There’s nothing like a trip to Walt Disney World with your family. Known as “the happiest place on Earth,” it’s an incredible place to create and make memories. Your unforgettable experience begins the moment you arrive. I’ll never forget watching my husband’s face light up when he saw Cinderella’s Castle for the very first time, or the look on my sons’ faces when they went on Splash Mountain for the first time. I’ll also never forget the look on my daughter’s face when she met Mickey and Minnie for the very first time. These are the magical moments that create the best kind of vacations. It’s all about being together and seeing the moments that you know you will remember forever and ever.
When it comes to a Disney family vacation, my first rule is to always make sure we go on rides together as a family before we “divide and conquer.” It’s tough when you have children in different age groups because the big kids don’t want to go on the little rides and the little kids can’t go on the big rides. My husband will always go off with our sons (ages 8, 9, 10 and 11) and I’ll always stay with our daughter (age 2). But for me, the whole point of a family vacation is creating memories together, so I make sure I have a game plan ahead of time as to what we’re going to do as a family before the “big guys” go off from the girls!
Whether you’re like us, or even if you’re traveling with grandparents/cousins/aunts/uncles, I’m excited to share with you some of the best rides at the Disney Theme Parks for the entire family. These rides are perfect for any age, any gender, and anytime of day:
1. It’s a Small World at Magic Kingdom – Embark on a whimsical boat ride past a jubilant group of singing children from around the globe. This iconic ride has become our first stop whenever we travel to the Magic Kingdom. Our daughter is obsessed with this ride and loves the music. My sons love the boat ride and think it’s super fun; not to mention, in the hot sun, it’s a wonderful way to cool down. We love seeing our kids enjoy this experience together! It’s adorable to see.
2. Prince Charming Regal Carousel at Magic Kingdom – Spin around, up and down to joyous music atop a regal steed at this classic attraction inspired by Disney’s Cinderella. There’s nothing like a carousel, but one at Disney is just THAT much more magical. Throughout the years we have gotten so much joy on the carousel. It’s such a fun and enchanting ride for the entire family. It doesn’t go too fast and it’s long enough to really feel like you waited in line for a good reason.
3. Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid at Magic Kingdom – Descend below the waves—without ever getting wet—for a whimsical musical adventure awash with scenes from the animated classic. This is a must-see for families! It’s such an entertaining ride with great music and tells the tale of The Little Mermaid. My kids love this ride, especially since you ride along on a shell! It’s very cool!
4. Spaceship Earth at Epcot – Travel through time and explore the history of communication on a ride that takes you from the Stone Age to the computer age. This is one of the wonders of Epcot – truly the showpiece. You’re brought through the past and into the future in such an interesting and fun way. This is my favorite ride at Epcot, partly because it’s inside the iconic silver ball!
5. Frozen Ever After at Epcot – Hoist the sails in Arendelle aboard an ancient Norwegian vessel as you set out into the wondrous wintery world of “Frozen!” If you’re a “Frozen” fan, you’re going to love this ride! I had the opportunity to attend a press event about this ride in the spring and it was incredible to hear about its creation. Now that it’s open, “Frozen” fans – UNITE!
6. Kilimanjaro Safaris at Animal Kingdom – Ride off in an open-air vehicle for a day or evening tour of a lush African savanna, home to real exotic animals. If you’re looking for a ride to leave a lasting impression, it’s this one. Perfect family fun for everyone! You see lions, zebras, flamingos, rhinos, giraffes and so many more animals. It truly is like being on an African safari. You almost forget that you’re in Florida! You even have someone leading your safari that talks about all the animals you see and brings you through the entire ride! Tons and tons of fun for all!
7. Toy Story Mania at Hollywood Studios – Ride and blast moving targets at this carnival booth-style, 4D shootin’ game starring your favorite “Toy Story” characters. This is one ride my kids LIVE FOR when we’re at Disney Hollywood Studios! It’s a blast for them and they love having “Toy Story” battles to see who got the highest score.
These are seven of my favorite rides for the whole family at Disney World. Each one of these rides is a must-do, so make sure you add them to your list for memories you can make while you’re all together. Remember, it’s important to make time for everyone. Enjoy, my friends!