Disneyland character interactions in toontoown are so preicous
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Best Rides in Disneyland California

If you are considering a family vacation at Disneyland California you are in for a treat! This amusement park offers cute themed rides, amazing thrills, and family fun for everyone! This Disney park is very different from all the other ones. Let me help you uncover what are the Disneyland California attractions and which are the best disneyland rides.If you are considering a family vacation at Disneyland California you are in for a treat! This amusement park offers cute themed rides, amazing thrills, and family fun for everyone! This Disney park is very different from all the other ones. Let me help you uncover what are the Disneyland California attractions and which are the best disneyland rides.

Best Disneyland Rides

Disneyland California is truly a magical destination for families looking for a fun-filled vacation where everyone from toddlers to teens, parents to grandparents can play together.  Disney land is filled with cute fairytale rides, exciting roller coasters with a twist, and lots of family entertainment – there is something for everyone to enjoy. Plus, like all Disney parks, it is filled with old time charm, engaged cast members, and amazing shows that will leave you speachless.  From the iconic Sleeping Beauty Castle to the bustling Main Street, USA, there is so much to explore and discover at Disneyland California.  Let us help you find the best Disneyland park rides to plan your day so you can fit in all the fun! We will make sure you get to Disneyland most popular rides without missing a beat.

Disneyland Tea Cups is outdoors and so charming and magical at night under the lit lanterns and night stars

Plus don’t miss all  our helpful tips, tricks and reviews to help with Disneyland California Planning! We can also help you with other vacation planning advice including travel tipstrip planning steps, family cruises, handy destination guides, and Disney vacation planning!
Mary Poppins with child in front of Disneyland Annaheim California Sleeping Beauty Castle

Disneyland main street usa

Welcome to Disneyland’s Main Street USA! As you stroll down this iconic street, you will be transported back in time to a charming turn-of-the-century American town. But Main Street USA is not just about taking a leisurely walk – there is so much to see and do!

Take some time to explore the quaint shops and boutiques that line the street, offering a variety of unique souvenirs and treats. Don’t miss the opportunity to stop by the candy store and indulge in some delicious sweets.

When it comes to entertainment, Main Street USA is always buzzing with excitement. Keep an eye out for the lively street performers and musicians that entertain guests throughout the day. And be sure to catch one of the many parades or shows that take place on Main Street – they are always a highlight of any visit to Disneyland.

disneyland astrorbitter

disneyland california attractions

At the end of Main Street, head right into Tomorrowland.  Tomorrowland is the perfect blend of modern technology and imagination, where you can experience thrilling attractions like Space Mountain, Star Tours, and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters.

  • Come blast off into outer space on the Astro Orbiter at Disneyland California! This iconic attraction gives you the chance to soar high above Tomorrowland and take in breathtaking views of the park.  This ride tends to get very long lines, so make sure to snag a place in line early in the day, or ride after dark for a beautiful view of all the lights at Disney land.
  • Step into the iconic Star Wars universe and experience thrilling flights to different planets and encounters with famous characters. From battling the Empire to dodging asteroids, every ride on Star Tours is a unique and unforgettable experience.  You will put on 3d glasses and board a flight simulator that holds about 50 people. Each ride combines

buzz lightyear ride at Disneyland California

  • Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters – Help Buzz Lightyear stop Evil Emperor Zurg from powering a destructive weapon by maneuvering your XP-40 space cruiser through the Gamma Quadrant, firing at targets with your laser cannon, and earning points to become a Galactic Hero and save the toy world! On this fun ride for the whole family you will board a slow moving vehicle outfitted with a laser gun. You will shoot your blaster at targets as you move through this fun ride.
  • Embark on an thrilling high-flying adventure through a vast futuristic space station to conquer Space Mountain – feel the g-force, speed through the void, and immerse yourself in an epic journey to the furthest reaches of space. Personally, I love this version better than the one at Disney World because it is way smoother! Plus it occassionally gets an overlay to make it Hyperspace Mountain for Star Wars lovers of all ages!

disneyland autopia

  • Experience the classic Autopia attraction in Tomorrowland at Disneyland Park, dating back to 1955, where you can drive through scenic roads in a souped-up coupe, spotting iconic attractions along the way in your two-seater or three-seater vehicle with a working gas pedal and steering wheel.  The Disneyland version is way better than Tomorrowland Speeday version at Disney World. The California version is longer with more sites to see along the way!

