Once we had planned our first family trip to Disneyland Paris, the next thing that sprung to mind was the fact that I had no clue as to what rides we could go on as a family. Which were the best rides for 3 year olds at Disneyland Paris, seeing as we would be in Disneyland Paris with a 3 year old? I had no idea which rides were the best rides for under 5s at Disneyland Paris. I needed help and to find out which were the best rides for young kids in Disneyland Paris, I asked the people in the know. Read on to find out what they said and what we discovered during our time at Eurodisney.
Updated November 2019
Covid-19: Disneyland Paris phased reopening and important information
Disneyland Paris announced a phased reopening of the resort as of 15th July 2020, starting with both theme parks, Disney’s Newport Bay Club hotel and Disney Village.
The phased reopening will introduce enhanced health and safety measures implemented for both Cast Members and guests. Theme park capacity will be limited to comply with governmental requirements, Disneyland Paris will manage attendance through a new online theme park reservation system available as of early July and subject to availability.
Last updated (22/06/2020; 03:00 PM)
My husband and I had been to Disneyland Paris together twice before on the 15th and 20th anniversaries. But both times we went on what I would consider Disneyland Paris rides for adults. Think Pirates of the Caribbean, Indian Jones and the likes.
Our first family visit to Disneyland Paris coincided with both Disneyland’s and my husband’s 25th anniversaries so it was a big celebration trip for us. You can read how we planned it here. Coupled with Mr Passports celebrating 25 years since he was part of the opening crew, our son would be approaching 4, me 40 (eek), so we wanted to enjoy it as much as possible as a family. That meant seeking out rides suitable for all of us.
But having been a carefree, childless couple on our last trips, we never investigated Disneyland Paris children’s rides before. So where do you turn to for advice so you know ahead of time Disneyland Paris rides and attractions for young kids to make a beeline for? The blogging community of course, and here are the ones that they have recommended as being ideal for us and most importantly, our son!
Best Rides at Disneyland Paris For Kids
There is a whole host of things to do in Disneyland Paris, and of course, rides are just one of the many things to enjoy in Disney Paris. But when you are going with the littles, you need to know which are the best Disneyland Paris rides for 3 year olds, the best rides for 4 year olds at Disneyland and even the most suitable rides in Disneyland Paris for toddlers.
You want to ensure that everyone in the family has fun and that there are at least a few Disney Paris rides that everyone will enjoy. To help you, I’ve listed the most suitable rides for families visiting Disneyland Paris with young kids. As you know, Disneyland Paris is set across two parks, so I’ve split the best Disneyland Paris Rides for young kids into two sections, one for the Disney Park and one for the Walt Disney Studios.
Best Rides For Young Kids in Disneyland Paris – Disney Park Rides
The Disney Park is split into four areas – Fantasyland, Discoveryland, Adventureland and Frontierland. Personally, we think that Fantasyland and Discoveryland have the most suitable rides for young kids, although you might find some rides for young kids in the other areas too.
Fantasyland Rides for Kids
Fantasyland, found at the back of the Disney Park, is where you will find the biggest concentration of rides for young kids, including the best Disneyland Paris rides for babies. This is also the part of the parks that is open during Magic Hours, the best time to enjoy some of the most popular rides.
First up, It’s A Small World. Suitable for everyone of all ages, there is no height restriction and it is by far one of the best rides for toddlers at Disneyland Paris. The 10-minute journey takes you along the Seven Seaways during which you’ll pass through lands from all the corners of the world. It’s the most colourful ride in Disney Paris and the one with the most recognisable, and probably most annoying, theme tune.
Arguably one of the most popular rides in Fantasyland is Peter Pan’s Flight. This one doesn’t have a height restriction either and you are best using your Magic Hours if you are staying in a Disney Hotel and getting to this ride first. From the Darling children’s bedroom, to soaring the London night sky and sweeping down into Neverland, it’s a ride that will delight kids of all ages. If you miss it in Magic Hours you can FastPass it.
