Favorite rides for a 4 year old

Discussion in 'Disneyland (California)' started by Kianasmom, Jan 7, 2012.

  1. Kianasmom

    Kianasmom Earning My Ears

    Jan 7, 2012
    We are taking our daughter for the first time next week.

    Wondering which rides should I get fast passes on vs. standing in line. I'm concerned of her patience while standing in line.

    We are doing a 3 or 4 day park hopper.

    Thank you!
  2. cari12

    cari12 DIS Veteran

    Jul 25, 2009
    We went in Oct 2009 with DS4 and DD6. My biggest suggestion would be to get there at park opening. If you have any early entry mornings, use them.Follow some of the trip plan advice on here for order to do rides (ie. Peter Pan then Dumbo, then Alice/Matterhorn then Toad or if doing Nemo, do it first thing). We did this and it was amazing how many rides we did with little or no line-ups. By the time the parks were getting busy in the afternoon, we were heading back to the hotel to go in the pool.
    My kids loved Buzz, TSMM and Monsters Inc. (we went on all multiple times) DS4 loved Winnie the Pooh as well. Toontown will be a big hit.
    Since you have a daughter and if you can afford it, have a character meal at Ariel's Grotto. It was magical for both our kids. You get to meet 5 or 6 princesses and they each come to your table, say hello and pose for a picture with your child.princess:
  3. Avatar


    to hide this advert.
  4. starshine514

    starshine514 DIS Veteran

    Nov 21, 2010
    My almost-5-yr-old's faves are:
    • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad (40" HR, this one has a FP, we use them, and often ride an hour or so after the park opens)
    • Matterhorn (but it's closing starting Monday for a long refurb)
    • Casey Jr Circus Train (we usually ride this right before BTMRR in the morning)
    • It's a Small World (we usually ride this in the evening)
    • Pirates of the Caribbean (we usually ride this in the morning)
    • Alice in Wonderland (this is one of our first rides of the day, as the line gets really long)
    • Silly Symphony Swings (rarely has a long line. 40" HR)
    • Grizzly River Run (42" HR, she just made this recently. Didn't have much a line our last trip, but we have used FP for it in the past)
    • Goofy's Sky School (42" HR. Does have FP. We usually ride a couple of times right after CA opens)
    • Little Mermaid (usually has a short line)

    She doesn't like:
    • Space Mountain (the darkness scares her)
    • Star Tours (but she is willing to ride it)
  5. SunsetsOnTheBeach

    SunsetsOnTheBeach Earning My Ears

    Dec 10, 2011
    My 4 year old was too scared for a lot of the rides he could've gone on. But he loved:

    -Small World

    -Toy Story

    -Buzz Lightyear

    -Mickey Ferris Wheel (non-swinging car)


    -All rides in Bug's Land




    -Nemo Submarine

    I would recommend doing Ariel's Grotto for breakfast or lunch too, both my kids LOVED that!
  6. Kianasmom

    Kianasmom Earning My Ears

    Jan 7, 2012
    Thank you!

    Yes, we are signed up for Ariels Grotto for lunch.
    As well as Breakfast with Minnie and PCH grill with Micky.

    Also looking to do either Goofy's Kitchen or Storytellers for dinner. Not sure if that's too much character dining???
  7. kailuagirl

    kailuagirl DIS Veteran

    Apr 16, 2009
    I have a DD4 and her all time favorite ride (we went to DL when she was 2, 3 and 4) has been consistently Haunted Mansion. She loves loves loves that ride. Next would be Dumbo. But she likes everything, I can't think of anything she doesn't like except Big Thunder, she didn't like that one at all. This time around she got to ride Star Tours and really really loved that one.

    At home my daughter can not wait in lines at all, but at DL she has no problem with it. She knows she has to wait in a line to ride a ride. If she starts getting figity, it's so easy to distract them there with looking at the things around you or making a friend with the person standing in front or behind you, especially if there are kids it really helps. I see some kids playing with electronics to keep them busy.

    My tips to you is: get to the park at opening, keep them well feed and hydrated, so bring lots of yummy snacks and drinks and just keep offering and offering. A yummy healthy snack can ward off any potential crashes, if you know what I mean. Take a break in the afternoon. My daughter has not napped at home in at least a year and half, at Disneyland she naps everyday for about 2 hours. It really really really helps and is a must. Go at their pace and let them pick out rides (they love to do that).

    How tall is your son? Hopefully 40" or above, we had way more fun with this height this time. So for rides, my #1 recommendation is to start out nice and slow and easy on them so he doesn't get scared at all and then is afraid to ride other things. Ride Dumbo, Casey, Storybook, the Railroad, Autopia, the carousel, Buzz, Pooh, all the nice easy not dark rides and go from there, if after a few he's not scared at all you can slowly add in Snow White or Alice kinda rides. Maybe show a couple of the YouTube video's to him beforehand. I did that with my daughter for matterhorn so she could see the big white scary monster and not be scared of him when she saw him (although she still was, but loves that ride) I hope he is a trooper and not scared. I tell you, we had so much fun this time with my daughter 40"+, we road Space together (loved it), Star Tours, Big Thunder, Splash, and all the 40+ at CAP this time, it was so fun!!!

    Don't forget to check out Disney Jr. Playhouse at CAP if he likes those shows, my daughter LOVED it!!

    As for the character dinning, I wouldn't try to do them all. They really do take up alot of park time I feel. It's fun, but usually once, maybe twice would be a good amount for us. You'll still hopefully see alot of characters in the parks. Let us know if you need to know where to find them and we'll all help.

    Have a wonderful time!! Take lots of pics and enjoy the special time with your family
  8. Travelingdad

    Travelingdad Mouseketeer

    Jan 30, 2011
    In terms of rides, our 5 year old girl liked the following the best (she was with older siblings so may have helped her be brave). She was 5 for two months at the time. In no particular order:
    Tower of Terror (did i twice. Loved it first time, scared second time).
    Loved Splash Mountain.
    Liked Thunder Mountain
    Liked the Speedway near Space Mountain.
    LOVED Mt. Everest! Went on four times in a row. :banana:
    Snow White's scary Adventure
    Whinnie the Pooh
    Didnt like Buzz, it was too hard to tell if she hit anything so she got frustrated.
    Liked TS Mania
    Tea Cups had her laughing for a half hour afterwards.
    While not a ride, she did the Jedi Training at HS, had a lot of fun.
    Loved Soarin'
    Test Track was fun for her.
    Aladinn's Magic Carpet
    Jungle Cruise

    Ones she didnt care for much that I thought she would:
    Peter Pan
    Its a Small World

    I think a lot of little kids can handle most rides, we saw tons of young kids on most rides.
  9. 94bruin

    94bruin DIS Veteran

    May 28, 2009

    This is a trip report I posted when I took my DD for her 5th birthday - only her 2nd trip.

    A lot depends on whether your DD will do dark rides. My DD did NOT like dark rides except for Peter Pan & Alice. She hated Matterhorn & Pirates. We didn't even attempt Haunted Mansion. At that age she loved Soarin', Buzz Lightyear, Alice, Dumbo & TSMM. Your DD might also like the new Little Mermaid ride. It wasn't open when DD1 was 4, but she likes enough now. DD2 on the other hand - we had to convince her to go on it in Dec - she does NOT like dark rides. Wouldn't even get anywhere near the Snow White ride, lol.

Share This Page