Planning a Disney World Vacation is fun at any age, but there is something so magical about taking a 4 year old to Disney!
At 4 years old, your preschooler is talking, walking and exploring- but they’re also a lot of fun to hang out with when you aren’t a human jungle gym!
Is it worth taking a 4 year old to Disney World?
Yes, it is absolutely worth taking a 4 year old to Disney World! It’s magical to see them meet characters, try new foods and rides, and learn through the Disney brand of edutainment. Disney is amazing for making memories, and if you are willing to forget about all the adult responsibilities for a week, you’ll remember what it’s like to be a kid too!
Thankfully, Disney World has a ton of incredible things to do, see, and ride at Disney World with the average four year old, and great modifications for those kiddos that need a little extra assistance! Definitely make sure you pack the right things for vacation success.
If you’re ready to plan a great vacation at Disney World with your 4 year old, you’re in luck! We’ll cover the most important details for making this vacation as fun and stress free as possible with this Disney World Preschool Itinerary
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Here’s how you have a magical Disney Vacation with a 4 year old…
⭐ For one, you’ve gotta have the right expectations with the right planning. You won’t be able to do all the rides, but 4 year olds can do many of them (and there’s rider swap if you have another person over 14 years old in your group that can stay with the 4 year old!)
⭐ For two, remember that a four year old is going to be so immersed in the magic of Disney!
⭐ For three, consider Safety Measures, like Taking a picture of your child each morning, attaching a tracking device to them, and writing your number on their arm (or the back of their bag/magicband/celebration button!)
⭐ For Four, plan for them to be so excited it’s hard to concentrate. Lots of wiggles (and lots of big feelings that might lead to crying or frustration) Characters? Wow! Exciting! We’ve got to stop and see it! Random Parades, Nighttime Fireworks, toys and balloons everywhere, Ice cream for breakfast? INCREDIBLE!
⭐ Lastly know where the playgrounds are in the parks, so Kids and Adults can get a minute to think and plan the rest of the day.
Going to Disney with a 4 year old means that you’ll get to see it through their eyes and you’ll get to be reminded of what it’s like to be a child again.
Speaking of kids, will a 4 year old need a stroller?
Yes, yes and yes (though you could use a toddler carrier if you felt up to the task!). Even our 6 year old needs a stroller at the end of the night, so we end up with three to take care of our three kids.
You can rent strollers at Disney World, but they are weird plastic ones that I don’t really recommend when you can rent them elsewhere for cheaper! We use Kingdom Strollers for rentals and they are awesome! The price is cheaper, there’s better cleaning, and it’s more comfortable (plus they have cribs/pack n plays for rent too!)
There’s a lot of reasons I recommend a stroller for a 4 year old, even if you think your child is too old for a stroller (here’s all the reasons why you’ll want a stroller for a 4 year old)
Will 4 year olds enjoy the characters?
Characters are everywhere at Disney World. From the parades, to the exclusive character meets, to fun character meals- You can meet so many fun friends at Disney!
And with meeting characters come some questions. Will your 4 year old give them a hug? Will they just want an autograph? Will they talk a lot?
All good questions, and I can say, that every 4 year old thinks characters are pretty cool! Some will enjoy hugs, and others will give waves from afar, but the hesitation is mostly gone by the time kids turn 4. Now the under 4 crowd will be much more hesitant.
If you don’t think your 4 year old will enjoy characters, try one of these character meals that are best for preschoolers.
How many rides can a 4 year old ride at Disney World?
Rides are so plentiful at Disney, and some people could care less about characters and parades and come only for the rides! We prefer a more balanced approach with our four year old, but yes, they do love most rides!
Disney World has some pretty nifty guides for height requirements in the app, but it can be a little hard to navigate. So here’s a list of rides that all preschoolers can enjoy on your vacation!
Since there are a number of rides that accommodate four year old heights, you’ll find that there is a lot to do at each park- but Magic Kingdom will have the most rides to enjoy!
As with all things, there are some exceptions.
What are some rides they might not enjoy? Haunted Mansion is at the top of the list- while popular for adults, it’s a lot to handle for little ones that don’t know the difference between fake and real. And the Dinosaur ride is another ride in Animal Kingdom that 4 year olds will either love or hate!
Which Disney Parks are Best for 4 year olds?
Since you are going on vacation, and since Disney World technically has 6 parks (4 regular, 2 water park) it can be hard to know which park is THE BEST for a four year old!
And the answer is “it depends”
If you are looking for the best rides? That’s Magic Kingdom.
If you are looking for characters and places to explore? That’s Animal Kingdom. And you can hit up Animal Kingdom all in one day!
Fun Foods and Frozen adventures? You’ll need to head to Epcot! (and make sure you know where Anna, Elsa, and Olaf hang out!)
And All things Star Wars is Hollywood Studios! If you’re heading over to Hollywood Studios, since most things there have changed with the opening of Galaxy’s Edge, you’ll need this Hollywood Studios guide for preschoolers to make the most of your day.
Best Water Park for a Preschooler at Disney World?
You might not know that Disney World Resort actually has 6 parks! Yep, the four theme parks, and then two water parks, Typhoon Lagoon and Blizzard Beach!
We’ve taken the kids to these water parks a number of times, and they are SO fun. But is one really better than the other?
Not really- both water parks have a toddler/preschooler area with rides and excitement just for the kids! If your 4 year old likes to ride water slides and tubes, you’ll find that at both parks, but Blizzard Beach has more water rides for 4 year olds.
Best Resort for a Preschooler at Disney World?
Thinking about staying on property? it’s a lot of fun! About 25% of the guests visiting Disney World will stay on property- though most of them will stay at another resort, rented house or with family!
If you are staying on property, these resorts are VERY fun for 4 year olds!:
- Art of Animation (pick a themed room your kiddo will love!)
- Caribbean Beach Resort
- The Polynesian (incredible pool and Moana themed rooms)
- Animal Kingdom Lodge (real life safari outside your window- WOW!)
- The Grand Floridian (perfect for the little princess in your life)
- The All Star Resorts
What will a four year old enjoy the most on your Walt Disney World Vacation?
You’re planning everything, spending all this money, and getting ready for vacation. So what is your four year old going to talk about the most?
Well, it might surprise you, but all of the best memories will involve YOU.
The Magic of Disney World is bringing families together, for laughs and giggles and suprises galore! You’ll get to see fun characters, wild animals, crazy thrill rides and explore together. And that’s why a Disney World vacation with a four year old is worth it. Because you’re making memories that will last a life time.