inside finding nemo submarine ride

  • Embark on an immersive undersea expedition with Disney and Pixar’s Finding Nemo ride, where you can meet all your favorite characters and join in the search for the missing clown fish, Nemo – just keep swimming to find out the happy ending! I remember when this was 20,000 leagues under the sea ride! This ride has maintained some of the elements of the original attraction, while making it a more whimsical, relevant, and technilogically competitive ride. My favorite scene is the lava one where they combine real elements with screens to make a visually appealing and beautiful experience that will amaze you.

best attractions disneyland

As you finish up in Tomorrowland you will pass by Sleeping Beauty’s Castle on the left and one of the mountains of Disneyland, the Matterhorn, on the right. You can stop and take pictures by the castle if you like. It is one of the smallest, but when we are in Fantasyland ou can actually go in the castle to see a beautiful retelling of the Sleeping Beauty story.

NOTE: The bathrooms in this area have a super cute Queen of Hearts theme and are some of the nicest and largest in the park. There is also lots of seating in this area, making it a great place to watch the parade that goes right through this. Check your park guide for current parades and times!

  • Experience the thrill of racing through a snow-capped mountain on a speeding alpine sled while dodging the Abominable Snowman, swooping through shadowy caves, and flying over bridges in Disneyland’s iconic Matterhorn Bobsleds attraction, inspired by Walt Disney’s love for the real Matterhorn mountain in the Swiss Alps. Disneyland California is the only park with this attraction and it is a popular one! While Animal Kingdom in Florida may take you through yeti’s on Expedition Everest with a thrilling roller coaster that goes backwards, this ride puts you down in the action feeling like you could fly off the track in an exciting bobsled ride down and around the mountain.

Alice in Wonderland Ride Caterpillar vehicle at Disneyland

best disneyland park rides

It is time to keep heading back into the park into Fantasyland. I love that Disneyland has so many rides in this area, they are short rides, but so cute and filled with nostalgia for so many. I love getting here at the very beginning, or very end of the day for shorter lines to blitz through all these charming rides the whole family will enjoy!

alice in wonderland ride Disneyland California
alice in wonderland ride Disneyland California
  • Embark on a whimsical journey through Disney’s Alice in Wonderland, encountering iconic characters and vibrant scenery along the way, before reaching the Queen of Hearts and her infamous decree. Join the “unbirthday” party and experience the magic of this timeless attraction that has been delighting guests since 1958! This ride been a favorite of mine for a long time. Not only is this the only park where you can ride this fun and sily ride, but it has been upgraded to include more modern technology over the years to make it a beautiful combination of old and new story telling.

storybook canal in Fantasyland Disneyland California

  • Explore a magical world of Disney movie locales in miniature on a charming boat tour in Storybook Land Canal Boats. After you enter you 12-person boat you will glide through Monstro the Whale’s mouth into storybook land. Your guide will point out areas from classic films like Frozen, Aladdin, and The Little Mermaid. You will love the attention to detail in this miniature lands. While this isn’t a show-stopping attraction is so sweet and well crafted. I love the tiny plants they’ve found to compliment the lovely little villages. Plus the ride was conceived so beautifully with Casey Jr. Train running around the attraction.
mr toads wild ride at disneyland fantasyland
mr toads wild ride at Disneyland California
  • Now it’s time to head to one of our families favorites – a ride that closed in Disney World in 1998. Step into the wild ride at Disneyland Park’s Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, where you’ll zoom through Toad Hall in an open-air buggy, narrowly avoiding sheep and police while causing chaotic destruction along the way! Don’t miss out on this classic and unique attraction where you can “drive” through a classic film.
  • While Peter Pan’s Flight may be at other Disney parks, the way the story is told varies from location to location, so make sure to see the way the story is brought to life in California.  Join Peter Pan and his friends on a magical journey to Never Land aboard an enchanted pirate ship, filled with adventure, pixie dust, and the ultimate showdown with Captain Hook in this opening day attraction at Disney World based on the classic animated film.
  • As you walk by the back of the Disneyland castle, it is a great time to take a peak inside (to the right). Step inside Sleeping Beauty Castle at Disneyland Park to experience scenes from the beloved Disney classic brought to life through intricate dioramas and stunning special effects, including the unforgettable moment when Maleficent transforms into a fire-breathing dragon.
  • I love the way they’ve updated Snow White’s ride. This ride closed in World to make way for the Seven Dwarf’s Mine Train rollercoaster. I think in large part because the ride, called Snow White’s Scary Adventures, was too scary for it’s target audience – kids! Disneyland has updated the ride to Snow White’s Enchanted Wish and it is a delightful update that keeps the story elements, but tells it in a much more kid-friendly way with lots of special effects that will enchant you!

