Young boy running toward Mickey and Minnie Mouse in front of Cinderella Castle at Magic Kingdom -

20 Relaxing Rides at Walt Disney World for Overstimulated Kids (and Adults)

When my son was much younger I thought wearing him out at Walt Disney World was the way to go. I didn’t understand that although he needs lots of physical activity each day, being overly stimulated by bright lights, loud sounds, crowds, and other things pushed him over the edge. It turns out I’m the same way.

So while we love visiting Walt Disney World, we do things differently. We’ve learned that our family has some sensory processing needs. It helps us to have a multitude of calm activities when we’re in the middle of the magic.

To help you have a great Disney day that doesn’t end in a huge meltdown, here are 20 rides at Walt Disney World that are calm, relaxed, and won’t overstimulate. This list is organized by each theme park.

The Most Relaxing Walt Disney World Rides

Magic Kingdom

  • Walt Disney World Railroad (the steam train)
  • Tomorrowland People Mover
  • Carousel of Progress
  • Tomorrowland Speedway
  • it’s a small world
  • Peter Pan’s Flight
  • Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Liberty Square Riverboat
  • Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island

It made my husband and me so happy when the Walt Disney World Railroad reopened. For multiple years this beloved steam train sat dormant as Magic Kingdom prepared for the TRON Lightcycle Run coaster.

Editor Dani Meyering and her husband and son pose in front of the Walt Disney World Railroad train station
Train Station at Magic Kingdom image from Dani Meyering

This relaxing ride on the rails encircles the entire park and it is a perfect way to rest your feet and let your child enjoy the enchantment of a classic train. Stations are located at Main Street U.S.A., Frontierland, and at the back of Fantasyland.

A word of caution, Rental strollers may not be taken on the Walt Disney World® Railroad, and all other strollers have to be folded.

The rafts over to Tom Sawyer Island are slow and relaxing, plus Tom Sawyer Island has a small playground.

Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is slow-moving, but can be a little overstimulating thanks its dark interior with bright characters and colorful scenes. Another slow-moving ride is Under the Sea – Journey of the Little Mermaid, but some kiddos may be frightened by Ursula and her foreboding cavernous cave.

Similarly, Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin is slow moving, but it is dark inside with some loud noises. Nothing scary happens nor are there any drops. But with its lighting and sounds, it can be overstimulating for some folks.

Buzz Lightyear Space Ranger Spin at Magic Kingdom image by Dani Meyering

And don’t forget you can let your kiddos run around and cool off in the Casey Jr. Splash ‘N’ Soak Station – bring some water-friendly clothing or at least a towel. This splashing kid-friendly spot is at the back of Storybook Circus, near the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride.

NEW at Magic Kingdom: Tiana’s Bayou Adventure! Thankfully this reimagined version of Splash Mountain does not have any villains or scary scenes. The drops of Splash Mountain remain as it is the exact same ride system, but all the scenes are brand new, with no villains or scares.


  • Spaceship Earth
  • Living with The Land
  • Journey Into Imagination with Figment*
  • The Seas with Nemo and Friends*
  • Gran Fiesta Tour Starring The Three Caballeros
  • Frozen Ever After*
Gran Fiesta Tour boat ride at EPCOT - image by Dani Meyering
Gran Fiesta Tour at EPCOT image by Dani Meyering

The following rides move slowly and are fairly relaxing but have a moment that can be a little overstimulating or startling.

Journey Into Imagination with Figment is slow moving, but does have some zany scenes and the finale does have a loud, startling moment. We always bring hearing protection on this ride and when we enter the final room that looks like a computer control room I have my son take some deep breaths. When Figment says “using your imagination is a BLAST!” there is a loud sound as the bright finale is revealed.

Our family could spend hours in The Seas with Nemo and Friends exploring the aquarium. However, the ride has one short scene with an anglerfish chasing Marlin and Dory that spooked my son when he was younger, and I haven’t been able to get him back on the ride since.

