Your Guide to Magic Kingdom for Preschoolers and Kindergartners
Ask a group of 3-5 year olds where they dream of going on vacation, and I’d bet good money most of them wouldn’t even pause to think before they shout “Walt Disney World”. I’d bet even more money that the exact destination most of those children have in mind features a castle with towering spires; Magic Kingdom Park. Given the amount of stroller-pushing parents walking around the Magic Kingdom on any given day, its not a surprise that there are tons of attractions, shows, and entertainment offerings created with Mickey’s youngest of fans in mind. In fact, the list of options for Preschool and Kindergarten aged kids seems too daunting to even begin proper planning.
Which rides should you make a Fastpass+ reservation for? Is there a restaurant that is best suited for kids? Which attractions and shows are most age appropriate? With so many questions and so much to see and do, let’s jump right into the best of the best the Magic Kingdom has to offer for your youngest children!
Fastpass+ reservations can be made 60 days in advance of your visit if you’re staying at a Disney resort hotel, or 30 if you’re staying elsewhere. (You can find help with all of that at the bottom of this article!) That means that you have to choose which attractions you want to make reservations for one (maybe even two) months prior to your vacation! A friend of mine recently decided to take a trip to WDW with her three year old son and asked which attractions at Magic Kingdom she should make Fastpass reservations for. Here is what I suggested she should try for:
1. Peter Pan’s Flight
Peter Pan’s Flight is one of the most popular ride in Magic Kingdom park for guests of all ages. Your slow moving pirate ship is sprinkled with Pixie Dust and as your magical flight to Neverland begins! The attraction is a dark ride, but isn’t at all frightening, and I only see smiles on the faces of young children as they disembark.
Ah Dumbo, a true Disney classic. If I think back to preschool, I can vividly remember queuing (for what seemed like hours) with my parents, waiting for the one attraction I always insisted on running to first when I entered the park gates: Dumbo. Years have passed since then, and the Dumbo attraction has received a beautiful remodel, but its popularity with young guests is as strong as ever.
3. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Each time I pass this attraction and want to ride, the wait is always at least 30+ minutes. That’s not a terrible wait time in my book, but even as an adult the long queue grates on my patience…so I can imagine your youngster will feel the same! This is a great ride for the youngest of the young (think 2-4) and a Fastpass+ reservation will come in handy here.
Festival of Fantasy Parade
For entertainment, Festival of Fantasy Parade is a must-see for families with children of all ages. The parade is your best bet for seeing all of your child’s favorite characters; Mickey and the Fab 5, all of the Princesses, and a fire breathing Maleficent, to name a few. The parade steps off at 2pm each day, and to get a prime viewing spot…use that stroller. Arrive early to wait for the parade and park your stroller right at the edge of the taped off viewing area. Stand right behind the stroller for the parade, and both you and your child will have an unobstructed view of the fantastically fun floats!
*Tip: the parade steps off at 2pm, the hottest part of the day. Choose to watch the parade in Frontierland, as there are more shady spots to choose from than on Main Street. Plus, it’s always less crowded and easier to get a spot!
Mickey’s Royal Friendship Faire plays multiple times daily on the stage at the foot of Cinderella Castle. The show features favorites like Rapunzel and Flynn Rider, Tiana, and the most popular royal sisters I know: Elsa and Ana. The show’s run time is a mere 23 minutes and moves from scene to scene quickly, perfect for holding the attention of toddlers and young children!
Free Mealtime Entertainment
Keeping the attention of a young child is tough during mealtimes at home, so imagine how hard it is when a meal is the only thing standing between your toddler and an entire kingdom of excitement! Your best bet for keeping your child entertained and focused during mealtime is Pinocchio’s Village Haus. This is a quick serve restaurant, which means no waiting for a waiter or waitress to take your order! But the real reason I recommend this place for anyone with a young child is the ‘entertainment’.
No, it isn’t a character dining spot, but a free, equally as cool alternative! Windows in the restaurant overlook the it’s a small world attraction! I’ve seen it work in the past; parents bring their children to the window tables, and while they sit and leisurely enjoy their meals, their children are always more than happy to watch the boats sail past. Have your child wave to the passengers in the boats if they get cranky! Everyone on the happiest cruise that ever sailed will be enthusiastic to wave right back!
Walt Disney World holds so many things to see and do for people of any age. I’ve personally visited with a group ranging in ages from 6-75, and every single person in my party left more than satisfied with the vacation! Traveling with a PreK-Kindergarten aged child is definitely a challenge, but if you plan ahead and follow these tips, you just might find your trip a little less daunting to plan. So, do you have young children you’ll be taking to Walt Disney World? Which are their favorite attractions at Magic Kingdom? Comment below!
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Special thanks to Maria Salerno for writing this article: Hiya pal! I am a NYC-based writer/musician thrilled to be bringing you all things Disney! I’m a WDW Annual Passholder, so you can find me in the parks regularly throughout the year. In addition to being a Disney Parks loving girl, I’m also a Disney toy and merchandise collector, a runDisney enthusiast, and Disney music and movie aficionado. You can follow me on Instagram: NYCtoAP and find me on YouTube: NYCtoAP. Thanks for reading, hope to see ya real soon!