker Book, and some dessert toy animals that Grandparents gave him on the trip to play with in the car.
We recently posted about our Ski Trip with our 19 month old Leo. Being from Texas, We needed to buy some warm clothes for this trip. With our trip being the first weekend of March, we were able to snag a lot of good deals during February as stores are closing out more of their winter gear.
I bought better quality stuff for our son, basically everything from LL Bean! Snowsuit, boots, hat mittens! I bought some wool from Ella’s wool to wear as base layers. I also bought a nice on-sale toddler jacket from Macy’s to throw on when we were just going to a restaurant, not to play in the snow.
Since we didn’t go skiing, I bought some on sale snow boots, and they worked great. I bought some cute sweaters on sale at Kohl’s, and I had some leggings to layer under jeans. I think everyone needs a quality snow jacket and some boots! We definitely brought more luggage than usual.
My husband loves the cold, so in early March he was okay even without a jacket. He definitely needed it sometimes though, like during the Sleigh Ride.
I brought my BOB stroller for snowy hikes, but that was unnecessary. My son really likes walking on his own, so I wish we just bought our typical GB Pockit travel stroller that we love and left the BOB at home. We definitely needed an SUV for all of us and all of our luggage! We rented through Hertz with our AAA membership discount which includes a free car seat rental. I really enjoy having this basic membership (just for me, not my husband).
WHERE WE BOUGHT CLOTHES:
LL Bean! (My son’s mittens, hat, boots, snow suit)
Ella’s Wool (My son’s base layers- we wore the same couple things every day!)
Kohl’s (My sweaters, hat, pants)
Academy (Had an amazing sale on winter gear at the end of February- Magellan brand!)
Macy’s ( My snow boots, my son’s black jacket)
Amazon (waterproof mittens for my son)
Burlington (My husband’s Sperry Duck Snow boots and snow jacket)
Note: We really bought too many winter gloves. We didn’t wear them all that much. You just need one pair
As a mom and wedding photographer, I actually decided not to ski. I just really need my legs to work. Haha! I’m a previous athlete but I’m kinda clumsy, so even more reason to sit out this time!
We traveled to salt lake City from Houston on Southwest Airlines (our Fave airline). My 19 month old Leo sat on my lap with my mom and husband sitting in the row with me.
We rented a car at the Salt Lake City airport using our AAA discount on Hertz (and a free car seat with AAA membership). Renting an SUV worked well for us.
We drove 45 min to Park City, staying at the Sundial Lodge. Our room is a suite that had a kitchen and fireplace. The kitchen is so nice with a toddler. This place looks like it also has a lot of condos or vacation property. They are nearby some decent restaurants and ski lifts, but there’s not big lobby to hang out in. I had a picture in my head before coming of a big lobby where I would sit by the fire and drink warm possibly alcholic beverages. There is a big open courtyard with firepits, etc that has some appeal. My husband ran to the nearby Walmart in the car and picked up snacks (fruit, etc) and water . We checked in and went to dinner at the Red Tail Cafe. The food in Park City is pretty expensive. At the red tail we had the beef short rib and salmon and were pretty pleased with that.
There’s probably better food out there but this was decent for being walking distance from the hotel.
We were exhausted from travel, but the next day we woke up refreshed to a beautiful winter wonderland outside. There’s free public buses that run all over town but we drove our car as that was really easy for us to leave when it was way past nap time and not wait for the bus.
Luckily we had no issues finding parking etc. Everyone was out skiing during the day, so the town was pretty open. We ate some pastries at the Windy Ridge Bakery for breakfast – highly recommend. I recommend Windy Ridge for pastries and Atticus coffee on main Street for coffee! We love our lattes.
We returned and ate at the windy Ridge Cafe (next door to the bakery) for lunch which has a great salad, soups and sandwiches. Our favorite items were the simple salad called mixed greens, the red trout sandwich and the corn chowder. Main Street is so cute and fun.
We came back to hotel to freshen up then left for our train ride on Heber Railroad. I wasn’t sure if we even wanted to go on this train and ended up rushing to make it, and waking up my son way too soon from his nap. I knew Leo loved trains though. We boarded and it was hot with all the windows up and children crying. I was filled with regret trying to quickly take the Winter clothes off my son and myself. Once the train started, my son’s eyes lit up pointing and saying choo choo.
My husband figured out how to open the one hundred year old train windows and things were looking up. We loved the train horn sound, we saw cows and horses outside in the snow. Once we were further down the was a very kid friendly train robbery. I think the guys help keep the energy up when there might be a lull in the ride. We didn’t have much of a lull though. We saw lots of wildlife on our 90 minute ride. We saw tons of deer. We also saw some less common wildlife of bald eagles and a coyote running across the Frozen Deer Valley reservoir. My son was able to see everything too.
They have all the typical things too like snacks, restrooms and a gift shop. The train was a thirty minute ride from town Adults were $20 and my son was free. This was the highlight of our trip. If we didn’t see all the wildlife, I don’t know if it would have be as fun, but I think it would still be worth it. We went the first weekend of March.
I really wanted to go to Gorgoza park for toddler tubing, but it is closed for renovations as it is becoming Woodward park. Maybe look into what this has to offer if you are traveling after fall 2019.
The next morning we went back to Main Street to eat a great breakfast at the Bridge Cafe and grill. Highly recommend. This is also a great spot to people watch skiiers coming down the slopes. We ordered a lot of different breakfast items and loved them all.
Our hotel offered fireworks on Friday night and my husband picked up delicious Thai food Togo from Thai ….
A lot of restaurants are really busy for dinner when all of the skiiers are back. Making a reservation might be helpful, but they intimidate me as I can never predict my toddlers nap times when traveling.
We booked a horse drawn sleigh ride for Saturday night . We wore our warmest clothes for that. This was great timing as our son was just starting to get excited about horses. It was very chilly, so 30 minutes was the perfect amount of time.
Wish we could …
Depending on your child’s age, I think dog sledding at Luna Lobos or another highly rated place would be so fun. They are pricey and ask your weight, but I hope to do that some day. I think 19 months is still a little young for the dog sleds. They do offer kennel tours but book Luna Lobos early!! They book up!
High line distillery- this is 21+ only but the food and drinks look awesome
We ate at Red Iguana 2 in Salt Lake City on our way out for excellent Authentic Mexican Food and Mole sauce! It was my husband’s favorite place we ate, and we never eat Meixcan food outside of Texas!
The book I have read that had the biggest impact on my parenting style was Simplicity Parenting by Kim John Payne and Lisa M. Ross. This book gives very practical advice to create a simplified life that is so amazing for your child. This book really changed my perspective on parenting. The tips are simple and easy to understand, but sometimes a little bit harder to put into practice.
This is a book I want to read over and over again to keep reminding myself how to help my child by simplifying our lives and focus on what is most important. The book encourages increasing time together without TV while minimizing clutter, too many toys, etc. I listened to this book on audible, and I am so happy I did!