When visiting the Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, California, it isn't unusual for visitors to have a limited amount of time or for the parks to be exceptionally busy, leaving them wondering what the must do's of their visit should be. Here is a list of some of the most popular attractions voted as must do's by recent park visitors.
Radiator Springs Racers – One of 3 rides in Cars Land, the newest addition to California Adventure, this indoor/outdoor ride takes you through Ornament Valley, Stanley's Oasis and as it suggests, Radiator Springs. Cars Land opened only a short 4months ago with rave reviews, especially about Radiator Springs Racers. During this 4 minute attraction, you will meet all your favorite Cars characters and end the ride with a thrilling race at speeds of up to 40mph. On the average day the wait time is generally 2-2 1/2 hours. Fast passes are usually gone within an hour of park opening. The detail and thrills of this ride does however, make it well worth the 2 hour wait.
Pirates of the Caribbean – Still a family favorite after 45 year, these swashbuckling, pillage and plundering pirates will entertain you during a 15 minute boat ride full of cannon blasts, gunshots and burning buildings. You can sing along to the forever popular “Yo ho, yo ho, a pirates life for me”. In 2006, Disneyland added 3 audio-animatronic Captain Jack Sparrows. They are so amazingly life like, you will think Johnny Depp is actually there.
Indiana Jones Adventure – “Indi”, as its known by us Disney freaks, is a turbulent off-road, dark ride that takes you through the world of Indiana Jones including rat cave, snake temple, bug room and so much more. This 3 minute ride ends with a giant rolling boulder headed straight for you. Of course, Indiana Jones comes to your rescue. Indi is currently closed for refurbishments but is set to reopen December 7. Once it reopens with new added show features, this ride will be even more popular than it was before. Fast Pass is available for this ride.
Star Tours: The Adventures Continue– This 3D motion simulator ride is based on the highly successful Star Wars series. It originally opened in 1987 but in 2011 underwent a massive refurbishment. It now offers 54different side sequences, some of which offer a visit from Darth Vader himself. You never know where your Starspeeder 1000 will take you… Hoth, Tatooine and Naboo are just a few of the possibilities. One lucky rider is also chosen at random to be the Rebel Spy and have their picture presented during the ride.
Matterhorn – The popularity of the Matterhorn has seemed to have skyrocketed since its reopening in June 2012. The Swiss-Alps themed ride underwent a 6 month long refurbishment earlier this year to install new bobsleds with “yellow strapped safety belts”, to add more snow to the mountain and give that infamous yeti an “ego boast” of sorts. Real life mountain climbers once again scale down the mountain as they use to from its original opening until recent years. The ride track itself is exactly the same but some how feels different in the new, smaller and in my opinion, far less comfortable seats. If you're new to this ride, it offers 2 tracks, the right track being a more mellow ride than the left.
Peter Pan's Flight – Peter Pan is one of the few original rides that is still operational since Disneylands opening day in 1955. With an average wait time of 45 minutes, Peter Pan is by far the most popular attraction in Fantasyland. After boarding your own personal suspended pirate ship, you will sore above London and through Never Neverland visiting all your favorite Peter Pan characters. One of the reasons for this rides popularity is the special effects that make it actually look like you are flying miles above London. The charming music also adds a special touch.
Space Mountain – Located in Tomorrowland, Space Mountain is a thrilling, indoor roller coaster that zooms you through space at a maximum speed of 34 MPH. The soundtrack to this ride adds an extra special “oomf” that makes it feel like you're going much faster than you actually are. At the last turn of this ride, your picture is taken to help capture the fun. Fast Pass is available for this ride. Without it your average wait time is 45-60 minutes.
Toy Story Mania – Located on Paradise Pier at Disneys California Adventure, this interactive 4D ride/game offers a unique experience the whole family will enjoy. After being greeted by a larger than life, interactive Mr. Potato Head, you will grab your 3D glasses and board an 8 seater spinning ride vehicle equipt with a gun for each rider. You will compete against your “ride buddy” as well as the other riders in the vehicle during 6 mini games all based on the Toy Story films. Be prepared for a longer than average wait time as this is one of DCA's most popular attractions. Fast Pass is not offered for this ride.
it's a Small World – If you are traveling with young children or happen to be at Disneyland on a hot day, this ride is a nice break from the elements and the hustle and bustle of the park. This indoor boat ride features over 300 brightly costumed animatronic dolls, each representing a different country. As you travel through all the regions of the world, the dolls sing “It's a small world after all” in their native language. If nothing else, this 15 minute boat ride will give you a chance to rest your tired feet and regroup.
California Screamin' – “Get ready to scream in 5, 4, 3, 2, 1…” With those words you are blasted down the track reaching 55MPH in just under 4 seconds. Like Space Mountain, this attraction is set to music which gives it a very “Disney” feel. This is the only attraction at the Disneyland Resort that has an inversion. Fast Pass is offered for this ride.
Honorable mentions – Hollywood Tower of Terror, Tom Sawyers Island, Big Thunder Mountain and Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
What do you think? Do you agree about our attraction choices? Do you have any to add?