Kids or no kids, Disneyland can be quite a fun time. If you’ve got little fanboys or fangirls running around, sharing the splendor of the Disney parks with them is likely a magical time. If you’re child-free like me and the Fanwife, Disneyland allows for some efficient, nostalgic driven amusement.
On a recent trip to Disneyland, we were enchanted by some great meals at Blue Bayou and Carthay Circle, got in some top-tier people watching, and, of course, took advantage of being early risers and swift walkers by getting on a boatload of rides.
After our trip, we had a hearty debate on the which rides were at the top of our respective lists. We disagreed quite a bit, which makes me somewhat concerned about her decision-making capabilities. Accordingly, as the official editor of this site, I made an executive decision to not include her choices to avoid diluting my respectable brand. Below, I present my three favorite Disneyland/California Adventure rides which need no argument or rebuttal because it’s a perfect list:
3. Pirates of the Caribbean
This is classic ride is located in Disneyland’s New Orleans Square. The attraction is now over 50 years old and the animatronics, while aged, give us a glimpse into early ride development. Pirates gets occasional scene upgrades. The infamous wench auction is being removed before the summer crowds come to town. Jack Sparrow offers a few cameos here and there as well. Some of my favorite scenes still prevail, including the “ever-so-close K9 key” exhibit.
Why do I like it so much? It’s one of the few rides I remember from my early childhood visits. Beyond its evocation, it’s a long ride and the line moves swiftly- perfect after a few hours of being on your feet. Yo Ho, Yo Ho.
2. Radiator Spring Racers
It’s number 2 and I haven’t seven scene the movie Cars. Radiator Springs is appropriately located in Cars Land in California Adventure. It’s clear the imagineers had fun with this attraction. You hop in six-person cars and amble through what I’m guessing are relevant scenes from the Pixar hit before hitting the open road in an all-out drag race against other park visitors.
You’ll traverse over hills and through valleys with a decent amount of speed. It’s no roller coaster, but thrills will be had. As a fan of the American southwest, the expansive scenery of Radiator Springs is a sight to behold, taking up quite a bit of real estate.
This is one of the most popular rides and both the standard line and FastPass tickets fill up quickly. I’d get there right as the park opens if you want to guarantee a ride.
1. Indiana Jones Adventure
It’s herky. It’s jerky. It’s Indy. This ride is absolutely wild, zigzagging through an expansive temple on the search for Indiana Jones. This is a fast-paced escapade through an elaborate underground landscape on a 12 person transport. You’ll discover several nods to your favorite moments from the film series, some even while waiting in line.
This is one of the better wait experiences you’ll find in the park. The queue begins in a dense jungle, which provides clues to the journey that awaits. Soon, you’ll enter some of the initial temple chambers, stepping over booby traps and weaving through scaffolding. Keen observers may decipher subtle hints revealing the true nature of the temple and the ancient god, Mara’s, gifts.
With large explosions, scary creatures, and an awe-inspiring environment, this ride is worth revisiting again and again.
That’s my list. That’s the list of the top three DisneyLAND rides. Feel free to let me know your favorites in the comments below, but I will invoke the wrath of Mara on you if you disagree with me.