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Top 10 Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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. Gloria Paranada says:

    Thank you for the information regarding toddler & baby rides. This is great information for moms all around the world. A lot of places only have attractions suited for the older kids….this is good to know so that the babies & toddlers can enjoy their day at Disneyland, & so can mom. The description of each ride is a wonderful touch. Good reporting!!!! My daughters loved the Winnie the Pooh ride also, when they were younger. Now that they are older (11 & 13) they like the big coasters. 🙂 Thanks for the info.

  2. I’m taking a niece and nephew to Disneyland for the first time this year– thanks for the info and helpful tips!

  3. Thank you for writing about Disneyland. As a long-time fan of Disneyland myself, I have wanted to take my daughter since she was born! We recently went to Peter Piper Pizza for a birthday party and she loved the rides even better than the cake and ice cream! I’ve decided that she is ready for Disneyland (I’ve always been ready!) and this article confirms that there will be many rides and attractions that my 18 month old will enjoy.

  4. You forgot the tram from the parking lot to the park. Hands down my almost three year olds favorite ride.

  5. Sandra Brook says:

    We are considering taking our daughter to Disneyland for her 4th birthday and having lunch at Ariel’s Grotto. It’s supposed to be an enchanting experience for a little girl. 🙂

  6. Bill Bartmann says:

    I’m so glad I found this site…Keep up the good work I read a lot of blogs on a daily basis and for the most part, people lack substance but, I just wanted to make a quick comment to say GREAT blog. Thanks,

    A definite great read.. 🙂

    -Bill-Bartmann

  7. My 2 year old loves the Disney railroad! You can bring a folded up stroller on board too, which is a definite plus. I highly recommend the character dining. We just went to the Minnie and Friends breakfast and it was great. It is definitely pricey, but so great for the little ones to have all the characters visit you at your table while dining. My son could hardly contain his excitement!

  8. สถานที่ท่องเที่ยว says:

    Thank you for the information regarding toddler & baby rides.

  9. I think your pictures add a lot to this blog. Excellent info too.

  10. Thank you! I was worried I should wait but your entire post was not only enlightening but really touched my heart. Your daughter will appreciate this when she’s older.

    Happy Holidays!

  11. I always visit http://www.mydisneyjourney.com for ride reviews. I find it very helpful to know about the height requirements and which rides have the fastpass option. Thanks for the info on the top 10 rides for the little ones; it is always helpful.

  12. We are planning to take our grandddaughter of 22 months to the Disneyland this April. We are delighted to have information we are looking for. Well done and keep going.

  13. luckygrandnat says:

    Thanks so much for your picks it will help alot. We are going with a 10 mo old, 5 year old and 7 year old next week.

  14. I'mnoprincess says:

    Ive always heard that Small World has a slow moving line and is often a very long wait. This proved true on my visit as adult 9 years ago and again last week when we visited. The ride had a 30 min wait at opening and quickly climbed to 60 and then 90 mins. We had to skip it this trip with the kids because of that. Our barely 3y.o. loved Dumbo and both carousels though!

  15. Lydia's Mama says:

    Thanks for writing this! You’re intro was beautiful. I have been planning to take me now 6-month-old to Disneyland for her 1st birthday since I was pregnant lol. Just like you, I have had some people tell me to wait since she won’t even remember it. I know she will enjoy herself though & I will never forget it. Thanks again 🙂

  16. Your intro brought tears to my eyes. An exceptional post!

  17. We’re taking our little 1 year old girl next week to Disney World for a day so I googled “Disney rides with baby” and your post came up. Everyone is telling me not to bother, but we’re already in Florida for a week and Disney is my favorite place on Earth 🙂 I’d always imagined coming with my own baby and while I know it’s not something she’ll remember…I will! Thanks for reaffirming my feelings. I may have teared up a little reading your intro. Now, I can’t wait!!!!

  18. Thank you so much for this post! We’ll be taking our son on his first trip in April, he’ll be 8 months old. We have 9 family members going with us, it should be a lot of fun! I have a question though, my husband promised his father that he could take our son on the Flying Dumbos ride and I think that he’s going to be too young for it, just yet. What are your thoughts? he’s big for a 8 month old and can sit on his own, etc (not that he would on the ride, I’m just mentioning it so you have an idea of where my son is developmentally. 🙂 Thanks!

