Disneylands California Adventure Park – Top 5 Activities for Children.

A visit to Disneyland in Anaheim would not be complete without hopping next door and visiting Disney’s California Adventure Park. this park focuses more on California and the Disney Pixar characters than Disneyland and has a much more Carnival feel than Disneyland next door. We found on our trips to Anaheim about 40 % was spent in California Adventure Park and 60 % at Disneyland. So it’s well worth a visit.

I asked my four children what their highlights were from California Adventure Park and I have compiled a list of the Top 5.

Twelve yr olds Top 5

1- Toy Story Midway Mania (Fastpass) 

This ride located at the back of the park at Paradise Pier was a favorite with our children and adults alike. You climb into a Carnival Car in Andy’s room and aim at various objects in a carnival-inspired 4D game. The great thing about Toy Story Midway Mania, is it tallies up your score so you can see how well you went.

Whilst there are no height restrictions, Children 7 and under must be supervised by someone 14 years or older.

2- Soarin around the world (Fastpass) Located in Grizzly Peak

Children 102cm or taller that don’t mind heights will love Soarin around the world. This ride is one that is hard to explain as really there is no other ride quite like it. You feel like you are hang gliding over amazing sights and really feel like you are there. All your senses are included, you feel the wind in your hair, you smell things, the music surrounds you.

3- World of color

World of color is a magical presentation of songs, music, Disney animation, lights, fire through their projection onto the water. It is an amazing experience that really brings the Disney Magic alive. The show goes for about 25 minutes, but you are drawn into every minute, every moment. Your children will love seeing their favorite characters from Pixar as well the Traditional Disney characters

It starts with a fun wheel challenge, fifteen minutes before the show, and continues through the presentation.

*We always book a Disney Dining package through Ariel’s grotto, to ensure we get a great seat, in the world of Colour preferred viewing area.

4- Radiator Springs Racing (Cars Land) Fastpass

Children 102cm will love racing in radiator springs. There is always a long line so make sure you head here first to grab a FastPass ticket. The level of detail even in the waiting area is great. You really feel like you are visiting Radiator springs. The ride itself takes you on a journey with Mater to help him participate in tractor tipping, on your way to the big race.

You are in a 6 man vehicle, and empty seats are filled up with the single rider line. The first half of the ride is inside, but the final race is outside and you race another car. You don’t know who is going to win. Every time is different.

Radiator Springs Racing (Cars Land)

Radiator Springs Racing (Cars Land)

5- Silly symphony swings (Paradise Pier)

A great fun classic carnival style ride. Swing high above Paradise Bay to the sounds of William Tell Overture. You must be over 102cms tall. Probably some of the best views of the water and Paradise Pier

Silly Symphony Swings

Animation Academy

HONOURABLE MENTION – Animation Academy

Fun for all ages and experiences, the animation academy teaches children and adults alike how to draw some of Disney favorite characters, you are taught by a Disney animator.

It’s an interactive step by step process. You get to take home your artwork at the end.


disney animation academy

Ten-Year-olds Top 5 Activities for Children at Disney California Adventure Park.

It’s always interesting to see how my two older children’s favorites often overlap. 

1- Toy Story Mania

(As above)

2- Goofy Sky school (FastPass, max pass, rider switch, single rider line)

Children 107cm or taller will love this roller coaster ride, that zigs and zags around corners. Children under 7 need to be supervised by someone 14 years or older. The rollercoaster is not for children afraid of heights as it goes 3 stories high in the air.

3- Mickey’s Fun Wheel

Not just an amazing photo opportunity the iconic Mickey’s fun wheel is the perfect way to see a great view of the Park. There are 8 traditional carriages, then 16 more daring carriages that move around. We had a turn on the ones that move around (Normally half the wait time) and whilst it was a little scarier it was a great way to see the park.

Each of the Carriages has a Disney face either Minnie Mouse, Goofy, Pluto, Donald.

