Updated 9/16/18. Hi, Ho, Hi, Ho if it’s off to Disneyland you go, you will definitely need to read our Ultimate Disneyland Ride and Attraction Guide! With over 50 rides and attractions to choose from within Disneyland Park, our guide will make it easier for you to navigate your way through this magical land; helping you get the most out of your Disney vacation!
With this guide, you will get an overview of all Disneyland rides and attractions broken down land-by-land, what to expect from each ride and attraction, and valuable tips that will help make your Disney vacation more magical. All ride names are linked to Disneyland’s website where you will be able to find height requirements, thrill levels, and hours of operation.
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One day at Disneyland is just not enough time to experience every ride and attraction this Park has to offer. This is where our Disneyland Ultimate Ride and Attraction Guide helps! All must-experience rides are highlighted in red. If you also have park hoppers for Disney California Adventure Park and you are attempting to do that Park on the same day, read our Disney California Adventure Ride and Attraction Guide, written to help you manage your time so that you are able to get the full Disney experience.
Disneyland Ride Guide to Disneyland Railroad
Chugging along this infamous railway is a majestic steam-powered engine that’s iconic bellow lends to the magical music of the Park. The Disneyland Railroad is, by far, the best way to get around the Park because trains run every 5-10 minutes on most days and there are four stations conveniently located throughout the Park that will help you get you where you need to go. The four stations are Main Street U.S.A. Station, New Orleans Station, Mickey’s Toontown Depot, and Tomorrowland Station.
What to Expect: During peak seasons, expect long wait times for trains. And also keep in mind that trains stop running during the nightly firework show, so the only way to get around the Park during those times is the old-fashion way: walk!
Tip: Because the train ride is 18-minutes long, this is a great opportunity to rest your tired feet (and grab a few zzz’s if you are pulling an all-day adventure in the Park).
Disneyland Ride and Attraction Guide to Main Street U.S.A.
Main Street Vehicles give you a feel of what travel was like during the turn of the century. Take a leisurely ride down Main Street U.S.A. in one of four choice vehicles:
- Horse-Drawn Street Car – Climb aboard this horse-drawn old-fashioned trolley. A fun experience that is a must for horse lovers.
- The Jitney is an early automobile without a roof and a loud horn (which the driver loves to blow).
- Fire Engine – A replica of the very first fire trucks roll down Main Street. This is a fun ride for fire-truck-loving guests.
- Omnibus – This two story gas-powered, open-air bus is a unique way to make your way down Main Street. Sit on the top level of this bus! It is a must!
What to Expect: Hours of operation for the Main Street Vehicles are 9am to 1:30pm. Not all vehicles run at the same time and I find that there really is no set schedule on when to catch a ride. So you may be standing around for awhile. All rides are one-way trips and drop you off the short distance from Main Street to Town Square or in front of the castle.
Tip: If you are really into nostalgia and want to experience this attraction at least once, go for it! Although it is faster to walk, something must be said about moving through the crowds with ease!
The Disneyland Story Presenting Great Moments with Mr. Lincoln – Watch history come alive right before your eyes with an audio-animatronic Abraham Lincoln!
What to Expect: Not many people know about this awesome historic presentation so the theater is almost always empty!
Tip: If the California sun is too hot for you or you need to take a load off your feet, relax in this air-conditioned theater.
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Disneyland Ride and Attraction Guide to Adventureland
Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room – Enter a cool Polynesian-inspired hut where the tropical birds sing words and the flowers croon, where you will enter the Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki Tiki room.
What to Expect: Of all Disney lines, this is one that is actually enjoyable. The Tiki show starts in the waiting area with the surrounding talking totem poles who introduce themselves. Although the crowd builds before each show, don’t worry, the Tiki Room has lots of seating and really, any seat in the room provides excellent viewing of the show.
Tip: Shows run for 15 minutes. So if you find yourself having to wait, enjoy an irresistible pineapple Dole Whip soft serve from the Tiki Juice Bar. You can bring food into the Tiki Room but please take your trash with you when you leave!
Jungle Cruise – Sail along a river that cuts through a jungle overrun by gun-blazing, destructive gorillas, trumpeting elephants, furious tigers, headhunters offering two heads for your one, and much more! What to Expect: Expect your skipper to deliver bad jokes worth laughing at. Lines can get pretty long for this ride so plan to ride early in the morning. Tip: Ask the crew at the exit for a map of the ride!
Indiana Jones Adventure is a fast-past thrill ride that has guests riding a Jeep through a cursed temple in search of Indiana Jones.
