Best Disneyland Resort Rides for Preschoolers

Disneyland is a popular family attraction, and it's filled with rides for all age groups. It's one thing to visit Disneyland with an older child or teen; it's something completely different to visit with a preschooler.

For one thing, toddlers and roller coasters don't mix. Forget about riding Space Mountain or the Twilight Zone, Tower of Terror-at least as a family. And, skip the Indiana Jones Adventure; it's way too adventurous for little ones.

Other attractions, which might seem kid-friendly, can also be inappropriate for preschoolers. The surprising noises, bright lights and scare thrills at Snow White's Scary Adventure, Honey, I Shrunk the Audience, Muppet Vision 3-D and It's Tough to Be a Bug! may frighten some children. Your best bet is to learn a little about each ride before taking your preschooler on it.

Fortunately, Disney knows a thing or two about little children and how to entertain them. The park has a wealth of attractions designed to delight the youngest visitors. Here are some of the most popular Disneyland rides for preschoolers.

Mickey's Toontown

Toontown is a great place to start your Disneyland adventure. This whimsical neighborhood is the home of Mickey Mouse and his friends. Kids delight in the bright colors and funny shapes of the topsy-turvy homes and streets. Best of all, they can meet their favorite characters and even stop in for a visit at Mickey and Minnie's house. Kiddos also tour the homes of other classic characters, as well as the Chip 'n' Dale Treehouse. Goofy's Playhouse-a playground just for kids-has an odd assortment of kid-approved delights, including giant stalks bearing popcorn and spinning flowers. Children can climb on Goofy's furniture and play his piano. One Toontown note: Roger Rabbit's Car Toon Spin has special effects which might frighten some preschoolers.

A Bug's Land

This colorful, oversized land at Disney California Adventure was designed with the youngest guests in mind. It allows kids to see the world from a bug's perspective. Giant garden hoses spray water, while Chinese food boxes turn into flying vehicles. Huge flowers tower above, and fireflies become lamplights. Little ones especially like the bug-shaped Heimlich's Chew Chew Train.

Playhouse Disney-Live on Stage

This 22-minute live show at Disney California Adventure gets preschoolers up and dancing with popular characters from Disney Channel's Playhouse Disney shows, such as Little Einsteins, Handy Manny and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. The live stage show follows a surprise birthday party for Minnie Mouse, with Goofy baking a cake and other characters joining in on the fun.

Peter Pan's Flight

Based on the popular story by Sir James M. Barrie, Peter Pan's Flight is a journey into Neverland. Pirate ships carry guests through the clouds, past Big Ben and into the land of Captain Hook and the Lost Boys. Located in Disneyland's Fantasyland, the ride is appropriate for little ones who don't have a fear of heights. While the ride is never high off the ground, it provides an illusion of flying.

Jungle Cruise

This attraction is good for the whole family. The boat journey takes visitors into an exotic jungle filled with wild animals and a lush tropical forest. The navigator keeps everyone entertained with corny jokes, while pointing out the alligators, elephants, hippos and crocodiles in the water. Lions, apes and other jungle animals wait in the foliage. The Jungle Cruise is a Disneyland original, and opened with the park in 1955.

It's a Small World

A Disneyland staple, It's a Small World has been delighting guests of all ages since 1966. The whimsical façade, with its 30-foot-tall clock tower, is an experience by itself. Every 15 minutes, a multinational procession of dolls parades in front for waiting riders. Inside, the 15-minute cruise sails past dolls and scenes from nations around the world, all to the accompaniment of that ever-present song.

Storybook Land Canal Boats

This seven-minute boat ride at Disneyland sails past miniature scenes from classic Disney animated films. Filled with intricate detail, the ride visits the homes of the Three Little Pigs, the village of Alice in Wonderland, and over to London to see Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and the Darling Children. Other featured locales are the home of the Seven Dwarfs and the market where Aladdin met Princess Jasmine.

The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh

This ride is another classic childhood favorite. The 4-minute journey takes guests into the Hundred-Acre Woods on a giant 6-foot beehive. Little ones delight in seeing their favorite Winnie the Pooh characters, and experience a blustery windstorm with Tigger, Eeyore, Kanga and the rest of the gang.

Photo, Disney

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