Walt Disney World® Resort is a magical place for people of all ages, but there's something extra special about experiencing it with preschoolers. From meeting their favorite characters to experiencing thrilling rides, there's so much for preschoolers to enjoy at Walt Disney World Theme Parks. Recently, my family and I had the incredible opportunity to embark on this unforgettable journey with our 5- and 3-year-olds, creating lasting memories that will forever hold a special place in our hearts.
The author and her family received a hosted trip to Walt Disney World Resort to gather content for this article. All thoughts and opinions expressed are her own.
When I learned we would be headed to Walt Disney World Resort, I was overwhelmed with immense gratitude and couldn't wait to share the news with my family. This was our first trip to Walt Disney World Resort and the opportunity to share the magic of Walt Disney World Resort with my young children was incredibly exciting. While my preschoolers are VERY familiar with Disney Junior and Disney films, the concept of Walt Disney World Theme Parks was new to them. It was a delightful experience to watch videos together, showcasing the parks, rides, attractions, and parades, witnessing their anticipation grow with every passing moment. In preparing our preschoolers, we found the Walt Disney World Resort website to be an invaluable resource. The website offers helpful filters based on height, age, and interests, allowing us to create a customized list of must-do activities, ensuring that we made the most of our time there. With our preparations complete and bags packed, we were ready for a vacation of a lifetime!
During our stay at Walt Disney World Resort, we had the privilege of staying at Disney's Boardwalk Inn, immersing ourselves in the magic of Walt Disney World Resort throughout our entire trip. Situated within walking distance of both EPCOT® and Disney's Hollywood Studios®, Disney's Boardwalk Inn proved to be an exceptional choice for a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel experience. The resort offers access to the Disney Skyliner, an aerial gondola providing breathtaking views of the expansive Walt Disney World Resort. Also offered is the Friendship Launch, a ferryboat service with stops at EPCOT® and Disney's Hollywood Studios. As preschoolers with a fondness for transportation vehicles, it was only natural that the Disney Skyliner and Ferryboat became highlights of our children's stay at Disney's Boardwalk Inn.
Another incredibly helpful perk of staying at a Walt Disney World Resort Hotel is the access to early park entry. Despite the exhaustion from exhilarating days filled with Disney magic, our preschoolers couldn't resist waking up at 6:30 AM. With the opportunity to enter the parks early, we could begin our day of fun when our little ones were brimming with energy. Plus, returning to our room for a mid-day nap break was effortless and convenient, ensuring that our preschoolers could recharge before further exploring the wonders of Walt Disney World Resort.
Walt Disney World Resort is a magical place for preschoolers. With character greetings, age-appropriate rides and attractions, live shows and parades, immersive lands and environments, and special experiences beyond the parks, there's something for every preschooler to enjoy. And let me tell you, we had the privilege of experiencing a little bit of everything!
Meet the Characters
Meeting beloved Disney Characters was an absolute highlight for our oldest child. Walt Disney World Theme Park has a wide variety of character greeting locations throughout the parks. At the Magic Kingdom® Park, we had the joy of meeting Mickey Mouse himself, and receiving warm hugs from Minnie Mouse and Daisy Duck. When we explored Toy Story Land at Disney's Hollywood Studios, our little one was thrilled to meet Buzz Lightyear and even had the honor of inviting Jessie and Woody to join us for an impromptu dance party. Additionally, Walt Disney World® Resort offers delightful character dining experiences where preschoolers can enjoy a meal while meeting their favorite characters. Our breakfast at Cape May Café in Disney's Beach Club Resort was made extra special by the company of Minnie, Daisy, Donald Duck, and Goofy. To our amazement, Goofy even took the time to teach us his one-of-a-kind surfing dance moves!
Rides and Attractions
Walt Disney World Theme Park has so many incredible rides and attractions to offer preschoolers. It was delightful to see how each of my children had their own unique ride preferences, and we were thrilled to find such a variety of options for young children in every park. If your preschooler enjoys indoor, dark, and slow rides, they will absolutely adore The Seas with Nemo & Friends® at EPCOT®. The ride itself takes you on an underwater adventure alongside Nemo and his friends, and once it concludes, you have the wonderful opportunity to explore the accompanying aquarium. The aquarium's tranquility captivated our preschoolers, and they could have spent hours there, especially with the added bonus of a complementary Dory scavenger hunt.
