Visiting the parks with little ones could be a bit daunting. These Tips For Visiting Disneyland With Kids will help you have the best Disney day with your toddlers and small kids.
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Thinking about visiting Disneyland with kids, especially small children, can be a bit overwhelming. Maybe even a bit more than overwhelming. But it can be so much fun too.
Seeing the magic of Disneyland through a child’s eyes is the best thing about taking kids to the parks. I totally get lost in the magic of it all. But taking my own kids, it’s just so much more magical.
What is a good age to take a child to Disneyland
In my opinion, any age is a good age to go to Disneyland! We have taken our kids when they were babies. My middle daughter was only 3 months old the first time we took her to Disneyland.
Even with kids of really young ages, or parents or grandparents of older ages. There is something for everyone to do.
Don’t let age discourage you from going to Disneyland. With that said, you know your family and what they can and can’t handle. You need to do what is best for you.
Disneyland for Babies and Toddlers
You might think that there is nothing for babies and toddlers to do at Disneyland. Maybe you associate Disneyland with all those big awesome rides. But there are definitely so many things for babies and toddlers to do in Disneyland.
There are places for babies and toddlers to run and play in both Disneyland and California Adventure. These places are also great areas for babies to take a nap. Or for mother’s to nurse or feed their baby.
Disneyland has so many rides that babies and toddlers can go on. Some rides have height requirements, and I will break those down in a bit. But there are so many rides in both parks that are ok for little ones.
Both Disneyland and California Adventure have a baby center as well. Where you can find highchairs, rocking chairs and they even have diapers and wipes for sale. In California Adventure you can find the baby center next to Ghirardelli Chocolate Shop in the Pacific Wharf area. In Disneyland the baby center is at the end of Main Street behind the Little Red Wagon corn dog cart and Plaza Inn.
There are quit a few places for little kids to play around both parks. These ideas are good for letting toddlers run that need to get out some wiggles, or explore, or just be out of the stroller for a few minutes. These places are also great for nursing, feeding babies or letting little ones nap.
Places for Kids To Play at Disneyland
In Disneyland, Toon Town is a great place to take little ones to play. They have Donald’s Boat, Goofy’s House and Chip and Dale’s Tree house to explore. And when they are open, kids can take a tour of Mickey and Minnie’s Houses. A great area to let kids run and explore.
Take a raft ride over to Tom Sawyer Island. Then explore Pirate’s Lair and all the treasures to be found there. Or a boat ride on the Mark Twain on the river’s of America.
Star Wars Launch Bay in Tomorrowland is air conditioned and a great place to cool off in the summer and let little ones check out all the Star Wars goodness inside.
Tarzan’s Treehouse is always fun to explore. It’s like being in the movie
Take a ride on the Disneyland railroad. You can hop on or off in 4 places around the park. Main Street Train Station, New Orleans Square by Haunted Mansion, Toon Town Station by Fantasyland Theater and Tomorrowland station behind Autopia. I often like to get on at one stop and do a full loop. It’s a good break for the whole family.
The Main Street Cinema is another place to take a break and cool off. Watch old Mickey cartoons while enjoying the AC. And if it’s empty, let the little ones run around.
Place for Kids To Play at California Adventure
Over in California Adventure there are some great shows that kids will love. Perfect areas for kids to be entertained and give moms a rest.
Redwood creek challenge over by Grizzly River Run. There are trees to run through and things to explore. They have a couple activities that do have a height requirement (like a zip line), but so much other stuff that doesn’t have any requirements. Find the cast member with the rubber duckies and watch them race down the creek.
Animation Academy in Hollywood Land is full of things for little kids. Inside the building you will find Turtle Talk with Crush. Kids can interact with Crush on the big screen. They can draw with a Disney animator. The characters change every thirty minutes.
There is also the Sorcerers Workshop and the Beasts Library. In the beasts library kids and adults too, can find out which Disney character they are most like in the magical books around the room. Make sure and look for the magic rose and it’s falling petals.
Next to Animation Academy, you can find the Disney Junior Dance Party in the Disney Theater. Characters from their favorite Disney Junior shows dance with the kids and it’s really fun.
Across from the Disney Theater, you can find Mickey’s Philharmagic Show. This is a 3D show staring Donald Duck and is fun and full of laughs.
If you want to see a Broadway type of show, but made with kids in mind, check out the show happening in the Hyperion Theater. If there is a show happening, it’s a great option for feeding babies or sleeping babies. And the shows are really good. So parents will be entertained.
If kids just need to run, take them to the World of Color steps over by Pixar Pier across from the Little Mermaid. They are usually empty during the day and kids can run and run and run. There isn’t a lot of shade, but they are great for burning off energy.
And if you are looking for a place to sit and maybe see a character or two, check out Paradise Gardens Park. They have some good seating there. It’s usually pretty open and they have a gazebo where characters like to meet and greet their friends.
Height Requirements at Disneyland
As I mentioned above, there are so many rides that babies and toddlers can go on in both Disneyland and California Adventure.
In Disneyland the rides with NO height requirements are:
- Jungle Cruise
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Haunted Mansion
- Winnie the Pooh
- Snow White
- King Arthur’s Carrousel
- Casey Juniors Train
- Mr. Toad’s
- Peter Pan
- Mad Tea Party
- Alice in Wonderland
- Storybook Canal Boats
- Small World
- Roger Rabbit
- Astro Orbitor
- Buzz Light Year
- Disneyland Railroad – The train that goes around the entire park
In California Adventure the rides with NO height requirements are:
- Monsters Inc.
