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Guide to Disneyland Height Requirements

by Mommy Frog on August 5, 2018 513 Los Angeles

Disneyland Height Requirements - Pintrest Header

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When we first started visiting theme parks as a family, back when Tad was a small frog and Lily wasn't even an egg waiting to hatch, we were always unsure just how much we'd get to do at the parks. Nowadays we don't worry about this at all—and not because everyone's all grown up. Tad's tall enough now for even the biggest coasters, but Lily still doesn't meet every height restriction. If you're planning a visit to the Happiest Place on Earth with tadpoles of your own, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the Disneyland height requirements.

Understanding what your children can and cannot ride goes a long way toward having a stress-free visit. Preparation begins at home. For example, when we start planning our visit to a new park, one of the first things we do is familiarize ourselves with the rides and check out any that have height requirements or the potential to scare Lily. We review park maps and videos from the comfort of our own lily pad.

The Disneyland Resort goes out of its way toward making sure all guests have fun, even if they can't experience all the rides. Let's start with the Disneyland height requirements and then we'll hop to Disneyland Rider Switch. If you want to see any of the Disneyland height requirement rides in action, check them out on our Undercover Tourist YouTube channel.

Complete List of Disneyland Height Requirements

32 inches (81 cm) or taller

Disneyland Height Requirements - Luigi's Rollickin' Roadsters

35 inches (89 cm) or taller

36 inches (91 cm) or taller

40 inches (102 cm) or taller

Disneyland Height Requirements - Silly Symphony Swings

Disneyland Height Requirements - Indiana Jones Adventure

42 inches (107 cm) or taller

46 inches (117 cm) or taller

Disneyland Height Requiremnents - Incredicoaster Height Check48 inches (122 cm) or taller

54 inches (137 cm) or taller

  • Autopia (to ride alone) - Disneyland

Disneyland Age Requirements

Whether rides have height requirements or not, they all have age requirements for riding alone. While people of any height may enjoy many of the rides at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure, the rides require children under 7 to ride seated next to someone who meets a certain height requirement (see Autopia) or is at least 14 years old.

This can present problems when you are travelling with several children under 7. If you have three children under 7, you’ll want at least two adults who can ride with them (or help supervise) because children under 7 cannot sit alone. Many Fantasyland rides and rides for all ages allow for one adult and two children in a seat, so just make sure if you have several small children (or are bringing all your tadpoles and nieces and nephews or friends) that you have enough adults to supervise and ride with the children. Also, if you want to take advantage of single rider lines with kids who meet the height requirements, they need to be at least 7 years old.

Disneyland Height Requirements - Family on Star Tours

Some rides require one-to-one supervision. On one multi-generational trip last year, Leap and Grandma Frog tried to take a group of four froglets under 7 on the Matterhorn Bobsleds (while Lily and I took a spin on the teacups), and they were taking forever to return. We hopped over to see what the holdup was, and poor Leap was taking turns riding with each child, one at a time, because one adult can supervise only one child under 7 at a time on that ride. Grandma Frog was happy to stand on the loading area sidelines to supervise the other 4-, 5- and 6-year-olds as they waited for their turns. Leap stayed on the ride and they swapped out the tadpoles each time the ride circled back because they did not have enough adults to ride one-on-one with the tadpoles. That’s something to be aware of so you don’t encounter any surprises.

Disneyland Rider Switch

Disneyland Height Requirements - Big Thunder Mountain Rider Switch

While the list above of Disneyland height requirements may seem long, we should tell you that most of the attractions at Disneyland and Disney California Adventure don't have height requirements. Indeed, the Disney parks are among the most kid- and baby-friendly parks on the planet. It's possible that you could skip every ride with a height requirement at Disneyland and still have a full day—and a great time! Still, we know that the rides with height requirements are also some of the most amazing and most popular at the parks. There's no way Tad would let us head to the Disneyland parks and not ride Radiator Springs Racers or Indiana Jones Adventure!

Thankfully, Disneyland offers Rider Switch for just this very thing! With Disneyland Rider Switch, families with kids too young to ride can take turns so they don't miss out. An adult (or supervising companion 14 years or older) can wait with non-riders while the rest of the party rides, and then after that, the waiting adult can take his or her turn. BONUS - up to two kids can ride with the waiting adult!  Do know that there have been changes made to Disneyland Rider Switch with the rollout of Disney Maxpass? Here is the official process now  (experiences may vary per attraction):

Here Is What Happens with Disneyland Rider Switch:

    • When the rest of the family wants to ride an attraction that Lily can't or doesn't want to ride, we approach the cast member at the queue and let them know we want to do a Rider Switch.
    • Our group is divided into 2 parties — “Party 1” includes those riding the attraction first, while “Party 2” consists of non-riders and their supervising guests (and perhaps some of the riders from Party 1 who might want to go again). Party 1 would be Leap and Tad. Party 2 is Lily and me.

Scan the maximum number of passes for Party 2. If you scan only one or two guests’ passes, you cannot add more people later. So if someone changes their mind and wants to join the party, they will be out of luck if they did not scan in initially. So anyone in Party 1 who thinks they might like a second turn should speak up before they ride. You don’t have to use it, but it’s nice to have the option.

