21 Best Disneyland Rides for Toddlers and Babies

Many parents worry there are not enough Disneyland rides and attractions for babies and toddlers, but amusements for all ages abound at this California theme park. The best part? The entire family can enjoy most of these activities together. As a Disney enthusiast and former multi-year Annual Passholder, I have visited the Happiest Place on Earth a multitude of times with my two children. All the rides on this list are age-appropriate, have zero height restrictions (with one noted exception), and, most importantly, are lots of fun. Let’s board the 21 best Disneyland rides for toddlers and young children!

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)

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1. Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Fantasyland in Disneyland

Everyone loves Dumbo the Flying Elephant — especially babies, toddlers, and preschoolers! Riders soar through the air on the backs of magical pachyderms on this circular ride. There’s something very sweet and uplifting about experiencing Dumbo with little ones, so I suggest kicking off your day here.

it's a small world ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers
It’s a Small World at Disneyland (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

2. It’s a Small World

Fantasyland in Disneyland

It’s worth getting the cutesy Small World song stuck in your head all day for the smiles this slow 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). As a travel lover, It’s a Small World’s make-believe journey around the globe holds a special place in my heart.

Peter Pan's Flight at Disneyland
Peter Pan’s Flight (Photo credit: Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland Resort)

3. Peter Pan’s Flight

Fantasyland in Disneyland

One of the original attractions at Disneyland, Peter Pan’s Flight remains one of the park’s most popular rides. Riders feel like they’re flying over the rooftops of London aboard a pirate ship with The Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up along with his fairy sidekick, Tinkerbell.

Many of the dark rides in Fantasyland can be scary to toddlers and babies, so I suggest trying out the less intimidating and more whimsical Peter Pan’s Flight before attempting others. Queue up early in the day for this attraction to minimize long wait times.

Minnie's House ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers
My toddler exploring Minnie’s House (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

4. Minnie’s House and Meet Mickey House

Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland

When your family tires of waiting in lines, these walk-through attractions in Mickey’s Toontown provide an interactive experience for little kids. The side-by-side houses belong to none other than Minnie Mouse and her beau, Mickey Mouse.

Meet Mickey House
Meet Mickey House (Photo credit: Disneyland Resort)

These attractions especially appeal to toddlers and preschoolers with their bright colors and plentiful buttons and dials to explore. When the famous residents are home, you might even get to snap a pic with these Disney characters, too.

Jungle Cruise ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers
Jungle Cruise in Adventureland (Photo credit: Disneyland)

5. Jungle Cruise

Adventureland in Disneyland

Adults will chuckle (or groan) at the humorous commentary of the adventure guides aboard a Jungle Cruise. As for young kids, I remember believing I had actually been to the Amazon and back when I set sail on this slow-moving boat ride during my first trip to Walt Disney World at age 4. This classic Disneyland ride is a great choice for the whole family to enjoy together.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

6. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

Critter Country in Disneyland

This brightly colored attraction is one of my children’s all-time favorite rides! The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is tucked away in Critter Country where you can typically walk right on without waiting in line for long.

Bonus: You can often meet Winnie the Pooh, Tigger, and other favorite characters from the Hundred Acre Wood at a meet-and-greet spot near the ride’s exit.

Mickey's Fun Wheel ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers
Pixar Pal-A-Round (Photo credit:Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland)

7. Pixar Pal-A-Round

Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure

Formerly the Sun Wheel and then Mickey’s Fun Wheel, this huge Ferris wheel provides a great aerial view of the Disney California Adventure Park.

Every Pixar Pal-A-Round gondola is decorated with an image of a beloved Disney•Pixar movie character. Be on the lookout for Woody, Buzz, Dory, Nemo, Mr. Incredible, Joy, Sadness, Lightning McQueen, and others.

Those who suffer from motion sickness should skip the long lines for the swinging, scarier gondolas and opt for the fixed ones.

Disneyland Railroad ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers
Disneyland Railroad (Photo credit: Scott Brinegar, Disneyland)

8. Disneyland Railroad


I have yet to meet a young child who is not enthralled by choo-choo trains! 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 U.S.A.

Enchanted Tiki Room ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers
The Enchanted Tiki Room (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

9. The Enchanted Tiki Room

Adventureland in Disneyland

Animatronic birds and flowers serenade the audience in this pleasant indoor show, giving your family time out of the sun (or rain, as the case may be). Rest your tootsies in the Enchanted Tiki Room while the baby nurses or sips a bottle.

