Let’s face it. An impatient, fussy baby or toddler is no fun. And it’s worse when you have to wait in line 15 minutes or more for a Disneyland attraction or show. Next time you’re at Disneyland or California Adventure, check out these great no-line areas. They all provide a safe, isolated place for your toddler to run around and be a “big kid” by doing things on their own.
- Princess Dot Puddle Park – A Bug’s Land, California Adventure
I’ve mentioned this place in a previous post, but it really is our favorite spot for DD to run and enjoy the one thing she loves the most: WATER. I swear she was a little mermaid in a previous life because it’s hard to pry her away from any water whether it’s from the faucet, the bathtub or the hose. She just can’t get enough of water play time.
This shaded puddle park is found right across the restrooms in A Bug’s Land (convenient!). Water sprouts from the ground and from an overhead sprinkler. There are benches for parents to rest while watching their children run around the puddle park. You can have your child running around in a swim suit, but be sure to keep their shoes or sandals on! A Cast Member is always around to enforce the shoe rule.
2. Innoventions – Tomorrowland, Disneyland
Located next to Space Mountain, this 5,000 square foot “dream home” showcases the latest technologies for the home and community. You can check out the cool home gadgets for the living room and bedroom (lots of HP and Microsoft products), play Rock Band and other Xbox games and preview the latest Honda car.
Basically, it’s a big building with plenty of running around space. Your toddler really won’t be interested in the technologies on display, but they will have fun running around the staged bedrooms and living rooms. One of the living rooms is always showing a Disney movie and provides a comfy couch to rest on. So if your party is riding Space Mountain and you’re waiting for your turn with the Rider Switch Pass, this is a great way to pass the time.
3. Disney Animation building – Hollywood Pictures Backlot, California Adventure
To be honest, this is one of my favorite attractions of California Adventure. As an admirer of animation, I really appreciate the dedication they give to the incredible artists that have brought so many memorable characters to life.
As you enter this building, you’re first placed in the Animation Courtyard; a huge area with big screens showcasing music and art from various Disney movies. This area is a big floor so DD enjoys running around and looking at all the drawings from her favorite movies.
Inside, there are several attractions that you can partake. Each has a different age-group category, so you’ll have to choose appropriately for your toddler.
The Animation Academy has a real Disney artist giving you an animation lesson.
Turtle Talk with Crush is geared towards preschoolers as you sit in a little theatre where you’re peering into the world of Crush from Finding Nemo. He really interacts with the audience and talks back to the kids and adults and answers questions about anything you ask him! It’s really cool!
The Sorcerer’s Workshop has a bunch of interactive experiences like finding out which Disney character you are most like. Not really a toddler experience, but your older kids will enjoy it.
4. Big Thunder Ranch – Frontierland, Disneyland
This petting zoo had remained hidden to me until recently when I finally made my way to the back part of Frontierland on my way over to Fantasyland. Next door to Big Thunder Ranch BBQ, this petting zoo gives your little one close time with goats, cows, sheep and turkeys. You can’t feed them, but you can pet and comb them. Also in this area is the Miss Criss Cabin where there’s coloring pages and crayons provided if you need to give your child something to do.
During the winter holiday season, the farm animals are gone and instead there’s reindeer! You can also meet Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus here and it’s a can’t miss during that season.
5. Goofy’s Playhouse – Mickey’s Toontown, Disneyland
Goofy’s garden has a mini-playground for kids of any age or height. It has a little slide, various climbing pieces, and spongy ground which releases any worries of falls. Inside his house is giant cartoon furniture, which makes for fun photo ops.
One place I haven’t added to this Top 5 list is the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail in California Adventure. I’ve seen photos and read that it’s a big play area for children, however I have yet to visit this attraction. Every time I’ve made my way over there, DD is either asleep or it’s closed. I will make a point to visit this place and provide a review before the year is over.
So what did you think of this Top 5? Have you used any of these areas for your toddler to run around in? Let me know in the comments section!