Disney World Attractions For Kids Who Don’t Love Roller Coasters
Growing up, I was the only one in my family who didn’t LOVE roller coasters. I have severe motion sickness and have since I was young. It affects me on a simple ride down the street or even sitting in a choppy lake or swimming pool (and don’t let me get started on what it can do when feeding cows from a truck in a rough pasture!) Thankfully, it can be handled now through proper medication and knowing the signals my body sends. I am going to tell you all about how to do Disney World And No Roller Coasters!
Disney World And No Roller Coasters
I am a wife and a mom of three and our children fall into two categories: crazy daredevils and my sweet, afraid of danger nine-year-old. My oldest doesn’t like speed or thrill rides at all and always takes a little coercion to jump on anything that moves faster than It’s a Small World. In the end, if it’s been more like a thrill ride I end up feeling terrible and I’ll then take her for a quick ride on one of two of her favorites.
Since I know there are other families like us, I decided that I needed to make a list for the kiddos that are more like my younger motion-sickened self and my sweet oldest girl. And remember, just because rides don’t include daring drops and high speeds doesn’t mean that they aren’t just as fun to experience with your kiddos!
There are all kinds of rides in Magic Kingdom and although there are some serious roller coasters, you have lots and lots of choices that aren’t! I haven’t included everything here, just ones that are always good for each member of my family regardless of their roller coaster preference!
- Pirates of the Caribbean: This one is an oldie, but a goodie. A boat-based dark ride, Pirates is charming, funny, and a little spooky with some (very) small thrills included. This is a ride that we will ride multiple times each visit to Disney World because we all enjoy it and it’s just thrilling enough to make it exciting. Oh, and did I mention you may spot Captain Jack Sparrow if you’re paying attention?
- Haunted Mansion: Another Disney classic, the Haunted Mansion is 1 part spooky, 1 part fun! You’ll hop in a ‘Doombuggy’ for a slow-moving dark ride through Mr. Gracey’s manor that happens to be full of Grim Grinning Ghosts who like to shake things up. From a shocking beginning (possibly the creepiest part, if you have little ones you may not want them to look up) to a tour past a ballroom haunted by graceful dancers and then to Madam Leota’s rooms, this ride has been a favorite of mine since I was small. And now you can get a Magic Shot with your very own Grim Grinning Ghost at the end of the ride!
- Tomorrowland Speedway: What kid doesn’t want to drive a car? I know that mine are already itching to taking over the wheel. Luckily for them, they can do just that at the Tomorrowland Speedway. There are height requirements for drivers, simply because you need to be able to reach the pedals. If they are not tall enough to drive, then an adult can take the wheel and they can be co-pilot!
- Under the Sea: Journey of the Little Mermaid: Another family favorite of ours! My oldest is a huge Ariel fan and this is her very favorite ride. Climb aboard a clamshell and make your way on this dark ride to the bottom of the sea and back where you follow Ariel’s adventures with her friends and Prince Eric. And I know I shouldn’t but I love Ursula’s portion of the ride!
- Peter Pan’s Flight: One of the most popular rides in Fantasyland, Peter Pan’s Flight is just really cool. You hop on board your very own pirate ship and take a flight to Neverland with the help of a little bit of pixie dust! This one is a whole family favorite because it’s just so much fun. Make sure and get a Fastpass+ reservation for this one though because the lines can get really long.
- Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin: This is one that you may end up riding again and again just to see if you can beat your own high score! Jump into a rocket ship and help Buzz Lightyear fight the armies of Evil Emporer Zurg. There are power-ups, targets with high points, and really just overall fun when you ride this one. Make sure to have a high score and to smile wide for your picture at the end!
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin*/Dumbo the Flying Elephant: I put these together because while they’re different they are very similar in the way the ride works. Each one move riders in a circle and lets you control how low or high you want to fly! Dumbo the Elephant lets you one to two riders hop on Dumbo and soar over the Storybook Circus area in Fantasyland. The ride queue is also one of our favorites because there is a play area inside where kids can run around and play while you wait! The Magic Carpets of Aladdin are in Adventureland and four to five people can climb aboard their very own magic carpet and soar through the skies. But watch out for the camels, they spit!
