Planning a trip to Disneyland? These Disneyland rides (and California Adventure rides) are perfect for preschoolers!
The first time we went to Disneyland (Disneyland with a toddler is NO joke)…..I felt totally overwhelmed. It felt like there were a million characters to see, foods to try, and Disneyland rides for younger kids? I couldn’t figure out what to do where and when.
After a LOT of Disneyland visits, I finally put together the ultimate guide to Disneyland Rides for Preschoolers. These rides have low (if any) height requirements….and the bonus? I organized them by land. Feel free to print out the printable version of each list or to save the cell phone version to your phone……so that when you visit the parks, you can hit one land at a time and enjoy!
Before we get started on the Disneyland rides……a few tips for out of towners:
Where to Stay: We live JUST far enough away from Disneyland to have a long drive to and from the parks. Some days we do the drive, but every now and again……we make it a staycation. The Hilton Anaheim is our favorite place to stay. It’s walking distance to the park (they also have a shuttle service), the rooms are always impeccable, and they also have a GREAT splash pad for kids to use during the warmer months (plus an onsite Starbucks).
What to Wear: The weather at Disneyland varies, so plan to dress in layers. For more tips, check out our full post about Disneyland Outfits for each season.
THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO DISNEYLAND RIDES FOR PRESCHOOLERS
Alice in Wonderland: Ride inside the catepillar cars, and visit the characters from Alice in Wonderland. This ride usually has a long wait, but any fan of the movie will LOVE it (my daughter loves spotting the Cheshire Cat)!
Casey Jr. Circus Train: Ride inside of this colorful train for a tour of the all of the homes and villages from your favorite Disney movies. Younger kids will love spotting familiar buildings, and you’ll love the chance to sit and relax.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant: This classic is a must do with young kids. The view from up high is amazing, and you’ll catch a cool breeze in the summer (always a bonus).
It’s a Small World: You can’t visit Disneyland without putting It’s a Small World on your Disneyland rides list. It’s relaxing, air conditioned, and a ton of fun (plus the song will be stuck in your head for the rest of the day).
King Arthur Carrousel: One of my preschooler’s favorites, the line for the Carrousel is normally short……and it’s a great way to get a view of Fantasyland from the center of it all.
Mad Tea Party: A must do. Everyone loves getting that classic tea cup picture, and kids love spinning their cups as fast as humanly possible. Don’t be deterred by the line, it usually moves quickly.
Mr Toad’s Wild Ride: This classic is a ton of fun for fans of the movie, and preschoolers love “driving” the classic cars.
Peter Pan’s Flight: A personal favorite. The line is always long, so try to hit this one first thing in the morning if you can. Something about flying over the sights of London just feels like Disney magic.
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey: Love the Blue Fairy? Preschoolers will love trying to search for her while riding in the woodcarvers cart through the land of Pinocchio.
Snow White’s Scary Adventures: One warning…..the witch is a little scary on this ride…….but the rest? Absolutely adorable.
Storybook Land Canal Boats: We just did this ride for the first time recently and my daughter LOVED it. You get to ride in a real boat through Storybook Land. One word of warning, this one is definitely more suited for daytime…..it’s a little hard to see the adorable scenes at night.
Astro Orbiter: Got a space obsessed kid on your hands? This ride is a total blast! Climb into your own small rocket ship, and orbit around Tomorrowland!
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters: This popular ride is a ton of fun…..beware, your preschool will be begging to do it multiple times. It feels like riders are inside of Toy Story fighting the evil Zurg!
Rodger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin: The only ride in Toontown that accepts all heights, this is a perfect escape after playing at Goofy’s Playhouse or waiting in line to get into Minnie or Mickey’s house. Ride in a silly yellow cab and help rescue Jessica Rabbit from the Weasels!
Jungle Cruise: This classic ride is fun for the whole family (trust, the boat captain makes some pretty funny jokes)……your preschooler will love spotting wild animals all over the place.
New Orlean’s Square
Pirates of the Caribbean: This indoor ride is a great way to escape unpleasant weather, and a must for pirate lovers (beware, the cannons are a little loud).
The Haunted Mansion: This ride is my preschoolers favorite, it’s a ton of fun…..but may be overwhelming for kids who scare easily (there are ghosts all over the place).
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh: This adorable ride is hidden behind Splash Mountain, and a ton of fun. You travel through the land of Winnie the Pooh inside a big yellow honey pot, and there’s even a Winnie the Pooh store at the end of the ride with some ADORABLE toys to bring home (plus some spots to take cute pictures while waiting in line).
Mark Twain Riverboat: This isn’t specifically aimed at preschoolers, but it’s a ton of fun. Sit back relax, and sitting on the steamboat for a tour of the river (it’s 14 minutes long, and a perfect way to get some downtime).
Sailing Ship Columbia: This 15 minute boat ride is another way to rest and relax, but this one? Looks an awful lot like a pirate ship……..
Not Land Specific:
Disneyland Railroad: Now that the railroad is open again, it’s the perfect tour around the entire park. We hop on at Main Street and ride the ENTIRE track. Be sure to say hello to the conductor!
Monorail: Pick up the Monorail in Tomorrowland, and ride allllllll the way around the park, or get off at Downtown Disney to walk back to your car in the parking lot.
Flik’s Flyers: This adorable ride lets preschoolers (and their families) ride inside of mini-hot air balloons made out of boxes (the chinese food box is my favorite). It also gives a great view of A Bug’s Land from the air!
Francis’ Ladybug Boogie: This adorable ride lets you join in as the ladybug cars dance and spin…….it’s a ton of fun and the music is GREAT!
Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train: This simple train ride is a feast for the senses. Ride along with Heimlich as he eats his way through his favorite snacks (the air is even scented so that you can smell cookies!)
Tuck and Roll’s Drive ‘Em Buggies: These bumper cars are super cute, and fun for kids who are 36 inches or taller.
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree: Get into one the adorable Mater Trunks to spin and twirl around his Junkyard, this one is fast and a ton of fun!
Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters: One of my personal favorites, this ride is a ton of fun. Hop into one of Luigi’s fancy cars just in time for a dance party.
Monster’s, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!: We rode this for the first time recently (I know, where have we BEEN) and loved it. Hop into a cab to help Mike and Sulley rescue Boo (we loved see all the colored doors from the movie). Bonus, Sulley does a lot of meet and greets in front of the ride in the mornings!
Golden Zephyr: This sky high space ship is a ton of fun and gives you a GREAT view of California Adventure!
Jumpin’ Jellyfish: This ride has a 40 inch height requirement, but once you’re tall enough it’s a BLAST. Your feet dangle free while you jump up into the sky and down again.
King Triton’s Carousel: Perfect for even the youngest riders, this Carousel is smack dab in the middle of everything!
The Little Mermaid Ariel’s Undersea Adventure: Love Ariel? Then hop into one of her seashells and dive under the ocean. This indoor ride is a great way to cool off on warm days!
Toy Story Mania: Love Toy Story? This ride lets you play alongside your favorite characters from the movie (and try to hit some pretty fun targets)!
Looking for more Disneyland tips and tricks? Check Out: