Disneyland is a magical place for kids of all ages. But what can babies do at Disneyland? These are the must-know tips for taking infants and small children to Disney, including top rides and attractions, managing nap time, best restaurants for babies, and a free packing guide.
This article originally published on February 4, 2015 and has been updated and republished with a new date.
What Can Babies Do at Disneyland?
Whether it’s your first time at Disneyland or you’ve been a dozen times, travel is different when you have little ones. Considering a trip to Disneyland but you have a baby on board? You might be asking yourself, “What can babies DO at Disneyland?”
No need to cancel your travel plans, babies are quite welcome at the Happiest Place on Earth! There are of course, a few things you should know first. I have the answers to the top questions most parents ask themselves before bringing a baby to Disneyland.
Top questions about bringing babies to Disney parks:
- Do babies need a park ticket?
- What are the best rides for babies at Disneyland?
- How does the Disneyland rider switch program work?
- Best tips for meeting favorite characters?
- Are the Disneyland shows and parades good for babies?
- Where are the most baby-friendly restaurants at the Disneyland Resort?
- What is the Baby Care Center?
- How to handle a nap schedule in a theme park?
- Which Anaheim hotels are best for accommodations with a baby?
- What baby gear should we pack when taking a baby to Disneyland?
- What stroller is best for theme parks?
- Is a Disneyland nanny a good idea?
- Should we wait to take a Disneyland vacation until the baby is older?
Expert Advice for New Parents
I’ve personally been taking my babies to Disneyland for years. I’m here to share my insider tips about your concerns. I’ve even traveled alone with my baby to Disney!
My son’s first Disneyland trip came at 8 months old. My daughter was only 5 months old! I can attest that we all had a wonderful Disney day, even with the baby on board.
Of course, a vacation with a baby is not the same kind of trip you’d have with just older kids. But it can still be great fun if you plan ahead.
Know What to Expect of a Vacation with a Baby
The most important thing is to be prepared in advance so everyone in your group knows what to expect. If you’ve been to Disneyland in the past, you might have worked with a tighter itinerary or touring plan.
Traveling with a Baby and Older Kids Together
With an infant in tow, your Disneyland days may have a bit less hustle. If traveling with older siblings, prep them for the trip to come. Let kids know that there will be more down time with a baby on vacation.
Consider having some travel games available for kids while they wait. I have lots of suggestions in this article about the things to do while waiting in line at Disneyland.
Making a Baby-Friendly Itinerary
Take babies regular schedule in mind when planning your theme park days. Sleeping in late may prove impossible if baby awakes early and is ready for the day. You may be able to take advantage of Disneyland rope drop with a baby that’s an early riser.
In regards to late night hours, take advantage of the stroller and let baby sleep while adults and older kids explore the parks. There are more details about how to maximize the Rider Switch program further in this article.
Planning Plenty of Breaks
In some ways, taking a very young child to Disneyland can be easy, especially when the baby sleeps a lot. However, know that you will have to take more frequent breaks for diaper changes and feedings.
Fortunately Disneyland is quite well equipped to handle all guests, babies included! Keep reading for the answers to your questions about taking a baby to Disneyland.
READ MORE about fun ways to prepare kids for a Disney trip, with several pre-vacation planning ideas to do as a family!
Do Babies Need a Disneyland Ticket or Reservation?
Kids two-years old and under do not need a Park ticket, so your baby has free admission! You won’t need to buy your baby a Disneyland ticket until their third birthday.
My travel partners at Get Away Today offer both discounted Disneyland tickets and Anaheim-area hotels to fit any budget! Many hotels include exclusive discounts like free parking, complimentary breakfast or even free nights, just for booking through Get Away Today.
Disneyland tickets purchased now are good through December 31st, 2024. Purchase your multi-day tickets through Get Away Today now.
When you’re ready to book your Disneyland vacation, my friends at Get Away Today are ready to help! Mention code REWRITTEN to receive an extra discount off your SoCal vacation package (when booking 2+ nights with two or more tickets).
Can Babies Go On Any Rides at Disneyland?
Babies can ride on many attractions in both Disneyland and Disney California Adventure parks. There are approximately 20 rides with height restrictions that will not permit a baby.
Do Babies Lap-Sit on Disneyland Rides?
Certain rules apply at different attractions. This may include having a child seated on the bench next to you, versus sitting on your lap. Check with the Cast Member ride operator for more information.
Can Babies Ride in a Front Carrier at Disneyland?
Certain attractions may permit parents to baby wear their child on the ride. In some cases, the Cast Member may request that babies be forward-facing, with legs under the lap bar. The Cast Member will provide you with more details at the individual attraction entrance.
Are Disneyland Rides Too Scary for Babies?
Some rides and attractions have loud noises that might frighten your baby. Just ask a Cast Member at the entrance if you have any question that the ride or show might not be appropriate.
This complete guide to everything scary for kids at Disneyland offers up some tips on what rides to avoid. Consider using ear protection for your baby if they are sensitive to sounds.
Anything relatively slow moving, musical and colorful will likely be enjoyed by babies. The following lists are the rides that do not have a minimum height requirement, in which babies are allowed to ride.
Disneyland Rides for Babies
- Alice in Wonderland
- Casey Jr. Circus Train
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- “it’s a small world” (Disney Genie+)
- King Arthur Carrousel
- Mad Tea Party
- Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Pinocchio’s Daring Journey
- Sleeping Beauty Castle Walkthrough – Stairs and walkways, no strollers permitted.
- Snow White’s Enchanted Wish
- Storybook Land Canal Boats
- Astro Orbitor
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters (Disney Genie+)
- Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage
- Disneyland Monorail – This ride travels from inside Disneyland to the Downtown Disney District. Guests may disembark or ride round-trip. Strollers must be folded down.
- Jungle Cruise
New Orleans Square
- Haunted Mansion (Disney Genie+)
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (May purchase Individual Lightning Lane for this ride)
Main Street USA
- Main Street Vehicles – Includes a double-decker bus and horse-drawn trolley. No strollers permitted on board.
- Disneyland Railroad – Four stops around the Disneyland park to board or exit. Guest may take the “Grand Circle” tour that visits all stops. You may bring a stroller on board, but it must be folded down flat.
- The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
Rides at Disney California Adventure for Babies
Disney’s California Adventure theme park has fewer rides that are baby-appropriate. These are the attractions at DCA without height restriction that babies can ride.
- Golden Zephyr
- Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
- Jessie’s Critter Carousel
- The Little Mermaid – Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
- Monsters Inc. Mike & Sully to the Rescue!
- Pixar Pal-a-Round (both swinging or non-swinging Ferris wheel gondolas)
- Red Car Trolley – Strollers not permitted
- Toy Story Midway Mania (Disney Genie+)
- WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure (Disney Genie+)
Disneyland Rider Switch with Babies
For rides that baby can’t go on, take advantage of Rider Switch at Disney theme parks. This free service allows those who meet height requirements to ride while at least one person stays behind with the baby. Then the riders “switch” places so the second person can ride too.
How Disneyland Rider Switch Works with a Baby:
- Entire group approaches the Cast Member at the entrance of the ride. Inform them that you’d like to use the Rider Switch program.
- Cast Member scans the Disneyland ticket or Disneyland app on your phone to assign the group a Rider Switch pass.
- At least one adult will stay behind with the baby and child(ren) that are not riding.
- First group of riders gets in the regular queue for that attraction. If they have a Lightning Lane reservation for the ride, use that line instead.
- Entire group meets up after the ride and adults trade places. Second group of riders (up to three people) then redeem Rider Switch to the Cast Member located at either the exit or Lightning Lane entrance to ride.
Baby Meet n’ Greet with Disney Characters
Many babies love the character engagement, as my little ones did. My son in particular loved the Disneyland character meet n’ greets as a baby. He laughed when he met Goofy at 8 months old, giggling and waving at him! He adored Minnie Mouse (and her nose!). And when he met Pluto at 11 months old, he toddled over. Pluto jumped around on his paws to make my baby laugh.
Baby doesn’t like Mickey Mouse? Disney characters are exceptional with little ones and will tailor their behavior to your child, especially if they see that your baby isn’t receptive or upset.
Will Disney characters hold my baby? No, the characters will not hold children. But they are happy to give hugs and will squat down to toddler level for a photo op.
Where can we find favorite Disney characters? To find character meeting locations, check the Disneyland app. Click the navigation button, then use the drop down to choose “Characters”. The virtual map displays pins to show which characters are greeting, along with a time schedule for that day.
Most photo locations do not have Disney Photopass photographers, so be sure to have your own camera ready to go. These are some of the best places for baby to meet with Disneyland characters:
- Anna and Elsa’s Royal Welcome – Meet with the popular Frozen characters inside the Animation Academy building.
- Disney Visa Cardmember Photo Opportunity – Semi-private character greeting only for current Disney Visa cardholders. There are two separate locations, in Tomorrowland at Disneyland and Hollywood Land within California Adventure.
- Mickey’s House and Minnie’s House
- Tinker Bell in Pixie Hollow
- Princesses at Royal Hall – Check out this article for more tips about meeting Disney princesses at Disneyland.
What Else Can Babies Do at Disneyland?
Depending upon the age of your baby, there are plenty of experiences for families to enjoy together at Disneyland. Many play areas, shows, indoor attractions, live entertainment, parades, and nighttime spectaculars are baby and kid-friendly. Here are a few other things that babies love to do at Disneyland.
Play Areas for Baby at Disneyland
Disneyland play areas are a great place for little kids to escape the stroller and get active. These play areas may not be appropriate for non-walking babies. Older children will run around in these spots, so take note before you let your baby down to crawl or explore. If your baby is beginning to toddle, stay close to protect them from getting knocked over.
Mickey’s Toontown play areas:
- Goofy’s How-to-Play Yard
- Donald’s Duck Pond – Includes splash pad features.
- Mickey’s House and Minnie’s House – Interactive features throughout these Toontown houses make these a fun place for toddlers to explore.
- CenTOONial Park – The shaded lawn is the best spot in the park for baby’s tummy-time. There are additional grassy spots next to Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster and in front of Roger Rabbit’s CarToon Spin.
Other Disney play areas:
- Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island – Dirt trails and caves with benches in the shade. Strollers are not permitted so plan to carry your baby or use a front carrier.
- Redwood Creek Challenge Trail – Geared more towards older children, with stairs, rope ladders, and rock climbing. The shaded trail is appropriate for toddlers to walk.
Disneyland Shows to Enjoy with a Baby
Babies are welcome at all shows inside the Disney theme parks. Some may be more appropriate than others when it comes to length and theme.
Families are welcome to have baby sit on their lap during these entertainment options. Parents are also able to bottle-feed or breastfeed during during any of these shows.
Tale of the Lion King – Vibrant live show in an open-air covered theater with stadium-style bench seating. Music and dancing is upbeat, though on the loud side.
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room – Animatronic birds and flowers sing in this charming, classic attraction. The added bonus for toddlers? Snacks are allowed inside!
Storytelling at Royal Theatre – Live show with Disney princesses in a covered outdoor theater. Kids may sit with parents on benches or on the floor at the foot of the stage.
Disney California Adventure Shows
Disney Junior: Live on Stage – This indoor live character show is perfect for little ones. The whole family sits on the carpeted floor and Cast Members encourage kids to dance to the music.
Turtle Talk with Crush – Indoor show in the Animation Building, featuring the humorous turtle from Finding Nemo. Guests sit in cushioned seats with air-conditioning. Stroller parking is available outdoors.
Mickey’s PhilharMagic – Large indoor theater with cushioned seats, this 4D attraction features popular characters.
Baby-Friendly Disneyland Parades and Spectaculars
Parades are a fun and colorful way to spot favorite Disney characters. The Disneyland parades can be quite entertaining for older babies who can sit up and watch the show from their stroller.
Nighttime spectaculars can be hit or miss with babies. Many children are unable to stay up past their usual bedtime to enjoy shows like fireworks. The loud noise can also be disconcerting for infants, newborns, and toddlers.
Keep in mind that shows are often standing room only. Space is tight and in the case of the World of Color show, strollers are not permitted. Early arrival and long wait times are to be expected to experience these nighttime shows.
