There actually is quite a lot you can do with babies and toddlers at Disneyland and California Adventure. Sure you might miss out on the bigger rides if you don’t have anyone to pass your baby off to, but there’s still plenty of fun things to do and see! Our daughter is now 14 months old and she has a blast every time we go to the parks.
In this post I will be covering rides with no height requirement that you can take your kiddos on, and things to do in each “land” that aren’t rides. Make sure to have your “to-do” Disney list ready, because this post will give you a packed and exciting day full of Disney fun!
I’ll be focusing this post on Disneyland, since California Adventure is currently going through a lot of remodeling – and right now there’s not a whole lot for younger toddlers to do there except for a handful of attractions (I’ll do a separate post on California Adventure eventually). Plus Disneyland is my favorite of the two parks due to the amount of rides, character appearances, and things to do/eat!
I’ll be doing more posts in the next few months about what to pack for a day at Disneyland, snacks to take, and perfect spots to hangout for nursing or to cool down on hot days. Today, I wanted to share some of the best tips and tricks I’ve discovered since hitting up the parks with a baby in tow! Read below for some of the best tips on conquering Disneyland with babies!
RIDES WITH NO HEIGHT REQUIREMENT
- Snow White’s Scary Adventure (parts of this ride might be scary for little kids)
- Pinocchio’s Daring Journey (parts of this ride might be scary for little kids)
- King Arthur’s Carousel
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (not a fan of this one, and parts of this ride might be scary for little kids))
- Peter Pan’s Flight (expect to wait about 30 mins to get on this one – it’s a popular one!)
- Casey Jr. Train
- Storybook Land Canal Boats (wear a hat/sunscreen for this one!)
- The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party/AKA: The Tea Cups (even though you can control how fast you spin on this ride, it may still be too dizzying for tiny babes)
- Alice in Wonderland
- It’s a Small World
- Finding Nemo’s Submarine Voyage (fun for older toddlers who have seen Finding Nemo)
- Buzz Lightyear’s Astroblasters
- Astro Orbiters/AKA: The Rockets (babies have to be wearing socks or shoes for this ride)
- The Jungle Cruise
- Tarzan’s Tree House (not a ride, but fun for toddlers and little ones to climb and walk around!)
New Orleans Square
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- The Haunted Mansion
- Mark Twain Riverboat & Sailing Ship Columbia
- The Disneyland Railroad
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin (not my favorite, it’s a bit dizzying with some fast turns/spins)
things to do in each “land” with kiddos that aren’t rides
- There is a tented area called the Royal Theatre and Fantasy Faire to the left of the Castle before you go through it where you can meet Disney Princesses such as Rapunzel, Merrida, Belle, Elena, Ariel, and Aurora!
- Head to the Royal Theatre, the Royal Hall, or hang out around the Fairy Tale Treasures shop or near the Carousel right outside the back of the castle to meet characters like Cinderella, her Fairy Godmother, Snow White, The Wicked Stepmother, Gaston, Alice and the Mad Hatter, and others!
- If you have kiddos between the ages of 3 and 12 and want to splurge on them for a birthday celebration or other celebratory event, consider booking them an appointment at the Bibbi-Bobbidi Boutique! Appointments can be made up to 60 days in advance, and take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour to experience.
- For just $20, your boys can get “knighted” and receive a sword and shield with a hairstyle fit for a prince. There’s a deluxe knight package also available for $80. For little ladies, prices start at $64.95 and go up to $450 depending on the package you prefer. They can choose from dozens of princess dresses and accessories, and get their hair/makeup/nails done!
- Take your kiddos to the Jedi Training: Trials of the Temple where they can learn to become Jedi masters and even have a light saber fight with characters from the Dark Side.
- Cool off under the shade on a bench in front of Pizza Port while your kiddos can get wet and play with the spinning marble ball fountain.
- Storm Troopers like to wander around this area a lot, and will stop to interact with kids.
- There are a lot of opportunities to meet Star Wars and Marvel characters in Tomorrowland! Say hi to Chewie, BB8, Kylo-Ren, Darth Vader, Rey, Storm Troopers, Captain America, Thor, and Groot near the Star Wars Launch Bay.
