Ever the cognizant mother, I don’t want to spoil the magic for anyone by having a shrieking toddler in a line or a ride or a restaurant. So I’ve come up with a list of the top 5 places I take my son to burn off all that extra energy at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure.
5. Mickey’s House – Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland
There is air conditioning and giant furniture for kids to play on! It’s a whimsical house for toddler to play in, while heading towards meeting the Big Cheese. You can play on Mickey’s piano, help Mickey wash his laundry and answer Mickey’s phone! What more could a kid ask for? Did I mention the air conditioning?? You can let your kids run through the house for a break from the heat in the summer and at the end of the house wait in line to meet Mickey! It’s a great place for kids to explore.
4. Main Street Cinema– Main Street, U.S.A., in Disneyland
It’s indoors, it’s air conditioned, and there aren’t a lot of people in there. Our friend discovered this gem on my last trip to Disneyland. We were waiting to eat breakfast at Carnation Café, which now hands you a pager that works all the way to the hub. So we decided we needed a place for Nathan to burn some energy before we forced him to sit in a highchair for 45 minutes. The Main Street Cinema is literally an empty round room with Mickey cartoons playing on constant loop. He ran in circles yelling “Mickey!” Does it get any better than this for a 2-year-old?
3. Animation Academy Building – Hollywood Land in Disney California Adventure
When you walk in, you enter a huge space with enormous video screens playing songs and showing artwork from Disney’s classic films. There are two large comfy couches and lots of space for running and rolling around on the floor. I often see kids passed out on their parents on the couch, or on the floor watching the screens. Some people sit there and wait for the next animation lesson, while others just use it as a place to get out of the heat. It’s a great cool area where your kids can make noise and run around, or pass out on the floor without anyone batting an eye.
2. Redwood Creek Challenge Trail – Grizzly Peak in Disney California Adventure
Disney describes this as an “outdoor recreational area for kids of all ages and sizes.” I would describe this as a huge kiddie playground! It’s ideal for the kid, but watch out, Mom and Dad – you definitely have to chase around those little ones! The pros and cons of this location are the same: it’s a huge fun open space! Translation: toddlers want to explore, and you better be on your toes. There are slides, rope bridges, rock climbing, tunnels to crawl through, and characters from the movie Up! FYI: The zipline and rock climb are meant for kids of at least 42 inches and under 13 years old. But everything else is for kids of all ages and sizes!
1. Goofy’s Playhouse – Mickey’s Toontown in Disneyland
Next to Fantasyland, Toontown is the most obvious place for kids to run around and play. Specifically, Disney has designed Goofy’s Playhouse to be a play area for toddlers. The fun mostly takes place in Goofy’s backyard. With watermelons to climb on and slides to slide on, this playhouse is my #1 choice for toddlers to burn off all that sugar! Inside Goofy’s house you will find a piano and a couple of funky plastic couches to climb on, all made with the intent that kids would make noise, bang on things, and be carefree! Major bonus: Goofy frequently visits the front of his house, so this is a great opportunity to introduce your child to Goofy. The lines are usually shorter than on Main Street!