Theme park rides aren’t for everyone, especially big thrill rides. But what are you supposed to do when your child’s scared of Magic Kingdom rides? How do you entertain kids that won’t even go on the Flight of Peter Pan? The Fabulously Frugal Traveling Mom has been there, multiple times, with her kids who refuse to ride most of the Magic Kingdom rides. Check out all the tips she has for exploring the most magical place on earth when your kids refuse to ride the rides.
The first time my son refused to go on any Magic Kingdom rides, I thought it was a phase. I assumed he’d grow out of it and be excited to ride everything by the next time we visited the park. I prepared for our next visit with a list of best rides at Magic Kingdom for toddlers and preschoolers, only to have him still get scared. A few years and 5 visits later, he still cries if we suggest getting on a ride. It took us a few tries to finally realize that he isn’t just afraid of the rides, he’s afraid of the rides that start in the dark. Basically, he’s afraid of all the thrill rides and the ones that are inside.
Disney World, especially Magic Kingdom, has to much more to offer than just rides. Even though we can’t get the kids to do many rides, we can still find ways to entertain ourselves for hours in the park. If your child’s scared of Magic Kingdom rides like mine, there is still plenty to do for the whole family. Check out this huge list of things to do in Disney if your child’s scared of Magic Kingdom Rides.
11 of the next best Disney things to do if your child’s scared of Magic Kingdom rides
Watch the YouTube video to see what we did in Magic Kingdom when my kids were scared of rides.
Watch the video here: Things to do if your child’s scared of Magic Kingdom rides
This is number one on our list when we are in Magic Kingdom. We’ve even been known to visit Mickey twice in one day! The best part about Magic Kingdom is that Mickey Mouse talks. This is the only park where Mickey will talk to you when you meet him.
Magic Kingdom is great for meeting characters because the park has the best variety of all the Disney parks with 15 different locations for meet and greets. Make sure to check the Disney app and website for an updated list of locations and characters.
TravelingMOM Tip: Get a Fastpass to see Mickey. The line to see Mickey can get pretty long during peak hours. Either visit him first thing in the morning or get a Fastpass. Or both!
Swiss Family Tree House
Kids are innately drawn to treehouses. The Swiss Family Tree House in Adventureland is no exception. We love that our kids can run and explore safely, even at the young ages of 2 and 4.
The tree house rarely feels too busy or overcrowded even on the busiest of days. It’s a great activity to allow the kids to get out some energy without making them run circles around you. Personally, I’m a big fan of making those little feet climb the tree right before nap time. My kids climb into the stroller after running through the tree house and they are done!
Casey Jr. Splash & Soak Station
The Splash & Soak Station in Fantasyland (located in front of Barn Stormer) is the perfect place to cool down on a hot Florida day. If it’s warm enough, you don’t even need to bring a towel or a change of clothes!
TravelingMOM Tip: There is a covered area filled with couches, tables and chairs, and phone charging stations right behind the soak station, located up the stairs and to the right of the character meet and greet tent. I like to charge my phone for a bit while the kids play in the splash area. It’s a nice break for everyone!
Pin trading is an affordable way to bring home Disney souvenirs that don’t take up a ton of room. It’s also a great way to entertain kids that hate rides because it takes up a lot of time and give the kids something to do when walking around the park.
Not sure how to get started with pin trading? Read this post with 5 helpful tips to get you started.
TravelingMOM Tip: Starter packs start at $15 and go up to $30 in the park. Consider buying pins off of eBay or Amazon to save a little bit of money.
Here’s a unique way to entertain your kid who is scared of Magic Kingdom rides: go on a scavenger hunt with them. A quick search on Pinterest will give you tons of ideas for scavenger hunts in Magic Kingdom.
If you’re feeling creative yourself, just get on the Disney website and look at the Magic Kingdom map to create your own scavenger hunt for your child. Not creative? I’ve been there too. My next best tip is to play “eye spy” while walking around Magic Kingdom. It’s almost as fun as a scavenger hunt for the under 5 crew.
Tom Sawyer Island
Tom Sawyer Island in Frontierland is a great way to let kids run around and explore. Even if your child is scared of Magic Kingdom rides, he or she probably won’t mind taking the Liberty Square Riverboat to get there. Once on the island, kids can create adventures and enjoy secret hideaways.
Frontier Shootin’ Arcade
After you arrive back on the mainland from Tom Sawyer Island, head over to the Frontier Shootin’ Arcade. Kids and parents can practice their shooting skills with a replica .54-caliber Hawkins buffalo rifle. Prepare to have cash for the arcade.
I’m halfway convinced my kids have only told me they hate rides so they can have more time to eat snacks, Mickey-shaped snacks to be exact. What kid wouldn’t be happy with a Mickey-shaped ice cream or pretzel? You can buy these, and many other delicious non-Mickey shaped snacks, all throughout the park.
Parades & Entertainment
One of my favorite things about Disney is that there is entertainment at almost all times. I feel like you can’t walk in front of Cinderella’s castle without some seeing some form of entertainment. It’s such a fun way to entertain the family when your child’s scared of Magic Kingdom rides. You can get comfy in the green grassy area or just stand and watch on Main Street.
Check out the Disney app once you arrive in the park to find the times for these parades and entertainment.
- Festival of Fantasy Parade
- Electrical Water Pageant
- Dapper Dans
- Main Street Philharmonic
- Happily Ever After Fireworks
If your child isn’t afraid of the dark, and enjoys sitting down for a show, they will love watching one of the shows in Magic Kingdom.
Here is a list of the shows that are currently running in Magic Kingdom:
- Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor
- Country Bear Jamboree
- The Hall of Presidents
- Mickey’s PhilHarMagic
- Enchanted Tiki Room
Find out what makes your child scared of the rides. Is it the big drops? Is it the dark?
When we finally figured out that our son doesn’t like dark rides we were able to steer him away from rides like Pirates of the Caribbean and It’s a Small World, and let him try rides like Dumbo and the Carousel.
Here is a list of outdoor rides that are good for kids that are scared of the dark:
- Magic Carpets of Aladdin
- Walt Disney World Railroad
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Astro Orbiter
- Jungle Cruise
- Mad Tea Party
- TomorrowLand Speedway
- People Mover
Make Them Ride Anyway
I know this sounds like torture, but we encourage our little guy to try at least one new ride each time he is at Disney World. He knows that he has to try one and after he tries it, we won’t make him try any more.
This means we have been the parents in line with kids who are crying. Yes, I’m that mom. I’m also the mom who bribes her kid with ice cream to encourage them to be brave and try new rides.
When we make him ride anyway, we’ve found that it’s best to always make him use the bathroom first. We’ve learned from experience that a scared kid should never get on a ride with a full bladder. Let’s just say, it’s pretty hard to find size 4T pants for boys in Disney World.
It’s also a good idea to remind them that none of it is real. It’s all for fun and you would never let your kids do something scary or dangerous. Showing videos of the rides on YouTube helps too.
Enjoy all that Disney has to offer
The fun part about having kids who are scared of Magic Kingdom rides is that we always have an excuse to try new things at Disney. My advice is to enjoy your time roaming around aimlessly and take advantage of all that Disney has to offer. Magic Kingdom is still a ton of fun even if you don’t ride a single ride! As an added bonus, you’ll have tons of time to explore since you won’t be wasting much time in lines.