What Disney Parks Are Best ????

Updated on July 27, 2011
L.E. asks from Hialeah, FL
11 answers

Hi Mommies,

Okay we are taking our 3 1/2 yr old to Disney World, Orlando , FL in Sept for the 1st time for him, 2nd for me.
We are definitely going to Magic Kingdom. I mentioned to my husband about going to Sea World but he does not want to. He feels thats just like going to Miami Seaquarium which we frequent every so often .
I have not been there in 11yrs but it was before I met my husband. He was last there when he was a kid. What fun stuff is there for my little one to do in the park ?
Any other park suggestions for him ?
We are planning to stay at the Nickelodeon Resort...it looks like a lot of fun. Any of you been there that can give me feedback....like which building to get the room in , The Lagoon or Oasis.

Thanks for your help.

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answers from New York on

The Magic Kingdom has lots to offer little ones.

I was there in 2008, and there were 2 fabulous shows in Animal Kingdom (Lion King and Finding Nemo). These were great for all ages. We also found that Animal Kingdom was the best place to see the characters.

EPCOT doesn't have a lot for preschoolders. I think MGM is also geared for older kids.

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answers from Miami on

Sea world is 100 times better than Miami seaquarium... Sea world has a great area called shamu world which has water play and rides for the little ones. It has much more interactive things for them to feeding sharks, stingray and the dolphins, I would def not miss this one out :-)

Any room in nick is fab, and the character dining is awesome. The pools are really good they. Have a great area for the under 5's. The only down side we found was that the children's room doesn't have a door on it, so when our little one went to bed we had to too as the tv was disturbing her!!!! Something to do with fire regulations.

Have a fab time

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answers from Dover on

Don't miss Animal Kingdom! The last time our whole family (mom, dad, sister, BIL, nephew, DH, DS, DD & I) all went to Florida was about 3 years ago. We had a few days where we all did our own thing, then a few days we spent together at various parks. The first day we all went to Magic Kingdom which was, of course magical, the next I think just kids, hubs & I went to MGM Studios (we will skip that one the next time), we all went to EPCOT which is awesome, we all went to Sea World which was neat, but not a must-see in my opinion, we all went to Animal Kingdom which was amazing & cool all at the same time, then just my family went back to Magic Kingdom. The first day & the Animal Kingdom day were by far the best.

People say you can get through every park in like 2 days, but why would you want to?? I think Magic Kingdom is worthy of 2 days as well as EPCOT and maybe even Animal Kingdom.

I've been to Typhoon Lagoon, but not since I was a kid. My husband & I went to Orlando on our own a year before we went with the kids & everyone else. When it was just the 2 of us we did EPCOT, Magic Kingdom, & Universal Studios. I know for sure the next time we go we'll hit up Universal again as the entire family is huge Harry Potter fans & now that they've got the whole Harry Potter section we're very excited for our next trip down probably in 2 years.

The only on-site resort I've ever stayed at was Shades of Green which is the military resort. When the whole family goes on vacation together we rent a huge house, 5-6 bedrooms, split the costs & that way we can have our own pool, make breakfast or even dinner whenever we want, put the kids to bed & the adults can still hang out which we couldn't do in hotel rooms.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Miami on

I love Magic Kingdom. With a 3 1/2 year old, definitely plan at least 2 days there so that you don't feel rushed to see the things you want to see. If he likes the characters, try to book a meal at one of the park's restaurants that have characters. The food is decent, but the one on one time they get with the characters is worth it. If he is scared of characters (some kids are at this age), don't do it. Wait until he's older.
If he likes animals, do the Animal Kingdom park. Lots for the little ones to do there and a smaller, more manageable park.
There is a lot more to Sea World than Seaquarium, so I do recommend it. Lots of great interactive for the kids (petting stingrays, petting/feeding dolphins, a rope maze area that you could spend the whole day at, etc.), plus rides for the adults (we would trade off watching our dd) and great shows. It blows Seaquarium away (and I love the Seaquarium).
I have not stayed at the Nickelodeon Resort, but I hear there is so much to do there, that you don't even need to leave the resort, so you may want to plan a day there.
Have fun.

