Updated: December 2017

Best Disneyland Rides:

What family doesn't want to go to Disneyland or Disneyworld for a great vacation at least once in a lifetime. In order to see all the sites and attractions on a Disney World Vacation, you will need to plan and make sure you have time for everything. Most families traveling with small children find it difficult to battle the crowds and get on all the rides they want to. This guide will show you what the best rides are in each section of the park, and provide some tips and hints for getting on these rides with a minimum amount of waiting time.

Disneyland Height Requirements for Rides:

Some rides at Disneyland require riders to be of a certain minimum height for safety reasons. Keep in mind there are signs and rulers posted at the entrance to each of these rides - attendants WILL measure your little one, so don't think on standing on tip toes to sneak past.. Here are a list of the rides, and the minimum allowed height to ride:
  • Matterhorn Bobsleds - 35"
  • Gadget's Go Coaster - 35"
  • Big Thunder Mountain Railroad - 40"
  • Space Mountain - 40"
  • Splash Mountain - 40"
  • Star Tours - 40"
  • Grizzly River Run - 42" (California Adventure)
  • Mulholland Madness - 42" (California Adventure)
  • Tuck and Rolls Buggies - 42" (California Adventure)
  • Indiana Jones - 46"
  • California Screamin - 48" (California Adventure)
  • Orange Stinger - 48" (California Adventure)
  • Autopia - 52" (to drive alone, smaller kids can ride with adult)

Tomorrowland and Fantasyland

Fantasyland is the area inside the famous castle. Most of the rides here are kids rides - Dumbo, Snow White, etc. The problem with these rides is that they often have waits of 40 minutes or more in the afternoon, and the ride itself last all of 1 minute and is pretty boring.. The trick here is to get here EARLY when the park first opens and hit 4 or 5 rides quick in the first 20 minutes. Later in the day, the Tea Cup Ride offers a shady waiting area. The Matterhorn Bobsled ride is also popular and the line sometimes snakes all the way around the mountain - again hit it early in the day, and check the line on both sides to pick the shorter one. In Tomorrowland, the Rocket ride can also have a long, slow line, not worth the wait. Star Tours, Space Mountain, and the new Buzz Lightyear ride are the highlights here - use the Fastpass system to maximize your ride experience on all 3 of these. Space Mountain early in the morning or close to closing time offers short line (10 minutes or less). Buzz Lightyear can usually be ridden anytime during the first 2 hours of the morning with a minimal wait time.

Adventureland and Frontierland

The Indiana Jones Ride, Pirates of the Caribbean, Splash Mountain, and Big Thunder Mountain Railroad are the hits here. All of these offer Fastpass tickets. Pirates of the Caribbean is accessible until around 11AM each day, with only about a 10-15 minute wait. Splash Mountain can have very long lines after mid-morning - consider running there first thing when the gate opens, or grab a Fastpass and return when open. Indiana Jones tends to have long lines all day - be sure to use Fastpasses for easy access. Surprisingly, Thunder Mountain has only 15 minute walk up times all the way to about 11AM as well - save your Fastpasses for somewhere else. Be sure to come back in the evening for the Fantasmic show. This live action extravaganza is not to be missed - you will see people camping out hours in advance to get a good seat (the show takes place in the rivers of america section across from Pirates of the Caribbean, out towards Tom Sawyer Island). During the summer they run 2 shows a night - the trick is to weasle in just as the first show is ending - grab a good spot as people depart, then wait only 1 hour or so for the second show.