  • The guests in Party 2 who will want to take a turn to ride later can include a maximum of three people. They will each have their admission passes/tickets scanned. We'll have Tad's and my tickets scanned as part of Party 2. The cast member will put an extra one-hour FASTPASS return window on our park tickets that is based on the current wait time. If there is a 30-minute wait, our return time will begin in 30 minutes. Lily and I will wait outside the attraction or enjoy a nearby attraction while Leap and Tad wait in line to experience the attraction.
  • After Leap and Tad experience the attraction, we switch. Leap watches Lily.
  • Tad and I will return to the attraction entrance (e.g., FASTPASS queue or attraction exit) and have our admission pass/ticket re-scanned by a cast member for the Rider Switch entitlement. At this point, we'll enter the appropriate attraction return line and board without waiting in the regular queue.
  • If you are using Rider Switch with MaxPass, the Rider Switch is treated like an extra FASTPASS, meaning some party members may get to ride a third time if they work it right! If Party 1 is using MaxPass or FASTPASS but Party 2 does not have a FASTPASS, their one-hour return window will begin at a time that is consistent with the current wait time.
  • If you are using the Disneyland app and have your tickets linked to the app, you can view the Rider Switch return time in the app (which is great for those who forget return times easily).

Disneyland Height Requirements - Rider Switch Exchange Ticket

We love Disneyland Rider Switch because it means that everyone who wants to ride gets to ride. However, it still takes a little prep work on the part of the parent. Back in her younger days, Lily didn't even want to enter the queue of a ride she thought was going to be scary — no thank you, Space Mountain! We'd have to reassure her over and over that she wasn't going to ride. Yes, there were tears. Now, she knows the drill and is often more upset that she still doesn't meet the height requirement! Another problem entirely. If you're heading to an unfamiliar park with a little one, prepare your tadpole in advance for what is going to happen when she is too little or doesn't want to ride.

Disneyland Height Requirements - Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT!

Note that just because your little one can ride doesn't mean she is necessarily ready to ride. Even some of the rides without height requirements can be intimidating or scary to young riders (here's looking at you, Haunted Mansion). Rides such as Toy Story Midway Mania are much easier to navigate when you are not holding a lap child. Thankfully, you can ask to do Rider Switch for these attractions too. This is another reason we like to watch YouTube videos of rides. We also do this to check out the ride configuration, so we'll know whether all four of us can ride together, or whether we may have to split into two pairs.

We hope you find this post outlining Disneyland's height requirements and Disneyland Rider Switch service helpful. Do you have any tips or tricks you've learned for handling height requirements, scary rides and child swap at Disneyland? Let us know in the comments below. 

Related: Disneyland Park 1-Day Touring Plan

Related: Disney California Adventure 1-Day Touring Plan

Related: The Ins and Outs of Disney Maxpass

Hoppy planning!

Keep hopping, Mommy Frog!
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1–50 of 473 comments
May 18, 2018 at 3:10 p.m. David Says...

Rider switch is an awesome feature!

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May 18, 2018 at 3:10 p.m. TONETTE Says...

Can't wait to go back with additional park knowledge, very useful.

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May 18, 2018 at 3:07 p.m. Breanna Says...

I hadn’t heard about Rider Switch. That is fantastic for us, since my daughter is usually more nervous about rides than my son. Thank you!

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May 18, 2018 at 3:07 p.m. Candy Miller Says...

This is such fantastic information to really help out in planning and avoiding disappointment

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May 18, 2018 at 2:35 p.m. Adriana Says...

Wow! I had no idea about the Rider Switch! in Disney World they have the parent swap rooms I think, thats what we did in Universal Orlando

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May 18, 2018 at 2:06 p.m. Dawn Drew Says...

Great info as always. Although we never had to use it, I love that they have the Rider Switch option.

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May 18, 2018 at 2:06 p.m. Marsha Says...

Teriffic DL/CDA info

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May 18, 2018 at 2:06 p.m. rosesjohn Says...

What a great resource! My family and I have had a very hard several years and we are in need of some family play time. Hoping to get Disneyland resort to do that!

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May 18, 2018 at 12:50 p.m. gnsnblue Says...

This is great information for our upcoming vacation booked through Undercover Tourist to Disney and Orlando.....so excited. First time to Universal

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May 18, 2018 at 12:45 p.m. Jessica Oliver Says...

This is so thorough and helpful, thank you!

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May 18, 2018 at 12:20 p.m. mark flickinger Says...

very good info

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May 18, 2018 at 12:08 p.m. Tara Says...

Rider switch is great for 2 parents but us single parents are still in a bind.

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May 18, 2018 at 12:06 p.m. Amy Towles Hunter Says...

I LOVE these height requirements! I’ve never been to DisneyLAND but I planned our one trip to DisneyWorld around your list!

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May 18, 2018 at 12:04 p.m. Mel Says...

Hoping my little tadpoles will be 46” in a few weeks! I want to take them on Indy!

