Rides for Five: Magic Kingdom

It’s been years since I published my “Rides for Five” series, where I listed Disney World rides that work well for big families. I guess an update is overdue! Let’s start with my favorite park, the Magic Kingdom.

Walt Disney World Railroad: This ride has bench seating. When the boys were smaller, we all fit on one bench. Now we’re more comfortable spreading out onto two.


Jungle Cruise: Bench seating runs around the perimeter of the boat, making this ideal for big groups.

jungle cruisin

This was their first Disney trip. They’re in awe!

Pirates of the Caribbean: Bench seating, and though we no longer fit in one row, at least we can all ride in the same boat! Technically, they say you can fit four adults in one row. For some adults, this might be a bit of a squeeze.

POTC boat

Splash Mountain: Two people to a row, four rows to a log. For a family of five, one person will be alone in their row, but you’ll all be in the same log.

Splash Mtn log

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad: When the kids were younger, we could fit two in one row and three in the next. Now, however, we’re spread out into: two in one row, two in the next row, and one in the next. Since this is a “runaway train” ride, we’re all in the same train and therefore riding together.


Liberty Square Riverboat: A paddlewheel boat ride. There is some bench seating, but most people stand along the railing to take in the view.

Liberty Belle

Haunted Mansion: We used to fit two in one ride vehicle and three in another. Now we do the 2-2-1 configuration. With smaller kids, you could definitely fit three people in one doom buggy. However, this ride might be a bit scary for very young or sensitive riders.

doom buggy

it’s a small world: Bench seating in a boat. Jut as with POTC, we no longer all fit in one row, but we’re all in one boat together.

a jungle

Peter Pan’s Flight: These cute little flying ships used to accommodate three of us in one, two in another. Now we’d be more likely to spread out into 2-2-1, though we haven’t all been on this ride together in years. On my last trip, I saw three adults share one ride vehicle, but it looked kind of claustrophobic to me.

Peter Pan boat

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: Each “hunny pot” ride vehicle has two rows. If your kids are small, you’ll be able to fit three people into one row. With all adult-sized people, each row maxes out at two.

pooh pot

Seven Dwarfs Mine Train: Two people per row, but we can all ride in the same train.

Sorry this pic is ridiculously blurry. They rush you on and off this ride super fast!

Sorry this pic is ridiculously blurry. They rush you on and off this ride super fast!

Under the Sea: I’ve seen three people sit together in one ride vehicle, but we’re more comfortable with just two. We do the 2-2-1 thing on this ride. If your kids are little, you’ll definitely fit three people in a vehicle.

Under the Sea

The Barnstormer: This cute “junior coaster” only seats two people per row, but there are plenty of rows to the ride.


Mad Tea Party: We would split up so that there were two of us in one teacup and three in another, but due to my increasing bouts with motion sickness on certain types of rides, I can no longer do this one.


Just looking at the blurry background of this picture makes me a little queasy.

Space Mountain: Three-person ride vehicles. So, you can fit two in one vehicle and three in another. The two vehicles are linked, so you’re still sort of all together.

space mtn

PeopleMover: Gone are the days when we could all fit in one car. The cars are linked together, however, so the kids can go in one car and the adults can go in the car behind.

IMG_1513a-W&C pplmover-p

Carousel of Progress: Theater-like seating that revolves around a central stage. Perfect for big groups!

CoP seating

Most of the other rides seat two or four people per ride vehicle. In such cases, when traveling with a group of five, there is always an odd man out. You can still make this work by having the adults alternate which of them rides solo. Now that our kids are older, they sometimes prefer to be the solo rider. In any event, we’ve never skipped a ride just because of seating limitations – we find a way to make it work!

About Heather Brainerd

Intuitive healer + meditation guide
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5 Responses to Rides for Five: Magic Kingdom

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  4. I had no idea there was an Under the Sea ride at the Magic Kingdom. We haven’t been there for 11 years. I remember when my boys were little and I would drive to my parents six hours away. I was nervous about driving without another adult in the car and the Little Mermaid tape was one of the few tapes we played over and over on way. I have all of those songs memorized.

    • HFBrainerd says:

      Under the Sea was just added when WDW did the big “New Fantasyland” expansion. That’s a great story about your boys! Even though I was a teen when The Little Mermaid came out, I loved it – and also listened to the cassette tape over and over. I think you’ll love the room (on the ride) where the song “Under the Sea” is playing – we dance and sing along to it every time! Oh, and right next to the ride is Ariel’s Grotto, a character meet-and-greet. If you go to this about 1/2 hour before park closing, the wait is usually quite short.

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