Rides and Shows at Disney’s Hollywood Studios with Younger Children
Babies can go on *almost* all the rides at Walt Disney World. According to Disney’s policy, babies can go on any ride without a height restriction (think roller coasters and the Star Tours for the height restricted rides). This means that the majority of rides at Walt Disney World can be ridden together as a family if you choose. But that doesn’t mean that you’ll love all of them for your young children. Here are some factors to think about: Are there any drops that might startle your little one? What about noise or 4D effects like water splashing? Will it be bumpy or too long? There are a lot of factors so here are some of my thoughts on the rides that will help you determine what will work for your family.
Some general tips for riding with younger children:
- Do a little research about which rides you may want to do at each park and try to get FastPasses for them or even better the rides you’ll do without the kids such as the roller coasters. You can YouTube search any ride and see what they’re like if you still have any questions about if it will work for you after reading this post.
- If you don’t have a FastPass and you want to ride a ride without baby, you can do Rider Switch. From Disney: Rider Switch Info from WDW
- You can baby wear on any ride without a height restriction and you can read more about that on this post: Babywearing at Disney
- Take breaks. Baby Care Centers are a great place to take a break!
- As always, stay flexible and know you may get less “done” but the memories will be priceless!
Fantasmic – a seated nighttime show where you sit in bleacher / stadium seating and watch a boat and fireworks show over the water. It can be a little loud and is a 20 minute show. Preschool and older children tend to love this show as you can see many favorite characters all in one show with singing and more.
Beauty and the Beast Live on Stage – a Broadway style show with songs and dancing up on a stage with stadium seating. A great place for breastfeeding or bottle feeding younger children. It is shaded and usually stays pretty cool during the day. Elodie loved it when she was younger but it is hard to get her to stay seated for the whole 20 minute show as as a walking/running toddler.
The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – Must be 40 inches – an elevator drop ride that goes up and down at a fast speed. It actually goes up and down so fast, you feel weightless for a bit. It overall feels very “safe” as it’s enclosed and you only get a peek of how high you are; however, many younger children who are over the height requirement may be nervous due to the sudden drops, feeling of weightlessness and the noises of other guests being enclosed so sounding loud.
Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster – Must be 48 inches – a high speed roller coaster that goes topsy turvy and upside down through a city in a “stretch limo” while Aerosmith is playing. If you love roller coasters, you’ll probably love this ride! Fun fact: I happened to be there when they did a soft opening for this ride and was one of the first to ride around 14-years-old. I loved it and my mom (who doesn’t like roller coasters) was a little shocked at how fast it went!
Star Wars Launch Bay – This area is all inside – you can watch a short film on Star Wars and what to expect from the new land, Galaxy’s Edge, as well as meet and get pictures with several of the Star Wars characters like Chewbacca, BB-8 and Kylo Ren. Storm Troopers are walking around as well.
Voyage of the Little Mermaid – a short show of The Little Mermaid with characters live singing on stage with lasers as the main effects. There are a few times where there are other special effects like bubbles falling.
Walt Disney Presents – This area has showcases of past, present and future Disney ideas as well asa rotating featured short film. You can also meet regularly rotating characters which right now are from Guardians of the Galaxy.
Toy Story Land (Andy’s Backyard)
Slinky Dog Dash – Must be 38 inches – With a little lower height requirement and being a smooth, easy roller coaster, this makes the perfect roller coaster for younger children like preschool age and older. Elodie absolutely loves watching this ride and laughs the whole time and many of our friends with kids 4 and older absolutely love this fun ride. It’s a perfect first roller coaster ride!
Alien Swirling Saucers – Must be 32 inches – This ride is often compared to the Tea Cups as it’s a ride that spins around the same pace, is covered but not enclosed and has lights and music. Another favorite among preschoolers and older, this ride is both adorable and fun. See the video below of Elodie riding this one! She loves it and says, “ahhhhh” the whole time! See the video of Elodie on this ride below!
Toy Story Mania – a carnival style ride where you ride through different carnival games to get the high score. This ride is 3D and requires wearing 3D glasses in order to be able to see properly. We often wear Elodie in a baby carrier on this ride, but when she is not in a carrier the cast members are very adamant that she must be facing forward which can be difficult with a younger child if they get scared or overwhelmed by the noises or the way the cart moves fast around some corners.
Character Meets – Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear are usually available to meet by standing in a line. Additionally, the Green Army Men can often be found walking around Andy’s Backyard.
Mickey and Minnie Starring in Red Carpet – meet Mickey and Minnie (separately) dressed up in fancy clothes and get pictures!
Muppet Vision in 3D – a theater show in 3D which requires wearing 3D glasses to see properly. Does include some loud and surprising moments which may be overwhelming for some.
For the First Time Ever: A Frozen Sing Along Celebration – a comical rendition of the story of Frozen with Anna, Elsa and two narrators including songs the audience is encouraged to sing along with. There are some special effects like snow falling and this show is surprisingly loud. I usually ask a cast member to help me find a quieter area as it is too loud for Elodie in most areas. The quiet area is in the back toward the exit.
Celebrity Spotlight: Meet Olaf – meet and get pictures with Olaf.
Star Tours: The Adventure Continues – Must be 40 inches – a seated and “stationary” ride where you feel like you go through space. While in some moments a little jerky, this ride overall is pretty mild with not many noises and no real drops making it a good one for adventurous little ones.
Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple – a 20 minute show where children 4-12 can train to be Jedi. They will leave their family (still close by) so something to consider if your child would be scared in that situation. It can be loud, even as an observer nearby.
Elodie is currently one year old and here are her most and least favorites:
Elodie’s Top 5 Favorite Things to Do in Hollywood Studios
- Alien Swirling Saucers
- Meeting Olaf
- Meeting Jessie and Woody
- Watching Slinky Dog Dash from the bridge (while we do rider switch)
- Run around in the streets of Grand Avenue
Elodie’s 5 Least Things to Do in Hollywood Studios
- Meeting Star Wars Characters (a recent development)
- The noise from the projection show before fireworks show
- Sitting still for the shows
- Waiting in the lines to meet the characters
- Saying goodbye to the characters
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And check out the rest of this series: