There are many attractions at the Disneyland Resort that are not only appropriate for young children but also much loved by children of all ages. Some of the attractions in the list below may surprise you. Some are rides that are obviously designed for young children but several are more 'adult' rides that our son had no problem riding. When Walt Disney was creating Disneyland, he wanted a place where adults could take their children so that all of them could have fun in a safe environment. Disneyland is for kids of all ages, and the mix of attractions at the Disneyland Resort definitely proves that tenfold.
Below is an extensive list of the attractions that we at DisneyMouseLinks.com feel are appropriate for baby's, toddlers, and children. To make it easier to find various rides, they are organized by which Land they can be found in at each Park.
Disneyland Rail Road - this is without a doubt a hidden gem of Disneyland. Much loved by children and adults, the Disneyland Rail Road is not only a source of transport, but also a source of learning. There are four different Train Stations at Disneyland Park. They are located on Main Street, in New Orleans Square, ToonTown and Tomorrowland.
While at the New Orleans Square Station you will hear some Morse Code. What you are hearing is Walt Disney's opening day speech at the New Orleans Square Station. After leaving New Orleans Square you will go through Splash Mountain and Critter Country. Next you will arrive at the ToonTown Station. This station is to the left of 'it's a small world' and outside the entrance into ToonTown if you are walking to catch the train here. As you leave the ToonTown Station you will go behind the facade for 'it's a small world'. When doing that it is customary to wave at the people in the queue for that beloved attraction. The Tomorrowland Station is located behind Autopia and Innoventions. Between here and Main Street Station the train will go into the Grand Canyon diorama and the Primeval World diorama. Some children are scared of Primeval World portion of the ride. If your child is not scared, he or she will find this portion of the trip to be one of the best.
While on the Disneyland Rail Road you will need to fold up your stroller. If you are taking the 'Grand Circle Tour' then you can leave your stroller at the station where you get on the train. If you are using the train for transport to another land, be sure to take the stroller with you. When you have sore or tired feet, the Disneyland Railroad can also be a 'foot saver'.
Main Street Vehicles are a fun and fanciful way to go between Town Square and the Hub. Town Square is where you are after you enter Disneyland and go under the train tracks. The hub is in front of Sleeping Beauty Castle. The hub is your entry into all of the other Lands. There are several vehicles that make this jaunt during the day. You will find a Horse Drawn Carriage, and Old Time Fire Engine and a Double Decker Bus and a Horse-less Carriage available for free transport. If you are walking instead of riding, be sure to listen for horns if you are in the middle of the street.
The special Main Street Vehicles stop running before the afternoon Parade at Disneyland. They do not resume after the Parade concludes. Be sure to keep and eye on these vehicles while on Main Street. Occasionally one will pass by filled with characters!
The first 'spoke' in the hub will lead you to Adventureland on your left. There are several attractions in here that are suitable for children of all ages.
Enchanted Tiki Room is a short show in a dark room. Here you will enjoy singing birds, flowers and a wonderful water fountain. There is also a thunderstorm in the Tiki Room, so if you have a child that would be scared in a storm you might want to skip the Tiki Room. Otherwise there are two things that could happen. You could have a child totally enchanted while watching this show, or you could have one that falls asleep. Either result is a good one. A sleeping baby is prime opportunity for mom and dad to do some single riding.
Aladdin's Oasis is next as you walk through Adventureland. This is a wonderful show for children. Toddlers and older children can sit up front during the show. Babies stay with the parents. The children up front play a part in the show, so you could see this several times and have a different show each time. One benefit of seeing this show is that you get to have picture and autograph time with both Aladdin and Jasmine after the show. If you don't attend the show you are not allowed to see these characters. This attraction is only open seasonally, so be sure to check the schedule when you enter Disneyland.
The Jungle Cruise, also in Adventureland is a great attraction for young and old alike. You will board a boat for a tour of the amazing rivers of the world such as the Nile and the Ganges. As you leave for your tour be sure to wave goodbye to those left of the dock. Full of animatronic animals and a few animatronic people this attraction is almost like visiting your local zoo in miniature. Except at your local zoo you probably won't hear corny jokes from your tour guide. This is one attraction where the Cast Member you are with can make or break the ride. With the right delivery of jokes, and some ad libbing, most of the 'tour guides' are well versed in ways to please the adults and children.
During your tour pay special attention to the 'back side of water', a very busy totem pole, man eating piranhas and the very friendly head salesman.
As you get back to dry land, be sure to ask for your free souvenir. You don't get anything free very often, so simply ask a Cast Member for a map of the attraction. You will get a map that looks like it is on parchment paper. This is an excellent souvenir, and once again it is free.
Tarzan's Tree House is a virtual playground for your toddler, but beware, this attraction is chuck full of stairs. This is an attraction for any age, but toddlers will appreciate this more than a baby will. While climbing through this tree house you will learn the story of Tarzan and pass by a bit of paraphernalia that helps the story along.
Pirates of the Caribbean is a water ride with lively music and scenes to attract attention. This attraction has no scare factor, but it does have a few small drops in the dark. These are small drops but can scare some. Pirates is an amazing attraction for kids and kids at heart. You will sail through a sleepy bayou, a battle from a ship, an auction, a burning house, some skinny kittens, a pig, a dog, men with very short legs, and, oh yes, Captain Jack Sparrow.
