A Guide to Walt Disney World Attraction Vehicles and Seating: Magic Kingdom

by on September 23, 2014 34 Comments

Filed under: Accessibility, Attractions, In the Parks, Magic Kingdom, Trip Planning, Walt Disney World (FL)

t_logo_fbThe seating situation on Disney World rides and attractions is a cause for concern with many guests. Physical constraints, size, and family configuration are all reasons why you might have issues with the attraction seating. For example:

  • I’m a single parent with two small children, will I be separated from them on rides?
  • I’m a plus-sized person, can I fit into the ride vehicles without embarrassment?
  • My knees are bad, will I have to step up or down to get into the ride vehicles?
  • I’m in a wheelchair, do I have to transfer out of it to go on the rides?
  • I have a large party, how will we be split up when visiting the attractions?
  • I have balance issues, will the attraction vehicle be moving while I’m trying to board?

To answer these questions and more, here’s a photo guide to all the vehicle and attraction seating at Walt Disney World. Pull down on that lap bar, we’re going for a ride…

MAIN STREET USA

Walt Disney World Railroad

  • Seating capacity per row: 3-5 guests depending on size. There is one double bench per train car, with two rows facing each other.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: More than 100. Varies depending on number of train cars.
  • Seating surface: Wooden bench with back
  • Safety restraints: None
  • Boarding procedure: Two small (less than 12″) steps up to board train.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: Personal strollers may be brought on board, but must be folded. Disney rental strollers may not board. It may be possible for wheelchair/ECV users to ride without transferring. There are a limited number of spots for this, speak to a cast member at the attraction for more information. The row access area is open while the vehicle is in motion. Children should be seated to the inside of each row.

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ADVENTURELAND

Jungle Cruise

  • Seating capacity per row: Variable
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: Approximately 30 guests per vehicle.
  • Seating surface: Bench-style, some with backs, some without
  • Safety restraints: None
  • Boarding procedure: Step over a moderate wall (about 12″) onto a bench, then down a moderate step. The boat may not be exactly flush with the dock. Cast members typically lend a steady hand to guests as they board and disembark.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: There is one wheelchair accessible boat. Enter the attraction near the Swiss Family Treehouse for wheelchair access.

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Magic Carpets of Aladdin

  • Seating capacity per row: 2 to 3 guests, depending on size. Two average size adults or one adult plus two small children will fit comfortably in each row. Cast members may seat two adults and one child in a row, which can be tight.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: Two rows per vehicle, for a total of 4-6 guests per carpet.
  • Seating surface: Hard bench with back.
  • Safety restraints: One fabric lap belt over all guests in each row.
  • Boarding procedure: Moderate step (just over 12″) up over a wall and down into the vehicle.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Note 1: ECV users must transfer to a standard wheelchair. There is one wheelchair capable vehicle.
  • Note 2: There are control levers in the carpet. One row controls the height, the other controls the tilt. If you have kids in different rows, you may want to work out in advance which child does which. The row access area is open while the vehicle is in motion. Children should be seated to the inside of each row.

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Pirates of the Caribbean

  • Seating capacity per row: 2-4 depending on size
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: Approximately 20
  • Seating surface: Hard bench with back
  • Safety restraints: None
  • Boarding procedure: Step over a small wall (less than 12″) and then down a moderate step (about 12″) to enter the boat.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: Wheelchair and ECV users must transfer to the boat on their own. There is a steep moving walkway to get back from the ride unload zone to the main park. Guests may get slightly damp.

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Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room

  • Seating capacity per row: Several dozen
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: NA. Show-style attraction. More than 100 guests per show.
  • Seating surface: Hard bench with back
  • Safety restraints: NA
  • Boarding procedure: Walk into the theater
  • Height requirement: NA
  • Notes: Wheelchair and ECV users may ride into the theater.

