My youngest is finally 38 inches tall! At Disney World, this opens an entire new world of rollercoasters to her. She loves the Barnstormer at Magic Kingdom and because of the 35 inch height requirement, she has been able to ride it since we moved down here. So I thought I would share the first rollercoaster we will take her on at each of the parks and why!

Hollywood Studios

Ride: Slinky Dog Dash

Height Requirement: 38 inches

Why: The theming for this one is top notch and what kid at Disney doesn’t know Toy Story? The ride is relatively short and has a break in the middle for the kids to process what has already happened and get ready for the next half. My youngest spent the entire time on this one yelling “this is so much fun! This is so silly.” She cannot wait to go back!

First big rollercoaster and she LOVED it!
First big rollercoaster and she LOVED it!


Ride: Soarin’ Around the World

Height Requirement: 40 inches

Why: EPCOT has some of my favorite thrill rides in all of Disney World (I’m looking at you Test Track and Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind) but neither of my favorites would be my choice for a first big rollercoaster for a kid. Why? Test Track often has a long wait time and only a small part of the queue is interactive. The ride itself is also intense with the change from indoor to outdoor track and is purposely bumpy and jerky. Guardians of the Galaxy Cosmic Rewind is my all time favorite rollercoaster and I could write an entire post dedicated to my love for that attraction… but that’s not the point of this one. Guardians is mostly in the dark, it is loud and it has a backwards component that can be scary. Soarin’ Around the World is an immersive experience that simulates flying over the world. The attraction only moves to get your seat upwards into position in the theater and the surround video simulates the feeling of moving through the projected video. While your child will be in their own seat, they can hold onto the handles or your hand if they get worried on the ride.

Animal Kingdom


Height Requirement: 40 inches

Why: I will preface this choice by saying this: I don’t think ANY of the rollercoasters at Disney’s Animal Kingdom should be your kid’s first ever big coaster. Why? Let me explain: DINOSAUR can be scary since it is mostly in the dark and the ride itself is really jerky and bumpy so that’s an added scary element. Expedition Everest – Legend of the Forbidden Mountain is INTENSE, the yeti component is scary for little kids and going backwards for a good amount of the attraction can be really disorienting for littles. Avatar Flight of Passage is a more intense version of Soarin’ Around the World in EPCOT and has a scary element to it as well. There is so much else to do and see in Animal Kingdom for your littles that you can easily spend the full day there with your kiddo over 40 inches and never go on a rollercoaster. But let me explain why I would take my youngest on DINOSAUR first. One, you can sit right next to them and another trusted adult could be on their opposite side so they’re surrounded by someone they know and love. Two, the queue is fun in this one and what little kid isn’t fascinated by dinosaurs? Three, the attraction is over relatively quickly and has a short wait most of the time so the experience can be over fast if they don’t enjoy the ride. Four, the exit puts you right by DinoLand and character meet and greets so you quickly have something to distract them with if they didn’t have a good time.

Magic Kingdom

Ride: Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

Height Requirement: 38 inches

Why: This one is also a short coaster, but the theming in the queue and on the ride are amazing. The rollercoaster itself is fun and the fact that the individual cars move on their own is a fun added feature. We love all things Disney princess, so the Snow White theme is fun for her to experience on a rollercoaster. The downside is this one usually has a long wait time and we do not buy Genie+ for our days in the parks. I recommend either getting to the park early so you can be in line first, buy an individual Lightning Lane for this rollercoaster, or go during fireworks (which I realize means a late night) but with so many people focused on getting a good spot to see fireworks, the line typically lessens just before the show starts.

What first rollercoaster did your little ones go on in each of the Disney parks?!


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