The Disneyland Resort in Southern California is famous for its rides that make you feel like you’ve stepped into another world, from heartwarming classics to incredible new additions. Disneyland boasts a variety of experiences that are certain to captivate guests of all ages with its thrill rides, dark rides, water rides, and more.
While every Disneyland ride is special, we will break down the 20 best Disneyland rides ranked at Disneyland Park and Disney California Adventure to guide you through the experiences you can’t miss during your next visit to the happiest place on earth.
1. Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT!
When Disney reimagined this thrilling drop ride from the former Tower of Terror, Disney fans initially met the change with criticism. Still, the ride quickly won fanatics over due to its undeniable charm, storyline, and incredible music.
Thrill-seekers looking for an attraction that will have them smiling ear-to-ear should look no further than Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: BREAKOUT! at Disney California Adventure Park. With six different storylines to experience, the ride always stays fresh. Perhaps what is most special about it is the infectious positive energy from the other guests in the gantry as you hold on tight and groove along to songs inspired by Guardian of the Galaxy’s classic soundtrack.
2. Star Wars: Rise of The Resistance
Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance is an incredibly immersive ride in Star Wars: Galaxy’s Edge (Disney’s Star Wars-themed land) that is part trackless dark ride, part motion simulator, and part walkthrough. The worldbuilding truly nails the details, and you’ll be convinced that you really are on an Imperial Star Destroyer.
From the full-size AT-AT walkers to the seamless motion of the transport as you frantically move through the ship, this ride experience truly transports you to another world.
3. Space Mountain
Space Mountain takes you on a thrilling journey through space, reaching a top speed of 35 miles per hour. The roller-coaster’s simplicity makes it shine, with the darkness adding to the thrill as you speed through sudden drops and sharp turns. The soundtrack swells as the ride’s action grows more intense.
While it’s not the fastest ride of the two parks, its theming and thrilling adventure through the dark earns it a spot as one of the most thrilling Disneyland rides.
4. Radiator Springs Racers
This Cars-themed attraction is part dark ride and part outdoor thrill ride, taking you on a fun adventure through the town of Radiator Springs. During the ride's finale, you launch into a high-speed race. The attraction starts with a breathtaking look at a waterfall, then plunges you into some mishaps and prepares you for the big race on the way to the quiet town of Radiator Springs.
The ride's worldbuilding, sound effects, and colors make it a must-do experience at Disneyland, especially if you ride it at night to witness the beautiful lighting.
5. Indiana Jones Adventure
One of the most immersive experiences on this list, this thrill ride takes you on an adventure to escape the Temple of Doom with the help of Indiana Jones. As your transport speeds over rugged terrain, you’ll narrowly escape the dangers of the temple, from screaming mummies to snakes and a giant boulder.
The ride’s intensity and the treasure trove of amazing details throughout make it easily one of the best Disneyland rides. You will benefit from using Disneyland Genie Plus to skip the lines on this attraction and many others on this list.
The Incredicoaster is the fastest ride at the Disneyland Resort, featuring a 0-55 mph launch and taking you on a wild dash to catch the escaped Jack-Jack, who is wreaking havoc. While the launch itself is enough to satisfy any roller-coaster enthusiast, the rest of the ride contains several thrilling moments, including an upside-down loop, the appearances of favorite Incredibles characters, and the Incredibles theme song playing in the background.
7. Soarin’ Around The World
This beloved motion simulator ride takes you on a journey over some of the most stunning locations worldwide, from the Taj Mahal to the Eiffel Tower. You’ll soar over several scenes, with the action of each moment supported by an iconic musical score that makes this ride truly magical. Small details and special effects throughout — like the scent of grass, sea breeze, and roses during certain scenes — make this one of the best Disneyland rides.
8. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
This medium-intensity roller-coaster ride takes you on the “wildest ride in the wilderness” through a cursed mining landscape. As you zoom by beautiful red rock formations, through caverns, and away from a dynamite explosion, you’ll catch new details every time you ride Big Thunder Mountain Railroad.
The atmosphere created in the queue is perfectly maintained throughout the entirety of the ride. The fun sound effects throughout the attraction flawlessly supplement the action. To add to the fun, most of the mining equipment you see in the queue is authentic!
9. Pirates of The Caribbean
This classic water ride is one of the top best rides you cannot miss during your Disneyland trip. As you take the plunge back through time to the Golden Age of Piracy, you’ll witness the eerie Pirates Grotto and see the pirates come alive as they plunder a town.
