7 Best Orlando Theme Parks for Toddlers
Here's the honest truth:
It’s difficult traveling with toddlers, no matter where you’re going.
However there are certain things you can do that will make it much easier for you.
In this page, we'll go over the best Orlando theme parks for toddlers, why they're the best and below that, we'll have our best tips to use when 'theme parking' with toddlers.
Magic Kingdom is the winner for toddlers, and it's not even close.
They'll be able to meet their favorite Disney characters through meet-and-greet and enjoy the different scenery and sounds as they travel around the park.
Some characters that they'll be able to meet include Mickey Mouse, Minnie Mouse, Donald Duck, Goofy and many more.
Attraction for Toddlers
Dumbo the Flying Elephant®
First thing you'll notice when talking about this ride is that this was the 'first ride' ever for a lot of people.
You and your kiddos will be able to hop inside the Dumbo themed cart and enjoy a relaxing ride that goes in circles, but up and down as well while going in that circle.
It's a very relaxing ride and a great way to introduce toddlers to rides in general.
Under the Sea — Journey of the Little Mermaid
This is one of the most popular rides as parents can sit with their toddlers as they navigate 'under water'. They will be able to see little mermaid and friends along with some very cool different features from the movie. The ride lasts for approximately 7 minutes.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Kids will be able to see Winnie the pooh and friends throughout this interactive ride as they make their way through all of pooh's adventures.
There is also an interactive play area where kids will be able to play with different Winnie the pooh themed toys while they wait in line.
Another cool feature (more for parents), as you're waiting in line for this ride there are paintings of pages from the actual book where you learn more about the ride as you move along.
Peter Pan’s Flight
One of the all time classics. You'll be able to fly with Peter Pan over cities and explore different locations while (as a parent) reminiscing, or (as a toddler) being introduced to one of the best stories in the world.
You'll also be able to see the different rooms from the Peter Pan movie while you are in line.
Walt Disney World Railroad
Jump into the real steam trains that take you all the way around the Magic Kingdom with stops at Main Street USA, Frontierland, and Fantasyland.
This is also an all time classic and relaxing must-ride, ride.
Mad Tea Party
Walk into your own tea cup as you navigate in circles and the tea cup that you're in will spin in different directions as well.
If your child is a little more on the adventurous side, we'd recommend this.
Swiss Family Treehouse
Walk through this giant tree house as you make your way through deep in the trees and see different scenery.
Parents be aware that there are a lot of steps, so you'll be in for some exercise!
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room
Do you like birds? Well, you'll be seeing a plethora of them here!
This classic attraction is a fun show, where you can relax in air conditioning while eating a Dole Whip.
Are you an animal lover? This park if for you. You'll be able to get up close and personal as well as take part of a safari adventure.
Animals such as giraffes, lions, zebras, elephants, tigers and hippos are some of the beautiful wild animals you can encounter.
This fun and educational environment is perfect for kids.
A slow ride, where kids of any height and for all ages can ride on this open air vehicle for a guided tour of the African Savanna where they will be able to watch animals roam free.
Animal Encounters - Winged Encounters
The ultimate bird watching experience. You'll be able to see birds of all shapes and colors flying, standing, and the bird experts even answer questions from the audience.
A Celebration of Festival of the Lion King
The most popular show in Animal Kingdom showcases the circle of life, live on stage. This show tailors to audiences of all ages as the spectacular theatrics include classic songs such as "Hakuna Matata" and "Can You Feel the Love Tonight".
Disney's Animal Kingdom Entertainment
Watch as your favorite Disney characters set sail through the river. They sail through the Discovery River and perform live.
Similarly to Disney's Animal Kingdom, the animals are the main focus of the park. You and your kiddos will be able to see animals, even feed them, and walk through the park and see an aquarium.
Sesame Street Land
Bring your family to the neighborhood your favorite furry friends call home. Opened in March 2019, SeaWorld has actually recreated Sesame Street.
The 6 acre land has several rides, interactive play areas, and even a water playground.
Spin around in colorful flower pots in Abby's Flower Tower.
Hop aboard Elmo's Choo Choo train as he takes you on a ride and shows you his pals.
There are many more rides than these but these are just some of our favorites.
There are several interactive play areas which you'll want to stop and spend some time at to ensure maximum fun.
Ernie's Rubber Duckie Water playground has water coming out of every direction. A family favorite, you'll be able to play in the playground with your kids as water is even coming out from the ground!
Make sure that you're prepared and bring a bathing suit and a towel!
Characters such as Elmo and Big Bird are expecting you, as they are the ones that want to take a picture with you!
The best news is that these characters are here all day so there's no need to rush through the park to make sure that you were able to see them.
There are meet and greet opportunities inside of the theater as well.
Two food trucks are available to grab a bite to eat and each offers a different menu. One specializes in chicken tender plates, while the other one offers grilled cheese.
There are many more rides and shows that are available in SeaWorld but these are what we recommend for toddlers in particular.
Curious George Goes to Town
A large and beautiful water playground that has several levels that your toddlers can explore. The adored monkey Curious George is featured throughout this entire park and is of course a fan favorite.
