10. Grizzly River Run
The Grizzly Run is a white water rafting adventure that i guarantee you will get wet on. While a very good ride, you can really only go on Grizzly’s River Run when its hot, and when its hot the ride line can get to be over an hour long. Definitely get a fastpass if thats the case. The seats next to an entrance tend to be extra wet, and water will rush up from the floor from the drains as well so i recommend planning ahead and wearing sandals.
There are free lockers available for 2 hours at a time next to the ride so you can keep your valuables dry.
9. Mickey’s Fun Wheel
The Ferris Wheel is possibly the scariest ride out of both parks. There are two options getting onto the ride, a normal gondola and a swinging gondola. The swinging gondolas are on rails that will roll at different heights where your momentum will swing the gondola almost parrallel to the ground. You can hear people screaming all around Paradise Pier and they are real screams of terror.
Barf bags are available inside the gondola for those who can’t handle the swinging
8. It’s Tough to Be a Bug!
It’s Tough to be a Bug is one of two of the 4D shows at California Adventures. Its a very amusing show displaying all sorts of interesting bugs there are in the world, that leads into a very scary appearance of Hopper looking to destroy everything. The show appears from all around you and be prepared to get sprayed with water.
The show may be a little too intense for young children so you might want to sit near an exit if it gets too crazy for them.
7. Disney’s Aladdin’s A Musical Spectacular
The Aladdin Show at California Adventures brings me back to the days that there were shows at Videopolis in the 80s and 90s. Its a classically designed theater with orchestra and mezzanine seating that seats hundreds. The show is basically the Aladdin movie condensed a bit, but the jokes that the Genie makes are typically up to date, and the specials effects are pretty good.
The theater is a great place to rest your feet in an air-conditioned theater for 40 minutes.
6. California Screamin’
California Screamin’ is Disneyland first inverted ride is a fast and exciting ride right from the get go. The ride starts out with a bang launching you from a stand still to 55mph in an instant. The longest ride in the park sends your through many dips, banks, and one giant loop.
The ride closes for the World of Color Show, so make sure you get on before the first show.
5. Soarin’ Over California
Soarin’ over California is considered the best ride of California Adventures by my dad, but its only number 5 for me. The flight simulator is like being on a glider with your feet dangling in the air, and takes you on a flight over the entire state of California. The ride brings you from the snowy mountains of Lake Tahoe, to the golf course of Palm Springs, and ending up back at Disneyland.
Its worth the wait and extra round if you can ask to sit on middle of the first row
4. Toy Story Midway Mania!
Toy Story Midway Mania! is a 4D ride which takes you through five carnival games that has you throwing rings around aliens, to shooting down plates to see who can score the most points.
- Hamm & Eggs (egg throw game now featuring Buttercup from Toy Story 3)
- Rex and Trixie’s Dino Darts (dart throw game; once Bo Peep’s Baa-loon Pop)
- Green Army Men Shoot Camp (baseball throw / plate breaking game)
- Buzz Lightyear’s Flying Tossers (ring toss game)
- Woody’s Rootin’ Tootin’ Shootin’ Gallery
Keep your eyes out for the super small targets because they’re worth the most points.
There are no fast passes available for Toy Story Midway Mania! so lines are consistently long.
3. Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue!
Monsters, Inc. Mike & Sulley to the Rescue! is a kids ride that i can’t get enough of. The ride takes you through the story of Monsters, Inc. from beginning to end, and is another multi-sensory ride. I love smelling each of the scenes like wasabi in the sushi restaurant.
The ride is open even during the nighttime party events like the Mad T Party, and the queue is always short, you just need to go behind the stage to avoid the excessive noise.
2. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror
The thing i think that separates Disneyland apart from other theme parks is the fine touches all around the ride beyond the ride itself. The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror is a free falling elevator ride up and down the hotel facade, and your journey begins even before you put on your seatbelt. There’s a whole backstory of hotel guests who were caught in a lighting storm while on the elevator and now haunt the hotel.
Most of the cast members that work the ride really like to get into character so don’t take offense if they don’t have a typical Disney attitude.
1. Radiator Springs Racers
Opened just last year, it has taken over the best ride in California Adventures, and more importantly makes it worth spending the money to get into California Adventures. The ride is based off the Test Track ride at Disney World, and takes you a drive through radiator springs leading up to a race against another car full of people where you’ll feel some real G forces when dropping into some of the steep turns.
Everyone knows that this is the best ride in the park and the queue will average two hours just after the park’s opening. Get in line fast or get in line for a Fast Pass thats located near the Bug’s Life theater. If you’re there with grown kids then opt for the Single Rider queue which times can be super short.
The Radiator Springs Racer Fast Pass wont count against you for the rest of the day, so you can still get Fast Passes for other rides.