Restaurants at Disneyland for Dining with a Baby
Disneyland restaurants are appropriate for babies, though some more so than others. The more upscale dining locations, like Blue Bayou, Carthay Circle, and Napa Rose are generally considered “adult”, with an elegant ambiance. That said, guests are permitted to bring a baby into any restaurant.
- Strollers will always need to be parked outside the restaurant.
- Every dining location offers high chairs.
- Disneyland restaurants have kids meals on their menus. Menus for each location can be viewed on the Disneyland app or website.
- Request an extra plate to share your meal with a baby.
Full Service vs. Quick Service
Full service meals include sit-down restaurants with a wait staff. Quick service offers faster dining options, in which guests order at a counter then pick up their food.
The advantage of quick service dining is the use of mobile ordering through the Disneyland app. This convenient time-saver allows you to skip the ordering counter.
When making an Advance Dining Reservation for full service dining with a baby, include them in the reservation count. You won’t be charged for any child under the age of three, but the count is necessary to ensure table space.
Is Disneyland Character Dining Worth it with a Baby?
Character dining can be a fun and interactive way to meet with favorite characters while enjoying a buffet meal. On the flip side, Disneyland character dining is also often noisy and frenetic, not great if you have a fussy infant.
If you think that your baby will enjoy the fanfare of a character dining meal (and they aren’t afraid of the larger-than-life characters), definitely try this dining experience!
There is no charge for character dining at Disneyland if your toddler has not yet reached their third birthday. You may serve your baby their own plate from the buffet, as you wish.
Best Baby Food and Snacks to Pack for Disneyland
Disneyland permits their guests to pack in their own snacks and bottled water, which is very convenient when traveling with a baby. These are some suggestions for baby snacks and items to bring with you when feeding your baby at Disneyland:
Bottles and formula – Bottles can be difficult to clean and sanitize while traveling. Playtex Drop-Ins Liners are convenient when on-the-go.
To hold formula, I recommend the Munchkin Formula Dispenser. It holds one bottle’s worth of formula in each section.
Baby food – If baby is eating solids, bring your own spoons and baby food. Glass baby food jars are permitted, however for the practicality of traveling light, consider plastic jars or baby food pouches.
Disposable bibs and table covers – Disposable bibs are a baby travel must-have if you want to avoid messy clothes.
Disposable table mats stick to the table, ideal for little ones that don’t keep their food on a plate.
Baby Snacks – Pack in plenty of baby-friendly foods to serve throughout the day. Even if you don’t usually offer your baby packaged snacks, they are convenient while traveling and away from home.
Disneyland snack carts also offer fresh fruit that can be cut into bite-sized pieces. Squeezable applesauce, teething crackers, and biscuits are easy to pack. A snack cup is perfect for serving finger foods, with minimal spillage. Add in dry goods like Cheerios, freeze dried yogurt, and Happy Baby puffs.
READ MORE – Find more ideas on how to feed your baby at Disneyland.
Disneyland Locations for Feeding a Baby
Parents are welcome to bottle or breastfeed a baby anywhere they wish at the Disneyland Resort. Throughout the Parks, there are quiet rest areas and benches where you can sit and feed or nurse your baby. Guests may also nurse babies on certain attractions or during shows.
READ MORE about the quiet spots to avoid Disneyland meltdown.
Diaper Changes at Disneyland
The Disneyland parks offer ample locations for taking care of diaper changes. Do not change diapers outdoors in a public space, during shows, or in the stroller. The following section will explain where diaper changing stations are located and tips about making diaper changes in the parks.
Theme Park Restrooms
Both Mens and Ladies restrooms offer a diaper changing area. This includes the family restrooms. Each station has a roll of toilet paper and a trash can close by.
The diaper changing stations aren’t padded. Bring your own portable changing pad that you can wipe down after each use.
Disneyland Baby Care Center
Each of the two theme parks has a Baby Care Center. There are diaper changing areas here, along with essentials for purchase. If you’ve run out of diapers (like we did once) you can buy them here.
In addition, the baby center has rocking chairs, a semi-private place for nursing, microwaves for heating jarred food, high chairs and changing tables.