What to Expect: This is one of the more popular rides at Disneyland. Expect long wait times that feel every bit as long as the line. This ride is also very jerky since you are in a Jeep that is simulating driving through rugged terrain. If your child is afraid of dark, fast, loud, and rough rides, you may want to skip this ride!
Tip: To avoid the wait, get a Fastpass for this ride! You still end up waiting, but at least it is in a cool cursed temple rather than out in the hot Southern California heat. If distribution of Fastpasses has ended, try the single rider line! You will not be riding with family, but at least you can say you experienced Indiana Jones’ adventure!
Tarzan’s Treehouse – Explore Tarzan’s tree-top home nestled at the top of an 80-foot-tall tree! Follow the journey of his wild jungle upbringing as you climb across rope bridges, through a dusty hut, and around hundreds of intertwining leafy branches.
What to Expect: Expect to climb up numerous stairs and walk through narrow passageways. If you do not like heights, this may be an adventure you can view from the bottom of the tree!
Tip: Make some noise at the base of this tree by banging, pulling, and stomping around Jane’s camp!
Disneyland Ride and Attraction Guide to Frontierland
The Mark Twain Riverboat is a majestic steam-powered paddler that transports guests back over a century ago to witness the scenic simplicity and beauty of frontier living. This 14-minute cruise takes guests on a round trip journey along the Rivers of America around Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer Island.
What to Expect: There is limited seating on the first deck, so expect to stand. However, standing against the guardrails is the best place to take in all the beauty this cruise offers.
Tips: If you are the first to board this mighty vessel, you can ask to ride with the captain in the wheelhouse. You may or may not be able to depending on the crowd. Be sure to check out the boiler engineer on the first level of this boat! You can watch him control the speed and direction of the riverboat as he switches levers and valves.
Sailing Ship Columbia is a full-scale replica of a 3-masted ship from the 18th century. Set sail for a trip around Pirates Lair on Tom Sawyer Island and take in the sights of old frontier life as it was over a century ago.
What to Expect: Expect to stand for the 15-minute journey. Also, there is limited shade so apply your sunblock!
Tip: Explore the historic museum below deck that gives you an idea of how life was like as an 18th century sailor.
Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is a fast-pace thrill ride that has guests barreling through caves and an abandoned mine shaft on a runaway train.
What to Expect: Although Disney’s website claims this ride to be a “train ride for the entire family,” be aware that this super fast roller coaster can get bumpy, loud, and emerge riders in darkness at times.
Tip: Grab a Fastpass to avoid waiting too long.
Ride and Attraction Guide to New Orleans Square
Pirates of Caribbean – Sail away on a boat ride that takes you down into the dark, intoxicating world of swashbuckling pirates.
What to Expect: Expect long wait times for this iconic Disneyland ride since there is no Fastpass distribution. However, the line does move fast since Cast Members run lots of boats to accommodate large crowds. This ride is approximately 15 minutes long so plan accordingly if your child cannot sit that long. Also, be aware that this Disneyland ride is dark and can be scary for little kids.
Tip: Plan to ride early in the morning because afternoons are the busiest time of day for this ride. If you can’t ride in the morning, try the line during Fantasmic! or the fireworks show since most of the crowds are watching those.
Pirates Lair at Tom Sawyer Island – Board a rickety raft that floats guests across the Rivers of America to a private island based on stories by Mark Twain. Trails, caves, floating bridges…. there is so many paths to explore.
What to Expect: The afternoon sun heats up the island. Bring lots of water and find a shady spot to sit (although there are not many benches on the island).
Tip: Let your child loose on this interactive island. They can’t get lost!
Extra Tip: Be aware that the line may grow for the raft rides back to the main island so it may take you a bit longer to make your way back.
Haunted Mansion – Set against the backdrop of New Orleans Square is an ominous mansion home to 999 ghosts. Guests climb into a Doom Buggy for a supernatural and hair-raising tour of this haunted estate.
What to Expect: Expect darkness, screams, and creepy scenes. If your child gets spooked easily, skip this Disneyland ride!
Tip: The Haunted Mansion closes in late August through the end of September when Jack Skellington transforms the house into the Haunted Mansion Holiday.
Disneyland Ride and Attraction Guide to Critter Country
Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes – Paddle your way around Tom Sawyer Island from a true-life, trackless canoe.
What to Expect: Davy Crockett’s Explorer Canoes run seasonally and is closed during bad weather. Hours differ throughout the day, so when you see the canoes gliding across the Rivers of America, take your opportunity and row!
Tip: There’s always a chance that you will get wet on rides that take place on the water. Listen closely to the Cast Members for instructions on how to paddle the canoe.
