Every Disney movie you watch features one similarity… they all have Cinderella’s Castle in all her glory before the video!
Needless to say, my kids not only knew to expect Cinderella’s Castle at the beginning of every Disney movie we watched, but by the time they were three, they would get mad if I fast forwarded past the castle part!
And for most preschoolers, they’ve already picked out a favorite character, know who Mickey Mouse is, and have probably watched Disney World fireworks and parades on Youtube!
So planning a trip, and an itinerary for your preschooler, seems like the natural thing to do! And if this is your first trip, know you can’t go wrong with a no pressure, no agenda vacation to all four parks. In that case, just grab this list of rides for preschoolers and call it planned!
This itinerary is more for those parents and caregivers that want to hit up a number of rides and shows in a more strategic way.
That way you get the most out of an expensive vacation, or for lots of memories since it might be a once in a lifetime vacation! Especially since the Disney site leaves a lot of things out when it comes to their preschool section. And yes, I really do think all kids will enjoy disney world, but if you’re wondering if a 4 year old will enjoy disney, understand all the things that work to your advantage!
Either way, you’ll find the preschool itinerary below for a 5 day trip to Disney World. We recommend 5 days, since you’ll have arrival and departure days (days 6 and 7) and we also recommend at least one “off” or “vacation” day where you don’t have plans. Rounding out that trip, you’ve got a magical 8 day vacation to Orlando, Florida and lots of pictures and memories to boot!
➡️➡️ Need to let the kids run wild? Here’s the play places you can find in each Disney World Park.
Table of Contents
Quick pitfalls you’ll need to consider for this itinerary to work.
I could just throw an itinerary at you, but this is less about spoon feeding you and more about helping you make the right choices for your family.
The big elephant in the room is the weather. In the ‘winter’ months of January- March, you’ll find bitter winds and bitter rain that make it uncomfortable on your sunburned face.
In June- September, Central Florida gets 60% of it’s yearly rainfall (yes it rains all year, but these days it rains almost every.single.day!) and you might even get to experience a hurricane.
Weather is a MAJOR player in itineraries, since a regular day is going to look way different than a rainy day. If you come to Disney World, A. bring ponchos and B. make backup plans in case it rains like this rainy day Magic Kingdom itinerary.
The other big factor for your success, is knowing what type of people you are, especially on vacation. What does that means? Are you sleeping in? Going to bed early? Does your preschooler get a nap or quiet time?
These are all really important things to factor in so you don’t loose money by being so exhausted at the end of your trip that you just skip a day or two at the park (and Disney knows this and does take advantage of it with multi day discounted tickets!)
You’ll want to choose the right itinerary based on your habits (not based on what someone else told you- this is a vacation after all!)
The preschool itineraries for Disney trip with your preschooler!
Included below is time slots for character meals and greets- see tips here for toddlers and preschoolers meeting characters and how to make the most of your time!
Magic Kingdom Preschooler Itinerary- two days (early start, late start)
Early Start Magic Kingdom Preschool Itinerary
Get Inside the Park early to get pictures in front of the Castle
815/park opening Rope Drop Peter’s Pan’s Flight or Jungle Cruise Depending on which you’d like more. Both of these get long lines during the day.
Then head to Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or Splash Mountain
Then Pirates of the Caribbean if it’s shorter than 20 minutes, or go to Tomorrowland Speedway Instead
If you are in Tomorrowland (for the speedway) Consider some of the rides there based on the lowest wait time- popular kid rides include Astro Orbitor, Buzz lightyear (great if the wait is below 30 minutes) and the People Mover (which should be below 20 minutes- if not- wait till later).
12 Lunch at Jungle Navigation Co or The Plaza Restaurant with a Reservation. If you are planning quick serve, grab some snacks and mobile order/wait till lines are shorter.
In the early afternoon, spend time in the New Fantasyland area. This includes the TeaCups, Winnie the Pooh, The Barnstormer and Dumbo the Flying Elephant.