mad hatter and alice in wonderland riding tea cups ride at disneyland california

  • If you frequent Disney World, don’t skip the tea cups just because this ride exists at both parks. Save this ride for at night when it is all lit up and you can swirl around under the stars! Experience the whimsical fun of spinning through a Mad Hatter’s tea party in Wonderland, where you can control the direction and speed of your own ride in an oversized teacup full of vibrant colors and lively music.
  • Pinocchio’s Daring Journey allows you to relive the timeless adventure of Pinocchio, the wooden puppet who dreamed of becoming a real boy, from the Disney classic film that features the iconic song “When You Wish Upon A Star.
  • If you have time you can take a whirl on King Arthur’s Carousel or try to pull the sword from the stone. And in case you are wondering, the sword does come out for some lucky guests, it did for my daughter on one of our visits and it was super magical!

Cutel ittle girl with pink mickey ears hat in front of Dumbo the flying elephant at Disneyland California

  • If you frequent Disney World I suggest you skip Dumbo the Flying Elephant because you will ride quicker at World, plus I just love the indoor play area they created in Florida. But if this is the only Disney park you will be visiting, your kids really must ride this iconic ride based on the Disney classic movie Dumbo, that came out in 1955! Kids love pulling the lever up and down to make their elephant soar!
  • Now is a good time to ride Casey Jr. Circus Train that you saw from the storybook canal boats. You will spot the same enchanting stories, but this time from the vantage of the classic train who thought he could as he huffed and puffed up the hill. We love the fun music and riding in the different animal cars, the moneky cage is a guest favorite. Note this attraction has limited seating so if the line is long, come back in a little bit for a shorter line!

family in car at disneyland toontown california

best ride in disneyland california

Now let’s go past Fantasyland again to head to the back part of Fantasyland. Once you are back by Small World you can choose what to do next based on the time. You can sit nearby and catch an afternoon parade, watch a show at the Fantasyland Theatre or head back to Toontown to let your kids imaginations soar!

HINT:  Small World loads outdoor and journeys along an outdoor canal before heading indoors, so this ride closes during the rain. It also closes before fireworks, but will reopen afterwards. I highly suggest coming to see this ride during December when the beautiful building is lit up with Christmas lights. It is stunning!

small world at disneyland california is huge with and loads in outdoor canal

  • Our family loves this ride where you get to journey around the globe on the whimsical boat ride, Sing along to “it’s a small world” as you spot colorful scenes and intricate costumes on nearly 300 dolls representing children from all corners of the world. My favorite part about th land version is that you will find favorite Disney characters tucked into the country they represent.

Mickey Mouse with little girl dressed as Tinkerbell who is grabbing his nose at Disneyland California toontown

  • Now head under the bridge into Toontown. This wacky, silly, and outrageously fun area is home to your favorite cartoons – Mickey, Minnie, and friends. You can see inside their houses with lots of interactive features, meet the pals, and even enjoy a couple silly rides too.
  • I love the retheming of this kiddie coaster! Goodbye Gadget and hello  Chip ‘n’ Dale’s GADGETcoaster, designed by the inventive mouse Gadget Hackwrench. The theming will appeal to kids and those who grew up on the beloved animated series Chip ‘n’ Dale Rescue Rangers, featuring a fun-sized coaster made from acorns for Toontown’s tiny citizens to enjoy.
  • The newest addition is Mickey & Minnie’s Runaway Railway (which is exactly the same as the World counterpart so you can skip it if you frequent the Florida park. The only difference is the theming of the El CapiTOON Theatre que). Join Mickey and Minnie for a wild adventure through their “Perfect Picnic” cartoon with hilarious and unexpected surprises throughout.
  • While most kids may not know who Roger Rabit is from the film, they will undboubtedly enjoy this zany ride where you get in a cab and head through Toontown  to help Jessica Rabbit stop the villainous Weasels from causing chaos with their slippery Dip! You can spin your taxi 360 as you try to stay rightside up in this silly ride.

disneyland nighmare before christmas overtakes the haunted mansion in the fall for the holidays

best rides at disneyland la

It may feel like we’ve already covered so much, but Disneyland California packs a lot of rides in a small space. This is one of the reasons we love it out here, the weather, and unique character interactions are a few other reasons.  It is now time to see the other half of the park. You can pop on the Disneyland Railroad for to save your feet and enjoy a unique view of the park while enjoying a 15 minute ride on this steam train. I suggest you stay on until you get to New Orleans Square. When you get off the restrooms are to your right and you can grab some beignets by the Pirates of the Carribean ride or yummy Gumbo at Tiana’s Place.

