Disneyland is the original Disney theme park. Opening its doors in 1955, it was always meant to be a family destination. Although the park has changed some and grown, there is still plenty of nostalgia and original attractions too. This is your complete guide to visiting Disneyland Park with kids.
Although Disneyland is smaller than the theme parks at the Walt Disney World Resort in Florida, there is still plenty to do. It has more magic per square inch!
Let’s take a closer look at navigating the original park with the youngest guests.
**Please note, some experiences are currently unavailable or modified as the phased reopening continues. This will be updated accordingly.
Arriving at the Park
As you go through the ticket turnstiles, it’s hard not to smile when you see the sign for Disneyland Park. You may even see the authentic steam-powered train chugging along the Disneyland railroad as you walk through the tunnel into Town Square.
This park is brimming with history. For any Disney lover, there is something very special about walking where Walt Disney walked, especially when you see the light shining above the fire station where he had an apartment. When you enter Town Square, there are different transportation options to take you down Main Street U.S.A. to Sleeping Beauty Castle. Little ones will love riding in a horse-drawn streetcar or a fire engine. He or she may even have the very important task of ringing the bell as they ride!
Must-Do Attractions and Rides
Most of the attractions at Disneyland Park do not have a height requirement. This means that guests of all ages are able to ride, including the youngest members of the family.
For little ones. be sure to head to the classic attractions such as Dumbo the Flying Elephant, “It’s A Small World”, and Peter Pan’s Flight. The Haunted Mansion is another that shouldn’t be missed! During the holiday seasons, this ride gets a fun layover with The Nightmare Before Christmas characters.
In addition, there are several other slow-moving rides that are great for younger guests. None of these attractions have a height requirement, making them perfect for all ages.
Don’t forget the thrills at Disneyland Park! For younger thrill seekers, Gadget’s Go Coaster is the perfect start! Then, there are plenty of other adventures waiting whether it’s with Indiana Jones, along the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or even running from the Yeti!
Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge is another must-do at this park! Here, guests head to Batuu to visit a Galaxy Far, Far Away! Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run gives guests the opportunity to fly the Millennium Falcon on a smuggling mission and Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance allows guests to rise up against the First Order while coming face-to-face with the Dark Side.
There are height requirements for both Star Wars attractions and the rollercoasters. Also, please note that a boarding group is required for Rise of the Resistance.
The biggest thing to know about characters in Disneyland Park is that they are everywhere! Currently, the character experience is modified for safety. Characters are participating in socially distanced interactions where they interact, pose for pictures and still create plenty of magical memories for guests.
While specific times to meet the characters are not available, they do rotate throughout the day and are found in a few locations throughout the park. Check with cast members if there is someone specific you are looking for and they may be able to give you a suggestion of where to look. Here are a few spots to be on the lookout:
- Across from “It’s A Small World”
- Mickey’s Toon Town
- Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge
- The Royal Theatre
The best thing about character interactions here is that there are so many that are not typically seen at other destinations. Here are just a few examples:
- Evil Queen
- Marie (from The Aristocats)
- Flynn Rider and Rapunzel
Please note, none of these are guaranteed and may change seasonally. For example, the Disney Villains are appearing currently for the Halloween season.
The dining options at Disneyland Park are both unique and fun! Whether you are looking for quick snack or a delicious sit-down meal, you can find something to please your palate.
Currently, there is one character meal offered in the park at the Plaza Inn. Reservations are required for this character breakfast and can be booked 60 days in advance. This meal is all-you-care-to-enjoy and even includes a photo with Minnie Mouse.
For a unique and delicious meal with Cajun flavors, check out the Blue Bayou restaurant. This restaurant takes you down to the bayou and you can even watch as other guests sail by on a Pirate adventure. This is a popular table-service restaurant and like other dining options, can be booked 60 days in advance.
There are also plenty of quick service and snack options available. Another popular destination in New Orleans Square is the Mint Julep Bar. Stop here to grab a Mint Julep and some deliciously warm beignets!
Then, of course, there are the Dole Whips. Several flavors are available at the Tropical Hideaway.
Hidden Gems, Nighttime Show and More
Because there is so much history in this park, there are quite a few hidden gems that you may not think to look for.
As mentioned above, the Disneyland Railroad is one of the first things you see when you when you enter the park. This attraction is an original and will take you on a scenic trip around the park. It’s a great way to relax and rest your feet, while seeing it all. You may find that it’s the perfect opportunity for your little ones to take a rest too! There are four stations available and the trains arrive every 5-10 minutes, traveling clockwise around the park.
Another spot to sit and relax with little ones is right along Main Street U.S.A. at the Main Street Cinema. Take a break indoors and watch some old school cartoons including the original Mickey Mouse cartoon.
We also can’t forget the nighttime show at the park! Each night, fireworks fill the skies around Sleeping Beauty Castle. This show varies throughout the year, with different themes for the holiday seasons. The best views are straight on looking at the castle and because there are projections, it’s best to be closer.
As you are preparing to visit Disneyland with kids, this complete guide is a great place to get started. Our friends at Key to the World Travel can also help you plan all the details!
Are you considering a trip? This is a great time to plan your perfect vacation! Having a travel advisor means someone there to have your back in any occurrence. There is no additional cost to you and you have peace of mind knowing that your vacation is in good hands. Contact our friends at Key to the World Travel® for a free, no-obligation quote for your next trip. Click here.