Maximizing Your Disney Vacation By The Age Of Your Children

Ages: 0-2

We all have certain family vacations from our childhood that we still hold dear today. I bet for a lot of us one of the most magical vacations we think about from our childhood is one from Disneyland. The rides, the characters we loved so much, the junk food mom and dad made exceptions for and the laughter. I think a Disney vacation will always be something that is somewhat of an heirloom, being handed down generation to generation. It’s one that we save for, spend time planning out every last detail and one we want our children to remember for the rest of their lives. In this 5 part series, I’m going to help you not only maximize the magic and warm memories to be made but also help you make the best use of your time by planning your trip based on the age of your children. I’ve spent several hours going through Disney maps, researching online what most people regretted about their Disneyland vacation (which rides they missed, which ones they didn’t know about and which ones they simply ran out of time for) and spending a few days in the park with my family to figure out the best use of your limited time there without losing the magic of Disney in the planning. Disney was kind enough to provide my family and I tickets so I would be able to categorize rides by different age groups, these are solely my opinions to help create a guide for you. The rides are in no particular order but I have organized them by which “themed land” they are located in. I hope you find this guide helpful.


Maximizing Your Disneyland Vacation by Age (0-2):

We generally don’t think of Disney as a place where babies can enjoy some rides too but as a mother of a (at the time) 10 month old baby, I found Disneyland very baby friendly. Here’s a list of what your little ones can enjoy with the family:



The Enchanted Tiki Room – Young ones will be engaged with both sight and sound with this audio-animatronics show that displays exotic birds, tikis and flowers that sing songs for you to enjoy as you learn about the Pacific Islands.

Jungle Cruise – This slow boat ride will take you into the depths of the wild to see animals, plants and settings native to South Asia, Africa and South America.

Tarzan’s Treehouse – The treehouse that Tarzan’s parents built from their shipwreck debris comes to life at this playful display. Kids can climb the tree, explore the house and even play music at the Base Camp located at the bottom of the tree.

New Orleans Square:

Pirates of the Caribbean – This slow boat ride has catchy songs and captivating displays for the little ones. With a never ending show of visual effects the Pirates of the Caribbean is the perfect smooth ride for the entire family to relax and enjoy together.

Disney Railroad –  Get on board for this grand train tour! The train offers an 18 minute long ride and is an easy and fun way to get around the park. It has 4 different stops (New Orleans Square, Main Street U.S.A., Tomorrowland and Mickey’s Toontown) for you to choose from and with the trains departing every 5-10 minutes you’ll never have to wait too long to hop on.

Critter Country:

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh –  Jump in an oversized beehive and set off on an amazing adventure! With vibrant colors and playful songs you will see your favorite characters and some of the most beloved stories as you make your way to Hundred Acre Wood!


Mark Twain Riverboat – This escapade is enjoyable for the big and small! The 0-2 age will love floating down the water in this half mile journey and the bigger kids will have a fun and educational experience as the riverboat takes you back in time to the old American frontier. You will see old cabins, charming Native American villages, wild animals and more! This 15 minute ride also offers up a great break for everyone to relax and enjoy their tour of the spectacular sights as you listen to Mark Twain tell you about a time long ago when new discoveries and exploration made up the American Frontier.

Sailing Ship Columbia – A full-scale replica of the original Columbia Rediviva (the first American ship to circumnavigate the globe in 1790) this fully-rigged ship will take you along the Frontierland River in the same manner as they Mark Twain Riverboat but offers a little something special. You will still float past the old cabins and charming Native American villages so you can enjoy some relaxation but underneath the deck is a wonderful surprise! Go ahead a journey below to find displays of the living conditions for 18th-century sailors. This museum will help kids explore some of their wildest dreams of what it means to be a sailor at sea long ago.


Pinocchio’s Daring Journey – A classic film brought to life. As you embark on this voyage your little ones will see vibrant and colorful displays that recreate scenes from the original movie. Kids will love this slow ride quest of Pinocchio’s pursuit to become a real boy.

King Arthur’s Carrousel – This handcrafted carousel was built in 1922 and has a little bit of Mr. Walt Disney himself still alive in it. It’s a classic ride almost like any other but with a special touch. When the carousel was originally purchased by Disney it had various animals on it from giraffes to deer but Walt wanted to make sure that every little boy and girl had a galloping horse to ride in Fantasyland and that’s just what he did. Additional antique horses were located and the ride was custom made into the amazing display that it is today.

Casey Jr. Circus Train – Casey Jr. comes straight out of the animated feature Dumbo to take you on a tour of numerous scenes from classic Disney movies. This mild ride is packed with entertainment, adventure and childhood memories of your favorite classics.

 Mad Tea Party – My 10 month old daughter particularly loved this ride. She was giggling with each spin of the tea cup. This fun attraction reflects the kookiness and vibrancy of the famous Alice in Wonderland. As you step onto the platform you are transported to a world of color and eccentric decor. The great thing about this ride is you can control the spinning with a wheel located in the center of each cup.

It’s a Small World – A 15 minute slow boat ride will engage your child and fill them with joy as you travel the world to see it’s really not that big at all. The bright and glowing colors throughout It’s a Small World are as mesmerizing as the idea of the ride. Children will hear music, see traditional dress and culture from all 7 continents as you glide from one exhibit to the next . I have this listed in the 0-2 bracket because it is a slow ride with engaging visuals and music but it really is enlightening and fun for all.

Mickey’s ToonTown:

Toontown is where all of our favorite characters live and they’ve been nice enough to have open houses so we can come see, explore and discover. There are plenty of areas for parents to sit and relax under the shade while their little ones play in all the residences of their most beloved characters.

Goofy’s Playhouse – The young ones will giggle as they explore the unconventional house that Goofy has built. From bell peppers that really ring like bells to a piano that makes Goofy’s noises instead of notes kids will love this fun filled playhouse.

Donald’s Boat – Climb to the top of the boat for great views or go below deck to check out Donald’s living quarters. A fun and interactive boat that will inspire any young child’s imagination right in the middle of Toontown.

Chip ‘N Dale Treehouse – Peek inside this treehouse to see how these quirky little guys live! The Chip ‘N Dale Treehouse has plenty to look at but is really more of an attraction than an interactive and playful house. The little one’s will still get a kick out of being in a huge treehouse and walking up the winding spiral staircase but there is little to do to keep them busy enough to burn off some of that endless energy they always seem to have.

Mickey’s House – This colorful, fun and playful house will bring excitement to kids of all ages. Step into Mickey’s home to find little surprises in ever room (for a list of all the surprises click here You will discover things about this legendary mouse you never knew before.

Minnie’s House – Pink, adorable and classic just like Minnie herself this house is not one for any little girl to miss. With interactive features through out and the chance to meet Minnie this is a must go attraction.


Disneyland Monorail – This monorail is a great opportunity for everyone to rest and get some spectacular views of the entire park. The ride lasts about 15 minutes and even goes all the way to Disneyland’s California Adventure Park for even more to see.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters – Board a space cruiser and help save toys everywhere as you defeat the evil Emperor Zurg! This slow ride is a little cart on a track that comes with a laser gun for you to blast targets away. It was a slow enough ride for me to hold my daughter in my lap and still participate in all the excitement. There are vibrant colors and engaging things for the younger ones to look at. At the end of the ride everyone can check their Star Command Rank based on their total score.   

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