All Of Disneyland’s California Adventure Rides, Ranked.
Is the newest Disney park in the United States. You’ll appreciate a visit more when armed with some knowledge of its history and reputation as one of the most quickly evolving Disney parks in the world.
In this guide, we’ll talk about Disney California Adventure’s themed areas, best rides and attractions, FASTPASS, what the dining is like, and what makes it stand out from other Disney parks.
PHOTO: Adventure travel in Lake Tahoe, California. (photo courtesy vernonwiley/iStock/Getty Images Plus)
When it comes to getting an adrenaline rush, California is the undisputed leader among the 50 U.S. states. The state is a haven for adventure travelers with diverse natural landscapes that include some of the tallest mountains in the country, deserts filled with natural wonders and an enviable coastline. These diverse conditions make the state an ideal location for a variety of adventurous pursuits. New research from ensure My Trip ranked California at the top of the list of most adventurous states behind Colorado, New York, Washington state and Wisconsin when it comes to the variety of options the state offers. California’s accolades include a top-ranking for sky diving with a total of 29 drop zones. Florida and Texas followed, with both offering 24 drop zones. Colorado, which came in second overall, beat California when it came to options for white-water rafting. There are 60 White Rafting certified companies compared to California’s 57 companies. California is a mountain bikers paradise, home to 8,197 official mountain bike trails which is 11 percent of all trails in the U.S. California is home to 22 percent of the country’s safe crag sites making it the number-one spot for mountain climbers. Only 54 percent of states have paragliding and hang-gliding approved chapters, but California has 14 more approved chapters over second-place Colorado, Washington and New York. Recently, myself along with a couple of the other resident Cinema Blend Disneyland nerds attempted to rank every attraction at Disneyland. While we limited that list to the rides in that particular theme park, you really can’t talk about Disneyland without taking it’s sister location, Disney’s California Adventure, into account as well. So now it’s time to rank all the attractions there, as well. As with our previous list, every ride is ranked on a ten-point scale, averaged between the three of us. While some tie scores are listed, if attractions receive three identical scores, an attraction may rank higher if it receives a significantly higher score from any one judge. With all of that in mind, here we go…
Pixar Pal-A Round/Mickey’s Fun Wheel – Swinging
It’s totally understandable that Disney would try to find a way to improve the traditional Ferris wheel concept. Unfortunately, the solution found for the Pixar Pal-A-Round (formerly Mickey’s Fun Wheel) is NOT an improvement. The cars swing back and forth along tracks rather than remaining in one place. However, since the wheel keeps stopping to let people on and off, the swinging is never smooth, you get jerked around in fits and starts, and often find yourself sitting in really uncomfortable positions. There’s also nothing to hold on to so it’s easy to fall all over the car.
Jumpin’ Jellyfish is a pretty simple experience, and it’s not particularly long. It goes up, and it goes down. Like the other rides in the Paradise Gardens Park area, it gives you a pretty nice view of Pixar Pier and the lagoon, and it doesn’t drop as fast as Guardians of the Galaxy-Mission: breakout. so it may have more general appeal, but it’s a brief experience, so it’s hard to rank it really high.
Goofy’s Sky School
Roller coasters are one thing that Disney’s California Adventure doesn’t have a lot of, but it does have one small coaster which is given over to one one of Disney’s classic characters, Goofy. Goofy’s Sky School is a fairly compact coaster, which means it has a lot of tight turns in order to fit a decent track length in a small space, that might be a bit jarring for some, Jessica specifically says it makes her physically ill, but it also doesn’t move too quickly, making it decent for kids looking to try out their first coaster, who can also handle some of the motion better.
Francis’ Ladybug Boogie: While Flik’s Flyers is the DCA equivalent of Dumbo, the Ladybug Boogie is essentially a minor twist on the Mad Tea Party teacups across the way at Disneyland. You spin around in a circle while moving across on platforms that also spin around. Ladybug Boogie doesn’t give you the ability to control your speed the way the teacups do, which means your friend who likes to go too fast and make you puke can’t ruin the ride for you. It also spins a bit slower, which might make it less fun for some, but more fun for others.
Pixar Pal-A Round (Mickey’s Fun Wheel) – Non-Swinging::There’s little that can go wrong with a good old-fashioned Ferris wheel when you just let the classic ride just be itself. And considering the size of the Pixar Pal-A-Round (formerly Mickey’s Fun Wheel), the view from the top is impressive. While the swinging version of the wheel is a nightmare, the classic version is everything you want from the simple and elegant experience. Though, if the non-swinging cars were more open, the view would be even better from the top.
Silly Symphony Swings Named for one of Walt Disney’s classic cartoon series, the Silly Symphony Swings are another ride that lets you fly high above the water near Pixar Pier, but due to the way the ride works, swinging you out on a small seat on wires, you feel like you have less control, making it a bit more fun than the other rides in the area. Like them, however, the ride isn’t very long, but the time you do have is totally worth it.
Incredicoaster (California Screamin’)::The roller coaster formerly known as California Screamin’ recently received a re-skin to turn it into the Incredibles themed Incredicoaster. Regardless of what you call it, this is the most serious coaster at Disneyland Resort, it’s the only one in either park with a loop and it’s one of the longest coasters in North America. It owns the skyline of Pixar Pier and it’s as much fun as it looks. If you’re serious about thrill rides, then this one is hard to beat.
Radiator Springs Racers
This ride has had a long line since it opened and the size of it has never really shrunk. The reason is pretty clear. It’s a lot of fun. While largely a simple car ride that takes you through elements of the first Cars movie, it’s on a massive scale compared to other storybook rides, and it ends with a high-speed race through Radiator Springs that’s always fun, but that you don’t always win, giving you a reason to go back and try again.
Soarin Around the World
The second iteration of this ride, following Soarin Over California, Soarin’ around the world is a combination of large format movie and theme park ride that gives you the impression you’re flying through the air over major global landmarks. It is simply beautiful. The wind blowing in your face and the scents that get piped into the room to make you feel like you’re really there, wherever there happens to be, take Soarin to the next level making it hands down one of the most fun experiences at Disney’s California Adventure.