The easiest way to describe this area is giant props! Kids and parents will be able to walk around and touch, climb (if old enough) through these larger than life props.
Woody Woodpecker's Nuthouse Coaster
Woody's famous goofy sound will always stick with you whether you're a toddler or 100 years old!
This 1 minute ride takes you through the factory as Woody leads the adventure.
This attraction features several shows and scenery from the Dr. Seuss books. Toddlers will come face to face with the different unique characters from the books.
Rides such as One fish, two fish, red fish, blue fish & Caro-Seuss-El are can't miss rides.
And of course, make sure you get a picture with the Cat in the Hat!
Universal also offers its own waterpark where kids are able to play and have the time of their lives in the pool, sand area, or the mini water park, while the parents are able to relax.
Located on International Drive, this aquarium is the only 360 degree underwater tunnel in Orlando.
The Best Orlando Aquarium
Toddlers and parents can get up close and personal with marine life including sharks, jellyfish, and stingrays without actually needing to get in the water.
There are different rooms that you walk through that contain different types of marine life.
They also have reminders to stay at a safe distance (due to COVID-19) located on the floor for easy guidance.
One of our favorite features of this aquarium is when you walk through an underwater tunnel and you're submerged with all different kinds of marine life around you, all without getting wet.
Not only are the a variety of rides, there are also pools (with lifeguards) that your kids can play in while you relax and keep a watchful eye from a distance.
Aquatica even provides a sand area where kids can play and build sand castles.
Water Play Areas
15,000 square feet full of fun, you wont miss this. 'Walkabout Waters' provides a large amount of space for kids to play, burn off energy and stay safe.
Kata's Kookaburra Cove
This area of the park includes water spouts and silly 'spilly' rides, kids can laugh it up all day long- and so can you!
This resort is specifically made for kids, and if you have a little lego fan in your household... well, their day is about to be made.
It features rides, activities and a bunch of play areas for kids.
The DUPLO valley section was designed for the smallest of the kids to also have fun.
LEGO Kingdoms - The Forestman’s Hideout allows kids of all ages to crawl, climb, slide and even swing for a great adventure.
Everything is of course lego-themed and below we list our favorite must-see attractions.
DUPLO Splash Safari
DUPLO Tot Spot
DUPLO Splash & Play
Tips for Toddlers 4 Years old and Under
Theme-Parking with Toddlers
Here are our best tips to make your day as easy and safe as possible.
Before Going to the Park
Pack Lunches (and snacks ... lots of snacks!)
When you're walking throughout the theme park all day, you're also burning calories, which means... You may get hungrier a lot quicker than usual!
Make sure to pack lunches and snacks for you and your toddlers.
According to Disney "Guests are allowed to bring outside food and nonalcoholic beverage items into the park for self-consumption, provided they are not in glass containers and do not require heating, reheating, processing, refrigeration or temperature control and do not have pungent odors."
Refillable water bottles
The Florida sun is no joke. Make sure you and your child stay hydrated.
You will not only save yourself money throughout the day, you will be able to fill up with ice cold water in different locations through the park.
Guests are able to bring water bottles, cups and mugs into parks as long as they are not glass and do not contain alcohol.
Wear Proper Clothing
You will be walking a lot, at times waiting in lines, and you can even get wet from rides at different parks!
We're not talking about just clothes. This includes wearing comfortable shoes, pants, shirts (extra pair of clothes in case you get wet or too sweaty), maybe a hat and even sunglasses!
Is your kiddos best friend. Protect their skin from the sun for the day and even potentially dealing with sunburn on the days that follow.
Use Strollers to your Advantage
Most parks will allow you to bring your own stroller to the park (save $) as long as they fit the dimensions that they specify. Make sure to check online before going.
A quick google search of "Can I bring my stroller to __ park" will be the easiest way.
If you don't have a stroller, theme parks also offer renting options for single and double strollers.
Why do I even need a stroller?
Even if your toddler is impeccably independent and can navigate for far walking stretches on their own, the stroller will grant them a glimpse of shade from the sun when necessary and a resting place. It also makes navigating through the parks crowds easier for moms and dads (make sure you’re able to easily identify the stroller at stroller pickup stations. Often times than not someone has the same one as you!)
A fun portable fan and water spritzer can be an easy and cool way to calm your little one down when they become too hot.
There are even portable fans that can be attached to strollers like the one below that you can find on Amazon.
In Line of Rides
Keep them occupied in line by downloading games on your smartphone or tablet before going to the park. Parks can sometimes have shaky cell service due to the amount of people in one area.
Know Height Restrictions of Rides
You can find this before entering the ride. Each ride has a sign out front indicating the exact minimum height, but kids can measure themselves by walking up to the physical sign.
You can also find this information online and in the app of the theme park.
One Final Safety Tip
Know what your child is wearing at all times!
Accidents happen and it is crucial to mentally and even photo document what your little one(s) has/have on in case of emergency.
If your child accidentally gets lost at any point, you will be looking for the color of whatever clothing they were wearing at the time, and if it ever gets to the point where you need to ask a park attendant for help locating them, it will be helpful to have a picture.
If you've never been to a theme park, they are large parks and it never hurts to take extra precautions.