Beware of a brief, somewhat scary tropical “thunderstorm” with loud noises and flashing lights at the end of the show.

Alice in Wonderland ride at Disneyland
Alice in Wonderland ride (Photo credit: Disney)

10. Alice in Wonderland

Fantasyland in Disneyland

If your youngster fared well on Peter Pan’s Flight, then give the second most cheerful Fantasyland dark ride a go. Board an oversized caterpillar for a journey through White Rabbit’s House, Tulgey Wood, and the Queen’s Garden.

Portions of this great ride travel through the outdoors, giving a reprieve from the scary dark factor. Some small children may find the Queen yelling “Off with their heads!” a bit intimidating. But a merry unbirthday party, silly characters, and bright colors lighten the mood.

Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind at Disney California Adventure Park
Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

11. Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind

Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure

A Bug’s Land in Disney California Adventure Park used to be one of the best places for babies and toddlers at Disneyland, with four sweet rides that catered to young guests. This area shut down to make room for Avengers Campus. It opened in 2021, with attractions that appeal to older kids and teens at Disneyland.

Families, however, can still enjoy a reimagining of one of the old Bug’s Land rides. Similar to Flik’s Flyers, Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind is a ring-shaped flying ride. Opened in 2019, this attraction spins riders in gentle circles in baskets hanging from “Core Memory” balls from Inside Out. It’s definitely a joy-filled Disneyland ride for toddlers and babies.

King Arthur's Carrousel ~ Best Disneyland Rides and Attractions for Babies and Toddlers
King Arthur’s Carrousel (Photo credit: Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland Resort)

12. King Arthur Carrousel

Fantasyland in Disneyland

Most tots love a carousel. Youngsters can saddle up on King Arthur’s classic hand-carved horses in Fantasyland. It may seem like a boring choice to grown-ups, but not so for kiddos!

Jessie's Critter Carousel at Disney California Adventure
Jessie’s Critter Carousel (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Pixar Pier in Disney California Adventure

Meanwhile, in Disney California Adventure Park, Jessie’s Critter Carousel replaced King Triton’s Little Mermaid-themed carousel. Opened in 2019, this yodeling ride features wilderness friends from the make-believe Woody’s Roundup television show featured in Toy Story 2.

The Little Mermaid - Ariel's Undersea Adventure, Disneyland
The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure (Photo from https://disneyland.disney.go.com)

13. The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

Paradise Garden in Disney California Adventure

Little girls and boys alike will adore embarking on this “under the sea” adventure. Board a clamshell to view The Little Mermaid and a dancing chorus of her marine animal friends in this dark but darling ride.

Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer's Island with a toddler
Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island (Photo from https://disneyland.disney.go.com)

14. Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island

Frontierland in Disneyland

Young children need space to let loose and PLAY. Forget standing around in lines for a while and let those little legs run free at Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island!

Traveling aboard a log raft to and from the isle adds to the adventure. Once there, search for lost pirate treasure while exploring mysterious caves, paths, and suspension bridges. This was my brother’s and my favorite Disneyland attraction when we were young kids!

Horse-Drawn Street Car on Main Street USA at Disneyland
Horse-Drawn Street Car on Main Street USA (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

15. Main Street Vehicles

Main Street, U.S.A. in Disneyland

Why walk when you could take an entertaining journey down Main Street, U.S.A. aboard one of the charming Main Street Vehicles? Choices include a Jitney old-fashioned automobile without a roof, an old school Fire Engine, and an open-air two-story Omnibus. Animal-loving children will want to climb aboard the Horse-Drawn Street Car.

Storybook Land Canal Boat at Disneyland
Storybook Land Canal Boat (Photo from https://disneyland.disney.go.com)

16. Storybook Land Canal Boats

Fantasyland in Disneyland

If the weather is pleasant, Storybook Land Canal Boats are delightful. Cruise through the mouth of El Monstro the whale in a mellow boat on this outdoor ride. View miniaturized versions of Disney fairytales like Frozen, Aladdin, and Cinderella while a cast member tells the accompanying stories.

Snow White's Enchanted Wish ride at Disneyland
Snow White’s Enchanted Wish (Christian Thompson, Disneyland Resort)

17. Snow White’s Enchanted Wish

Fantasyland in Disneyland

Formerly named Snow White’s Scary Adventures, this ride used to be renowned as one of the most terrifying attractions at Disneyland. I mean, “scary” was right in the name!

