Is your child a little princess? Of course she is. And if you’re taking her to Disneyland, then you’re both in for a real treat. No matter how many times you’ve been to Disneyland Resort, there’s nothing like seeing it all over again (or for the first time!) through the bright, sparkling eyes of a child. The Resort has something for everyone, but if you’re here to focus on your little girl, Fantasyland in Disneyland and Paradise Pier and Hollywood Land in California Adventure are where you’ll want to spend most of your time. Find out why with this list of princess-worthy attractions!
12. The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
Ariel and her friends have quite a presence in Disney’s California Adventure, and this immersive storytelling ride is no exception. Your own little mermaid will love watching her favorite undersea tale unfold before her with colorful characters like Sabastian, Flounder, and Scuttle. Watch them dance to “Under the Sea,” share their dreams in “Part of Your World,” and feel the anticipation of love’s first kiss in “Kiss the Girl.” Even that diabolical diva, Ursula, makes a towering appearance as she persuades a few “Poor Unfortunate Souls” to strike a deal. Climb into your seat aboard a giant clamshell beneath 86 feet of hand-painted mural art to begin your journey. As you move through the ride, the story of The Little Mermaid develops with fun and excitement. Bright lights, colors, fun, and Disney magic await your special little girl on this light, happy adventure beneath the sea.
11. The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh
When’s the last time you visited the Hundred-Acre Woods? Even if your answer is “six times last Saturday morning because it’s all my little girl will watch!” you’ll love the look in her eyes when her favorite characters come to life before her. Join Winnie the Pooh, Piglet, Rabbit, Kanga, Roo, Gopher, Owl, Eeyore, and, of course, Tigger, as they sing, dance, and laugh the day away. Lose yourself in Pooh’s strange dreams and watch out for Heffalumps and Woozles! Get blown away by blustery windstorms and rescue baby Roo from the heights of a great oak tree. This four-minute ride follows the storyline of the animated classic, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, so your little one can enjoy her favorite moments in real life. Climb aboard a honey-filled bee hive and buzz through this fun, colorful ride with your little cutie!
10. Minnie’s House
Is your little girl as cute as Minnie Mouse? Of course she is! And she’s probably just as fun, too. So take her to Minnie’s house, located in Toon Town between Mickey’s House and Donald’s Boat, and let her run wild. She’ll get to experience all of Minnie’s favorite activities, like reading sophisticated ladies’ magazines such as ‘Cosmousepolitan,’ checking email on her heart-shaped computer, and having tea in the kitchen. Pinkies up! Your little mouse can make Minnie’s cake rise and fall by turning the oven on and off. She can sit at Minnie’s vanity and do her make-up – or just make silly faces—then lounge on her chaise, all to the sounds of Minnie’s voice wishing her well. Once outside in Minnie’s yard, your little one will enjoy tossing a penny into the talking well and making a wish! See how Mickey’s better half lives in this lacy, girly, doily-filled house in Toon Town!
9. Princess Dot Puddle Park
It’s tough being a bug, especially being a bug all day in the baking California sunshine. Luckily, at Princess Dot’s Puddle Park, it’s all worth it. If you’re cruising around the California Adventure Park and need a cool, relaxing break from the heat, take your child to this little gem of a splash park for refreshing fun you can all enjoy. Shrink down to bug size and rest your feet under live foliage on benches made of giant popsicle sticks. Plus, enjoy some wet and wild fun as your little one (and you!) get sprayed by a giant leaky hose. Streams spray up from the ground, too, so expect your little one to have a rollicking, giggling time getting soaked and cooling off. If you play into the evening, enjoy the firefly lanterns that light your path through the tall grasses and flowers of A Bug’s Land.
8. Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop
No matter which part of the resort you’re in – Disneyland, California Adventure, or Downtown Disney – the streets are lined with sugary treats that will drive your kids wild. From Tigger Tails, to cotton candy, to caramel apples, there are sweets around every corner. If your little one is anything like most budding little women, however, she’s going to want something chocolatey. The best place to indulge in chocolatey treats fit for a princess? The Ghirardelli Soda Fountain and Chocolate Shop. You and your little girl can indulge in delicacies like brownies, fudge, chocolate bars, toffees, coffees, cookies, and cocoa. Plus, the shop serves a dozen ice cream flavors, including chocolate, rocky road, chocolate chip cookie dough, mint chocolate chip, and other, less chocolatey flavors. If a sweet treat is in your little one’s future, make it the best-est, chocolatey-est, scrumptious-est treat you can find!
7. Pixie’s Hollow
Do you believe in fairies? No, I won’t ask you to clap, but your little sprite may want to when she visits this pint-sized attraction. Pixie Hollow is where children (and adults who like to believe) come to meet their favorite fairy, Tinkerbell, and her friends. Discover the secrets of Neverland, like how snowflakes are shaped. Who gives bees their buzz, and stars their twinkle? Tinkerbell’s home is the best-kept secret in Neverland, so first you’ll have to find it! Start by the banks of the serene pond. Next, wind down a path that includes beautiful waterfalls. Perhaps you’ll spot one of Tink’s friends? Beware, though, because the closer you get the Pixie Hollow, the smaller and more spritely you’ll become! Watch as grasses and flowers tower over you until you’re just Tink’s size, and then X marks the spot! Now take a picture of your little girl with her favorite, spunky fairy.
