One of the major rites of passage is when a child finally hits the Disneyland height requirement for a particular ride! But did you know that a majority of rides don’t have any height restrictions? No or low height limit on most attractions makes Disneyland a perfect place for everyone to enjoy, despite their age or stature. But there are certain Disneyland ride height requirements you should be aware of before your trip.
Disneyland Ride Height Requirements
Is your child tall enough to ride all of the Disneyland attractions? How tall do you need to be to go on ALL of the Disneyland rides? How will you know which Disneyland rides have restrictions?
There’s more to know than JUST Disneyland ride heights! If you’re planning your first Disneyland vacation, be sure to read this additional advice. Then, follow these tips about Disneyland ride height requirements so you’re prepared in advance.
Looking for Disney World planning tips? Read more about planning a first Walt Disney World vacation.
Why Are There Disneyland Ride Height Restrictions?
Bottom Line: Height requirements are in place at the Disney parks to keep your children safe.
There is a reason why the requirements are in place. It might not make sense to you why you can bring an infant onto Toy Story Midway Mania (which has no height restriction) but have to be 32″ to go on Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters. Just know that the Disneyland resort has those restrictions for a reason. There’s no getting around it. If you’re child isn’t tall enough, the Disneyland Cast Members aren’t going to let them ride.
If your child isn’t tall enough for a handful of attractions, there are still plenty of rides that they can go on (many that don’t have restrictions at all!) Read more tips for toddlers including this one-day Disneyland itinerary.
Step-by-Step Guide To Pre-Vacation Height Planning
1. Measure at home with the shoes that your child will be wearing to the park. Rest back against a flat wall, heels completely to the wall for the most accurate height reading. Don’t stretch, tip-toe or raise your chin!
What if your child is SO close to the requirement? If we’re talking centimeters, have your child wear tennis shoes with a thicker sole instead of flat sandals. For more tips (and to find out if the Disneyland ride heights marker is accurate), read more from my friend Becca at This Crazy Adventure Called Life.
2. Scan the list of Disneyland ride heights limits and take note of what your children will or will not be able to ride. Keep scrolling, I have them ALL listed in a height requirement chart below!
3. Let your kids know in advance what rides they will be able to go on and which ones they aren’t tall enough for. You don’t want any disappointed thrill seekers on their Disney day when they discover that they miss the height requirement for Guardians of the Galaxy: Mission Breakout! by an inch!
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Exceptions and Rules to the Height Requirements
- There are some rides that allow guests that don’t meet the height requirement to ride with a taller guest.
- There are Disneyland height and age restrictions – Children under 7 years old must ride with a person 14 years or older, even if they meet the height requirement!
Checking for Height at Disneyland
Outside each attraction there will be a sign. It will briefly explain the attraction and offer guidelines for guests. This includes height and age restrictions as well as wheelchair transfer info. There may be explanations on the signs for attractions that may cause discomfort to those who are pregnant or have back issues.
Near this signage you’ll find the height measure. The measurement bar MUST touch your child’s head (not just their hair!) in order to pass. Your child cannot be able to walk underneath the sign. Their head needs to reach or exceed the measurement bar.
A Cast Member stationed at the front of each attraction will check your child at the beginning of each ride. Occasionally another Cast member will check again further down the line (like my son in the picture below at Radiator Springs Racers). Cast Members are very careful about checking height because the safety of your children is a high priority.
The Cast Member may touch your child to flatten down hair or to make sure they aren’t standing on their tippy-toes. They will almost always request that kids remove baseball hats or Mouse Ears. In certain cases, they may even request that a child remove their shoes (if the child is wearing wedges or heels). It is their job to make sure your kid is safe and meets the Disneyland height limits for that attraction.
Your Child Is Tall Enough – But Are They Ready to Ride?
So your child passes the test – they are tall enough to ride! But is the attraction appropriate for your child? Some rides might be too fast, loud or scary for your kid. And only you will know this information. If you have a child who is tall enough for the attractions but you aren’t sure it’s appropriate for them, I suggest doing your pre-vacation research.
Read on the Disneyland website about each of the rides and even consider watching YouTube videos of the rides to see if it will be a good fit for your kid. So just because your kid is physically tall enough to ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, doesn’t mean they’re mentally ready for it yet.
Also some of the ride overlays featured during the holiday seasons may not be appealing to your child, even if they’ve been on it before. For instance Space Mountain: Ghost Galaxy during Halloween Time at Disneyland is quite scarier than the usual attraction.
If you find that your child is scared or nervous about certain rides at Disneyland, consider reading this guide about all the potentially scary things at Disneyland. Then follow the tips on this post with helpful tips for calming scared and anxious kids at Disney. Doing pre-vacation research is imperative for families with kids who want to ensure a happy day for all!
