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Top 10 Rides in Disneyland

Good Evening! 

What are the top 10 rides in Disneyland? Well that's a matter of opinion (and a really tough choice) - but we think we have a pretty good line up! ;) This week: our 10 favorite rides in the Disneyland Resort! (Note: These are in no particular order, just numbered for convenience.)

1. Indiana Jones
As a kid, this ride scared me because I didn't like the giant snake animatronic. My dad offered to buy me a Minnie Mouse sweatshirt if I would ride it again with my mom, but I freaked out and would NOT go again. Now, Indiana Jones is probably my favorite ride in Disneyland! (My dad as assured me that the sweatshirt offer does not, in fact, still stand.) The theming is fantastic - not only on the ride, but the queue is so detailed that it completely immerses you in the world of Indiana Jones! You can google the Indiana Jones queue decoder card and walk through to "translate" the writings on the walls through the queue! 

Look at the detail just to the outside of the queue! LOVE IT!

"Mara shall guide you through the journey of your most secret desire in the chamber of destiny."

2. Splash Mountain
This ride also scared me as a little kid because I didn't love the idea of going down the big drop without a seat belt - regardless of how much I was assured the ride was completely safe. Splash Mountain is now one of my favorite rides! I love riding during the day, but I don't love walking around wet, so we usually wait until the end of the day. Then we can get soaked and head right back to the hotel. Bonus: the line usually isn't very long towards closing so you can wait in a shorter line, and maybe get in two or three rides before the park closes! We got lucky one night and there was absolutely no one in line, so the worker just let us stay on and keep riding two or three times. That was probably my favorite Splash Mountain night ever!

This photo was taken just before park closing at midnight.
There was no one in line and we got to ride three times that night!

3. Pirates of the Caribbean
Pirates is the "Family Favorite". This is our traditional first ride of the vacation! We never start a trip at Disneyland without racing over to ride Pirates first thing in the morning. Fun Fact: one time, Pirates was scheduled to be closed during our vacation. We knew about it and my family figured it would be sad but we would live. Not even three days into the trip, my parents had already rescheduled a second vacation for two months later when Pirates would re-open - making Pirates of the Caribbean the only ride that we ever scheduled an ENTIRE Disneyland vacation around!

Pirates of any age may ride! The perfect family ride!!!

4. Haunted Mansion
Haunted Mansion is just one of those classic rides. Bonus: it's dark and one of the longer rides in the park, so it makes the perfect place for a little power nap if you really need one! But don't worry, it is also entertaining enough to hold your attention! The theming is awesome on this ride too. The queue is just casual enough to look authentic but still creepy enough to belong to an old abandoned (and haunted) mansion. I love that this "haunted" ride isn't too scary for little kids either, while also being fun for adults. Disney really did well with this one!  

"There are 999 happy haunts that find their quarters here. But there's room for 1000, any volunteers?"

5. Soarin' Around the World
I have loved Soarin' since it was still Soarin' Over California. They did a wonderful job with the new world-wide videos, however I do miss flying over scented orange groves and calm beach sunsets. The new videos are amazing though, I will admit. The special effects on Soarin' are fantastic, and are definitely worth the long wait times the ride always has! 

I apparently do not have a picture of the current Soarin' Around the World sign, but here is the old "Over California" sign!

6. Radiator Springs Racers
This ride is just a blast. If you can't tell already - theming is just about everything for me. I LOVE how all of Radiator Springs literally feels like you just walked through the TV screen into the movie. Radiator Springs Racers is even more immersive if at all possible! You get to ride leisurely through a beautiful red rock landscape, see a gorgeous waterfall, and cruise around through a night-time Radiator Springs while you get ready for your big race! We actually broke down once inside and we just got to sit there for a solid ten minutes taking in the magic of Radiator Springs! Let me tell you, they certainly don't skimp on the details. Once you are done enjoying the beauty of Carburetor County, you embark on a high speed race against another group's car! This ride is a really well-rounded treat!  

Racers coming around the track!!

7. Big Thunder Mountain
This is one of the rides that is a blast during the day, and an entirely different ride at night. After listening to a Window to the Magic episode where they managed to get a firework ride on Big Thunder, I tried it out and it is seriously such a neat ride if you can make it in time! Big Thunder is lit up so gorgeously after dark, and the lights in the caves are so much more vibrant that it is totally worth it even if you don't get on during fireworks. If you ride during the day, try the goat trick! I read this one online once, but if you keep your eye on the goat with the dynamite sticking out of its mouth just before you hit the drop, and then watch him all the way around the turn, you either get super dizzy or you get a rush of adrenaline right in your stomach that makes the ride so much more fun! Seems crazy - but I tried it and it definitely works. (Someone explained the Goat Trick really well on this Reddit page).

Here is a good shot of the dinosaur bones sticking out of the mountain that the train runs through!

8. Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout!
This was my absolute favorite ride EVER when it was still Tower of Terror. I'm still quite bitter that it was changed. While the ride is still about the same in theory, it was the theming that made me fall in love with Tower of Terror. (I never noticed until writing this post just how important Disney's theming skills are to me.) Still, I do love Guardians of the Galaxy and they did do a great job with the overlay. I love that it is still a free-fall ride, and they actually did a really good job of mixing up the falling sequences which Disneyland's Tower of Terror never did. The fun factor (and in honor of the Tower that stole our hearts) pushes this ride into our top ten list of rides in Disneyland!

I took this picture the summer Guardians of the Galaxy opened up! The many people you see here were simply in line to get a Fastpass for the ride!

9. Matterhorn
This is another ride that I love to ride in the evening! When the sun goes down and stops shining light into the caves and caverns, the lights are so much more vibrant, and the dark tunnels are even darker making the yetis stand out much better! Of course, the Matterhorn is fun to ride any time of the day, but be aware, it is a *very* bumpy ride and the seats don't offer much room. I am super short so I fit happily, hence why this is still on my favorites list! 

A lovely shot of the Matterhorn from Tomorrowland Monorail Queue!

10. Mater's Junkyard Jamboree
I don't know what it is about being swung around behind a tractor whipping around sharp turns, but this ride ALWAYS gives me the giggles. Maybe it's that subtle tickle in your stomach when you fly around those curves. Maybe it's the funny songs Mater sings as you ride. Whatever it is, this ride is a blast, and I would recommend it to ANYONE. Plus, look at how cute the tractors are!

One of the cute tractors in Mater's Junkyard!

What are your favorite rides in Disneyland? Leave us a comment below!

As always, if you have any tips, tricks or questions you would like to submit to our blog feel free to send us an email at! And don't forget to hit that blue follow button in the drop down menu at the top of the page!

-Lindsay Prout

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