Before we booked to go to Disneyland Paris for three days I googled like mad to find out if it was truly worth taking our nearly 3 at the time toddler. My husband and I went many years ago with friends and I didn’t have too many memories of there being loads of rides for the little ones. I was wrong. There is plenty for them to go on. Plus if you stay at a Disney resort you get access to the park 2 hours before the general public. Not all the rides are open but plenty of the rides for the little ones are and we went on so many rides.
Click here for my Top 15 tips for Disneyland Paris with toddlers / young children. I also have a detailed guest post which is well worth a read – How to Prepare for Disneyland Paris with kids
I will now write the post that I wish I’d found before we booked/came to Disneyland Paris. Just which rides are suitable for toddlers / young children?
Disneyland Paris is split into four areas – Discoveryland, Fantasyland, Adventureland and Frontierland. When we went a few of the rides were shut for maintenance. They are now open but there is currently two shut that were open when we were there. It is a good idea to check Disney’s website for closures. I will also include the rides at Walt Disney Studios Park.
Main street Disneyland Paris
You enter Disneyland Paris under it’s closest hotel the Disneyland Hotel. You enter a square where there are photo opportunities with Disney characters. Or you could take a ride on a tram, wander the shops or simply head straight for the rides after strolling down main street
Head off to your right and you will come to
Autopia – Must be 81cm+ to ride and 132cm to drive yourself – Two to a car and the driver must be 132cm+ but children 81cm+ can ride on this ride. Jamie was certainly tall enough. You steer your way around what can be best described as a 1950s style scaled up Scalextric.
Buzz Light Year Laser Blast – Any height – This is a sit-down ride with 2 to a carriage. You have a laser gun and you have to shoot at targets and your score is displayed in front of you. Jamie (nearly 3) struggled to aim but loved the ride itself and asked to go on again. Jolts you about a little bit, but is not scary. It’s mostly dark so the neon lights show up.
Orbitron – Any height – Two to a rocket. It goes up and down and round and round. It’s tame but not too tame for a toddler. You can control if you go up and down so if the little one isn’t enjoying it you don’t have to over do it.
Also in this area is Les Mystères du Nautilus. You walk down into a submarine and explore it’s rooms and corridors. Jamie was not tall enough for Star Wars Hyperspace mountain which is also in Discoveryland – riders need to be 1.20m+.
Straight on from main street is
Here you enter via Sleeping Beauty’s castle. In the castle, you can climb the stairs to see stained glass windows, tapestries and books telling the story of Sleeping Beauty. Down below the castle there hides the dragon. This may scare younger children. You can also give it a go getting the sword out of the stone, good luck!
Rides in this area for little ones are as follows:
Snow White and the seven dwarfs – Any height – You can sit 4 to a carriage. This ride may scare some children as there are a few scary elements such as the witch. The ride itself moves fast but is not scary. Jamie does love the dwarfs from snow white and said he enjoyed the ride and wanted to go straight back on. We did go on again the day after.
Les Voyages De Pinnochio – Any height – This is very similar to the Snow white ride above. It’s not scary and is fine for all.
Le Carrousel De Lancelot – Any height – The horse and cart carrousel is like any fairground carrousel. It’s a very pretty and is a very well maintained carousel. Jamie at 2 wore a strap around his middle and was safe and secure, his Daddy still sat close to make sure. If you aren’t confident with your child sat like this there are carts to sit in too. Jamie tried both.
Peter Pan’s Flight – Any height – This was shut when we went. Quote from the Disneyland website “Swoosh through the sky in a magic galleon over starlit London before sweeping through Never Land, where mermaids, Indians and pirates await.”
Dumbo the Flying Elephant – Any height – This ride sits two to an elephant. It basically goes round and round and up and down. I saw quite a few children bottle this one at the last minute. I guess it could look scary to them as it’s a bit more of a thrill ride for them than most of the others in this area. Jamie was fine on it though and we went on it at least 5 times.
Mad Hatter’s tea cups – Any height – This one is mostly controlled by you. The more you turn the table the faster you spin round. If your child is nervous of fast rides it may be an idea to not spin the table. Jamie had no issues and actually helped each time to spin the table. Kids don’t really mind going dizzy. We seated all three of us with no issues in one tea pot.
Alice’s Curious Labyrinth – Any height – This is actually a maze not a ride. It’s lots of fun though and you get to see lots of the Alice in Wonderland characters along the way. There’s some fun photo opportunities near the labyrinth’s entrance too.