In 2020, however, the ride was revamped and given its new name, Snow White’s Enchanted Wish. It’s less intimidating to younger guests now. Still, I advise checking out more lighthearted dark rides to find out if it’s a good idea to board with your toddler or preschooler.

There is still a scene where the Evil Queen looks in a magic mirror, then turns around to reveal a frightening old witch instead. Thankfully, Disney eliminated the ride’s jump scares and added LED lighting to make the ride less ominous.

Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster in Disneyland for preschoolers
Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster (Photo credit: Richard Harbaugh, Disneyland Resort)

18. Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster

Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland

Adventurous older toddlers and preschoolers will want to give Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster a try. Formerly known as Gadget’s Go Coaster, this mild roller coaster was refurbished and reopened in 2023 with “nutty” touches.

This a great way to let young children experience their very first time on a roller coaster! With a 35″ height requirement and duo seating, this attraction was designed for one adult and one child to ride together.

Pirates of the Caribbean may scare young riders ~ Scariest Rides at Disneyland
Pirates of the Caribbean may scare young riders (Photo credit: Disneyland Resort)

19. Pirates of the Caribbean

New Orleans Square in Disneyland

Babies and toddlers tend to be too young to feel scared aboard Pirates of the Caribbean. So go ahead and embark on a swashbuckling voyage with Captain Jack Sparrow and other marauding pirates. It’s a long (nearly 16-minute) gentle boat ride that gives everyone a chance to rest their feet and get out of the elements.

Preschoolers, however, are another thing. With more awareness, comes fear. This boat ride takes place in the dark and there are pirates howling, “Dead men tell no tales.” Overhead faux gunfights can be scary, too. Plus, some kids might be frightened by a couple of mellow drops at the beginning of the ride.

Mark Twain Riverboat
Mark Twain Riverboat (Paul Hiffmeyer, Disneyland)

20. Mark Twain Riverboat

Frontierland in Disneyland

Board an authentic recreation of a real Mississippi River paddleboat in the heart of Disneyland. Since the ride boards up to 400 passengers all at once, the wait tends to be manageable, too.

Take in the scenery of the Rivers of America and set a spell on the 14-minute roundtrip journey. Since children aren’t buckled in, they can get a bit of their wiggles out as you cruise.

Sailing Ship Columbia at Disneyland
Sailing Ship Columbia (Photo credit: Disneyland Resort)

21. Sailing Ship Columbia

Frontierland in Disneyland

Kids may be more excited to set sail on the same waters aboard Sailing Ship Columbia. Swiveling mounted guns and a below-deck maritime museum add to the allure.

The 110-foot-long, full-rigged vessel is a replica of the Columbia Rediviva, an 18th-century sailing ship. This ship sails less often than its riverboat sister and can accommodate up to 300 parkgoers at a time.

Sleeping Beauty's Castle at Disneyland
Sleeping Beauty’s Castle at Disneyland (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Rides to Skip in Fantasyland with Young Children

Lots of families seem to barely leave Fantasyland. That’s a shame because there’s plenty to explore beyond that one (albeit magical) land.

Your time at Disneyland with babies, toddlers, and preschoolers is limited. In my opinion, there are a few attractions you can skip in Fantasyland to make room for other amusements.

The Mad Tea Party isn't necessarily everyone's cup of tea
The Mad Tea Party (Photo credit: Disneyland Resort)

Mad Tea Party

Although there are no height restrictions for Mad Tea Party, you might give this one a pass unless you go gaga for getting dizzy. Children’s sense of equilibrium tends to readjust faster than that of adults, so your little ones might want to give this classic ride a whirl while parents prefer to give it a pass.

Skip Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disneyland with toddlers
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (Photo credit: Duke Remington, Wikimedia)

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride typically has a shorter queue than the rest of the rides in Fantasyland. And for good reason. It’s scary!

Why? First of all, it’s a super dark ride. Second, the storyline is freaky and unknown to most kids and adults. It’s based on the 1949 Disney movie, The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad. Lastly, there are jerky movements, loud noises, and a heated room filled with devils.

When my son was a baby, I strapped him into his Baby Bjorn and brought him onto this Disneyland attraction. Bad idea! He clawed at my face in fear with his little baby nails the whole time.

Casey Jr. Circus Train
Casey Jr. Circus Train (Photo from https://disneyland.disney.go.com)

Casey Jr. Circus Train

It looks adorable, I will give you that. This whimsical train chugs over hills, through green valleys, and past some of the same tiny fairytale scenes as the Story Land Canal Boats. But the seats are terribly small for grown-ups. And heaven forbid you get stuck crouched in one of the caged cars.