Entrance to The Seas with Nemo Friends image by Dani Meyering

If you decide not to embark on the short, slow ride, then head to the left side of the building, where the merchandise shop is located, and you’ll be able to explore the aquarium.

Finally, Frozen Ever After is a beautiful ride full of scenes with characters from “Frozen.” However when you enter Elsa’s ice palace as she sings the incomparable song “Let It Go” your boat is turned backward, and you’ll ride backward for a few moments before turning to go down a short hill. Sensitive kiddos may find this part to be a bit intense. Our son was fine the first time he rode it, but thereafter he hasn’t wanted to ride it.

Our son loves Project Tomorrow: Inventing the Wonders of the Future, which is the exit area of Spaceship Earth for playing games. And we each adore Journey of Water – Inspired by Moana for being able to roam free and play with water in multiple ways.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

You won’t find a single slow moving ride at Disney’s Hollywood Studios. However, you will find lots of shows, great character experiences, and a few rides that have some excitement without going overboard.

  • Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway
  • Alien Swirling Saucers (32″ height requirement)
  • Toy Story Mania* (38″ height requirement)

Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway is so much fun! It’s the first attraction at Walt Disney World to feature Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse. There are no drops, but there are quite a few wacky moments that go over the top and make it seem like you’re moving fast and even going down a waterfall. Sensitive kids may find it too much, but it’s worth exploring. Perhaps watch a few of the new style of Mickey Mouse cartoons to get an idea if your kiddo will be okay with the style of this ride.

Another fun ride is Alien Swirling Saucers, though it’s not very slow (or relaxing). There is a 32″ height requirement and rides are swirled around quite a bit. It’s all in good fun and not overly fast. It’s definitely worth a shot for anyone in your family who enjoys the “Toy Story” characters.

Toy Story Midway Mania ride vehicles at Disney's Hollywood Studios
Toy Story Midway Mania image by Dani Meyering

Naturally, Toy Story Mania is a hit with kids – but it does have a 38″ height requirement, and it spins around in a few spots.

My sensitive son enjoys meeting characters here more than anything else. The meeting area for Mickey and Minnie is Hollywood themed, and the Disney Junior characters rarely have a long wait.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom

  • Na’vi River Journey
  • Kilimanjaro Safaris
  • Wildlife Express Train

Our son’s first ride ever at Walt Disney World was Na’vi River Journey. This slow moving boat ride is beautiful. It is dark, but there are absolutely no dips, no thrills whatsoever. It’s a relaxing boat ride with special visual effects and a serene song.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom is home to the most ambitious ride at Walt Disney World. Kilimanjaro Safaris is relaxing and full of stunning moments as you roam for 20 minutes through a variety of African habitats to see incredible animals. This slow-moving ride can get bumpy, but there are no thrills.

Guests see giraffes aboard Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disney's Animal Kingdom -
Kilimanjaro Safaris at Disneys Animal Kingdom image by Dani Meyering

If possible ride this attraction twice – first thing in the morning, the moment the park opens, and at the very end of the day. The animals behave differently at the morning and at the end of the day. Oh! And if it rains, head straight to Kilimanjaro Safaris, the animals are often quite active.

The Wildlife Express Train is a must-do! It is bumpy, but relaxing and leads to a great destination for young kids. Rafiki’s Planet Watch is the arrival spot for this train with a long trail through natural beauty. There you’ll be able to pet goats and other animals at Affection Section, as well as see how the animals are cared for at Conservation Station. It’s a hidden gem that many guests overlook.

Wishing you a magical time at Walt Disney World! By the way, you may want to consult our expert tips if you haven’t been to Disney World in a while, and familiarize yourself with Disney’s transportation system too.

author avatar
Dani Meyering
Born and raised in the land of sunshine and dreams come true, Dani is a proud Orlando native. She loves sharing her hometown with others from the theme parks to Florida's natural beauty. With over 15 years of experience, Dani is thrilled to serve as our Managing Editor at Orlando Date Night Guide, Orlando Parenting, as well as Tampa Bay Date Night Guide.