Disneyland can be confusing, especially for those used to visiting Walt Disney World. With new and different areas and rides, there is so much to see, do and eat at Disneyland. Luckily, many of the spaces found at Disneyland Park are familiar. And some of the best rides at Disneyland can be found in Disney Parks the world over. Here are the Top 5 Disneyland Rides to prioritize on your Disney Vacation.
Disneyland Park Lightning Lane Passes
A necessary evil of any Disneyland Vacation is sometimes paying for a better spot in line. For this reason, it’s important to know which Disneyland rides are WORTH a Lightning Lane Pass. As a reminder, Lightning Lane Passes are able to be obtained by purchasing the Disney Genie+ service or by buying individual Lightning Lane passes for select rides. The Disney Genie+ service is $20 per person, per day ( per ticket). Individual Lightning Lane Passes are available for $7-$20 dollars a ride dependent on crowds, time of day, year, etc.
Disneyland Park Lightning Lane Passes
Individual Purchase for Lightning Lane Entrance
- Star Wars: Rise of the Resistance
Disney Genie+ Lightning Lane Entrance
- Big Thunder Mountain Railroad
- Buzz Lightyear Astro Blasters
- Haunted Mansion
- Indiana JonesTM Adventure
- “it’s a small world”
- Matterhorn Bobsleds
- Millennium Falcon: Smugglers Run
- Roger Rabbit’s Car Toon Spin
- Space Mountain
- Splash Mountain
- Star Tours – The Adventures Continue
First of all, it’s good to know that not all rides in Disneyland have the option for Lightning Lane. Many of the classic rides in Fantasyland are not included in the Lightning Lane program. Peter Pan, Mr.Toad’s Wild Ride, and StoryBook Canals aren’t included in the Lightning Lane list of rides but can be experienced simply by waiting in line.
Radiator Springs Racers in California Adventure
As one of the Best Rides at Disneyland Resort, Radiator Springs Racers is ONLY available for Lightning Lane as an individual pass purchase. You can, however, also just wait in line. Since this Disneyland ride is unique to Disneyland Park, it’s a popular one, and well worth the wait, or money! Be prepared to wait at least an hour, and probably closer to two hours if waiting in line. Even the single rider line for this ride is long.
Even if you are lucky enough to be able to take advantage of Extra Magic Hour in Cars Land, the line for Radiator Springs Racers can still be pretty overwhelming.
When are Extra Magic Hours at Disneyland Resort?
If you are staying at any Disneyland Resort and have valid theme park admission you can take advantage of Early Theme Park Admission, which gets you access to the parks ONE FULL HOUR before the parks open. It is highly recommended that if you hope to take advantage of this Disneyland Resort perk, that you arrive at least 15 minutes before the extra magic hour starts. As an example, if the park opens at 9 am, and there is an extra magic hour, you are allowed to enter at 8 am. Disney recommends if you are hoping to take advantage of this time that you arrive at the gates by 7:45 am.
- Disneyland Park: Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, one hour prior to park open
- Disney California Adventure Park: Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays, one hour prior to park open
Disneyland Haunted Mansion in Disneyland Park
If you’re a Walt Disney World fan, then you’re aware of how amazing the Disneyland Haunted Mansion is. One of the original rides at Disneyland was a project developed by Walt Disney himself. Disney worked with his Imagineers to develop the mansion after being inspired by the Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, California. That said, the Haunted Mansion at Disneyland is a Disney Must-Do ride, no matter what. Wait times can get pretty long for this ride, especially if you happen to be visiting during September-December when this ride gets the Haunted Mansion Holiday overlay featuring the Nightmare Before Christmas. Located in Disneyland Park, Haunted Mansion is a Lightning Lane Pass option in the Disney Genie+ service.
Indiana Jones Adventure in Disneyland Park
Even if you’re not a big Indy fan, Indiana Jones Adventure is super fun and well worth riding. If you’ve been on Walt Disney World’s DINOSAUR ride, this attraction features the same track and type of ride experience. The queue can get pretty long as the day goes on, so either plan to ride it earlier in the day, or grab a Lightning Lane Pass. Indiana Jones Adventure is a Lightning Lane Pass option in the Disney Genie+ service.
Guardians of the Galaxy Mission: Breakout in Disney’s California Adventure
This ride may not be for everyone. With our favorite Guardians, memorable music soundtrack, and a daring escape, this ride is loud, fun, and full of unsuspecting elevator drops. Previously the Hollywood Tower Hotel Tower of Terror this ride comes with a Guardians of The Galaxy theme, and Peter Quill’s Awesome Mix soundtrack. If you love Guardians, this is one party we don’t think you’ll want to miss. This ride is a Lightning Lane Pass option in the Disney Genie+ service.
Incredicoaster: The Incredibles Rollercoaster in California Adventure Park
While this ride may not be for the faint of heart, if you love roller coasters, this is one ride that will give you the thrills you’re seeking at Disneyland Resort. Complete with cookie smells, this coaster takes you up, down, and all-around chasing after Jack-Jack. Lines aren’t too bad during the day, but they definitely can get a bit long as the day goes on and who really wants to wait in line anyway? While this ride may not need a Lightning Lane Pass, you can grab this as a Disney Genie+ selection if you’re determined to skip the line.