Fantasyland® in Magic Kingdom Park is a treasure trove for preschoolers, offering a range of delightful rides. They can soar on Dumbo the Flying Elephant®, embark on a whimsical journey with Peter Pan's Flight®, or join The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh®. The charm and enchantment of Fantasyland® made it a favorite area for our preschoolers. For the more adventurous and thrill-seeking preschooler, Slinky Dog Dash at Disney's Hollywood Studios and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train at Magic Kingdom® Park were absolute highlights for our 5-year-old. The twists and turns on these rides brought immense joy to our little thrill-seeker.
Parades and Shows
Preschoolers are in for a treat with the captivating live shows and parades at Walt Disney World. Prepare to witness the pure wonder and excitement in their eyes as the Disney Festival of Fantasy Parade makes its way down Main Street U.S.A® in Magic Kingdom Park, fulfilling every Disney parenting dream. If you manage to secure a spot in the front, you might even have the chance to interact with a passing character or two! We recommend arriving 20 minutes early to find the perfect viewing spot. While waiting for the parade to begin, why not order a quick lunch or snack through the convenient My Disney Experience App and enjoy it with your little ones? Snacks always make waiting easier!
In Disney's Hollywood Studios, our preschoolers were enthralled by the Disney Junior Play & Dance and Lightning McQueen's Racing Academy shows. Additionally, there are captivating stage performances such as Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, For the First Time in Forever: A Frozen Sing-Along Celebration, and Festival of the Lion King at Disney's Animal Kingdom® Theme Park that are sure to captivate preschoolers. We greatly appreciated that many of these live shows and parades were designed with the energetic nature of preschoolers in mind, keeping them on the shorter side. After all, it can be challenging for little ones to sit still for extended periods when they are bursting with magic, excitement, and anticipation.
To find a full list of rides, attractions and shows right for your preschooler be sure to check out the Walt Disney World Theme Park website.
Tips for Making the Most of Your Visit with Preschoolers
Before your trip, research which rides and attractions are appropriate for preschoolers. The Walt Disney World Theme Park website, is an excellent resource that allows you to filter rides and attractions based on height, age, and interests. Take advantage of this feature and create a list of must-do activities, prioritizing them to ensure you don't miss out on anything. If you need further assistance, turn to planDisney, a valuable resource where experienced Walt Disney World experts can provide guidance on various aspects of your trip, such as stroller rentals and grocery deliveries, both of which can conveniently be arranged and delivered to your Walt Disney World Resort. Their expertise will prove invaluable in ensuring a magical experience for you and your preschoolers.
Utilize the My Disney Experience App
My Disney Experience is a mobile app that allows Walt Disney World Resort Guests to plan their itinerary, manage details, and get the most out of their Disney theme park experience. With the complimentary Disney Genie service integrated into the app, you'll receive personalized recommendations and updates tailored to your family's interests throughout the day.
One of the app's most useful features for us was Mobile Food Ordering. When hunger strikes, tired kids are in tow, and you're in need of a quick and delicious meal, simply use the app to find, order, pay, and pick up your food hassle-free. It's a convenient solution, requiring nothing more than your phone and the My Disney Experience app.
Purchase Disney Genie+ Service
Opting to purchase Disney Genie+ Service is another smart choice. This service, found within the My Disney Experience app, allows you to bypass the standby queue and join a separate queue for select attractions with Lightning Lane entry, saving you precious time that would otherwise be spent waiting in line with restless preschoolers. Schedule your Lightning Lane reservations for the morning when everyone is fresh and full of energy.
Purchase Memory Maker
Do you ever find yourself hyper-focused on capturing big moments of your family through photos and videos, only to realize later that you may have missed out on fully experiencing the excitement yourself? I can certainly relate to that feeling of looking back and wishing I had been in more pictures. With Disney PhotoPass Service you can fully immerse yourself in the magical moments with your family while professionals capture all the memories for you to treasure. Consider purchasing Memory Maker, which gives you access to download all the photos and videos captured by Disney PhotoPass Service photographers throughout your vacation.
Enjoy the little moments
Walt Disney World Theme Park is full of magical moments, big and small. Take the time to enjoy the little things, like watching the parades, exploring the shops, and taking in the sights and sounds. Many preschoolers will love the sensory experience of Walt Disney World, so let them take it all in at their own pace. My biggest piece of advice - relax, let go, and fully embrace the magic!
With careful planning, patience, and a willingness to embrace the joyous moments, a trip to Walt Disney World Theme Park with preschoolers will undoubtedly be a magical and unforgettable experience. Cherish the memories you'll create together!
Walt Disney World is a place where imaginations can run wild and special memories can be created. So why not make your way to the magic and experience the wonder of Walt Disney World with your preschooler?
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