Which are the Best Disneyland Rides for Toddlers? If you are visiting Disneyland in California with a toddler there are so many rides and attractions to make them, and you, happy.
Disneyland is a magical place for anyone. It can be a great place to visit with a toddler, but you do need to plan. Not all Disneyland rides are suitable for toddlers.
Here is a guide to help visitors to Disneyland who have a toddler or a baby so that they can plan which of the rides they will enjoy.
Best Disneyland Rides for Toddlers
Surviving Disneyland with toddlers does present its own unique challenges. From diaper changes to the need to NOT be stuck in a line, to potentially coping with tantrums.
After many years of experience taking my kids to Disneyland here is my take on which rides and attractions will keep your toddler happy.
Remember too that Toddlers aged under 3 do not need a Disneyland ticket. If you have an almost 3-year-old make sure you go before their third birthday if you possibly can!
Disneyland It’s a Small World
Whether you are 2 or 92, It’s A Small World is a perfect ride for your toddler and family to enjoy together. This classic Disneyland ride really is one for everyone.
I know you will never be able to get the song out of your head, but it’s a small price to pay! Guests board boats for this 15-minute journey around the world.
In addition to the traditional animatronic singing dolls who represent lots of different countries, your toddler might spot some Disney and Pixar characters.
They can Find Nemo and look out for Princess Jasmine.
This is a perfect ride for toddlers in Disneyland. Most seem to love the music, the dancing animatronic dolls, and the calm boat journey.
It’s a Small World is often a welcome break from the heat of the Southern California sun. It’s a long ride, but that can be a good thing in the summer heat!
Tip: Try to get in the far-right line. It may look longer, but fewer people take it so it’s often much quicker. The left line is also for those with mobility issues, which may slow the pace down a bit.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Yes, the line for Dumbo can get long, but toddlers love this Disneyland ride.
Each rider is given a “magic feather” when they get close to the front of the line, which is then handed to the conductor.
You get to control the movement on Dumbo and how high you fly, so with younger children, you can stay at a lower level.
The ride does jerk up or down when you change levels. However, this seems to be much scarier for the parents than the kids. Dumbo is always a favorite with the little ones.
Tip: Go on the Dumbo ride first thing in the morning or wait until the evening. During the parade is a great time.
Once the wait time goes past 20 minutes, it won’t go down until much later in the day. Unfortunately, there isn’t a Fast Pass for Dumbo, so waiting in line is your only option.
King Arthur’s Carousel
King Arthur’s Carousel is an authentic antique carousel located at Disneyland Park. It features 68 galloping white horses.
The ride recreates the great charge of the legendary Knights of the Round Table and their brave leader, King Arthur of Camelot.
The wait is usually short, which means you can ride it again and again.
Tip: A similar carousel, King Triton’s carousel, is located in California Adventure Park, and features sea animals (dolphins, sea otters, whales) and is even more colorful. It’s next to California Screamin’ and is a perfect spot to hang out while the older kids in your group are enjoying one of the scariest Disney rides of all!
Note: Many of the rides in Fantasyland are quite “dark” and can be too intense for little ones. This includes Snow White, Alice in Wonderland, Pinocchio, and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Peter Pan is fine, but often has a huge line, which is why it’s not in my Top 10.
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
All kids love Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters and I confess it is one of my favorites too. You’ll find the ride in Tomorrowland, across from Star Tours.
The wait is usually less than 15 minutes, and once inside you see Buzz bigger than life, urging you to help him in his quest to fight the evil Zurg. You and your child get to spin around shooting Zurg and his evil robots.
When my eldest son was a toddler he no idea that he was actually meant to shoot at the targets, but he loved the bright lights and sounds.
At the end of Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, you can email a picture of yourself to your home.
Tip: If you want to get a higher score, concentrate on the triangles and diamonds. They’re worth 5,000-10,000 points. If you can get Zurg himself, he’s worth 100,000 points!
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Winnie the Pooh, that huggable, loveable bear, is a toddler favorite. Sandwiched near the Splash Mountain entrance and the Hungry Bear Restaurant, it’s a perfect place to hang out while waiting for others to finish their rides.
You climb aboard a beehive dripping with honey and ride off into the Hundred-Acre Wood for four minutes of hijinks and fun.
Tip: Wear something white and during the dark portions of the ride your clothes will glow in the dark. This is a terrific distraction if the darkness seems too intense for the little ones.
Also, if you walk to the right of the exit you will often find Pooh, Eeyore or Tigger. The meet and greet line isn’t as long as some other areas. However, if your toddler’s shy they can just happily wave to the Disney characters from the fence.
Whether your feet are tired, or you just want to take a break, hitch a ride on the Disneyland Train. An old fashioned Victorian locomotive, it goes completely around the park.
The Disneyland Railroad stops on Main Street and in New Orleans Square, Mickey’s Toontown, and Tomorrowland.
Walt Disney loved trains and was often found riding in the conductor’s seat. Sometimes the line can be long but if you walk past the main car, you can usually find a seat in a car further down.
The Disneyland Railroad is a great place to take a rest. With any luck, your toddler may have a nap. You can stay on the train as long as you like, so this can be a great opportunity to take a break.
The Enchanted Tiki Room
Unless it’s August and 100 degrees outside, this attraction rarely has a long wait. You’re ushered into a small, air-conditioned room filled with enchanted birds, plants, and tiki torches.
The Enchanted Tiki Room is definitely not the most advanced Disneyland attraction. Its appeal is very much that it is a nostalgic look at an original Disneyland attraction,
The birds come to life right in front of you and your toddler is completely enthralled or falls asleep. Either outcome is fine with me!
The songs are a little corny, but it’s so pleasant and comfortable inside that you just don’t care. Try and sit at the back as the seats are more comfortable!
Pirates of the Caribbean
You will have to use your judgment on this one. If your toddler doesn’t like the dark and is easily scared this one may not be for them. However, my children all loved it from a very early age.
Pirates of the Caribbean is the last attraction at Disneyland which Walt Disney had a direct hand in designing, although he died before it was constructed.
It is one of the classic Disneyland rides. Guests board a boat that takes them on a journey through the pirate world. You can even keep a lookout for Captain Jack Sparrow.
There is a short drop in the dark so be aware that if you have a nervous toddler this may not be the ride to take them on!
If you love this particular theme make sure you take a peek at the Pirates of the Caribbean Suite in the Disneyland Hotel.
The Jungle Cruise
This is another ride that your toddler will most likely enjoy. The Jungle Cruise takes guests on a boat ride through a jungle full of animatronic animals. With a very corny commentary from your friendly Jungle Cruise guide.
Your toddler won’t get the jokes but will enjoy seeing the animals which include elephants and hippos. There isn’t anything particularly scary about this ride, so it makes it suitable for all ages.
The line usually isn’t particularly bad and it is undercover all the way which makes it much easier in the summer heat.
There are so many things to do with your toddler in Disneyland. What is your favorite ride for toddlers in Disneyland? Leave me a comment below!