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FRONTIERLAND

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

  • Seating capacity per row: 2-3. The standard configuration is two guests per row, but cast members will seat two adults plus one small child, or one adult plus two small children. Larger adults can be seated in their own row; this is rarely necessary.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: Approximately 6 guests per car, approximately 30 guest per train.
  • Seating surface: Lightly padded bench with back
  • Safety restraints: Single pull-down lap bar for all the riders in a row.
  • Boarding procedure: Step over a small wall (less than 12″) into train car.
  • Posted warnings: Standard motion sickness, pregnancy, and heart/back/neck warnings.
  • Height requirement: 40″
  • Notes: Wheelchair and ECV users must transfer to the ride on their own. The bench-style seating plus the motion of the ride means that you will likely end up touching the other guest in your row. Parents of children who may be uncomfortable touching a stranger can ask that the child be placed in his or her own row. (A possible factor for single adults traveling with several children.)

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Country Bear Jamboree

  • Seating capacity per row: Several dozen.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: NA. Show-style attraction. More than 100 guests per show.
  • Seating surface: Hard bench with back
  • Safety restraints: NA
  • Boarding procedure: Walk into auditorium
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: Guests may remain in wheelchair or ECV.

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Splash Mountain

  • Seating capacity per row: 2.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: 8
  • Seating surface: Hard bench with back. The backs are slightly shaped, not straight across.
  • Safety restraints: Single pull-down lap bar for all the riders in a row. (Lap bars were added to the attraction in 2011.)
  • Boarding procedure: Step over a small wall (less than 12″) and then down a moderate step (about 12″) to enter the log.
  • Posted warnings: Standard motion sickness, pregnancy, and heart/back/neck warnings.
  • Height requirement: 40″
  • Notes: Larger adults may be more comfortable if they ride in a row alone. Wheelchair and ECV users must transfer to the ride on their own. It’s likely that you will get wet, some riders may get soaked. Consider ponchos for guests averse to water. Protect camera equipment and medical devices.

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Tom Sawyer Island

The Island itself is an open walking attraction. Information here applies to the raft ride, which you must take to get to the island.

  • Seating capacity per row: NA
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: There is no seating. Each raft holds approximately 20-25 standing guests.
  • Seating surface: NA
  • Safety restraints: None
  • Boarding procedure: Small step (less than 12″) from dock onto raft. The exact height of the step varies due to water level, there may be a small gap between the raft and the dock. Ramps are available for wheelchairs.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes:Wheelchairs/ECVs may be rolled onboard the rafts; however, many elements on the island include stairs and uneven surfaces. Much of the island is inaccessible via wheeled conveyance.

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LIBERTY SQUARE

Hall of Presidents

  • Seating capacity per row: Several dozen.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: NA. Show-style attraction. More than 100 guests per show.
  • Seating surface: Padded seat with armrests.
  • Safety restraints: NA
  • Boarding procedure: Walk into theater
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: Guests may remain in wheelchairs/ECVs. There are a few seats in the rear of the auditorium intended for wheelchair guest companions. If available, taller guests may appreciate the additional leg room.

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Haunted Mansion

  • Seating capacity per row: 2-3. Typical capacity is two guests, but two adults plus one small child, or one adult plus two small children can be accommodated. Larger adults can be seated in their own vehicle; this is rarely necessary.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: 2-3. There is one row per doom buggy.
  • Seating surface: Hard bench with back.
  • Safety restraints: Single pull-down lap bar for all the riders in a vehicle.
  • Boarding procedure: Small step up (less than 12″) from a moving walkway onto a moving vehicle. There is also a moving walkway at the exit area.
  • Posted warnings: None
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: Wheelchair and ECV guests must transfer to the attraction on their own. The ride can be slowed or stopped to facilitate boarding for guests with mobility issues. Brief ride stoppages are common. Parents of squeamish children may want to reassure them that short stops are no cause for alarm.