Bring a Small Bag for Essentials
Aside from the larger diaper bag, bring a small tote or clutch with a few essentials needed for a diaper change. This will eliminate the need for pulling out the oversized bag each time you need to change a diaper. The diaper changing clutch should include a changing pad, disposable baby wipes and diapers. Refill throughout the day as necessary.
Encouraging Naptime at Disneyland
Taking a baby on vacation is already challenging enough. Try to skip a nap and it can be even more difficult! Disney theme parks are highly stimulating and it can be tricky to get baby to rest.
If at all possible, try and keep to your baby’s regular napping schedule. These are a few tested tips for encouraging a nap in the theme parks.
If you expect to have baby sleep in the stroller during the day at Disneyland, practice stroller naps at home. My kids were accustomed to napping in their stroller during leisurely walks, so the stroller nap always worked for us.
Set the mood by lowering the stroller back as flat as possible. Pull down the canopy to make it darker. Try strolling through quiet, air-conditioned gift shops or find rest areas to sit.
For babies that prefer to be held and rocked to sleep, try a swaddle. Choose a lightweight blanket so that baby doesn’t overheat. The aden + anais Disney muslin swaddle blankets are perfect for wrapping around an infant or to drape over your baby’s skin to protect them from the sun.
If your baby is accustomed to being held in a front carrier for naps, it’s highly recommended to bring both the carrier and a stroller. It’s convenient to have the carrier to hold baby when strollers aren’t permitted.
Some attractions also permit parents to baby-wear. On some rides, a Cast Member may request that baby be facing forward with legs under the lap bar. Ask first at the front entrance if baby can stay in the front carrier while riding.
Top Anaheim Hotels to Stay at with a Baby
There are dozens of great hotels to pick from when finding overnight accommodations near the theme parks. When choosing your hotel for a Disneyland vacation with a baby, keep the following points in mind.
Walking Distance – Choose a hotel within walking distance if you’d prefer to avoid the hassle of unpacking the stroller and needing to have it folded flat for storage during transportation. The Courtyard Anaheim Theme Park Entrance is around 10 minutes walking distance. The baby-friendly pool splashpad is a bonus.
Quick Theme Park Access – For babies that don’t nap well while out and about, book a nearby hotel. The Grand Californian Hotel & Spa side entrance to Disney California Adventure offers fast park access. Parents can quickly return to the hotel with baby during the afternoon for rest and napping.
Hotel with separate bedrooms – Consider booking a hotel with a bedroom, allowing baby to sleep with less disruption. The Residence Inn at Anaheim Resort Convention Center has roomy suites with separate bedroom spaces.
Theme Park View on a Budget – Families with babies may retreat to the hotel before the start of evening theme park hours. For a great view of fireworks shows, book at Fairfield Inn Anaheim Resort. The outdoor balcony just outside of rooms offers an ideal view of the sky show.
On-site Perks – Early Entry is a great perk for guests staying at a Disneyland Resort Hotel. The theme parks open 30 minutes ahead of regular park opening during Early Entry, including Fantasyland. This area is the perfect location to start the day with a baby!
A Place for Baby to Sleep – Choose family rooms at hotels like the Wyndham Anaheim. These large suites offer more space for families and their gear. Before booking your Anaheim hotel, call and ask if a Pack n’ Play sleeper bed will be available.
Kitchen Essentials – A fridge and microwave are great to have in a hotel room when preparing baby food. Stay at a location with a full kitchen, like the Element by Westin Anaheim Resort Convention Center. Don’t feel like cooking? The Element also offers free breakfast!
What Should We Bring to Disneyland for a Baby?
The following sections will discuss packing and what essentials to bring for a baby during a day at Disneyland. Keep reading for the free Disney baby printable packing list.
For more specific help about choosing the best travel items, read more in this article about the best tips for traveling with a baby.
Best Clothes for Babies to Wear at Disneyland
Choose only the most comfortable outfits for baby to wear while traveling. Theme park travel includes lots of time in the stroller and being held in a front carrier. Bring clothing in breathable fabrics. Pack layers including a sweater, pants and a hat for cool mornings. Shoes for babies are not required, though socks are a good idea to keep feet clean and warm.
Don’t forget about diaper changes before buying those adorable (but possibly impractical) Disney outfits for the baby. You’ll only want to pack clothing that offers easy diaper accessibility for quick changes in the theme park restrooms.
