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Sitting in strollers and standing in long lines can make kids super antsy. Especially children that may have cognitive disorders. Even at Disneyland it is important that kids be able to get some play time, burn off energy, and have unstructured time. But where can kids play at Disneyland? Today we are sharing some of our favorite play areas at Disneyland Resort.
My oldest has severe ADHD and all the standing in lines can really be hard on him. So how do we combat that at Disneyland? Well, we have some helpful tools that we use (like the Disability Access Service) but even then, he sometimes just needs somewhere to burn off energy.
One thing that has helped us a ton is knowing where the Disneyland play areas for kids are. You know, those places where kids can run around and burn off some energy. Maybe you have never noticed these areas because you are busy running from ride to ride, but they are there, and they are great for kids to get some time to run and burn off some energy. Today I am going to share all about the Disneyland play areas and why we love them.
There are several places for kids to burn off some energy at Disneyland resort. Today I am going to share my favorite areas with you. Before I begin, I do want to mention that while these areas are great for kids, none of them are drop off kids zones….meaning they are not there to watch your children for you while you go ride big rides. These are places for parents to go with their kids.
Disneyland Play Areas Where Kids Can Burn Off Energy
Before we get going, I have to cry about how my favorite Disneyland play area for kids is gone. I get that not many people loved a bug’s land, but those of us with toddlers and preschoolers did. It was a great play area for them, as well as somewhere they could do basically all the rides.
Thankfully, that was not the only place for kids to play at the parks, so let’s talk about some of the other areas, and an activitiy, that can get kids moving and burning off energy at Disneyland.
Redwood Creek Challenge Trail
Since I already talked about my favorite, long gone area in California Adventure, I think the first logical play area to discuss is the Redwood Creek Challenge Trail. This is a great place for kids of all ages to explore on foot and get out some energy.
There are even some “obstacle course” type challenges. Some of these do have height requirements and limits that kids between the height of 42 inches and 63 inches (and under the age of 13) may attempt. But don’t worry, there is plenty to explore if you are not within the height requirement and age limit. You can walk through giant sequoias or through tunnels, learn about your spirit animal and more. The Challenge is just down from the entrance to Grizzly River Run or the park entrance from Grand Californian.
Paradise Gardend Park World Of Color Viewing Area
In the mornings, the viewing platforms for World of Color in Paradise Gardend Park are pretty empty. This is not only a great place to let your little ones play and walk around, but it is also a great place to get some great photos.
Notice how there is nobody else on the viewing area? And this was probably around 10 am or later. This is a great area for kids that are learning to walk as well. Oh my gosh….can you imagine capturing baby’s first steps here? How precious that would be.
Heading over to Disneyland park, this has some of my favorite Disneyland play areas (who am I kidding, I love them all). One place that I think is often forgotten (or bemoaned by guests without young children) is Mickey’s Toontown. This area is great for kids.
First, you will find their favorite Mickey and friends characters and all their homes here. You can usually find Mickey and Minnie in their homes.
Second, there are surprises throughout Toontown for guests to discover. Pick up a cartoon payphone and you might be told a joke. Try and open a door and get a shocking surprise. Step on the gold plates around the fountain and make some music play. There are plenty of surprises.
There are also plenty of play areas around Mickey’s Toontown. Some favorites are Chip n’ Dale Treehouse. Or Donald’s boat. But my absolute favorite would have to be Goofy’s house because he has a playground perfect for toddlers in his backyard.
Another great thing about Toontown is that it has a lot of great photo opps that do not require your kids posing. From cars to trolleys to cartoon props, the bright colors and backdrop are perfect for fun photos you will come to love.
Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island
If your kids love to explore and have a lot of energy, then a trip over to the Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer’s Island is a must do. From caverns and trails to rope bridges and pirate treasure there is plenty to explore.
You hop on a ferry across from Haunted Mansion to cross the Rivers of America and head over to explore the island. You simply go back to the ferries when you are ready to head back.
Just a note that the island closes early so that cast members may prepare the island for Fantasmic, and for guest safety. I suppose it isn’t the best idea to let us wander here in the dark.
The island also has a great area with picnic tables so you can bring in food to Disneyland and eat your lunch over here. Also, most people don’t realize the island has restrooms.
If you just want a short activity between rides, Tarzan’s Treehouse is a great place to take your kids to let them explore and burn some energy. Tarzan’s Treehouse is located at the end of Adventureland, right before the bridge that goes over the Pirates of the Caribbean queue into New Orlean’s Square.
Let your kids explore and get a great view of the park. Keep your eyes open as you may find some familiar Disney characters (Mrs Potts and Chip) somewhere in the treehouse.
While the areas I mentioned are my favorite areas, they are not the only place you can let your kids burn some energy. Some other places I love for this are the picnic area (we go out here for lunch and let our kids burn some energy here), Tomorrowland Terrace at night when there are bands and DJs they can dance around with.
I also love the area in front of the Star Wars Launch Bay in the late evenings. The crowds are usually pretty low and you can let your kids dance around, play with bubbles, etc.
There are also several nooks and out-of-the-way places in the parks that you can let your kids burn off some energy (like in California Adventure’s Hollywoodland by the Monster’s Inc ride). Just keep your eyes open.
Don’t forget the Disney Junior Dance Party. This is a great show for preschoolers to burn off some energy with their favorite Disney Junior characters.
Did I miss any of your favorite Disneyland Play Areas? If so, let me know in the comments.