Home Instagram Pinterest Facebook Twitter Google+ RSS Contact
Home

Top 10 Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers

Travel Mamas sometimes receives compensation and/or hosted travel and sample products related to blog posts. This story may include affiliate links for which we receive a small commission at no extra cost to consumers.

Many parents worry there are not enough Disneyland rides and attractions for babies and toddlers, but amusements for all ages abound at this theme park. The best part is the entire family can enjoy most activities together. As a Disneyland enthusiast and former multi-year Annual Passholder, I have visited the Happiest Place on Earth a multitude of times with my two children. Here are my picks for the top 10 Disneyland rides and attractions for babies and toddlers.

Find Disneyland Resort deals including ticket discounts and discounted hotel packages!

Top 10 Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers ~ TravelMamas.com

Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers

Dumbo the Flying Elephant ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers

Dumbo the Flying Elephant is a favorite with babies, toddlers and preschoolers (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

1. Dumbo the Flying Elephant in Fantasyland

After failing to get my daughter (then age 3) to ride Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride and instead taking my infant son, who clawed at my face with fear throughout, I have given up waiting out the ridiculously long lines for the dark rides in Fantasyland. Instead, we head to everyone's favorite flying elephant.

it's a small world ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers

Sail around the world with your little one on It's a Small World at Disneyland (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

2. It's a Small World in Fantasyland

It is worth getting the cutesy Small World song stuck in your head all day for the smiles this ride will induce for your child. Plus, you get a big return (an 8-minute ride) for your small investment (typically a brief wait in line).

A Bug's Land ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers

A Bug's Land at Disney California Adventure Park is home to four sweet rides for little kids (Photo credit: Glen Miller/Disneyland)

3. A Bug's Land at Disney's California Adventure

This area includes four Disneyland rides and attractions for babies and toddlers plus other young children. While Tuck and Roll's Drive ‘Em Buggies bumper cars and Francis' Ladybug Boogie (shown above) are fun for preschoolers, the other two rides are wonderful choices for babies and toddlers. There is Flik's Flyers, which is a slightly less magical version of Dumbo's ride, and Heimlich's Chew Chew Train, for which you board a talking caterpillar who chews his way though a garden of sweet-smelling treats like watermelon and animal crackers. Wait until kids are older to brave the 3-D film It's Tough to Be a Bug! I took my daughter when she was a little over 2 years old. Too scary!

Minnie's House ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers

Minnie's House is full of fun stuff for wee ones to explore (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

4. Minnie's House in Mickey's Toontown

When you tire of waiting in lines, this walk-though attraction keeps toddling kids busy with dials and buttons galore.

Jungle Cruise ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers

Jungle Cruise is a classic Disneyland ride that's fun for the whole family (Photo credit: Disneyland)

5. Jungle Cruise in Adventureland

Here's an old-school ride for the whole family. Adults will chuckle (or groan) at the humorous commentary of the adventure guides. As for the kids, I remember believing I had actually been to Africa and back when I embarked on this ride during my first trip to Walt Disney World at age 4.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a hit with young children (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

6. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh in Critter Country

This brightly colored ride is one of my kids' all-time favorites! It's tucked away in Critter Country and you can often walk right on without waiting in line for long. Bonus: you can often meet Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and other friends from the Hundred Acre Wood at a character meet-and-greet spot near the ride's exit.

Mickey's Fun Wheel ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers

Get a great view of Disney California Adventure from Mickey's Fun Wheel (Photo credit:Paul Hiffmeyer/Disneyland)

7. Mickey's Fun Wheel at Disney's California Adventure's Paradise Pier

Formerly the Sun Wheel, this huge Ferris wheel provides a great aerial view of the park. Skip the long lines for the swinging, scarier gondolas and opt for the milder, merely-swaying ones.

Disneyland Railroad ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers

Walt Disney was a big fan of trains, and so are babies and toddlers! (Photo credit:Scott Brinegar/Disneyland)

8. Disneyland Railroad

I have yet to meet a child who is not enthralled by choo-choo trains! You can climb aboard or disembark the Disneyland Railroad at Main Street U.S.A., Tomorrowland, Mickey's Toontown, or New Orleans Square. The best part is the “surprise” trip through the Grand Canyon and Primeval World (a scene of Animatronic dinosaurs) between Tomorrowland and Main Street.

