10+ places at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure where kids can explore, play and get out the wiggles. The list includes playground type areas to visit. While at Disneyland sometimes you need a place to let the kids run around and play. In this post I’m sharing kid friendly places where you can go with no lines or waiting required. We’ll begin exploring in Disneyland first!
Head to Toontown for lots of ways to entertain the kiddos. This newly reimagined area is full of kid friendly areas to explore and grass to run around on. Be sure to check out the following…
1 – CenTOONial Park has fun interactive play elements including a new water fountain and the dreaming tree.
2 – Donald’s Duck Pond has an all new water play area. More to come about this area once I’ve explored.
3 – Goofy’s How-to-Play Yard is a great place for the kids run around, go down the slides, explore inside the house and don’t miss crossing the bridge. Watch the candy machine inside Goofy’s house fill up and spill.
4 – Explore over near the Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin. There is a post office with lots of things to push that make noise and open the mailbox. Kids will enjoy checking out all the fun places in this area. And now there’s lots of grass to play around on.
5 – Walk through Mickey’s house and Minnie’s house. Explore the living room, kitchen, bedroom and more in each house on a self-guided tour. Lots of fun things to see and explore. Plus you can meet each character, Mickey inside at the end of his house. Minnie can be found outside her house. Plus new characters are available to meet in Toontown now including Pete and Clarabelle.
Main Street Cinema
Located in the heart of Main Street is the best place indoors to watch 6 old Mickey cartoons on separate movie screens. Plus there are benches to sit on inside! The cartoons play continuously and include:
- Steamboat Willie, 1928
- Plane Crazy, 1928
- The Moose Hunt, 1931
- Traffic Troubles, 1931
- The Dognapper, 1934
- Mickey’s Polo Team, 1936
Each short is 6 to 8 minutes long and originally aired before a full-length feature film.
Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island
Hop on a raft in front of the Haunted Mansion and set sail for the island where you can roam and explore to your hearts content.
There are many paths shaded by sycamore and oak trees with scenic views of the riverbanks. You can cross creaky suspension bridges in Smuggler’s Cove, dare to explore the haunted caves of Dead Man’s Grotto, climb through a fort built by the frontier’s early settlers and more. Plus be sure to hunt for the long-lost pirate treasure!
Sailing Ship Colombia
I have seen the Sailing Ship Colombia floating along the Rivers of America countless times, but until recently I’d never go aboard. I had no idea there was so much to explore on the ship. As soon as you board the ship look for the stairs and head below the deck. See the living quarters, maps, supplies and just how the crew lives aboard the ship. Then come back up and see the views as you sail around the island.
UPDATE: The treehouse is under refurbishment and changing theming. I will update when it’s open again.
Over in Adventureland you’ll find a fun place to explore. Tarzan’s Treehouse is the legendary vine-swinger’s jungle home—built in an 80-foot-tall tree.
Climb the tree stump and cross a rope bridge high in the sky. Overgrown with vines and constructed out of parts salvaged from his tragic shipwreck, the tree house features ingenious inventions and vignettes from Tarzan’s epic life story. Down below, explore the gear Tarzan and Jane left behind at Base Camp. Investigate Jane’s collection of scientific equipment and improvised cooking gear. Inspect a magic lantern, play with musical pots and pull on the vines to discover fun surprises.
And lastly across from the entrance of Space Mountain you will find the giant water ball or Germ ball as I like to call it. Kids are entertained and get a chance to cool off as they play.
Now that we’ve covered Disneyland park let’s head over to Disney California Adventure and see what we can find over there.
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
This large play area is located near Grizzly River Run. Here the kids can explore, climb, swing and play in a wilderness adventure. There’s fun for the whole family. Enjoy a “forest” range of activities for everyone. Practice the art of traverse climbing at the Cliff Hanger Traverse Rock Climb. Glide down a natural rock slide. Explore the ropes course to the lookout towers high above the tree line. Practice your park ranger skills on the tire swing at Sequoia Smokejumpers Training Tower. There are benches to rest on plus lots of shade.
Most of the experiences of Redwood Creek Challenge Trail have no height or age requirements except:
- Cliff Hanger Traverse Rock Climb – Guests must be 42 inches or taller.
- Hoot n’ Holler Log Slides – Guests must be 32 inches or taller.
- Sequoia Smokejumpers Training Tower – Guests must be between 42 inches and 63 inches tall. Guests must also be under 13 years of age.
Located over in Hollywood land you will find the Animation Building. Inside there’s lots of carpeted area to let little ones get out their wiggles, plus sofas to sit down and rest. You can watch video clips and music from Disney movies on the giant screens play continuously.
Also inside there are various things to do. Find the Sorcerer’s Workshop and venture inside the Magic Mirror Realm for several interactive things the kids will enjoy.
Then keep going and you will discover the best kept secret, the Beast’s secret library from Beauty and the Beast. It’s magical as the room turns from night to day as the petals on the rose fall. A Magical Book is an interactive game with an enchanted book where you discover which Disney character your personality most resembles. There’s so much to explore and do inside the Animation Building.
Disney Junior Dance Party
During this show kids get to wiggle, shimmy and sing along at a high-energy show starring Disney Junior Characters. Check the entertainment schedule to see when the next 18 minute show is taking place. Now this option does require standing in line for the next show, but once inside the air-conditioned building the kids get to shake it off and laugh with characters like Vampirina, Doc McStuffins and Timon. The DJ plays songs from Disney Junior shows while bubbles float through the air. Other appearances include Kion and his animal pals from The Lion Guard live via satellite from the Pride Lands. Even Mickey and Minnie Mouse from Mickey and the Roadster Racers are driving in from Hot Dog Hills to join the fun. Get ready to party like a Disney Junior star!
And lastly as mentioned over in Disneyland they also have a giant Pixar water (germ) ball on Pixar Pier in front of the Pixar Pal A Round.
I hope you found this list helpful as you plan for your next visit with your little ones. Other helpful posts include which rides your baby or toddlers can go on here. And for my pregnant mamas you should look at this post!
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