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Liberty Square Riverboat

  • Seating capacity per row: Variable open seating. There are a few benches scattered throughout the boat, but not nearly enough to accommodate all guests. Most guests will stand for the duration of the attraction.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: More than 100.
  • Seating surface: Seating type varies. Some hard wooden backless benches, some hard wooden benches with backs. There are few padded benches, but these do not have views of the scenery.
  • Safety restraints: None
  • Boarding procedure: Walk on flat ramp into boat. Wheelchairs/ECVs may roll on board. To disembark, ambulatory guests take a moderate step down (about 12″) from the boat to the dock. A ramp will be provided for wheelchair/ECV users.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: Guests in wheelchairs and EVCs will have to stay on the lower level of the multi-story boat. Upper floors are only accessible via stairs.

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FANTASYLAND

The Barnstormer

  • Seating capacity per row: 1 to 2. An average size adult and a medium size child are a typical load per row. Two average size adults are somewhat tight. One adult and two small children would be very tight or impossible. Larger adults may want to ride alone.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: Eight rows per train. Groups with odd numbers of individuals may ride in different rows of the same train.
  • Seating surface: Hard bench with back.
  • Safety restraints: Single pull-down lap bar for all the riders in each row.
  • Boarding procedure: Moderate step (just over 12″) up over a wall and down into the vehicle.
  • Posted warnings: Standard motion sickness, pregnancy, and heart/back/neck warnings.
  • Height requirement: 35″
  • Notes: Guests using wheelchairs/ECVs must transfer. Some rows have a “roof” area, while other do not. Taller guests may find it easier to board rows without the roof.

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Dumbo the Flying Elephant

  • Seating capacity per row: 2-3. Standard capacity is two guests per elephant. Cast members will seat two adults plus one small child, or one adult plus two small children, but the fit will be very tight. Larger adults can be seated in their own vehicle; this is rarely necessary.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: There is one row per elephant. Each of two carousels has 16 elephants.
  • Seating surface: Hard bench with back.
  • Safety restraints: One fabric lap belt to be buckled over all guests in the vehicle.
  • Boarding procedure: Moderate step (just over 12″) up over a wall into the vehicle.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: Wheelchair and ECV users must transfer to ride. There is a sample elephant available near the attraction. Guests can assess their fit in the ride before joining the queue. The row access area is open while the vehicle is in motion. Children should be seated to the inside of each row.

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Enchanted Tales with Belle

  • Seating capacity per row: Variable. Approximately 3 guests per bench, with 2 to 4 benches per row.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: NA. Show-style attraction. Approximately four dozen guests per show.
  • Seating surface: Backless padded bench. Children will be invited to sit on the carpeted floor at the front of the room.
  • Safety restraints: NA
  • Boarding procedure: Prior to the seated show, there are preshow areas where guests will stand for several minutes. Guests may remain in wheelchairs/ECVs throughout.
  • Height requirement: None

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It’s a Small World

  • Seating capacity per row: 2-4 depending on size.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: Approximately 20
  • Seating surface: Hard bench with back
  • Safety restraints: None
  • Boarding procedure: Step over a small wall (less than 12″) and then down a moderate step (about 12″) to enter the boat.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: There is a wheelchair accessible boat. Wheelchair users may remain seated. ECV users must transfer to a standard wheelchair.

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Mad Tea Party

  • Seating capacity per row: Up to five guests per cup, depending on size. The cup’s rotation speed is controlled by a pillar/disk mounted in the center of each cup. Larger adults may feel uncomfortably tight, even when riding alone. Two average adults plus two or three small children will typically be loaded together. Guests are rarely loaded with members of other parties.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: One row per vehicle.
  • Seating surface: Hard bench with back. The bench and back are curved to the shape of the cup.
  • Safety restraints: None.
  • Boarding procedure: Small step up (less than 12″) to step onto teacup. Moderate step (about 12″) over a wall, through a narrow opening, to enter the cup.
  • Posted warnings: Skip this one if you have motion sickness issues.
  • Height requirement: None

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The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

  • Seating capacity per row: 2-3. Typical capacity is two people per row. Cast members will load two adults plus one small child, or one adult plus two small children. Larger adults can be seated in their own row; this is rarely necessary.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: Two rows per vehicle. 4-6 guests total per vehicle.
  • Seating surface: Hard bench with back.
  • Safety restraints: Single pull-down lap bar for all the riders in each row.
  • Boarding procedure: Step over a moderate (about 12″) wall to enter the hunny pot.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: There is a wheelchair capable hunny pot. ECV users must transfer to a standard wheelchair.