It’s a small world – Any height – Can you read that without singing it? This is a gentle ride on a boat through a world of nationalities and countries. With moving and singing characters dressed in their national costumes. It grated on my husband so much he only went on once but Jamie and I loved it. It’s a guaranteed smile on your face ride if you like that sort of thing. There’s room for quite a few people sat together.
Casey Jr Le Petit train du Cirque – Any height – This is quite a fast train ride. So much so I didn’t take any decent photos. There is a few clips of it in my video at the end of this post though. We all really enjoyed this ride. It wasn’t a scary train ride but it was faster than most Disney rides. You can get two sat next to each other.
Le Pays des Contes de Fées – Any height – This is another gentile boat ride. This time around miniature fairy tale settings. There is lots to see and spot on this ride and Jamie was rather taken with it all. All three of us managed to sit together.
Left of main street is
Thunder Mesa Riverboat – Any height – Due to the Thunder mountain renovations while we were there this gorgeous-looking Paddleboat wasn’t operational. Such a shame as it’s something we all would have loved to go on. Luckily you now can.
Phantom manor – Any height but certainly not for everyone – This is a haunted house. It is not for children who get scared easily and/or don’t like the dark. Even walking to the ride can be scary. Jamie loves things like this so he thought it was marvellous but I’d proceed with caution. He even wanted to go on again! Jamie is not necessarily normal.
Above Frontierland is
Pirates of the Caribbean – Any height – Any height but Jamie really didn’t like this ride. It’s a water ride a little like a log flume. You have one descent but it’s not particularly long or steep but Jamie did not like it at all. We couldn’t persuade him back on and he LOVES pirates. I think it was the not knowing that he didn’t like. I bet he would love it now. All three of us sat on the same row.
Pirate Galleon – Any height – This is a large pirate ship that kids of any age, and their adults, can play on. This and the following three things we did not go on while we were there. I’m not even sure they were built as we didn’t notice them.
Adventure Isle – Any height – Quote from Disneyland website “At Adventure Isle keep a watchful eye on what’s ahead as danger lurks beneath crisscrossing suspension bridges, beside narrow pathways and within spooky caves. Following the map of the Adventure Isle and deciphering the mind-boggling smugglers’ runs rewards you with spectacular daytime views of the whole land. And after nightfall, hanging lanterns supply an altogether different feel”
Pirate’s Beach – Any height – Quote from Disneyland website “Maraud deep into Adventureland® through dark caverns and past Davy Jones’ Locker to Skull Rock. Once at Disney Pirates’ Beach, you’ll unearth two pirate playgrounds loaded with rope ladders, slides and even a plank that’s sure to keep little rapscallions in check.”
Swiss Family Robinson Tree House – Any height – Quote from the website “Climb high in this magnificent tree house that the Swiss Family Robinson call home. Here, you can ascend an intricate series of walkways and stairs that lead to a layout of beautifully detailed rooms, including a kitchen, library and some bedrooms”
Indiana Jones and the temple of Peril is also in this area. This is for people 1.4m and over, certainly not for little people.
Disneyland railroad – Any height – runs in a circle around the perimeter of Disneyland Paris. Anyone can ride on this authentic steam train. It takes 20 minutes to do a full circle. It conveniently stops at Main street, Frontierland, Fantasyland and Discoveryland. We used the train a few times to get about. You can sit quite a few people in each carriage.
Rides Jamie (3 years old measuring just over 1m) couldn’t go on were :
Star Wars Hyperspace mountain. 1.2m and over in height. I have been on this before and it is high speed so I can totally understand the height restriction.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Peril – 1.4m and over in height
Big thunder Mountain – 1.02m and over in height- This was shut and being renovated while we were there. I’ve been on this before and loved it. It’s a really fun runaway train. If your little ones are tall enough but seem a little unsure wrap an arm around them and they won’t be bashed about too much.
Star tours – 1.02m and over in height. Quote “After a friendly welcome from the ship’s captain, Rex, you’ll blast off at lightspeed to your destination. What could possibly go wrong? Well, it’s Rex’s maiden flight and, without warning, calamity after calamity ensues as he fumbles his way through asteroid belts, space debris and spinning ice fragments.You’ll barely have time to catch your breath as you shoot past the moon of Endor and into the clutches of an Imperial Star Destroyer’s tractor beam”
Children need to be 81cm or over to ride on Autopia.
