Nothing’s worse than a kiddo having a meltdown at a Disney park. I’ve been going to Disneyland since I was a toddler and now I take my own kids, plus I’ve helped hundreds of families plan trips to both Disneyland and Walt Disney World with ConciEARS. I’ve seen it all and I want to share my experiences with YOU so you can avoid those meltdowns and make magical memories with your family.
If you’re headed to Disneyland, here are 5 rides you might want to reconsider for your kids at Disneyland:
1. Indiana Jones Adventure
WHERE: Disneyland / Adventureland
HEIGHT REQUIREMENT: 46” / Rider Switch available
WHAT IS IT? “A fast-paced thrill ride in search of Indiana Jones” – passengers board a rugged twelve- person vehicle and embark on a bumpy, dark, dangerous ride through the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Expect fire, snakes, screaming mummies, loud noises and things jumping out at you. Little kids might want to sit toward the middle of the vehicle – there are no doors on the sides and it can feel like you’re falling out on some of the big bumps.
TRY INSTEAD: Jungle Cruise (a tranquil outdoor boat ride right next door)
2. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
WHERE: Disneyland / Fantasyland
HEIGHT REQUIREMENT: none
WHAT IS IT? “Zig and zag in a motorcar with J. Thaddeus Toad, Esq. on a manic drive through the countryside” – this is one of the famed “dark rides” in Fantasyland, a slow and easy ride in two-person open air buggies through Toad Hall. Nothing really scary here (although at the end, you do end up in “Hell”) BUT my kids think it’s the weirdest ride and always say it’s super boring. Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride was an opening day attraction at Disneyland in 1955 and a true classic, but this is one I wouldn’t mind getting updated or changed. 😉
TRY INSTEAD: King Arthur’s Carrousel (right across from the entrance to Mr. Toad)
3. Haunted Mansion
WHERE: Disneyland / New Orleans Square
HEIGHT REQUIREMENT: none
WHAT IS IT? “A spooky tour through a house of happy haunts” – while this attraction is filled with ghosts, none of them are particularly sinister or scary. They really ARE happy haunts. 🙂 But, it’s still a very dark ride through a spooky mansion and I’ve known some kids to get pretty freaked out by it. Beware the stretching room at the very beginning – the lights go out and you’ll hear a loud scream before the doors open to reveal the boarding area.
TRY INSTEAD: Take a raft over to Tom Sawyer’s Island (boarding area is along the Rivers of America)
4. Grizzly River Run
WHERE: Disney California Adventure / Grizzly Peak
HEIGHT REQUIREMENT: 42” / Rider Switch available
WHAT IS IT? “A thrilling whitewater raft adventure that splashes you down a roaring California river deep in the mountains” – you’ll board an eight-passenger raft for a lazy river ride before plummeting down a steep drop. You WILL get wet on this ride – in my experience, you get completely soaked. Fun on a hot day but not the best for whiny kids who don’t want to be squishing in their shoes for the next hour. Bring a poncho or a change of clothes. 😉
TRY INSTEAD: Burn some energy at the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail, right across from Grizzly River Run. OR, if you just want to get a tiny bit wet, hang out on the bridge over the drop and you might get sprayed by passing rafts.
5. Space Mountain
WHERE: Disneyland / Tomorrowland
HEIGHT REQUIREMENT: 40” / Rider Switch available
WHAT IS IT? “Race through the cosmos in the dark to the edge of the galaxy and back on a thrilling roller coaster ride” – this is an intense roller coaster almost completely in the dark. A super fun thrill ride but maybe too extreme for little riders.
TRY INSTEAD: Work your way up to Space Mountain by warming up on some easier, outdoor roller coasters like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad or the Matterhorn. Or, head to Autopia close-by for a speedy car ride.
Hope this helps you prepare for your next trip to Disneyland! If you’d like help planning your vacation (or just want to bounce questions off an expert or generally geek out about Disney magic), send me an email – I’d love to chat.