Disney California Adventure is the Sister park to Disneyland Park, California. The Park is a more grown-up park with bigger rides, scarier themes, and far less “Magic” and Fairytale. While there are far fewer attractions at DCA the Rides tend to be bigger, better, and provide far more thrills. Our Disney California, Adventure Ride List features EVERY ride available in the park, big or small, tame or thrilling. It is a Full Ride Guide for every DCA Park ride.
Families with younger children will find far less to do in the Disney California Adventure. But mixed age groups will definitely appreciate the more high-octane rides and thrills available in the park. While Space Mountain and Big Thunder Mountain Railway are about as White Knuckle as it gets over in Disneyland, in DCA these would hardly break the surface. But it is not all Thrill rides and Screams, there are fun family rides, Character meets, great places to eat, and things to see and do.
Disneyland Park Ride Guide
Heading to Disneyland Park too? Well, you can find our Disneyland Ride Guide below. Every Ride in the park and there are over 30+ rated and reviewed in our ultimate Disneyland Ride Guide:
Using Our Disney California Adventure Ride Guide
We have Separated Rides into the different land they occupy in the park. With the Bigger headline attractions of each land at the top. Most Rides have their own detailed page, containing all relevant information and our opinion on the ride, and what to expect. The Smaller family rides, those that are little more than spinners may not have a full page all to themselves.
This Guide covers Every Ride in the Park, and while there are not that many rides, the long queue times can mean it is impossible to get through every ride on offer. So we have put together a Disney California Adventure Must Ride List, these are the Top 10 Rides and Attractions in the DCA that you really cannot miss. We also have a compilation list of the best 10 rides in both parks for those on Park Hopper Tickets.
- Top 10 Disneyland Rides
- Top 10 Disney California Adventure Rides
- Top 10 Disneyland AND California Adventure Park Hopper Rides
Disney California Adventure Lands:
Arriving in 2020, the Avengers Campus intended to hugely expand on the Marvel Universe presence in the Park. This was Disney California Adventure’s big new opening while Disneyland had Galaxy’s Edge. Delayed until July 2021, The Campus is now open and home to 2 rides: Guardians of the Galaxy- Mission Breakout and the new Webslingers: A Spider-Man Adventure. You will also regularly bump into an Avenger, with characters from the franchise regularly just hanging around the campus. So keep your eyes peeled for your favorite Avenger and be sure not to miss out on Spider-man’s height-defying show!
One of Our All-time Favorite Disney Rides the Tower Of Terror has had a Marvel Makeover. Find out if the Guardians Of The Galaxy Re-Theme lives up to the old Tower of Terror attraction. – Our Rating – 4.3 – Read More…
The New Marvel ride arrived with quite a bit of anticipation and when it was announced it was a shooting gallery-style ride, we were pretty disappointed. The game tech is pretty cool but this is just an oversized video game rather than a real ride. The Huge Queues and separately charged lighting lane are also a letdown! – Our Rating – 3.5 – Read More…
Buena Vista Street
This is the first part of the park you hit after the Turnstyles and there is really very little here. It is more of a welcome area and a place you pass through to access the other lands. Themed around 1920’s L.A. there are plenty of shops and cafes lining the street and the Red Car Trolley takes you through the area to the far side of Hollywood land.
Themed around an old Victorian Era Midway Promenade with a Pixar twist, the Pier is a great place to spend some time. With some of the best rides in the park and the Iconic Disneyland Imagery of the Big Wheel and Looping Incredicoaster, it is hard to miss the Pier. If the Big rides are not your thing then there is still plenty to do with Pixar Character meets and Pixar Themed Midway Games and snack stands. It really is the heart of the California Adventure.
Disneyland’s only proper steel rollercoaster and the only inverted ride at Disneyland California. Luckily this is a fantastic coaster and one for any big ride fan – Our Rating – 4.3 – Read More…
As soon as you walk into the Park the Giant Pixar Pal-A-Round Mickey stares you in the face. This classic Big Wheel has a devious twist and is actually a pretty terrifying experience as the Gondolas move independently of the ride! If that’s too much, you can pick the non-Swinging which is just the classic Ferris wheel experience Our Rating – 3.8 – Read More…
4-D Virtual shooting game themed around midway-style shooting galleries featuring your story favorites. Basic in Premise but enthralling and spectacular in Execution! – Our Rating – 4.3 – Read More…
Inside Out Emotional Whirlwind
Simple family ride where riders twirl around in balloon carriages themed around the Inside Out franchise. UPDATE: the ride will be closed from January 30th, 2023 for refurbishments. Re-open date TBC.
Jessie’s Critter Carousel
Our least favorite Disney Character gets her very own ride. The premise is very simple and it’s a classic carousel themed around Toy Story 2 and featuring some pretty random critters not from the film at all. It is all a bit random and weird, but kids don’t tend to notice these things, right?
