Rides at Disneyland: Explore Thrill and Kid-Friendly Attractions

Welcome to the Magic of Disneyland!

Follow along to discover the most iconic Disneyland rides!

This in-depth guide walks you through every magical, adrenaline-pumping, nostalgic, and awe-inspiring ride Disneyland offers. Watch out, though! Once the Disney magic enchants you, there’s simply no going back.

So, buckle up and prepare to discover a world where fairy tales come to life, imagination becomes reality, and every ride tells a story.

Top Thrill Rides

We can almost hear that pulse-pounding music playing in the background as you step closer to Disneyland’s thrill rides, can’t you?

Space Mountain

Strap in and prepare to rocket through the cosmic void on Space Mountain, one of Disneyland’s premier thrill rides! This interstellar roller coaster, bathed in an otherworldly glow, zips, zags, and loops at lightning speeds, giving the sensation of hurtling through the great expanse of outer space. It’s a mind-bending, heart-pounding experience that’ll leave even the most seasoned thrill-seekers giddy with exhilaration!

Splash Mountain

Splash Mountain catapults you into the middle of a whimsical, song-filled Disney classic. It’s an epic log flume attraction that sets your heart aflutter as you abruptly dip and drop into the Briar Patch. With a climactic 50-foot waterfall finale, it’s a wet and wild joyride that’ll have you grinning ear to ear as your heart thumps in your chest.

Wide shot of people in a cart going down Splash Mountain on a sunny day in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: WDW News Today via Facebook

Matterhorn Bobsleds

Come snow or sun; the Matterhorn Bobsleds guarantee a spine-tingling race down a realistically icy track through the heart of a Swiss mountain at Disneyland. Feel your pulse race as you navigate harrowing turns, dodge startling Yeti and abominable snowman
encounters, and dart in and out of shadowy caves. This thrill-packed adventure has all the chills and thrills to make you scream, “More, more, more!”

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

As you strap in at Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, prepare for a rip-roaring escapade through a haunted gold-mining town. With its sudden turns and jaw-dropping dips, this high-speed roller coaster train will have your heart pounding harmoniously, accompanied by the howls of the historic Wild West.

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Don’t forget to catch your breath as you hurtle past falling boulders and faux-precipices—it’s a rock ‘n’ roll ride you won’t want to miss out on!

Wide shot of Big Thunder Mountain Railroad at Disney World’s Magic Kingdom in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Renato Mitra via Unsplash

Kid-Friendly Rides

Disneyland boasts an array of whimsical attractions designed specifically with the little ones in mind, making the magic kingdom an enchanting arena of fun for kids and kids-at-heart. From gentle tours aboard adorable boats to airborne adventures in mythical vessels, these kiddo-approved rides offer everything playful imaginations could possibly desire.

It’s a Small World

Grab your captain’s hat and prepare to journey across the seven seas in “It’s a Small World.” This gentle boat ride will take you and your little ones on a magical globetrotting trip, offering a taste of different cultures, all in the space of a few sweetly sung verses.

Adorned with charming, vividly colored sets and singing dolls representing over 100 nations, this ride fills your heart with a sense of unity and cheer, embodying the mantra that it is a small world after all.

Dumbo the Flying Elephant

Glide gently into the delightful fantasy of Disney’s Dumbo the Flying Elephant — an enchanting ride that lets you swoop, dive, and soar in your very own airborne pachyderm. As the nostalgic carnival music plays, feel a heart-tug as your elephant playfully ascends and descends, commanding an impressive view of Disneyland beneath you.

Ideal for the little ones, this charming ride brings a smile to youthful faces and revives memories for the young at heart. There’s no doubt that Dumbo is an essential part of Disneyland’s magic.

Wide shot of the Dumbo the Flying Elephant ride in Fantasyland at Disneyland in Los Angeles, California, USA
photo credit: Disneyland via Facebook

Peter Pan’s Flight

Experience the thrill of never growing up as you board a magical pirate ship on Peter Pan’s Flight, one of the best rides at Disneyland. Glide high above the city of London, sprinkled with pixie dust, before sailing to the imaginary and star-lit wonderlands of Neverland.