singing heads in haunted mansion become pumpkin heads in the fall at disneyland california

  • The Haunted Mansion is one of our favorite rides. Enter in the stretching elevator and enjoy the picture scenes open up before you before you pop in your Doom Buggy to embark on your not-too-spooky journey through house where happy haunts will entertain you in the library, attic, ballroom, and graveyard. Beware of catchy music that will have you singing along and the hitchhiking ghosts that may try to “follow you home”! And Disneyland LA does a crazy, over-the-top amazing holiday overlay that you HAVE to see! From October through the end of the year you can enjoy The Nightmare Before Christmas take over of this classic attraction.
  • Now you can go clockwise or coutner clockwise around the water. Let’s head left where you will get to enjoy the newly rethemed ride that went from Splash Mountain to Tiana’s Bayou Adventure, opening 2024!
  • Nearby you can take a whimsical ride through Hundred-Acre Wood in your beehive vehicle to visit Winnie the Pooh and friends, celebrating classic tales and songs in this delightfully sticky ride that will delight the whole family!

disneyland davy crockett canoes

  • Only at Disneyland can you don a life jacket and grab an oar in the  Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes . You can paddle along the Rivers of America past beautiful scenery and charming surprises at every turn!
  • Unlike the underwhelming Tom Sawyer’s Island in Florida, Californias Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island is sure to delight with unique surprises that are both rustic and technologically intriguing at the same time! You will enjoy exploring this uncrowded piece of adventuresome fun!

NOTE: Due to construction around Tiana’s new ride, some areas are closed and the path between adventure land and Galaxy’s Edge is temporarily closed. You will need to backtrack and go around counter clockwise.

star wars rise of the resistance ride in galaxys edge is exactly the same at disneyland and disney world

disneyland most popular rides

As you continue on the path it is time to head to a galaxy far, far away at Galaxy’s Edge! You will be overwhelmed by the amazing immersive experience this area provides – you will feel like you’ve stepped into the Star Wars Universe. And you will not want to leave! From the amazing architecture to the characters roaming around, the fantastic recreation of the Millenium Falcon to the rides that will leave you begging for more – you will be impressed!

NOTE: This area and the rides therin are the exact same as Disney World. That was a little dissapointing as virtually every other ride is unique in various respects, but this land and it’s rides are carbon copies.  So if you are short on time and frequent the east coast park, you can skip this.

admiral akbar in resistance transport on rise of the resistance star wars ride in glaxays edge in disneyland and disney world

  • Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is an immersive ride and experience that is unlike any other ride you’ve ever experienced. Get ready to join the Resistance in a thrilling ride where you will escap the First Order! During the ride you will help the Resistance on a secret mission outside Black Spire Outpost, where unexpected twists and turns await. Don’t miss your chance to join Rey, BB-8, and other Resistance fighters in this first-of-its-kind adventure. Just when you think you know what’s going on, get ready to be surprised. The sheer scope of this attraction will amaze even the non-star wars fans – if there is such a thing! May the Force be with you!
  • Join in on the excitement of flying the Millennium Falcon on a thrilling interactive smuggling mission! You will get to join a crew as a pilot, engineer, or gunner. Every role is crucial in this daring flight through hyperspace. The ride will actually differ depending on how you do at your roles! This ride is outrageously fun!

Before you leave make sure you got to see some favorite star wars characters and try some blue milk!

Disneyland California Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
Disneyland California Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

As you exit Galaxy’s Edge on the opposite side from which you entered you will head back into the Wild West’s Adventureland as you go under the bridge.

  • Experience the thrills of a haunted gold mine as you streak through tunnels aboard a speeding train on the exciting Big Thunder Mountain Railroad – a rollercoaster ride full of unexpected twists and turns! My family loves this ride we call Crazy Train. It is fast and fun without being too crazy; it’s a ride my whole family can ride together. While this ride is very similar to Disney World’s version there are several differences that make it a must, from the dinosaur fossil so the use of technology to make the blast – this ride is deffinetly the wildest ride in the Wilderness.
  • Enjoy the ambiance of the old west and the historic Rivers of America aboard the Mark Twain riverboat! Sail through a charming 19th-century journey into the heart of the American frontier, spotting delightful sights like waterfalls, a frontier cabin, and even mountain lions. Hear stories of a time gone by as you cruise on this majestic paddle boat. If your legs are tired you shoudl know there is limited seating available. But this is a less crowded option to enjoy the parks.
  • Next to the riverboat is the Columbia, a full-scale replica of an 18th-century ship! Cruise around Pirate’s Lair on Tom Sawyer Island, reliving the adventures of the original Columbia. Enjoy the sights and sounds of Frontierland, New Orleans Square, and Chick-A-Pin Hill during your 15-minute voyage. Keep an eye out for the beautiful Columbia Gorge, a rustic frontier cabin, and even a moose enjoying a leisurely lunch.

