There is much debate as to how young or old is the best time to bring your toddler to Disneyland.
We Disney Nerds believe its the 1-3 years age range is one of the most magical times to experience Disneyland with toddlers.
However, you will find that some rides are perfect for toddlers, while others are better to hold off on until they aren’t toddlers anymore.
We hope you’ll enjoy our quick guide to visiting Disneyland with toddlers.
Also, inside this guide we’re including best things to do inside the sister park of Disneyland, California Adventure.
Although you may think toddlers are too young for Disneyland, there is plenty for them to do at the Anaheim, California location.
You would need more than one trip to complete everything on the list of activities available for toddlers and preschoolers.
By choosing key attractions and making cherished memories, alongside taking time for snacks and naps, your toddler will have a fantastic time at Disneyland that they won’t soon forget.
Here are the best Disneyland rides for toddlers, as well as character meet-and-greets, parades, and shows that they’ll never forget!
Top rides: Disneyland with Toddlers
Alice in Wonderland
Alice in Wonderland is our first ride.
It is a classic Disney ride and it is also one of the original attractions at Disneyland.
People who like Disney movies will like this ride. You go on the ride in a caterpillar car and you go through a hole that goes down.
You see characters from the Alice in Wonderland movie. These characters are a grinning cat, the Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Hearts.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant
Dumbo the Flying Elephant has been a popular choice for children and adults who want to fly high above a water feature since it opened with Disneyland in 1955.
Peter Pan’s Flight
Get ready for a thrilling journey aboard a pirate ship that flies through the city of London before sailing to Neverland in this vintage introductory day experience.
If you’re over in Adventureland, make sure to get on the jungle boat Skipper.
Your guide will show you some of their favorite sights along rivers from all around the world.
And since this ride is slow-paced, it’s perfect for toddlers.
DISNEY NERD TIP: For a better experience, we recommend riding earlier in the day as opposed at night.
“it’s a small world”
The “it’s a small world” boat ride is a good choice for Disneyland if you have toddlers.
It is long, cheerful, and moves at a leisurely pace. This may be the right boat trip for your toddlers depending on their preferences.
DISNEY NERD TIP: This 1966 World’s Fair attraction is even better during Christmas season. Which is when it’s decked to the halls with additional lights and holiday decorations.
Best character meet and greets at Disneyland with Toddlers
- Mickey Mouse at Toontown
- Tinker Bell at Pixie Hollow
- Disney Princesses at Royal Hall and Fantasy Faire Courtyard
- All the Disney Princesses
- The Snow White Ride (Scary?): Disneyland 2021 Update
- Plan a Disney vacation 2022
Best Disneyland Shows for Toddlers
- The Disney Resort Railroad is an old steam train that transports guests around the park. The Fantasy in the Sky Spectacular will be Disneyland’s newest nighttime spectacular, based on the magical scenes found in Disney movies. The parade will feature floats and characters from major films including Frozen 2, Coco, Arthurian legend, and Cinderella. This promises to be a fantastic experience for both adults and children!
- Come join Mickey Mouse on a delightful 20-minute journey through a Magical Map, where you’ll hear songs from some of your favorite Disney movies. You might catch tunes from The Jungle Book, Mulan, and even Tangled! The shows are located in the Fantasyland Theatre.
- Fantasmic!: A beloved staple, Fantasmic! uses water and pyrotechnics with Mickey Mouse fighting the Disney Villains. It’s worth noting that this show can be intense for small children though, due to the 45-foot-tall fire dragon. But as always, there is a happy ending waiting (as is expected from any classic Disney story).
Disneyland with Toddlers: California Adventure Tips
If you’re already at Disneyland, a Park Hopper ticket will save you money and let you explore the park for half or a full day.
Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
The “memory movers” spinner ride is located on Pixar Pier and great for fans of the films and characters.
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
Ride on a tractor truck. This is a fun ride that goes around in a figure-8. The truck has music playing, and it’s entertaining for your trip to Disneyland with small children.
The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
The Little Mermaid is without a doubt one of the most well-known Disney movies.
This beloved Disney dark ride transports youngsters beneath the sea, depicting various portions of the 1989 film. Your child will enjoy traveling in a clam shell aboard this trip.
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
Your child may burn off some energy on an outside-inspired, forest-like path and playground. Jessie from Toy Story 2 is the loudest and tootin-est carousel operator in the wild West.
Final thoughts on Disneyland with Toddlers
When planning your trip to Disneyland, consider what will make your toddlers happy.
If they’re into characters, make sure to hit up the best meet and greets.
If they like rides, pick ones that are geared towards their age group. And always have a blast!