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Mickey’s PhilharMagic

  • Seating capacity per row: Several dozen.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: NA. Show-style attraction. More than 100 guests per show.
  • Seating surface: Padded chairs with armrests.
  • Safety restraints: NA
  • Boarding procedure: Walk into theater.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: Wheelchair and ECV users may ride directly into the theater.

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Peter Pan’s Flight

  • Seating capacity per row: 2-4 guests, depending on size. Two adults plus one child is typically an easy fit. One adult with three small children often works. Cast members will load two adults with two small children into one vehicle, but it may be a tight fit. Larger adults can be seated in their own vehicle; this is rarely necessary.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: One row per vehicle.
  • Seating surface: Hard plastic bench with back.
  • Safety restraints: Single pull-down lap bar for all the riders in the vehicle.
  • Boarding procedure: Small step up (less than 12″) from a moving walkway onto a moving vehicle. The ride will not be slowed or stopped; guests must be ambulatory.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: Wheelchair and EVC users must transfer to the standard ride vehicles.

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Prince Charming Regal Carousel

  • Seating capacity per row: 1 rider per horse. Adults are permitted to stand next to a child rider. There is one sleigh-style bench seat which seats 2-3 guests depending on size.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: 90 horses plus one bench.
  • Seating surface: Horses are hard wood. The sleigh has a padded bench seat with hard back.
  • Safety restraints: Loose belt around horse riders.
  • Boarding procedure: Small step up (less than 12″) to board the carousel. Depending on the position of the horse (variable), large step up to stirrup, then throw leg over the horse. Small children will likely need to be lifted onto the horse. For the sleigh seat, additional small (less than 12″) step up.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: Guests using wheelchairs/ECVs must transfer. Horse may stop at a different height than which they started, a moderate step to board may turn into a large step to disembark.

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Seven Dwarfs Mine Train

  • Seating capacity per row: 2
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: 4 per train car. Typically 20 per train.
  • Seating surface: Hard molded bucket seat with back.
  • Safety restraints: Individual lap bar for each passenger
  • Boarding procedure: Small step up (less than 12″) over a wall into the vehicle..
  • Posted warnings: Standard motion sickness, pregnancy, and heart/back/neck warnings.
  • Height requirement: 38″
  • Note 1: Wheelchair guests must transfer. The bucket seats are fairly narrow. Larger/taller adults may have issues.
  • Note 2: This ride may be problematic for single parents with two small children. While a group of three can all be seated in the same train car, mom/dad cannot be directly next to both kids. Your options are to have the kids sit together and mom sits alone in the row behind, or have mom sit with one child and have the other child sit alone or with a stranger. This may be potentially frightening for a younger child on his first roller coaster. When deciding, questions to ask include: has one of the children already been on the ride, or one that’s similar, and is comfortable with it? Can the children reassure each other if scared? Does the child need to hold hands with or otherwise touch a parent to feel secure? In my family, the solution that worked was to seat mom with the younger or less experienced child in the row directly behind the older child. This way I could place my hands on the head or shoulders of the child in front of me if a comforting touch was required. If your child feels uneasy sitting next to a stranger, ask the load zone cast member to place the child in a row alone.
  • Note 3: The ride experience is substantially different depending on where you are seated on the train. Guests with motion sensitivity issues should ask to ride at the calmer front of the train.