Many people are surprised that we recommend this attraction for young children, but we do because of our experiences. At 14 months old, our son fell asleep amid the ruckus of this attraction. At 21 months, he loved it, and smiled all the way through. Now this is one of his favorite attractions. Give this attraction a shot with your child for a nice long ride that allows you to sit and take a break. You may indeed find that like many people on our website, your child too enjoys this attraction, or allows you to enjoy it while sleeping.
Indiana Jones - this is NOT for babies or toddler and does have very strict height restrictions. Your child must be 46 inches to get on this ride, and if close will be checked several times in the queue so be prepared for that. This is an attraction that you can use Baby Swap or Single Rider to enjoy.
New Orleans Square:
When you exit Pirates of the Caribbean you will be in New Orleans Square. Here you may find the Bootstrappers. They love to sing while they rob you blind. No worries though, you always get your stuff back. These are good pirates! For those that love to eat, and those that love to shop, this is a great place to be. Blue Bayou restaurant is located here, as is the French Market and other eateries. There is also a train station here for the Disneyland Railroad. There are a few attractions as well, both suitable for children.
Haunted Mansion is the home of 999 happy haunts. This is a gentle attractions with some wonderful scenes. Grim Grinning Ghosts is a song you will be humming for a few hours as you walk through Disneyland. There really is only one caution for this attraction.
When you enter the Haunted Mansion you are placed into a holding room. Shortly after arriving you will be directed into a circular room with pictures on the wall. You will quickly find out that this room has no windows and no doors. When you hear that it is time to cover your child's ears because in a few moments there will be a lot of screaming. These people don't scream because of fear but because they enjoy doing it on just about every elevator. Our son is past toddler age now and we still have to cover his ears. A child's ears can be very sensitive.
The ride itself is very relaxing and enjoyable. You will see floating objects, someone you never want to marry, a dance, a hidden Mickey, a hidden Donald, a graveyard, singing heads and even hitchhiking ghosts. This is not a loud and obnoxious haunted house. It is quiet and peaceful. There is a lot of music and different things to enjoy. You can ride this 20 times and find something new each time because there is so much to see here.
If you are at the Disneyland Resort from October through December and on into early January, Haunted Mansion will be taken over by Jack Skellington and is called Haunted Mansion Holiday. This attraction is absolutely amazing, and so well loved that fastpass is available for Haunted Mansion Holiday. Yet again this is absolutely not scary and is a much loved attraction.
Like Pirates of the Caribbean, our son also fell asleep on Haunted Mansion when he was 14 months old. It is now one of his absolute favorite rides.
Rafts to Tom Sawyer Island, the Pirates Lair depart frequently during the day and quit at dusk. They fill up the raft before heading to the Island. Once you disembark this is a wonderland for kids of all ages. It is a great place to stretch those legs and do something different. There are caves, forts, pontoon bridges, and yes, even pirates. There is a show on the island so be sure to check the times guide for the times you can see the Pirate Show. The wonderful thing about Tom Sawyer Island is that you can spend us much, or as little time here as you want. There are restrooms on the island, and a water fountain, but there is no place to purchase a drink or something to eat. When you are ready to leave, just make your way back to the dock for boarding the raft.
If you continue past the Haunted Mansion you will see the big drop for Splash Mountain as you enter Critter Country. Keep going from that point and you will run into the entrance for one of the most favorite rides for the younger set.
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is a dark ride that children absolutely love. The queue for this attraction moves slowly, but once you make it to the front you can get prepared for your adventure. The ride vehicle for this attraction is a honey pot. There are two rows of seating with the back row set higher to see over the heads from the front row. During this ride you will see portions from The Blustery Day, Heffalumps and Woozles and a very happy birthday. This attraction is full of bright colors, black light, and much loved characters. Great for babies, toddlers and kids of all ages. When you exit this attraction you are in front of one of the best stores at Disneyland on one side, and a character circle on another. Don't you just love options?
This store is in two parts - once for candy and confectionaries and one for gift purchases. There is an abundance of treasures from Winnie the Pooh in this store.
The character circle as three spots for characters but you will most likely only see two. There is one entrance for this queue so be sure to go in at that point. The characters you may see here are Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Eeyore.
Splash Mountain is another one of the most beloved rides at Disneyland. Since the ride across the way has a 40 inch height restriction, the above activities are a great thing for one adult to do while the other uses single rider on Splash Mountain. The animatronics here are originally from the old Disneyland attraction called America Sings. The story line is from Song of the South, and the ride is a colorful music filled attraction. To single ride simply talk to the Cast Member at the fastpass return and get a single rider pass. Then you go through the exit to get into the single rider queue.
Davy Crockett Explorer Canoes are an attraction where you do the work. Small children are allowed on this ride, and even given life jackets to wear for that just in case situation. While on this attraction you will row the canoe around Rivers of America. There are two cast members to help with this task. If you have a sense of adventure or want a quick workout because walking isn't enough, this is a great attraction to try. This is the most fun you will have working in a long time.
The Lower level of the Hungry Bear Restaurant is not an official attraction, but it is a lot of fun for children with a little bit of bread or french fries. Here is a great area to feed the ducks swimming in Rivers of America and children love to do that. This is also the location of the Critter Country rest rooms.
As you leave Critter Country you must go back through New Orleans Square. From here you can either catch the train, or walk to Frontierland. Click here for Part 2