View Full Version : Any DisneyLAND tips for 5yo?

11-14-2008, 12:22 PM
we're taking 5yo DD for the first time next week. :yay: it seems like this board has mostly DisneyWorld in FL tips, but i thought maybe someone here has been to DL. are there some rides that are the same at both parks? which rides are appropriate for preschoolers?

also wondering about California Adventure.

we are SoCal residents, so i think we are going to suck it up and get the resident passes. that way we won't be pressured to do EVERYTHING in one day.

i bought a book (Unofficial Guide to DL) so hopefully that will be useful. we made reservations for a princess lunch. i'll be taking snacks.

any other BTDT tips??

anne + DD 10-03

11-14-2008, 02:03 PM
I've never been to DL, but DH has a million times. I know that a lot of the rides are the same. DL has a few that DW doesn't though- the Matterhorn, for example. Have you checked out some of the Disney websites? I like allears.net and disboards.com. Both have a ton of info, and in-depth descriptions of rides, shows, etc.

Tondi G
11-14-2008, 04:26 PM
We live in LA and have had a passes since our youngest was a baby! We go frequently! One thing to know is that if you are planning on visiting Disneyland on a day that would be blacked out on the so cal passes (say on a Saturday) then go and buy a standard ticket... enter the parks and then at the end of the day go and upgrade your ticket to a pass.

As far as the rides go.... the only ride that is the same in Dland and the CA would be the carousel. The Dland one is traditional, the CA one is Tritons carousel so all underwater/sea life as opposed to horses! The CA one is beautiful. How tall is your kiddo? That will dictate what rides she won't be able to go on... over 40 inches and she will be able to go on most rides.

At Disneyland

all of fantasy land, the Nemo Subs are cool (have someone stand in line and take your DD on some rides in fantasy land and then they can call you when they get close to the front of the line), toon town has a couple of rides and then mickey and miniies houses to walk through. go through adventure land and ride the jungle cruise, walk through the tarzans treehouse and then hit Pirates and the Haunted Mansion is all decorated as The nightmare before Christmas HM Holiday.... it's cute but dark. Beyond the HM you go back towards Splash Mountain and you will find the Winnie the Pooh ride tucked (often has a very short line if any) back there! Be sure to go on Buzz Lightyears Astro blaster in tomorrow land and Autopia!

For CA (Calif Adventure)

Don't miss Soarin' over California, pull a fast pass! Monster Inc is cute. In Bugs Land there are 4 or 5 little rides for smaller kids.... over on the boardwalk do not miss the new Toy Story Mania.... it's worth the wait! Again you can have someone wait in line (like the Nemo subs)... take your DD on the carousel and the ferris wheel. Around the way you will find the jumpin jellyfish ride (my 3 yr old loves it) and the zepher. Another really fun thing is the Redwood Creek Challenge.... lots of rope bridges and such to climb though, slides... bring crocs and let her splash in the little creek down below. When our kids are tired of waiting in lines we'll take them over there to run off some steam... they always have fun!

There is a lot to take in if you are only visiting one day. If you find that Disneyland is really crowded we often ditch DL and head over to CA for some elbow room and shorter lines! If you buy passes you will find yourself heading to DL more often than you imagined. It's fun and the kids are always asking to go! Pull fast passes on thing you want to ride that have longer waits... it really is a great system if the park isn't too busy! Try to not stress and have a good time!

If you have any specific question I would be happy to try to answer them for you!

Mommy to Mason 7/01 and Aidan 5/05

11-14-2008, 07:48 PM
Don't forget:
-Playhouse Disney show (DCA)
-Aladdin show (DCA)
-Talk with Crush and the Beast's Library (DCA)
-the parades. My fave is the Parade of Dreams in DL but the kids love the Pixar parade in DCA
-for a breather we go into the theatre on Main St that shows the old Mickey cartoons (DL)
-the Princess Fair over by Toon Town has story time where one of the princesses will tell her story, a short show where kids learn to dance under the maypole and a chance to meet 3 princesses (the line is usually incredibly long. you may want to skip this if you've got the princess lunch planned) (DL)
-meet Tinkerbell and her fairy friends over by the Matterhorn (where Ariel used to be) (DL)
-Fantasmic! is an awesome show (DL)
-the fireworks are also incredible (DL)
-It's a Small World will still be down but that's something to do on your next trip (DL)
-we like to sit on the curb eating ice cream while waiting for the parade to start
-my kids love the Tiki Room (DL)
-in Down Town Disney, Club Libby Lu is closing but my DD loved getting her princess hair and crown done there
-if you're lucky the candy store on Main Street will be hand-making candy canes while you're there. I've never been that lucky! (DL)

We're going Thanksgiving and the week after and we can't wait!

11-14-2008, 09:13 PM
It looks like you will have to really consider dd's temperment. My ds was 5 when we went...and easily scared. He *hated* Buzz Light Year Astro Blasters and the Winnie the Pooh ride with a passion. I didn't even attempt the Haunted Mansion with him.

The only ride we did in Fantasyland was Mr. Toad's Wild Ride. He wasn't interested in any of the others. We only had a day total and we couldn't get to Toon Town.

We skipped Nemo because the line was so long and I didn't hear anyone raving about it.

He really would have liked to ride Splash Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad all day!

I would make the following priorities:
Soarin' over California
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (there was barely a line at all, which I think really appealed to him :))
Splash Mountain
Pirates of the Carribean

I liked CA Adventureland. There were fun rides and it was much less crowded.

I think whatever you get on will be great so don't stress about trying to do everything or all of our favorites.


11-16-2008, 03:32 AM
Watching this with interest since we just found out we're probably going to be celebrating DS's 5th b-day at Disneyland.

I've been to both DL and WDW (right when Animal Kingdom opened up, so 90s I think) and found that DL and MK at WDW were extremely similar, just that MK is much more spread out. Also, IMHO they completely messed up the Tiki room at MK, but the one at DL is the original. No Country Bears at DL (Pooh ride is there, and I thought it was fun, DH thought it was weird). Note that we spent most of our WDW time at Epcot and Animal Kingdom since we live in CA and had been to DL multiple times in our youth, so I have not completely explored MK at WDW.

We went to DL when DS was 18 months, so quite different from a toddler. Will recommend the beignets at DTD. We were at the hotel (I was attending a conference for work) so we got beignets for breakfast on our way to the gate.

FWIW, at 18months DS liked the rides at Bugs Land at California Adventure (and so did all the grands who came along, nice easy rides the entire fam enjoyed).

If you have time after your trip - I'd love to hear your experiences with a 5year old, as well as though who have been kind enough to post already.

11-16-2008, 03:44 AM
Thanks for all the replies. I'll be making a master list of all your suggestions and taking it with me.

Rebecca, I'll come back and post an update after we go.