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May 18, 2018 at 12:01 p.m. Meg W Says...

Thanks for all the great info — has been helpful as I’ve been planning our Disney World trip. Definitely hope to get to Disneyland someday!!

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May 18, 2018 at 11:58 a.m. Krystie R Faulkner Says...

Love ya'll!

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May 18, 2018 at 11:55 a.m. Cojo2112 Says...

Thank you for this helpful information! I certainly plan to use it as I prepare for my first trip to WDW with little ones!

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May 18, 2018 at 11:33 a.m. Lindsay Says...

UnderCover Tourist was great in planning our Disney World trip, and this information is super helpful for planning Disneyland!

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May 18, 2018 at 10:54 a.m. Margie Visnick Says...

Great information here! I would love to go to Disneyland!

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May 18, 2018 at 10:50 a.m. DONNA LEMBACH Says...

Love the great tips and information.

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May 18, 2018 at 10:20 a.m. Kim Says...

Having Frog tickets now might get me back to DL.

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May 18, 2018 at 6:58 a.m. Christina Gould Says...

Wow, this is such great and specific information. I wasn't aware they had different heights for different rides. Thanks for posting!

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May 18, 2018 at 5:42 a.m. LATRISHA COLEMAN Says...

I love it because there's something for everybody including every age can't wait to take my kids there

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May 18, 2018 at 5:32 a.m. dalleyamy Says...

Wow! Loved all these tips. Such great info!

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May 18, 2018 at 4:58 a.m. Karla Says...

This is super helpful info all in one place! Thanks!

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May 18, 2018 at 4:33 a.m. Zelene Says...

We live switch rider, our youngest kud is not super young but she gets scared pretty easily so we really use this advantage and not just my husband and me were able to ride but my oldest kid was abke to rude twice without the double line ????

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May 18, 2018 at 3:56 a.m. Cindy W Says...

Great to know!

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May 18, 2018 at 3:42 a.m. emama Says...

thanks for the info.

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May 18, 2018 at 3:37 a.m. Angie Doyle Says...

Great source of information! It would have been handy to gave this the first time we went.

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May 18, 2018 at 2:38 a.m. melissa Says...

very useful info thanks!

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May 18, 2018 at 2:25 a.m. PTC Says...

If we make it to a park with rides, we'll figure out the height requirements. Sounds like fun!

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May 18, 2018 at 2:23 a.m. Kim M Says...

Back when I'd take my daughter we'd have to take turns sitting out certain rides. Love that you've made a comprehensive list for others. Makes the planning stages easier to maximize fun to be had.

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May 18, 2018 at 2:13 a.m. Titus Says...

my youngest desperately wanted to ride Tower of Terror with me no matter how much I explained it to her. she didn't enjoy the drop, but I have an amazing picture to remember the moment.

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May 18, 2018 at 1:36 a.m. Tracie Jackson Says...

Just came back from Orlando. I wish I would have read this new before I went!

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May 18, 2018 at 1:21 a.m. L. Palmer Says...

Very helpful information and well organized! Especially good to know about the rider switch.

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May 18, 2018 at 1:06 a.m. Amanda Foss Says...

As tempting as it is, be aware of height requirements and have realistic expectations for what your child can and can not ride. Remember, the rules are there for safety reasons and rides will be around for the next trip---plus it gives you something to look forward to!

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May 18, 2018 at 1:03 a.m. Feliz Warwick Says...

Love Rider Switch! It was so easy to use when my boys were little.

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May 18, 2018 at 12:37 a.m. Michelle Says...

I love Disney

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May 18, 2018 at 12:36 a.m. Marsha Ferguson Says...

This is so helpful thanks!

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May 18, 2018 at 12:33 a.m. Madelyn Says...

Thanks for providing all these details!

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May 18, 2018 at 12:33 a.m. Christy Says...

Thanks for sharing all the tips! We’ve appreciated your great customer service for our ticket orders.

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May 18, 2018 at 12:21 a.m. Cara Green Says...

We never really took advantage of rider swap in Disney World. We may have to if we go to Disneyland!

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May 18, 2018 at 12:21 a.m. Gord Says...

Good guide for parents to have! Waiting in line only to find out a kid is too short is the absolute worst.

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May 18, 2018 at 12:20 a.m. Desiree C. Says...

I can’t wait to visit Disneyland! °o°

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May 18, 2018 at 12:17 a.m. kimberly vo Says...

we loveeee rider switch before they made it digital. Now it's harder to take full advantage of it :)

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May 17, 2018 at 11:27 p.m. Pamela Says...

Thanks for the good information!

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May 17, 2018 at 11:04 p.m. Joy Shaw Says...

Thank you so much for all of your very useful information!

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May 17, 2018 at 11 p.m. Faith Nunez Says...

I remember on our first trip, we didn't know about the rider switch. It would've come in handy, but it's good to know for future visits!

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May 17, 2018 at 10:45 p.m. Mike e Says...

I agree with Kayla. They are accurate.

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May 17, 2018 at 10:44 p.m. Danny Says...

Great post

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