Pirates of the Caribbean Ride at Magic Kingdom Disney World big ship scene

As you finish your circle of the rivers of America you will come to one of my favorites, and a Disney park classic – Pirates of the Carribean. Other than the Shanghai, China versions, this Disneyland California is the best in my opinion. The beginning scenes are so much more detailed that their other counterparts,  giving a glipse of life for the pirate’s that lived in the cave – playing chess, sleeping, drinking, etc. until the end.  For those that are unfamiliar, you will embark on a thrilling journey through the Golden Age of Piracy on the Pirates of the Caribbean indoor boat ride! The sheer size and immersiveness of this ride is exciting. You will experience the swashbuckling adventure of buccaneers, treasure, and Captain Jack Sparrow himself

Now let’s head back towards main street to catch the final rides to complete our tour.

  • Adventureland Treehouse inspired by Walt Disney’s Swiss Family Robinson – This use to be Tarzan’s tree house but was recently, sadly in my opinion, transformed into a carbon copy of Disney World’s attraction.  Don’t get me wrong, it is fun to explore what the Swiss family’s treehouse from the 1960 movie was like – down to the finest detail, but I love when the parks are different, even a little.
  • Next up is the Indiana Jones Adventure. – Embark on a daring adventure through the cursed Temple of the Forbidden Eye, facing booby traps and incredible dangers as you follow in the footsteps of Indiana Jones. This is not a rollercoster, but is a jerky ride where you will zoom in, around, and through the ruins of the temple. With snakes, fire, rolling bolders, and exciting music you will feel like you are in the movies. This popular ride is unique to Disneyland La, so don’t miss it! Try to ride early or late in the day for the lowest crowds.
  • While the next door Jungle Cruise is very similar to its counterparts in other parks, it is slighlty different and a classic. This ride has become more popular with the release of the Jungle Cruise movie, released in 2021, starring the Rock and Emily Blunt. In tis ride you will board your cruise where a skipper will tell corny jokes from beginning until end. Along the way you eill encounter leaping tigers, curious gorillas, and bathing Indian elephants which serve a a backdrop for more jokes. Each skipper’s jokes will vary slightly so this ride is fun to do multiple times, once in the day and once at night. This original Disneyland attraction that has been entertaining guests since 1955. Get ready to see the amazing –  back side of water!

Just before getting to main street it is time to grab a yummy pineapple Dole Whip and catch Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room. Experience the beauty and magic of the Pacific Islands in a swinging South Seas musical celebration with colorful flowers, tiki gods, and tropical birds brought to life in a jubilant Disney classic.

Once you hit main street, if you have timed it just right,  head towards the castle and visit the Royal Theatre. Enjoy a 25 minute show in a covered, outdoor theatre featuring Disney’s beloved fairy tales. You will join Mr. Smythe and Mr. Jones in a charming open-air medieval-style tent for a witty performance of scenes from Beauty and the Beast or Tangled. We loved getting to enjoy live theatre with lovely props and costumes, along with a more funny retelling of these stories. Afterwards there is a meet-and-greet opportunity.

churros at disneyland california

sisters with minnie mouse in matching minnie dresses at disneyland california
Okay, I listed ALL the Disneyland Rides, but what are the best Disneyland rides? Well, pretty much all of them!  If you are a prioritizing, I’d say get to the most popular rides first as they will get longer rides, but all of them are worth while.
  • Matterhorn Bobsled
  • Rise of the Resistance
  • Space Mountain
  • Big Thunder Mountain
  • Indiana Jones Adventure
  • Pirates of the Carribean
  • Haunted Mansion

disneyland its a small world with holiday overlay is amazing

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Peter Pan
  • Mickey Minney Runaway Railway
  • It’s a Small World
  • Snow Whites Enchanted Wish
  • Nemo Submarine Ride
  • Autopia
  • Winnie the Pooh Ride
  • Tea Cups

young family in front of disneyland sleeping beauty castle in annaheim california

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