Snow White’s ride, or Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains, is also located in Fantasyland. You ride a 4-seater mining cart and enter the world of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Moving through an enchanted land you pass by the forest and dwarves cottage, even getting a look into the evil queen’s mirror. With no height restriction this is a great Disneyland Park Paris rides for young kids.
Another one of the best Disney rides for toddlers is Le Carrousel de Lancelot. This beautifully crafted merry-go-round is ideal for taking the smallest members of the family on. Let their imaginations run wild as they imagine themselves as knights, mounted on their noble steeds, off to rescue a damsel in distress. Or to hunt a dragon. Whatever their imaginations create, this is surely one of the most ideal Disneyland Paris rides for toddlers.
One of the best Disneyland Paris rides for 4 year olds and over is Les Voyages de Pinocchio. According to the DisneyLand Paris website
Board a wooden car, enter Stromboli’s Marionette show and witness Pinocchio dance and sing with a duo of puppets. Stromboli then locks Pinocchio in a cage, Jiminy Cricket shouts ‘Watch out!’ and your adventure across distant lands unfolds.Disneyland Paris website
The website advises that this ride may frighten younger children, so you might find this is one of the best Disneyland rides for 4 year olds and above. That’s not to say you cannot take younger kids, especially as there is no height restriction, but just use parental discretion.
One ride you might find yourself going back to several times is Dumbo the Flying Elephant. With seats for two people and no height restrictions, this ride is one of the best Disneyland Paris rides for 5 year olds and under. You board your chosen elephant and take off into the air, accompanied by music from the 1941 classic film. During your ride you can decide how high or low you fly.
The Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups is a great ride to visit in Disneyland Paris with a toddler. Accept the Mad Hatter’s invitation and pour yourself into one of his oversized teacups for a whimsical whirl accompanied by festive music Although this ride is designed to spin around as you enjoy the ride, you can control the spin via the wheel in the centre. So, although the ride will automatically toss and turn on its platform, this is a gentle ride and so is one of the best Disneyland Paris rides for toddlers.
Other things to enjoy in Fantasyland, Disneyland Paris include Alice’s Labyrinth, a maze which takes you on a fantastical journey into the White Rabbit’s Hole and the world of the Cheshire Cats, card soldiers and the Queen of Hearts.
You can also enjoy a ride on Casey Junior – Le Petit Train du Cirque. This little ride from Dumbo will take you on a tour of fairytale homes and villages from the classic Disney animated films. You board an animal cage for your ride where you should look out for scenes such as the Cave of Wonders from Aladdin and the dwarves mine and cottage from Snow White and the Seven Dwarves.
Fantasyland is also where you can have an official Meet and Greet with Mickey Mouse, visit the Princess Pavilion, and there is a Disneyland Railroad Station if you want to ride the 20-minute Grand Circle Tour of the Disney Park.
Discoveryland Rides for Kids
Discoveryland is located beside Fantasyland and has a few rides which can be considered the best rides for 5 year olds at Disneyland, and under. If you are coming from Main Street, Discoveryland will be located on the right, and if you are coming in from Fantasyland, it is around to the right if you exit It’s A Small World.
The most noteable ride in Discoveryland, and one of the most popular, is Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast. This will delight any Toy Story fan. As you board a space cruiser, you are sent on a mission to help Buzz fight the Evil Emporer Zurg and his robots. As you manouveur your cruiser, you must fire laser beams in order to defeat these foes of Buzz and build up your score. At the end of the mission you are awarded a Star Command ranking, starting from the lowest of ‘Space Cadet’ to the highest ‘Galactic Hero’. Which will you be? This is one of the best Disneyland Paris attractions and rides not to be missed. There is no height restriction and this is one of the few rides you can use FastPass at.
Another ride which young kids will love at Disneyland Paris is Autopia. This ride has a height restriction of 132cm if you want to drive solo. For kids under 132cm but above 81cm, they can drive while accompanied by someone over the height of 132cm. Each car holds two people and you can take the wheel of a futuristic car, as envisaged by inventors in the 1950s, and zoom around the course or take a leisurely countryside cruise. This is one of the Disneyland kids rides best suited to kids between the ages of 3 and 6.
