What attractions at the Anaheim Disneyland Park are manageable with an 8 month old?
October 6, 2009 2:51 PM   Subscribe

What attractions at the Anaheim Disneyland Park are manageable with an 8 month old?

Mrs. Loser and I are planning baby's first trip to Disneyland and we are wondering if some rides are as tame as we remember them.

The Disneyland Resort site is vague about specific restrictions. They have a Little Ones guide, but I'm looking for anecdotes or caveats from other parents on our perennial favorites:

Enchanted Tiki Room, presented by Dole® (Thanks, Dole!)
"it's a small world"
Storybook Land Canal Boats
Jungle Cruise
Haunted Mansion
Pirates of the Caribbean

Baby is very easy-going. He is also traveling with a sizable entourage of aunts, uncles, and cousins - managing a baby swap is not a problem.
posted by Loser to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I've noticed that Pirates of the Caribbean can get a bit loud for little ones, I think, plus it has a couple of modest but sudden drops. I seem to recall the Jungle Cruise can also get a bit loud.
posted by scody at 2:59 PM on October 6, 2009

Almost everything in Fantasyland should be OK, I would think: there's the Peter Pan ride, the Alice in Wonderland ride, the Mr. Toad's Wild Ride ride (which isn't really all that wild), etc.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:53 PM on October 6, 2009

Oh, and the submarines! Those were my favorite when I was a little kid, although apparently they've been tarted up in trademark Finding Nemo decorations since then.
posted by infinitywaltz at 3:55 PM on October 6, 2009

I have fond memories of Pirates of the Caribbean, but the noise might be a big problem (there are some explosions). Ditto the Haunted Mansion.
posted by thomas j wise at 4:02 PM on October 6, 2009

Mr. Toad's Wild Ride ride (which isn't really all that wild)

It might be, for a baby -- there's that one part where you careen into the "oncoming" train, so there's a very bright light and very loud noise all of a sudden. But I agree that the other Fantasyland rides are likely OK -- I don't recall anything super sudden/jarring/loud in Snow White (though the witch scared the shit out of me when I was 4), Peter Pan, or Alice in Wonderland.
posted by scody at 4:12 PM on October 6, 2009

Best answer: Small World is magical for kids that age.

Pooh's Ride near splash mountain was great for my son, but my daughter was afraid of the thunder noises.

Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters should be fun - a lot to look at and not scary

peter pan and alice in wonderland are awesome and fun for them, just staring at the lights and bright colors and characters. the other ones – wild ride, pinnochio and snow white can actually all be very scary.

My son loved Pirates at that age but my daughter was scared of the cannon blasts. If loud sudden noises bother your child, you should avoid it. Ditto on Jungle Cruise because of the gun shots. Haunted Mansion is too scary because they totally cut the lights and people scream.

I would definitely avoid the 3-d movies like Bug's Life at California Adventure and Honey I shrunk the kids in Tomorrowland - they are pretty much completely traumatic for little kids. Even the Muppet One might be too much (but that one can work for kids if they don't mind loud noises and surprises.)

Monster's Inc ride at California Adventure is fun, nothing really scary. The Bug's Life rides are all good for children, too. (And boring for anyone over the age of 3).
posted by visual mechanic at 4:45 PM on October 6, 2009

Response by poster: Ah, ok. I was concerned if carrying an infant on your lap was feasible or even allowed on the mentioned rides. It sounds like it is do-able; we will see how he fares with the noise on some of the gentler rides before venturing onto something like Pirates of the Caribbean.
posted by Loser at 4:56 PM on October 6, 2009

I recommend checking to see what's going to be closed for refurbishment. I like www.mouseplanet.com - they do weekly updates of what currently closed and what will be closed. Here's the current list:


* Sailing Ship Columbia – closed October 5–7 for deck oiling.
* Indiana Jones Adventure – closed October 5–8.
* Sailing Ship Columbia – closed October 12–15.
* Royal Street Veranda – closed through October 16 for refurbishment.
* Gadget's Go Coaster – closed through October 26 for refurbishment.
* Disneyland Railroad – closed October 13–28.
* The Enchanted Cottage – closed through November 4 for refurbishment.
* "it's a small world" – closed October 26–November 12 for installation of the holiday overlay.
* Big Thunder Ranch Petting Farm – closed November 2–12 for installation of the holiday overlay.
* Casey Jr. Circus Trains – closed through November 19 for refurbishment.
* Storybook Land Canal Boats – closed through November 19 for refurbishment.
* King Arthur Carrousel – closed December 8–10 for refurbishment.
* Disneyland: The First 50 Magical Years – closed through December 16 to return Great Moments With Mr. Lincoln to the Main Street Opera House.

Also, Disneyland has what they call the Parent Swap System, allowing both adults to ride the rides without having to wait twice in long lines. With Parent Swap you simply go to the entrance to the ride you want to ride. You ask the first cast member you see there for a Parent Swap ticket. They will give you a ticket that you keep with you. Then you and your older child (or you alone) ride the ride. When you exit the ride you give the ticket to your second adult. Then the second adult and your older child (or alone) go back and enter the ride through the FastPass entrance (shorter wait than the standby line).

Hope this helps, and have a wonderful time!
posted by ApathyGirl at 6:55 PM on October 6, 2009 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: He loved it! We loved it! Here's the rundown of the rides we ventured on:

Pirates of the Caribbean

Easy access to carry on baby. The boats arrive on a rolling mat, so you're not stepping down onto a floating boat. There are two gentle slides which end in a splash; baby was center of the second to last row and avoided the spray. Oddly enough, this was the quietest ride. The cannons mentioned are more of a "whoomp" than a boom. Win.

Haunted Mansion

The Haunted Mansion was done up as The Nightmare Before Christmas. The entry elevator wasn't too crowded, but the intro thunderclap provoked the day's only "what the fuck?" start. HM was the loudest ride, or rather, it was the ride with the least consistent volume. It was also the ride with the worst visibility. He missed the entire banquet hall scene because he wasn't able to see over the coach's front. Semi-win.

It's a Small World

Lights and sound equals win. The ride is lit well enough so you can watch baby take in the sights. We went at night; the mansion was decorated for the holidays so the strings of lights were entertaining while standing in line. Like Pirates, the boat arrives on a solid mat, so entering and exiting is stable. Win-win.

For reference, this was his expression on all of the rides (the video is louder than real life.)

Tarzan's Treehouse

Not a ride per se, but the storybook scenes held baby's attention. Only caveat: full of stairs and seven year olds to dodge. Semi-win.

Storybook Land Canal Boats

Fail for multiple reasons. The ride is on rails, but the boats float making for a semi-precarious entry and exit. The scenes are far too small to hold a baby's attention even when lit up at night; baby spent the ride examining the flowers painted on the boat. Failboat.

General recommendations...

If you rent a stroller, bring a bandana or something to tie to the handle bars. It's impossible to tell them apart especially at night.

Cast members routinely reorganize strollers. Expect to do some hunting for your stroller after a ride. It can wind up on other side of the path often meters from where you left it.

Go with family and grab an early Fastpass for a non-baby ride. Take nap time as an opportunity to leave baby with family; we managed a trip on Thunder Mountain and Indiana Jones (fastpassed) during naptime.

We didn't sit through a parade, but judging from the crowds any baby friendly vantage point would require staking out a location about 45 minutes in advance. Sitting areas fill up and are roped off; trapped anywhere for and hour and a half with an infant sounds unfun.
posted by Loser at 11:53 AM on November 30, 2009 [1 favorite]

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