“Why bother?” “They won’t remember it.” “You should wait until they’re older and can appreciate it.” These are all phrases we’ve heard when people find out we take our two children under five to Disney. While I understand their hesitations, I wholeheartedly disagree. Disney is fun for all ages, from adults down to babies. Although young children have to skip those rides with a height requirement, and some shows might be too intense, there are still plenty of experiences for them to enjoy. (Note: Even if children don’t meet a height requirement, parents can still take advantage of the “rider swap” policy. This allows one adult to wait in line while the other stays with the kids. When the first adult gets off the ride, they can swap with the second allowing them to bypass the line.)
Below I’ve listed just a few experiences that children under five can enjoy at Disneyland Park.
Mickey’s Toon Town
Mickey’s Toon Town is one of the lands in Disneyland Park. Once you arrive, it’s as if you’ve walked right into a cartoon. It is completely tailored for young children. Toddlers and preschoolers will love climbing to the top of Donald’s Boat and looking out over Toon Town’s main square. And I dare you to try to get your toddler to leave Goofy’s Playhouse. Before you leave, make sure you stop by Minnie’s house to pose for pictures with her in her living room. Then go next door to meet Mickey– dressed in his sorcerer’s costume- on his “movie set.”
Young children may go on any ride without a height requirement. However when choosing rides to go on with your kids, keep their fear tolerance in mind. My kids are fine on Pirates of the Caribbean (most of the time) but are terrified of Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride. Rides are so much more enjoyable when everyone is having fun.
Here are some rides that are perfect for tiny tots:
- Casey Jr. Circus Train- Fantasyland
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant- Fantasyland
- Small World- Fantasyland
- Mad Tea Party- Fantasyland
- King Arthur Carrousel- Fantasyland
- StorybookLand Canal Boats- Fantasyland
- Disneyland Railroad- Stations at Main Street, Mickey’s Toon Town, Tomorrowland and New Orleans Square
Character Meet and Greets
Part of what makes the Disney parks so magical for children is being able to meet their favorite characters in person. It’s like meeting a celebrity every time. Here are a few that are great for the littlest Disney fans.
The furry characters were Buddy’s favorites to meet. As soon as he lay eyes on Goofy and Pluto, Buddy squealed with delight and ran over for big hugs. Chip and Dale received similar reactions, as well.
Hundred Acre Wood Gang
Tucked in a shady spot in Critter Country, little ones love seeing their favorite Winnie the Pooh characters. Pooh, Rabbit and Piglet are there. So is Eeyore. And our personal favorite- Tigger. We actually went through the line for Tigger twice in a row because Buddy was so enamored by the giant tiger that we could hardly pull him away. Tigger definitely got one of the best reactions out of him. (I like to think Tigger was charmed by Buddy, as well.) Tigger (along with Goofy at California Adventure) was one of the most fun character experiences we had at Disneyland Resort.
Of course I have to include the princesses in this list since Princess Fever is at an all time high at our house thanks to our own little princess. To meet multiple princesses in the same place, head to Royal Hall at the Fantasy Faire courtyard in Fantasyland. The princesses aren’t the same all the time but when we went, we met Snow White, Ariel and Cinderella. More princesses are available for meet and greets throughout the day scattered around Fantasyland.
*Note: Check the Disneyland app for times and locations of character meet and greets. Keep in mind that character schedules are subject to change. You can also check the park guide. And, of course, you can always ask a cast member if you need help.
Mickey’s Soundsational Parade
If you have toddlers, you don’t want to miss this parade. Mickey and Minnie and friends get together with characters such as Mary Poppins and Burt, Aladdin, Peter Pan, the Lion King, many of the princesses, and more for a fun musical soirée on floats.
Disneyland Park has plenty to do for everyone in the family, regardless of age. If Disney is calling for you, there is no reason to wait for your kids to get older. Even the under five crowd can certainly have a magical day at the Happiest Place on Earth.
Do you take your young children to Disneyland Park? Is there anything I missed?
Check out more from our trip to Disneyland by clicking the link below.
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