    • Shannon – There is no height/age restriction for flying on Dumbo. I would go by your child’s reaction to the ride. If he tends to like other rides like carousels and the other Fantasyland rides, he will probably love riding Dumbo as well. I would not force him to go if he cries when you get on or if he has a hard time on a merry-go-round. I have friends who forced children to ride roller coasters and other rides before they were ready and those fears have only gotten worse as the children have gotten older. My son, who just turned 5 yesterday, was afraid of almost ALL rides until this last year when one day, he asked me if he could ride the carousel. He has gotten MUCH more adventuresome about rides since then and even goes on child-sized roller coasters sometimes. My daughter, however, would have LOVED Dumbo at 8 months, so it really depends on the kid. Have a wonderful time at Disneyland! I’d love to hear back from you how it goes! 🙂

  19. Great Post. We are going to Disneyland tomorrow. What rides can a two-year old ride? Any specific places to eat at? This is not only my daughters first time at Disneyland but mine as well. I need help!!!! 🙂

    • Matt – Your 2-year-old can ride any of the rides mentioned in this post plus the rest of the rides in Fantasyland and many more! Beware that the dark rides like Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride may be a bit too, well, dark for a toddler but Peter Pan’s Flight is a hit for most youngsters. The Sailing Ship Columbia or Mark Twain Riverboat, while slow-going, can be fun for the whole family. To let little legs run free, head on over to Pirate’s Lair. My family loves the dining shows at The Golden Horseshoe too—check the schedule and plan to eat during the performance. The wonderful thing about Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure is that so many of the rides are appropriate for the whole family—not just the kids or just the parents. Have a wonderful time! I’d love to hear how your Disneyland adventure went after you return!

  20. melissa flores says:

    Im taking my son for his 1st birthday in December and my friends and some family members tell me the same thing but I agree seeing the way a baby/toddler discovers Disneyland is priceless and its different from taking a 5 or 6 year old. My parents and grandparents have taking my sister and I since I was younger than a year , of course I dont remember but looking at the pictures and hearing my grandparents and parents talk about it gives me joy. I have a greater appreciation for the park its not just park its where my family would go to be together and have a family vacation, it where we would have a weekend of happiness
    Thank you for the tips on rides I was trying to think what would be enjoyable and not scary for my son. I think Snow white and Toads Adventure and Pinocchio are definitely out of the picture

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Richelle – So glad you are ignoring the naysayers and taking your little one to Disneyland. I took both of my kids for their first birthday celebrations – more meaningful & fun than a 1st b-day party if you ask me!

  21. Is a 2 or 3 month old baby too young/little to ride any of these rides? I really wanna take my son, since we got tickets

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Hi Gabby – Your young baby could ride any of these rides besides Tuck and Roll’s Drive’Em Buggies bumper cars and maybe the carousels. Take your son; you will have a blast, I promise!

  22. Thanks so much for this! Taking our 5-year-old and 8-month-old tomorrow, with grandparents in tow to watch the baby as needed. However, your post is a great resource for things we can all do together! Love it! 🙂

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Nanette – So glad you found my tips helpful! Your 5-year-old will also probably love the new Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree ride in Cars Land too. Hope you have a wonderful time!

  23. Jessica says:

    We just took my 2 year old nephew to Disneyland this weekend and he not only loved all of the rides you mentioned, but one of his favorites was The Little Mermaid ride at California Adventure. In fact he did not want to get off. Luckily for us the line was short so we just looped around and got in line again. He really had a blast and was amazed that one of his favorite characters, Mickey Mouse, was everywhere. He kept pointing and saying “Mickey Mouse, Mickey Mouse”. He was in awe the entire time.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Jessica – What a wonderful experience to share with your nephew! My heart melts remembering those cute times with my kids at Disneyland when they were toddlers. There’s really something amazing about watching someone else who truly believes in Disney magic as they experience the park.

  24. Thank you Colleen! It’s a fantastic article 🙂 We would like to know if we could with your permission promote your article on our Social Media channel, I think that some of our guests would like to read it!

    Thank you for your time.

  25. Wow. these rides are really cool. I like Jungle Cruise in Adventureland, it’s completely breathtaking as it includes a nature touch

  26. I love all of these. My favorite times at Disney were always the ones when the kids were little. I had so much fun with them on the kiddie rides!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Me too! It’s fun to explore Disneyland now as my kids get older because we can go on more thrilling rides. But I do miss the days when they believed all of the Disney magic was real!

  27. robin rue says:

    We’ve gone every year (well to Disney World) since my boys were babies. Small World was always a big favorite with them.

  28. We’re passing off a trip to Disney this year. We’ll have to wait for next year so we can take my twin granddaughters with me. I want to take them there when they are old enough to appreciate the sights and rides at Disney!

  29. I had no idea that there was so much for babies and toddlers to do at Disney! I always thought they would be bored there but you proved me wrong.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Babies and toddlers certainly aren’t bored at Disneyland ~ the biggest challenge is squeezing naps!

  30. Some of these look really fun. Disneyland is on our family bucket list for sure.

  31. This is great information for anyone looking to travel to Disney Land with Babies or Toddlers. I love that you took the time to write this resource for parents of younger children.

  32. I honestly had no idea there were so many attractions for little ones. My son would love the Winnie the Pooh and the Railroad! We will definitely have to consider this for our next family vacation.