Rides at Disneyland With Height Requirements
- Autopia (32″ though guests need to be 54″ to drive alone)
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (40″)
- Gadget’s Go Coaster (35″)
- Indiana Jones Adventure (46″)
- Matterhorn Bobsleds (42″)
- Splash Mountain (40″)
- Space Mountain (or holiday overlays, Hyperspace Mountain or Ghost Galaxy) (40″)
- Star Tours: The Adventure Continues (40″)
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (38″)
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance (40″)
Rides at Disney California Adventure Park With Height Restrictions
- Incredicoaster (48″)
- Goofy’s Sky School (42″)
- Grizzly River Run (42″)
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT! (40″)
- Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters (32″)
- Radiator Springs Racers (40″)
- Soarin’ Around the World (40″)
- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree (32″)
- Silly Symphony Swings (40″ and in a tandem swing or 48″ to ride alone)
- Jumpin’ Jellyfish (40″)
Are There Disneyland Rides Without Height Restrictions?
There are A LOT of Disneyland rides without height requirements! In particular these are located in the Disneyland Park, as opposed to Disney’s California Adventure park. You can check the list of attractions, or simply look at the signage at the attraction. There are some that might surprise you, like Mad Tea Party and Astro Orbitor.
These are the rides that you can go on with everyone, including your infant and toddler. There are some rides that have special rules however, so follow the Cast Member’s instructions. Just like height requirements, these rules are in place for a reason so make sure you follow what the Cast Member says.
Even on rides without height restrictions, you may need to have your child seated in a certain way. This might include removing a baby from their front carrier. Or you may have to turn your little one so they are seated forward on your lap with legs under the lap bar. Other rides may require you have the child seated on their bottoms on the seat and not sitting on your lap.
Rides at Disneyland Without Height Restrictions
- Alice in Wonderland
- Astro Orbitor
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Casey Jr. Circus Train
- Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes
- Disneyland Monorail
- Disneyland Railroad
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
- Haunted Mansion
- “it’s a small world”
- Jungle Cruise
- King Arthur Carrousel
- Mad Tea Party
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
- Mark Twain Riverboat
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
- Pirate’s of the Caribbean
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin (check out these additional tips for taking a preschooler to Disneyland’s Toontown)
- Snow White’s Scary Adventures
- Storybook Land Canal Boats
Rides at Disney California Adventure Park Without Height Requirements
- Golden Zephyr
- Jessie’s Critter Carousel
- The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
- Monsters Inc. Mike & Sully to the Rescue!
- Pixar Pal-A-Round
- Toy Story Midway Mania!
- Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
Where to Find the List of Disneyland Ride Heights Requirement
I’ve listed all the rides that do not have height limits as well as those with height requirements. If you want more details about each attraction, check out the official websites.
- Disneyland Attractions – This list is interactive and includes links to all the rides with a thumbnail photo next to each. The height requirement (or lack of requirement) is noted in the description of each attraction.
- Disneyland Attraction Height Requirements – This list shows restrictions by height.
Looking for things to do once you get into line? Check out this list of 12 Things to Do Waiting in Line at Disney Parks.
Using Disneyland Rider Switch
So your toddler isn’t tall enough to ride Splash Mountain, but everyone else wants to ride? Fortunately Disneyland offers a complimentary Rider Switch program for families with kids that don’t meet the height restriction. Using the Rider Switch option will allow all who want to, the chance to ride each attraction. It also eliminates families from all having to wait in line twice (and it can be used in conjunction with FASTPASS).
Not all attractions offer Rider Switch but these are the attractions that do:
Disneyland Rider Switch
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Gadget’s Go Coaster
- Indiana Jones Adventure
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Splash Mountain
- Space Mountain (or holiday overlays, Hyperspace Mountain or Ghost Galaxy)
- Star Tours: The Adventure Continues
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run (read these tips if you’re taking a toddler or preschooler to Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge).
- Star Wars – Rise of the Resistance
Disney California Adventure Rider Switch
- Goofy’s Sky School
- Grizzly River Run
- Guardians of the Galaxy – Mission: BREAKOUT!
- Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
- Radiator Springs Racers
- Soarin’ Around the World
- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
- Silly Symphony Swings
- Jumpin’ Jellyfish
How Rider Switch Works
- Family approaches the Cast Member at the entrance of the ride and tells them they’d like to take advantage of the Rider Switch program.
- The Cast Member will either scan the Disneyland ticket or Disneyland app on your phone and assign the family a Rider Switch pass.
- At least one adult will stay behind with the child(ren) that are not riding.
- First group will get in line and go on the ride.
- Family will meet up after the ride. Adults will trade places and second group (up to three people) will redeem Rider Switch to the Cast Member located at either the exit or FASTPASS entrance to ride.
This post was originally published on Sep 22, 2014 and has been updated.