If you caught part one of my Toddler Ride Guide, you’ll know that our family is shortly headed to Walt Disney World with an infant and a toddler. I’ve already talked about attraction best bets for toddlers at Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. This is what you should be mindful of when visiting Epcot and Hollywood Studios with small children.
At Hollywood Studios, the green light goes to Beauty and the Beast – Live on Stage, Voyage of The Little Mermaid, “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” Movie Set Adventure and most definitely Disney Junior Live on Stage. As with any of the “live on stage” shows, know your child’s tolerance for being an audience member. Our little lady couldn’t get enough of seeing her Disney Junior friends on stage, but wasn’t interested in sitting for the entire Voyage of The Little Mermaid. She has since grown to love Ariel and friends, so we’re excited to see if this changes in November. “Honey, I Shrunk the Kids” is not your typical mall play area. While it seems like a good place for you to rest your feet, small children should be closely supervised here; prepare yourself for a good workout chasing them around!
Yellow light attractions are Toy Story Mania!, Fantasmic!, Lights, Motors, Action! Extreme Stunt Show, Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular!, and Muppet*Vision 3-D. This should be easy to remember, as all of these (except Muppet*Vision) have exclamation points included in their name. All of the jerky movements in Toy Story Mania! scared our two year old. She was fine when the ride vehicle stopped and she got to play the games, but she did not ask to ride this again. All of the others mentioned have loud explosions at some point. If your child cannot handle explosions, be wary of the trauma loud pops, bangs and booms can cause.
The red light goes up for the Studio Backlot Tour, The Great Movie Ride, and all thrill rides at this park. Thrill rides are a given no-no, since toddlers don’t meet the height requirement to ride. Studio Backlot Tour has some special effects built into it that can be scary for small children. The Great Movie Ride is– let’s face it—for adults. Small kids find this boring and long; once you’re on, you can’t leave. Be considerate of your kids and those who want to enjoy this walk down memory lane, and skip this attraction until they can appreciate being in the middle of a good gangster shoot out.
I saved Epcot for last because it’s my favorite park. As a self proclaimed foodie, the main attraction for me is the restaurants. I’ve come to grips with the fact that the rest of my family doesn’t enjoy food nearly as much as I do. Since they want to do more than eat all day, I give the green light to The Seas with Nemo & Friends, Innoventions, Spaceship Earth, Turtle Talk with Crush, Gran Fiesta Tour, and Journey Into Imagination With Figment. We learned about our five senses with Figment over and over and over again. Because the line is usually pretty short, we found ourselves riding numerous times and she loved it every time. The educational, interactive playground after the ride is also a big hit with toddlers. Nemo & Friends was another favorite. The Clammobiles are comfy for our growing family and the bright colors, along with the music, were a favorite. This was actually the first Disney ride our daughter ever rode, and remains one of her favorites.
Proceed with caution to the yellow light attractions, Universe of Energy, Living with the Land, American Adventure, Circle of Life, Captain EO, and Illuminations. The first four mentioned are a bit lengthy. While you can easily excuse yourself during Captain EO and American Adventure, you cannot leave the ride vehicles during Universe of Energy or Living with the Land. Potty breaks before all of these are a must. Large animatronics in the Universe of Energy may be frightening for small children. Expect loud fireworks and explosions during Illuminations that could scare younger ones.
Finally, red light attractions at Epcot are those that kids don’t meet the height requirement for, including Maelstrom, Test Track, Soarin’ and Mission: SPACE. Mission: SPACE has a pretty cool interactive area following the ride where you can wait to “rider swap” if the adults in your party want to ride while giving the children something to do. Remember to keep a close watch on children in this area, and anytime you visit the parks.
The best Disney vacation is when the entire family heads home having realized their dreams. For parents of children under age three, that dream is a fun, memorable and meltdown free vacation. Keeping in mind your children’s tolerance on attractions will make sure you have the green light to visit again real soon!
Lottie is thrilled to be a mom to two little princesses who can’t wait to hop in a clammobile and see Nemo with all of his friends. Catch up with her on Twitter, @CrunchyDisneyMa to get tips on Disney vacationing and natural parenting. All photos in this post were taken with Lottie’s camera.Share