Golden Horseshoe Saloon is the home of Billy Hill and the Hillbillies, great big ice cream sundaes, and air conditioned comfort. This is a great place to get out of the sun and enjoy a show at the same time. Billy Hill and the Hillbillies are a comedic singing group, all named Billy. Most of the jokes are hard for children to understand, but if you get your toddler an ice cream sundae then it doesn't matter. If the Billy's have a day off, then this is home to the Laughingstock Group. While these people don't sing, they are hilarious and kids even understand these jokes. They will also perform outside the Golden Horseshoe on days when the Billy's are there. If you watch from outside though, prepare to be part of the show! Both shows are a great deal of fun to watch. This is something worth taking time out to enjoy.
Mark Twain is the beautiful white steamboat sailing Rivers of America. You too can ride this boat around Tom Sawyer Island. Seating is limited, but you can also sit on the deck floor if you don't want to stand. If you are first in the queue to ride, be sure to let the Cast Member know that you would like to ride with the Captain. He can tell you where to go when you arrive. This is another place where you can get that free souvenir. It is hard to get though because everyone wants to Captain the boat.
Columbia is the big pirate ship that circles Tom Sawyer Island. This ship only runs seasonally when it is very busy. If you get a chance though, I highly recommend this ride. You can stay above deck, or go below and see the crew quarters. The Columbia is one of those hidden gems at Disneyland.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is another of the attractions that is for big kids only. You must be 40 inches to ride this attraction but you can use baby swap here to take turns. This attraction is a runaway mine train that careens through the old west at fast speeds. This is one of the rougher roller coasters that Disney has, but it is also one of the Mountains of Disneyland, so if you plan on doing the Mountains, this is one of them.
Once you are done in Frontierland you can do one of two things. You can go back out to the hub where you can then go to Fantasyland, or Tomorrowland, or you can take Big Thunder Trail to Fantasyland.
If you take Big Thunder Trail you will pass by the Big Thunder Barbecue. At Halloween this is Woody's Roundup and for the Christmas Holidays it is a place to see carved pumpkins, a show, decorate some cookies and see, oh yes, Santa Clause.
Fantasyland is further down the trail, and chock full of rides for the wee ones. There is even a mountain that is not a mountain. The rides here that are appropriate for children do not have Fastpass and lines can become horribly long. It is best to ride these attractions in the early morning.
It's A Small World is a must see attraction for all. Shown at the 1964 World's Fair, this attraction was then brought to Disneyland. The exquisite facade is something everyone needs to see. There is a very large glockenspiel that will open every 15 minutes with a big procession of animatronic kids from around the world.
Once you board your boat you will enter the Small World building. During the ride you will hear the same song over and over, and done in several languages. Again you will see animatronic children, each one singing or doing an activity such as skating, surfing, flying and more. Both the music and the bright colors enchant babies and small children. As your child grows the love for Small World probably won't diminish, but now Disneyland has made the attraction easier for adults to handle. Various Disney Characters have been placed in the attraction. Can you find them all? Remember, they will be with their 'country'. Good luck and have fun!
Abu - your timing must be right to see him
Aladdin and Jasmine
Alice and the White Rabbit
Cinderella, Jaq and Gus Gus
Peter Pan and Tinker Bell
Pinocchio and Jiminy Cricket
Mulan and Mushu
Timon - your timing must be right to see him
Simba and Pumba
Donald Duck with Jose Carioca and Panchito - the Three Caballeros
Ariel and Flounder
Dory and Marlin - remember, Nemo has the small fin
Lilo and Stitch
Woody, Jesse and Bullseye
During the Christmas Season, it's a small world' becomes Small World Holiday. The facade is absolutely covered with Christmas lights and every 15 minutes there is a show projected onto this facade that is a must see. The attraction itself is also completely different with the children and scenery all decked out for the holidays in their own country. The music is also different, with a few Christmas Songs on the soundtrack.
Storybook Land Canal Boats is yet another relaxing water ride. This one is a ride that will take you through Monstro's open mouth to enter a miniature world of Disney stories. While you don't see any characters on this attraction, you see instead, where those beloved characters actually live. You will sail through the Cave of Wonders, see Agrabah, Pinocchio's village, Toad Hall, the homes of a few Princesses and more windmills than you see on it's a small world'. You don't have to worry about recognizing these places. There is a Cast Member on your boat who will direct your eye to each place so you enjoy all of the scenery. You will also pass by the world's largest patchwork quilt that is not made with cloth.