New Orleans Square
- Be on the lookout for Captain Jack Sparrow wandering the streets of New Orleans Square. Sometimes he will even get himself “stranded” on Tom Sawyer Island and wave to crowds on the other side of the river asking to bring rum.
- Princess Tiana also loves to make appearances around the bridge by Pirates of the Caribbean. And speaking of pirates…you can also watch a rowdy live band of pirates sing and dance as they make their way through the square.
- Jack Skellington and Sally do meet and greets near the Haunted Mansion and in the alleyway near the exit to Pirates of the Caribbean.
- Lastly, you can take a 20 minute ride on the Disneyland Railroad which has a stop right in front of Cafe Orleans.
- Don’t miss out on grabbing some tasty Mickey themed beignets, fritters, and a refreshing (non-alcoholic) Mint Julep at the Mint Julep Bar to the side of the French Market Restaurant.
- Take a hike up Tarzan’s Tree House for some great views of New Orleans Square and Adventureland!
- Don’t forget to stop by the Dole Whip Cart to grab a Dole Whip Float (my favorite). The line is usually long, but at under $6 it is well worth the wait.
- For cheaper eats, grab a kebab or skewer at the Bengal Barbecue cart in front of Indiana Jones – most skewers are under $5! They also have yummy safari-themed desserts, and a “Jungle Julep” – a twist on the classic Mint Julep found in New Orleans Square.
- Aladdin and Jasmin have been known to appear by what was the Enchanted Tiki Room, which is now being renovated and will now include a “Tropical Hideaway” area opening in late October 2018.
- Older toddlers and kiddos will have a blast at the Frontierland Shootin’ Exposition, where .25 cents will get you several minutes of gun slinging time. Aim at tombstones, a jail, a mine, old skull bones, cactuses, crows, stagecoaches, and more. My husband loves stopping at this spot!
- Have some downtime while you set sail on the Mark Twain Riverboat or the Sailing Ship Columbia. These river boats take you through the “Rivers of America” where you can catch glimpses of the new Star Wars Land, wild west cowboys and Indians, the Disneyland Railroad, and various animal wildlife (it’s a similar experience to the Jungle Cruise).
- You can also head out to the Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island to climb up treehouses, walk through trails, and explore treasure caves.
- Head back to Frontierland in the evening for an amazing water and fireworks show called Fantasmic – where Mickey takes you on a crazy dreamlike journey that is themed on the movie Fantasia. You’ll also see Disney villains come out to play in this show, as well as watch the Colombia ship and Mark Twain Riverboat sail down the river with over 20 Disney characters aboard!
- Minnie and Mickey Houses (you can go inside their “houses” and meet characters at the end! Some days the line is 30+ mins long, other days there’s no line at all).
- Walk through the “town square” where you can break out of jail, talk to mailboxes (they talk back!), and much more. There are tons of things for older toddlers to do, not as much for new walkers or little babes.
- Meet all the classic characters such as Donald, Daisy, Minnie, Mickey, Goofy, and Pluto.
- Meet Pooh Bear, Tigger, Eeyore, and Rabbit right outside the exit to Splash Mountain to the side of Pooh Corner. The line is usually about 10-15 minutes long, but you’ll get to meet and take pictures with 2-3 characters depending on the lineup. Usually it’s either Tigger and Rabbit, or Tigger, Pooh Bear, and Eeyore.
- Stop for a quick visit inside Pooh Corner where you can find all kinds of treats like Tigger Tails, Mickey Caramel Apples, Pooh rice krispie treats, and Disney themed fudge bars. They also sell Winnie The Pooh themed baby and kids clothes!
- Have lunch or dinner at the Hungry Bear Cafe, and watch the canoes go by. They have great kid’s meal options too.
- Grab some lobster rolls, gumbo, or a clam chowder bread bowl at The Royal Street Veranda.
Hope you can find tons of fun ideas to do with smaller kiddos after getting through this list! There are lots more things to do in Main Street and several things in California Adventure for small children, which I will share about in future blog posts. Sign up for my newsletter below to be notified of when these posts go live! Hope you have a wonderful time on your next Disneyland trip! Xo