Top 10 Disneyland Paris rides for kids aged 2, 3 and 4

Get the most out of your visit to Disneyland Paris with our list of the rides toddlers and preschoolers will love the best

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Disneyland Paris is a wonderful place for the under-5s. Although there are some high-octane rides aimed at older children and adults, there is plenty to keep pre-schoolers happy. From gentle boat rides and getting to drive their own car around a track to gliding through the air in their own flying pirate ship – there is plenty at both theme parks to keep little ones enthralled.

Top 10 rides for kids aged 2, 3 and 4 years:

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1. Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast

Where is it: Discoveryland, Disneyland Park

What is it: In this interactive ride, you board your Space Cruiser – which you can spin 360 degrees – and use laser guns to shoot at targets.

Why it’s great: It’s brilliant fun trying to hit the targets with your laser gun and it’s not too tricky even for little ones to rack up points. It’s dark inside, but all the figures including Buzz himself are lit in vivid colours, and my three-year-old was mesmerised. Spinning the Space Cruiser around so that we could get a better shot at some of the targets was fun, too!

Peak queues: This is a very popular ride and it’s worth getting a FASTPASS for it, although even when you use a FASTPASS you might end up queuing for a while to get on. The queues were shorter early in the morning and late evening.

Suitable for: There are no height restrictions on this ride and it appeals to a wide range of ages.

MFM tip: If you are trying to accrue maximum points then make sure you hit the triangle and diamond targets as they are worth the most!

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2. It’s a Small World

Where is it: Fantasyland, Disneyland Park

What is it: A gentle boat ride that takes you on a journey through the world with famous landmarks along the way and characters in traditional dress.

Why it’s great: This is a really joyful ride. It’s a spectacle – there are landmarks from Tower Bridge to the Taj Mahal that you can enjoy, plus moving characters all dressed in wonderful outfits dancing as the song ‘It’s a Small World’ plays. It’s fun for all ages – adults will love it, too!

Peak queues: The queues never seemed to be too bad for this ride as the boats are large and have plenty of room. It’s a great option when other rides are very busy.

Suitable for: All ages will enjoy this!

MFM tip: This is definitely one to ride more than once – there is so much to see that your children will spot new things each time.

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3. Peter Pan’s Flight

Where is it: Fantasyland, Disneyland Park

What is it: You board a flying pirate ship and get taken on a journey over the rooftops of London to Never Never Land, seeing scenes from the classic story.

Why it’s great: As it’s pitch-black inside, children think they’re flying really high and looking down on London’s landmarks of Big Ben and over a crisscross network of houses and cars. Then, after sweeping through the twinkling stars, you arrive in Never Never Land, whose brightly coloured scenery stands out dramatically in the darkness. Rafferty didn’t know the story of Peter Pan, but he still loved seeing the volcano, Captain Hook and, of course, Peter Pan.

Peak queues: This is one of the park’s most popular rides, so it gets busy quite early in the day. Go first thing or late afternoon or early evening when it gets quieter again.

Suitable for: There are no height restrictions, but it might not be suitable for children who are afraid of the dark or heights.

MFM tip: FASTPASSES are available for this ride, which will cut the queue time down considerably.

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4. Le Pays des Contes de Fées – Storybook Canal Boats

Where is it: Fantasyland, Disneyland Park

What is it: A relaxing boat ride where you can sit back and enjoy looking at the beautiful scenes from classic stories including Hansel and Gretel, The Wizard of Oz and The Little Mermaid.

Why it’s great: A winner for all ages, the boat goes quite slowly and there is lots to see and enjoy. There is fabulous detail in each of the scenes, so much to point out; it’s perfect for little ones.

Peak queues: The queues never seem to get too bad for this ride, so it’s a great one to enjoy when other rides are getting busy.

Suitable for: There are no height restrictions and it’s such a gentle ride it’s suitable for all.

MFM tip: There is lots to see on both sides of the boat, so it’s worth riding it twice to make sure you take it all in.

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5. Casey Jr: The Circus Train

Where is it: Fantasyland, Disneyland Park

What is it: Based on the character from the film Dumbo, the Casey Junior circus train takes passengers on a ride, taking in models of scenes from some classic Disney films.

Why it’s great: It’s not a roller coaster but it’s the closest thing to one I’ve taken Rafferty on. It picks up some speed as it zips around the track, you even tilt inwards at points. But it’s still fairly tame at the same time. Rafferty had been a bit unsure when he saw it while we were waiting in the queue, but he loved it when he was on board, although he was too busy enjoying the speed of the ride to take in all the lovely scenes we were meant to be looking at! In hindsight, I should have made an effort to point those out to him!

Peak queues: The queues weren’t too bad for this ride, even though we rode it at a busy time of day we only had to wait about 20 minutes. Plus, the waiting area is shaded by trees which is great if it’s hot.

Suitable for: There is no height restriction, but some smaller children may be a bit frightened by its speed.

MFM tip: If your child changes their mind about going on once they’re in the queue, you can reassure them that they can see the same Disney scenes if they take the much more gentle ride, Le Pays des Contes de Fées – Storybook Canal Boats.

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6. Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Where is it: Fantasyland, Disneyland Park

What is it: Experience what Dumbo feels like by zooming through the air on a flying elephant!

Why it’s great: Not only is there the fun factor of hopping on board an elephant and speeding through the sky, Rafferty particularly liked the fact he could control how high he went, and it goes up to seven metres in the sky.

Peak queues: This is a very popular ride and it takes quite a long time to load people onto it, so this is definitely one to head straight to first thing or later in the evening.