The other ride which is suitable for young kids at Disneyland Paris is Orbitron. This ride which was inspired by Leonardo Da Vinci’s drawings of the solar system will being you soaring around galaxies of planets high above the sights and sounds of Discoveryland. Another ride in which you can control the height at which you soar, this is a another one of the great Disneyland rides for toddlers as it can be quite tame and gentle.
You can also catch the Disneyland Railroad train in Discoveryland, or, if you have a Star Wars fan on your hand, you could also visit Starport to meet Darth Vader himself.
Adventureland and Frontierland Rides for Kids
To the left of Cinderella’s castle are the entrances to both Adventureland and Frontierland. These were two areas that don’t have as many rides catering to young kids. That said, there are one or two that can be enjoyed by younger kids.
In Adventureland, you have the famous Pirates of the Caribbean ride. A boat ride that takes you through the moonlit lagoon during which time you try to help Captain Jack Sparrow find treasure while always on the lookout for Captain Barbossa, it’s a popular ride. It might not be suitable for all kids due to the loud noises and dark waterways. However, it is probably one of the top attractions at Disneyland Paris that can be enjoyed with kids from about the age of 3 or 4. Again, there is no height restriction on this ride and I’d advise parental discretion as to whether it is suitable for your kids.
And while they are not rides in themselves, the Pirate Galleon ship, Adventure Isle and Pirates beach are all some of the best Disney Paris attractions to enjoy with younger kids.
In Frontierland, the Thunder Mesa Riverboat is something not to be missed if you can help it. Two amazing 19th Century-style paddleboats, aptly named Mark Twain and Molly Brown, who navigate the Rivers of the Far West at Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing. While on your journey, you’ll take in views of Big Thunder Mountain and Wilderness Island, get a chance to witness cascading waterfalls and you might even spy some smugglers’ caves.
And again, although this is not technically a ride, the Pocahontas Indian Village in Frontierland is a place for little people to let off some steam while they swing, climb and slide their way around this outdoor playground.
Other Things to Enjoy in Disney Park
Although these are not rides, they are worth mentioning so you can factor in time to try and catch some of them.
- Disney Pirates or Princesses – Central Plaza
- Princess Promenade – Central Plaza
- Hoist the Flag, Mateys – Adventureland, near Adventure Isle
- Mickey’s PhilarMagic – Discoveryland Theatre
- Disney Stars on Parade – Parade Route
- Illuminations Fireworks – Main Street, Central Plaza.
Best Rides For Young Kids in Disneyland Paris – Walt Disney Studios
Walt Disney Studios, while loosely split into four areas, has its rides located in Toon Studio. The other areas are the Front Lot, Back Lot and Production Courtyard. Toon Studio is located to the right as you exit the Front Lot and it is here you will find one of the Disneyland Paris top 10 rides.
Toon Studio Rides for Kids
Toon Studio is where you’ll find most of the rides within Walt Disney Studios and also has what could be the best ride at Disneyland Paris, Ratatouille. Based on the film of the same name, you enter the world of Gusteau’s famous Parisian restaurant, but at rat level. This 4-D experience is something that must not be missed and ideally, you should plan to do this ride during Magic Hours if you are staying in a Disney Hotel to avoid the long queues later in the day. This is also a ride that can be enjoyed with the FastPass service but you need to exchange them early in the day. This ride is suitable for children of all ages, with no height restriction. Just be aware that the ride is 4-D and can be fast-paced and jittery at times. So if your kids are prone to motion sickness, this might not be the ride for them.
A ride that will be a hit with the little members of you party is the Flying Carpets over Agrabah, or Les Tapis Volantis. On this gentle ride, you climb aboard a magic carpet for four and fly up, down and around the genies giant lamp. The kids can control the ride via a lever which will adjust your height around the lamp. This is one of the Euro Disney rides that you might be dragged back to a few times.
