Disneyland Rides that aren’t dark

When we took my toddler at 2.5 to Disneyland, we discovered that she’s a little scared of the dark. We took her on the Disneyland Railroad, which she loved until we pulled out from the Tomorrowland Station and headed toward Main Street. Along this section of the train track, you go into a long tunnel where you experience Disneyland’s version of the Grand Canyon and the Grand Canyon with dinosaurs. This part is dark, loud, has scary dinosaurs, and even some lightning. She jumped into Daddy’s lap, and didn’t cry, but when it was over she said “I don’t like the dark.” Luckily that was in the early part of the day, so we avoided dark rides for the rest of our day. Now that we are Magic Key Holders (previously, annual passholders), I made a list of rides that we can do with her and rides to be wary of/avoid till she’s a little older.

Disneyland Resort rides without height requirements if you can’t ride in the dark:

  • Casey Jr.
  • Teacups
  • Dumbo
  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Storybook Canal Boats
  • King Arthur’s Carousel
  • Royal Theatre show and meeting the princesses
  • Mark Twain Riverboat
  • Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island
  • Jungle Cruise
  • Tiki Room (inside, kind of dark and has thunder/lightning sounds at one point)
  • Tarzan’s Treehouse
  • Pooh Bear (inside, kind of dark)
  • Toontown activities
  • It’s a Small World (inside but well-lit throughout the ride)
  • Astro Orbiter
  • Disneyland Railroad from Main Street – Tomorrowland (the Tomorrowland – Main Street track goes through a lengthy inside dinosaur scene)

Disneyland rides with height requirements if you can’t ride in the dark:

  • Thunder (has a few brief inside cave portions of the track, and is fast) – 40
  • Splash Mountain is partially inside and outside (has a large drop) – 40
  • Gadget’s Go Coaster (fast) – 35
  • Autopia – 32

California Adventure rides without height requirements if you can’t ride in the dark:

  • Monsters Inc (inside, kind of dark)
  • Philharmagic 3D show
  • Animation Academy is a fun place to run around
  • Talk with Crush inside the Animation Academy
  • Redwood Creek (outdoor play area)
  • Little Mermaid (inside but lit pretty well)
  • Toy Story Mania (inside but pretty well lit)
  • Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
  • Golden Zephyr (pretty fast)

California Adventure rides with height requirements if you can’t ride in the dark:

  • Luigi’s Rollickin Roadsters – 32
  • Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree – 32″
  • Silly Symphony Swings (you swing out over the water in the pier and it’s fast) – 40
  • Goofy’s Sky School (fast with sharp turns) – 42
  • Grizzly River Run (has one or two inside cave portions, is decently fast and spins) – 42″
  • Radiator Springs Racers (has a few inside portions, is fast) 40
  • Incredicoaster (is a fast rollercoaster) – 48
  • Pixar Pal-a-Round (ferris wheel; you’re seated in a gondola; some of them swing)
  • Jumpin’ Jellyfish – 40

If you need help planning your Disneyland trip, I can help! I have created a free spreadsheet in Google Sheets to help my email subscribers maximize their magical trip to Disneyland. Once you become an email subscriber (use the handy box on the right), you will receive an email with the password to my resource library with various Disneyland resources, including my PDF of tips, downloadable Google planning sheets, Disneyland scavenger hunts, and more! For a sneak peek and more info on my planning sheets, click here. You may also be interested in my posts on taking a toddler to Disneyland, packing a diaper bag for Disneyland, or visiting Disneyland in 2021, or my other Disneyland posts.

ferris wheel at pixar pier at california adventure with text rides that are not dark at disneyland if your toddler gets scared

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