Enchanted Tiki Room ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers

Take a rest with your baby or toddler in the Enchanted Tiki Room (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

9. The Enchanted Tiki Room in Adventureland

Birds and flowers serenade the audience in this pleasant indoor show, giving you time out of the sun (or rain, as the case may be). Rest your tootsies here while the baby nurses or sips a bottle. Beware of a brief, somewhat scary tropical “thunderstorm” at the end of the show.

King Arthur's Carrousel ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers

King Arthur's Carrousel is a beloved ride for youngsters in Fantasy Land (Photo credit: Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland Resort)

10. King Triton's Carousel at Disney's California Adventure's Paradise Pier or King Arthur's Carrousel in Fantasyland

Whether you choose Triton's underwater-themed carousel with seahorses, whales, and other ride-able sea creatures or you climb aboard Arthur's classic hand-carved horses, most tots love a carousel. It may seem like a boring choice to grown-ups, but not so for kiddos!

Disneyland with babies and toddlers is magical

Soaring through joy with my baby on Dumbo the Flying Elephant (Photo credit: Travel Mamas)

Why Visit Disneyland with Babies and Toddlers

Before I brought my daughter to Disneyland to celebrate her first birthday, some well-meaning friends warned, “It’s better to wait until she's 5 or 6 to go. What's the point in taking her now? She won’t even remember it.” But when I held my birthday girl in my arms as we soared through the air on Dumbo's back and she clapped her hands, grinning and baring her two teeth, I knew that moment mattered. Even if she doesn't remember it, for that slice of time she and I were soaring through joy.

Save Money on Your Disneyland Vacation

Want to save money on your Disneyland vacation? Of course you do! Use discount code TravelMamas to get $10 off any two-night or longer Southern California package (hotel and two ticket minimum) when you book through Get Away Today. Just want tickets? Buy discounted Disneyland Park tickets now!

Disneyland rides and attractions for babies and toddlers are super fun for the whole family. But the fun doesn't have to stop there. Consider booking a character meal to add even more magic to your visit. Read our Disneyland character meal reviews to choose the best one for your family. Click here to save up to $11 per adult meal and up to $5 per child meal.

What are your favorite Disneyland rides and attractions for babies and toddlers? Let us know in the comments below!
A Note from Travel Mamas: This story originally posted in 2009 and was updated in 2017.
About Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama

Colleen Lanin is the founder/editor-in-chief of TravelMamas.com. As the author of her book, "The Travel Mamas' Guide," she teaches parents not only how to survive a trip with children, but also how to love exploring the world with their offspring. Her stories have appeared online and in print for such outlets as the "Today" show, NBCNews.com, Parenting Magazine, Orlando Sentinel, Chicago Tribune, Expedia, San Diego Family Magazine, and more. Colleen gives tips on television, radio, and as a public speaker. She has a master’s degree in business administration with a background in marketing. She lives in Arizona with her husband and two kids.

Comments

  1. Kimiora elliott says:

    Hi,

    We are travelling from NEW ZEALAND July next year (2018) to disneyland with our will be 2 and a half year old….I do realise its a busy period n super hot so what are some handy tips to make this a memorable time….

    Thank you,

    Kimiora

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Hi Kimiora – How exciting! I suggest booking a character meal one day. This is a great breakfast activity to do at one of the Disney hotels on the day you’re checking out so you can get one last dose of Disney without having to pay for a whole day at the parks. Be sure to plan around naps for your little one. Our kids always slept better in their strollers but some do better back in the hotel. If you’ll need to do naps back at the hotel, you may want to get a room with a patio or balcony so you can relax while your toddler sleeps. Bring along a misting fan – they’re available at the parks but very expensive. You’ll want to dress in layers because even on hot California days, it’s often chilly at night and you’ll want light sweaters. Make sure to book your dinner reservations in advance unless you want to eat fast food for every meal or you want to wait a loooooong time for a table in the parks or at Downtown Disney! Enjoy Disneyland!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m trying to convince my husband to go this summer or next summer, and i told him that this is a place you go to like every other year. Due to how great it is. I have an 3year old and a 1 year old, and by june they will be 4 and 2. so i think it would be great!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Sabrina – Ages 2 and 4 are SO MUCH FUN at Disneyland! They really believe in the magic but are old enough to really getting into the rides, attractions and characters. Have a great time!

