If you have children ages 5-9, then traveling to Disney World should be on the top of your priority list. Why? We believe that children in this age range will most fully enjoy all that Disney has to offer. Gone are the diapers, bottles and naps and finally tall enough to conquer the thrill rides. These young kids are eager to ride the “big” rides, yet still young enough these kids believe in the magic all around them. They get it! They soak it in. It will be a few more years until the eye-rolling, and desire for independence so enjoy this time. Here are our top 9 attractions for children ages 5-9. Note: we’ve ordered these in terms of least thrilling to most thrilling, with our #1 being the best thrill ride for this age grouping.
9 – Pirates of the Caribbean, Magic Kingdom
“Yo ho, yo ho, a pirate’s life for me!” Have a pirate-loving kid in your family? Then you won’t want to miss this Disney classic. Updated to include sneaky Captain Jack Sparrow from the Pirates of the Caribbean film series, this ride will have you cruising through a Spanish fortress, the rowdy town of Tortuga, and a Dungeon. Dead men tell no tales so I won’t spoil anymore! This ride has sections of darkness and canons exploding, but overall this is a fun ride that will thrill this age group.
8 – Jedi Training Academy: The Trials of the Temple, Hollywood Studios
After a brief refurbishment, the very popular Jedi Training Academy is back with double the villains–so double the kids! Young Padawans will receive training on how to use the Force and wield lightsabers. After a brief but thorough training in the Force, the young knights get a chance to use their skills and will face either Darth Vader or a new villain, Kylo Ren who replaces the Seventh Sister (from the popular Disney XD series Star Wars Rebels) shown in the video below. With an all-new stage and cast this will be sure to delight Star Wars fans from the age of 4-12. This is a top-rated twenty-minute show. Sign-ups occur on a first-come basis. If you have a young Padawan, be sure to sign them up early at the Indiana Jones show location. Check your Times Guide for more information. You will be given a return time for your youngling to return for training!
7 – Goofy’s Barnstormer, Magic Kingdom
The Barnstormer in Fantasyland is the perfect “first” rollercoaster ride. You’ll make your way through an open-air barn where Goofy, or rather the Great Goofini, is set to perform his world-famous high-flying air show. You’ll board one of Goofy’s own stunt planes for this ride. With a height requirement of 35 inches, the Barnstormer is the perfect ride for younger guests in this age group. It’s fun, thrilling, with small drops that are sure to please your kids!
6 – Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, Magic Kingdom
The Seven Dwarfs Mine Train is the perfect next step after the Barnstormer. Your small miner will need to be 38 inches tall to ride this smooth, fun rollercoaster. This ride is ideal for the whole family! You’ll join the dwarf’s as they go off to work in the mines where you’ll see sparkly gemstones. This ride features a first-of-its-kind ride system: swinging cars that add to the already exhilarating turns from traveling through the mountain. In the end, be on the lookout for a familiar face!
5 – Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, Hollywood Studios
Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run is an anchor attraction inside the new Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge at Disney’s Hollywood Studios in Florida. It combines immersive storytelling with interactive gameplay to make kids the protagonists of their own Star Wars adventures in a way never before undertaken by Disney Parks. Lovingly described at various times as a “piece of junk” or “bucket of bolts,” the Millennium Falcon is the most famous of all Star Wars starships. On Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run, guests 38 inches or taller climb aboard the Falcon in all her ramshackle glory and settle into the cockpit to operate “the fastest hunk of junk in the galaxy.” Whether your child is assigned to be a pilot, gunner, or flight engineer, they’ll have a blast while they complete their mission for Hondo, the fan-favorite miscreant from the “Star Wars: The Clone Wars” and “Star Wars Rebels” animated television series. Star Wars fan or not, you’re kids will not want to miss this attraction! Catch a glimpse of Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run below!
4 – Slinky Dog Dash, Hollywood Studios
The newest coaster at Disney World also happens to be perfect for kids in this age group! From his Dash & Dodge Mega Coaster Kit, Andy has assembled his roller coaster for maximum family fun. But instead of just using the roller coaster vehicle that came with the kit, Andy has put his Slinky Dog on the track. The result is a family-friendly thrill ride around the backyard that includes two launches. To complete his creation, Andy picked everyone’s favorite floppy-eared dachshund with a stretching coil body – Slinky Dog – and dropped it onto the coaster track. Slinky Dog bends and twists his coils around curves, over hills and down drops in the Slinky-est coaster ever. In each 18-passenger coaster train, riders zip around and above Toy Story Land, catching great vistas of all the new land has to offer. In a first for a Disney coaster, Slinky Dog Dash features a second launch at its midpoint as riders experience cool sound effects and spinning lights, darting through a series of rings on their way to the attraction’s finale featuring Wheezy, the squeaky penguin from the Toy Story films. It’s a perfect addition for kids and their families at Disney World.
3 – Primeval Whirl, Animal Kingdom
With a height requirement of 48 inches which means this (along with our #1) is the last ride in this grouping that your kid will have to wait to ride. Primeval Whirl will send your children on a spin and slide time-machine coaster back to the age of dinosaurs through a maze of curves and drops. This carnival-style attraction is a favorite of my children. Stomachs and heads beware-there are lots of sharp twists and turns. If your child (or you) has a sensitive stomach or gets dizzy easily, proceed with caution. Certainly, do not ride this right after eating! This is a great thrill ride without the speeds and large drops of some other rides. Your kids will love it!
2 – Big Thunder Mountain, Magic Kingdom
Designed for the whole family, this ride is the fastest thrill ride in this grouping with some sharp turns and small drops. You’ll board a runaway mine train that journeys through a haunted gold-mining town. This classic ride requires a height of 40 inches. It’s an awesome ride to conquer before moving on to the “big” rollercoasters such as Space Mountain or Expedition Everest. Your older kid will love the wildest ride in the wilderness!
1 – Splash Mountain, Magic Kingdom
Warning: you will get wet! This top attraction includes 950,000 gallons of water, 3 dips, and a 5-story waterfall. You’ll board a log flume where you’ll be treated to the whimsical world of “Songs of the South” and the crafty Br’er Rabbit. Br’er Rabbit is on an adventure to outwit Br’er Bear and Br’er Fox who wants to eat him. This ride has moments of darkness, some intense scenes (for the younger in this group), and, of course, the famous 5-story drop. Your kids will love conquering this famous mountain in Magic Kingdom.
Tip: where you sit will help determine how wet you get. Riders in the back will get a spray or splash, while riders in the front will often get soaked.
Traveling with younger children as well? Be sure to check out our list of tips on surviving a vacation to Disney World with toddlers and our top 8 attractions for children ages 0-4.
For a no obligation, FREE Quote on a Disney vacation package, please contact our travel partner Magical Vacation Planner at 407-442-0227 (407-442-0215 for Spanish). You can also request a FREE quote online by Clicking HERE.