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From battling Captain Hook to encountering playful mermaids, this ride is packed with surprises, encapsulating the charming essence of the beloved story.

Classic Disneyland Rides

Classic rides at Disneyland are an absolute treasure, wrapped in layers of nostalgia and packed with joyful memories created over decades.

They combine the perfect blend of old-school charm and modern magic, leaving everyone, from toddlers to grandparents, grinning ear to ear.

Haunted Mansion

Step within the eerie halls of the Haunted Mansion, where you’ll come face-to-face with a horde of happy haunts. This chilling, dark ride that takes inspiration from the bewitching world of Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas lets you sit back in your Doom Buggy and meet a spectral assortment of departed souls worldwide.

Get set, folks, because you’re in for a ghostly retreat; don’t forget, there are “999 happy haunts, but there’s room for 1000—any volunteers?”

View looking up at the Haunted Mansion through the trees at night at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida, USA
photo credit: Walt Disney World via Facebook

Jungle Cruise

Embark on the Jungle Cruise and get yourself in the grip of nature’s whimsy. There, you’ll encounter exotic animals (speaking in the animatronic tongue, of course) and navigate through treacherous rivers across South America, Africa, Asia, and the Pacific — thank heavens for Disney’s “danger-free” guarantee.

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Be prepared for a boatload of puns from your plucky skipper; it’s all part of what makes this themed ride hilarious, adventurous, and an absolute must-see!

Pirates of the Caribbean

The Pirates of the Caribbean ride at Disneyland Resort is an invigorating plunge into the lawless life of buccaneers. As you embark on your voyage, you’ll feel the excitement build, navigating pirate-infested waters, mingling with notorious marauders, and sneaking through eerie ghost ships.

With extraordinary special effects, thrills around every corner, and the iconic “Yo Ho (A Pirate’s Life for Me)” tune playing, it’s no wonder this ride has been captivating hearts since 1967!

close up of skeletons sitting at a table at pirates of the caribbean attraction located in New Orleans Square Disneyland Los Angeles, California, USARadiator Springs Racers

Fasten your seatbelt and dive into a road race filled with familiar car-acters and scenic wonders. Experience the thrill of speeding through the desert landscape of Cars Land, an incredible world inspired by the Disney and Pixar movie Cars. The Cars ride Disneyland is a pulse-pounding adventure that brings the animated film to life.

Planning Your Disneyland Adventure: Tips and Tricks

If you thought the planning ended once you purchased your Disneyland Park tickets, buckle up, champ! The real fun (and by ‘fun,’ we mean the strategic maneuvering through the happiest place on Earth) is just getting started.

We do not intend to turn your whimsical adventure into a military operation, but a little planning goes a long way in a place dotted with pixie dust. So, here are some top-notch Disneyland insider tips to help you navigate the magic like true Walt Warriors.

people riding in the tea cups at Mad Tea Party at Disneyland in Los Angeles, California, USA

Make a List

Remember the kid who came prepared for Show and Tell? Be that person! Make a list of the rides, shows, and characters you and your family want to see. Bragging rights are at stake here!

Arrive Early

Getting to Disneyland bright and early is a must. What, did you want to spend half your day standing in line? Watching the rope drop is worth every blessed minute of super-early alarm setting.

Genie+ System: Maximize Your Ride Time

Dreading those tediously long Disneyland lines that drift around buildings and coil through corridors like a pesky garden snake? Enter: Genie+. It’s this nifty little tool that’s going to help you win the game against time.

Disneyland gives people who love theme parks, a.k.a. you, the chance to experience even more magic without those hefty lines.

A blue purple and white graphic with two phones showing the Genie App and an illustration of Genie's head to the left for
photo credit: Orlando Sentinel via Facebook

How Does It Work?

Okay, here’s the deets, folks. Simply put, Genie+ is a trip to the fast lane. You nab yourself a Genie+ ticket, and you’re given a time slot to return to the ride. When you return in your time slot, you breeze through a special line that zips you to the front.