  3. Hello, great article! I’m looking to take my 2 year old this month and I’m wondering what day of the week is usually the least busiest. Also, do we need “fast passes” to skip lines for toddler rides? Not sure what’s the best for these low patience kiddies. Thanks

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Weekends and days near weekends tend to be busiest, so your best bet for avoiding crowds would be Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. Fast passes are typically not available for toddler rides. There typically are short lines for most of the rides on this list, with the exception being Dumbo The Flying Elephant and maybe Mickey’s Fun Wheel. On very crowded summer days, though, you can expect lines for most rides. My suggestion is to get to the parks early and do NOT get park hoppers. Instead, get one-day park passes so you can focus on the fun of that specific park without walking long distances in between the two. The Disney Parks app will help you monitor ride wait time. I also really love the Magic Guide app. On your Disneyland day, go to Fantasyland first thing in the morning and queue up for Dumbo and then hit any of the other rides in that land before the lines get too long. I suggest Peter Pan’s Flight and Alice in Wonderland because they are brighter and less scary for little ones. Other rides in Fantasyland may be too dark/scary for toddlers (especially Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride!). Have fun at Disneyland with your toddler!

  4. We will be in CA in November with a 2 year old and 6 month old. We will only have 1 day but I really want to take them (mostly the 2 year old) to Disneyland. Can we do both parks in 1 day, considering we’d only be doing toddler stuff? Can we still fit in a character meal and see fireworks? Would I only choose 1 park, and if so, what would you suggest? Thank you!!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Hi Karli – Honestly, I think it’s exhausting to try to do two parks in one day…especially with a baby and toddler! If it all possible, I would suggest doing two days – one day at Disneyland and one day at California Adventure. If you can really only do one day, Disneyland will provide more of the classic Disney experience but it tends to be more crowded and you’ll spend more of your time waiting in line. There are a lot more attractions geared toward the baby/toddler set at Disneyland, though. I would skip fireworks with kids that young. Disneyland is overwhelming enough for little ones without keeping them up way past their bedtimes for a fireworks show that they may not even notice or appreciate. If you will be spending one night in Anaheim, I’d book the character meal for a day you will not be at the parks – so either dinner the night prior at Goofy’s Kitchen or breakfast at Storyteller’s Cafe (at the Grand Californian) or Breakfast with Mickey and Friends at Paradise Pier Resort the morning after your day in the park. If you will not be spending the night, then I’d book Ariel’s Grotto for lunch – babies and toddlers are less intimidated by the pretty princesses than by the big costumed characters. Keep in mind that a large portion of your day may be dedicated to trying to squeeze in naps. I remember well the days of spending half our time at Disneyland pushing young ones around in strollers, praying that they would nap to avoid meltdowns! I hope that helps. Enjoy Disney with your kids!

      • Thank you so much for the insight. We will truly only have 1 day (we have a wedding in Newport Beach that weekend so Monday is our day off before leaving Tuesday) so I’m thinking a couple rides at Disneyland and a fun meal will suffice and we can still get a good bed time in.

  5. Nicole Tomkies says:

    Hello,

    I will be taking my 19 month old to Disneyland on May 2nd. Any tips on how to navigate the day? Where do we start? What are the places inside or outside the park to eat? How long should we stay to ensure my toddler has a good time?
    Thank you

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Hi Nicole – My suggestion is to start your day early if possible – right when the park opens. If you are staying at a Disney hotel, take advantage of the Magic Hour when you can enter the parks before other guests. If you are not staying at a Disney hotel, do the opposite and go the theme park (Disneyland or Disney California Adventure) that is NOT having the Magic Hour that day (which tends to be less crowded) – and then plan to do the other park the next day. (You can check this on the Disneyland website.)