Walt Disney’s Studio Park
Which rides did we all go on in Walt Disney’s Studio Park? Read on below….
Flying Carpets over Agrabah – Any height – Otherwise known as the Tapis Volants. This is a ride the little ones can control. There is a handle at the front that can take you up and down as your carpet flies around and around. Jamie loved this, especially being able to move us up and down. You can fit two in the front and two in the back.
Cars four wheel ralley – Any height – Otherwise known as Cars Quatre Roues Rallye. Hmmmm I wasn’t convinced this ride is for any height. It throws you about quite a lot. You may notice in the photo below that I have my hand on the bar in front. This was to stop Jamie bashing into it. He was not keen and I think needed to be a bit bigger for the ride. This is another ride that you can fit two in the front and two in the back on.
Toy soldiers Parachute drop – 81cm + in height – This is a ride we could have gone on but no matter how much we asked Jamie he just did not want to go. It’s an 82 foot drop so I wasn’t surprised that he said no as he’s not keen on rides like this.
Ratatouille – The Adventure – Any height – We sat eating our lunch watching people get on this ride. We all really wanted to have a go but whenever we looked at the ride wait time it said anything from 120 minutes to an even more staggering 180 minutes. If it’s a busy day go early and get a fast track pass. This is a 4d ride.
Slinky Dog Zig Zag Spin – Any height – Maybe Jamie was now tiring but he didn’t seem to like the rides in the Studios as much as he did in the Disneyland park. This ride spun round in circles fast and basically up and over small hills. He asked to get off within seconds. We queued for quite a long time which was a shame he didn’t like it. He now adores rides like this. All three of us were able to sit together.
Studio tram tour – Any height – Hop on board this long tram for a ‘behind the scenes’ look at a studio. Watch out for a very big surprise. Jamie’s reaction was priceless on this ride. You must hit record on the camera when you stop right by a large set. There was room for at least 4 people to sit together.
Armageddon – Special effects tour – Any height – This is similar to the tram tour in that you need to be prepared for a few surprises. A few of the younger kids were a little scared but Jamie took it all in his stride. It’s a walk around tour and the idea is that you are immersed in the drama.
Art of Disney Animation – Any height – We ran out of time for this on our visit. Quote “Here, you’ll be whisked into the world of Disney animation in a cinema presentation with classic clips and animation demonstrations, where you can watch Disney Characters from all eras take shape. You can even try your hand at crafting some magic yourself to complete the interactive experience”
Rides Jamie (3 years old measuring just over 1m) couldn’t go on were :
Crush’s Coaster – Height 1.07m and over. This ride sounds a lot of fun. Quote “board a turtle shell and prepare for a ride through memorable moments from the movie. Sit tight, as your shell dives into the ocean and begins its incredible journey”
RC Racer – Height 1.20m and over. Quote “Once you’ve climbed into the huge remote controlled car, sit tight, as Buzz and Woody ramp up the speed and launch you on a thrilling ride of steep ups and downs. Over and over again”
Twilight zone tower of terror – Height 1.02m and over. I thought I had read that this ride was being replaced? I can’t see anything about that on their website though. I have heard that this ride is pretty terrifying and not for the faint hearted. Quote “Going Down! Shriek in terror as your elevator freefalls down the abandoned shaft then unexpectedly changes direction and launches back up the hotel” (and that’s just a small part of it).
Rock n roller coaster starring Aerosmith – Height 1.20m and over. Quote “Every electrifying riff is met with more g-force than an astronaut experience, blasting you through lightning rigs, hairpin turns, heart-stopping drops and loops. It’s everything you’d expect from the amped-up, neon-lit, smoke-filled excess of a rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle”
At both parks they have various shows on throughout the day. Pick up a guide when you enter the parks and this will list what’s on and where.
We only managed one show. This was the Moteurs… Action! Stunt Show Spectacular. It was perhaps for older children as Jamie struggled to follow what was going on. The stunts were good though and the end was worth the wait for Jamie.
The rides you can use your fast pass on are : Peter Pan’s Flight (can see the biggest queues), Ratatouille (we most certainly saw the biggest queue), Buzz lightyear and Flying carpets (we did not queue for long for either of the last two). And for the big people Space mountain, Indiana Jones, Big thunder mountain, Rock n’ roller coaster and Twilight zone of terror.
You can watch our holiday Vlog here
If you have time to visit Paris when you are in the area why not check out this great Mini Guide to Paris with kids by Travelling with our kids.
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