Plan to spend 30-45 minutes at the Casey Jr. Splash Pad (has bathrooms for changing!) to get cool and let off some steam.
Kids not into the Parade? Skip to the alternative option…
The afternoon parade is at 3, and you can walk over to a spot right by the Castle to get an incredible view.
After the Parade, Walk over to Under the Sea- Journey of the Little Mermaid, or skip this ride to go do some of the shows if it’s rainy or the heat is too much. Great shows include Mickey’s PhilharMagic, The Carosuel of Progress, and the Hall of Presidents.
Instead of the parade! Do this instead.
Leave the Splash Pad around 245, walk behind the castle to FrontierLand and Adventure Land. You can catch a small boat to Tom Sawyer Island and play on the playground, or play on the playground at the end of Splash Mountain. You can ride the Flying Carpets (similar to Dumbo) and catch the Tiki Room Show.
5pm is a great time to catch a break or let the kids run around. Go shopping, meet characters, or let the kids nap.
Dinner and enjoy evening catching rides or characters before the evening shows.
Favorite rides for the evening include the Regal Carrousel, meeting the Disney Princesses, Riding Tomorrowland Speedway, Riding the People Mover, and
Late Start Touring Plan for Magic Kingdom with Preschoolers (best for weekdays)
1:45 The Barnstormer
2 Dumbo the Flying Elephant (has indoor play area!)
2:30 Casey Jr. Splash Pad (has bathrooms for changing!)
4 Astro Orbitor
4:20 People Mover
4:35 Buzz Lightyear
5 Dinner at Crystal Palace
After Dinner Decide which rides you’ll still like to do based on wait times. Jungle Cruise, Seven Dwarf Mine Train and Peter Pan all typically have long lines (so if you see them under 40 minutes, that’s a good wait!).
There are several places to stand to watch the Fireworks.
I prefer to stand on the bridge by TomorrowLand, or the Bridge by AdventureLand, so I can make a quick escape to rides in that area after the fireworks.
My 5 year old daughter, who loves the show, prefers to stand in the crowds in front of the castle. You’ll need to get here about 30-45 minutes before hand on weekdays, and over an hour before hand on weekends, and pack your patience!
Another good location is by the Tomorrowland Bathrooms (right next to The Plaza Inn Restaurant) Those don’t fill up as fast and you can get there about 25 minutes before the show
Hollywood Studios One Day touring plan with preschoolers
(it’s hard to give times here, as Rise of the Resistance is a boarding pass, and it could happen at anytime of the day!)
Since Hollywood Studios has some new additions and players in the game, there’s a seperate post detailing the HOW to do a day at Hollywood Studios with young kids (and if you want to make it the full day- you’ll need this post!)
Arrive at least 30 minutes before Park Opening.
Slinky Dog first thing (or save it for the very end of the night… I vote first thing!) If you go to do the Genie+ Lightning Lane Service, this will fill up the fastest! This is a roller coaster and it’s more intense than Barnstormer and Seven Swarf Mine Train. My 4 year old loved it and my 6 year old hates it.
While your here, check out the times for the other Toy Story Rides. If you can find Toy Story Mania under 30 minutes, ride it! Same with Alien Swirling Saucers. If toy story land is totally packed, you can try the rides at the end of the night when there’s typically much lower lines!
Next head over to Galaxy’s Edge. Here you can enjoy Millennium Falcon:Smuggler’s Run. The line for this can get longer, but typically doesn’t until mid morning.
Otherwise let’s head down to Sunset Blvd. Here you can get your family pictures, and go to Lightning McQueen’s Racing Academy.
If your 4 or 5 year old is over 40′ inches, enjoy Tower of Terror (but it can be scary! We skip it till they’re older).
Then I highly recommend the live Beauty and the Beast Show, followed by the Frozen Ever After Sing Along
At this point you’ll need to eat and figure out the rest of the day! There’s lots of lunch places, but I’d recommend a reservation to Hollywood and Vine for Characters, or 50’s primetime for just good food!