Extra Tip: Who gets the opportunity to ride in a real- life canoe? For that reason alone, this ride is worth experiencing!
Splash Mountain takes riders on a 9-minute journey through back country in a hollow log.
What to Expect: Expect to get very wet on this ride that has three dips and a giant 5-story drop at the end of the ride.
Tip: Sit in the back because the front riders get soaked!
The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh – Join Pooh in a colorful adventure through a powerful windstorm and experience his honey-filled dream!
What to Expect: Expect short lines for this ride. And don’t forget to wish Pooh a Happy Birthday at the end of the ride!
Tip: As you exit this ride, reward yourself with a sweet treat from Pooh Corner! A delicious sugary snack always cures a rumble in your tummy!
Disneyland Ride and Attraction Guide to Fantasyland
Snow White’s Scary Adventures – Venture under the watchful eye of the Evil Queen (peeking out from the window between the velvety drapes in front of this attraction) into Snow White’s dark and terrifying tale devised by the Evil Queen. Hold on to your mine cart as you are taken through bleak dungeons and dense forests with terrorizing trees all leading you to the Evil Queen’s demise.
What to Expect: This ride is scary, hence the name. This ride may not be suitable for young children who scare easily.
Tip: This ride closes before, during, and after the fireworks show.
Pinocchio’s Daring Journey – Watch what happens when Pinocchio’s strings have been cut and he is off on a wild journey – all beginning at Stromboli’s Puppet Theatre! A frantic carnival and a close encounter with Monstro the Whale leaves riders feeling relieved with the appearance of the Blue Fairy!
What to Expect: This ride is dark and can be scary for young children!
Tip: Ride closes before, during, and briefly after fireworks show.
Peter Pan’s Flight – Soar through the star-studded night sky in a pirate ship destined for Neverland!
What to Expect: Due to the popularity of this ride, wait times are almost always over 30 minutes. Also, ride closes before, during, and briefly after fireworks show.
Tip: Head toward this ride once the rope drops!
Mr. Toad Wild Ride – This car ride is like no other car ride imaginable! Take a ride through scary scenes that take you literally through hell and back!
What to Expect: This ride is dark and can be scary for young children.
Tip: Ride closes before, during, and briefly after fireworks show.
King Arthur Carrousel – Mount a mighty steed and gallop up and down around this majestic carrousel.
What to Expect: Not your typical carrousel, this classic attraction is adorned with Disney history. King Arthur Carrousel and most of its 68 white-carved horses and one pristine chariot date back more than 90 years.
Tip: Look for Jingles, Walt Disney’s favorite lead horse! This decorated horse was dedicated to Julie Andrews in 2008 when she was chosen as Honorary Ambassador. Don’t forget to admire the painted details on the saddle!
Dumbo the Flying Elephants – Soar through the sky atop Dumbo the Flying Elephant as he circles around Timothy Q. Mouse, his magic feather tucked in the tip of his trunk.
What to Expect: Due to its popularity, Dumbo the Flying Elephant’s line is almost always long. Try riding in the early morning.
Tip: Can’t capture that perfect picture while on the ride? No worries! There is a stationary Dumbo just outside the exit of the ride for the sole purpose of capturing that perfect picture!
Casey Jr. Circus Train – Climb aboard Casey Jr., a little train with a lot of willpower. Casey Jr.’s track cuts through a beautiful countryside through hills and valleys where riders can take in the immaculate miniature villages of some of Disney’s most beloved stories.
What to Expect: Because there is only one train, the line does move slow. And the wait, for the most part, is in direct sunlight.
Tip: Any seat on this train equally produces flawless views of Storybook Land. So sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride!
Mad Tea Party – Take a spin under an umbrella of colorful lanterns in a pastel teacup that will take you on one amazing, head-spinning adventure!
What to Expect: Every bit as mad as the Mad Hatter, Mad Tea Party will get you very dizzy if you choose to spin it fast.
Tip: Do not spin the wheel in the center of the tea cup if you’d rather not spin yourself dizzy.
Alice in Wonderland – Follow Alice into an enchanted rabbit hole where you will encounter some wondrous creatures: a garden of singing flowers, the Cheshire Cat, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and even the Mad Hatter.
What to Expect: This ride is very popular so expect long wait times. Plan to go on this ride in the morning when lines are not so long.
Tip: Ride closes before, during, and briefly after fireworks show.
Storybook Land Canal Boats – Take a cruise on a boat ride through the miniature worlds of some of Disney’s most popular movies.
What to Expect: With over 10 intricately replicated Disney houses, villages, and palaces, what is not to love about this truly magical boat ride?