Suitable for: There is no height restriction, although some children may be scared if they are afraid of heights.

MFM tip: If you are staying in a Disney Hotel, then ride this in Extra Magic Time, if it’s operating, to cut queuing time.

Read our review of the Newport Bay Club Hotel at Disneyland Paris Resort

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7. Orbitron

Where is it: Discoveryland, Disneyland Park

What is it: Sit in your very own rocket and take off into the sky above Discoveryland!

Why it’s great: This is a fantastic ride if your little one has ever wanted to ride around in a space ship! It’s also surprisingly fast, but as it just spins in a circle, and rises up and down if you want it to, it didn’t seem to faze my three-year-old.

Peak queues: This one got busy fairly early in the day, so it’s a good one to try as soon as the park opens, or later in the day.

Suitable for: There are no height restrictions but it’s better for children who like faster rides.

MFM tip: If your little one – or you – find it’s going a bit too fast, raise your rocket into the mid-height position, which will stop you tilting as well.

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8. Autopia

Where is it: Discoveryland, Disneyland Park

What is it: You can hop into your own car and take a spin around Discoveryland.

Why it’s great: Your little one can get behind the wheel of a car for the first time and drive it around a course! (OK, the car is on a guided track but we don’t need to tell them that and spoil their fun!) There’s an accelerator you push to keep the car moving, it’s brilliant fun.

Peak queues: This is very popular, so it’s best to get there early in the day.

Suitable for: Riders between 0.81m and 1.32m must be accompanied by someone over 1.32m. Riders over 1.32m can ride alone.

MFM tip: It can be tempting to just gaze at your child as they will be in awe of driving their own car – but make sure you keep an eye on the car in front as you don’t want to bump into the back of them and give everyone a jolt!

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9. Ratatouille: The Adventure

Where is it: Walt Disney Studios Park

What is it: In this wonderful, immersive 4D ride, you board a ‘ratmobile’ and travel over Parisian rooftops and into the kitchen at Gusteau’s restaurant.

Why it’s great: From the moment you put on your 3D glasses, this wonderful ride transports you into the world of Remy, the culinary skilled rat from the hit film. As you’re taken around the kitchen, you feel heat when you’re under the cooker and the gas jets suddenly fire up, you feel cool in the fridge and you’re even splashed at times, too.

Peak queues: This is extremely popular and had long queues throughout the day when I visited. Try to get a FASTPASS as early in the day as possible to reduce queuing times.

Suitable for: There are no height restrictions, but as it’s 3D, children will only really enjoy it if they are prepared to keep their glasses on. My three-year-old was a bit frightened when the cooker was ‘lit’ above us, so it depends on the child.

MFM tip: As you leave, you get a glimpse into the themed restaurant Bistro Chez Remy – which is a great place to eat after enjoying the ride, although it’s essential to book in advance.

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10. Pirates of the Caribbean

Where is it: Adventureland, Disneyland Park

What is it: You’ll board a boat and be transported back to the 17th century, taking a journey through the haunted Dead Man’s Cove and Hurricane Lagoon, before watching a battle in a foggy Caribbean fort.

Why it’s great: It’s a brilliant ride for children, particularly if they like pirates! There is so much detail to enjoy, even when you are queuing up to get on. The ride lasts ten minutes and there is so much to see, from an octopus lurking in a cave with treasure and twinkling eyes of creatures hiding in rocks, to the huge array of animatronic figures, including some characters from the films too, such as Captain Jack Sparrow. My children loved the huge pirate ship as we sailed by.

Peak queues: Even though it’s very popular, the queue moved fairly quickly, I didn’t see the queue time at more than 45 minutes, even in the middle of the day.

Suitable for: There are no height restrictions, although my three-year-old was a bit scared of the two short flume drops.

MFM tip: During our visit, we queued waiting for the ride to open and two pirates came down the line and picked my two children to be ‘Pirates Du Jour’ and open the ride. As a prize the kids got a pass giving us unlimited exit–line entry into the ride for the rest of our trip. So it’s worth getting there early and queuing up!

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Why is BlancheNeige et les Sept Nains not included in the top 10?

The BlancheNeige et les Sept Nains (Snow White and the Seven Dwarves) ride – seems like an obvious choice to take small children onto – it’s a classic fairy tale and the ride has no height restrictions. But it’s actually quite a scary ride that may frighten young children! There’s an evil witch who pops out and there are some loud noises, too.

Other attractions and rides that are good for toddlers and preschoolers

No queuing required – hurrah!

  • Alice’s Curious Labyrinth, Fantasyland – this is a maze filled with some brilliant characters along the way. It’s a great way for children to have a little run around if they have been getting restless waiting in queues for rides.
  • Mickey and the Magician, Animagique Theatre – this show is performed at set times, so while you will have to queue it’s a case of waiting for the start time. This is a wonderful stage show that features some fantastic performances from some Disney favourites including the Lion King and Frozen – highly recommended.
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If you’re short of time, give these a miss:

  • Studio Tram Tour: Behind the Magic, Walt Disney Studios Park – on this ride, you board a studio tram and see props from some well-known films as you take your tour, while a commentary runs in English and French. You get to experience being in an earthquake, fire and water during the ride, but younger children may not enjoy it as much as other rides.
  • Moteurs, Action! Stunt show spectacular, Walt Disney Studios Park – this is a live-action show where movie stunts are performed in front of your eyes. Some of the stunts – such as cars driving on two wheels and a motorcyclist driving through flames – are dramatic, but the show lasts about 40 minutes and although it’s fabulous for adults and older children, it may be a challenge to keep younger children entertained throughout – unless they love cars!
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