- Mad Tea Party*: This one has an asterisk next to it because I was too afraid to ride it with my motion sickness when I was younger. I love it now and my oldest daughter loves it too. She doesn’t love roller coasters, but this one allows her to move as fast or as slow as she wants. Once you’re in your teacup, you will make circles around the floor but you will decide how fast or how slow you want your teacup to spin. Want to get crazy?? Use that wheel to spin super fast? Want a more leisurely ride? Don’t spin the wheel much! The line moves pretty quickly on this one so we ride, ride again and then come back later for more!
As a general rule, there are really only two attractions that fall under possible ‘roller coaster’ category in Epcot: Soarin’ and Test Track. My oldest will ride Soarin’ but she doesn’t love it. She refuses to do Test Track at all. They are both fun rides, so if you feel like your kiddo might like them, give them a try! Also, don’t forget to really explore all each area of Epcot has to offer. The World Showcase is a must-do for our family so make sure and explore everything there is to see!
- Gran Fiesta Tour – Epcot: This ride is one of my all-time favorites and is now a favorite with my kids. It features the Three Caballeros (Panchito, Jose, and Donald Duck) on a dark river journey through Mexico via a nice smooth boat ride. Funny, interesting, and a nice journey through a country you may not have traveled to.
- The Seas: There’s nothing quite like an aquarium to put life into perspective, and the Seas with Nemo and Friends is no exception. Your children will love the wide variety of ocean animals they can view and you also get to ride through in a clam? How many people can say that?
- Turtle Talk with Crush: One of the most mind-blowing things that I’ve seen at Disney happens in Turtle Talk with Crush (Monster’s Laugh Floor does something similar). You will enter Crush’s theater and when he arrives, he will start interacting with the audience. Calling people by name, asking questions, and cracking jokes. It never gets old to see this bit of Disney magic and it’s always a good time for everyone!
- Journey Into Imagination with Figment: Experience sight, sound, taste, touch, and smell in a whole new way on this ride! Figment adds some fun and maybe a little craziness on this dark ride. A fun way for kiddos to learn more about themselves and how they understand the world around them.
- Spaceship Earth: Who doesn’t want to take a ride into the giant Spaceship Earth that Epcot is so famous for? This ride reminds me a lot of the Carousel of Progress, which my kids love, at Magic Kingdom. This is a slow moving dark ride that explores the technological advances of mankind.
- The World Showcase: The World Showcase has so many neat attractions to offer. There are performers of all kinds that represent all the unique countries on the Showcase. From acrobats to drummers, to appearances by Disney favorites, the World Showcase is a great way to spend an afternoon. Oh, and don’t forget all those amazing snacks!!
I had the opportunity to visit Animal Kingdom in the year it opened: 1998. Things have changed since then but Animal Kingdom is truly one of my favorite parks because it combines my love of animals with my love for all things Disney. Take some time to really explore here because there are animals to view, stage shows, and so much more that you will really love. Dinoland USA has been a favorite for me since I was young. Make sure and visit the play area and dig for fossils too!
- Kali River Rapids: Who doesn’t love a little bit of water on a hot Florida day? Kali River Rapids is a river raft ride that allows your child to feel like a daredevil while not actually being too fast or rough. The added bonus? A nice splash to cool everyone off several times throughout the ride!
- It’s Tough to Be A Bug!: This has to be one of my very favorite attractions at Animal Kingdom. Your favorite Bug’s Life characters appear in a ‘4D’ experience to explain some of the rules of a bug’s world and introduce different kinds of bugs. In this experience expect all of you senses to be stimulated and also expect a few surprises along the way!