Games of Pixar Pier – A selection of Midway-style carnival games themed around Pixar Characters and themes
Hollywood land is one of the main areas in Disney California Adventure. Themed around the Golden age of Hollywood the area is like taking a walk back in time to the Hollywood of old, assuming the Hollywood of old had thousands of tourists roaming around.
The area features some of the real highlights of the park and is home to top rides and some great shows and attractions, along with tons of character meets and some good dining locations.
Come have a Chat with Crush, Star of Finding Nemo in the incredible live-hosted chat show with a real-life digitized Crush! Kids will love it and even adults will laugh along with Crush’s hilarious banter! Our Rating – 3.8 – Read More…
Take a trip through Monstropolis and watch the events from the first film unfold before your eyes in this very static Dark Ride – Our Rating – 3.2 – Read More…
Beasts Library by Loren Javier on CC2.0
Interactive Walkthrough of the Sorcerers Workshop. A Collection of all things sorcery and Witchcraft from the enchanted world Of Disney’s Fairytales. Check out Beasts Library, look into Snow White’s Evil Queens Mirror, and enter Ursala Grotto! Remember this is a walkthrough attraction that will like have no queue, but the interactive elements may require short waits but can be bypassed.
Mickey’s PhilharMagic Performance featuring, you guessed it…Donald Duck…erm. The Show is a 4-D cinema showing of this clever little piece of Disney animation. Approx 4 minutes long and features 3-d Animation, Water effects, and even scents. This is a re-working of some of your most-loved Disney scenes, such as Beauty and the Beasts dining scene, Little Mermaids, Part of that world, Lion Kings I Just can’t wait to be King, Peter Pan, Aladdin’s A Whole New World, and of course Fantasia’s Sorcerers Apprentice, all with Donald as a hilarious interloper.
It really is a neat and fun piece of Imagineering and animation combined and well worth your time. Any fans of Disney’s animations will adore the show, and let’s be honest as we are at Disneyland that’s all of us! Plus it’s a chance to sit down in an Air-conned theater for a few minutes. UPDATE: Mickey’s PhilharMagic will be shut from January 24th, 2023 for refurbishments. Re-open date TBC.
Red Car Trolley
Red car Trolley Disney California Adventure by Harshlight on CC2.0
Frozen – Live at the Hyperion – closed due to health and Safety Concerns. Re-open date unknown.
Disney Junior Dance Party – a dance and sing-along show with Disney Juniors Characters
Animation Academy – Draw your very own Disney Character under the guidance of a real-life Disney animator! For all ages and experience levels, no reservations needed, classes occur every 30 minutes. View Times Here
Not the most obvious Franchise of Pixars to create a whole land around, but actually considering the mythical Radiator Springs is based on locations not too far out into the desert on Route 66 then we suppose it makes sense really.
The land is a really well thought out and put-together place and includes some of the best theme park theming in exitance, along with a contender for one of the most fun rides in Disney. Cars land is a real hit, especially with young ones.
Possibly the best ride in Disneyland Resort California and up there with one of the best in all Disney parks! Radiator Springs Racers is packed with fun thrills from start to end, Do not miss out! – Our Rating – 4.7 – Read More…
Luigi’s Rollickin’ Roadsters
A Bizarre but strangely enjoyable ride. The Ride tech is incredibly advanced and the ride vehicles are amazingly detailed and well-made for what is essentially a glorified kid ride that does not really do much. The ride cars use a trackless ride system that enables them to dance. The ride is almost better enjoyed from the sidelines than onboard as the beautifully recreated roadsters dance around choreographed to music. it is all very odd really!
Mater’s Junkyard Jamboree
Everyone’s favorite Cars Character takes you on a hillbilly hoedown in his cool drifting tractors. The ride is a traditional tea-cup style ride but the riders sit in the trailers while the tractors drive the circular circuit and the trailers regularly drift out of line in a really fun and exciting drift fashion. Ever dreamed of drifting in the back of a trailer? No us neither, but now you can!
Character Meets– Mater and other Cars Characters can often be spotted in Radiator Springs. Check your Disneyland App for up-to-date info.
Paradise Gardens Park
Across the water from the Pixar Pier is Paradise Gardens Park. A sort of extension to the victorian seaside theme in this area would be the seafront promenade. Populated by some fairly tame Midway-style rides the land lacks some of the wow of the other themed areas. It does, however, have a more relaxed feel and is a great place to escape for a breather with stunning views across the water to the Pixar Pier.