The queue for this attraction goes in fits and starts. It really depends on how many boats are running. Each boat holds about 15 people so every time a boat loads the line moves up quickly. This is another of those must see attractions. It is not opened for Magic Mornings or during parades, so keep that in mind when you are making your plans. If you can catch this attraction when it first opens you will have a nice short line.
Casey Junior Circus Train is a very popular ride for the toddler set. The train is set up with various cars. There are the animal cages you can sit in, or the open seats which are also available. The cages can be tough for an adult to navigate, but they are often the favorite of the children. As the ride begins you can hear the strains of 'I think I can' over and over until the train is up the hill. This is a very short track for the slow moving Circus Train. You do have the benefit of seeing the miniatures in Storybook Land from above. This is an attraction that isn't often open for Magic Morning, so if you could hop on when it first opens you will have a much shorter queue.
King Arthur's Carousel is a perennial favorite of children and adults alike. This attraction is even more beautiful after dark when it is all lit up. The story for this carousel is that of Sleeping Beauty. Storyboards surround the upper interior and are easy to see from outside the Carousel. The horses on this carousel are each individually hand painted, and each is named. Your child will be strapped in if riding a horse and must be able to sit. If your child is too young there are benches to use so all ages can enjoy this attraction. King Arthur's Carousel rarely has a line, but even if it does, a lot of people get on each time the Carousel loads.
Dumbo the Flying Elephant is possibly the favorite ride of every child in the world. Children like it because they can soar in the sky while making their elephant go higher or lower with the touch of a joystick. Timothy Mouse will tell you when the ride is over, and it is a quick ride. Each elephant has one safety belt for each person in the ride vehicle. If your child likes this ride, be prepared to stand in the queue over and over. As the day gets longer, so does the queue.
The Mad Tea Party is a ride that spins as you sit in a teacup. The teacup is set on a spinning platform as well causing even more spinning. You can control how fast or slow you spin, and it does have motion sickness warnings. It is a favorite of children and adults alike. The queue gets long for this ride, but it moves very quickly when loading. At nights with the lights on this can be more fun for those who don't get sick if you simply look at the lights while spinning. If your child is a baby, you probably want to keep the spinning to a minimum until you know how your child will react.
The Dark rides of Fantasyland: Snow White's Scary Adventures, Peter Pan's Flight, Mr. Toad's Wild Ride, Pinocchio's Daring Journey and Alice in Wonderland are all rides that take place in an enclosed area. Some children absolutely loves these rides, while others are terrified of them. If your child panics during the first ride, it may be best to skip the others until your child is older.
Snow White's Scary Adventures is one that you should pay attention to the name. This can be quite scary for your child, and as said above it is a dark ride which can induce fear in any child. This ride is not glitzy or glamorous, just matter of fact in telling the story of Snow White. There is rarely a long line for this so if you want to ride it but are not sure, send one adult through first to preview the attraction.
Peter Pan's Flight is another dark ride but this one is not like the other dark rides. Yes, it is dark inside, but the scare factor is very minimal. The gazing in wonderment is more probably here as you fly over London and see the stars and the traffic. You will fly over Mermaid Lagoon, past Captain Hooks ship. This is one amazing attraction that is actually a must see for all ages. It also is the one queue that is long from opening to closing. If you don't get on it early you could wait more than an hour to enjoy Peter Pan.
Mr Toad's Wild Ride is one that probably should be previewed by an adult in the group. This dark ride can be very scary because of the content. On this attraction you will be 'hit' by a train, sentenced by a judge, and sent to Hell. This attraction is probably better suited to older children. Now there is one caveat to that. If you have a child that loves to drive, and if driving your child doesn't care about anything else, then this will probably be okay for your group. Our son is fine on any ride where he can drive and has been since toddlerhood.
Pinocchio's Daring Journey is yet another one of the early dark rides with no glitz or glamour to take away from the fact that the ride is dark and it is scary Like Snow White, there is rarely a long queue for this attraction so you could certainly try it out and see what happens.
