Walt Disney World is home to four parks: Magic Kingdom, EPCOT, Animal Kingdom, and Hollywood Studios. I am intentionally leaving out Disney Springs because it’s not park with attractions (but do visit there! amazing shops!). Each of these four is vast with enough to do to last you YEARS of future trips. We traveled during February break, of which the first four days are some of the busiest in the year, and this meant that we had to pick our attractions carefully and in advance. In order to maximize your time and NOT wait in endless lines, here are my Disney Must Do Attractions by park:
Full disclosure: Magic Kingdom is my absolute favorite. While I’ve been traveling to Disney for years, I recently came to my own truth here – I could JUST travel to this single park and be completely content with my trip. A Disney World vacation for me doesn’t even begin until I’ve walked down Main St. USA to see the castle. My heart is so full here.
The Magic Kingdom alone has six lands arranged in a spoke with Cinderella Castle at the epicenter. The six lands are Main Street U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Fantasyland, Frontierland, Liberty Square, and Adventureland. Each land has attractions themed to its name. As you might be able to guess, Fantasyland is where I prefer to spend my time. It’s also where my Must Do Attractions come in.
Now, we’re not talking about the Mountain Range here. These are Must Dos for younger children. My daughter is three, so this is what suited and worked for us.
Must Do Disney Attractions: Fantasyland
it’s a small world
Yep, the one with the repeating song? That’s the one. Small World is a beloved classic in Walt Disney World and for good reason. This was our very first attraction in Magic Kingdom and we came immediately to it to avoid a line. Caleigh loves the glitz on this attraction- everything is speckled in sparkle – and the theming to each new room. I love the rainforest room, personally – that elephant is just so gorgeous! The slow moving, yet steady, speed of the boat, the upbeat colors, and the music make this a hit for any age, including younger children and babies!
Prince Charming Regal Carousel
Are you even in Magic Kingdom if you don’t ride the carousel? I learned this time that Cinderella’s evil step-sisters ride the first carousel ride of the day to heckle the carousel’s operators. This was great fun to watch! My girl has never met a carousel she didn’t like, so this is an easy Must-Do for us (and worked out perfectly after it’s a small world!).
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
On a scale of 0-10 for intensity, Dumbo is the perfect balance of excitement, but stability and I’d put it at a 5. We learned on this trip that my girl LOVES a rollercoaster, but I’m not counting on that being the case for all three year olds! Dumbo takes you up into the sky, but you control how high you rise, which means it can be suited to all adventure levels. I would recommend a Fast Pass for this one, BUT if you have to wait, Disney built an indoor play space for exactly that reason.
Honorable Mention: Enchanted Tales with Belle
This final Fantasyland attraction is a Must Do for me, but perhaps not all in my party. We didn’t use a Fast Pass for this, so we did wait well into 40 minutes, but to watch Caleigh meet and interact with Belle was absolutely worth our time. I find the magic here, the animatronics, to be some of Disney’s absolute best. When I’m there, I believe Lumiere is REAL. The interactive storyline sets this attraction apart from the rest, so if you have a Belle loving kiddo (or adult), DO THIS!
Must Do Disney Attractions: Tomorrowland
Tomorrowland Transit Authority (TTA or Peoplemover)
This is about as low speed as you can get, but I often find that this is a relaxing overview of Magic Kingdom in general. You ride in a small cart vehicle on a track with a voiceover giving you highlights of attractions and the park in general. The views are lovely as well. Caleigh liked being in the dark for the short periods of time that you’re “inside”, but a phone or watch flashlight could cure the concerns of a child who doesn’t like dark attractions. This is one of the few where you can kick back, put up your feet, and rest.
Honorable Mention: Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor
While we didn’t have time to do this, I adore this attraction. This is a show staged by your favorite Monster’s Inc. characters that, like Enchanted Tales with Belle, involved audience participation. The jokes are funny (and some are sent in from the audience! Mine NEVER gets picked. If you want to know what it is, leave a comment!). I’m not sure Cal would sit 100% through this yet, but I think the next time we go (trip is currently under construction), she’ll love it!