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Under the Sea-Journey of the Little Mermaid

  • Seating capacity per row: 2-3 depending on size.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: One row per vehicle, 2-3 people depending on size. Standard capacity is two guests per vehicle. Cast members will usually allow two adults plus a small child, or one adult plus two small children, to ride in one vehicle. Larger adults can be seated in their own vehicle; this is rarely necessary.
  • Seating surface: Hard bench with back
  • Safety restraints: Single pull-down lap bar for all the riders in the vehicle.
  • Boarding procedure: Small step up (less than 12″) from a moving walkway onto a moving vehicle.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: There is one wheelchair accessible vehicle. Cast members will provide a ramp. ECV users must transfer to a standard wheelchair.

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TOMORROWLAND

Astro Orbiter

  • Seating capacity per row: 2. Cast members may load one adult plus two small children. Larger adults may want their own vehicle.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: One row per vehicle, 16 rockets on the carousel.
  • Seating surface: Hard bench. Guests are seated front to back, rather than side by side. The guest seated at the rear will have a back. The guest seated at the front has no back support other than his/her companion.
  • Safety restraints: One fabric lap belt for all the riders in each rocket.
  • Boarding procedure: Step over a small wall (less than 12″) and then down a moderate step (about 12″) to enter the rocket.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: Wheelchair and ECV users must transfer to the ride on their own. All guests must use an elevator to get to the ride. This attraction is more physically challenging to board than its cousins, Dumbo and Aladdin’s Magic Carpets. This attraction moves at a substantially faster pace than Dumbo and Aladdin; guests with motion sensitivity issues should take caution.
Photo © Sherri Cuda

Photo © Sherri Cuda

Photo © Ritzy McCarthy

Photo © Ritzy McCarthy

Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin

  • Seating capacity per row: 2-3. The ride is designed for two people per vehicle – there are two game controllers. Cast members will usually allow two adults plus a small child, or one adult plus two small children, to ride in one vehicle. Larger adults can be seated in their own vehicle; this is rarely necessary.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: 2-3
  • Seating surface: Lightly padded bench with hard back.
  • Safety restraints: Single pull-down lap bar for all the riders in the vehicle.
  • Boarding procedure: Small step up (less than 12″) from a moving walkway onto a moving vehicle.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Note 1: One ride vehicle will accommodate wheelchairs. Cast members will briefly pause the ride for wheelchairs to board. ECV users must transfer to the standard ride or to a wheelchair.
  • Note 2: The two-game-controller set-up may prove problematic for some families, particularly single adults with multiple children. The easiest solution is to put the two kids in one car and put the solo adult in the car behind them. All members of the party will arrive at the unload point within seconds of each other. To make this work, the children must feel comfortable not having eyes on mom/dad at all times (and vice versa). However, you will always be within earshot, so if there were a concern, you could shout and be in communication. If you’re going to have parent/children in separate vehicles, be sure to discuss in advance what to do in the event of a temporary halt of the ride. Let the kids know that short stops happen with some regularity and that they should never leave the car unless instructed to by you or a cast member. An alternative solution is to have mom/dad and one child share the ride, with the other child in the next vehicle. My children are willing to ride alone, but get anxious about riding in a two-person vehicle with a stranger. If this is your situation, speak with the cast member at the ride load zone. I have never seen Disney not honor a guest’s polite request to ride alone for reasons of safety or comfort.

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Monster’s Inc. Laugh Floor

  • Seating capacity per row: Several dozen
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: NA. Show-style attraction. More than 100 guests per show.
  • Seating surface: Hard plastic bench with back.
  • Safety restraints: NA
  • Boarding procedure: Guests walk into theater.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: Wheelchair and EVC users may ride directly into the theater. Wheelchair seating is near the center of the room.