Alice in Wonderland may be a dark ride, and in fact may be an early dark ride with not bright colors or singing kids but this is an attraction loved by kids of all ages. This is a rare attraction that takes place mainly inside, but also goes outside for a bit. The queue for this is short in the early morning but grows as it gets later. This attraction does not run if it is raining. Alice in Wonderland happens to be a favorite ride of everyone in our family.
Sleeping Beauty Castle once again has the walkthrough. This is where you will see the story of Sleeping Beauty in shadow boxes and other forms. You must be able to go up and down stairs to do this walkthrough. If you can walk, it is worth the climb.
Matterhorn is an interesting roller coaster. It has a very low height limit at 35 inches, and an age limit. Your child must be 3 years old to ride. One reason for the low age and height requirements is because you sit two to a bobsled and the front passenger is leaning against the back passenger. With this configuration the adult is basically holding the child. That being said, this is a very fast roller coaster with a lot of jerks, similar to the style of Big Thunder. There is also a Yeti that can be terrifying for your child. Matterhorn does not offer single rider but you can use baby swap here.
ToonTown is a favorite for children all over the world. This is a place where they can explore houses, boats, and a tree house. They can push, pull and poke at things to make various consequences happen such as opening something and hearing a loud noise. This is the spot for laughter, big smiles and gleaming eyes. Be sure to visit the Post Office, the water fountains and the jail.
Mickey's House is a favorite place for children to explore and for adults to enjoy the 'artifacts' in the house. The movie barn continuously shows Mickey Mouse Cartoons, so this is a fun area to spend some time enjoying. If Mickey is not at his front door, then the barn is where you will find him and this movie area is the waiting area to see Mickey. On busy days, the whole house is the queue. Visiting Mickey is best done in the early morning unless it was a ToonTown Morning Madness day. With Morning Madness the crowds are already big when you are allowed into ToonTown.
Minnie's House is another favorite for children - especially the kitchen. Like Mickey's house there are things to touch, play with and sit on throughout the house. The kitchen is the place where you will see crowds though. This is where a cake is baking, and falling, and baking each time a child pushes the button to cook the cake. The refrigerator opens and the dishwasher runs. And if you are really lucky, Minnie is in the kitchen with you. Like visiting Mickey, seeing Minnie should be done early in the day on non Morning Madness days.
Chip and Dale Tree House is a very small tree house for young kids to play inside. Unlike Tarzans Tree House where you can easily spend 30 minutes or more, this is small enough that most children only play for about five minutes before moving on to something else.
Gadget's Go Coaster is a roller coaster for the toddler set. This is a very mild, very short roller coaster with tiny little ride vehicles. Like Matterhorn though it does have a height restriction. Children must be 35 inches to ride this coaster. Large adults may have trouble with this attraction. This is the roller coaster most children start with before moving onto the Matterhorn. Gadget's is a very slow loading attraction and can't run a lot of coaster at once, so it is a very slow moving queue. Kids love it, and as an adult with severe motion sickness this is about the only coaster this writer can handle.
Donald's Boat, the Miss Daisy is a play area for children. Like Chip and Dales Tree House this is a smaller play area that kids usually don't spend a long time exploring. There simply isn't much to do here. There is a nice shady area for parents to wait while the child does play.
Goofy's Playhouse is a place for children to sit on furniture open cupboards and generally do things that will elicit loud or funny sounds. Outside his house you can enjoy his playground. Toddlers really enjoy playing here on the miniature slide, crawling up and over oversize fruit and vegetables and running around in general for those stroller bound children. This area also has a Cast Member at the entrance when it is busy. This Cast Member doesn't let children out so your child can't run out when your head is turned.
Roger Rabbits Car Toon Spin is an attraction for both the young and old. This is one of the newer attractions that is filled with bright colors, loud noises and vehicles that can actually spin. You ride in Benny the Cab for this attraction through the mean streets of the Toon underworld trying to save the beautiful Jessica Rabbit. Beware the dip, as it will kill a Toon. In fact, dip is the big storyline in this attraction. Roger Rabbit has fastpass for those busy times.
To exit ToonTown you go out the way you came into this Land. From here you can go to Fantasyland, the Hub, or Tomorrowland. To get to Tomorrowland go in front of the Matterhorn and to the left you will see Tomorrowland's newest attraction. Part 3 Part 1