Too Short to Ride? Think Again! Disney for Toddlers & Babies

A lot of people assume they have to wait until their kids are older before they can ride rides and enjoy a place like Disneyland.
(If you maintain the belief that “they won’t remember anyway,” please click HERE.)
The ability of your child to enjoy a magical place like Disneyland doesn’t begin at a particular age. Even as babies their sensory systems are delighted by all the novel sights, sounds, and vestibular experiences!
And here’s a bonus: Kids under 3 are FREE!
Additionally, much to most parents’ surprise, there is a long list of rides and attractions suitable for toddlers and babies at both Disneyland and California Adventure Parks. You read that right! Even babies!
In fact, the list is so extensive, we took our one year old and our two year old for two days, and didn’t even ride half of what was available for kids their size!
I’ll share the full list below.
But first – – If I can give any advice about visiting Disney, it will be this – GET THE APP.
GET THE APP.
Get.The.App.

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Click HERE for iPhone/Apple Store
Click HERE for Google Play
The (free!) Disneyland application not only provides a map of both Disneyland and California Adventure parks (super handy when trying to navigate through the park – forget old school paper maps, this one even shows you where you are in the park!), but also real-time wait times for rides, real-time character locations and their schedules, dining locations, and more! I could write a whole article on the beauty of this app and all that you can do with it. But alas, today I am sharing about rides. So here we go.
First: Get the app.
THEN: To see all of the available rides for you and your young child, use the easy filter on the “Attractions” tab to select rides suitable for toddlers/babies.

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Select which park you’re in, then what age group you’re looking for.
(In this case, I selected “All Ages.”)
The app then gives you locations on the map or you can view in list form (as shown above) all the rides that your tot can ride. It even gives you wait times so you can decide if you’ve got it in you or not to wait. We went on a Monday, and the most we waited for a ride with our littles was only 15 minutes!

It gets even better – if your kiddo doesn’t care for the dark, or for scary rides, etc, you can use the filters and weed those out to save yourself time and tears! Or if you’re riding with your baby and prefer not to ride something that spins or gets you wet for example, deselect those options!

This Disneyland app rocks… they’ve thought of everything.


When we took Charley at 6 months old, we had an absolute blast riding rides suitable for her (and even some that she couldn’t ride – ask to “Parent Swap” at any adult ride, and the second parent who waited back with the baby doesn’t have to wait in line – when one parent is finished riding, the other swaps and goes straight in)!

This time, we had the joy of witnessing 2 year old Charley AND 1 year old Gavin soar through the air on Dumbo’s back, ride a train all the way around the park, and go under the sea with Nemo!
Even after two fun-filled days, there were so many things we didn’t get to see and do that we can’t wait to go back!

Check out this list of rides and attractions suitable for those littles that might
not even be able to stand up at the “Must Be This Tall” sign!

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Looking at a physical list, it’s obvious that California Adventure has a much shorter ride list for littles. It seems that California Adventure has had to fight for its reputation as a respectable Disney park (classically known for more thrill rides I’d venture to say), but if I’m being honest, I’d say I preferred it!

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Charley and her daddy having a blast on Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters

We loved Disneyland but we actually ended up doing many more rides and activities at California Adventure. And, because our two-year-old, like most children, adores Pixar movies, she was smitten when meeting characters she knows and loves – like Buzz Lightyear and Jessie (from Toy Story). She loved rides like Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree (from Cars) and Monsters, Inc! I don’t blame her – it was like you were in the movie! The newly updated Pixar Pier was adorable (& absolutely stunning at night) and there are even more new rides coming soon.
Disney has made strides to make California Adventure enjoyable for all ages, and I think they’re winning!

Bottom line: Either park is a win. And both parks offered more than enough for our littles to enjoy.

Take your little people, and be prepared to make beautiful memories as you soar through the air on Dumbo’s back or go under the sea with Nemo, being reminded of the magic of this world only experienced through the eyes of a child.

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