Thursday, February 24, 2011

Guide to Visiting Disneyland with Little Ones

If you are visiting me today from the Disney Blog Hop, Welcome!
You can read my bio here (with pictures), but here is a quick summary:
  I've been a Disneyland passholder for 19 years. I have many great childhood memories from Disneyland, and now that I'm a mother of an almost two year old boy, I'm creating new memories with him. Magical Days with the Mouse is my way to share the Disney magic we encounter each week and love. 

Did you know you can get a Guide to Visiting with Little Ones at City Hall? 
You can! All you have to do is ask for one. 
 There are helpful tips inside...
 There is also a cute map inside for both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure to decide which rides and attractions may be best to go on with your little ones. 
 Fairy Godmother takes a look at the map with us.
I thought I would highlight some of my son's favorites from the suggested Disney list in each land.

 Mickey's Toontown
At Mickey's House you are always guaranteed to meet and get a photo with the famous mouse. First you walk through his house, out to his green house, and through his movie barn, where you get to visit Mickey on one of his movie sets. This is a great spot for many, and I do mean many photo opportunities. 
My son's absolute favorite place in Toontown is Goofy's Playhouse. Kids can explore inside and outback at Goofy's. Check back tomorrow for a full report on one of my son's favorite things to do at the park. 
Inside Goofy's House.
Fantasyland
There is lots to do here, and we definitely spend a lot of our time here. You have Alice in Wonderland, Storybook Land Canal Boats, Dumbo, It's a Small World, and Peter Pan Flight just to name the few rides that Disney suggest for little ones.  
My son has two favorites here that we must always go on. 
The first is King Arthur Carrousel. The best perk for this ride is the wait time, which is usually 5-10 mins long even on busy days.  The horses now have easy handles for the kids to hold on to, and you are allowed to stand in-between the horses to hold on to your child, if they are not old enough to hold on without your help. 
New handles to hold on to.
Our other must go on ride is Casey Jr. Circus Train. If a train is involved, my son loves it. The fun part for adults is getting to act like a monkey or a wild animal in a cage while riding above Storybook Land. 

Frontierland
Pirate's Lair on Tom Sawyer Island is a great place to let your little one explore. Some of the dark caves are a little scary for my guy, but the rest of the island he has a blast running around on. 
He found the stash of gold on the island. 
Big Thunder Ranch is another place we visit on a regular basis. It is hidden in the back behind Big Thunder Mountain Railroad. During the holidays you can find pumpkin carvers for Halloween and Santa Claus and his reindeer during Christmas. The rest of the year, it's a petting farm. In a gated off section you can walk around and pet the goats, and from a small distance you can visit Pocahontas the Donkey or Maggie the cow. When you are all done, there is a hand washing station available to use on your way out. 

Critter Country
Although Critter Country is closed for refurbishments until next month, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh is listed on the guide and is a favorite ride of my son. This is a 4 minute ride in a giant beehive through The Hundred-Acre Woods.  My tip for this ride is to wait until later in the day to go on it. The line is always shorter at night, and sometimes you can even walk right on or wait for a short period. 

Adventureland
The Disneyland Guide to Little Ones suggest the Enchanted Tiki Room (which we haven't tried yet) and the Jungle Cruise. 
The Jungle Cruise was once a great ride for my little one until recently. Now on certain parts through the ride he gets a little scared, but other times he gets excited to see some of the animals. Use your judgement on how you think your child will react to some of the loud noises, like piranhas attacking the boat. 
If you don't mind climbing a bunch of stairs, and your little one is all about climbing, you might find Tarzan's Treehouse a good spot to explore. It's not listed on the guide, but we always have fun there. 

Tomorrowland
Without a doubt my son loves the Monorail. If you want to fold up your stroller, you can take it onboard with you. It does make a stop at Downtown Disney, which you can get off at or take a round trip back to the park. If you take a round trip and don't want to bring your stroller onboard, there is a stroller parking area at the entrance of the Monorail. 
Waving to the people below the Monorail.
Disney's suggested rides also include Autopia and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters. 

Main Street U.S.A.
And last, our Disneyland trip wouldn't be complete without a grand circle tour through the Grand Canyon and Primeval World of Dinosaurs. Did I mention my son loves trains? Yes we must ride this at least once, but often we ride it a few times around. Not only does it give us a lift to another land, but it's also a great way to take a break from walking around the park. It takes approximately 18-20 mins for a round trip around the park. I can't think of a better way to relax and take in the beauty of the park at the same time. 
I hope you enjoyed reading about some of my son's favorite rides. 
Don't forget to check back tomorrow for a full report on Goofy's Playhouse.

* My son is almost two years old. Each child reacts differently. Which rides my son may love, another may not like so much. Please use your best judgement of your own child's behaviors and fears before going on a ride. 


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Thanks to Lisa for hosting the Disney Blog Hop.

3 comments:

Becky said...

Just hoppin' around... Your son is a cutie, and he has a very good taste in rides! Just subscribed via RSS.

~jill said...

that last picture is precious....what a cutie!

Magical Days with the Mouse said...

Thank you! I think he is a cutie too. ;)