Top 10 Disneyland Paris rides for kids aged 5-9

The best rides for primary school children, plus how to beat the queues and make the most of your time at Disneyland Paris

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Disneyland Paris is an incredible place for children aged 5 to 9 years old. There is a huge range of rides, with everything from high-octane roller coasters, to soaring through the skies on a flying carpet to riding a vintage carousel. And on top of all that, children will be kept entertained with the brilliant shows and by exploring everything the parks have to offer, including the famous Sleeping Beauty castle.

Top 10 rides for kids aged 5 to 9 years old:

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1. Big Thunder Mountain

Where is it: Frontierland, Disneyland Park

What is it: Step on board a run-away mine train and enjoy a thrilling ride around – and inside – Big Thunder Mountain.

Why it’s great: This is a brilliant roller-coaster for children; it’s fast enough to be exciting but it’s not too scary and my five-year-old loved it. During the four-minute ride they go on a journey through a mine, see creepy crawlies and the train splashes through water, too.

Peak queues: This is an extremely popular ride so get there early in the day, it’s also a good one to get a FASTPASS for.

Suitable for: You need to be at least 1.02m tall, plus it’s a fairly fast ride, so it might not be suitable for children who get scared easily.

MFM tip: If you are travelling with another adult and a smaller child who can’t ride Big Thunder Mountain, you can split up and take them on the Thunder Mesa Riverboat which is nearby instead; it’s a 15-minute journey on a riverboat that goes around Big Thunder Mountain.

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2. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue

Where is it: Discoveryland, Disneyland Park

What is it: Star Wars fans will love joining one of their favourite characters from the films and zooming through the galaxy in this brilliant simulator.

Why it’s great: After boarding the ‘Starspeeder 1000’, you’ll jet off on a fabulous 3D journey through space and get taken to war-torn worlds, from Jakku to Hoth, with the famous character from the films C-3PO as your captain.

Peak queues: This is a popular ride with queues shortest at the start and end of the day – you can get FASTPASSES for this, too.

Suitable for: Riders need to be at least 1.02m, and although it does jerk around a bit, it isn’t a scary ride.

MFM tip: There are more than 60 mission combinations, so you can ride it multiple times and experience it differently.

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3. 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: There is so much in this ride for children to enjoy, particularly if they have seen any of the films as some characters including Captain Jack Sparrow make an appearance.

There is lots to see in the ten-minute ride, from an octopus lurking in a cave with treasure and twinkling eyes of creatures hiding in rocks, to the brilliant animatronic figures.

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

Suitable for: There are no height restrictions, and the two short flume drops in the dark give it a little bit of a thrill factor.

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 they 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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4. 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. You can spin your Space Cruiser around to get a better shot at targets which lets children have more control over the ride – and how many points they get.

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 quieter early in the morning and late evening.

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

MFM tip: Tell your children that in order to accrue maximum points they should make sure they hit the triangle and diamond targets as they’ll gain the most!

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5. Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain

Where is it: Discoveryland, Disneyland Park

What is it: Shoot through the dark skies at top speed as you do loops and twists while witnessing a Star Wars-themed space battle.

Why it’s great: From the moment it starts with its high-speed launch, this is fantastic for those who like high-octane rides. It’s fabulous for Star Wars fans – you’ll feel like you’re seeing scenes from the films as you watch TIE fighters and lasers shooting past.

Peak queues: Star Wars is still a huge draw so expect long queues for this – if it’s something your kids are desperate to do, get there early or ride it late.

Suitable for: You need to be at least 1.20m tall to ride this, but it’s an extremely fast ride so don’t assume that if your child is tall enough they will enjoy it – it’s definitely one for thrill-seekers!

MFM tip: As it’s such a fast ride, try your child on one of the less-intense roller coasters in the park first to see how they get on before letting them on this.

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6. Cars Quatre Roues Rallye

Where is it: Toon Studio, Walt Disney Studios Park

What is it: Join your favourite characters from the Cars films franchise and go for a spin!

Why it’s great: It’s a brilliant ride for fans of the Cars films, who will love spotting characters like Luigi at the entrance. You board your car and when the ride starts you start spinning around – it’s a bit like a teacups ride but much faster!

Peak queues: This is fairly popular – if it’s a must-do for you then head there early.