Tip: Ride closes before, during, and briefly after fireworks show.
What to Expect: If you plan on entering the castle, know that the corridors are narrow, dark, and there are stairs to climb throughout this walking tour.
Tip: Not many people are aware of this hidden attraction! It is a magical experience to be able to walk through parts of this iconic castle!
Matterhorn Bobsleds – Brave the icy peaks of this famous mountain when you board a bobsled destined for speed. Along the way, you may just encounter the Abominable Snowman who will stop at nothing to protect his mountain.
What to Expect: The ride down the mountain is a bit rough and bumpy, so hold on tight! And you may get a little wet at the bottom of the mountain when your bobsled glides through a waterfall!
Tip: Grab a Fastpass for this Disneyland ride since it is one of Disneyland most popular attractions!
It’s a Small World – Sail around the world all in one song on this whimsical boat ride!
What to Expect: Expect to hum the catchy tune, It’s a Small World, throughout the rest of your day as it has its way of replaying over and over in your head!
Tip: Grab a Fastpass for this Disneyland ride when lines are long. Fastpasses are located near Matterhorn Mountain.
Disneyland Ride Guide to Toontown
Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin – Go for a spin in this twirling taxi cab in the dizzying world of Roger Rabbit.
What to Expect: The wait for this Disneyland ride is long and boring. Although I must say, while you wait there are fun interactive props and great photo ops!
Tip: Unlike the tea cups, this ride is super difficult to spin. It is almost worth your while to just sit and not even bothering spinning it.
Gadgets Go Coaster – Go, Go, Go on this super chill rollercoaster designed for kids.
What to Expect: This line is every bit as long as it is boring only for a minute ride.
Tip: If you or your kids desperately want to ride this coaster, go on right when Toontown opens.
Disneyland Ride and Attraction Guide to Tomorrowland
Astro Orbitor – Blast off into orbit on your very own rocket ship! With you in control of how high or low you fly, there is no limit on how far you will soar!
What to Expect: Expect to wait a long time to board these space ships.
Tip: Nighttime flights are the best because you soar through the night sky with picturesque views of the surrounding Park!
Star Tours – The Adventure Continues – Aboard a Starspeeder 1000, you will blast off into a galaxy far, far away helping the resistance escape The New Order!
What to Expect: This 3D, motion-simulated Disneyland ride is very jerky so hold on tight.
Tip: The excitement of this attraction is that there are many different scenes and adventures sporadically playing so don’t be shy, go on more than once!
Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters – Go to infinity and beyond as you fire lasers to defeat Zurg in this interactive Disneyland ride that has you right in the middle of all the action!
What to Expect: Expect to have an out-of-this-world experience as you shoot your laser blaster at targets to score points!
Tip: At the exit of this ride, stop by the kiosks and enter your email address to have your Astro Blasters photo emailed to you – FREE!
Finding Nemo Submarine Voyage – Travel by submarine through the deep, dark sea where you will watch scenes from Disney Pixar’s Finding Nemo come alive. Is Nemo found? You may have to take the plunge to find out!
What to Expect: Due to the compact size of each submarine, boarding and exiting is a bit tricky so be very careful and watch every step you take! This ride is not for the claustrophobic guest because space is very limited once inside. If you or your children are afraid of the dark, this might not be the ride for you!
Tip: About the only time to take this voyage is either right when the Park opens or right at closing because the lines during the day are super long.
Disneyland Monorail – The first of its kind, the Disneyland Monorail glides along a single rail high above the Park, offering riders an aerial view of Fantasyland, Tomorrowland, Grizzly Peak, Buena Vista Street, and Hollywood Land.
What to Expect: Monorail closes before, during, and briefly after fireworks show.
Tip: Some Monorail rides are one-way only so check with the Cast Members before boarding.
Autopia – Climb behind the wheel of this classic car ride that takes drivers on a course into the future!
What to Expect: The line for this attraction is misleading. It may look short, but with all the twists and turns, the wait time is much longer than you may think!
Tip: The beauty of Autopia is having your child drive you around for a change! Children must be at least 32 inches tall to drive (accompanied by an adult, of course) and children 48 inches tall can drive themselves!
Space Mountain – Take flight on a rocket ship destined for outer space!
What to Expect: Space Mountain may not be for the squeamish! This high-speed roller coaster emerges riders in complete darkness as it speeds through star-studded outer space. This is a favorite Disneyland ride of many.
Tip: Definitely worth the wait or Fastpass!
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- Disneyland Morning Touring Strategy: Guide to Maximize Your Mornings
- How to Plan Your Disneyland Trip
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- Disney California Adventure Ride and Attraction Guide