Rise of the Resistance is an option for most 4 and 5 year olds. It’s the one instance I’d recommend purchasing a ride skip the line (known as Lightning Lane!). This ride is notorious for breaking line and having sporadic lines, something that’s hard for a younger kid to understand.
Planning out the rest of your day, you can enjoy shows like Indiana Jones, or head over to the Disney jr. Dance Party.
Dinner at Woody’s Lunchbox or Docking Bay 7
Then get in line at Mickey’s Runaway Railway.
After this evaluate if you are waiting till the end of the night and trying the other rides you missed, or catching another show.
Animal Kingdom Preschool One Day Itinerary
Explore Tree of Life/Animal around tree
Navi River Journey 9 (their will be HUGE lines here, they are headed towards Flight of Passage. Let Cast Members know you want to ride Navi River Journey so you don’t get swept up in the lines).
Or get in line for Safari- line may take 35-65 minutes, but this is truly the best time to see the animals.
Walk to the Gorilla Fall’s Trail at 945. They should be very active this time of day!
Train to Rafiki’s 1015
Train Back 11:15
Lunch at 12 Flame Tree BBQ or another quick serve option nearby like Yak and Yeti quick serve (not the restaurant)
Kali River Rapids at 1245
TriceraTop Spin at 2
Next I recommend letting the kids run and play in the playground and Bone Yard for the next hour or two.
Check the app for times, and Then head over to catch The Lion King Show.
Wrap up the evening with a walk back through Pandora and then exit while viewing the tree of life show. Animal Kingdom is not open super late, so consider this an early evening and get some sleep, or park hop/resort hop/ or head to Disney Springs! If you want to continue the Dino adventures, T-Rex restaurant in Disney Springs is a good option.
Epcot Preschool Itinerary is the wild card- could easily do two days but one day is listed for your vacation
When it comes to an Epcot vacation, you have no choice but to start ‘late’ as the World Showcase doesn’t open up till 11. Most days, future world has the option to open up at 9, but you’ll need to check your vacation dates to confirm the hours for this one!
This is the one instance where you’ll need to use the virtual que. You can do this at 7 am and 1 pm. I’d recommend trying both times to get in, and if you don’t consider purchasing the individual Lightning Lane option to avoid the very long lines!
Early Start (arrive 45 minutes before park opening)
Future World sometimes opens at 9 or 10.
Head straight to Test Track
1035 Then Stand in Line for Frozen
11:20 Grand Fiesta Tour
1145 grab an early lunch
1230-145 head over to the Living with the Land/Soarin/Awesome Planet (all in The Land Pavilion)
Then head around the world showcase or head back towards the Seas Pavillion. Ideally, you don’t head into the World Showcase (where all the countries are) until you are an hour or two away from your Remy Reservation.
Explore France- watch The Beauty and The Beast sing-a-long + Kidcot (Learn all about Kidcots and why your preschooler will love it here!)
visit the shops in Morocco and Japan + Kidcot
Visit the American Adventure
Dinner on the World Showcase ( Japan, America or Italy)
Grab Gelati in Italy, or Caramel Popcorn in Germany
Check out the Train outside Germany, and play in The Outpost
Ride Frozen or Grand Fiesta Tour again or head to the Seas Pavillion to do Finding Nemo. This is also a good time to do SpaceShip Earth as wait times will be lower.
find a spot for the nighttime entertainment!
Late Start at EPCOT with a Preschooler
Come in from the Skyliner- Maybe a breakfast at Topolino’s Character Meal, or Trattoria Al Forno.
Come in the International Gateway entrance, which is located on the west side of Epcot.
1130 Grand Fiesta Tour
12 Test Track
1245 Lunch at Sunshine Seasons
215 Living with the Land
245 Awesome Planet
3 The Seas with Nemo and Friends ride
325 Explore the Seas Pavilion
4 Spaceship Earth OR The new Ratatouille Ride
5 Dinner on the World Showcase
6-8 Explore World Showcase and Kidcot attractions (these close at sunset)