Suitable for: There isn’t a minimum height restriction, but our three-year-old felt it was too fast for him and found it a bit scary, but five-year-olds plus should be fine.

MFM tip: Each car can accommodate two adults plus two children, the kids can ride together up front which gives them a bit of independence.

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7. Slinky Dog Zigzag Spin

Where is it: Toon Studio, Walt Disney Studios Park

What is it: Board a huge Slinky Dog, one of the much-loved characters from the Toy Story films, and enjoy as you spin around increasingly quickly.

Why it’s great: You’ll feel like you have shrunk down to the size of a toy as you climb onto the back of Slinky Dog as he spins around, trying to catch his tail around an enormous dog bowl filled with bones. It’s a fun, family-friendly attraction that will appeal to all ages.

Peak queues: This is pretty popular but during my visit queues tailed off in the late afternoon.

Suitable for: There are no height restrictions, so all ages can enjoy this.

MFM tip: This is a good ride to take children on if they’re not tall enough to go on the RC Racer ride next door but their siblings are.

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8. Toy Soldiers Parachute Drop

Where is it: Toon Studio, Walt Disney Studios Park

What is it: Experience gliding down to the ground in a parachute in this family-friendly ride.

Why it’s great: The theming is fantastic, it’s set up to look like the parachuting soldiers that appear in the Toy Story films. You board the ride and rise up into the sky before dropping down 82 foot again and again – above an army base full of lookout towers and green toy soldiers.

Peak queues: The queues for this ride can get long, so head there early.

Suitable for: There is a minimum height restriction of 0.81m.

MFM tip: It’s a fairly gentle ride but make sure your little ones are happy with heights before you board!

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9. Flying Carpets over Agrabah

Where is it: Toon Studios, Walt Disney Studios Park

What is it: Hop on board a magic carpet and soar through the skies around a huge genie lamp.

Why it’s great: Children will love climbing on board their own magic carpet and taking off; you can climb higher and swoop down low – and tilt your carpet backwards and forwards, too.

Peak queues: The queues didn’t seem to be particularly bad on this ride, so it could be a good option when other rides get busy.

Suitable for: There are no height restrictions, it’s a fairly gentle ride but not ideal if your child is afraid of heights.

MFM tip: This is similar to the Dumbo ride in the Disneyland Park, but it tends to have shorter queues, so it’s a good one to do instead, particularly if your children aren’t particularly into Dumbo.

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10. Lancelot’s Carousel

Where is it: Fantasyland, Disneyland Park

What is it: A beautiful, vintage carousel filled with horses that all ages can enjoy.

Why it’s great: If your children have been enjoying high-octane rides throughout the day, this is a lovely way to calm them down on a gentle ride the whole family can enjoy. It’s a particularly good option if you have had to split up during the day to take a smaller child on different rides as this is something you can do together.

Peak queues: During our visit the queues didn’t seem to get longer than about 25 minutes.

Suitable for: It’s a gentle ride suitable for all ages.

MFM tip: If you are a Disney hotel guest, riding this during Extra Magic Time if it’s running is a quick way to get on it.

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

Other attractions and rides that are good for 5- to 9-year-olds

No queuing required – hurrah!

  • Sleeping Beauty Castle, Disneyland Park – soaring into the sky, the pink, blue and gold castle is the centrepiece of the Disneyland Park – but not only is it a stunning sight to behold, you can explore it, too. You walk over a drawbridge and climb a stone spiral staircase that leads you onto the first floor, where you can see the story of Sleeping Beauty told through tapestries and stained-glass windows.
  • Adventureland, Disneyland Park – this area of the park has some wonderful areas outside the main attractions that are not to be missed, including the network of caves, where you’ll find treasure, skeletons and cascading waterfalls.

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If you’re short of time, give this a miss:

  • Mad Hatter’s Teacups, Fantasyland, Disneyland Park – this is a wonderful teacups ride that young children will love but queues can get long as the day wears on and older children may prefer a more exciting ride.

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Anything else I shouldn’t miss?

You might need to join a long queue, but going on Ratatouille: The Adventure in Toon Studio, in Walt Disney Studios Park is a must. It’s a wonderful, immersive 4D ride, in which you board a ‘ratmobile’ and travel over Parisian rooftops and into the kitchen at Gusteau’s restaurant. You’ll be 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 points, too!

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