The area is also the primary viewing point for the Nighttime Show – World of Color- ONE
Head under the sea with Ariel in this modern-era, old-school dark ride. Retelling the events of everyone’s favorite Dinsey mermaid film! Our Rating – 3.8 – Read More…
A Simple but quite beautiful ride, apparently themed on Early Sci-Fi Space ships but they look a lot like airships to us? Our Rating – 3.4 – Read More…
Goofy’s Sky School is a classic Wild Mouse Coaster, but is it any good, and should you bother queueing for it? Find out in our Goofy’s Sky School Review – Our Rating – 3.6 – Read More…
A bit like the Tower of Terror (make that Guardians of the Galaxy Mission Breakout) only a lot tamer. And we mean a lot tamer! The actual ride movement is about all this kid-friendly jump tower has in common with the TOT. The ride swings only go about halfway up the fairly short towers and do so at a very pedestrian speed. The view is nice from the top and the ride should not trouble even fairly frightenable kids. Anyone with a severe fear of heights might be best to skip, along with people who want an exciting ride!
We can’t help but like the colorful design, and kids do enjoy it.
Silly Symphony Swings
Silly Symphony Swings by Hawaiian717 on CC3.0
When I was younger I could ride any ride at any theme park with no fear or worry about anything, except these terrifying, clearly unsafe monstrosities. Dangling from a chain thousands of feet in the air, being spun at hundreds of Mile Per Hour, was how they felt to me! Most people find this ride far less intimidating than I, however.
The theme is a little vague and goes something along the lines of Mickey orchestrating a tornado or something like that. It’s a basic Wave Swinger, however, nothing special but a solid little ride offering pleasant views of the park.
World Of Color – This is the Nighttime show at Dinsey California Adventure. Set in the Paradise Lagoon against the backdrop of Paradise Pier this light and fountain show is quite the spectacle.
Most evenings at 9:pm (Check the Schedule) The Paradise Lagoon is transformed for 22 minutes by over a thousand Fountains and dazzling lights. A bit like a Bellagio fountain show, but less thunderous and more beautiful and set to Disney Music. The fountains utilize Spray Mist technology to allow images to be projected onto the fountains and numerous Disney numbers are replayed on the watery screens.
While the Nightime Fireworks in Disneyland will always win out if you have seen those before the World of color is a wonderful and unique alternative.
The Show also has various Holiday versions that change up the experience to fit the season such as Season of Light (Christmas) and Villainous (Halloween). Disney’s 100-year celebrations kick off on January 27th, 2023, and World of Color has a special ONE version to celebrate the 100 years of wonder.
Read our full Disney California Adventure World of Color: ONE Guide HERE
Tucked away in the upper left of the Park Grizzley Peak takes guests away from the Towns and Cities and out into the remote mountains of States national parks. Here you will find the park’s only Water Ride and the incredible Soarin.
The tree-lined remote feeling of the area is a welcome break from the madness of Hollywood land and Pixar pier and while the crowds are still plentiful just the trees and shelter from the sun help take the pressure off.
A Giant Motion flying simulator taking you on a journey around the world taking in some of the greatest landmarks and natural wonders of the planet Our Rating – 4.6 – Read More…
No Themepark is complete without a Rapids Ride and this is Disneyland’s version. Set in the Northern California River Valleys – Our Rating – 3.7 – Read More…
Grizzly River Run is usually closed for refurbishments from the first week of January for refurbishments until the Spring of that year.
Redwood Challenge Trail – An Adventure trail area for kids of all ages. There is plenty to do in this Redwood forest-themed play area. Zip-Lines, Slides, Rope bridges, Wall Climbs, and lookout towers.
Big Kids () may get some odd looks if not accompanying little kids but are still welcome, but not on the Zipline that has a 62in MAX height limit (and a 42in Min)
Monterey California is one of our Favourite Towns in the whole state and the Pacific Wharf area of the park attempts to recreate this part of the world in typical Disney fashion. The Cannery Row is merged into the San Francisco-Esque Pacific Wharf Creating that iconic Californian Coastal Sea Front look. This is our go-to place in the Park to grab lunch and generally relax a little from the madness. There are no rides here but some great restaurants and a couple of tours/exhibitions.
2023 Update: Work has begun to transform Pacific Wharf into SanFranTokyo, due to open in the Summer of 2023. Full details of what to expect have not yet been released.
Rides – None
Boudin Bakery Tour – The world-famous San Francisco Baker has an actually on-site bakery that produces the Sour Dough Bread for the park, ready to be filled with clam Chowder ala San Francisco’s Pacific Wharf. The Bakery Tour takes you into the Bakery and Explains the Secrets to the Boudin Sourdough magic! You will also receive FREE sour Dough!
Imagineering Blue Sky Cellar – This is an ever-changing exhibit taking a look at the thought process and design stages the Imagineering teams take while designing different areas and lands within the park. UPDATE: currently closed due to Health and Safety concerns. Re-open date Unknown.
Have Your Say
Got anything to say about our Ride list? think we have missed something or made a glaring omission or mistake, feel free to drop us a comment. Or maybe you have a question or are unsure about something again fire away below