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To continue my first Disneyland trip reports, I thought I should write about our favorite Disneyland rides. Even though we spent only three days at Disneyland, we quickly figured out our favorite Disneyland rides after the first few hours in each park.  Keep in mind that my daughters are 17, 13 and 11. What they like will be very different from what a 9 year old or a toddler likes.

Most favorite Disneyland rides: California Screamin’

My girls love thrill rides! Naturally California Screamin’ caught their attention, just by the name itself! With a rapid launch, a 100-foot-plus drop, one inversion, sky-high views of the entire California Adventure park, this was their most favorite rides among all Disneyland rides!  They rode it 5 times within a short two hours in the morning before heading over to Radiator Spring Racers. They came back again after lunch and used FastPass to go back and forth twice more! I think they would be happy if they could just ride this one all day long.

Disneyland California Screaming

Space Mountain

Not as crazy as California Screamin’, but this indoor, nearly pitch black coaster is a Disney classic. With the Star Wars-centric transformation, the ride features an awesome X-wing star fighter battle. While the ride rarely breaks 30mph, you really feel that you are zooming as the roller coaster is completely in the dark. The two days we spent in Disneyland Park, this was the first ride we hit. And we get FastPass before we get on the ride!

It’s a small world

To me, a visit to Disney is incomplete without taking a ride in the small world! Such a delightful ride with multicultural dolls. playful color palette and thousands of shimmering lights. We got super lucky on this visit, because it was still the holiday edition! The iconic “it’s a small world” song was sung along with traditional holiday tunes while we cruised down a wintry waterway, adoring regional decorations and a world of festive wishes and holiday cheer!

Disneyland small world

Pirates of the Caribbean

Pirates weren’t my thing, but my girls insisted me coming along the second time they went on this ride. The line was long, but it moved rather fast as at some point it was split into two lines. Compared to most rides, this was a long ride for sure. It was filled with spectacular sights made up of impeccable details – talking skull, crossbones, treasure-filled cave, plantation house and a ship battle. It was a story well told and I enjoyed it as much as my girls did.

Radiator Springs Racer

This adrenaline-fueled trip through Route 66 was a blast! The entire ride splits up into three parts, with each better than the last:  a outdoor joy ride through Ornament Valley, a manic meet-and-greet with Cars characters, and a high speed race once more. While it is debatable if the ride is worth the often two-hour wait, the ride is definitely a must-FastPass attraction!

Fastpass tickets for Radiator Springs Racers are distributed outside of Cars Land proper, near “It’s Tough to Be Bug!”. The moment California Adventure Park opened, everyone rushed there, within minutes the line became incredibly long. I couldn’t help but wondering if the actual ride had a shorter line at that very moment. According to my daughters, it did! While I was in line with everyone’s ticket waiting for FastPass, the girls went straight to the ride and stepped right on! They came back once more during the FastPass hour, but other than that, they did not want to spend two hours in line to ride again.

Disneyland Radiator Springs

Other Disneyland rides

Besides those five favorite Disneyland rides, We also enjoyed smaller rides such as the Little Mermaid (very cute), Mickey’s Fun Wheel (in the swinging gondola), Toy Story Midway Mania (filled with action!).

We skipped most of the little kiddie rides, but we did waited in a long line for the classic Peter Pan’s flight. Girls thought it was too short and not really worth the 50 minute wait. We didn’t do submarine ride since we did the real submarine ride in Maui many years ago.

Some of other popular rides were closed during our visit, such as the Grizzly River Run and Haunted Mansion. I guess we have new rides to try next time we return to Disneyland.

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