Top 5 Disneyland Thrill Rides for First Time Visitors

Editor’s Note:  All of us here at DoinDisneyRight want to welcome our new TEEN EDITOR, the MatterhornFan, who is not only an award winning young author but also a devoted Disney fan of the highest caliber. We can’t wait to read your stuff!

Hello, fellow thrill-seeker of the internet!  And as you are about to visit Disneyland for the first time, let me say “Welcome to the happiest place on earth!  You’re gonna love it!”  Since you’re reading this post, I’m sure you’re wondering which of all the rides are the absolute best.  The most scream-out-loud, hair-on-fire, take-my-breath-away, not-to-miss thrillers.  Well, never fear!  This is your guide to the top five best Disneyland thrill rides!

5) Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

Big Thunder Mountain Railroad is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.  It was the 3rd mountain to be built in the park (Matterhorn 1959, Space Mountain 1977).  This ride towers 104 ft tall at its highest peaks, and occupies two acres of what was formerly the Nature’s Wonderland.  This former E-ticket ride is modeled after Utah’s Bryce Canyon National Park, and has enough drops and twists to satisfy park-goers young and old.  It’s tame enough for almost everyone to enjoy, and a blast for even the most hard-core thrill seekers.  See if you can spot the the critters that relocated here from the now-defunct Mine Train and America Sings rides.

4) Matterhorn Bobsleds

Debuting in 1959, The Matterhorn Bobsleds were Disneyland’s very first thrill ride.  This roller coaster was one of the most innovative in the world when it opened.  It was the first to ride on tube steel rails, making it very smooth, and allowing it to drop and turn more quickly than other roller coasters that rode on train track type rails. Like all Disney thrill rides, the Bobsleds are an immersive experience and not just a roller coaster.  This ride recreates the experience of riding an olympic bobsled, and offers views of the park and of an Abominable Snowman along the way.  The ride also runs two tracks simultaneously, accomodating about 1500 riders per hour.  One Disneyland insider secret is that although riders could hear a growling yeti during the ride from the day it opened, they didn’t actually add an Abominable Snowman until 1978, the updated it in 2015.  The Bobsleds are a blast for people who like fast-paced rides, and continue to be a Disneyphile favorite, now in their 60th year.

3) Indiana Jones Adventure

Indiana Jones Adventure opened in 1995, the first upgrade to Adventureland since the Tiki Room opened 32 years earlier.  It was the 3rd major collaboration between Disney and George Lucas (Captain EO and Star Tours).  This ride allows riders to join in the dangerous adventures of famous archaeologist Indian Jones.  Like all of Disneyland’s thrill rides, this one broke new ground, with the development of a completely new, electonically controlled ride vehicle.  The vehicle takes riders rocking and rolling over lakes of lava, past gigantic snakes, and thru a barrage of flying poison darts.  It is possibly the most immersive ride experience in the world, and after 24 years it continues to be wildly popular!  Highly recommended for park-goers who are seeking danger as well as thrills.

2) Incredicoaster

This high-speed roller coaster opened as California Screamin’ in 2001 with the opening of Disney California Adventure theme park, and has been one of its premiere rides for nearly 20 years.  This is a steel roller coaster with steep drops, tight turns, and an inside loop.  This ride was recently re-themed as the Incredicoaster with the opening of Pixar Pier, which added lighting and sound effects that follow the antics of the Incredibles from the Disney movies of the same name.  This ride is famous for its countdown launch “3…2..1” after which riders are catapulted from 0-55 mph in 4 seconds.  The Incredicoaster is one of the most exciting rides at California Adventure, and I personally can’t get enough of it! Any roller-coaster lover will definitely have an unforgettable experience on this ride!

1) Guardians of the Galaxy - Mission: Breakout!

Fellow thrill-seekers, this ride is where it’s at!  But … it’s not for the faint of heart or the easily nauseated.  This is an accelerated dark drop ride themed after the Guardians of the Galaxy movie franchise.  The ride originally opened in 1994 in Walt Disney World as the famed Tower of Terror, but didn’t debut at California Adventure until 2004.  The ride was an instant hit, and remained very popular until it was re-themed to Guardians in 2017.  The queue area of this ride is full of detailed artifacts and leads to a mockup of the Collector’s office where an audioanimatronic Rocket the Racoon tells the back story and gives you a mission briefing.  The ride has an awesome 80’s rock and roll sound track , and the drop pattern is randomized for a different ride experience every time.  Multiple drops mingled with views of the Guardians fighting monsters and villains makes this a world class attraction, and my pick for the #1 thrill ride at the Disneyland Resort.

Thanks for reading my very first blog post, I hope you liked it.  And please check back for my future posts.  -MatterhornFan


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