Top 8 Disney California Adventure Rides!

You’ve seen my Top 8 Disneyland rides, now here are my Top 8 California Adventure rides!

Let’s face it, Disney California Adventure sucked when it first opened. It really did. It had nothing to do with Disney, and it was filled with uninspired, boring attractions. Sure, there were the occasional diamonds in the rough but overall, it was an utter catastrophe.

But the announcement was made that the entire park was getting a complete overhaul. New rides, new shows, and a new overall feel. This new park paid tribute to the classic America that Walt Disney grew up with. This park would be different than the old one, and it would be miles better.

And it was! California Adventure reopened to an astounding success, and has since become an essential part of visiting Disneyland.

But I digress. Without further ado, here are my Top 8 Disney California Adventure Rides!

8. Grizzly River Run – The theming on this ride is really bad. I have to say that. I really don’t know what they were going for. The name and area implies a outdoor, natural feel, but the safety spiel sounds like a surfer, daredevil kind of guy. I really don’t understand.

But that really doesn’t matter here. This ride is lots of fun. Nothing is better than leaving yourself to the luck of the water and seeing the laughing faces of the people next to you. It really is a ride that puts a large grin on your face. The theme may be questionable, but it is one heck of a ride.

7. It’s Tough to be a Bug! – I hate bugs. I was terrified of this show. I was screaming like a little girl while watching this show. It was possibly the most scared I had ever been on a Disney attraction…..and it was AWESOME!

I’m not kidding. This show is very impressive. The effects are well-done, the audio-animatronics are astounding, and the 3D is actually very, very convincing. I actually thought that there were real spiders dropping from the ceiling and freaked out. It was only when I looked up when I realized that the spiders weren’t actually there. Scary.

I wouldn’t recommend this attraction to small children or those afraid of bugs. This show was so good, it made my fear for bugs even worse. Thanks Disney.

6. California Screamin’ – This ride isn’t really Disney related, and it actually is one of the rides that made California Adventure a bit of a failure, but this ride is so much fun. I’m not joking. I’m a very big fan of thrill rides, and this ride does not disappoint. It’s not intense enough to scare off smaller thrill-seekers, but it’s not too boring to scare away thrill enthusiasts.

Not only is the ride fun, but the music is awesome. The soundtrack to this ride is just as fun as the ride. It fits the theme of the attraction perfectly, and is synchronized to the ride seamlessly. Sometimes the sound systems on the ride don’t work due to the slow aging of the cars, but when it works, it is a blast to have on the ride. What else can I say but…SCREAM!

5. Goofy’s Sky School – I have the same feelings towards this ride and California Screamin’. They are both really fun rides that were bringing the park down at one point, except this one got a retheming. The retheming was somewhat lazy, but it was a retheme nonetheless. Again, a fun ride with a fun theme.

4. Toy Story Midway Mania – This is an interactive attraction done right. Move over Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters, Toy Story Mania is claiming their victory!

This ride is revolutionary in every way. It’s fun, interactive, and puts a grin on my face every time I ride it. Who doesn’t love a bit of friendly competition?

3. Soarin’ Over California – This is the definition of a beautiful ride. The soundtrack is beautiful, the film is beautiful, and the queue is beautiful. There is a sense of care that went into this ride that shows throughout.

Sadly, the ride is currently closed and is being reworked into something. I don’t know what it is yet, but when I find out I will hopefully update this post or make a whole new post entirely.

2. Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – I. Love. The. Twilight Zone. It’s a great show. Each episode was full of twists and turns.The show was written with cleverness and subtlety. So why not make a ride that’s loud, in your face, and thrilling? Yeah, the choice for a drop ride is something I still don’t get. Why not make it a Haunted Mansion-type attraction.

Well, you get what you get, and what we got was AWESOME. This ride is a lot of fun for thrill-seekers. The effects on ride are very technologically impressive. The ride itself is fun and thrilling.

In contrast, the cue is very much like the show: subtle and creepy. I’m glad they were able to emulate the feel of a Twilight Zone episode in just a simple queue. Even if it’s not all in the ride itself, it certainly is in the line.

I also really love the people who work on the ride. They can either range from hilariously dead and lifeless, to scarily happy and psychotic. I love the dark humor; it gets me every time. Everything in this ride is well done.

But how can this ride not be number one? Before we get to the winner, let’s go over some honorable mentions.

1. The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Undersea Adventure – I didn’t like this ride when it opened. I had seen the YouTube videos Disney released for this attraction and got really hyped. This ride would be awesome. Then the day came. I lowered the lap bar in my clam shell and prepared myself for what was to come. What did I think of it?

“…that’s it?”

Before I knew it, the ride was over. Sure the ride was good, but Disney had built it up so much. They had so many plans. The possibilities were endless. I heard that Disney had budget cuts so certain aspects of the ride were scrapped. Luckily, Disney is making up for it by having refurbishments done on the ride every few months. The ride is on the way to greatness.

…I’m still waiting for that full Ursula death scene though. Get it done, Disney.

2. Mickey’s Fun Wheel – The only reason I didn’t put this on the list is because I simply didn’t have room. This ride is very scary, but fun at the same time. I’m not a fan of heights, and being stuck in a box that is mercilessly swinging over a deep, dark lagoon does not make anything better. But there is still a lot to like about this ride, especially with the rethemeing from the Sun Wheel to the Fun Wheel. They only changed one letter, but I call it a retheme.

3. Silly Symphony Swings – Again, another ride I simply didn’t have room for. This ride doesn’t have much anyway. It’s just a swing ride with a Disney theme. I’ll give it credit though, it is a very fun ride, despite it being horribly generic.

And now, the best attraction at Disney California Adventure Park is…

1. Radiator Springs Racers – Now this is a dark ride/thrill ride done right. Great theming, beautiful queue and environments, astounding effects and animatronics, and a fun and thrilling ride altogether. You truly can not get any better than this.

The Cadillac Range is absolutely beautiful. It’s amazing that a team of workers made an entire mountain range by hand. I never realized how beautiful the environment was in the films, mostly because they didn’t show much at all, but the entirety of Cars Land is absolutely breathtaking.

The queue is also very well done. It think this line made me understand more about the Cars universe than what two movies could explain. That’s both sad and impressive.

The ride itself is a cavalcade of amazing work. Everything from the ride vehicles all the way to the subtle details in the show building’s environment, this ride is filled to the brim with imagination and creativity.

And that’s what Disney rides are all about: Imagination and Creativity. Walt Disney had that realized then, and we realize it now. What makes a Disney ride fun to be on is not the technology or the intense speeds, but it’s the creativity of the people who truly care for what they are working on. The fun comes from being in a whole new world with new things to discover. Being immersed in a new environment is thrilling, liberating even. And I hope that Disney will continue immerse us into new creative worlds for years to come.

Do you agree with my list? Feel free to say your thoughts down below.

See you later, Animators!


4 thoughts on “Top 8 Disney California Adventure Rides!

  1. Hiya. We r going to Disneyland in June for the first time. So so excited. We’ve been to Florida and Paris parks so can’t wait to see this park. The actual park that the big man himself walked in !!! California adventure looks so cool and so very different from any of the other parks. Loved reading your review 😃

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