6. Sleeping Beauty Castle
Is there any planet on which your little princess wouldn’t enjoy walking through the castle of one of her favorite classic Disney characters? I didn’t think so. Or perhaps your little one isn’t versed in Disney’s more classic movies like Sleeping Beauty (shame on you!). Well, it doesn’t matter because your little beauty is about to hear the tale. This timeless story comes to life on dynamic 3D displays, Eywind Earle artwork from the original film, and beautifully displayed storybooks. Walk the dimly-lit halls and climb the stairs to fantasy in this royal attraction. In addition to the walkthrough attraction, enjoy the outer façade of this Disney logo-inspiring castle as well. The design is based on the actual Bavarian castle of Neuschwanstein, and opened in 1955. During the holidays, enjoy snow-capped turrets. Plus, any excuse to celebrate – like, oh, I don’t know, Disney’s 60th anniversary – and fireworks light up the castle!
5. Alice in Wonderland
Join this this precocious little girl on her journey into Wonderland, where sometimes curiosity and adventure are more important than following the rules. Ride with your buddy, Caterpillar, and up to three other people for a fantastical ride full of colors, silliness, and zany music. Watch as the Cheshire Cat vanishes, leaving behind only that iconic toothy smile and celebrate your little one’s un-birthday at a nonsensical tea party with the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and the Doormouse. Play a game of Flamingo Croquet, giggle at the silliness of Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and just enjoy the songs of the Tiger Lillies, Rocking-Horseflies, Bread-and-Butterflies, and Dandy-Lions as you travel through this wild ride. But whatever you do, don’t be late!
4. King Arthur’s Carousel
Santa has his team of nine flying reindeer, King Triton has his seahorses, and Cinderella has her enchanted mice. How will your little one get around? How about nearly 60 gorgeous, white horses who can’t wait to prance for you? The classic, antique carrousel at Sleeping Beauty’s Castle is both fabulous and fun for a princess of any age. I know. It’s Disneyland! Why would your little darling want to ride a simple carousel? To the surprise of many parents, it’s a hit every time. Maybe it’s the gorgeous pink and purple canopy that features 9 hand-painted vignettes from the story of Sleeping Beauty. Maybe it’s the name of King Arthur on this particular carousel. Or maybe it’s the shiny white horses, ornate filigree, and sparkling 3,328-light trim. When a kid gets this excited, it’s best not to ask questions and just go along for the ride.
3. Ariel’s Grotto
One of the best Disney experiences you can give your little princess is a breakfast or lunch at Ariel’s Grotto at Paradise Pier. Character Dining is a relatively new feature for Disney’s eateries, but it’s definitely a hit with the youngsters so far. What child wouldn’t want to share a meal with her favorite personalities? At Ariel’s Grotto, your little one can meet her favorite princesses like Snow White, Cinderella, and Sleeping Beauty during the Princess Celebration. Hugs and photo opportunities abound. Plus, get professional photos of your little girl with Princess Ariel herself as soon as you enter the restaurant. Enjoy views of Paradise Bay from indoor and outdoor seating options. While the menu here is small, each scrumptious option – from slow-roasted tri-tip to blueberry-smothered waffles – is sure to satisfy palates of any age. But don’t be surprised if your little princess is too excited to eat!
If there’s a little princess in your life, you can’t possibly be surprised that Frozen attractions make the top of the list. It’s also probably not much of a surprise that I couldn’t pick just one Frozen attraction. There are several to choose from, and they’re all spectacular. Anna & Elsa’s Royal Welcome is your little girl’s opportunity to meet her favorite Arendelle princesses in person. And then, of course, there’s the chance to meet everyone’s favorite snowman, Olaf! Both character meetups occur in Hollywood land and have a FastPass option. But, wait, there’s more. During Disney’s 60th Anniversary, Elsa, Anna, Kristoff, and your other favorite Frozen characters lead a singalong show with songs like, you guessed it, “Let It Go” and “For the First Time in Forever.” This event will take place in place of the Muppet Vision 3D show, so get to Disneyland before your chance to see it melts away!
1. Princess for a Day
She’s your little princess every day, but why not give her all the pomp and circumstance of a real princess just for a day? “Fairy Godmothers In-Training” at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique can give your little girl a makeover, complete with the dress of her favorite princess, crown, sash, make-up, glitter, sparkles, nail polish, and more. It’s the perfect moment for some photos of your own, or get the high-end package that includes professional photos. Princess-ification is an “extra” at Disneyland Park, but you can choose from three packages to match your budget. With all the expenses associated with a trip to Disneyland, shelling out some extra green might be hard, but your little one should experience this attraction at least once. Plus, if you have a little prince, he can get the Knight Package, complete with a sword, shield, and a hairstyle fit for a once and future king.