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answers from Sarasota on

We love Magic Kingdom. Go to mousesavers.com or allears.net and read up on all their hints. Plan ahead of time and know which rides to go on and what to skip. We like the tomorrowland transit ride, you just sit back and view the park and it's scenic. The train is fun for little ones too. Don't try to do it all or you get exhausted. We tend to just go for the morning, have lunch, leave after the 3 pm parade. Good enough for us, we go there plenty of times with a 3 or 4 day play pass every year; and don't feel we have to get our money's worth as we can visit again another time. Go back to the hotel room and swim and then see if you want to return in the evening or not. My son was never into the fireworks - if your child is tired by evening time why force it and have a miserable little one. Bring a stroller! Bring plenty of water. Bring your own little snacks too.

The character photo spots are fun - I would try to get at least one pic with the characters - don't try to get them all as you won't go on any rides and will just stand in line impatiently.

We try to get to the park by gate opening right before 9 am. Go to Dumbo ride first as it's the busiest. Then ride the carousel. Then either go to winnie the pooh or one of those rides over there or backtrack and head over to Tomorrowland and ride the speedway cars. We like Aladdin's carpet ride too - all those rides are good for your child....

Have fun!

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answers from Tampa on

Definitely Magic Kingdom! You can't do it all in a day, & could visit the different areas on different days if you got a 3- or 4-day pass. The Buzz Lightyear ride in Tomorrowland is great, Small World is always awesome, the Teacup ride, Tiki Room - but Peter Pan & Snow White can be a little scary (you know, even Winnie-the-Pooh can be). Pirates of the Carribean & Haunted Mansion are too scary (unless he's been exposed to that kind of stuff - I'm not judging - some kids are fine with it, but generally I think it's scary for the littler ones). I'm not sure if Mickey's Toon Town is still open - there was construction when we were there last, but that had a lot of nice things for a 3yo. Take the train. Ride the raft to Tom Sawyer's Island & visit the caves & the fort in back for some runaround time. If he needs to catch a nap, ride around on the Blue Line. Sea World is not park of Disney World, so it wouldn't be included. Animal Kingdom would be nice - it's easy walking & shady, has wet areas & a nice parade (I'm not as familiar with the rides, it's not our top park to go to), & Hollywood Studios if you want a shorter day (there's a lot of walking & fewer rides, but the Honey I Shrunk The Kids playground is so much fun, as is the Muppets 3-D movie and the Toy Story ride). EPCOT I think is better for a little bit older kids (that's just my personal opinion, & not much older - 5 or 6 there's a lot to do). I think you get a discount on the Disney water parks if you buy a multi-day ticket, but I'm not sure.

September will still be stuffy in Orlando (though it shouldn't be crowded) - you may consider packing a swimsuit & dry t-shirt for him so that if he gets into any of the wet areas (there are squirters around to cool you off), he won't get a chill when indoors afterwards. My kids have gotten absolutely drenched in some areas, then were chilly inside or towards evening.

I haven't stayed in the Nick resort, but a friend of mine did not like it, can't remember why. I hope you & your family have a good time!

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answers from Philadelphia on

Since Sea World is not part of Disney we made that a completely separate trip combining Sea World with Universal Studios. Since you are already going to Disney go to EPCOT, Animal Kingdom and Disney Studios (MGM). Get the book " The Unofficial Guide to Disney". There will be plenty of fun things to do with a 3 1/2 year old. Have fun!!!

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answers from Boca Raton on

I have been to Miami Seaquarium and to me, that place was a huge disappointment!! SeaWorld is 100x better!!!! Plus SeaWorld is now 2 parks, SeaWorld and Aquatica (the waterpark). We have been to Aquatica twice now and would definitely go again, the kids LOVED it (I have a 7 and 5 yr old)
For Disney, Hollywood Studios is great, there are a lot of great little kid stage shows there. Animal Kingdom is great too.
If you go to Downtown Disney, Disney Quest is a great place to go on a rainy day (it is all indoors)