Crush’s Coaster is one of the Disneyland Paris roller coasters and although it is probably one of the best Disneyland Paris rides for 6 year olds or older, tall 5 year olds who are over the height restriction of 107cm will be able to enjoy it as well. Board a turtle shell, leave Sydney Harbour and say hello to Nemo, Squirt and other friendly faces from the Great Barrier Reef before passing by other memorable moments from the film.
With no height restriction, the Slinky Dog ZigZag Spin is one of the rides at Disneyland Paris that you can enjoy with toddlers or older. Climb on top of Slinky’s back and watch as he does
some loopy laps trying to catch his tail around a dog bowl filled with rubber bones.Disneyland Paris Website
This ride spins around in circles and weaves up and down over hills, and can be popular with families visiting Disneyland Paris with young kids.
If you’ve got a Lightning McQueen fan on your hands, then the Cars Quatre Roues Rallye: Vroooom ride is the one for you. Hop into your favourite car and go for a fast spin through Radiator Springs. With no height restriction, this one of the top Disneyland Paris toddler rides. Just be warned there are limited numbers of Lightning McQueen and Mator cars in this ride.
Other Things to Enjoy in Walt Disney Studios
Although these are no rides, they are worth mentioning as other things to do with kids at Disneyland Paris. Most are shows, details of which can be found on the latest shows and parades timetable.
- Star Wars Parades – Production Courtyard
- Fireworks – Production Courtyard
- Mickey and The Magician – Animagique Theatre, Toon Studio
- Disney Junior Live – Production Courtyard
- Moteurs… Action! Stunt Show Spectacular – Backlot
- Stitch Live! – Production Courtyard.
Best Disneyland Paris Rides for Kids – What the Bloggers Said
Peter Pan’s Flight
This ride in Fantasyland got an overwhelming vote from the bloggers. Emma from Our Fairy Tale Adventure recommended it and said to get your Fast Pass for this ride as soon as you get to the park. The Peter Pan ride was also recommended by Beth of Twinderelmo, Nicole from The Mum Reviews and Lauren from Mummy is a Gadget Geek. So, as a result, this was definitely going on our to-do list.
Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blaster
This ride in Discoveryland was mentioned by many of the bloggers as another one not to be missed. It sounded like a lot of fun and was been recommended by Beth of Twinderelmo and Nicole from The Mum Reviews, while Laura of Mama, Eden and Me also enjoyed it. Nat from Awaybies said her son loved it so much they went on this ride no less than 6 times!
It’s A Small World
…. After all. It’s stuck in your head, right? Sorry. But this ride, also in Fantasyland, got big thumbs up from Kerry of Blissful Domestication, who said it is not to be missed if visiting Disneyland Paris with younger kids. She went with her then 3 and 4-year-olds and while they loved rides catering for younger children such as cars, spaceships and boat rides, they especially loved It’s A Small World. Laura of Mama, Eden and Me also recommended this ride, as did Lauren of Mummy is a Gadget Geek.
Mad Hatters Tea Cups
This Fantasyland ride was recommended by both Emma of Our Fairy Tale Adventure and Lauren of Mummy is a Gadget Geek.
Le Carrousel de Lancelot
Based in Fantasyland, this is Disney’s take on the classical carousel where young knights ride upon hand-sculpted steeds and get ready for an enchanting ride. I was hoping this ride, as recommended by Emma of Our Fairy Tale Adventure, would bring me back to Sunday afternoons watching Mary Poppins as a child.
Blanche-Neige et les Sept Nains (Snow White)
Nicole from The Mum Reviews recommended doing this ride as part of our Magic Hours if we can. This ride in Fantasyland allows you to experience the world of Snow White like never before, while you visit places like the haunted forest and the dwarves’ cottage.
Les Voyages de Pinocchio
Another Fantasyland ride on which you get to join Pinocchio and his friends such as Jiminy Cricket. This ride was also recommended by Nicole, especially during Magic Hours, which are extra hours you get in the park if you stay in a Disney Hotel.