Find out more about the best Disney outfits for kids.
Packing a Diaper Bag
Pack your diaper bag with everything you would for a normal outing including bottles, extra clothing, blankets and plenty of diapers and wipes.
If you plan on staying in the park all day, pack extra supplies and store them in a locker for the day. Carry a minimum of items in a small diaper bag with the stroller and restock as needed.
You can buy some things in the Parks but the price will be at a premium. The Disney baby care centers have products for sale, as do some of the gift shops. If you don’t see something on the shelves, ask at the register. The cast members often have items behind the counter or can direct you to a store that offers that particular item.
For more tips on what to bring in the theme parks, see this post for packing the perfect Disneyland diaper bag.
Which Baby Stroller is Best for Disney?
A stroller is a must-have at Disneyland when traveling with a baby. If you can, bring your own stroller to the Parks. The walk to the car or hotel after a long day can be hard, especially if you are lugging a sleeping baby, diaper bag and souvenirs!
Bringing a Personal Stroller to Disneyland
- For newborns and infants, consider bringing a stroller with a bassinette feature. The Bugaboo Bee is the optimal travel stroller, with an optional bassinette for small babies to lay flat for naps.
- Pick a stroller that can fold easily and is lightweight for travel. All strollers must be folded down for rides on the parking lot tram, Monorail, and Disneyland train. A stroller with a one-hand fold is ideal.
- Look for good stroller shade coverage, including a full canopy with breathable side flaps and ventilation.
- Bring a stroller with a decent sized basket under the stroller. You’ll want the space to store water bottles and the baby’s diaper bag.
- A double stroller is a great idea for families with multiple young children. Take note of the size. Strollers larger than 31″ x 52″ are not permitted.
- Stroller wagons are not permitted within the Disney parks.
Stroller Rentals at Disneyland
Stroller rentals are available at Disneyland Parks but they are suited more for older toddlers. These plastic Disneyland strollers are not appropriate for small babies. Also you cannot remove the Disneyland rental strollers from the Parks or Downtown Disney District.
For additional suggestions on the best strollers, check out this article about walking outside with your baby.
Disneyland Stroller Essentials
Disney vacations require more…stuff. If you find yourself lugging around too many things, rent a locker for the day to store excess items. These are a few ideas for organizing the necessities.
Stroller Hook – Consider a baby stroller hook to hold extra items, including souvenir bags or a small diaper tote. Take note not to overload that hook so heavily that the stroller tips backwards.
Stroller Fan – When the weather is warm, a stroller fan for baby is a must-have. This version charges with a USB and has long bendable arms to wrap where you need it.
Organizer – A universal stroller organizer is a convenient addition when you need extra storage. Ideal for use on rental strollers, an organizer can hold sipper cups and water bottles, cell phone, pacifier, and hand sanitizer.
What’s a Disneyland Nanny?
If you think you’ll need a helping hand during your Disney vacation, a nanny can be a big help! Nanny-Land nannies stay with families in the theme parks or hotels. They are available to go on rides with older children, watch babies, take kids swimming, or stay with children at the hotel while parents have a date night.
- Visit Nanny-Land to find out which nanny service works best for your family.
- Use code REWRITTEN for a discount!
Choose from these three nanny options:
- Gold Crown Nannies have an annual pass to help you and your family inside the theme parks.
- Silver Crown Nannies watch kids in the resort hotel areas, including at the swimming pool.
- Knight Nannies offer unplugged entertainment in a hotel room for a creative and magical themed evening.
Should We Hold Off Disney Vacation Plans Until Our Baby is Older?
There is no reason to wait for a certain age because Disneyland is a place for all ages. The memories I’ve personally made with my babies at Disneyland are priceless. Going to Disney with a baby is going to be a different experience, but not one to miss!
Taking your Toddler to Disneyland? Check out this post with a one-day itinerary for Disneyland with toddlers.
Is Star Wars Land kid-friendly? Read more about doing Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge with toddlers and preschoolers.
FREE Disney Baby Printable Packing List
This checklist will help in your Disneyland vacation planning with a baby. Print it out and use when packing to ensure you don’t forget anything!