      At Disneyland, start at Fantasyland and hit up Dumbo first and then do any of the dark rides if you think your little one won’t be scared of the dark. The most popular/least scary option is Peter Pan’s Flight and if your toddler does well with that, you can do the Alice in Wonderland ride. The carousel is fun and typically doesn’t have much of a line. Storybook Land Canal Boats and the Casey Jr. Circus Train are Fantasyland rides that are outdoors and therefore not “scary” or dark for little ones. Then you could do It’s a Small World before heading over to Toon Town to explore Minnie’s House. There is no height limit on Pirates of the Caribbean, so you may be able to do that one, especially if your child could handle the dark rides in Fantasyland. On your way, walk through Sleeping Beauty’s Castle to read the story and look at little vignettes. The Mark Twain River Boat ride isn’t very thrilling, but all ages can ride it together and it does give everyone a chance to sit (and cool down in summer). Pirate’s Lair gives kids a chance to run around and get their wiggles out. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh almost never has a line so you can do that whenever. Nearby is Jungle Cruise in Adventureland and the Enchanted Tiki Room. Use the Disneyland app to check for wait times as you go. Finish up your day with a ride on the Disneyland Railroad. You may want to check your daily theme park map to see when parades and shows take place, too.

      Disney California Adventure tends to be less crowded than Disneyland. You could start at A Bug’s Land to hit up all of their kiddie rides or do Mickey’s Fun Wheel and King Triton’s Carousel first. On warm days, pack a swimsuit and a change of clothes to let your child cool off at Princess Dot Puddle Park in A Bug’s Land. If your child is familiar with Finding Nemo, head over to Turtle Talk with Crush in Hollywood Land. If your child isn’t afraid of dark rides, you could hit up the Monsters Inc also in Hollywood Land. The Redwood Creek Challenge Trail is where to go to let kids run around at Disney CA Adventure. If you have extra time, you may want to head back to your hotel for a nap or afternoon swim.

      My biggest suggestion is to plan to do EITHER an early morning OR a late night. Little kids can only handle so much stimulation, sensory overload and sleep deprivation (not to mention mom and dad!). Try to squeeze in those naps, too. My kids were better at sleeping in their strollers than back in the hotel room crib but you know what works best for your family.

      I hope that helps. Enjoy Disneyland with your toddler!

  6. Michelle says:

    Hi
    We are going to Disneyland in November (2018) and have 2 Grand babies we are taking, aged 2 years & 7 months. Can you please advise us on where and what to do there and which rides they are allowed on?
    I did look at the VIP TOUR but am wondering if its worth it? There are 7 Adults going and the 2 babies?

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Hi Michelle – What fun! Disneyland is a great place for a multigenerational trip. With such little kids, I would probably skip the VIP Tour and let the interested adults go without you and the kids. In addition to the attractions I recommend in this blog post, I suggest taking a peek at my itinerary suggestions that I gave to the commenter above you. Also, Disneyland does provide height restrictions for all of their rides on their website. Hope that helps!

  7. Natalie Cleary says:

    I am looking at booking a trip for my son (will be 4yro) at the time and I to Disneyland & new York next year.
    I was looking at going around October or November 2019 but don’t want him to get overly cold- is this season good to go or is it overly busy?
    First flight overseas – from Australia
    Thank you

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      If you will be doing New York, you may way want to consider Disney World in Florida instead of Disneyland in California. The flight between New York and California is about 6 hours whereas the flight to Florida from NYC is about 3 hours. Early November will not be too crowded in any of these places. Crowds are very heavy around America’s Thanksgiving holiday (the 4th Thursday in November) in NYC and either of the Disney locations. Halloweentime throughout the month of October can be busy for Disney parks, but not nearly as bad as Thanksgiving. I’d say early October is probably your best bet for milder weather and fewer crowds. Have a wonderful time with your son!

  8. Nicole Z says:

    Hi! I’ll be taking my then 2 year old for her birthday in November. Aside from maybe doing a character meal, are there other must-dos you suggest to create the special birthday memory or gift ideas I can give my family related to our trip? We’ll be going for 3 days.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Nicole – What a wonderful way to celebrate your daughter’s 2nd birthday! You can stop by the City Hall off Main Street to get a free “It’s my birthday” button. Staff members will then wish your little one a happy birthday all day. You might also want to get a balloon to tie to her stroller. Not only will the balloon be festive, but also it will help you find your stroller among the many, many other parked strollers. If you are staying at one of the three Disney hotels, you can order specialty items like a birthday cake to be delivered to your room. Of course at any of the restaurants, staff will be happy to sing to your little one to help celebrate her day. (I can’t remember if they offer a free dessert to celebrants.) Have a wonderful time at Disneyland with your little girl!

Speak Your Mind

*

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.