An awesome looking rocket ride in Discoveryland, Nicole did say that there aren’t many rides in the main Disney Park that are not suitable for little ones as opposed to those in the Walt Disney Studios Park.
Ratatouille: The Adventure
Ratatouille is a 4D experience based in the Walt Disney Studios Park which was introduced in 2014 and comes recommended by Lauren of Mummy is a Gadget Geek. Experience the sights, sounds and smells of Gusteau’s famous Parisian restaurant and you might leave hungry.
Cars Quartre Roues Rallye
Recommended by Emma of Our Fairy Tale Adventure, you get to zoom along Radiator Springs with Lightening McQueen.
Slinky Dog ZigZag Spin
A Walt Disney Studios ride also recommended by Emma, you are invited to shrink down to the size of Buzz and Woody and jump onto the back of Slinky as he tries to catch his tail.
Best Rides for Under 5s at Disneyland Paris – The Disneyland Paris Rides We Enjoyed as a Family
While I took all this advice into consideration, and despite having three full days at Disneyland Paris, we did not get to enjoy all the rides on the above lists. We had to prioritise some and so there were a few we had to leave off our list until our next visit. We were also visiting Disneyland Paris with friends, and although I had a timetable roughly laid out for us, things didn’t always go according to plans.
So, here is a breakdown of what Disneyland Paris rides and attractions we enjoyed during our first visit to Disney Paris as a family
Day One – Disney Park
We packed a lot into our first day in Disneyland Paris, concentrating on the Disney Park. Here’s what we managed to ride and see.
- Peter Pan’s Flight
- Dumbo the flying Elephant
- Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups
- Le Carrousel de Lancelot
- Characters Breakfast in Plaza Gardens
- Disney Christmas Parade (we visited during December)
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Buzz Lightyear’s Laser Blast
- Darth Vader Meet and Greet
- Illuminations 25th Anniversary Fireworks.
Day Two – Walt Disney Studios
On day two, we concentrated our time in the Walt Disney Studios. We didn’t get to enjoy as many rides in this park as our lunchtime booking for Bistro Chez Remy was mixed up, resulting in us waiting an hour and a half for another time slot. But here’s what we did during our second day at Disneyland Paris.
- Minnie Mouse Meet and Greet (in our hotel)
- Goofy Meet and Greet
- Buzz Lightyear Meet and Greet
- Moteurs show
- Spiderman Meet and Greet
- Cars Quatro Rally.
Day Three – Two Parks
On our last day we completed our list of Meet and Greets, squeezed in another ride on our favourite ride (for us adults) and made sure we caught a show everyone had been recommending. Here’s our day three itinerary.
- Official Meet and Greet with Mickey Mouse
- It’s A Small World
- Dumbo the Flying Elephant
- Baloo and King Louie Meet and Greet
- Disneyland Railroad Train
- Pirates of the Caribbean
- Mickey and The Magician Show.
Tips for Disneyland Rides
Do check for Disneyland Paris ride closures before you go. This will not only help you plan your time there better but you can forewarn the young members of the family if a particular Disney ride is closed so the tears can happen before you rock up to it.
Be aware of other families planting a ‘seed’ in the queue. I had never experienced this before visiting Disneyland as a family. My son and I were in the queue for the Dumbo ride. We had one girl of about 10 years of age in front of us in the queue. Behind us was her two siblings and her mum. As the ride is a two-person ride, I turned a blind eye to the ‘seed’ dragging forward her siblings, soon followed by the mum. However, the mum then brought forward SIX more adults to join them as we neared the the entrance to the ride. After queuing for nearly 20 minutes I was furious. I mean, come on. They were adults, And it was the Dumbo ride! Despite letting them know, they pretended they didn’t understand English (they were Spanish) and on they went, my son and I having to wait for the next ride. So be warned, do not be polite unless you know exactly who and how many may join this ‘seed’ person in front of you.
