I’m a self-proclaimed amusement park wuss.  The only ride I go on the majority of time at any given amusement park is the nearby bench.  I know – I’m so lame!

As my kids get older, the scarier the better in their opinion.  In fact, after a couple of trips to Disney World last year, I wrote this post on the Top 10 Scariest Rides in Disney World based on their feedback since I was outside of the rides most of the time.

So last week, we went to Disneyland.  It was a first for all of us and I wasn’t sure what to expect.


For those of you who are only versed in what Disney World has to offer, here is the low-down: Disneyland *is* smaller but it still has a ton to offer.  There are two parks only – Disneyland Park and California Adventure.  The nice part about them is that they are next to one another – you can walk to both!

My entire family agreed that Disneyland was a lot of fun. It was less crowded and we all really appreciated the ability to walk everywhere!  We were only there for 4 days but we did both parks several times and my kids rode just about every ride there is!

We were reminiscing last night about all of the various rides and we all made a list of the top 5 best rides in each park.  Keep in mind that I went with a mix of family all-play rides and the thrill rides that my boys loved too.

In Disneyland Park:

Autopia (picture above) – where you can drive cars around a race track, surprisingly fun!

Matthorn Bobsleds (picture below) – the kids did this one a few times!  Ride bobsleds up and around the Matterhorn. Thrill ride.


Thunder Mountain – just like the roller coaster in Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, a fun all-play roller coaster for the whole family.  Mild thrills.

Splash Mountain – in and around the mountain until the final big drop (prepare to get wet!)  Moderate thrill.

Buzz Light Year Astro Blasters – a fun one for everyone.  Ride in a ship and fire lasers to defeat Zurg.

In California Adventure:

California Screamin’ – a thrilling roller coaster (I sat this one out!) that my kids went on multiple times.  It loops and it’s old school wooden.  Both my boys proclaimed it “epic!”

Radiator Springs Racers – in Carsland, auto racing inspired by the movie Cars. You go thru amazing scenery from the movie Cars that is so authentic looking, it’s beyond impressive.  Mostly you’re tooling around and looking at the scenes but there’s a bit of a thrill race in the end.  My kids did this one countless times and I did manage to do this one with them too!  It’s a good family ride as the cars seat 6 (two rows with three seats)

Soarin’ Over California – I had done Soarin’ at Epcot in Disney World, which is a flight simulator.  You feel like you’re hand gliding while you soar over the US.  It goes beyond visual effects as you feel the flying and there’s actually even smell involved!  Soarin’ Over California is similar only the experience on screen is limited to California but the ride is just as impressive!

The Twilight Zone Tower of Terror – this one isn’t for the faint!  My hubby and boys have gone on both the one in Hollywood Studios in Disney World and now the one in California Adventure!  Get strapped into your seat in the “elevator” just in time to have the cables snap and drop you.  Several times. One of my 10-year-old’s all time favorites.

Toy Story Mania – this one is my all time favorite!  And truly, my kids love it too.  It’s the same as the Toy Story Mania ride in Hollywood Studios if you have been to that.  You wear 3D glasses and you ride around and have to shoot at various objects that are related to the Toy Story movies.  It can get fun and competitive with your family as you compete for the highest score!

Have you been to Disneyland?  What are your favorite rides?

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