- Triceratops Spin: Triceratops Spin is a carousel that lets you take your animal as high as you’d like or keep it closer to the ground. Similar to the Dumbo the Elephant ride and the Magic Carpets of Aladdin, this ride is one that everyone from toddlers to adults will love. Dinoland USA is also themed very much like a street carnival in a small town, so what’s not to love about that??
- The Festival of the Lion King: I was lucky enough to see the Festival of the Lion King in the first year that Animal Kingdom opened. It is a ‘show’ of sorts, but is super interactive and features King Simba, Pumba, and Timon. During the show you’ll have the opportunity to sing, cheer, and watch some really amazing performances that the whole family will love!
- Navi River Journey: One of the newest rides in Animal Kingdom set in Pandora, Navi River Journey is a smooth river ride through Pandora’s unearthly and beautiful environment. You’ll encounter unique wildlife and if you’re lucky have a close encounter with the Navi people!
- Kilimanjaro Safaris: A safari where animals are left to roam free in a simulated habitat is cool. A safari where you try to capture poachers? Amazing! Our go-to year after year at Animal Kingdom is Kilimanjaro Safaris. You ride in a ‘safari’ vehicle across some tricky terrain all while checking out crocodiles, hippos, elephants, giraffes, lions and more. Make sure to ride this one when the day is coolest if you can so that the animals are more active (in the morning or in the evening)!
Hollywood Studios was possibly best known for it’s two thrill rides: Rock’in Roller Coaster and the Hollywood Tower of Terror in the past. However, with the addition of Toy Story Land and Star Wars attractions, there are now more rides and more things to experience than ever before! Slinky Dog Dash is a small coaster and may be the exception to your roller coaster phobic kiddos ride preferences, but I’ve gone ahead and listed lots of other options too!
- Muppetvision 3D: As a Muppet fan from way-back-when, this is still a favorite. Zany, funny, and in 3D the Muppets turn the theater into what feels like a real-life Muppet Show! I love that there is still a Muppet presence at Hollywood Studios and my kids and I are really hoping that there may be more Muppets to come in the future!
- Toy Story Midway Mania: This attraction has always been super popular and it’s easy to understand why. It is like being inside of a moving video game. Rack up points by shooting targets as you ride through and experience multiple ‘levels’ featuring your Toy Story faves. This is one you may want to ride over and over!
- Indiana Jones Stunt Spectacular: Indiana Jones is very much an 80’s and 90’s kid character, but I promise that your kids will love watching him defy death and do what Indy does best in this stunt spectacular! And seriously, who doesn’t want to watch Indiana Jones escape danger and rescue the girl?
- Star Wars Launch Zone/Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple: This attraction is a stage show, but your children get to be the stars. You’ll sign them up for a show time when you get to the park. When it’s their show time your kiddos will get up on stage and learn the skills of a Jedi from certified instructors. The real test is when they have to use their new skills to face the Dark Side!
- Alien Swirling Saucers: Another Toy Story Land attraction, Alien Swirling Saucers is a spinning ride featuring everyone’s favorite little green aliens. While this ride does spin, it doesn’t quite reach Mad Tea Party levels of speed. This one is pretty safe for those who get dizzy and fun for everyone in your group!
- Frozen Sing Along, Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage!, Journey of the Little Mermaid: Now, these are stage shows but even my 4-year-old son is a fan. Each of these offers a unique presentation of the popular Disney movies. From on-stage characters and action to encouraging everyone to sing along with the cast members on stage.
- Star Wars Launch Bay: This one may be a pass for your crew if you don’t love Star Wars, but if you are a fan there is A LOT to see and do. Check out costumes, models, concept art, and even a short film about the minds behind the Star Wars saga. After that take some time to meet everyone’s favorite astromech droid BB8, Chewbacca, and if you’re feeling brave Kylo Ren!
Something For Everyone
No matter if you have a thrill seeker who loves the coasters or a child who does not enjoy such rides, Disney World is a place for everyone and that’s what keeps everyone coming back! There is something for everyone to enjoy over and over again.
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