I talk to a lot of people about their upcoming Disney vacations. I’m very open minded (usually) to letting people do Disney how they want to, but one thing that always makes me a little sad is when people tell me they’re leaving their baby or toddler back home while they go to the happiest place on earth with their other kids. I know everyone has their reasons – sometimes its just not in the cards for your little one to come and thats fine, but the phrase I hate hearing is when they just write Disney off completely for babies/toddlers all together and say, “there is nothing for them to do in Disneyland.” YES THERE IS! Haven’t you heard? Disney is for kids of ALL ages, people! ALL ages – which means one week old to 150 years old!
To prove this point that I am very passionate about, I have decided to dissect both Disneyland and California Adventure for you and tell you what rides your baby and toddler can do in both parks. I hope this will be helpful for you and if you’re deciding whether or not to take you little one to Disneyland, hopefully this can be the push to help you decide to take them!
WHAT YOUR BABY/TODDLER CAN DO IN DISNEYLAND RESORT
MAIN STREET USA:
- Disneyland Railroad: (ok, this is closed right now while Star Wars Land is being built but when its open – this is pretty much a must for your little bud) This train takes you around the whole park with plenty to look at and see. Its a great place to sit and relax and eat a snack. If you’re a nursing mama, its also a great place to nurse.
- Main Street Vehicles: These are the cars or horse-drawn streetcars and carriages you see going up and down Main Street. Its another fun way to get off your feet and really be able to look at all the exciting things on Main Street. Little ones love this and riding behind a horse is always a big hit.
- Astro Orbiter: This is basically Dumbo, but in a rocket. Its exhilarating and exciting to little ones! My son loved this/Dumbo even when he was a few months old.
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters: Its a fun ride with bright, glowing colors. Whether your LO can shoot the gun or not, its an exciting one.
- Monorail: There are stops for the Monorail a couple places but we’ll cover that here. Its cool and out of the sun, another great place to nurse, eat a snack, get off your feet and let your LO look out the window at the magical park.
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage: This is a long, unique ride. You board a submarine, take your seat then take 15-20ish minutes looking our your own personal little window and watching Nemo and friends as they have an adventure under the water. Its so fun and there is so much to look at. Your baby/toddler would love this ride.
- Alice in Wonderland: A bright, exciting ride that takes you through Alice’s story. Its both indoors and outdoors and you ride in a caterpillar.
- Casey Jr. Circus Train: An outdoor ride with sights and sounds galore. All the cars are different and provide a slightly different riding experience.
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant: Everyone knows this one, right? You ride in Dumbo and fly around in circles. Its a must-hit classic. Your LO will adore it.
- Small World: If I could only recommend one ride to you and your LO this would be it. Its a fairly long ride, its bright, there is a happy song and there is so much to look at, point at and get excited about.
- King Arthur’s Carousel: I think this was H’s favorite ride last time we went. As with all these rides, lots to look at, fun music, etc.
- Mad Tea Party: The teacups always spin but if you don’t manually spin them you won’t go nearly as fast as you think you will. Which can make for a fun ride for you LO. And have you seen all the colors around the Teacups? Perfect.
- Mr. Toads Wild Ride: A short little indoor ride in a cute little car with a steering wheel and lots to look at.
- Peter Pan’s Flight: Another classic. You ride in a Pirate Ship suspended in the air, looking down on London and Neverland. This is a must do. Your LO will thank you.
- Pinnochio’s Daring Journey: Very comparable to Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride.
- Snow White’s Scary Adventure: Very comparable to Mr Toad’s and Pinnochio.
- Storybook Land Canal Boats: You ride a boat while a Cast Member gives you a little guided tour around Storybook Land where you’ll see princesses castles, Monstro the Whale and much more.
- Gadget’s Go-Coaster: A roller coaster (thats actually really fun) for small children – however there is still a height requirement, its just much shorter than your average roller coaster.