Pinocchio's Daring Journey
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey (Photo from https://disneyland.disney.go.com)

Pinocchio’s Daring Journey

Frankly, I didn’t know if I should Pinocchio’s Daring Journey on the must-ride or must-skip list. It really depends on your baby, toddler, or preschooler. Like the movie for which it was made, this ride tends to seem a bit scarier than other Disney offerings.

If the line isn’t too long and your child enjoyed other dark rides like Peter Pan’s Flight, Alice in Wonderland, and Snow White’s Enchanted Wish — then queue up! But I wouldn’t spend too long waiting.

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.

Book Your Disneyland Trip

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Use discount code TravelMamas to get $10 off any 2-night or longer Southern California package (hotel and 2-ticket minimum) when you book through our trusted partner, Get Away Today. Just want tickets? Buy discounted Disneyland Park tickets now!

Breakfast in the Park with Minnie and Friends at Disneyland ~ Disneyland vs Knott's Berry Farm
Breakfast in the Park with Minnie and Friends at Disneyland (Photo credit: Colleen Lanin)

Learn More Disneyland Tips

Add even more magic to your visit. Read my Disneyland character meal reviews to choose the best one for your crew.

These handy Disney Cars Land tips will make your whole family shout, “Ka Chow!” (Including the wonders of Radiator Springs Racers!)

Kids of all ages love an incredible swimming pool! Pick a great place to stay during your Anaheim vacation with this list of the best hotels with pools near Disneyland.

Read these tips for visiting Disneyland with kids, including tips for nap time and Baby Care Centers for younger kids and rider switch options for parents and older siblings.

Traveling with older children, too? Be sure to take a peek at the scariest rides at Disneyland like Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance, Haunted Mansion, and Splash Mountain.

Best Disneyland Rides for Toddlers and Babies

Keep these Disneyland Tips for Future Reference

Headed to Disneyland with a baby or toddler? Be sure to keep this list of things to do at Disneyland with toddlers, babies, and other young children. Just pin the image above to Pinterest for safekeeping. Follow Travel Mamas on Pinterest while you’re at it!

What do you think are the best rides at Disneyland for toddlers and babies? Let us know in the comments below!

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  1. I have a 9, 6, 4 and 1 year old. My kids are not tall. I don’t have another adult to go with me. Can we do any of these rides or adults ar required to ride per child? I’m trying to figure out if the oldest can ride together and I can ride with the two lttle ones or if we could ride all together in some of them as a party of 5. Thanks

    1. Luisa – You can all ride all together on It’s a Small World, Jungle Cruise, and Disneyland Railroad. Minnie’s House is a walk-through attraction you can all enjoy together and you can all watch the Enchanted Tiki Room as a group. Kids aged 7-14 can ride together, so you might want to wait until your 6yo has a birthday before you go. Then your two oldest kids could ride Dumbo, the carousels, Emotional Whirlwind, and Fantasyland dark rides together while you ride with the two little ones. Have a wonderful time at Disneyland with your kiddos!

      1. Thank you so much for the detail information! It helps me to set up a plan 🙂 and know it is possible. I went as an adut several times but with other adults and each time was a marathon but with kids is a different deal and I want them to have a magical experience. My two odest birthday is the same week in summer so I will just take them for their birthday! Thank again for your reply!

      2. Luisa – Happy to help! I think a lot of times people suck the joy out of a Disney vacation by trying to squeeze too much in. Make sure your big kids understand that it’s not possible to ride every single ride and then go with the flow. I’m sure you’ll all have an amazing vacation!

  2. Hi Colleen . We r going Disneyland (California) with our 2 years daughter on 28th August . This is our first trip to Disneyland. We will be staying in Anaheim on that day. Can you please guide us? Please suggest Where to go , which ride is good for my 2 years baby.

    1. Hi Tanaya – What a wonderful way to celebrate your daughter’s 2nd birthday! All of the rides mentioned in this list are great for a toddler her age. I suggest starting early in the morning in Fantasyland because the lines for those rides tend to get longer and longer as the day progresses. Have a wonderful time!

  3. My son now age 4 has been to Disneyland when he was only 3 months then again at 6 months and every year after that, we have enjoyed every single trip and he has too. I can relate to the feeling you get when seeing them just smile and have the happy jitters, I just love it!