What Rides Should I Use Genie+ For?

Wondering, “Which rides should I use my Genie+ for?” Good news! We’ve got you covered. Here are some of the top rides to consider:

  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Indiana Jones Adventure

Tips and Tricks

Before you go off and start wrangling in those Lightning Lanes, read up on some handy-dandy tips and tricks to make the most of them:

  • Plan: Scout out the Disneyland California rides you want to do first and snag them as soon as you get to the park.
  • Timing is vital: Grab Genie+ early in the day for popular rides, as they can run out quickly.
  • Use it wisely: You can only hold one Genie+ pass at a time, so make sure it’s for a ride you want to zip through.
people aboard the Incredicoaster with water splasing at the side of the track in Disneyland, Anaheim, California, USA
photo credit: Theme Park Review via Facebook

Height Restrictions: Ensure a Safe and Fun Experience

Disneyland has something for everybody, even the younger or shorter ones among us. Here’s the inside scoop on Disneyland ride heights restrictions that the park has in place to make sure every ride is as safe and fun as possible.

First off, let’s start with the heavy hitters. Attractions like Incredicoaster, Star Wars Rise of the Resistance, and Guardians of the Galaxy Ride Disneyland – Mission: Breakout! require riders to be at least 40 inches (102 cm) tall.

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Meanwhile, thrill-seekers looking to conquer Indiana Jones Adventure or Space Mountain should stand at least 46 inches (117 cm) tall.

If you’re just shy of these heights, don’t you worry about a thing. Disneyland is brimming with rides perfect for you. For little ones measuring between 32 inches (81 cm) to 40 inches (102 cm), there’s Autopia and Gadget’s Go Coaster to get you in on the action.

Can’t wait to crack into these rides, but still not quite tall enough? Most of Disneyland’s attractions, such as It’s a Small World, Snow White’s Enchanted Wish, Mickey Minnie’s Runaway Railway, or the Mad Tea Party, are available to guests of all heights.

close up of walt disney and mickey statue in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle at Disneyland Park in Los Angeles, California, USAWhen All Else Fails, Try Baby Swap

If you’ve got a gaggle of kids with varying heights, try the Baby Swap (Or Rider Switch, as the cool kids call it) service. This allows one adult to ride while another stays with the non-rider(s), and then they switch. Ingenious, isn’t it?

Remember, height restrictions are there for a reason. They ensure everyone can have a fun and safe experience at Disneyland. So hang in there, little ones. Your big coaster days aren’t too far off!

Single Rider Lines: Beat the Crowds for Solo Adventurers

Fancy a solo adventure at Disneyland? We’ve got just the thing for you. Say hello to Single Rider Lines. Not only does this Disneyland feature let you bask in your glorious autonomy, but it also lets you skip those pesky long lines!

What Rides Participate?

As awesome as Single Rider Lines are, they’re not available for all rides. Hold your horses, though. We’ve got a good chunk of them that do, and hey, they’re some of the coolest ones!

  • Indiana Jones Ride Disneyland
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds
  • Star Tours
  • Space Mountain
  • Splash Mountain
  • Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
artist rendition of cockpit of Millennium Falcon at Star Wars Galaxy's Edge in Disneyland in Los Angeles, California, USA
photo credit: Disney

Unforgettable Memories Await at Disneyland

Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie or a true-blue Disney classic fan, there’s a ride that’s just for you on this magic map.

With a cornucopia of thrill and kid-friendly rides, Disneyland emanates an irresistible allure that would make anyone, and we mean ANYONE, squeal joyfully.

A journey to Disneyland isn’t merely a ‘visit.’ It’s an embarkation into a trove of nonpareil experiences meticulously concocted to etch indelible memories into our lives. An expedition to this magical land is one big colossal celebration of life, age, no bar!

What Did We Miss?

Have anything to add to our guide? Leave us a comment below!

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Written by Kelsi Johnson

Meet Kelsi, a Colorado-based writer and editor for Tripster. When she isn't behind the keyboard crafting engaging travel content, you'll find her hiking...

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