Going to Disneyland with a young child can be challenging for many reasons, but I think one of the bigger obstacles is finding the best Disneyland rides for 3 year olds that parents confidently feel will be both safe and fun. Therefore, in this article, I have made a list of ten rides that I think will be really awesome to take your very young child on at Disneyland.
Best Disneyland Rides for 3 Year Olds
Let’s begin with “Peter Pan’s Flight.”
Peter Pan’s Flight
This attraction has always been one of my favorites, and for me it has always been one of the most peaceful rides in the entire park. Guests are taken via pirate ship to Neverland with Peter, and this ride truly makes you feel like you are flying above the neighborhood on your way to Neverland.
Small children will love this ride because it allows them to feel like they are flying, but is still using an enclosed ride vehicle and bench like seating so they can stay close to their parents. If your kiddo is a nervous rider, this would be a great one to bring them on!
There are no height requirements for this ride, and entering the ride vehicle is super easy for small children! There is no rush, so take all the time that you and your family need to safely board the ride vehicles!
While this ride does have some sudden noise and rather intimidating animal statues as well as animatronics that could scare a young kiddo, all things considered it’s an incredibly peaceful ride that doesn’t have any sudden movements, drops or villains that could cause issues with easily frightened children.
This is one of the oldest rides in the park, and takes passengers via boat down the rivers of the jungle, Allowing them to see tons of different animals, scenes, smells and sounds. The skippers (tour guides) also go out of their way to bring additional comedy and enjoyment to the tour through loads of corny jokes that the children will enjoy!
There is no height requirement for this ride, so three year olds of any size can safely participate in this excursion! There is a fairly large step to get into and out of the boats, however cast members are more than willing to give you time to board! There is also a wheelchair accessible boat that families can ride on!
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Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
This ride is about the most peaceful attraction you can find while also keeping your three-year-old entertained! It’s very similar to Dumbo or Astro Orbiters, but it can be found in DCA at Pixar Pier next to the track for Incredicoaster. There’s upbeat music, beautiful colors and smooth movement for children to enjoy, and there’s no sudden movements to make those sensitive kiddos feel sick or uncomfortable!
This is one of my favorite rides for when I’m feeling extra sensitive or just ate a big lunch because it’s just so smooth! Families are seated in baskets which makes it much easier for children to get nervous riding by themselves!
There is no height requirement for this ride, and wait times are generally pretty short making this a great option for a last minute excursion for those tired kiddos who just want to sit down!
It’s A Small World
This attraction is another one of my absolute favorite rides to participate in! While the music can get stuck in your head and play on repeat for the entirety of your trip, that’s part of the appeal for young children and part of what makes it fun for them! This experience takes riders on a tour of the world, exposing them to dancing, music and visual input from many different cultures!
This is a much longer ride than most, which allows three year olds to take time to rest and recover if they’ve been walking around in the park all day, and it also has air conditioning for those hot days where your kiddo is overheated and miserable!
There are no height requirements for this ride, and I’ve seen kiddos as young as six months old being held by their parents on this attraction before! There is one ride vehicle that can accommodate a wheelchair, so if you have a disabled member of your party this would be a great option for everyone to be able to participate at once!
King Arthur’s Carousel
King Arthur’s Carousel is an absolute must do for any three year old who loves princesses, horses and carousels! There are so many different options for those kiddos who have differing comfort levels, and this ride allows parents to stand next to the horses and hold onto their children! There are also horses that do not raise and lower, as well as chariots to allow for bench seating!
There are several princesses and other characters who participate in this attraction alongside children throughout the day, so if your child loves the character interactions this is definitely something to add to the list of can’t miss experiences!
There is no height requirement for this ride, and rarely ever a line longer than 30 minutes which makes this a perfect option for kiddos who struggle to wait in line!
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
This attraction is so full of bright colors, familiar characters and beautiful scenery that three year olds can’t help but gravitate to it! This gorgeous ride features characters from the hundred acre woods and interacts with Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet and Winnie himself along with some gorgeous, eye-catching animation, movement and color!
If your kiddo enjoys bold, beautiful colors and scenery this is definitely a ride that they would enjoy! While the interior of the ride is dark, the colors and lights light up everything around them and make it look much less intimidating than some of the other indoor counterparts!
There is no height requirement for this attraction, and the honey parts that serve as the ride vehicles can accommodate multiple rows of family members, making this the ultimate family adventure for just about anyone!
Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
Up next on the list we have another calming, peaceful ride for overexerted and overheated kiddos to enjoy! This attraction features characters and scenes from The Little Mermaid film and is one of my absolute favorite rides in DCA! This is a very calm ride with no sudden drops, movements or frightening scenes, although there is an appearance from Ursula, the film’s main villain. Overall, this ride is great for children who love the film and common of that just about any three year old could enjoy and feel safe participating in this attraction!
There is no height requirement for this attraction, and the conveyor belt used to load ride vehicles can be slowed or even stopped completely to accommodate children who may struggle to properly board the ride vehicles. There is also a wheelchair accessible shell although it can only accommodate one additional passenger outside of the wheelchair.
If you’ve ever taken your three-year-old child to the county fair and they fell in love with the Ferris wheel, this is definitely a ride for you and your family to put on the must do list! If you have children in tow, you will definitely want to make sure that you ride in the non-swinging baskets, as the swinging gondolas can make even the most seasoned adult uncomfortable at best and physically ill at worst.
If you choose the non-swinging baskets, this is one of the most peaceful rides that you will find in DCA and is a great experience for children who may just be learning to ride rides (and have a good time doing so)! This ride is, in my opinion, even more fun after dark also because it gives kids an opportunity to see all of the beautiful park lights lit up from a different point of view!
There are no height requirements for this ride and the gondolas are completely enclosed for safety purposes! There is also a wheelchair accessible gondola that can see one wheelchair and several family members so that you can all enjoy the ride together as a family!
If your kiddo is absolutely exhausted from walking around all day (or you’re exhausted from pushing the stroller all day), this is absolutely a perfect option for you and your family! This attraction is a great way to tour the park if you are unfamiliar with the different lands, and it is approximately 18 minutes round-trip to visit all four stations!
While it is calm and peaceful, it offers a great view of just about everything Disneyland has to offer, and there’s even a small segment featuring dinosaurs for all those Dino crazy three year olds out there! You can also ride more than once, so if you need to quiet place to start your three year old’s afternoon nap or otherwise calm down and relax, this is the perfect way to do so!
There is no height requirement for this ride, and three out of the four stations are wheelchair accessible! There are several trains that loop around the park, so wait times are usually no longer than 10 or 15 minutes unless you are trying to ride during peak times such as late afternoon or mid day!
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Alice in Wonderland
Our final ride on this list is a great one for three year old to love bright colors and goofy, animated characters and sounds! This attraction brings riders down into the rabbit hole with Alice, and while it often gives me a headache to ride more than once in a day, the bright colors and quirky movements are great for children that enjoy fun music and gorgeous lighting!
This is a great attraction for kiddos who are more nervous with villains and dark lighting, as the gorgeous neon colors and fun familiar characters make it nearly impossible to be scared! This ride is a great way to get those kids out of the sun while also still having a great time and getting the most out of your trip!
There is no height requirement for this ride and although the ride vehicles are smaller, they are super easy to board for children and adults alike!
Locating the best Disneyland rides for 3 year olds isn’t easy, but with proper planning, you’re bound to have a truly one of a kind experience at the Happiest Place on Earth. And with the combination of Disney being so family friendly, and cast members always being nearby to guide you and answer questions, you’ll never have to fear getting answers to your questions about any attraction inside Disneyland!
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