  4. Hi Colleen!
    Thank you so much for helping us all make the most out of our Disney trips!
    We are going to Disneyland but have not decided when to go. We’ll be 4 adults, one 6 yr old girl, and one 2 yr old girl. We are going for them, not for the adults, so we all know what rides to go to and how to plan the day. The big question is this, what would you recommend? Early December (before Christmas week), or November (before Thanksgiving).
    Is there an easy way to check out historical crowd attendance?

    Thank you!

    1. Hi Enrique – So glad to help in planning your Disneyland trip! Early December would be a great time to visit! The crowds aren’t very big yet but the holiday decorations will be up. The last two weeks of December and Thanksgiving week are both very busy times to visit. Take a look at this Uncercover Tourist article for more on the best times to visit: https://www.undercovertourist.com/blog/best-time-visit-disneyland/ Have a wonderful Disney vacation with your girls!

  5. This post helped me SO MUCH with our planning. My husband and I are taking our 3 and 1 year old girls the last week in June. My oldest is so in love with anything Disney, she has been watching videos and cried happy tears when we told her about this trip. We are staying at the Howard Johnson Water Park hotel across the street. From when I have read here and been advised from others:
    -best to get there early (preferably on days where there are no ‘Magic Hours’) and our kids are up at 5 am anyways.. lol
    -Fantasyland is a good place to start for less intimidating toddler rides.
    -book dinners ahead of time (any advice on good places for kids?)
    -book a character meal (my 3 year old will LOVE anything Ariel)
    -naps in strollers or work around naps.. little bodies will be tired (works for us all the time!)

    Any other quick tips would be appreciated! You’re quite knowledgeable! I live in Boston so most of my friends and family go to Disney World so we were lost! 🙂

    1. So glad you found these tips helpful for visiting Disneyland with little ones! The Magic Hour will be great for your family since you’re early risers. As for Fantasyland rides, beware that some of the Dark Rides can be scary to little ones (especially Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride!). Best bets are Dumbo, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Peter Pan’s Flight and Alice in Wonderland. If your daughter loves Ariel, then The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure in Disney California Adventure is an absolute must! Booking dinners in advance is absolutely the way to go! We love Tortilla Joe’s or Ralph Brennan’s Jazz Kitchen in Downtown Disney and Wine Country Trattoria in California Adventure (you can get reservations for World of Color there!). Blue Bayou in Disneyland overlooking the Pirates of the Caribbean ride is always fun. To help you decide which Disney character meal is best for your family, take a look at this round-up here: https://travelmamas.com/which-disneyland-character-meal-is-best-for-your-family/ Have a wonderful time at Disneyland with your girls!

  6. We are heading in May with our 5 young kids – age 9, 6, 4, 3 and 1. Our 3 year old has developmental disabilities and cannot walk. We have extremely low expectations and are just trying to show the kids a fun time. Any advice for us?

    1. Mark – How wonderful! I bet your family will have a fantastic time at Disneyland. My advice is to avoid overdoing it. If you want to get to the parks early in the day, you won’t be able to stay for fireworks, too, unless you take A LOT of time off in the afternoon for naps back at the hotel or vacation rental. Decide which rides are absolute musts for your family and plan your days around those, allowing for lots of time to just relax and enjoy diversions along the way. You may want to split your kids up if your traveling with another adult, too. So, one parent can take the bigger kids to enjoy rides and attractions while the other parent takes the little ones to attractions geared toward their ages. I think your “low expectations” are a good idea. So many families put pressure on themselves to squeeze every bit of joy out of their Disney vacations and wind up with melt downs and disappointment. Disney really is about living in the moment. ENJOY!

  7. Hello, do you think 1 year is too young? My son will turn one April of 2019 and i would love to celebrate in Disneyland. it is one of my favorite places. I just want to make sure that there will be enough for us all to do and that he wont be too crazy tired or wont enjoy some of it because he is so young. just nervous i guess!

    1. Hi Leenor – Absolutely not! I celebrated both of my kids’ first birthdays at Disneyland in lieu of birthday parties. They enjoyed Disney so much more than they would have enjoyed a party. As you can see, there really is so much for babies and toddlers at Disneyland. Go for it!

  8. 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.

    1. 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!

  9. 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

    1. 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!

  10. 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?

    1. 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!

  11. 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

    1. 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!

  12. 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!!

    1. 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!

      1. 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.

  13. 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

    1. 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!

  14. 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!

    1. 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!

  15. 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,


    1. 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!

  16. 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!