Must Do Disney Attractions: Frontierland
It pains me that Caleigh was not tall enough. It’s a 40″ height restriction and for good reason. This is an 11 minute attraction taking you through some of the most memorable visual scenes Disney has to offer. I love the darker rooms of this flume ride. The smells, the sounds of the buzzing and Brer Rabbit’s voice, and of course the plummet at the end. This is a fantastic attraction for one of Florida’s MANY hot days, but caution: you will absolutely need a Fast Pass!
Honorable Mention: None
Frontierland is small and while there aren’t many options, it’s home to two of the Magic Kingdom mountains. I like the atmosphere here, so it’s worth a walk around.
Must Do Disney Attractions: Liberty Square
Liberty Square is home to what might be my most loved attraction in Magic Kingdom, The Haunted Mansion. Marc and I try to start every trip with this attraction; it’s become part of our Walt Disney World ritual, BUT it’s dark, scary, and full of ghosts. Mamas, this is not a toddler-recommended ride, which is why I can’t put it on my Must Do list here.
Like Frontierland, Liberty Square is small, but I do have a Must Do that isn’t a ride-
The Muppets Present…
The Muppets are a family favorite and this is a newer show for Disney World. The Muppets Present… Great Moments in American History is, like all of my true faves, a live and interactive hilarious show with the audience. The pretense here is that the Muppets are Founding “Fathers” and they are sharing America’s history with you. The Town Crier calls you to the show, right outside The Hall of Presidents, and the Muppets will never have felt so real! Make sure you check the website above or a time guide to be sure to catch it!
Must Do Disney Attractions: Adventureland
Enchanted Tiki Room
I love Adventureland because it feels like Fantasyland in terms of choice; there are more little kid attractions here (and DOLE WHIPS!) The Enchanted Tiki Room is a classic; it features a myriad of birds singing and effects in the enclosed room (rain, thunder, drums). The dark and loud parts are short and the show ends on a positive happy note. Beware, the song sticks around, much like it’s a small world!
Honorable Mention: Jungle Cruise
We’ve been reading this book:
to Caleigh for some time, so she knows the story of the Jungle Cruise well. The issue here is how you distribute your Fast Passes because there is always a line for this traditional attraction! We weren’t able to get on this ride during our stay, but I know it’s already a favorite for her. The terrible wonderful script, the staged animals and a boat ride? Toddler approved!
Must Do Disney Attractions: Main Street, U.S.A.
Strolling down Main Street is an attraction in itself. The smells, balloons, and sounds piped in are the definition of MAGIC. Whenever I have the chance, I sneak off to Main Street, preferably alone, to shop. I love bringing home trinkets, toys, or clothing for Caleigh; it reminds all of us of our trip! I love a good souvenir collection.
Harmony Barber Shop
This might be Walt Disney World’s best kept secret! This babe shop is tucked away in the front corner of Main St. They offer great priced haircuts to all – from Baby’s First Haircut to haircuts for grown men (yes, my husband and brother both had their haircut while we were here).
We’ve now had two toddler haircuts here, both lovely and experiences to remember. With the First Haircut, you get a lock of your child’s hair, a certificate, and a celebratory hat/set of ears! During this last trip, Caleigh had the option of having glitter sprinkled into her hair and obviously she did. It was easy to wash out as well.
I feel like it’s not a true Disney trip without a pair of ears. I’ll be doing a whole post on just the ears currently in the parks, but I love to buy at least one pair while I’m on vacation. Now, that include Caleigh! Stopping off at The Chapeau to grab ears or customize a hat is the perfect way to start your day at Magic Kingdom!
Honorable Mention: Walt Disney World Railroad
I love riding this train; the sound of the horn brings me back to a specific moment from my first trip every single time. The reason this isn’t MUST DO is because it seems like it’s always being refurbished. We haven’t been able to ride this in years – at least during our trips. If you have the opportunity to hop on the train, do it! There are multiple stops along the route and its a great introduction to the whole park.
WE MADE IT! I know this is a long one, but I want to give you EVERY possible option for planning your trip.
Please tell me EVERY Must Do for your Disney vacations! What should we be adding? Any secret gems I don’t know about? Comment below!