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Space Mountain

  • Seating capacity per row: 3
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: 6. Two rockets per launch.
  • Seating surface: Padded bucket seat with back. Guests are seated front to back, rather than side to side.
  • Safety restraints: Individual pull-down lap bar for each guest.
  • Boarding procedure: Step over a small wall (less than 12″) to a moderate step (about 12″) down into the seat. Guests must extend their legs straight, tucking them under the sides of the seat in front of them.
  • Posted warnings: Standard motion sickness, pregnancy, and heart/back/neck warnings.
  • Height requirement: 44″
  • Notes: Larger adults may find the lap bar uncomfortably tight. Even able guests sometimes find disembarking the ride somewhat challenging. Small children may be nervous about the seating configuration. Because of the individual front-to-back seating style kids may not be able touch a parent. Hand-holding is all but impossible. Some parents find that sitting behind a child and placing the adult hands on the child’s shoulders works as a comfort tool. There is a steep moving walkway to get back from the ride unload zone to the main park.

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Stitch’s Great Escape

  • Seating capacity per row: Several dozen.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: NA. Show-style mild motion simulator attraction. More than 100 guests per show.
  • Seating surface: Hard bucket-style seats with arm rests
  • Safety restraints: Individual hard overhead harness for each guest. At the start of the attraction the harness lowers over your head and lightly rests above your shoulders. The harness height adjusts for each guest.
  • Boarding procedure: Walk into theater.
  • Height requirement: 40′
  • Notes: ECV users must transfer to a standard wheelchair. The attraction takes place substantially in the dark. Many children find this frightening. During the attraction, the safety harness lightly bounces on your shoulders. Some guests with back or neck issues may find this problematic.

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Tomorrowland Speedway

  • Seating capacity per row: 2-3. Standard capacity is two guests per car. Cast members will load one adult plus two small children, or two adults plus one small child.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: 2-3. One row per car.
  • Seating surface: Hard bench with back.
  • Safety restraints: One fabric lap belt to secure all guests in each car.
  • Boarding procedure: Step over a small wall (less than 12″) down a moderate step (about 12″) into the car.
  • Height requirement: Guests must be 32″ to ride. Guests must be 54″ to ride alone.
  • Notes: While two or three people can ride in each car, only one person can be the real driver. The driver must be fairly tall to control the foot pedals. A small child can “help” steer. The Speedway is the only attraction at Walt Disney World where the driver actually controls the forward movement of the ride vehicle. If you decide to let an older child drive alone, be sure to explain this to him or her and give instructions on how to work the car.

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Tomorrowland Transit Authority Peoplemover

  • Seating capacity per row: 2-3. Standard capacity is two adults per row. Cast members will typically seat two adults with one or two children, or one adult with any children in their own vehicle. This allows families a bit of space and privacy. Larger guests may want their own row.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: 4-6. Two rows facing each other.
  • Seating surface: Hard bench with back.
  • Safety restraints: None
  • Boarding procedure: Small step (less than 12″) from moving walkway to moving vehicle.
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: There is a steep moving walkway to access the ride. Guests must transfer from wheelchair or ECV to board. During low-crowd times of the year, it may be possible to ride several times consecutively (ask a cast member), making it one of the few moving attractions compatible with napping or nursing.

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Walt Disney’s Carousel of Progress

  • Seating capacity per row: Several dozen.
  • Seating capacity per vehicle: NA. Show-style attraction. More than 100 guests per show.
  • Seating surface: Lightly padded chairs with backs and armrests.
  • Safety restraints: NA
  • Boarding procedure: Walk into theater
  • Height requirement: None
  • Notes: Guests may remain in wheelchairs/ECVs. Wheelchair seating is at the front of the theater.

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Note: Stayed tuned for upcoming vehicle and seating information for Epcot, Disney’s Animal Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. For information about Disney Transportation Vehicles see our post Monorails, Buses, and Boats, Oh My.

Posted on September 23, 2014

34 Responses to “A Guide to Walt Disney World Attraction Vehicles and Seating: Magic Kingdom”

  • Very helpful article and series! Will you also be doing one for Disneyland?

