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Disneyland Resort has rides for visitors of all ages from preschoolers to grandparents! Our preschooler Traveling Mom, Britni, has put together a guide to all of the rides at Disneyland that everyone can ride regardless of height or age. It’s the ultimate list of Disneyland rides for all ages!
What Makes These the Best Disneyland Rides?
One of the best things about the rides at Disneyland is that there is really something for everyone, whether you’re looking for thrill rides, themed rides, and even water rides! I’ve been to Disneyland four times in the past year with various groups of people – kids, adults, kids who love rides, adults who don’t. You name it, and I’ve probably visited Disneyland with those people.
Based on my visits, I put together what I consider the best Disneyland rides for everyone – grandparents, kids, and everyone in between!
When putting together this list, I took into consideration three main things – height limits, scare factor, and comfort factor. If anything had a height limit (at all), was too scary for young kids, or wouldn’t be comfortable for young kids or older adults, it didn’t make the list. The only exceptions are included in a “ride with caution” list for Disneyland – rides that I personally love and recommend riding but that might be a tad bit scary for the littlest kids.
Since standing in line with young kids and older grandparents isn’t fun, I’ve made a note on this list which rides accept fast pass and which ones don’t. Since Disneyland offers fast passes for fewer rides than Walt Disney World, you may still want to ride some of these rides and just use these ways to entertain kids in line instead of skipping them altogether.
Anything in the lists below that is marked with a * has a fast pass option available. I always recommend getting MaxPass to make the most of your fast pass selections.
Best Rides at Disneyland for All Ages
There are way more rides at Disneyland than there are at Disney’s California Adventure, so I’ll start with that park. There are also tons of great shows at Disneyland, not to mention amazing Disneyland snacks to try, if you can’t find enough rides to fill your day.
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters*
- Disneyland Monorail
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
- Disneyland Railroad (also stations in Main Street, U.S.A., New Orleans Square, and Mickey’s Toontown)
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin*
- Casey Jr. Circus Train
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- It’s a Small World*
- King Arthur Carousel
- Peter Plan’s Flight
- Storybook Land Canal Boats
- Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Jungle Cruise
- Mark Twain Riverboat – this is more a boat ride than a ride, but it’s still a fun option
Disneyland Rides to Ride with Caution
There are a handful of Disneyland rides that would be okay for all ages other than they are a bit frightening and dark. I’ve included those in their own list here so you can make a judgement call based on your child’s maturity when it comes to movies and rides. If you’re concerned about any of these, I highly recommend searching YouTube for ride videos to watch the ride in full before you go.
- Haunted Mansion* (New Orleans Square) – if your kids like ghosts then go for it. It’s one of my son’s favorites! It’s more Disney spooky than scary. The version during the Disneyland Halloween Party is less frightening and a must-see!
- Pinocchio’s Daring Journey (Fantasyland) – similar to the movie, the part where Pinocchio is at the carnival and starts turning into a donkey can be a bit scary
- Snow White’s Scary Adventures (Fantasyland) – parts of this can be frightening and dark with the Queen and some haunted trees but it’s not any scarier than the movie
- Alice in Wonderland (Fantasyland) – parts of this where the Queen of Hearts is after Alice can be a bit frightening and dark, should be okay if kids have seen the movie
- Pirates of the Caribbean (New Orleans Square) – Unlike the Walt Disney World counterpart, Disneyland’s Pirates of the Caribbean has a number of fast drops (you may get wet) that may scare younger kids; I know they scared my 5-year-old.
Disneyland Rides to Skip
- Astro Orbiter (Tomorrowland) – lines are often long and no fast pass is available. It also goes pretty high which might scare young kids and the seats are a bit tight for larger guests
- Mad Tea Party (Fantasyland) – the spinning can make both adults and kids nauseous or as my son puts it, make their tummy hurt.
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (Fantasyland) – this ride is dark, creepy, and not really appropriate for young kids. It scared my 5-year-old
- Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes – Paddling canoes may not be the best fit for all ages and you may get wet if someone paddling splashes you.
Best Disney California Adventure Rides for All Ages
The rides at Disney California Adventure for all ages are a little harder to find, especially once A Bug’s Land closes late this summer. That being said, it’s still worth buying a Disneyland park hopper ticket to be able to check out these rides and the amazing Pixar Fest food available throughout the summer!
A Bug’s Land Rides (closing late summer 2018)
- Flik’s Flyers
- Francis’ Ladybug Boogie
- Heimlich’s Chew Chew Train
Paradise Pier (becoming Pixar Pier June 2018)
- Golden Zephyr – the heights may scare younger kids
- The Little Mermaid
- Toy Story Midway Mania
- Mickey’s Fun Wheel (currently closed and being changed to Pixar Pal-A-Round for Pixar Pier’s opening in June 2018)
- King Triton’s Carousel (currently closed, being changed to Jessie’s Critter Carousel opening in 2019)
- Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue
*Indicates that this ride has fast pass available.
Other Great Resources for Visiting Disneyland
- 17 Things that are Free at Disneyland
- Reasons to Stay at a Disneyland Resort Hotel
- The Ultimate Guide to Disneyland Character Meals
- Disneyland Tips for First Timer Visitors