When kids imagine going to Walt Disney World, they probably picture scenes from Magic Kingdom, like Cinderella Castle, Dumbo, or the tea cups. It’s true that Magic Kingdom has the highest concentration of attractions that appeal to young kids, and if your family has mostly kids under age eight, you’re probably going to want to spend a solid day or two there.
However, I want to encourage you to also venture outside of Magic Kingdom! You can still find a lot of things for kids to do in the other parks. In fact, one of the most toddler-friendly attractions, Disney Junior—Live on Stage!, is located in Disney’s Hollywood Studios. In that park you’ll also find one of the top attractions favored by elementary-aged kids: Toy Story Mania!
In Epcot and Disney’s Animal Kingdom, there are attractions that appeal to kids, such as The Seas with Nemo & Friends (Epcot) and TriceraTop Spin (Animal Kingdom), but what I like best in those parks for kids are the more experiential attractions.
When my parents and I took my sister’s kids to Walt Disney World a few years ago, they were four and two. One day, we got a slow start so we decided to spend some time riding the monorail and visiting the other resorts. In the afternoon, we wanted to go to a park, but the kids were in the mood to do something a little more hands-on than sit in a ride vehicle, so we went to Epcot. There we spent a few hours in Innoventions. The kids loved the little piggybanks in The Great Piggy Bank Adventure. They also liked pushing the little garbage truck in the Waste Management exhibit that’s no longer there. It was a nice change of pace from the queuing and sitting that we would have been doing in Magic Kingdom.
We spent another day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom. Usually we just spend a few hours in that park, just long enough to ride Kilimanjaro Safaris Expedition and see Finding Nemo—The Musical and Festival of the Lion King. That day, though, we spent a lot of time in The Boneyard in DinoLand, U.S.A. The kids loved digging for fossils. They were content there for so long that we ran out of time to go to Rafiki’s Planet Watch, which is another area with hands-on activities for kids.
We also spent a lot of time in Magic Kingdom, of course, but when you’re traveling with little ones, it’s good to break up your trip with different types of activities. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because you have the kids along, you have to spend all your time in Magic Kingdom. There is a ton to discover for kids and adults alike in the other parks too!
What’s your favorite thing to do with kids outside of Magic Kingdom?