- Jessie’s Carousel
- Toy Story Mania
- Pixar Pal Around
- Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
- Golden Zephyr
- The Little Mermaid
Rides with Height Requirements at Disneyland and California Adventure
As you can see, there are so many rides that babies can go on. The rest of the rides do have height requirements. And they vary in height. 48″ is the height you want to get to. That’s when you no longer have to worry about height requirements. Kids can ride everything once they hit that mark.
But here are the height requirements for the remaining rides at Disneyland:
- 32 inches – Autopia (a child can ride with an adult)
- 35 inches – Gadgets Go Coaster
- 38 inches – Millennium Falcon Smuggler’s Run
- 40 inches – Big Thunder Mountain
- 40 inches – Space Mountain
- 40 inches – Splash Mountain
- 40 inches – Star Tours
- 40 inches – Rise of the Resistance
- 42 inches – Matterhorn
- 46 inches – Indiana Jones
Here are the height requirements for the remaining rides at California Adventure:
- 32 inches – Luigi’s Rollickin Roadsters
- 32 inches – Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
- 40 inches – Guardians of the Galaxy
- 40 inches – Jumping Jellyfish
- 40 inches – Radiator Spring’s Racers
- 40 inches – Soarin Around the World
- 40 inches – Silly Symphony Swings
- 42 inches – Goofy’s Sky School
- 42 inches – Grizzly River Run
- 48 inches – Incredicoaster
What is Rider Switch
I remember measuring my kids before every Disney trip to make sure what rides they could and could not go on. When I knew they wouldn’t be able to go on a ride that I really wanted to go on, I was so thankful for the Rider Switch program.
Rider Switch works with rides that have a height requirement. It allows parties with babies and toddler to still enjoy the bigger rides during their trip.
How it works is, one adult waits with the little ones not riding, while the rest of the party waits in line for the ride. Once they have gone on the ride and return to their party, the adult that sat out, and perhaps another person, goes through the return line to ride the ride. They usually don’t have to wait in the standby line.
To use the rider switch option, check in with the cast member at the entrance to the ride. Tell them you have little ones that can’t ride, and would like to do rider switch. They will then help your party with how to do that.
Rider Switch is available at both Disneyland and California Adventure. You can use rider switch at these attractions in Disneyland:
- Space Mountain
- Star Tours
- Big Thunder Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Gadgets Go Coaster
- Millenium Falcon
- Rise of the Resistance
Rider switch can be used at these locations in California Adventure:
- Guardians of the Galaxy
- Soarin Around the World
- Luigi’s Rollickin Roadsters
- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Grizzly River Run
- Silly Symphony Swings
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Jumping Jellyfish
It is a great program. And one you definitly need to take advantage of if you are visiting Disneyland with kids.
Best Tips for Visiting Disneyland with Kids
One of my best tips for visiting Disneyland with kids is to stay close to the parks. Sometimes small kids need to nap in an actual bed or they just will melt down.
Staying close to the parks where you could walk back to the hotel for an hour or two for a nap is a great option. There are so many great hotels within walking distance to the parks.
I work with Get Away Today to book my Disneyland travel. They have worked as a Disney partner for over 30 years and have worked with Anaheim area hotels to offer some of the best rates. They also offer discounted multi day tickets for Disneyland. Read this post on why you should use Get Away Today for your Disney Vacation.
You can use their peace of mind plan to help plan your trip and know that if something comes up and plans have to change, they are there to help you. And you can take advantage of their layaway plan! How awesome is that! Plus their tickets are refundable if you just can’t make the trip happen.
I have used them for years and only buy my Disneyland tickets from them. If you want to purchase tickets from them, I’d love it if you use my link. Or if you talk to them on the phone, tell them I sent you for the best rates. And if you buy tickets and a hotel vacation package, use the code LIZONCALL for an additional savings.
My next tip is to get familiar with the Disneyland App. There you keep track of your tickets, have access to the maps, mobile order your food and view ride wait times. If you know how to use the app, you’ll have a more successful trip.
Also a well stocked backpack. I have a Disneyland specific backpack that I always have ready to go. Check out my Disney Day park Bag and see if you missed something on your packing list.
My last tip, just enjoy the trip! Things are not going always go as planned. Sometimes you have to let the kids lead. And meltdowns can sometimes happen. Just do your best to make the most of your trip.
Visiting Disneyland with Kids
There is definitely a lot to think about when planning a visit to Disneyland. And taking little ones with you means a little more planning on your part.
But don’t let their young age discourage you from taking them with you. One major bonus is, if they are under 3 years old, they get to go for free! 🙂
If you are going to be visiting Disneyland with older kids, I’ve got this great printable! To Do Lists for Disneyland and California Adventure. Print these out and let the kids choose which attractions they want to do, what snacks they might want to try, or entertainment they might want to see.
We use these for our Disney trips and it helps me to make sure we are doing something for every kid. We might not get everyone’s list done, but at least we do something for everyone.
Let me know if you have any questions about visiting Disneyland with kids and I’d be happy to answer them. I want you to have the best trip possible and make the most magical memories.
Find me on Instagram too! I have an Instagram all about Disney! At DisneyFoodnFun I share even more tips and delicious food from the parks and magic at home. I’d love to see you say hi!