  33. I took my kids when they were toddlers to Disney many years ago, and it was a big challenge. Looks like things have changed for the better

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Veronica – Naps and potty breaks can be a challenge for little ones at Disneyland (and anywhere, really!) but it’s so worth it to see their eyes light up when they see Mickey Mouse or take off on a ride in Fantasyland!

  34. Ooh, toddlers can definitely have a good time at Disneyland. I think the Winnie the Pooh ride would be first on my list!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Winnie the Pooh is a great one. Go during the afternoon when the lines are longer for other rides and hit up something busier in the mornings, like Dumbo!

  35. Disney is our happy place. It’s perfect for families with kids of all ages. My kids all loved the parks as babies and toddlers.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Disneyland is my happy place too! In fact, when I was in labor for 48 hours with my first child, I pictured taking my baby to Disneyland during every contraction. For her first birthday, we skipped throwing her a party and took her to Disneyland instead!

  36. You say for babies and toddlers but some of those are my favorite. When we took our grandkids to Disney we did all those rides and loved every one.

  37. This is a very well-designed article. I really like the way you block out the summary list at the beginning of the post!

  38. I always thought little kids could not appreciate Disney and it was a waste, but you have shown how much to do for them. I will keep it in mind for my young nieces nd nephews.

  39. I love these rides and attractions too! I can’t wait to go back and enjoy these!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Now that my kids are getting older (ages 9 and 12), I am missing some of these kiddie rides!

  40. Wow! So much, where would one even begin? I have never been to Disneyland, any of them. Neither have any of my kids I think it would be such a blast!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Jeanine – I hope you are able to visit Disneyland with your kids sometime in the future!

  41. My kids are older. I’d love to take them to Disneyland though!

  42. I have a friend who took her 1-year old and he loves it every year. They had no issues at all.

  43. Disneyland was made for kids. Of course they’re going to cater to kids who are super young as well! That’s the magic of Disney!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      It’s funny, though, how many people think it’s silly to bring babies and toddlers to Disneyland. It really is a magical place, no matter your age!

  44. I wish I would have taken my children when they were younger. The memories I’ve heard from other families are always so amazing.

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Kita – Disneyland is fun at any age. You can make new memories with your kids now!

  45. AMazing photos. Now I see all the options if I were to ever bring my 2 year old niece to Disneyland

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Two is such a fun age! I hope you can bring your niece to Disneyland sometime soon!

  46. Ann Bacciaglia says:

    Thanks for the terrific breakdown. We are planning a trip to Disneyland this Fall. We have people from all age groups going with us.

  47. Thank you for the discount codes you shared in this post. We may have a trip to Disney again sometime soon but nothing’s definite yet. I took my children to Disney when they were still toddlers and they enjoyed it! I guess it is all up to the parents to decide for the best time to take their kids to Disney.

  48. Mary Edwards says:

    This is a great list. I haven’t been to disney land, only disney world – this is a great post for our Cali trip!

    • Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

      Enjoy California, Mary! So many wonderful things to explore in my former home state!

  49. Perfect! Disneyland is for all ages. And yes even a 1 year old love a ride on the carrousel or a tour in It’s a Small World 🙂 as long as it makes music and moves our little ones are happy. We have kind of the same attractions in Disneyland Paris. Thanks for sharing this list!
    Hannah

  50. We want to take our 2 year old grandson to
    Disneyland next week. Do we want Disneyland proper or California Adventure? How do others accommodate nap time so we can make the most of the day? No way will he sleep in a stroller! Thanks!

  51. Colleen Lanin, The Travel Mama says:

    Hi Ellen –

    Are you going to Disneyland just for a day trip? If you are going for two days or more, I suggest visiting both parks. It is difficult to squeeze both parks into one day, with so much to see and ground to cover. Instead of buying park hoppers, you can save money buy purchasing 1-day passes to each park (if you’re going for two days). If you are going for more than one day, you can head back to your hotel for naps. If it is just a one-day visit, it might be worth it to just skip the nap for the day since you said he will not sleep in a stroller. Yes, the next day will be tough but if he won’t nap in a stroller and you have no hotel room, you (or his parents!) may have to just deal with the aftermath of a fun-filled, nap-free day! Otherwise, if he will sleep in a car seat in the car, you could plan your drive time home to coincide with his nap time and just do half a day at the park.

    If you are only able to visit one park, you will be able to squeeze in more activities (especially if only visiting for half a day) at Disney’s California Adventure. The lines for all of the rides for young children in a Bug’s Land and elsewhere at this park typically have minimal lines. For a more classic Disney experience, though, you can’t beat the original Disneyland. If you arrive early, head straight to Fantasyland and hit up the most popular rides first (Dumbo, Peter Pan, Alice in Wonderland), saving less crowded attractions for later (like It’s a Small World, the Enchanted Tiki Room, Winnie the Pooh and the carousel).

    Hope that helps! Have a wonderful time!

Trackbacks

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