Mickey's Fun wheel

4- Grizzle river run (FastPass, MaxPass, Single Rider line, Rider switch)

You will get wet, very wet when you take a ride on the Grizzly River Run, Jump onboard a whitewater rafting journey as you plunge down the rapids of grizzly peak.

5- Soarin over the world

(As above)

Five-year-old Top 5 list for California Disney Adventure Park.

1- The Little Mermaid ~ Ariel’s Undersea Adventure

Disneyland Ariels

The Little mermaid ride contains scenes, music and characters from The little mermaid. The line moves quickly as the clam shell carriages are always moving.  

2- Golden Zephyr Paradise Pier

Soar high with the Golden Zephyr ride, located at Paradise Pier, this ride is perfect for Children of all heights. The ride goes for 90 seconds, and you soar around in 14 man silver carriages, inspired by the 1920’s.

It allows for a great view of the Paradise Pier area. However does close early due to the World of Colour. 

3- Flik’s Flyers A Bug’s Life

Fliks Flyers

Fly high like a bug, in bug’s hot air balloon. Great ride for children and adults alike, with no height restrictions. You get a great view of all the surronding Bug’s life attractions.

4- Princess Puddle park (Bug’s life)

There is nothing better on a hot Californian day in the park to have a little splash in Princess Puddle Park. 

5- Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree

Twirl with Mater in his Junkyard Jamboree, to some great country music. you need to be 81cm tall to ride, and children under 7 must be supervised by someone 14 years or older. There are 22 different tractor trailers, that go around in a figure 8. I don’t know if its the original country tunes sung by mater, or the unpredictability of the ride, but you can’t help but smile as you spin around.

Four Year old’s favorite rides.

1- Flik’s Flyers (As Above)

2- Princess Puddle park (As above)

3- Heimlich Chew Chew Train (A bugs life)

Ride on top of Heimlich as you tour through the gardens in search of food. This is a gorgeous ride where everything around you looks huge as you navigate on a bug. Heimlich chews through treats both healthy like Watermelon, to the unhealthy candy corn. 

Caterpillar carriages seat ten, with 5 seats of 2. Great for all ages but especially pre-schoolers.

4- Francis Ladybug boogie (A Bug’s life)

Your child will love going for a spin on a ladybugs back in Francis Ladybug Boogie. Similar to a tea cup ride, you move along to a swinging beat.

5- Turtle talk with Crush (Hollywood Land)

This great interactive experiences, allows children to have an interactive chat with Crush and learn about many of the Disney Pixar, Finding  Nemo and Finding Dory characters. 
California Disney Adventure Park has so many great experiences for the kids, its well worth a visit. Children and Adults alike will marvel at all the great experiences. So if you are booking your tickets to Disneyland. Make sure you grab a Park Hopper pass.

Have you been to Disney’s California Adventure park? What was your favorite ride? Tell us in the comets below.

#feetdotravel, #weekendwanderlust

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39 thoughts on “Disneylands California Adventure Park – Top 5 Activities for Children.

  1. Oh wow seeing that Disney Animation Academy brings back memories for me! I’ve never been to Disney Land, but in Disney World I did a similar thing when I went there with a friend..we got a tour of the animation studio, and got to paint our own Mickey Mouse animation cels, Was so cool!

  2. I’ve been to Disneyland in Anaheim a few times but from your post it looks like there are many new adventures! I need to go back again!

  3. It’s been so long since I visited Disney! I never went to the California park as a kid but I had a blast in my late teens! I had no idea about the animation process but it looks like a blast!

  4. Love that you have used recommendations from your children! They are the reason we go to these parks afterall (unless you just love them like I do and use the kids as an excuse! ) Thanks for sharing!

  5. This is awesome! Even if I don’t have kids I would love this, but going with kids must be double the fun! I wish I could take my little cousin there, she would have a ball!

  6. Disneyland is something that fascinates me! I haven’t gone to a Californian one yet though. Theme parks are always a fun adventure both for adults and kids! Animation academy sounds like a blast as well!

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