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Ranked: The best Walt Disney World rides with no height restriction even your moody teenager will like

by Brooke Geiger McDonald

Doing Walt Disney World with a family or group with a broad range of ages (and heights) or other travel restrictions like pregnancy, injury, or disability can limit the attractions your group can enjoy together.

walt disney world
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

Sure, you can split up, and utilizing Rider Switch is a great way to facilitate this, but sometimes it’s nice to just stick together and do rides as a family. These nine attractions are our top picks for the best rides at Walt Disney World that don’t have a height restriction.

We added an extra layer of criteria, which is that they are also the all-ages rides that are most likely to thrill and engage the broadest group of riders (read: no It’s a Small World or Dumbo the Flying Elephant here because, teenagers).


9. Navi River Journey

navi river journey
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

You’d be crazy to have anyone in your group forgo a FastPass for Avatar Flight of Passage (both occupy the same FastPass tier) in order to do this ride – but the slow-moving, twilight boat journey through a bioluminescent Pandoran forest is still worth a ride if you have the time.

One of only a few rides at Disney’s Animal Kingdom that doesn’t have a height restriction, this gives those who are too short or unable to ride Flight of Passage a great opportunity to experience the land’s incredible level of theming and detail.

Pro Tip: Rope drop it or try to snag a FastPass after you’ve done your first three of the day.

8. Jungle Cruise

walt disney world
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

An opening-day attraction and an absolute classic, this ride has kept fans returning to marvel at the backside of water for more for nearly 50 years. Little ones will love the animatronic animals and big kids will love the steady stream of punny jokes.

Pro Tip: If you get a kick out of the theming and playfulness of Jungle Cruise, book a table for lunch or dinner just across the way at Jungle Navigation Co. LTD Skipper Canteen, an adventure-themed table-service restaurant serving great food with a side of puns.

7. Spaceship Earth

spaceship earth
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

If you’re headed to Epcot in the next couple of months, make sure you don’t miss this ride housed in the park’s iconic geosphere centerpiece. This 16-minute attraction is a classic that takes riders on a journey through time, exploring the history of communication with the help of plenty of audio-animatronics and the narration of Dame Judi Dench.

An upcoming refurbishment will maintain some of the classic scenes but the story will take a new direction, focusing on storytelling rather than technology.

Pro Tip: This is your last chance to experience the current version of Spaceship Earth before it closes end of 2019 or early 2020 for its massive refurbishment, so ride it while you can.

6. Frozen Ever After

walt disney world
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

Explore the kingdom of Arendelle on this fun “Frozen”-themed boat ride located in Epcot’s Norway pavilion. One of Disney’s newest dark rides and one of only two rides in World Showcase until Remy’s Ratatouille Adventure opens in 2020, the attraction features impressive animatronics, including some with rear-projected faces like those on Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, and many of the film’s most popular songs with updated lyrics that help tell the ride’s story.

Even you’re not a big fan of the movie, the attraction packs a couple of little thrills including a small drop and splash that help ensure everyone has a good time on this ride (and usually leads to some great Photopass ride photos).

Pro Tip: FastPasses are highly recommended. This ride breaks down a lot and the line moves slowly.

5. Peter Pan’s Flight

peter pan's flight
Photo by Matt Roseboom

Everyone’s nostalgic favorite still holds up after all these years. There’s something magical about boarding your own flying pirate ship and soaring over the rooftops of London and past the most iconic scenes from the beloved film that makes this ride a crowd-pleaser for kids and grown-ups alike.

Pro Tip: This is one of the most popular attractions at Magic Kingdom, so it’s smart to avoid the hefty wait times by using one of your three advance FastPasses.

4. Kilimanjaro Safaris

walt disney world
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

This is the closest most of us will get to a real African safari: spot 34 different animal species roaming the savanna as you traverse it in an open-air vehicle.

At 110 acres, the sprawling grounds occupied by the attraction are nearly as large as the entire Magic Kingdom. If you’re lucky, you may get halted by an unexpected ostrich crossing your path or experience the thrill of a giraffe coming right up to your vehicle.

Pro Tip: The best times to experience this attraction are early in the morning or at sundown when the animals are most active. 

3. Toy Story Mania

toy story mania
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

If you’re not into shows, there’s just not much for kiddos under 38 inches to do at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The opening of Toy Story Land and Alien Swirling Saucers mercifully brought a second all-ages ride to this park, but Toy Story Mania is hands-down the superior one. Indulge your competitive streak on this 3D ride where you compete in a series of carnival-esque games featuring everyone’s favorite Toy Story pals.

Pro Tip: DHS’s FastPass system is tiered and only allows you to select one Toy Story Land attraction in advance. If some in your group are tall enough and also want to ride Slinky Dog Dash, you’ll want to use your FastPass for that one and go standby for Toy Story Mania or attempt to get a FastPass for it once you’ve used your first three.

2. Haunted Mansion

walt disney world
Photo by Matt Roseboom

Join 999 happy haunts inside everyone’s favorite spooky manor for this can’t-miss ride-through, room after eerie room, of what we think is the greatest haunted house out there. More spooky/silly than scary, some kids may find parts of this ride a bit frightening, but most will enjoy it.

Pro Tip: In the opening “stretching room” scene, stand underneath the ballet dancer and you’ll be one of the first to exit the room and board the ride.

1. Pirates of the Caribbean

pirates of the caribbean
Photo courtesy of Walt Disney World

There’s something for everyone on this classic swashbuckling adventure boat ride. A bit of drama and suspense before a thrilling opening drop, elaborate show sets, countless audio-animatronics, and that iconic song pretty much guarantee everyone in your group will walk away happily chanting “Yo Ho!”

Pro Tip: Score a FastPass for this attraction (in addition to the three you can book in advance) by participating in the nearby “A Pirate’s Adventure – Treasure of the Seven Seas” interactive scavenger hunt around Adventureland. Once you complete three missions, you’ll be rewarded with a FastPass.


Is your favorite ride on this list? Our honorable mentions include Epcot’s Living With the Land and Magic Kingdom’s Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin and Astro Orbiter. Let us know which all-ages rides are your favorites in the comments below!

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1 comment

Tammy February 28, 2022 - 2:04 pm

Excellent, can’t wait to come join in all the fun

Reply

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