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answers from Tampa on

Hello! Well, you are about to have a really fun time with your little one! Enjoy! In my opinion, the best Disney parks for kids that age are Magic Kingdom, and Animal kingdom. You may like what used to be called MGM studios and is now Hollywood studios I believe. Magic Kingdom is really the best of all 4 Disney parks for a 3 to 4 year old child though. Also, if your hubby is into racing at all, they have the Richard Petty speedway at that park, right outside. He can do a rid along or even take a day to learn to drive one of the race cars there on their track. It is something that my husband LOVED, and did several times. I guess for a guy speeding around a racetrack at 130 to 140 mph is a rush like no other, and I love the photos that we purchased as well as the many I took of him in his helmet while he was in the car. (our kids age 4 and 7 at the time) liked watching thier Dad race the car too. (both girls by the way) Ok, back to theme parks. I am not sure what the aquarium in your area has for shows, etc, but we actually have annual passes to Seaworld because we love it so much! They have several shows that your child as well as you and the hubby would enjoy. They change the shows quite often, and they also have rides, as well as places where you can go to feed the different animals. I would reccomend bringing a backpack with lots of water bottles and even snacks as the park itself is quite pricey on their food and drinks. (more than most) Also, there aren't as many choices for places to eat, so I would look online at the resteraunts in the park, and if nothing appeals to you, maybe pack some sandwiches for that particular day. Most of the other parks have a large variety of places to eat and they range in cost, but Seaworld is a little limited. The park however is way worth it. They even have a whole kid zone behind shamu stadium where it's like a carnival and water park in one for kids your child's age. There is a HUGE climbing structure with tunnels and nets, and you could really spend hours there alone if you wanted to.
Our very Favorite theme park in Orlando is Universal Studios. The "sister" park next door, Islands of adventure is awesome too, and is where most of the action hero stuff is. (as well as the new Harry Potter rides and attractions and dinosaur world) Universal is by far the best theme park in Orlando and your child will have the most fun there. There are rides, shows, and kids water parks all inside the park, and even little play areas. There is a Barney show, if your child is into Barney. Nickelodean Studios is there, and they have loads of very fun things to do and see. I wouldn't come to Orlando with my child and not go to Universal. You can get the 2 park passes that allow you to go from park to park. (Universal and Islands of adventure) It's the best value. They have concerts and shows there too, and usually they are included in your admission cost, unless they are in one of the places on citywalk. Then you have to pay an additional fee. We also have annual passes to these 2 parks, and I have to say, these are the ones that we go to most often. We have been going there since our oldest child was 7, (she is 21 now) and we have 4 kids. They all have a blast there, and so do we! We have stayed on site at the 3 different hotels, and also off site. On site allows you to get free speed passes for the rides, but you can also purchase these without staying at an onsite hotel. I think you are stayiing at one of the hotels there though? Well, in the summer the lines are no way near as long as the winter, so you may not even need the speed passes. It will be very hot, so make sure that you dress in light clothes, and I would pack some extra so you can get wet and change when you want to be dry again. We usually wear swimsuits under our shorts, and also just wear flip flops or sanadals so when your feet get wet they don't end up hurting. (they will if they can't dry) Also make sure you bring big ziplock bags for your camera and cell phones, etc to keep them dry on the water rides and in the water play areas. You will get wet! (you will want to since it will be hot) The nickelodean resort is a really fun place to stay all by itself, so I would make sure I kept a day (at least) open to just hang around the resort and use the pool and ammenities there. When our kids were that young, we would plan a day at a park, and then a day at the hotel with maybe a short outing to a local resteraunt or local tourist place close by and then relax, and then day 3 we would go to the next theme park. If you do every other day or at least give yourself a couple of "down" days at your resort, you will not get as easily tired out, and also your little one will really enjoy all of the trip including the resort where you are staying. Ok, one last tip...... try not to plan to stay at all of the parks from morning to night. Even though they all boast big nighttime light shows or fireworks, you will be really tired form your day. Your child will be wanting to go back to the fun resort to use the pool, etc. I would pick a couple places to plan on staying until the park closes, and then get there a little later in the morning. For example, Magic kingdom has a phenominal show at the end of the night, and it's well worth the wait to stay and see it. Seaworld and Universal really don't do much different at night than during the day, unless they have a concert on a particular night. Seaworld does have the shamu show at night, but honestly I prefer the daytime one anyway because you can see more of what is going on, and there aren't loud noises going on while you are trying to focus on the show. Well, I hope that helps. It's just one Mom's opinion and I have been going to these parks for YEARS. We actually moved to Fl. after several years of taking our annual vacation here and going to the parks, so I feel pretty knowledgeable when it comes to them. I hope that you all enjoy your trip!



answers from Chicago on

I LOVE Animal Kingdom. I think it is better than all the rest.



answers from Tampa on

Hollywood Studios is also pretty good. They have the new Toy Story ride, a Disney show, the muppets and this huge playground from Honey I Shrunk the Kids. We went to 4 parks last year, my then 4 year old, 2 year old and 1 year, liked Epcot the least (although Epcot does have some kid friendly activities) Magic Kingdom the best and Hollywood Studios was second. I haven't been to Animal Kingdom, but have heard mixed reviews on it, some good, some bad. We have a great zoo nearby so many of my friends told me to skip it, it was just as good as our zoo. Can't speak from experience though. Have fun!

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