Golden Zephyr Ride Review – Disney California Adventure – Disneyland California

Golden Zephyr is one of the original rides that were not changed during the $billion dollar renovation that saw wholesale changes in the park during 2007-2012. While many of the park’s rides which were basic “fairground” style rides were axed, Golden Zephyr survived. Find out why in our Golden Zephyr Ride Review.

Golden Zephyr Ride Review
  • Location – Disney California Adventure – Paradise Gardens Park
  • Type – Spinning Swing Ride
  • Duration – 1:30 Mins
  • Height Restriction – None
  • Average Queue time – 5 mins – 15 Mins
  • Fastpass – No
  • Single Rider – No
  • Additional Info
  • Thrill Rating
  • Fun
  • Uniqueness and Theming
  • Smoothness And Comfort
  • Value For Time

What is The Golden Zephyr?

This is not a complicated or advanced ride in any way. It is simply a rotating swing ride where the riders sit-in in large Airship shaped carriages, or maybe they are supposed to be rockets? Either way, the whole ride rotates and the carriages swing out on chains due to centripetal force.

Queue And Theme

The Ride has a very basic queue that simply meanders under the ride. Fortunately, the ride is not a big draw, and the capacity and throughput are pretty decent making queue times pretty short. There is no Fastpass line and if queues begin to get long people simply skip the ride so they rarely get uncomfortably long.

The theme is also very vague and uninteresting. The ride is simply a Fairground-style ride plonked in the middle of the park with no real thought or reason for it being there.

It is, however, a very pretty and nicely designed ride. While the theme fits nothing in the area it is very well executed and the whole ride is quite majestic when in flight. The fact the ride survived could be nothing more than Disney just didn’t want to remove something so elegant!

Ride Experience

The Ride experience is also a redeeming feature. The Ride Vehicles soar majestically out over the immediate park area giving a great analog of flight. There are no surprises in the smooth effortless gliding of the vehicles and the whole experience is one of relaxed calm. Apart from the fact the carriages are now soaring at quite a height above the ground and only attached by light chains can make the experience quite unnerving, especially for overthinkers or people with an aversion to heights.

Fear is in no way the intended emotion though and while soaring through the air is quite exhilarating, it is not intensely so. The ride only attains a modest height and the views are ok but not stunning, it would need quite a bit more height to get up above the structures of the park.


We quite like the Golden Zephry, even though there are no standout features and the theme is a little disjointed. It is a ride that reminds up of the grandeur of the past. A finely crafted and well-polished ride that does the basics very well.

The Splendid Tower sits very well in the Paradise Gardens and looks very elegant with the airships soaring above the park. While the original layout of the park had far too many fairground rides we are glad Disney retained one as beautiful as this. Even if we often skip the ride, it’s nice to see it there just looking splendid!

Have Yor Say

What do you think of the Golden Zephyr? Is it a waste of space or a wonderful classic ride well worthy of its prime spot in the park? Let us know below in the comments if you have something to say about the Zephyr, or if you have any questions at all.

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