  • This is the most awesome article I have yet to read about DW rides. I have mobility issues due to three joint replacements and knowing ride seating is very important. Thank you so much for this article.

  • In your instructions–“Pull down on that lap bar, we’re going for a ride”–you forgot to include about no flash photography 🙂 Seriously, excellent article as usual.

  • Great information! Can I assume that any attraction that wheelchair users to ride directly in will also allow strollers inside?

  • Great article! You should see about getting the photos and information included in each attraction’s entry in the main TP site.

  • Excellent Article! I look forward to learning about the other parks this way. As we are planning a trip while my wife is going to be pregnant

  • For larger guests, the MK rides (and Disney rides generally) are very accommodating. I’m a fat guy–5’10, 300+ pounds–and my wife is a little smaller. We were able to fit on the same seat just fine for most of the rides you listed “larger adults may want to ride alone” on. In particular, we didn’t have a problem with any of the 2 person bench ride vehicles (e.g., Splash Mountain, Haunted Mansion, Little Mermaid, Buzz Lightyear, Peter Pan, Winnie the Pooh, etc.). Generally, the only rides I couldn’t fit on at WDW were Sum of All Thrills at Epcot and its counterpart Cyberspace Mountain at DisneyQuest.

    • You are obviously correct that most guests do not have issues with the rides you mention. However, there are some folks who are larger than you, or large guests with other issues such as claustrophobia which might be exacerbated by a close environment. The “may want to” language was meant as a “heads up.” I’ll try to clarify that in future posts. Thank you.

      The Barnstormer and Seven Dwarfs Mine Train are a real issue for many larger adults. Also, Space Mountain can be a challenge for some larger adults who are tall and also have mobility issues.

  • 2 adults 3 kids (9,5,5) traveling. If one adult won’t ride because of motion sickness issues, will disney allow rider swap at say barnstormer where 1 adult goes with 9 & 5, then goes again with other 5 without standing in line again? Second adult would stay with child/children not riding… (I’ve read an adult must ride with child under 7). Thank you.

    • The “must ride with an adult” language might not apply in your situation.

      The decision would be solely up to the cast members on site, but it does not generally mean that the adult must be seated directly next to the under-7. In practice it means that an a supervising adult must be on the ride while the young kids are on the ride, but not necessarily in the same car. Again, the cast members on site make the call, but I’m confident that the cast members would seat a 9 year old and a 5 year old together if an accompanying adult and 5 year old were in the seat right behind them. This means that you would not need the rider swap.

      Also, in general, cast members will typically use the rider swap pass for parties with children too short to ride, not when the adults have issues. Much of this is on a case-by-case basis, so it never hurts to ask at the attraction.

    • We’ve ridden Barnstormer with one adult and 2 children before, in separate rows with the adult directly behind. That is probably what they will recommend you do. This has always been a concern for our large family… 6 kids, 8 and under. It gets most tricky on Astro-Orbiter, Toy Story Mania, and the Speedway.

      If you do have to use rider swap, just remember that it takes a lot of time. Less than waiting in line twice, but much more than just riding once.

  • I’m 6′ 6″ and 400 lbs, and I fit on almost everything I want to ride (everything but the Speedway in Tomorrowland!) at WDW. I have not had the opportunity to try the Seven Dwarfs Mine Train, but I have heard reports that it is highly doubtful I will be able to ride it.

    Can anyone comment on that ride vehicle/lap par in particular?

    • by David Ackerman on September 24, 2014, at 1:10 pm EDT

      The seats on Seven Dwarfs are uncomfortable if you are much above “average” across the bottom. Ditto lap bar. Worst par is that the lap bar is individual and *very* narrow. My knees hurt and I’m not that big. Of course, as in all things, your mileage may vary.

      • Great information! Can you tell me more about the lap bar? Why did your knees hurt? I have two knee replacements and am planning on asking to ride along, so I can stretch out my legs a bit on the unoccupied side. Will this work?

