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21 Don't-Miss Attractions For Kids At Disneyland

Because utter frustration kind of goes against that whole happiest place on earth vibe.

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Disneyland is a whole lotta awesome for kids to take in.

Morgan Shanahan / Via

Fairies, and stormtroopers, and people in giant furry costumes — oh my! But for some of the kindergarten-and-under set, it can be meltdown city if you're not careful. The good news is there are a ton of activities that even the most anxious kiddos will love doing.

1. Start slow. There's plenty to see and do on Main Street USA. / Via Flickr: ksher55

If your little gets overwhelmed, like mine does, (or just plain freezes up at the sight of anything coaster-like) taking your sweet time to get anywhere near a ride can help.

3. Main Street is also a great spot to catch a parade.

Jill Krause / Via

For the wallflowers who are reluctant to wait in line to meet characters, the top of Main Street is a great place to catch the cast at their most energetic as the parade comes out of the gate. (Most guests are lined up further down the parade route.)


4. Visit the Hook and Ladder Company. / Via

Who doesn't love exploring century-old fire engines? Just make sure you ask guest relations about performances that may be happening out front, if your kid is skittish about characters.

5. Or pick up the Disneyland Railroad, which will take you throughout the park, giving your kids a chance to catch their bearings before launching into anything.

Pro tip: If your kid gets easily spooked, you'll want to hop off the train at The Toon Town stop before you take a nightmare-fueled trip through the Jurassic Era.

6. If you're starting on the California Adventure side, Buena Vista St. has tons of great show options for the ride-averse.

Ken Lund

Hang left to stroll through the Hollywood pictures backlot for access to shows and sights.

7. Got a Cars fan on your hands? Radiator Springs has tons of great sightseeing.

Jill Krause / Via Baby Rabies

You can walk right down Route 66 as it appears in the movie, complete with Flo's V8 Cafe and the Cozy Cone motel. Get to know Mater, Lightning McQueen, and the rest of the Cars gang without ever stepping foot on Radiator Springs Racers. Luigi's Rockin' Racers is a great attraction for riders-in-training.


9. And it's home to a bunch of low-impact, short-line rides that are great for reluctant riders!

Glenn Beltz / Via

Check out Heimlich's Chew Chew Train and Flik's Fliers, in addition to Tuck and Roll's Drive-Em Buggies, pictured above.

10. Back on the Disneyland side, Fantasyland is full of wonder... and some scary sh*t to be aware of.

Joe Penniston / Via

Dumbo? Yes. Mr. Toad's Wild Ride? Hard pass. The "story" rides (Snow White, Pinocchio, Mr. Toad, even Winnie The Pooh!) may appear benign, but trust, they're likely to leave your kids wailing.


12. And no trip to Fantasyland would be complete without a visit to the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique.

Jill Krause / Via

A magical makeover (there are a bunch of options, including pirate) is a great way to bring out that Disney spirit in your shy kid.

13. It's a Small World is a Disneyland rite of passage, and a great opportunity for your whole family to ride together.

Morgan Shanahan / Via Instagram: @the818

Keep your kiddos (and yourself) entertained by looking for cameos from Disney favorites like Woody, Ariel, Jasmine, and Elsa on their respective continents.


19. Shrink your way into Pixie Hollow.

Jill Krause / Via

Winding through the tall grass of Pixie Hollow, we like to pretend we're shrinking down to pixie-size to meet Tink. Also look for Silvermist jumping through the fairy abodes that lead up to the character's homes.

20. Back at California Adventure, cut character lines with a swim through Ariel's Grotto for lunch.

Morgan Shanahan / Via Instagram: @the818

Have a decent food budget and want to meet the characters? Book a meal at Ariel’s Grotto and save yourselves hours of waiting in frantic lines to meet even the most sought-after princesses as they come to your table for photos and autographs.

21. Try your luck on Paradise Pier.

Jackie Nell / Via Flickr: nelljd

Home to carnival games galore, boardwalk snacks, kid-friendly rides, and a giant ferris wheel, Paradise Pier is the centerpiece of California Adventure and a great place to unwind when everyone gets overwhelmed.