A child needn’t be 5 or older to enjoy Disneyland. Young toddlers can also have a great time in the Happiest Place on Earth. And that includes Disneyland and Disney’s California Adventure Park. Kids under 3 years of age don’t pay for entrance and eat free, so why not take them? It’s best to go during off-peak season to avoid crowds and long lines. In fact, you’ll end up waiting just 5 to 10 minutes for popular rides and be able to walk into most rides.
Toddler Favorites in Disneyland Main Park
The most toddler friendly rides are in Fantasyland. They include King Arthur Carrousel, Casey Jr. Circus Train, Dumbo the Flying Elephant, Mad Tea Party, Pixie Hollow Meet and Greet, Storybook Land Canal Boats, and of course, It’s a Small World. In Critter Country, toddlers will like The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh. In Adventureland, there’s the Jungle Cruise and Tarzan’s Treehouse. In Frontierland, there’s the Sailing Ship Columbia, and in New Orleans Square, you can chance it in Pirates of the Caribbean (though there are some pretty dark, loud moments). If you swing by Mickey’s Toontown, you can safely stop in Goofy’s Playhouse, Donal’s Boat, Chip’n Dale Treehouse, Disneyland Railroad, Mickey’s House and Meet Mickey, and Minnie’s House. Don’t forget to stop in Tomorrowland for Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage, and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (toddlers love this one because they can actively participate in the adventure).
Toddler Favorites in Disney’s California Adventure
If you’re in Disney’s California Adventure Park, stop by Paradise Pier and enjoy Golden Zephyr, The Little Mermaid-Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, King Triton’s Carousel, Toy Story Midway Mania and Mickey’s Fun Wheel. Next, you can swing over to A Bug’s Land where your toddler can enjoy Francis’ Ladybug Boogie, Flik’s Flyers, and Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train. Finally, there’s Hollywood Land where toddlers often delight to Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue, Turtle Talk with Crush and Sorcerer’s Workshop.
Some General Tips
Get a map of the parks you want to visit and plan your rides ahead of time. If you arrive early at opening time, wait a few minutes to avoid the big rush. Find the Lost Children center and get a sticker for your toddler (put your name and cell phone number on it, so they can instantly call you should you accidentally get separated from your toddler). Use the Fast Pass system often-it can save you hours of waiting in line. Disney’s characters are always walking around the park, so have your camera ready for some cute photos with your toddler. Don’t force your child to go on a ride or take photos with characters that intimidate him/her.
When planning your trip to the Magic Kingdom, consider staying in a vacation home. They offer all the amenities of a home, including a fully equipped kitchen that lets you cook special meals for your toddler.