10 Best Rides at Disneyland

June 23rd, 2022 by
Main queue entrance to "It's a Small World," attraction in Disneyland, California

it’s a small world” by HarshLight licensed under CC BY 2.0

Disneyland opened its gates on July 17, 1955, with 33 attractions for guests to enjoy. In its almost 70-year history, the park nearly tripled in size from 160 acres to 500 acres and added a second park called Disney’s California Adventure. Disneyland now has more than 120 attractions, and approximately 50 of them are rides. With so many options, it may be difficult to choose which rides to prioritize during your visit. Our team at Mazda of Orange created this guide about 10 of the best rides at Disneyland to help you learn about some fan-favorite attractions to ride.

“it’s a small world.”

Dubbed “The Happiest Cruise That Ever Sailed,” “it’s a small world” is a can’t-miss classic. Walt Disney personally oversaw the development of this attraction, which opened in Fantasyland in May 1966. Step aboard a boat for a voyage around to world with nearly 300 Audio-Animatronic dolls. During your cruise, look for characters like Peter Pan, Ariel, and Woody. Enjoy the art of legendary Disney animator Mary Blair, and the classic song named after the attraction written by Richard and Robert Sherman. If you’re visiting during the holidays, be sure to see how the iconic facade transforms for the season.

Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance

Immerse yourself in a galaxy far, far away with Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance. Located in Galaxy’s Edge, this truly unique thrill ride clocks in at nearly 18 minutes of action-packed fun as it combines multiple types of ride systems. Start your journey by visiting a hidden Resistance outpost before Kylo Ren and the First Order capture you. Encounter iconic characters like BB-8, Finn, and Rey as they and a team of Resistance fighters help you to escape.

Peter Pan’s Flight

Fly over the streets of London on Peter Pan’s Flight. This Fantasyland attraction is one of the few remaining attractions that opened in 1955, and it’s based on one of Walt Disney’s personal favorite stories. Climb aboard an enchanted pirate ship that flies over iconic scenes from the 1953 animated classic as it transports you to Never Land. Try to go on this ride early during your visit because it sometimes closes early because of the fireworks.

Indiana Jones Adventure

Get ready for a thrilling journey with everyone’s favorite archeology professor on Indiana Jones Adventure. This fast-paced attraction, which is located in Adventureland, allows you to follow Indy into the Temple of the Forbidden Eye. Your transport vehicle guides you through the Chamber of Destiny as you avoid booby traps and come face-to-face with dangers like lava, insects, snakes, and even a massive boulder.

Haunted Mansion

Head to New Orleans Square to climb aboard a Doom Buggy and make your way through the Haunted Mansion as the Ghost Host takes you on a tour through the mansion. During your journey, you may encounter a variety of friendly spirits, such as dancing spirits waltzing in the Grand Ballroom or Madame Leota hosting a seance, and be sure to look for the Hitchhiking Ghosts. Guests visiting the Haunted Mansion during the Halloween and holiday seasons may enjoy “The Nightmare Before Christmas” overlay. Exclusive to Disneyland, this overlay features characters like Jack Skellington and Oogie Boogie throughout the ride.

Jungle Cruise

Located in Adventureland, Jungle Cruise is one of the few opening-day attractions that’s still operational at Disneyland. While the original ride focused more on educating cruise passengers, guests today can enjoy exploring 10,000 miles of iconic rivers from around the world under the humorous guidance of a skipper. Skippers provide live narration on the trek as you see wildlife and other natural wonders, including the back side of water.

Pirates of the Caribbean

Step back in time to the Golden Age of Piracy aboard Pirates of the Caribbean. A far cry from Walt Disney’s original plan for a walk-through wax museum and adventure, this New Orleans Square attraction helped pioneer the use of Audio-Animatronics and impressive special effects to tell the tales of pirates. The ride begins with a drop in the dark before you sail through the Pirates Grotto. Enjoy scenes of cannon fire between pirate ships and pirates wreaking havoc on towns and serenading you with the classic song “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me).”

Space Mountain

Soar through the galaxy on Space Mountain. This iconic coaster, which is located in Tomorrowland, takes you through space, starting from your launch at Mission Control and concluding with your return to Earth, all while in complete darkness. Enjoy twists and turns as the darkness helps everything feel faster. “Star Wars” fans may enjoy the Hyperspace Mountain overlay. This seasonal overlay features the film’s score and puts you directly in the middle of combat between Rebel X-wing starfighters and Imperial TIE fighters with Admiral Ackbar as your guide.

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Branded as the “Wildest Ride in the Wilderness,” Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is an exciting rollercoaster located in Frontierland. This coaster transports you back to the gold rush in the 1850s onboard a runaway train. Hold on tight as you experience a bumpy ride with drops and turns as you make your way through a haunted gold mine.

Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride

Inspired by the animated film “The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad,” Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride is another opening-day attraction. While the facade received some updates to include Toad Hall, the ride itself remains the same. Hop in a motorcar with J. Thaddeus Toad, Esq., as you go on a crazed drive through the English countryside. Based specifically on the Wind in the Willows scenes from the movie, brace yourself for twists and turns as you avoid teetering book stacks, crash through windows, avoid livestock, and more.

We’ve reached the end of our list of 10 of the best rides at Disneyland. How did our team at Mazda of Orange do? Do you agree with our choices? Drop us a line to let us know whether your favorite attraction made the cut. We hope this guide helped you learn more about the exciting attractions that Disneyland has to offer and will be helpful for when you visit the parks next.

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