Make sure if you are planning to FastPass any rides that you exchange your vouchers at the start of the day. The times get taken up very quickly and if you leave it until later, you might find that there are no time slots left if you wait until later. You’ve been warned.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. If you are staying in a Disney Hotel, make sure you are up early, fed and watered and that you make full use of Extra Magic Hours, especially for the more popular rides or for the official Mickey Mouse Meet and Greet. We did just this and were so glad when we later found rides like Peter Pan and Ratatouille had wait times of over an hour and Mickey 90 minutes.
Rides open in the Disneyland Park during Extra Magic Hours include:
- Thunder Mesa Riverboat Landing (Frontierland, FRL)
- Big Thunder Mountain (FRL)
- Peter Pan’s Flight (Fantasyland, FL)
- Dumbo (FL)
- Les Voyages Pinocchio (FL)
- Le Carrousel de Lancelot (FL)
- Mad Hatter’s Tea Cups (FL)
- Princess Pavilion (FL)
- Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast (Discoveryland, DL)
- Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain (DL)
- Orbitron (DL)
- Star Wars: L’Avetnure Continue (DL)
Rides open in the Walt Disney Studios Park during Extra Magic Hours include:
- Crush’s Coaster
- Flying Carpets Over Agrabah
- Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop
- Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin
- RC Racer
- The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
- Rock’n’Roller Coaster staring Aerosmith
If you have a PhotoPass+, make sure to grab your picture code from the ride before you leave. This will take the format of a letter and four numbers (eg. A1234). You can either have it added to your PhotoPass+ or you can add it yourself with the code via the app.
There are baby swaps available on rides if you are travelling with a baby or child that doesn’t want to do the ride. In this instance you queue together, but as you reach the top, tell a cast member you want to avail of baby swap. One parent rides first, while the other waits with the baby or child. Then as soon as they return, the other parent can ride without having to queue again.
There is also a single-rider facility and queue on certain rides. This allows people travelling solo, or wanting to go on rides their friends don’t, to fill up empty spaces as a single rider. This allowed my hubby to ride two rides while only waiting about 5 minutes for each. However, they’re not on all rides, so watch out for them.
Any worry I had about rides for under 5s at Disneyland Paris vanished thanks to the recommendations of all these wonderful bloggers. We also later discovered there are plenty to choose from and one or two even allow you to use Fast Pass which is great.
We were lucky that we planned our time in Disneyland Paris and never queued for more than 20 minutes for a ride. Our longest wait was for the official Mickey Mouse Meet and Greet, at nearly an hour. But, as we utilised Magic Hours as much as we could, we got to enjoy some of the best rides at Disneyland Paris without spending most of our times in queues.
We found there are quite a few rides at Disneyland Paris for toddlers, so even the smallest visitors can enjoy themselves. We were apprehensive about Pirates of the Caribbean, us adults’ favourite ride, but our son ended up enjoying it not once, but twice.
I hope this post has given you an idea of what are the best rides for under 5s at Disneyland Paris. I hope it has also shown you that there are plenty of Disney Paris rides for toddlers to enjoy. A few of the Disney rides can also be enjoyed by babies. And while the focus of this post has been rides, I hope I’ve also inspired you to ensure you enjoy some of the other Disneyland attractions that are on offer.
Before I finish, I must mention an absolutely brilliant post written by Vicki of Family Travel with Ellie entitled ‘Disneyland Paris with young children’. In it she details the best rides for under 5s at Disneyland Paris.
If you are looking for more inspiration for your trip to Disneyland Paris, check out my Disneyland Paris Pinterest Board! I’ve also added a fabulous post by Suzy of Our Bucket List Lives in which she gives a comprehensive breakdown off all the rides and which were suitable for her 3 year old son.
A big thank you to all the bloggers who answered my call for help in what rides for under 5s at Disneyland Paris they would recommend we do. I hadn’t been on any of these rides before our visit so we were looking forward to experiencing a different kind of Disney than before our son came along.
Would you recommend any other rides for under 5s at Disneyland Paris that might have been missed?
Also linked up to the Fearless Family Travel linky with Wandermust Family.