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin: A ride through Roger Rabbit’s story – and your car spins!
- You can also meet Mickey and some of his friends at their houses in Toontown and visit the Fab 5’s houses.
- Mark Twain Riverboat: You know that huge white boat out on the Rivers of America you always see? Thats the Mark Twain and you can actually ride it! (however it is closed currently while Star Wars Land is being built) Its different, there is sight seeing and its a great time to eat a little, nurse and all that good stuff.
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: What LO doesn’t love Winnie the Pooh and all of his friends? You board a beehive and ride through the Hundred Acre Wood’s and go on an adventure with Pooh and his pals.
NEW ORLEANS SQUARE:
- Haunted Mansion: This gets a wrap for being a scary ride. Smaller babies don’t seem to care that its ‘scary’ and its possible your LO will be a little frightened, but I know from experience that you can talk your LO through it and help them realize its only pretend scary. Try and give it a shot if your little buddy will let you.
- Pirates of the Caribbean: There are two smallish drops on this ride, but considering a teeny tiny baby could still ride this, that tells you its not too dramatic. This is another that may seem a little scary, but is likely more exciting and has lots to look at.
- Enchanted Tiki Room: This is a show where you get to sit and listen to the birdies sing, chant and thoroughly entertain you. Its bright, loud and lots of fun.
- Jungle Cruise: A cruise through the jungle with a hilarious Skipper and lots of animals (and the backside of water!) to look at. Super exciting for a little one!
- King Triton’s Carousel: Another carousel! Read my description for King Arthur’s carousel – same thing.
- Toy Story Midway Mania: Ok, admittedly this rides a little rough for some little ones. Last time we went H hated how rough and fast it was. But my niece was a couple months old last she went on this and didn’t mind at all. Depends on the baby, I guess. Lots to look at – and its indoors.
- Mickey’s Fun Wheel: A big, fun ferris wheel! You have the option of a swinging gondola or a non-swinging one. It gives a great view of California Adventure and for me, its an excellent time to breast feed (and sometimes not have to fully cover up!)
- Little Mermaid’s Undersea Adventure: One of my personal favorites. You ride in a big sea shell and basically go through the movie, Little Mermaid. It is bright with so much to look at and there are songs throughout the whole ride.
- Red Car Trolley: This is the Trolley that rides on tracks around Buena Vista Street. Its a fun way to sit and let your LO look around.
- Disney Junior – Live on Stage: Ok, its not a ride but I had to mention this one. Its a bunch of the Disney Junior shows on stage! If you have little ones (especially ones who love Disney Junior) then this is an absolute must.
- Monsters Inc. Mike and Sulley to the Rescue: A fun ride through Monstroplois. Its short, air-conditioned and bright. The outside of this ride is an awesome photo op too, by the way.
- Flik’s Flyers: The rest of the rides are in Bugs Land which is a mandatory area to visit if you are visiting with little bugs. In Flik’s, its a lot like Dumbo. You board a food container (because you’re shrunk down the the size of a bug) and go around in circles.
- Francis’ Lady Bug Boogie: Very comparable to the Mad Tea Party in Disneyland – maybe a little rougher, though.
- Heimlich’s Chew-Chew Train: We always joke that this is Wild Man’s favorite ride. You board the caterpillar, Heimlich and he takes you through a path and you eat your way through watermelon, animal cookies, candy, etc. There are lots of sights and smells. Its a fun little ride.
So there you have it. The rides in Disneyland and California Adventure that even newborns can ride on! (there are some that little shorties can ride on but not teeny tiny babies that i excluded because i was talking strictly rides everyone could go on) There are so many rides they can ride on, plus so much more! There are shows, parades, characters to meet, shops, places to eat and much more. Maybe it’ll be a little extra work to bring your LO’s, but it would be worth it! If you’re anything like me, the second your child hugs a character or gets excited in a ride you’ll start bawling and the entire trip will have been 10000000% worth every single penny.