Not only is visiting Disneyland with toddlers doable, but it’s also enjoyable! One of my favorite visits to Disneyland occurred when my son was just a few months shy of turning 1 years old. I know he doesn’t remember it, but I do, like it was yesterday. At 5 years old, my son is now at an age where he doesn’t want me to hold him as often. He tells me he’s a big boy now. And while we still enjoy visiting Disneyland, I miss those times when he let me hold him on the carousel, or during rides like Pirates of the Caribbean. Because we visited Disneyland quite a few times when my son was a toddler, I’ve compiled 23 best rides for toddlers at Disneyland!
23 Best Rides for Toddlers at Disneyland
You’d be surprised at how many rides there are at Disneyland that toddlers can ride beyond the carousels. There are two parks in the Disneyland Resort: Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure Park. Between the two parks, there are several rides for toddlers at Disneyland! The key is to look at the ride descriptions. If the ride says it’s appropriate for “all heights” then your toddler should be able to get on the ride.
Between Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure (DCA), Disneyland Park has more options for toddlers when it comes to the rides.
You’ll definitely want to start off your vacation at Disneyland Park and Fantasyland. Fantasyland has the best rides for toddlers at Disneyland, like It’s a Small World, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Alice in Wonderland, the Mad Hatter Party Teacups, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, and Casey Jr. Circus Train. Some of the rides can also be dark, though, like Snow White’s Scary Adventure, so keep that in mind.
New Orleans Square
Toddlers can ride Pirates of the Caribbean and the Haunted Mansion, both located in New Orleans Square. My son especially loves Pirates of the Caribbean. There is a dip at the beginning of the ride so you’ll want to be prepared for that. Haunted Mansion, though, can be hit or miss for toddlers since it can be scary. However, my son calls it the “silly house.” So this particular ride largely depends on your toddler’s personality.
One of my son’s favorite ride, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, is located in Critter Country. This is a ride that shouldn’t be missed. Not only is it a fun ride, but Winnie the Pooh and Tigger are some of the characters that are usually available nearby for photos.
Tomorrowland, in general, has more rides for adults and older children. However, there is a ride in Tomorrowland that toddlers may enjoy called Buzz Lightyear Astro Orbitors. It’s an interactive ride – and while my son still doesn’t know how to play the game, he likes the Buzz Lightyear/space theme.
One of the best rides for toddlers in Adventureland is the Jungle Cruise. We always make it a point to go on this ride – my son likes the boat ride. Another attraction in Adventureland that toddlers will enjoy is the Enchanted Tiki Room. It’s not a ride, but on a hot day, it’s a great way to escape the heat, plus toddlers will like hearing the music (parents not so much!).
Tom Sawyer Island is in Frontierland. It recently reopened after being closed to make way for the Star Wars Land expansion. It’s not a ride, but families can visit the island via raft. There, toddlers can burn off some energy and explore the island. It’s one of our favorite places to visit at Disneyland.
Like Tom Sawyer Island, the Disneyland Railroad is open again, after being closed for a short time. Toddlers and parents alike can sit down and take a rest while riding on the train. Not only that, but it has four different stops/locations throughout the park, Main Street U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Toontown and New Orleans Square. So if you and your toddler are tired of walking, you can hop on at one of the listed locations.
I’ll admit it. Toontown is not one of my favorite areas and I’d avoid this area of Disneyland if I could. However, my son loves this area, so it goes with the territory. This area of Disneyland is tucked away in the back of the park and is like a miniature theme park of its own, complete with a mini roller coaster.
Disney’s California Adventure Park (DCA)
While Disneyland Park has more rides for toddlers, DCA has several attractions and rides for toddlers at Disneyland, too.
Cars Land is my favorite area in all the theme parks, because it reminds me so much of my home state, Arizona. The details in Cars Land are amazing, and I truly feel like I’m stepping into a scene from the movie Cars. While Radiator Springs Racer is the main attraction (and one of my favorite rides), toddlers will not be able to ride it. They can, however, ride Luigi’s Rollickin Roadsters which is a fairly new ride to Cars Land. My son loves the music that plays during the ride.
A Bug’s Land
A Bug’s Land is specifically geared towards toddlers and young children. My son enjoys watching It’s a Bug’s Life, which is a short film in 3D. As for rides, toddlers will enjoy Flik’s Flyers and Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train. My son especially likes Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train, so much that he can ride it over and over again.
Toddlers can ride Monster’s Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue in Hollywood Land. It’s tucked away so it’s easy to miss, but it’s worth riding, especially if you have a toddler. And if you or your toddler are wearing Mickey ears, you may get a mention by one of the “monsters” at the end 🙂
Two of the best rides for toddlers at Disneyland are in Paradise Pier: Toy Story Midway Mania and The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure. Toy Story Midway is similar to playing a video game and even though toddlers will not not how to play the game, they will enjoy the toy story theme. And the Little Mermaid ride is very calm and relaxing for the most part.
I didn’t include certain rides in my list above, like Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, Autopia, and Astro Orbiter. I get claustrophobic in the Submarine so we skip this particular ride. My son and I have also ridden Autopia and neither of us enjoyed it. It was very jerky and our car ended up stalling. We also skip Astro Orbiter because the line is usually long and it’s not a priority for us. But your family may have a different experience. As always, keep your toddler’s personality in mind when deciding on rides.
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