Disneyland for Kids: How to Make the Most of Your Visit

Disneyland is a magical place for children of all ages. From the thrilling rides to the whimsical characters, there’s something for everyone at the happiest place on earth. But planning a trip to Disneyland with kids can be overwhelming, especially if you’re not sure what to expect. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you plan a memorable trip with your little ones.

First things first, let’s talk about the magic of Disneyland. As a child, there’s nothing quite like seeing your favorite Disney characters come to life and experiencing the thrill of the attractions. But as a parent, planning a trip to Disneyland can be daunting. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you navigate the park and make the most of your visit.

Best Time to Visit Disneyland

If you’re looking to avoid the crowds, it’s best to visit Disneyland during the off-season. The best times to visit are early Fall and early Spring. The weather tends to be more mild, schools are in session so crowds are less, and prices are often reduced.

Aladdin interacts with children and families in Fantasyland at Disneyland, surrounded by colorful decorations and happy guests.

But if you’re planning a trip during peak season, there are still ways to make the most of your visit. Be sure to arrive early and take advantage of the park’s Lightening Lane system, which allows you to skip the lines on select attractions.

How Young is Too Young at Disneyland for Kids?

There are so many reasons to bring your young kids to Disneyland, whether they’re old enough to remember it or not – you will. My oldest niece had her fist big Disney trip at 2, and that was across the country from San Diego to Disney World.

She doesn’t remember many details, but I do. I remember how she jumped up and down when she met Tinkerbell, dressed in her own green fairy dress. I remember her playing and laughing in the Epcot splash pads, and the tears afterward when we had to rush back and get a change of clothes.

Eeyore from Winnie the Pooh poses with children during a meet and greet in Critter Country at Disneyland, set in a lush, wooded area.

A few years later, when she was 7 and finally tall enough for the big kid rides – I remember how she made us all go on Expedition Everest 9 times in a row. Back to back to back, and her smile had never been bigger.

Just last year I took my 4 year old niece on a rollercoaster she thought she was ready for (she wasn’t) and her older sister talked me into a ride she thought I was ready for, Pixar Pal-A-Round (I wasn’t).

The point is that a memorable family vacation is less about what little kids will remember and more about what they’ll get to experience. Also, kids under 3 are free – so, bonus.

Age-Appropriate Disneyland Experiences

One of the most common questions parents have when planning a trip to Disneyland is whether or not it’s worth taking young children to the park. The answer is a resounding yes! There are plenty of attractions and entertainment options that younger children will love! From the classic “It’s a Small World” ride to the whimsical “Alice in Wonderland” attraction.

Jesse from Toy Story plays a guitar in the vibrant "it's a small world" attraction at Disneyland, featuring bright colors and playful scenery.

Here’s our top tips for kid’s attractions; minimal height restrictions, low scare factor, and always a hit with my young nieces (4, 8, and 15)!

Family Friendly Attractions

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster – 35″
  • Disneyland Railroad
  • Dumbo the Flying Elephant
  • ‘it’s a small world’
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Mad Tea Party
  • Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (they love this one, but tread with caution)
  • Mickey and Minnie’s Runaway Railway

Engaging Entertainment at Disneyland for Kids

Everyone thinks about rides when they think about theme parks, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg at Disney! From iconic character meet and greets to lively stage productions, super hero stunt shows, and more!

The colorful queue for Mickey and Minnie's Runaway Railway at Disneyland, decorated with various whimsical awards and bright lights.
  • Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome
  • Disney Jr. Dance Party
  • Turtle Talk with Crush
  • World of Color
  • “Magic Happens” Parade

Planning And Preparation

If there’s one thing to know about ThePixieDustedPlanner.com, it’s that we’re going to talk about pre-trip prep. From how to prep your phone, to packing for a rainy day – we’ve got you covered. And when it comes to planning a family trip with kids, there’s quite a few thing you’ll want to prepare for.


It’s a big question on folks mind when making their reservations. Will your child need it, use it, should you pack yours or rent locally? What’s the best stroller for the parks? After many trips to Disney parks on both costs I can tell you with great confidence – bring the stroller.

Jesse from Toy Story plays a guitar in the vibrant "it's a small world" attraction at Disneyland, featuring bright colors and playful scenery.

Kids as old as 8 or 9 might be fine walking to and from school, but the 10-20k steps in a Disney day hit different. Whenever I am in the parks with any of the littles under 12 in my life, there’s a stroller. They may not be happy to see it, but by the end of the day it gets used.

Take a Break

In the middle of the day. There are lots of hotels near to Disney by my absolute favorite is the Anaheim Inn. Located across the street from the main park entrance, you can be at security within 10 minutes. The benefit of not having to collapse, rebuild, and repack your stroller and kids beats the few hundred steps it adds to your day.

View of the Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout! attraction from the serene courtyard of the Anaheim Inn, framed by tall palm trees.
Bonus – watch the fireworks from your hotel and avoid the late night crowds

And staying so close allows you to pace yourselves. There’s a lot going on inside the parks from attractions and entertainment to lines, people’s bad habits, and a persistent level of sound and activity that can build to be overwhelming for any of us.

Pack a Snack

There’s nothing worth than a hangry child, except maybe an entire family of hangry folks. You’ve seen them before, realizing at the last second that they should have already eaten. But it’s too late now – no one can decide what they want to get, the line you’re in is taking forever, and suddenly there are no available order windows in the next hour.

So, bring some light snacks to keep everyone moving and grooving. Fruit snacks, chips, granola bars – nothing major. Besides helping to keep everyone happy, you’ll save big bucks buy not buying every treat that someone walks by with.

No matter how old your littles are now, it’s always a good time to think about a Disney vacation. Even if it’s just a far away dream. What memories do you most look forward to making with your kids at Disneyland?

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