What do the best Disney World rides for kids under 10 have in common? They are eye-catching, full of fun, have manageable wait times and include some unexpected surprises. Part of the fun of choosing a ride is the anticipation — seeing logs crashing down from the peak of Splash Mountain enhances the experience, and knowing what is coming makes waiting a little easier.
Plan to spend time visiting each Disney theme park, and take advantage of the Fastpass system to see as many of these great attractions as possible.
1. Splash Mountain (Magic Kingdom)
Splash Mountain dominates Frontierland, and is sure to draw the eye of every child in your travel party. Most kids under 10 will enjoy traveling on this wet and wild flume ride, and it is a good "test" attraction to see if your child is ready for the more thrilling Disney attractions. This ride has a height restriction, so if you have preschoolers in your group plan on waiting at the mini playground near the ride entrance.
Tip: Head to Splash Mountain early in the day, or pick up a Fastpass, this popular attraction usually has a lone line by lunchtime.
2. Toy Story Mania (Disney's Hollywood Studios)
Spot your favorite Toy Story pals, and play fun carnival style games on this innovative and interactive ride. Kids will adore the frenetic pace and appearances by Buzz, Woody and the rest of the Toy Story Gang. This ride does not have a height restriction, so the whole family can ride.
Tip: This ride is one of Disney World's most popular, and wait times can be measured in hours, not minutes. Arrive early in the day to be sure you get a chance to ride. The minute you enter Disney's Hollywood Studios, send the fastest member of your party ahead to Toy Story Mania for Fastpasses.
3. Kilimanjaro Safaris (Animal Kingdom)
If your child loves animals, don't miss Kilimanjaro Safaris, located in Disney's Animal Kingdom. Not only can you see a variety of wildlife without obvious barriers, the drivers do a great job of keeping riders entertained and perched on the edge of their seats. This ride will get busy, so arrive early in the day and research some ideas for passing the time in line.
Tip: Traveling with a young wildlife fan? Check out the nearby Animal Kingdom Lodge, one of the best Disney resorts for kids.
4. Tomorrowland Speedway (Magic Kingdom)
While the Tomorrowland Speedway is fun for adults and teens, kids under 10 will get the biggest thrill out of "driving" a mini race car. Children over 55 inches tall can drive their own car, kids over 32 inches in height can have fun riding along with a parent. The ride vehicles are kid-sized replicas of race cars, and NASCAR fans will have a blast on the Speedway.
Tip: If you have a bad back or knees, let another member of your party ride with your child. With so many underage drivers on the raceway sudden stops, starts, and even low-speed collisions happen regularly on this attraction.
5. Triceratop Spin (Animal Kingdom)
Not only does the TriceraTop Spin feature fun and easy ride controls and little to no waiting, it also nestles up to Hester and Chester's amusement games. This area is a fun place to take a break from a busy day in the Animal Kingdom. TriceraTop Spin uses the same ride platform as Dumbo the Flying Elephant and The Magic Carpets of Aladdin, so if your child enjoys these rides, TriceraTop Spin will be a hit as well.
Tip: These carnival style attractions are not huge thrill rides, but they can be a confidence booster — you can let kids over seven ride one their own dinosaur, elephant or carpet.
6. Shark Reef (Typhoon Lagoon)
With towering water slides, a lazy river and a huge wave pool, Typhoon Lagoon has many wonderful offerings for kids. One of the best and most unique attractions in Disney World is nestled away in Typhoon Lagoon — Shark Reef. If your child has an interest in marine life and aquatics, and is able to swim, this is a "don't miss" attraction.
Guests don scuba gear and explore a watery haven filled with real live animals, including sharks, rays, and jellyfish. The water is cold and refreshing, and the experience is amazing.
Tip: Even if your child is a strong swimmer, ask for a life vest. He will enjoy the experience more if he doesn't have to focus on swimming.
7. Test Track (Epcot)
Kids as young as five can enjoy the fastest and longest attraction in Walt Disney World — Test Track. If your child enjoys fast paced rides, then Test Track will be a hit. That loud noise you hear as you approach this attraction? Its the sound of cars screaming around the high speed loop at 60 plus miles per hour.
8. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (Magic Kingdom)
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad offers a thrilling, high-speed adventure through an abandoned mine. While this attraction can definitely be considered a thrill ride, it is tamer than most, with no loops or inversions and plenty of slow spots to take a break and look at the scenery. This is a great first coaster for kids under 10, and if they leave the ride looking for more, you'll know they're ready for some of Disney's most thrilling attractions.
Tip: Is your child ready for one of Disney World's "Mountain" coasters? If you're not sure, head to Toon Town and ride theBarnStormer mini coaster first.
9. Pirates of the Caribbean (Magic Kingdom)
You'll be speaking "pirate" and humming "A Pirate's Life for Me" after a sail through the pirate-infested waters of Pirates of the Caribbean. Spot pirates cavorting and causing trouble, join a pirate battle and keep an eye out for Captain Jack Sparrow on this high seas adventure.
With catchy, sing-able music, a clear storyline, and just enough thrills to be fun without being downright scary, Pirates of the Caribbean is a hit with the under 10 crowd.
10. Mad Tea Party (Magic Kingdom)
Take a spin on a giant pastel colored tea cup at the Mad Tea Party. Be sure to keep an eye out forDisney characters at this location, Alice, the Mad hatter and the White Rabbit have been spotted near by.
Warning: Do not share a tea cup with anyone who loves spinning, or you could become too dizzy to climb out of the cup!