Disney California Adventure is the 2nd park at the Disneyland Resort and opened in 2001. Early reviews of the park were harsh but improvements in recent years have made this park a worthwhile addition to the resort. Before, this park was considered a “half-day” park at best. Now it takes at least a whole day to experience a majority of the attractions and entertainment. I’ve put together my list of top 10 best attractions at Disney California Adventure to help you plan out your day in this park.
10. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
The reason this ride is at the bottom of my list is because I really don’t like it but I know it’s extremely popular with most guests. You make your way through the notorious Hollywood Tower Hotel and into a dilapidated boiler room. Then enter a dusty service “elevator” while light bulbs flicker above you. If you’re not freaked out a little by now, the rest of the ride should do the trick. Launch upward in darkness then plunge downward over and over again. You never know how many times the “lift” will fall or when you will change direction.
9. Mickey’s Fun Wheel
Mickey’s Fun Wheel is not a ride that I just HAVE to ride, however, it’s a classic ride and beautiful structure. There are two options for riding the Ferris wheel-swinging or non-swinging. The non-swinging gondolas lightly sway when the wheel turns, whereas the swinging gondolas swing around an overhead rail. Besides being an entertaining ride, Mickey’s Fun Wheel has an extensive light system that changes colors at night and is a beautiful sight on the Pier.
8. Turtle Talk with Crush
This attraction is not a ride but it is well worth experiencing. It’s an intimate 15-minute conversation with Crush from Disney•Pixar’s Finding Nemo. Ask Crush about sea life, his friends, or even his favorite things and help answer his questions about the human world. This is a very entertaining attraction and a great way to get out of the California heat!
7. The Little Mermaid-Ariel’s Undersea Adventure
The Little Mermaid is my favorite Disney movie and this ride absolutely does it justice. Climb aboard your “clam-mobile” and descend to Ariel’s underwater world. You’ll visit favorite characters from the film like Ariel, Eric, Sebastian and Flounder as well as the wicked sea witch, Ursula. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself singing along with classic songs like “Part of Your World” and “Under the Sea”. This is one of my favorite rides that is based on a movie.
6. Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
I don’t know what it is about this ride but it makes me laugh every time I ride it! Climb aboard a cute little tractor and prepare to have a swingin’ time! The tractors swing you back and forth in time to lively music sung by Mater himself. Be careful not to squish your partner on some of the bigger swings!
5. Grizzly River Run
Take a thrilling whitewater raft expedition down a roaring California river. You ride on a circular 8-person raft down what starts as a lazy river. Then you’ll ascend the mountain on a large conveyor belt. At the top, brace yourself for an exciting and unpredictable ride! You’ll bob and spin through the rapids all while getting splashed (and possibly soaked!). This is a perfect ride to cool you off on a hot day.
4. Toy Story Midway Mania
Similar to the Buzz Lightyear ride at Disneyland, Toy Story Midway Mania is a ride where you travel in a car that swivels while playing little mini-games. It mixes classic midway games into the Toy Story theme-dart throwing on Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts and ring tossing on Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers are just a couple of the entertaining games. Ride over and over again to get a better score!
3. Soarin’ Over California
Soarin’ is the most thrilling ride that has minimal movement. Make your way into a large theater and be gracefully lifted up towards a huge IMAX screen. With legs dangling, you will fly over notable parts of California like the Golden Gate Bridge, Napa Valley, and even Disneyland. Not only will you feel like you’re actually flying, you’ll also smell what you’re seeing-orange groves and salty sea to name just a few. This ride also has some of the best music of any Disney ride. You won’t soon forget this fantastic attraction!
2. Radiator Springs Racers
One of the newest rides at California Adventure, Radiator Springs Racers is both a classic Disney dark ride and an exciting thrill ride. Board a 6-person car for a stroll through Radiator Springs. Life-size recreations of Cars characters pop up and talk to you as you make your way to the starting line. Come side-by-side with another car full of park guests and get ready to race! Zip over hills and zoom around high-banked turns as you speed towards the finish line.
1. California Screamin’
My absolute favorite ride at Disney California Adventure is California Screamin’. If you like rollercoasters, then don’t miss this ride! It’s the longest and fastest rollercoaster at the Disneyland Resort and even has a loop-de-loop. You’ll catapult past splashing waves and swoop, swirl, dip and curl in and out of the Paradise Pier boardwalk area. Be sure to check out your candid photo when you exit the ride.
What’s your favorite attraction at Disney California Adventure? Did I miss any?