Disneyland VS CaliforniaAd. for 3 yr old


Hi! many questions. :happy:

im new and im writing because in a month, we will be heading to Disneyland and we were wondering if we should just go to Disneyland or CaliforniaAdventures OR DisneyL. AND CaliforniaAd.

But, she and her 1 yr old sister would be the only children with about 4 adults. Shes a BIG fan of Disney but really wants to see the Princesses.

Are their rides for her and if so, how many in each? is it worth it to park hop or just stay in one? Will it be worth it?

Thanks for taking the time to read and hopefully reply and help me out. :wink:


I dont know much about either park, but I just wanted to welcome you to DC.


Welcome to DC!

DCA (Disney’s California Adventure) is geared more towards adults than children. There aren’t a whole lot of rides that she will be able to enjoy, but they do a fantastic princess meal at Ariel’s Grotto in DCA.

DL (Disneyland) is a childs dream! Fantasyland and ToonTown are both geared towards kids and there are tons of rides that she will enjoy. The princesses are on hand for her to meet for autographs and pictures. When you get into the park, you can check at City Hall to get a schedule of who will be when and where.

Are you guys just going for one day? If so, I would just stick with DL. Other than the Princess meal at DCA, there isn’t much there to offer her and a one day park hopper is about $20 more per person. DL does do some great character breakfasts, so you guys could always do one of those! :slight_smile:


WELCOME!!! :biggrin:

You may be surprised that you will be able to ride some rides with the 1 year old too! In 2004 I took my then 11 month old on Pirates of the Caribbean, Small World and I think some others… Forgetful moment… :wink:

But DL has lots and lots of rides that would make a 3 yr old happy-happy-happy! Toon Town and Fantasyland were made for kids, but don’t mind me having some fun there too! :wink:

DCA has some rides that the 3 yr old may love too. Be sure to go to a Bug’s Land! Some of the carnival-esque rides may allow little ones, but may be too scary.


I was hoping you’d respond GF…I knew you have little ones and would have good input. I thought there was some good stuff for little guys at DCA…but wasn’t sure…since I don’t have kids…yet :wink:


Well i think if you can only go to one Go to disneyland. Adventures is good and has the whole bugs life area and some other little kiddie rides but not as many as disneyland. But Bugs life is a great area for little kids also


Welcome to Disney Central!!!
I would totally say do both parks. It is Disney so either one has stuff for kiddies :smile:
In Disneyland Toon Town and Fantasyland are great and in California Adventure A Bug’s Land has lots of great spots. Those are the places that are specifiaclly for young children but there are things in all spots of the parks that can be great for your young travellers. Also in Downtown Disney there is the Build-A-Bear workshop which my little nephew loved, and the resort hotel pools are great also.
When you enter the parks find the station that has character information if your kids like to meet characters that way you’ll know where to find them.

I’m a Disneyland buff so if you want any more info (so this post doens’t go on forever) just PM me and I’d be happy to help! :smile:


I also have to add this… If you can, go see the Aladdin show at DCA’s Hyperion Theater. That show was one of the highlights of my trip last month.

It may not be the best for little munchkins, but if the adults like Aladdin then it is so worth it…

I feel like I am becoming the Aladdin show pusher! :wink:


I would only take her to Disneyland.

California is good, but depending on finances and time, she would have much more FUN in Disneyland. Rides, entertainment, and characters abound in Disneyland, but not as many in California Adventureland…

I always that California Adventureland is for folks who have never been to California and want to “sample” all the bits and parts…


How much time are you planning for the trip? Just one day? :huh:


Oh and if you do go and you have a very active and outgoing little girl I suggest you get her to the block party bash. She will have a ball. It is Adventures and she can go in and dance with the characters and have a blast!!! It is so cute


YES! Goof Father - I agree with the Aladdin show!
Also in California Adventure the Playhouse DIsney Live On Stage! show…great for kiddles!


Welcome to DC :mickey:

If you had to do just one park, Disneyland is the simple answer. You are submurged in the magic and kids and adults will love it. You can easily spend an entire day keeping both children and all the adults happy. There are areas that the Princesses visit regularly and as mentioned before you can get the day’s schedule, Pooh and friends have a regular place to meet back in Critter Country–finding the characters at DL is not as hard as it was years ago.

I have taken a 1 year old twice to DL (two different children) and found there are lots of attractions they could enjoy with me…Small World, Pooh, Storybook Land, Dumbo, King Arthur’s Carousel, Pirates, DL Rail Road, the big riverboat, Jungle Cruise, the Tiki Room and so many more. They really enjoy the music and atmosphere. You can baby swap with the other adults on the rides the small ones cannot go on.

I wouldn’t go to only DCA, you’ll all be let down. There is a different pace in this park–it’s more mellow–but that’s not to say DCA isn’t worth some of your time if you have a 2 day hopper ticket. Soarin’ was my DD3 (at the time) favorite ride last summer, and the Electrical Parade was a major hit with both the 2yo and the 3yo, and Tritions Carousel makes for some beautiful photo opps with all the color. GoofFather mentioned a few other places to see in the park, and if it’s warm there are some places for the kiddies to get a little wet to cool off. Oh, and there is the new Monsters Inc ride, Turtle Talk with Crush and places to meet characters, but really there isn’t much for a 1yo here.

When you go to Disneyland, consider getting there at park opening and hitting Dumbo first thing (you can go back to Main Street later) and then the other rides in Fantasy Land–you can get a whole lot accomplished in that first hour or so as it can get busy there a little later in the am. Be aware that some of the rides in Fantasy Land can be a little scary as they are dark. You know your children best and they may need to warm up to them or they may just jump in.


Oh Tessa I forgot about playhouse!!! Your DD would be the perfect age for That!!!


I would focus on DL. The only things in DCA that I can remember for little kids is Bug’s Land, the Sun Wheel(DO NOT get a swinging one…DS was terrified and I was nauseous) and the Carousel. DS(4) loved the carousel but DL has one also that girls would probably like better since it is horses. The one at DCA is King Tritons and it is sea lions, whales, etc…neat to see but I wouldn’t go out of my way b/c it is just a carousel.
DCA was not as fun for him beyond Bug’s Land, It’s Tough to Be a Bug show, and the play area near the rapids ride. Turtle Talk and the Monster’s ride weren’t open when we went in June but I’m sure he would have loved those as well as we LOVED Turtle Talk at WDW.

If you have a 3 and 1 year old, DL is the better park for those ages. My 4 year old could happily spend all day in Fantasyland and Toontown.


Go to both parks! You’ll love them both! ALSO be sure to check out DTD! :smile:


hi you guys! wow you guys responded really fast!

well we would only be there for a day!! so i think the place will have to be DisneyLand! and you know what? you guys did great on letting me know all the rides I can also take my 1 yr old.! she would love it!

we are planning on going first thing when it opens and leave when we’re all done.

another question is this… is it best to buy the tickets at the gate or online? discounts would be great!



From my experiences at both parks I would DEFIANTELY agree that DCA is more adult oriented. I can honestly say I don’t remember seeing ANY characters and the “kidlet rides” are a lot more few and far between then in DL.

My vote would definately be DL!


i always depended on ordering my tickets ahead of time on-line. Every time i saw the “ticket” lines in the morning they were out of control. Then again, I’ve only been to DL & DCA in june, which is a BUSY time.

I don’t know much about discounts but my suggestion would definately be to order ahead of time on-line. :happy:


Oh please do yourself a favor and have tickets before you get there. The ticket lines are completely insane and you are losing precious DL time standing in them when it’s not neccessary.