      • Thanks for the info, David! That individual lap bar is what has me concerned (that and leg room in general). I cannot ride Space Mountain at Disneyland because of their side-by-side seating with very narrow individual lap bars. To fit in the vehicle, I have to sit almost cross-legged, which allows me to fit just fine, just makes it impossible to put both knees under a single lap bar.

        The lap bar design, unless there is some regulation governing it to accommodate a very short height requirement, seems unnecessary. An L-shape should be just as effective as the inverted U shape at making sure people stay in their seats, and wouldn’t intrude so powerfully on rider leg room.

  • I have a question about Astroorbiters. My mom is planning to take kids (6 and 2) while my stepdad and I ride Space Mountain. Can she ride up the elevator with the 2 kids, get them loaded in to a rocket together, and then watch as they ride? Is this a terrible idea?

    • I wouldn’t do this. Astro Orbiters looks similar to Dumbo, but it is a much faster ride, with a fairly scary “feel” to it. There is a fair amount of guest shifting due to the rocket’s centrifugal force. Cast members may not seat a six year old and a two year old without an adult. An adult might be able to be seated with two small children.

    • They won’t seat them without an adult in the car with them. They insist that they must be at least 7 yrs old to ride in a car without an adult. We have ridden with 2 adults and 5 kids, the year my oldest turned 7. He’s tall for his age and they asked him how old he was before they allowed him to sit by himself.

    • Thanks to both of you! This article was so helpful because it raised this issue and made me rethink our plan. Really appreciate the info.

  • Thanks for this article – we’re about to take our first trip in two months with 4 small kids in tow. I was wondering how we were going to manage on many of these rides, and it’s helpful to have all the details about seating configurations. Thank you!

  • This is great! We leave in 11 days and we are a party of 5 (bringing MIL) for the 1st time. I had resigned myself to riding a lot of things alone but it looks like we can do a 3/2 split on almost everything but Splash and 7 Dwarves! I can’t wait to read the rest of the parks!

  • Very nice descriptions and pictures.
    If you would like more information and pictures on wheelchair accessibility, please email me.

  • BearRilliant Article! Tks!

  • I was actually allowed to ride with two other friends in the same seat on splash mountain, we’re all pretty think

  • Thank you so much! This is exactly the information I have been seeking. The pictures and descriptions are perfect!

  • This is a great article. We aren’t large, but we are a large family… 6 kids 8 and under, so we have a hard time getting everyone seated appropriately on many of the rides. I would just add that most cast members are very accommodating as far as allowing more than the typical number of people in a row. We have crammed more than the typical on Peter Pan, Winnie-the-Pooh, Small World and others like those. Often having 1 adult and 3 little kids (under 5). Once, my husband took 4 little ones on Peter Pan by himself. He earned Super Hero of the day status for that one.

  • Fantastic article Erin. My family doesn’t have any issues due to size or mobility but my children (14 & 10)often squabble about who is going to sit with Mum and who will sit with Dad if we have to split for rides. Some of this is sibling rivalry but my oldest finds a change in plans (even if it’s just what he’s assumed will happen) stressful and is a little nervous in the dark (PoC queue area causes a lot of anxiety). This will definitely help me prep the boys and come to agreements whilst we plan for our spring 2015 trip.

  • Great information..thanks !!
    Can the TTA Peoplemover walkway be stopped for transfer from an ECV to car ?

    • They generally do not stop the Peoplemover for guest loading. If things are slow and you ask nicely, they might, but you shouldn’t plan on this.

  • I was just wondering if you could fit 3 adults on Splash mountain. we are a party of nine and I was hoping that we all would be able to fit in the same log. I know it will be a tight fit but if we could make it work that would be great.

    • It really depends on the physical size of the adults. My three teen daughters are petite, they’d likely fit in a log together without much trouble. But even three moderate size guys would be tough to impossible to seat together. It’s up to the cast members on site to make the final call.