During the ride, you’ll be caught in a battle between a fort and a galleon, float through the burning town, and hear the iconic Pirates of the Caribbean song as you navigate the treacherous waters.
10. Peter Pan’s Flight
One of the classic Disneyland rides, Peter Pan’s flight is pure Disney magic and one of the most popular attractions at the park. You’ll join Peter Pan and the Darling family as you circle the night skies of London and take in a stunning view of Never Land. Then, you'll dive into the action and ultimately confront the evil Captain Hook. The ride’s everlasting charm makes it a top-ten contender in our list of the best rides at Disneyland!
11. it’s a small world
This beautiful ride takes you on a musical boat journey around the world, where you’ll float through various countries and soak in the iconic song of world peace. Its outstanding design makes "it's a small world" one of the best Disneyland rides. Each region features authentic traditional attire and stunning, colorful landscapes filled with an abundance of intricate details around each turn. This ride is truly a treat for the eyes and the ears and a joyful experience!
12. The Haunted Mansion
On your tour of this iconic haunted mansion filled with ghosts and ghouls, you’ll board a Doom Buggy and witness a ballroom of dancing ghosts, a seance room, and a cemetery “alive” with song. This ride has been a favorite since its opening. It turns into the beloved Haunted Mansion Holiday during Halloween at Disneyland and Christmas at Disneyland.
13. WEB SLINGERS: A Spider-Man Adventure
This interactive shooting ride in Avengers Campus is a newer addition to the land. It stands out due to its impressive technology that registers hand and arm movements for a truly immersive experience.
This ride allows you to engage in some fun competition with other members of your party as you aim for the highest-value targets to help web the out-of-control Spider-Bots that are taking over Avengers Campus.
14. Millennium Falcon: Smuggler’s Run
This amazing motion simulator experience takes you on a mission to retrieve precious cargo for the rebellion aboard none other than the Millennium Falcon itself. The ride is interactive, with the most intensive role belonging to the pilots and more positions for the gunners and engineers. It’s truly a surreal experience to be aboard this iconic vessel. Hondo Ohnaka’s narration is this attraction's icing on the cake.
15. Jungle Cruise
Jungle Cruise’s enduring charm is owed to the amazing skippers whose jokes and puns keep you engaged and laughing the entire time. On this journey, you’ll encounter the dangers of the jungle, from angry hippos to hungry man-eating piranhas, but you can rely on your skipper to help navigate the river.
16. Mad Tea Party
This iconic ride invites you to celebrate your unbirthday by taking a spin aboard a giant teacup surrounded by whimsical decorations and music. You can control how fast and in which direction your teacup spins through the wheel at the center, so the ride can be as thrilling or as tame as you desire.
17. Matterhorn Bobsleds
This legendary ride was the first tubular steel roller-coaster in the world! You ascend the icy mountain aboard a bobsled and speed away to escape the angry Abominable Snowman. Though this attraction has a reputation for being a bit rough and jerky, the thrill you get from each twist and turn on this classic attraction is undeniable.
18. Star Tours: The Adventures Continue
In this 3-D motion simulator ride, everything goes awry as your Starspeeder takes off without a pilot, and C-3PO is unexpectedly at the controls. With the First Order in pursuit, you’ll encounter several unexpected dangers across the galaxy as you try to deliver a Rebel spy aboard your vessel to safety.
19. Enchanted Tiki Room
Since its debut in 1963, the magic of the classic Enchanted Tiki Room has charmed guests. This theater-in-the-round attraction features a short, engaging musical show of over 225 choreographed Audio-Animatronics performers. It’s also a few steps away from the Tiki Juice Bar with the famous Dole Whip, a dessert that puts the location on our best restaurants in Disneyland list.
20. Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
In this dark shooting ride, guests battle the Evil Emperor Zurg, who has stolen batteries to power a weapon of destruction. Guests help Buzz Lightyear defeat Zurg’s army by shooting at targets. You can spin your transport a full 360 degrees to get a better shot. The vibrant colors, simplicity of the ride, and friendly competition with those in your party make it stand out as one of the best rides at the park.
Disneyland Rides Ranked
While there are various fantastic attractions at the parks to experience, and every Disney fan’s take on the best Disneyland rides is subjective, these stand out as our top picks due to their charm, engagement, and impressive design. Don't miss any of these amazing best rides during your next Disneyland vacation!
This article originally appeared on Wealth of Geeks.