The beauty of the Disneyland® Resort is that it offers something for all ages. Whether you’re riding “it’s a small world” for the fifth time with your toddlers or speeding around the Matterhorn Bobsleds with your teenagers, you’re going to have a blast. But planning around your kids’ ages when mapping out your day and choosing attractions is the best way to ensure your visit to Disneyland® Resort goes smoothly. (Read: fewer tantrums, more smiles.)
5 & UNDER
Best attractions: Disneyland® Resort has plenty of fun in store for the little ones. In Disneyland® Park, rides such as “it’s a small world”; Dumbo the Flying Elephant; the Enchanted Tiki Room, presented by Dole®; the Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage; the Casey Jr. Circus Train; the King Arthur Carrousel; and the Storybook Land Canal Boats are guaranteed to keep small children smiling. Just about everything in Mickey’s Toontown is a safe bet. In Disney California Adventure® Park, try Flik’s Flyers, Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train, The Little Mermaid~Ariel’s Undersea Adventure and Mickey’s Fun Wheel.
The 5 and under age group is also a sweet spot for princess fun. Don’t miss the Fantasy Faire, where you can watch your favorite fairy tales come to life in an open-air tent.
Things to consider: This age group scares easily, so be prepared for when a ride that isn’t all warm fuzzies sends your little one into a fit of tears. Pirates of the Caribbean®, for instance, winds through dark caves filled with unsavory characters and the sound of cannons. In Disneyland® Park’s Fantasyland, many attractions feature characters and stories geared to this age group, but they can be surprisingly frightening to sensitive toddlers. Visit Snow White’s Scary Adventures, Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Pinocchio’s Daring Journey, Peter Pan’s Flight and Alice in Wonderland with caution.
Timing: With young children in tow, you’re primed to avoid the parks’ busiest times. Little ones rise early, so you’ll have no trouble getting into the park as soon as the gates open. Break for an early lunch at 11 a.m., then hop back on the attractions before noon when everyone else is grabbing food. An hour or two later, you can head out for nap time or to lounge by the pool at the hotel.
Return to the park around 3 or 4 p.m. to catch Mickey’s Soundsational Parade in Disneyland® Park. If your kids are still raring to go, check out the fantastical World of Color show in Disney California Adventure® Park. Don’t be surprised if your kids don’t make it to the show after a full day of fun. You can always visit the parks again when they’re older to enjoy the nighttime attractions.
Mom and dad haven’t had enough? Disneyland® Resort Hotels offer contact information about vetted babysitters for hire. Just ask at the front desk, and you’ll be well on your way to enjoying another whirl on Space Mountain while the kids rest up for the next day of fun.
10 & UNDER
Best attractions: Disneyland® Resort is perfect for elementary school-aged kids. They are still filled with wonder and awe, so everything is exciting. Plus, most kids in this age group are typically tall enough to ride everything, are less fearful of big-kid rides and are more inclined to try new things.
Attractions that may have been too scary in the past, such as the Haunted Mansion, are just the right amount of spooky now. Roller coasters that were once too fast—like Space Mountain, the Matterhorn Bobsleds, Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, and the Radiator Springs Racers—now provoke giggles and squeals rather than tears. Autopia, where you can try your hand at driving a car, and Soarin’ Around the World are also big hits with kids 10 and under.
Things to consider: If your kids aren’t daredevils, they may find some rides too intense. Think twice before jumping in line for Indiana Jones™ Adventure and California Screamin’, the resort’s only roller coaster with an upside-down loop.